Everest 2003 Reports
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The South Col
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Live Everest 2003 Expedition Reports! May
May 24th, All
Expedition Members in Base Camp after Successful Summit Climb!
is here in base camp after a truly successful season on Everest and
Lhotse. The feeling of coming down after a long time at extreme
altitudes is hard to describe. Even here at almost 18,000 ft. it
feels like sea level after being almost 72 hours at or above 26,000
ft.. Really have enjoyed being here with the whole team and the
Sherpas that have worked so hard to make it a successful and safe
season. Look for later reports detailing the Sherpas that helped
make it happen!
Both Teams are here now. John and Lorenzo are enjoying being down
off Lhotse and they are planning to fly out with the Everest Team to
Kathmandu. Scott, Sean, Cliff and Kevin are recovering from a long
stay up high and will start packing gear for the helicopter ride out
day after tomorrow!
Were all down safe, enjoying a bit of celebration with the Irish
Team right now. The Sherpas have been working hard bringing down
everything from up high. Tomorrow night we'll have a party to
celebrate both the Everest and Lhotse Teams summits (and South
Summits!). We have a chartered helicopter coming in on the 26th
which will let us all get back home just a little bit sooner.
A brief list of our Expedition Success
Lhotse Summit- May 20th 9.15am
Pasang Nuru Sherpa
Everest Summit- May 22nd 12.30pm
Mingma Chiri Sherpa
Everest South Summit- May 22nd 10.00am
Llama Babu Sherpa
Its been a long season here in the Himalayas. Now its off to spend
some time at home before our South America, Europe, and Russian
Climbing seasons begin this summer. Watch for more live reports
following Scotts Kazakhstan trip coming up in July. Full coverage of
a climb of the spectacular Kang Tengri Peak in the Tien Shan
Mountains of Northern China region! Scott Woolums Reporting.
May 23rd, Summit on
the 22nd! Safe Back in Camp 2!
back in Camp 2 after our successful summit day yesterday. A huge day
in what started out as perfect weather and that fast changed to a
wild storm towards mid-day. Everyone's feeling tired but happy to be
here. Had a bit of a problem with our digital video/still camera so
will not be able to send out any photos from up high until we
process and scan our roll film back home. Photo from last year near
Camp 3. Our super cool Sony Micro MV cam we had been using decided
to go for the Lhotse Face Toboggan run, reaching terminal velocity
and grabbing some rather spectacularly huge air as it bounced and
shattered and slowly disintegrated over 5000 ft. down below! Our
only true tragedy!
May 21st/May 22nd Summit Day
We left camp the evening before (the 21st) at 11pm. We woke that
night to no wind and crystal clear skies. The perfect day. So all
things were go for it. This was our second night here at the South
Col and we all felt ready after being on oxygen here since our
arrival. This looked to be our break in the weather.......
Off to the Balcony, reaching there in about 5 hours with quite a few
different teams leaving for the summit between 9 and 11pm. Fairly
cold in the early morning going up the triangle face and the ridge
past the balcony. Then up to the South Summit. Still perfect weather
at this point, we were feeling good with all things. The climbing
here is quite steep and exposed along a rocky ridge mixed with ice.
This is where we started to wait for the other groups ahead as many
people started going extremely slow. Many people continue even
though they are having obvious difficulties or trying to climb with
minimum oxygen. But these groups of people can cause huge delays for
groups trying to travel quickly in the face of marginal weather.
A spectacular moonrise next to Makalu, then the sun came up when we
were near the base of the South Summit. Absolutely amazing sunrise
over Tibet, with Makalu and Lhotse visible. Up to this point it had
been completely calm and virtually clear. Over the next couple hours
that was about to change! While basically waiting in line to get up
the South Summit, the winds had picked up, plumes started blowing
off the summit, and high clouds started blowing over the top. To the
South west layers of cloud at our elevation began moving in and by
the time were at the South Summit, the fun had stopped! Conditions
here on the South Summit were whiteout and 40 knot winds. It was
hammering quite hard and with having to wait over 2 hours at this
point for other groups we were a bit on the late side, later than I
would have liked to see.
Right on the other side of the South Summit, there's a small
protected area to change out oxygen and take short breaks. With the
wind cranking overhead, we had a bit of a reality check. Full storm
conditions and looking over towards the Hillary Step, extremely
crowded, with many people moving so slow as to make it very sketchy.
With the main summit ridge disappearing in cloud and the Step
sliding in and out of view by thick cloud we had to make a decision
of what to do. Under these circumstances its always best to make the
very hard decision to turn around. It was going to be extremely
risky to continue, as its at least 3 hours round trip with waiting
for the people along the summit ridge, combined with high winds and
very cold conditions standing and waiting, fully exposed. What to
do? We had a discussion, laying out the risks and options. Its
simple, the weather can either change for better or worse, and no
one can predict whats really gong to happen at the summit of
Everest! To always make the safest decision, you turn around, which
is a solid choice. With conditions like this we all felt it too
risky to continue with all of us. WIth any change for the worse in
the weather, it would invite a serious situation. Sean had already
decided to head down from the South Summit, Kevin decided to join
him going down, Cliff and I decided to go ahead with a few simple
rules to keep things safe. These are very difficult personal
decisions made during serious conditions. One can only look at
conditions around them, feel inside themselves for personal
reserves, understanding the risks if continuing and make a decision.
