It was a very cool first 2004 Everest summit
push night at ExplorersWeb. The updates were published
with videos in them of the exact route, and then,
at last, the summit itself:
The team that broke
the first Everest 2004 summit news to ExplorersWeb
and the world at 04.00 EST were Chilean
Ernesto Olivares Miranda (Makalu), Andrónico Luksic
Craig, Misael Alvial Cid (K2 and Aconcagua), Sherpa
Alden, Sherpa Angi, Sherpa Rama, Sherpa Shulding, Kiko,
and British Annabelle Bond.
Also on the
summit were Jagged Globes Kenton and Clive.
Kenton Cool is leading Jagged Globe's 8th expedition to
the mountain. This is his first 8000 meter summit, but
he was recently nominated for the Piolet D'Or for his
new route on Annapurna III. IMG reported they had
Dan, Ron, Brien, Jason, Kevin and Sherpas Karma Rita and
Mingma on the summit.
Jagged Globe reported:
"Although they left the South Col at 9pm, the
first climbers didn't make the top until after midday.
They had to put in fixed rope along the ridge as they
climbed higher. Kenton Cool and Clive Jones reached the
summit at around 13:45 Nepalese time. The weather was
clear. "The Sherpas are legends" said Kenton, referring
to their efforts in fixing ropes ahead of the main bulk
The Greek team turned around
due to high winds, also reported that day from Makalu.
Both the Greeks and the Makalu climbers were instead
going for it Saturday.
The first Greek stood on the top of
Everest after 9,5 hours of climb. Giorgios raised the
Greek flag as well as the flag of the Olympics on top of
the world, along with a picture of a fellow Greek
climber who lost his life on Cho Oyu last fall, in
preparation for Everest. The rest of the team are
trailed Giorgios to the summit next. "Thank you for
making all of Greece proud!" wrote the very happy home
team in all capital letters.
Then came the
nights most remarkable climb: Friendship Beyond
Borders Expedition arrived at the summit of Mount
Everest 7:55 AM Nepal time. Team Leader Tom McMillan and
Nawang Sherpa represents a first ascent of Mount
Everest by a trans-tibial amputee and a first ascent by
a disabled Nepali citizen.
It’s not so rare to
have a sherpa among the first teams to make the season's
first summit push, but this guy is different. Nawang
Sherpa is climbing Everest South with a prosthetic leg.
He got a new "climbing leg" in 2002 thanks to the High
Exposure foundation, a nonprofit launched by Ed
Hommer, who lost his own legs on Denali and hoped to
scale Everest one day together with Nawang. Ed's own
Everest dream however ended in tragedy a few months
later when a rock struck and killed him on Mount Rainier
Sep 23, 2003. This year Tom McMillan, a
California climber, stepped in to make Nawang's dream to
scale Mount Everest a reality.
Following on the
climb in cyberworld was also Tom Halvorson, Ed's and
Nawang's "Magic man". Read the featured interview
with him on this site.
Next a disappeared
climber reappeared - on the summit! Royal Air Force
Flight Lieutenant and mountaineer Ted Atkins made it
on his third attempt. "His attempt was slightly delayed
by weather changing conditions, he had originally
planned to be at the summit by Thursday 13 May. He and
his wife Shona are overjoyed at this achievement."
Ted first attempted Everest via the West Ridge
in 1988, a route he called a “logistical nightmare.” In
2001, Ted returned, leading the large, successful RAF
expedition up the North side. Two members of the team
summited, however his own bid ended at 8300m in
deteriorating weather. This year, Ted is simply joined a
permit to make his own attempt on the South Col route.
Ted test piloted a new personal oxygen system
using an aviator's mask, some pieces of medical oxygen
systems, a couple of condoms (!) and a plastic coke
bottle. It seemed to have worked!
Gelu, the Everest speed record holder, made his 11th
summit! Lhakpa was part of the Discovery Canada team and
is now sharing the second place for most Everest summits
with Chuwang Nima behind Apa Sherpa (14 summits).
