NEWS: Camp V Reached Eric Simonson - Basecamp Mon, April 09, 2001 8:50PM
Simonson's Expedition Logs:
Tap, JR, Andy to ABC. Panunu and 7 Sherpas to ABC. Kami and 7 Sherpas down to BC.
Tap, JR, Andy rest at ABC with arrived Sherpas rest at ABC. Brent and Jake to ABC. Dorje, Ang Gylzen, Kami Rita carry to Col.
Tap, JR, Andy to Col to sleep with 6 Sherpas. Jake, Brent rest. Kami (cook) to ABC.
Jake, Brent to Col. JR descend to ABC. Dave to ABC. Tap, Jake, Andy, Brent, Panuru, Ang Gylzen, Da Nuru, Dorge, Lhakpa Nuru, and Man Bahadur fix to 24,700 where they are turned back by the wind. Additional five Sherpas move to Col. Lee to IC. Mingma (cook) to BC.
JR to BC. Jake, Tap, Andy, Brent and 11 Sherpas to C 5. Tap to ABC. Lee to BC. Danuru and crew to ABC for rest. Kami and 7 sherpas to ABC.
Tap to BC. Brent and Jake to ABC. Dave and Andy climb above Col, stay at Col. Kami and his crew to Col. Panuru and crew rest at ABC. Mingma (cook) to ABC. Jochen to IC.
The North Col team had a good day today... nearly establishing Camp 5. This is a big deal, because this opens the door to the upper mountain and the search area. At about 25,600 feet, Camp 5 is nearly as high as the South Col. It is a difficult camp to establish due to the high wind on the North Ridge above the Col. On past expeditions, we have been stalled on this part of the climb for several weeks. In fact, in 1994, we established Camp 4 on March 30 but were not able to establish Camp 5 until April 25 due to the wind! Getting nearly there on April 9 is thus very significant! Here is how we did it:
On April 8, Tap, Jake, Andy, Brent, Panuru, Ang Gylzen, Da Nuru, Dorge, Lhakpa Nuru (Phortse), and Man Bahadur were able to battle the wind up to 24,500 feet, about two thirds of the way up the snowy part of the North Ridge, until they were finally stopped by high wind and were unable to go any further. This is a hard part of the climb, and we needed more power (and some luck with the wind!). So...(also on the 8th) we sent five additional Sherpas to the Col to reinforce the ten members and Sherpas up there.
With all that horsepower in place on the Col, today we got the break we were hoping for. While the wind was still strong (maybe up to 40-50 mph) it was still possible to climb. Getting an early start (about 6am) they took advantage of the conditions and pushed the fixed ropes to the top of the snow (about 25,000) by 9:30 am. At the 10 am radio call, about half the Sherpas were already into the rocks at the top of the snow. From there they fixed another 500 vertical feet of scrambling to the campsite we used in 1999. This is still a bit below the larger ledge at 25,600 feet where we wanted to put Camp 5. This site is about the only place on the Ridge where four tents can be pitched next to each other. It is a cold windy campsite, but is in perfect position to push up to Camp 6 and the search area.
After dropping their loads in the rocks above the snow, all the Sherpas and Tap descended to ABC for a rest day. Dave moved up to the Col to join Jake, Brent, and Andy. Also today, Kami, Da Chirree, Fu Dorje, Lhakpa Nuru (Phortse), Ngawang Jimba, Palden, Pema Tenzi, Pemba Geljin moved up to ABC Base Camp. Tomorrow Kami and his crew will move up to the Col to keep working on Camp 5.