Everyone felt completely comfortable with their decisions after
getting back to Camp 4 later. Just remember that the South Summit of
Everest is over 28,800 ft. and if it were anywhere else in the
world, it would be the second highest summit in the world!
So Kevin, Sean, Phenden and Llama Babu descended from the South
Summit, back to Camp 4 in difficult conditions. Cliff and I jumped
in line (and in the wind!) towards the summit. Punching through some
fairly serious conditions we reached the summit after a couple
hours, the weather held just enough to allow us up and down without
getting too cold. Reaching the top around 12.30pm in thick cloud and
high winds. Not the best day for pictures, it fact it had been so
cold that all of us took very few pictures. Jangbu and Mingma Chiri
also summated with us. After about 30 mins. on top we started down
into the winds and cloud along the thin summit ridge. It turned into
a difficult descent with the conditions getting worse down towards
the Triangle Face. We had left several partial bottles of oxygen for
the descent, which turned into a good plan. The problem was that
many groups do not bring enough oxygen and can actually nab bottles
that we had planned to use, fortunately all our bottles were in
their place. We did end up giving 2 bottles out to others that
needed them on the way down. Meeting up with several people in
trouble. One climber having run out of Oxygen, just sitting along
the trail, another partially snow blind again sitting, both just
waiting for help. Some extra oxygen helped both get down safely.
Many groups plan a very minimum amount of oxygen for summit
attempts. Its critical to have enough for everyone, including
Sherpas to get down with out running out. Its like hitting a wall
when your tank goes empty above the South Col, it literally stops
you in your tracks. Too be safe, you need more than just enough!
A long summit day for Cliff and I. Getting back to Camp 4 we
basically collapsed into our tents, trying to rehydrate, which is
one on the biggest problems climbing extremely high. Everyone was
exhausted and fell asleep immediately on high flow oxygen. Sweet
Dreams at 26,000 ft.!
We slept solid till the next morning, when high winds again swept
the South Col, ripping at the tents. A cold morning packing up and
starting down to Camp 3 and the Lhotse Face. Using oxygen really
helps everyone think clearer and perform better on the technical
sections. We continued down to Camp 3 with the team really doing
well. Only 4.5 hours from Camp 4 all the way down here to Camp 2. It
feels so amazing being back down at Camp 2 and its relative luxury.
We have our full computer communications, internet, email, updates
capabilities here so we can catch up some with our trip reports and
communications tonight. And with Tenzi cooking here, we had Pizzas
for lunch and an awesome pasta for dinner!
Base Camp tomorrow! The Sherpas have completely cleaned our camps 4
and 3. All empty oxygen is brought down which is a huge project. We
have a policy to pack all oxy tanks, rubbish and cooking canisters
down for recycling in Kathmandu. We have already sent out some
porter loads from Base Camp to Lukla and the team is planning to
share a chartered Russian helicopter out after a couple days. So our
plans to go down will happen quick as we start out. But first its
time to share some time with the Sherpas who have worked incredibly
hard to make both the Lhotse and Everest trips such a success this
year. Scott Woolums Reporting.
Scott Woolums Summits Mt. Everest
pm (Nepal time), May 22nd 2003: Adventures International expedition
leader, Scott Woolums, called home via satellite phone from the
summit of Mt. Everest.
From his vantage on top of the earth’s highest peak—at 29,035
feet—Woolums reported that he and client, Cliff Dargonne, along with
Sherpas, Jangbu and Mingma Chirri, had climbed through a storm that
blew in making the going tough with lots of wind on the exposed
summit ridge. "We couldn't even see the main summit from the south
summit...looked up to see patches of blue sky and decided to push
on," he recalled.
Until today, extreme winds had thwarted all previous summit attempts
from the South Col this season. Two nights ago the Adventures
International team hung back at camp IV even as more than 60 other
climbers left camp for their summit bids; all to be turned around
below the balcony. “We made a decision to wait and not go up to
conserve our oxygen…for more favorable conditions to begin the final
summit push,” Scott reported on his website.
Less than 48 hours earlier, on the morning of May 20th, Adventures
International also saw a team to the summit of Lhotse, an 8000 meter
peak adjacent to Everest. Local Hood River guide, John Rust, and
client, Lorenzo Gariano, topped out on the summit of the world’s 4th
highest peak accompanied by Pasang Nuru and Pemba Chirri.
This is Scott’s second summit on Everest; he guided a successful
expedition in May 2002. He was very confident and optimistic about
the current expedition. “This is the style of trip (I) believe in:
small, well organized, experienced, easy to manage and focused on
climbing the mountain not the politics surrounding it,” he said
before his departure in late March.
An accomplished high altitude guide, with 25 years experience, he
has previously guided 17 Himalayan climbs including summits of
Pumori, Ama Dablam, Great Trango Tower, and Cho Oyo, plus 26
expeditions on Aconcagua and a record 30 summits of McKinley on 42
In 1991, Woolums founded his own business--Adventures International
Inc.—specializing in unique travel opportunities from hut to hut
treks into some of the world’s most remote regions to extreme
climbing expeditions and high altitude mountaineering. The company
offers trips in South America, Asia, and Africa; as well as more
remote destinations including climbs of the “seven summits” (the
highest points on each of the 7 continents): Aconcagua, Carstensz
Pyramid, Elbrus, Everest, Kilimanjaro, McKinley, and Vinson on
While the summit marks the culmination of the team’s activities,
they have been in Nepal for the past 9 weeks acclimatizing and
ferrying supplies up the mountain. For details about the Everest
experience, check out the live expedition reports—a series of
dispatches including images, audio and video clips, Scott
transmitted throughout the expedition—posted on his website:
Thank You to Our Sponsors:
Clifbar, Gerber Legendary Blades, Brunton, Danimex, HumanEdge Tech,
We would like to thank our sponsors for helping with the enormous
task of providing equipment, resources and believing in our efforts
to attempt the summit of Everest. Thank you for supporting the
Adventures International Everest 2003 Expedition.
