Everest 2007. The 7 Summits Club Expedition. Part 1.
A new expedition to Everest from the 7 Summits-Club under the leadership of Alex Abramov started March, 21. This year our team will be include 17 climbers, the head, four guides and a doctor. 23 persons alltogher. Approximately as much will be the attendants, including group of high-altitude porters led by our favourite sirdar Mingma.
The main group takes off March, 28. This time a way of expedition in the base camp will pass through Lhasa, capital of Tibet where participants of expedition will be delivered by plane from Katmandu. This variant is more expensive, but saves forces and allows to avoid possible troubles on road. Plus to everything, all members dream to visit the capital of Tibet.
The route of an ascent - classic, system of an arrangement and maintenance of camps will be similar last year`s. The current information will be transferred by the satellite phone, in particular to the Risk.ru site.
The most part of members sets as the purpose to climb Mount Everest, but there are persons which have limited itself to rise on North Col. Maxim Shakirov will carry an Olympic flag of the city of Sochi (Olympic Games 2014) to the summit. And in same time the Chinese climbers will work on the slopes. They prepare for realization in 2008 of relay race of Olympic fire. So two flags can meet in the area of summit.
The list of participants of expeditiont:
- John Delaney, Ireland
- Maxim Shakirov, Russia
- Israfil Ashurly, Russia - Azerbaijan
- Andrey Zajtsev, Russia
- Andrey Ivanov, Russia
- Sergey Dashkevich, Russia
- Sergey Batura, Russia
- Hannah Shields, British
- William Hazelton Tyler III, USA
- Curt Myers, USA
- Dirk Feige, German
- Armenak Tigranian, Russia
- Dmitry Zjuz`, Ukraine
- Armen Rshtuni, Russia
- Bruce Matthews, New Zealand
- Rafael Nagapetianz, Russia
- Alexander Kibalko, Russia
The head: Abramov Alexander (Alex)
- Sergey Kofanov, Russia
- Alexander Bichenko, Russia
- Sergey Larin, Russia
- Lyudmila Korobeshko, Russia
Doctor and base camp manager:
Yesterday, April, 3 we have left hospitable Nepal and in one and a half hour we have landed at the airport of Lhasa. Height 3600м, we have felt it at once. On words of Hanna, which was here 14 years ago, the capital of Tibet has transformed beyond recognition. Lhasa now is modern City with wide prospectuses, supermarkets… But if to deviate in lateral narrow streets - as at once you get in completely other world. Here there are old Tibetan small houses painted in five colors with flat roofs, monks and Tibetians in national clothes, in each second court yard- Temple or Buddhist stupas.
Today, since morning we have visited the main relic of Tibet - Potala, a palace of Dalai Lama with its 13 floors and 999 rooms. On the top floor one Chinese woman has felt very badly. The doctor by a trade of Hanna Shields has come to the aid and has rescued her. The altitude is felt, in every room of our hotel there are artificial oxygen.
At this time Alexander Abramov bought yoghurts, beers, milk and - the most important - a tennis table for base camp!!
In the evening we have gone to the Tibetan restaurant with evening show. Show was pleasant unexpectedness: on a stage in dance and with songs was the Tibetan rural life is reproduced in details. Even yaks were on a stage. All this - under monotonous fight of drums. And toward the end all people were united in joint dance around of tables.
While we enjoyed the Tibetan delicacies, Abramov battled at office China Mobile. Local agents very badly understand English, but all necessary SIM-cards for base camp were bought. Аlex has won!
Tomorrow we leave in Shigatse (3900м). And therefrom we shall go in Shigar. Under the plan to the evening April,8 should reach the base camp.
Korobeshko Lyudmila from Lhasa, Tibet.
Yesterday, April, 8 the main group (14 person + Lyudmila Korobeshko) has arrived to the Base Camp at height 5200 m. We were met by Sergey Kofanov, Alexander Bichenko, Andrey Selivanov, which here already about one week here. They had time to prepare all camp with the maximal comfort for our arrival. Here was also Alexander Abramov, he has arrived in BC day prior to us that to be convinced of readiness of camp.
In the evening we have sat behind dinner in honour of the official beginning of a sports stage of expedition. Before it we had time to put a special tent ("sports hall") with a tennis table inside and even have carried out some matches.
