It was a Grand idea — Everest Peace Climb, by mountaineers of three great powers - the United States, the USSR and China. The idea, and the entire project, belonged to famous American climbers Jim Whittaker and Warren Thompson. During 1987-1988, the stubborn organizers tirelessly negotiated with Moscow and Beijing and achieved the almost impossible - in such a short time for our countries (in just 2 years!) they managed to get the consent and all the necessary permits and visas of the three parties to conduct a joint expedition. In the States, they were supported by such world-famous people as Senator Edward Kennedy, Ted Turner and many others. The organizing Committee under the leadership of Jim managed to attract more than 60 sponsors and take almost all the expenses of the expedition on themselves, and they amounted to more than one million dollars. (From Mstislav Gorbenko's book)
The film about the joint expedition of three countries (USA, USSR and China) on Everest in 1990 begins in a surprisingly beautiful way. It is called Three Flags over Everest. Author: Laszlo Pal. The text is read by Robert Redford. And, it seems that Paul McCartney specifically wrote the song (although this is not true). What a time it was, what hopes!
The " Everest Peace Climb " was timed to coincide with two events in 1990: the Goodwill Games in Seattle and the 20th anniversary of Earth Day. The highest peak of the world as a sporting object was to draw the world's attention on global environmental problems and to demonstrate to the world that the mutual trust and cooperation between Nations can "take" any height, and not in the mountaineering sense of the word. (From Mstislav Gorbenko's book)
Mstislav Gorbenko us asked to post information about a possible anniversary meeting of the heroes of the historical expedition:
In 1990, in May 7, 8 and 10, a unique ascent on Mount Everest from the North along the North-East ridge was made. 20 members of the Everest Peace Climb international expedition, climbers from three countries-the USA, the USSR and China reached the summit.
I was lucky to represent Ukraine in this expedition. On May 8, I spent more than one hour alone on top of the world. In those ancient times, there were absolutely adequate climbing rules – 1 route – 1 expedition, i.e. only our expedition worked on the route. Each member had the opportunity to work first, participate in the drop-offs and reach the top. We worked, as always, independently without Sherpas, without the use of oxygen (up to 8,300 m) and even cleared the mountain of debris.
Details of this expedition can be found on the Internet in my first book, the Ascent Of Peace on Everest.
Today I remembered this most interesting and important event in mountaineering for me because many climbers of this expedition wanted to gather to celebrate the 30th anniversary at a meeting in Ljubljana, new home of my team-mate Andrey Tselishchev. The world quarantine confused all our plans, but I suggested to my friends Vladimir Shataev, Eric Ilinsky, Sasha Tokarev, Andrey Tselishchev, Viktor Volodin, Laverne Woods, Ed Visturs, and Ian Wade not to worry and to postpone this meeting, as well as the Olympics, to 2021!
Each of us, of course, had much more difficult climbs. But our joint training in the mountains at numerous training camps in different mountain areas of the World and two months under Everest made us great Friends.
Unfortunately, we will not have with us climbers on Everest Grigory Lunyakov, Sergey Arsentiev, Katia Ivanova, Anatoly Moshnikov, who died in the mountains. Dr. Edik Lipen is not with us either…
I received a letter from the leader of our expedition, the first American climber on Everest, Jim Whittaker, as always with humor : "thank You for inviting me to the meeting – this is a good idea, but I am almost a hundred years old (91), and I can only be with you in my thoughts and at a distance."
I hope that in these may days, Chinese climbers will reach the top of Mount Everest on the route of pioneers from the North after 60 years. We wish them good luck! It is possible that our Tibetan climbers on mount Everest in 1990 will participate there, but I have lost contact with them.
See you in 2021!