May 22nd - Back in
C4 after Summit
all resting safely at camp IV at this hour. Scott called home via
satellite phone earlier from the summit of Mt. Everest to report
that he and Cliff Dargonne were standing on top of the world at
29,035 feet, along with Sherpas Jangbu and Mingma Chirri! He said
they climbed through a storm that blew in making the going tough
with lots of wind on the summit ridge. "We couldn't even see the
main summit from the south summit...looked up to see patches of blue
sky and decided to push on," he recalled. Kevin Neal and Sean McEvoy
accompanied them to the south summit before making the difficult
decision to descend.
May 22nd Summit
at 1.00 pm Scott Woolums reached the summit together with Cliff
Scott made a difficult decision last night to stay on the South Col
whilst all else left for the summit. His decision was based on his
experience and it proved very wise today. Scott has also been the
multi media champion of Everest this season, feeding live video,
pics and voice dispatches from all high camps on the mountain. He
was the one who captured the spectacular video of the wild storm
shredding tents at Camp 3.
May 21st - Everest
2003 Expedition Summit Bid In Progress!
2003 9:30am PST (10:15pm Nepal time) Just received a call from Scott
via satellite phone. The team is gearing up and planning to leave
camp IV shortly for their summit attempt! He reports, that the high
winds have ceased; however that was not in the forecast, so hard to
know if the calm will hold into the daylight hours. No one has
summated from the S. Col. yet this season. The 60 or so climbers who
set out yesterday all turned back below the balcony due to extreme
high winds. The Sherpas have not even been able to fix the lines
above this point; they are currently enroute to do so just ahead of
the climbing teams. Here at home, we'll be on the edge of our seats
for the next 10-12 hours waiting to hear how it goes up high. Yvette
May 21st, Waiting
at the South Col in High Winds
night last night up here at the south col. Last night over 60 people
went up to try for the summit. Soon afterwards some very extreme
winds turned all summit attempts around.
We made a decision to wait and not go up to conserve our oxygen for
tomorrow or the next day. Very serious conditions though last night
and this morning. Of the teams that went up last night, over half
have now descended to camp 3 to recover.
Our Team is really doing excellent up here. Strong, good spirits,
and ready to go. We have been using oxygen since arrival so are
feeling super and sleeping well.
Talked to the Lhotse Team this morning. They spent last night at
Lhotse Camp 4, 7800 meters, actually the last 3 nights there! They
are moving down to Camp 2 today and doing well. Great job yesterday
summiting Lhotse guys!
Our plans are to go this evening if we get a break in the weather.
If not, we have enough oxygen to wait till the day after tomorrow.
Hanging out at the South Col! Day 2. 30 plus knots and a serious
plume blowing off the top right now. Scott Woolums Reporting.
May 21st, Scott
Calls in from Camp IV, 7900m
a phone call from C4, Scott Woolums reports that all South Side
summit push teams turned around tonight. The past twelve hours has
been horrible, the wind pounding the tents all night. The climbers
turned already before the balcony, as the Sherpas couldn't even
reach there. The good news is that at the moment all climbers on the
south side are back safe at C4, and at least 18 have already started
a descent to C2.
Image courtesy of MountEverest.net
Scott's audio dispatch from Camp IV
May 20th, Phone
call from Everest South Col: Climbers heading for summit in strong
Woolums of Adventures International just called in from Camp IV,
7900m. Four hours ago (2000 hrs Nepal time), Sherpas left from Camp
IV, to fix ropes from the Balcony, 8400m to the summit, 8848m. One
hour after they left, other teams followed suit, first the Indians,
then the Irish, French, and the rest – in all about 75 climbers are
currently making their way to the summit right now. Scott says that
it looks like it's a cap cloud on the summit and he estimates that
it is probably blowing 60 – 80 mile per hour up there.
At this minute (2.30PM EST), the climbers are just reaching the
Balcony and the Sherpas are nearing the South Summit.
Scott is weary about the situation. His climbing experience tells
him that these are not the best circumstances for a final summit
push. The main problems being the wind, the clouds rolling in and
the fact that the ropes to the South Summit, 8750m, have not yet
been fixed. With the mass exodus from Camp IV for the summit, Scott
is fighting the peer-pressure and has decided to wait another day at
the South Col, to re-evaluate the situation, look at the weather
conditions and see how the first wave of climbers are faring.
The current weather reports show unstable conditions over Everest.
It is neither a window, nor a full storm. Those kind of conditions
are very tricky for climbing decisions. Hard gusts of high wind
alternate with pockets of calm, subjecting a summit push to a great
deal of chance – and risk.
The crucial point will be when the climbers reach the South Summit.
There they will step out of the shelter of the ridge and out onto
the exposed fore summit. Not until then will they be able to know
the true force of the winds over the main summit.
Image courtesy of MountEverest.net
May 20th, Just
Arrived at the South Col!
the Lhotse Team is safely back in camp 4 after reaching Lhotse
summit this morning. A cold windy day, but John, Lorenzo, Pasang
Nuru and Pemba Chirri all summated Lhotse! Congregations!