The first night on 5200 m was disturbing. The guide Sergey Kofanov unexpectedly fall severely ill. Early in the morning, doctor Andrey Selivanov has gone together with Sergey on a jeep in Xegatse, to the regional hospital. There is a suspicion on appendicitis though it is possible, that this simply strong food poisoning. His friend Armen Rshtuni accompany them. If it will be necessary he will stay with Sergey, and doctor Andrey Selivanov should return in BC. Today in the morning April, 9 Armenak Tigranian has left our expedition. To regret, he has fallen a victim to mountain illness. Anything dangerous. Soon he should arrive to Moscow healthy, though tired.
Other members of expedition feel like more or less normally: today since morning we have taken a walk down to Old Rongbuk. The day after tomorrow we leave up to 5800 m - Intermediate Camp - and there we spend a night. Then we shall go downwards and after rest we shall go on 6400 m – to АВС.
From Bruce (www.7summits.com)
…We arrived at Base Camp yesterday at around lunch time...lunch consisted of mushroom soup, grilled chicken and cold slaw and fruit salad. There are always cases of Coke, Sprite and Beer available as well as pringle chips, biscuits fruit juices and naan bread. Supper was much the same in that it was a three course meal. Most members of the expedition who have done other climbs are amazed at the fare and accommodation etc. Unfortunately, our pool tabe met it`s demise on one of the passes and is now shattered. However, the ping pong table is set up in its own tent next to the entertainment tent which has two tv`s, games, dart board etc!
Base Camp has been described by some as bleak...and then by those returning to recover from higher, as paradise! The camp is situated at the end of the Central Rongbuk glacier and runs North from that point. Everest is behind you and the camp slopes downhill. As it is a morain, it is like being on a large dried river bed with mostly stones and sand and very few big rocks. If you can visualize standing up at 7Summits-Club camp, up against the high end of a rocky glacier, the base camp runs down the west boundary for approx 1/3 kilometers and narrows a bit at the bottom. The North boundary and South boundary are roughly 500 meters each and the east boundary about 1 kilometer. It is large abd there are presently 13 different expeditions. I walked the boundary yesterday and that was 3 kilometers and took an hour...this indicates how slowly one needs to move her to adapt….
From Bill (www.7summits.com)
Me and a guy named Arman climbed up the back side of the monastery up to about 4100m for good excercise. But I was glad to move on from there yesterday to here. the hotel was the same as I remember. Cold at night. On the way Alex bought a pool table for basecamp, A POOL TABLE!! I think that is a first for Everest But it broke on the trip. But good try. The road took us over a 5200m pass, where we stopped for a few minutes and took in the sights. We did get to see Everest off in the distance at a point on the road, and she was looking formidable.
Tomorrow we head up to base camp, to settle in and start the actual expedition. this year there are over 30 teams on the north side alone, including a huge Chinese team of 120 summit permits. We all are worried that we will get trapped behind some of these other expeditions and have to turn back because they are too slow. But only time will tell.
April, 18 2007 Everest BC from the North, 5200м.
Yesterday we have gone down from АВС (Advanced Base Camp), 6400м. Upwards up to Intermediate camp we went on the average 4 hours, up to Advanced - 4,5 hours. In the evening April, 16 after arrival in АВС we have left under a wall of North Col. Sherpas have already fixed cords, we saw group of 4 person on the wall. In the same evening Maxud Jumaev and Vasily Pivtsov called on us. They plan go up to the North Col or is even higher in the first exit.
Next day April, 17 all of us have gone down in base camp to beer, to voblas, to a bath and club where it is possible to look films and to work in internet.
In the morning April, 18 Armen Rshtuni and Bruce Matthews have left our expedition. Both on family circumstances, not having finished their program "Ascent on North Col".
Since morning guide Sergey Larin with his mini-team Rafael Nagapetianz and Alexander Kibalko (the well-known skater) have left on the first acclimatization exit. In some hours after them guide Sergey Kofanov has gone upwards. He should finish installation АВС - medical tent, to complete electrification. Then he will help ours Sherpas in upholding our interests on North Col and in high-altitude camps. Our Sherpas one week ago have noted by tags places for our tents in all camps above 6400. But young Sherpas from other expeditions have ignored our tags. It will be necessary to find mutual understanding.
For all others today was a day of rest – take a bath, play tennis etc. And we drive on a motorcycle which Alex Abramov has hired for the period of expedition.