But the Mexican/Canadian team was in
trouble. Finally the news came early morning:
"Richard is heading for camp 3 and Martin
arrived safe in camp 4 some hours ago and is probably
now also heading for camp 3. They both are ok.
Alejandro and Luis summitted at aprox 11 a.m.
However Luis ran out of oxygen descending the South
summit. The people from Discovery Channel gave him one
bottle. A little below Tom and Andres were climbing but
Tom was in bad shape. According to the people from
Discovery Channel (Héctor and Andrew), he was
falling over and over, had a broken crampon and was
delirious. So they tried to convince him to accept some
oxygen and descend.
Héctor and Andres assessed
the situation and Andres (without oxygen, ed note)
decided to quit climbing and instead descend. So the
situation is dramatic but controlled. Alejandro and Luis
are also descending. I wish I had better news than
these, but I am also glad they are not worse, thanks to
the help of the Discovery Channel Team."
Check the Nepal official preliminary list
EVEREST May 15, 2004 for all summits and summit
Madness in the footsteps of Scott Fisher and
Anatali Boukreev. Preliminary reports have Ed
Viesturs and Apa Sherpa on summit today. That would
be Apa Sherpas 14th summit.
other commercial outfit climbers, summits results to be
confirmed later today.
Clouds moving in. Italian team turned back at 8600 m for
unclear reasons. Expected to ABC today.
Everest North side attempts. Report later
today. Everest South - a final wave of this weekend's
climbers. Report later today.
Everest North Face summit push?
The team reached 8270 m Saturday morning, and a
summit push could happen in three days (Tuesday)
reported Victor Kozlov:
Shabaline-Tukhvatullin-Mariev fixed five more pitches at
the Bastion yesterday, and today they fixed another
three pitches at the difficult rocks. They'll continue
to work the route another 3 days, after that Kuznetsov's
team will step up. If Shabaline's team can manage to fix
ropes higher up and set the tent at 8400, then
Kuznetsov's group will make the summit attempt, weather
permitting. Shabaline's climbers works without
supplementary oxygen. Bukinitch won't work at the wall -
the doctor doesn't let him - he's too young for the high
The team also sent over new
pics - check out the features to your left. The
challenge is tremendous; not since 1991 has anyone
succeeded in climbing a non traditional route on Everest
without the use of oxygen support. Only 15 people have
ever achieved this, and these guys are going one harder;
mapping a brand new route.
High winds turned
the team around after no more than 800 meters progress,
so Iñaki Ochoa de Olza and Alex Txikon, postponed
their summit attempt of Makalu by 24 hours. The climbers
and their climbing mates Joby Ogwyn (US), German
Peter Guggemos, Ivan Vallejo and Ricardo Valencia
saw indications however that the wind was falling. The
next day, the news came straight from the mountain:
"Navarrese climber Iñaki Ochoa de Olza, from the
Lorpen-Diario de Navarra expedition, has summitted
Makalu (8.463 m) this Sunday morning at 10.40 Nepal Time
(06.55 Spanish time). Ogwyn and Guggemos turned around
because of very cold conditions. Alex continued, but a
bit behind Inaki.
Inaki could see him, and the
Ecuadorian Iván Vallejo (who began the final assault
from 7.400 meters) at 11.45 Nepal time about one hour or
one hour and a half from the summit. "I think they will
make the summit after a while, but now I'm going down to
Camp III (7.600) and, if I can, to Camp II (6.550). It
has been hard because of the cold, but I`m very happy
now", said Inaki over sat phone to his family in
With this summit, Inaki Ochoa de Olza
has reached his 8th 8.000 meter peak. His next project
is K2, that he will attempt this summer.
Esp.MountEverest.net brought great news: "At
last, this morning, the Argentinean-Spanish
expedition reached the summit of Dhaulagiri (8167m).