The Everest Team is up here at over 26,000 ft. now! Whew, an
exciting day after leaving early this morning from camp 3 and coming
up over the Yellow Band and the Geneva Spur.
Were all doing well here at the south col, on oxygen, settling in
for a short nap. then a bit later tonight its off to the summit!
Fairly good conditions here at the South Col. Winds of 30 mph and
sunshine. Were all set for tonight, just time to relax and brew up.
Our Sherpas are all doing very well, with Phenden. Llama Babu,
Jangbu and Mingma all here. Pasang Nuru may come up from Lhotse.
These guys are amazing. they came up from camp 2 today with loads to
support our summit day.
We plan to have at least one safety/rescue sherpa(s) stay here when
we go up. This is critical in the event of an emergency. The
additional support of having at least one Sherpa that can bring up
extra oxygen or assistance quickly is super important. Off to the
summit tonight! Were all hoping for good weather tonight. Watch for
a report and photos from the summit in the morning if we get good
The winds have really kicked in with a huge plume blowing off
Everest right now. We have enough oxygen to sit out another day if
we need to. Right now there's no chance to summit in these winds. So
we are hoping for a change today.
Scott Woolums Reporting.
May 19th, Just
Arrived at Camp 3!
||Up here at
camp 3 in good conditions. The team is doing great and moving well.
Now a night here followed by an early start to the south col
The Lhotse Team has delayed their summit day due to extreme winds
last night and into this morning. They plan to stay up at Lhotse
Camp 4 again tonight and have another go tomorrow morning. Way to
hang in there John and Lorenzo! Their camp is almost 8000 meters
Everyone is jazzed to be here with a good forecast for the next
couple days. From here its 6 to 7 hours to the south col and camp 4.
Our goal is to leave as early as we can to reach camp 4 earlier in
the day to allow plenty of time to relax, re-hydrate and recover
before starting our summit day tomorrow evening around 10 pm.
Yahoo, were on our way! Scott Woolums Reporting
Audio dispatch from Camp III, 7300m..
May 18th Evening,
Update from Camp 2!
a quick update tonight. Everything is still a go for both teams. We
just talked with John up at Lhotse Camp 4 on the radio. Both John
and Lorenzo are feeling excellent and are ready to go later tonight.
Both are sleeping on oxygen tonight as are their 3 Sherpa support
team, Pasang Nuru, Ang Pasang and Pemba Chirri. The weather is a bit
mixed this afternoon but is expected to improve tonight and in the
morning. Good Luck with tomorrow guys!
The Everest Team is having dinner here in Camp 2 with plans to go
around 5am up to camp 3. Everyone is feeling super at this point and
were all good to go! We'll send out an update from Camp 3 tomorrow.
Scott Woolums Reporting.
May 18th, Lhotse
Team Moving to Camp 4! Everest Team moves to Camp 3 Tomorrow!
here in Camp 2 now watching John and Lorenzo moving up to Lhotse
Camp 4 today. Right now there at the Yellow band and moving well. 3
Sherpas moved up today from here to meet them at Camp 4 to support
their summit go tomorrow morning. Everything is looking good. They
are both using oxygen from Camp 3 and back to Camp 3. 2 Sherpas will
be summiting with them tomorrow and both Sherpas will also be using
oxygen. There will be a safety/rescue Sherpa staying in Lhotse Camp
4 with extra oxygen in case of any problems. So we have a solid
support net for their summit attempt tomorrow. Now we are all hoping
for some great weather for them. There's a fair bit of wind along
the the Everest and Lhotse ridges today, but the forecast is for
that to diminish by tomorrow. The route they are doing is fairly
protected from the higher level winds that has kept all the Everest
Teams from summiting so far. Go guys!!!
The Everest team is here in Camp 2, taking a rest day after moving
up yesterday. We will get an early start tomorrow and go up to Camp
3 to stay. When we go up, it will be right up to Camp 3, onto oxygen
for the night, then move up to the south col the next day climbing
on oxygen. This is when our Sherpa team will leave from Camp 2 to
meet us at Camp 4. We actually will not spend the night, but start
climbing around 10pm that night for the summit. So from here
everything will happen fast.
A lot of energy in Camp 2 today as many groups are getting set or
moving up for their summit attempts. We have been discussing going
one day later as the fixing team up at the south col has had to hang
in camp 4 for another day as the winds have been too high to go
above the south col today. So hopefully with the forecast for
diminishing winds tomorrow the route will go in up to the Balcony or
south summit and the Lhotse team will have a good summit day! Were
all waiting and watching. Scott Woolums Reporting.
May 17th, Everest
Team at Camp 2, Lhotse Team at Camp 3!
photo is of the Everest Team entering the Khumbu Icefall (for the
6th trip up!) taken this morning.
The Lhotse Team has taken advantage of some very good weather this
morning and moved up to Camp 3. Both Lorenzo and John are feeling
good and will spend the night there, without oxygen. Just heard from
them on the radio and everything is going good. Tomorrow morning
early they will move up to Lhotse Camp 4 at around 7800 meters! They
will be using oxygen on the climb up to Camp 4, and onto the summit.
The winds held off till around 10am this morning, crystal clear all
morning. So with an early start they should be able to get up to
Lhotse High Camp before the afternoon snow and winds move in. We'll
be watching from Camp 2 here all day tomorrow.