The day after tomorrow - we leave upward. We plan to reach the Saddle and to spend a night on 7000м.
April, 30 2007 From Base Camp Everest from the North, 5200м.
Now at 11 a.m. over China. Now we wait with excitement of a radio communication with Маxut Jumaev and Vasily Pivtsov. Yesterday April, 29 in 10 p.m. they have left from 7900 on the summit of Everest. They go without oxygen, without using fix-ropes. For last 3 weeks together we have become close friends, and guys became practically a part of our collective.
Now the most part of our team goes down on rest from АВС. April, 28 we All have left on the final stage of acclimatization from АВС on North Col (7050м). But before of steep part Ludmila Korobeshko and Andrey Zajtsev were forced to turn back on a state of health. This very day we have gone down on 5800. By the way, here in the Middle Camp we have met the interesting Austrian who is going to go solo without oxygen on Hornbein couloir.
Other group under A.Abramova`s management, with S.Kofanov and A.Bichenko has successfully reached the North Col. After night there, they has left on acclimatization up to 7700 m. At this time Maxud and Vasia have gone on 7900 to establish assault camp. About 7 p.m. they have informed by radio and confirmed the intentions in 10 p.m. to leave on storm. Today in the morning our Sherpas saw small lamps above 8300м.
All day April, 29 I, Andrey Zajtsev and Sergey Larin sat at a portable radio set. We listened, as Sasha Abramov drove all up to the mark of 7700 meters. They have reached it almost all and this very day they have gone down in АВС. Today we are waiting for all in ВС, 5200. Now under the plan we will have a week of rest before deciding attempt.
Seems like the first Everest summit this season has just taken place! One our ago, at 6 p.m. Chinese time, Vassily Pivtsov and Maxut Zhumayev have called on the radio from the summit of Everest ! The two climbers launched a summit push from 7,900m last night at 10 p.m. They have topped-out with no supplementary O2 or Sherpa support.
Maxut and Vassily had already launched a summit push last week, which was twarted by bad weather conditions at the North Col. By Friday they were back in ABC — but not for long.
Тhe Kazakhs reached the summit at approximately the same time HiMex`s Sherpas fixed ropes on the upper sections of the route. Maxut and Vassily are currently descending, hoping to go down as low as possible and stop by nightfall. "At the worst case, they will sleep at 8,300m. The weather conditions are currently good, with no strong wind.
Bill Tyler: back from NC and first 2007 summits on Everest (brief variant)
The trek up to ABC sucked as usual, and I was glad that my times improved dramatically. SO I felt that maybe there is something to training before a trip. We spent 3 days at ABC, 1 due to weather. I felt fine the whole time, with little headaches and short of breath to really make life interesting. It took a few days for mr to sleep longer than 3 hours. We got snow and wind, but I was fine. Warm as heck to say the least.
The north col is quite steep. Talking with the sherpas and other who have been there last year indicate that it is much steeper than previous years. Nice thing is that is makes it a short distance to go. But it is steep! up to 95degrees in several places. I got on the lines and it took me about 5.5 hours. It was a struggle. Basically you pull yourself up a step, then rest, the do it again, all the while dealing with the wind, snow, and other climbers. There are a lot this year. It just seemed to go on forever.
I was really glad to finally make the top and see tents. The whole of the tent site is on top of a serac, which someday is going to come crashing down. Lets pray not this year! Again I had no issues with altitude, just a dehydration headache…
So after the first time at the Col, we spent 2 days resting in ABC. Played a lot of chess and tried to sleep as much as I could!
So I left off after the first time up the north Col. Just as a point of reference, The north col is a bridge between the main mass of Everest, and the North summit of the mountain, called Changste (I will make sure that is the right name for that part of the mountain). This "bridge" allows the climbers to set up a camp to continue to climb. The flank of Everest has no place to camp really, although it has been climbed before.
After the night at the north col, we dropped down the 400m face by rappelling and walking using the ropes fixed in place. It took 30 mins to go down the face that took 5.5hrs the day before. Sleeping at 7000m really means that you try to find a comfortable spot and then relax enough to let the min drift. There is no deep sleeping. Maybe for some, but no one I know! Sherpas maybe.