The summiteers are Argentinean Víctor Hugo Aryan Herrera
and Catalán Xavier Arias. They had very hard wind, low
visibility and cold. The climbers began their ascent
yesterday from Camp 3 at 7,400 meters, in unstable
weather. Other climbers in the team turned back earlier
due to the bad weather conditions."
expedition had a very special mission:
after the dream of our predecessors, following their
steps, of which they cleared the way. We march forward
hoisting our flag and proclaiming our motto: All
Argentineans Under the Same Sun." A war cry for sure,
honoring the first expedition to attempt Dhaulagiri in
1954 , and significantly Fernando Grajales, a
member of that 1954 Argentinean expedition. Fernando
passed away just last month at the age of 79. The
expedition leader also said: "Frequently the mountain
climber looks for freedom and wishes to go beyond the
mere sensation of climbing near the sky. We yearn to
expand the spirit. And one is pushed by the adventure
and the obsession to discover and to explore."
Shisha Pangma Central Summit
Maximo Henostroza from Huaraz, Peru and Marek
Wencel from USA/Poland made the first summit of
Shishapangma (central) - already on May 7 th at 3:05 pm
Nepal time. "The weather was good, but the snow
conditions were dicy to continue to the main summit. We
did push to the summit from C-2" they wrote in an
Cho Oyu/Everest Norton Line
Ray Yeritsian aborted his summit
push of Cho Oyu and won't go for Everest this year
either. Ray Yeritsian, an Armenian born Californian,
earlier announced that he would be attempting the 1924
Norton line with variations on Everest this spring,
unsupported, solo, and without supplemental oxygen.
Ray's previous are Aconcagua (summit), Mt.McKinley
(summit). 2000 Everest, South East Ridge (aborted due to
an injury), 2001 Lhotse, West Face, attempt, unsupported
(aborted due to bad weather).
The GMAM team on Manaslu had to
abort their attempt May 7. "We have climbed 7000ers in
one week, and two of them in less than 20 days, but on
Manaslu we couldn't get past 6300 meters in a months
Last year, Piotr Pustelnik (currently on
Annapurna South) and Krzysztof Tarasewicz were the only
two climbers to reach the summit of Manaslu. High winds
caused the climbers to fall 300m, nearly knocking them
off the mountain on their descent. The pair used a
compass to guide them through the blinding snowstorm
down to safety, but Pustelnik sustained frostbite on
four of his fingers.
Having summited twelve
8,000m peaks, he stated, “I found the expedition to
Manaslu the hardest compared to my last three climbs.
Maybe K2 in 1996 from North was harder. I didn't have
such a bad weather even on Kangchenjunga in 2001, and
now I understand why even excellent climbers were
talking about Manaslu with such a deep respect.”
Annapurna final Summit push
this is mBank Era Annapurna South Face Expedition,
welcome from BaseCamp. We are leaving in a few minutes.
The weather forecasts are neither good nor bad, but we
have a strong motivation to end our adventure with
Annapurna successfully . Keep your fingers crossed for
us, as I said earlier - this is our last attempt…
Bad weather and a highly difficult route on the
Southern Face of Annapurna forced the mBank team down to
BC earlier this week. After escaping avalanches, being
battered by high winds, getting covered by snowstorms,
and half the climbers falling ill, the team finally
decided to take a rest. A new push was decided on, but
this is what Piotr said:
This is our last
attempt, if it is possible we will fix Camp III, and
from there we will try to reach the summit. Otherwise we
will surrender. There is no third option.
This is Piotrs 13th 8000erand then he has
only Broad Peak left. Last year, Piotr Pustelnik and
Krzysztof Tarasewicz were the only two climbers to reach
the summit of Manaslu. High winds caused the climbers to
fall 300m, nearly knocking them off the mountain on
their descent. Annapurna is the toughest of them all.
Piotrs team will need all luck they can get. Serguey
Bogomolov, 43, is also joining the team.
Serguey this will be his 12th 8,000er. In July
2002 he climbed Shisha Pangma by a new route, crossing
to the formerly unclimbed North-East ridge. Annapurna
(8,091 m) is statistically the most dangerous peak of
all the eight thousanders. The overall summit/fatality
rate is 41% (although not all climbers summit of
course). On Christmas Day 1997, Anatoli Boukreev was
killed in an avalanche, an event that shocked the
mountaineering community. In total, only 130 climbers
have summited Annapurna.