The Everest Team is all here at Camp 2, 21,000 ft. The summit is
still 8,000 ft. above and being blasted by extreme winds this
afternoon. You can see the classic plume blowing off the top right
Our plans are for a rest day tomorrow. Watch the weather very
closely. Then move up to Camp 3 on the 19th. We have a ton of Oxygen
so plan to use it for everything from Camp 3 and above back to Camp
3. Right now we are looking at the 21st for our summit day. We have
just received a new forecast from our independent source that
confirms the 21st is looking like the best day on the horizon and
that it may close off after that. First confirmed reports of a
monsoon just in the beginning stages starting to form, so its
looking like this is the week!
A lot of teams are on the move today. Lots of rumors on who's going
when. We have contributed one of our Sherpas and oxygen to the
Sherpa team that's going up tomorrow to break trail and put in the
fixed lines above the south col. That's suppose to happen tomorrow
morning. We'll keep everyone updated on what's going on up here at
Camp 2. Scott Woolums Reporting.
May 16th, Off
Tomorrow for the Top!
Everest Team is leaving Base Camp tomorrow morning for Camp 2 and
the start of our summit bid. Everyone is excited to be on the road
again after waiting for almost a week for a better forecast. Our
plans are to move up to Camp 2, spend 2 nights there before moving
again up to Camp 3 on the 19th, to Camp 4 on the 20th and onto the
summit later that night, summiting on the 21st if all things go
well. We can readjust the schedule while in Camp 2 as better
forecasts come in.
Our Lhotse Team will be moving up to Camp 3 tomorrow, only 2 days
away from the summit now! Both John and Lorenzo are doing well
tonight. This afternoon turned into a beautiful day, hot and sunny
with some higher winds up high. They spent the day preparing for
their move to Camp 3 early tomorrow morning. They will be looking at
summiting on the 19th! Go, go , go!
So both our teams (Everest and Lhotse) are starting to stage up
higher now. Quite a few other teams on the mountain are starting to
move up also. A number of teams moved up to Camp 2 today on their
summit attempts. It will all come down to the weather from here on
out. It looks like a lot of teams will be going for summits starting
on the 19th. Check in tomorrow as both teams are on the move now!
Scott Woolums Reporting.
May 15th, Everest
Base Camp, Summit Plans are Made!
day here in Base Camp watching the winds up high, hearing reports of
60 + winds through Camp 3, seeing the forecasts come in and starting
to make our summit plans. We have been helping working out the
details for a strong Sherpa team to move up and fix to at least the
balcony or the south summit on May 18th or the first good day after
that. Over 8 Sherpas (including Mingma Chirri from our team) from 7
teams will help to break trail and fix lines. This team will proceed
most summit attempts which will follow on the 19th, 20th and 21st.
This will of course all depend on how accurate the weather forecasts
are for diminishing winds around that time.
Its looking good on the weather for next week. The Polar Jet Stream
is sitting directly over Mount Everest right now, around Monday or
Tuesday its supposed to be pushed northwards which will result in a
huge drop in the wind speeds being seen. This combined with some
very dry air from the west will hopefully create some windows to
summit in. Now the big guess is when this will happen? Every team
here has their own ideas. Several groups are going up for the 19th,
the first day the winds are forecast to drop. More are looking
towards the 20th, we are planning on the 21st (depending on the next
6 days forecasts between now and then!). We feel giving the weather
a bit of extra time in case the jet stream does not move away as
forecast may be a good idea.
Enough of the hype about us and the weather, here's some photos of
the guys that are really working hard behind the scenes! We plan to
do a more extensive photos and bios on all the Sherpas soon. These
guys really are the ones behind a major Everest Expedition. They
have done an amazing job this year getting the higher camps set, all
oxygen up and cooking at BC and Camp 2. A better team simply could
not be put together!
The Lhotse Team is now at Camp 2 waiting also. They are looking
towards the 19th for their summit go on Lhotse. Lhotse is more
protected than Everest and so they should have a better chance with
the weather and taking advantage of the predicted drop in the winds
around the 19th. Both Lorenzo and John are ready to go up to Camp 3
on the 17th, then onto Lhotse Camp 4 on the 18th. Their shot at the
top will be well supported by 3 Sherpas and plenty of Oxygen. We are
hoping the weather allows a safe summit day on Lhotse. The route
they will be going up is a steep couilor that's goes almost directly
to the summit above Camp 4. A demanding route to the fourth highest
summit in the world! Go John and Lorenzo! We'll be sending reports
out of their progress over the next few days.
So follow our reports as the summit is getting very close! Both the
Lhotse and Everest Teams are set to go. Scott Woolums Reporting.
May 14th, The
Lhotse Team is on their Way Up!
a reasonable forecast on the horizon, John Rust and Lorenzo are on
the way to Camp 2 to start their summit go! Everyone is excited here
for some action uphill after we've been waiting for 3 days. The
forecast is showing a significant drop in winds starting around the
19th or 20th. With the recent successful summits of Lhotse by
several groups over the last few days, and our Lhotse Team in
position to start up (Lhotse Camp 4 in), John and Lorenzo are on the
The Everest Team is still waiting for the solid, steady, consistent
weather that an Everest summit attempt will take. We feel its
premature to jump on the very first day of good forecast weather as
the resources that moving a whole team of Sherpas and members to
Camp 4 is very significant. So we are looking for a solid few days
of forecast good weather to maximize our safety and summit chance.