The next three days we spent just resting at ABC. I mean resting. Lay in the tent, look at the roof, roll over and stare at the walls. Eat as much as you can, although there really is no appetite at this altitude either (6400m). If you move and forget that you are this high, You spent a few minutes gasping to regain control. I got pretty good at moving slowly. Ever time I got out of my tent though, I would gasp away.
So generally the days pass pretty fast, even though we did no do much at all. But I sure could not wait until the next trip up the ropes. I am really glad that the team decided to get all of the acclimatization done at once, instead of retuning to BC and then going back to the north col over that long approach. I hate that!
So after the three days, up to the north col we went again. I must admit the second time was easier. Maybe because of the mind games, but it was not so bad. I beat my time a little and felt pretty good. But, I got the cough!!! Nothing like last year, where I was coughing up lung chunks, but nonetheless I got the high altitude cough. That night, we mashed down the floor to give us a smoother surface, which helped. One of the reasons that I slept so bad the previous time was because the floor was so bad the three of us ended up with sore backs and spooning on top of each other the whole night. No one could move or turn without disrupting the other two.
Again I did not sleep a wink. The coughing and thin air just make the night one long trial or endurance.
Up in the morning to head up the long snow ramp to 7500m. at this point, one is actually on the mountain. I felt strong, but a real problem cropped up.
We started out in our down suits, and the heat was so bad I felt like I was in a hot sauna. No wind, which is very unusual. The down suits are to help us with the wind, but there has got to be some wind!!! I was sweating my brains out, which is exactly what I do not want. I prefer to move as cold as I can stand it, to keep fluids from sweating out.
The problem that I have is my feet were frozen. I have the best boots money can buy for this sort of thing, but my feet were like lumps of ice. I stopped after about an hour to tell the guides about it and I felt I should go down. I felt strong and had no altitude issues, but I did not want to lose anything. I waited for about 45 mins for Alex to come by. We talked about it and actually called a doctor (we have a new doctor now) and discussed it by radio. At first he thought it was due to a bad heart, but after the talk decided it was due to cold boots. So Alex got me up and moving higher.
I moved to 7250m and felt really good. I knew that I could have caught up with the team struggling ahead of me. I actually was only one rope length away from the last team members I was moving so fast. But my feet were lumps of ice. I stopped and noticed that one of the team was on his way down. So I waited and Curt came down due to stomach problems. At this point, I told Alex I was going down. I had no issue with it because it was to prevent any damage to my feet. I felt good about going further because I was physically feeling strong, but I needed to figure out what was going on with my feet.
So we two headed down to the north col, taking out time. Once we got there, we then packed up and headed down to ABC. The ropes were no problem, and we got down to ABC in 1.5hrs. So we were doing well. My feet started to warm up once we got to crampon point, about 6500m. So I am wondering if maybe there is an altitude issue with my feet.
My personal no oxygen high point is 7250m, I think it is ok. Next time I am even near there, I will be on ox and it wont matter.
Today we have celebrated Day of the Victory. 12 participants of travel on motobikes (a route Lhasa - Katmandu) have risen to us in the base camp. They arrived yesterday in Rongbuk, and today came to us to dinner. Dmitry Rysin and Igor Kulishov (heads of expedition) told us about their adventures on road from Lhasa. Some accidents have taken place, basically because of collision with animals. Anybody from bikers has not suffered seriously. They were forced to leave their motorcycles in Rongbuk - any type of transport, except for horses and special jeeps could go through the Chinese check-point .
A festive lunch was perfect, with toasts for the Victory, for Mountain, for "mad people" (i.e. people such as climbers and motorcyclists), all team was photographed at finish. Then guys have left to Rongbuk camp.
For the evening dinner we have called for Russell, Jamie, Ronnie Muhl - the member of our last year`s expedition from South Africa. Russell has brought a message that this day 17 Chinese have reached the Everest summit. Though the strong wind complicated an ascent. Ronnie, Jamie and Mr. Chvan (the owner of company " Аrun-trek ") came a bit later. There were again toasts for the Victory, songs about war and peace. And when it darkened, we have arranged fireworks in honour of a holiday.
May, 10 - day of rest and preparation. May, 11 all team goes upward. First in АВС, then - as soon as weather will allow - upward by two groups. Today after breakfast, doctor Sergey Larin has made medical survey of all participants who have come back from rest. All is normal, everyone can go on an ascent.