News: The Final Four Head Up in a Crowd Eric Simonson - Basecamp Sun, May 20, 2001 2:55AM
Yesterdays summiters are all down safe. Mike and Terry are at ABC and Kami, Mingma, Lhakpa, and Danuru are at Base Camp.
This morning we said an emotional (at least for me) goodbye to our final summit team. I know how hard they have worked and how dedicated they have been to this project. Heading back up are Dave, Andy, Jason, and Tap. We'll see how it works out, but the tentative plan is to split into two groups, one for searching, and the other for the summit. They will be supported up high by a couple of our Sherpas. Going up to ABC today with them are Heidi, Panuru, Nawang, Phu Dorje, Palden, Dawa Chirree, Phu Nuru, and Kami Rita. In addition to supporting our final team, they will be in position to start pulling down the camps and cleaning the mountain. We have 60 yaks now ordered, that are due to arrive at ABC on the 26th. Everything has to be off the mountain by then, so there isn't too much extra time.
Now that we got the route put in, there are a lot of other teams that are currently moving up to try for the summit (our liason officer tells us that the official count is 21 expeditions on the North Side). Many of these are small teams that are fairly ineffectual and unlikely to summit. In fact, several have all ready gone home. Of the remaining groups, there are only a handful that have the strength and logistics to have a reasonable shot. The next few days will be busy up high, and we are anticipating some problems. We are hoping that our Final Four are a couple days behind the big wave of climbers that is now heading up. Its going to be a traffic jam up high!