In Base Camp here there will be another meeting today of all the
Sirdars from 6 different teams to discuss fixing the upper
reaches of Everest above the South Col. A lot of progress was made
yesterday with all teams present offering both Sherpa and Oxygen
support. This is a similar plan that was worked out earlier this
season that has since fallen through. With the SIrdars from these
teams behind the plan, it will happen. These are the guys that make
things happen on Everest, they are in charge of planning the upper
mountain logistics and movement of all the supplies up to the higher
camps. Right now all the resources to fix to the summit are in Camp
4, now its a matter of picking the good weather day before the teams
plan summit attempts to get the trail broken and the route fixed.
Scott Woolums Reporting.
May 13th, Still
Waiting! Kala Patar Summit Today!
waiting for some positive weather forecasts. So its off this morning
to climb the trekking summit of Kala Patar that has remarkable views
of Everest! See the photo with this report! Today up high, the winds
looked ok, but then today is supposed to be the best weather this
week.. It is looking like this next weekend may be good conditions
as the high winds that have been here all week will be backing off
some. Wednesday and Thursday are forecast to be the highest winds
this week followed by improving conditions. Endless games of cards,
movies, and just hanging out in Base Camp has everyone ready to go.
The Everest Team is starting to look towards going up later this
week to Camp 2, the Lhotse Team will be moving up tomorrow to be
ready for the lighter winds that are forecast for the weekend. Stay
tuned as the summit is very close and things could happen fast from
here! Scott Woolums Reporting.
May 13th, New High
Resolution Video from Kala Patar Summit!
out our new short video clip filmed this morning from the summit of
Kala Patar! Download the latest version of Windows Media Player to
High Resolution Video from Kala Patar Summit!
May 13th, New Low
Resolution Video from Kala Patar Summit!
out our new short video clip filmed this morning from the summit of
Kala Patar! Download the latest version of Windows Media Player to
Low Resolution Video from Kala Patar Summit!
May 12th, Everest
Base Camp Waiting!
a day resting here in base camp, everyone is looking towards moving
up. Unfortunately the weather forecasts are not very promising.
Predicting high winds through the week, with higher winds moving in
on the 14th. Today turned out to be quite nice and the forecast
looks good for tomorrow as well, but we cannot get in position for a
summit attempt in just a couple days. Its 5 days from leaving base
camp to summit day so everything needs to be planned careful using
accurate weather forecasts.
There are several smaller teams moving up into position but it seems
almost everyone in camp is waiting, which could be a problem if
everyone decides to go on the first forecast good summit day. We'll
see what happens. There's lots of time left this season for a solid
window of high pressure to roll in and stabilize the weather for
Our Sherpas are taking a well deserved rest after setting up the
South Col and Lhotse Camp 4 over the last week. Today the last 2
loads went up to Lhotse Camp 4. So not a lot else to report on until
the weather takes a change! Scott Woolums Reporting.
May 11th, At
Everest Base Camp watching the Weather!
photos of the two climbing teams at base camp today! Were all moved
in here. Relaxing, washing clothes, discussing things with the other
teams, Sherpas and basically checking weather updates as were ready
to go if we can find the weather window to go up in.
Our Sherpas are now back in camp now. Everything is set up, our
Lhotse Camp 4 and the South Col Camp 4 for our Everest Team. The
Sherpas have done such a great job getting the mountain set to go.
They have done multiple trips up to the South Col and Camp 4. Now
almost everyone is back in Base Camp, resting and waiting!
Lots going on in camp here. Groups coming, going, wondering,
waiting, trading weather info, and watching. The forecasts are not
very stable at the moment. Some groups are secretive and some are
sharing information! This is where the whole summit schedule gets
sorted out and everyone finds out how many people will be going
about when. Hopefully things will get spread out some with all the
groups on the mountain this year. but eventually the weather and
weather reports will dictate who goes when. Lots of groups want to
go on this or that date but until the weather allows no one will be
going anywhere! The Jet stream is moving back a bit closer to
Everest and some moisture is forecast to come in mid week. A
beautiful morning today here but the winds are already starting
again on the Nuptse Ridge, blowing long plumes of snow off now. Have
heard several groups have gone up to C3 to try and changed their
minds and come back down. Good news yesterday as a Japanese Team
Interesting the motivation to go after everything is set up and
you've been 45 days or more waiting for this moment. Still the
forecasts really show no definite reasonable weather to plan a
summit attempt in. So we'll wait a bit more and see. Scott Woolums
May 9th, On our way
up to Base Camp! Live from Lobouche!
our way up to Base Camp! The weather forecasts have been looking a
bit more promising now. So time to go back up to a position to go
for the top. In really a very nice morning we zipped up to Lobouche
from Dingboche today. Met several other groups going back to Base
We have been hearing that several groups are going up to Camp 2 to
start their summit attempts, so things are beginning to happen. We
have been watching the weather very carefully to find the good solid
high pressure system to plan our schedule around. So far the weather
reports are only predicting short windows of lower winds and
clearing between an unpredictable jet stream and moisture at the
moment. So any day now we hope to see the forecasts that we need to
plan all the energy and resources a major go at the top will take,
Today, in a good window, part of our Sherpa Team made it up to the
South Col. This puts us ready to go now. Really good news. Photo of
; Starting on left, Lorenzo, Sean, Cliff, John, and Kevin in the Eco
Lodge at Lobouche. Scott Woolums Reporting.