As Piotr and his team shut down their
computer and left for their final push on Annapurna
South, a sat phone call came from Annapurna's opposite
side - the North Face:
"Simone via Satphone: “We
are now in camp 1 at 5000 m. We took 5 ½ ours, because
our backpacks were very heavy, about 30 kg each. We also
had to scout a route between the moraine and the
glacier. The weather is good, and so are the conditions
on the mountain. There is not too much snow, but today
we had rock falls and ice... Tomorrow we will reach 6000
meters and have a better look at the pillar we want to
Saturday, the team headed up for a four
day climb to reach 7000/7100 meters and set camp 3. The
plan is then to return to BC for a 2 days rest. If all
goes well, they'll do a summit attempt after that,
around end next week. "We will see if it is possible to
find a new line for a new route; or if danger will
advise us to follow the French or Dutch route."
Women on top
The top female
climbers in the world were Wanda Rutkiewicz with 8
summits of 8,000+ meters and Chantal Mauduit with 6;
both ladies, however, perished in the mountains.
Christine Boskoff (US) together with Spanish Edurne
Pasaban both have six 8000ers and are, with that, the
worlds top female climbers alive today.
Italian Nives Meroi (together with Polish
Anna Czerwinska) has 5 8,000ers. Where's Nives now? On
Lhotse, going for 6th 8000+ mountain next week!
If Nives makes it, that's going to put her in a three
way tie for the top spot, with Edurne and Christine.
After Lhotse, Nives is off to K2. That's where
Edurne Pasaban too is heading...and maybe a 7th 8000er
for them both.
And then there is Gerlinde
Kaltenbrunner, the Austrian lady climber who is
considered by many to be the best female climber in the
world right now. She goes after some tough 8,000ers.
Where's SHE now? Gerlinde expects to summit Shisha
Pangma, her fifth, by the end of this month! Her
team is doing a tough route on Shisha (the South Face),
and then she is off to Annapurna. If she gets
both she will have 6 tough 8,000ers under her belt, and
could go up to the top of the list with the most
difficult mountains already out of the way.
At the age
of 65 (and 167 days) Tamae Watanabe became the
oldest person to summit Lhotse Saturday. In 1991,
at the age of 52, Tamae summited her first 8000er, Cho
Oyu. She then went on to Dhaulagiri, G2 and on Everest
in 2001, she became the oldest female Everest summiter.
Tamae is the only still active senior citizen 8000er
collector. When it comes to female high altitude
climbing, she is now right up there on top of the world
list, one short of Edurne Pasaban and Christine Boskoff,
and on pair with Nives Meroi.
And with that an
important day in this weekends mountaineering history:
Perished May 15, 1998 Chantal Mauduit, French
lady climber, who ascended six 8000ers, K2 in 1992,
Shisha Pangma Main and Cho Oyu in 1993, Lhotse (first
female ascent!) and Manaslu in 1996 and Gasherbrum II in
1997. She attempted Everest several times, without
oxygen, but without success. She probably died on this
day, 1998, in an avalanche on Dhaulagiri, at age 34.
Maoists this weekend:
Baruntse/Annapurna team reported from their Anna trek:
Yesterday, Maoists bombed one hotel in Pokhara - only
300 meters away from us! (Ed note: To prevent injuries,
the Maoists first ordered everyone out of the hotel
before setting off the bomb).
reported that the team met with a fellow Russian, in BC.
They discussed the Maoists, in Hadrung, around five
hours trekking from the expedition. "I heard before that
they were active in the area of Makalu. Well, I think,
let Ilyinsky deal with them.
-What do they want?
-What is that?
-Give me 1000 rupees for revolutionary validity and
Sacred Annapurna and you are permitted to pass.
-They are especially frequent in the Royal track
area - where Prince Charles trekked around Pokhara for 4
days. That's the right place to be for them, a lot of
rich people there. I'll rather go to the Wall."