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Author Topic: 22 May 2005 - Report from Everest by James Wilde  (Read 6940 times)


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Yesterday, 21May 2005 at 2:00AM Bejing-time, 3 members and one Sherpa of the 7 Summits Club team began their ascent of the North Side of Mt Everest.  It was the final day of the weather window.  The group consisted of Marco Linokar, Victor Minar, Vladimir Lande and Pase Dodge.  Victor and Marco are native Slovinians with much Alpine experience.  Vladimir, a native Russian with limited Alpine experience, was accompanied by Pase, a Sherpa.   All were using oxygen during this summit bid.

At 1230 PM Bejing time, the 7 Summits Club team at Advance Base Camp received word via radio that at least one team member had reached the summit.  It was only later that we realized that it was just Victor who had summited from the floor.
In the meantime, Vladimir was struggling from the second step, where he apparently broke a crampon, forcing his return.  It was unlikely at the late hour that he had managed to summit.  At 7 PM Advance Base Camp established radio contact with Vladimir, who communicated that he and Pase Dodge were safe in Camp 2 at 7700 meters.

On his descent from the summit at 1330, Victor passed his friend and teammate, Marco, approximately 1 hour from the summit and well past the agreed turn around point.  Given the amount of oxygen with which the  two started, they had 16 hours (2 liters per minute, half to be used to the 2nd step and the other half from the 2nd step to the summit).  The team was instructed that 8 hours was the maximum time one could take from the 2nd step to the summit and back.  Both Slovenes had run out of oxygen on the upper part of the mountain if they were using 2 liters/minute.

When the weather window was announced, the team leaders held a meeting regarding the fixed lines from 8300 meters to the summit.   The ropes, according to the team leaders, had only been fixed to 8500 meters and there were differences of opinion about who should fix the lines and the urgency due to the short weather window. At this point the four members had left for their summit bid.

After the meeting, the members of the 7 Summits Club team were advised that no team effort would be made to reach the summit during this weather window.  All members were advised not to ascend, however it was each individual’s decision whether or not to ascend. Two team members, in addition to the above named, Harry Kikistia and Lorenzo Gariano, decided to ascend, but returned after 1 night at the North Col. Alex Abramov, the team lead, was successful in talking team member John Christiana from ascending. Alex had a team meeting shortly thereafter on the 18th before the team members left, explaining the risks (danger of first descent, uncertainty of weather, and fixed rope situation). Victor, Vladimir, and Marco left immediately and Harry left a day later.

Apparently, Marco is among 4 people still missing and a search and rescue effort is underway.  This was initiated by Alex Abramov yesterday afternoon as night was approaching.  The rescue effort includes 4 sherpas , Pasang Dodge, Pemba Tenzing, Pemba Range, and Renging Sherpa, with as much oxygen as they can carry.  Victor and Vladimir have been instructed to descend to Advance Base Camp and are currently on their way.  The Chinese team, which has succeeded and summited today has delivered no news of the missing people.  The high winds, old ropes, and no decision to turn around could have exacerbated the situation and caused an accident.

« Last Edit: May 31 2005, 13:26 by erikv »


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« Reply #1 on: May 30 2005, 21:52 »

Sorry to hear the bad news. Hang in there-I know you can do this! Wishing you the best-and lots of strength. Mojitos upon your return.
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