May 8th, Dingboche
Village, New High Resolution Video!
to Dingboche! Check out our newest video clip from here while our
two teams are waiting for the winds to back off up high. We have
been seeing lots of other teams here also waiting for improvements
in the weather. With several teams on a tight schedule, the tension
is growing as the winds continue.
Looking up at Lhotse from here today, we can still see huge plumes
of blowing snow coming off the high ridges. The forecasts are saying
maybe, maybe around the 12th there may be a break. We are planning
to go back up to Base Camp the day after tomorrow. From there we'll
just wait and see what happens. We have lots of time still, and its
beginning to look like it may be a late season!
Hope everyone enjoys the videos, its been fun putting them together
here. What else to do on our 44th day of the expedition! Scott
New High Resolution Video from Dingboche!
May 7th, Life in
out in Dingboche. Super good to be here sleeping excellent, eating
great food and watching the many trekking groups coming and going.
Its a busy time now, mid-trekking season here in Nepal. Lots of
people coming and going, porters, yaks, a few expeditions waiting
and resting as us.
Being here at 14,000 is amazing in how you can actually feel your
body recovering from being high for awhile. Were all in great
spirits, enjoying basically a vacation for a few days before going
back up for the summit! Lots of time and work has gone into being
here, with all things set to go. Both Teams are feeling rested and
ready to go, and we still have a few more days down low here. Scott
May 6th, Dingboche
up this morning and started down the Khumbu Valley to the small
village of Dingboche for a well needed rest. Everyone is here now;
Kevin, Cliff, Sean, Lorenzo and John. Feels amazing dropping a full
10,000 ft. in just over 2 days!
We have extended our stay here to 4 days down low to recover from
being up high for so long. The thick air is hard to describe, it
feels like we can run around without loosing our breath now. The
body recovers so much better at this altitude. You can feel the
difference. So this is the start of 4 nights here before going back
to Base Camp for perhaps our summit rotation.
This morning with the arrival of the new forecast, Pemba Gelja
decided to bring the Sherpas down to rest a bit. The forecast calls
for 3 to 4 more days of first high winds, them chance of heavy
snows. Not too good for the next 4 days. So they did not get up to
the South Col today.
The hike down today was spectacular. Dropping through Gorak Shep,
Lobouche, and Dugla in a perfect day, just really high winds up
high. A cold wind blew most of the day from Everest. Now some
relaxing and recovery. Will post reports each day. Scott Woolums
May 5th, Base Camp
down from Camp 2. Absolutely feels great at Base Camp now. Ultra
cold this morning leaving Camp 2 at 6am. A very cold wind coming off
the Lhotse Face from the South Col kept many groups from moving up
again today. With the current weather, everything looks like it will
be delayed by at least a few days. Our Sherpa team delayed going up
today due to the high winds at the south col. They are planning
another attempt tomorrow.
Were all here now, both the Lhotse Team and Everest Teams. We will
be going down tomorrow to Dingboche together for a few days rest at
lower altitudes. We plan to have reports going out from Dingboche.
Its still ripping windy here in Base Camp, just a few minutes ago a
huge gust took out several tents here in Base Camp. Fortunately not
our shower tent!
See the video from our last trip up high during the wind storm at
Camp 3. We have 2 different resolutions to check out. A very
exciting trip to Camp 3! Scott Woolums Reporting.
May 5th, Check out
These Videos from Camp 3 Storm!
the video link below for a High resolution video, 3.2 mb download!
The shredded tents in the videos are not from our team! See May 3, 4
and 5 Live Reports for complete story! Video by Scott Woolums.
High Resolution Video from Camp 3
May 5th, Check out
These Videos from Camp 3 Storm!
the video link below for a lower resolution video, .5 mb download!
The shredded tents in the videos are not from our team! See May 3, 4
and 5 Live Reports for complete story! Video by Scott Woolums.
Lower Resolution Video from Camp 3
May 4th, Back Safe
in Camp 2 After Huge Wind Storm!
Whew were back in Camp 2 after quite an exciting night last night up
in Camp 3 at 24,000 ft.! Over 80 knot winds blasted camp for the
whole night and all this morning. Very serious conditions, but the
guys did great. A definite all nighter as powerful winds ripped
through camp. Sean described it well as a freight train inside the
tent about to explode, for 12 hours! We had a weather window towards
mid day today to get out of Camp 3 so here we are, back at the low
altitude luxury of the 21,500 ft. Camp 2!
Devastation is a good way to describe Camp 3 right now. At least 15
tents have been shredded by last nights winds. Fortunately ours have
hung in there and are doing well, thanks to our Sherpa team who put
them in solid. One camp just below ours lost all 6 tents, completely
flattened. Another groups just above us lost 2 of theirs. Just
amazing what the wind does to tents up high!
Feels great to be here now, planning to head down to Base Camp in
the morning for a well deserved rest. Tonight will be our 5th night
over 21,500 ft. Spending time at this altitude slowly wears you
down, so its super important to go back to lower altitudes so your
body can recover. Our plans call for us to go all the way down to
14,000 ft. and the village of Dingboche to rest and recover the day
So while were resting, the Sherpas are going up to the South Col
tomorrow and again the day after (Lhotse Camp 4) to finish preparing
Camp 4 for both Lhotse and Everest. What these guys do to support
expeditions is just amazing. We're planning a rest into their
schedule also before starting back up for the summits. Yesterday,
even in the high winds 2 Sherpas, Pemba Gelga and Lama Babu made it
to the South Col.
The Lhotse Team is in Base Camp now, with plans to go down to
Dingboche either tomorrow or the day after. With the recent bad
weather many teams are delaying summit bids by a couple days now,
including both our Everest and Lhotse Teams. We plan to sort out our
summit window after a couple days at low altitude. Super close now,
stay tuned! Scott Woolums Reporting.
Photo from Lhotse Face, Cliff Climbing before
May 3rd, Up at Camp
3 in High Winds!
made it up the Lhotse Face to our tiny camp chipped out of the ice
here at 24,000 ft. Not much room to move around up here as before
you can step out of the tent, we need to rope up! Everyone feels
good, resting here.
Radical day coming up the Lhotse Face in very high winds. It went
well though, we started at 5am this morning in very cold conditions.
All our Sherpas came up today to go to the South Col. Extreme winds
kept most of the Sherpas from reaching Camp 4. This may delay things
a day or two.
Just talked with John, they are back in Base Camp after a safe trip
down through the Khumbu icefall. They are starting their pre summit
rest now. They will heading for Dingboche down at the comfortable
altitude of 14,000 ft. for a rest. That's 10,000 ft. lower than Camp
Our tents are situated at the very top of Camp 3. Closest camp to
the South Col.
This is the first report sent out with the Pocket PC IPAQ and
Thuraya Satellite Connection. We cannot send photos out right now so
you will have to imagine Camp 3 with blowing snow, 50 knots of wind
at 24000 ft.!
Cheers from the Everest Team, up High! Scott Woolums Reporting.
May 3rd, Up to Camp
extremely early today the Everest Team is moving up to Camp 3 today
behind our whole team of Sherpas on their way to the South Col.
Everything is coming together on schedule, tomorrow we'll be heading
down to Camp 2, then Base Camp.
The weather is holding for us to squeeze in our stay here at Camp 3.
So with the Sherpas getting another load up to Camp 4 (most of the
rest of our Oxygen) and our team and the Lhotse Team sleeping at
Camp 3 everything is looking towards an earlier summit date after
our rest down low.
Everyone is feeling good now and very acclimatized. The weather has
been fairly stable, but over the next week we will be watching
everything very close. Hope for the best.
John and Lorenzo headed down to Base Camp today for some low
altitude R and R. Its feels good to be down low after staying at
Camp 3. It slowly wears you down being high for so long. Were all
excited as the summit dates approach. Lots of groups are close now
to going up for summit attempts. Scott Woolums Reporting.
May 2nd, Life at
Camp 2, Lhotse Team at Camp 3
very nice day here at Camp 2. A little more wind, especially up high
on the summit of Everest and along the Lhotse ridge. Still, there's
lots of Sherpas going up to the South Col this morning. Overall the
conditions look better today with many more people on the route to
Camp 3 and above.
Today is another rest/acclimatization day for the Everest Team. So
its cards, email, naps and some reading for us here. We hope to move
up tomorrow morning to Camp 3 for 1 or 2 nights. There are high
winds forecast for Saturday and Sunday as the jet stream is swinging
over the top of Mount Everest so we plan to watch that close before
moving up. Camp 2 here is very protected from winds from the North
and West but Camp 3 can be very exposed. Were waiting till tomorrow
morning to make our decision on waiting till the winds are forecast
to subside or going.
All the Sherpas are on the way up to Camp 2 here, they have plans to
finish preparing the South Col camp for our summit go. They will
also be establishing our Lhotse Camp 4 which is above the Yellow
Band and over below the couilor (normal route) on Lhotse.
The Lhotse Team spent last night up at Camp 3. Looked like a very
nice evening. Lighter winds and stars last night. A tough day
yesterday moving up as they had to break trail quite a ways at the
base of the Lhotse Face. So they should be coming down mid day today
with lots of stories. They will be looking to heading down to base
camp tomorrow. We hope to be not to far behind them.
We are getting several different forecasts. They are all predicting
the jet stream to move over Everest bringing very high winds and
dryer weather, for the next 6 days! After that with a wind direction
shift, wetter conditions with lighter winds. That will be around the
6th. So we'll see what happens over the next few days. For right now
its very pleasant at Camp 2. Photo from Camp showing winds blowing
off the summit of Everest! Scott Woolums Reporting.
May 1st, Lhotse
Team is moving up to Camp 3!
day here at Camp 2. The weather finally broke and now its hot here.
The Lhotse Team woke up early and started out to Camp 3 this
morning. We have been talking with them on the radio all day. They
had to break trail all morning and up the lower part of the Lhotse
Face, so its taken longer than normal. They have not yet reached
Camp 3 but should be there very soon. George Barisas and Ang Pasang
started out also from Camp 2 this morning working their way towards
Camp 3, but the difficult conditions on the Lhotse Face turned them
around below camp. He's back here in Camp 2 now.
The Everest Team is taking a rest day, and we plan another rest day
tomorrow. Then up to Camp 3 on Saturday. Were keeping our eyes on
the weather as there is still high winds forecast, but those winds
are forecast to be up higher near the summit as the Jet Stream
swings close to Mount Everest.
So its an exciting day here watching the Lhotse Team (John Rust and
Lorenzo Gariano) work their way up to Camp 3. Now there's some light
clouds moving in and out so we can't see them all the time. The
clouds are good in that its cools down the temps some as its so
incredibly hot mid day.
We have been playing Bridge here at camp, updating our reports and
sending out email. A lazy day here at Camp 2. Scott Woolums
Photo of the Everest Team at Camp 2