Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Everest Expedition dispatches now online!

The Adventure Consultants/American Alpine Institute joint Everest Expedition is underway, and daily dispatches are now online! The 2008 Everest Expedition team is one of 35 teams that will attempt to reach the summit via the South Col route. There are eight climbers (including two mother-daughter teams!), four guide staff, a doctor, cook, and base camp manager, and 34 Sherpa staff.

Adventure Consultants director and guide Guy Cotter called Sunday evening from base camp, where he and staff are awaiting the arrival of the rest of the climbing team on Wednesday. The rest of the expedition team members are currently on the approach to Base Camp, while Guy has been there overseeing the base camp set-up project. Guy said the weather has been good (with pretty cool temperatures but not real cold) and there appear to be good conditions on the mountain.

Guy previously spent time negotiating with the Nepalese over the closure of the mountain May 1-10 because of Chinese pressure to avoid the presence of protesters (over the Chinese occupation of Tibet), while a Chinese climbing team tries to carry the Olympic torch to the summit, presumably without killing everyone in the hurried process.

The Nepalese government has agreed to allow the team to work on establishing camps on the mountain prior to the May 1-10 closure, so that is great progress. The unknown is whether or not they will allow the climbers to go as high as the Sol Col to stock it. We should find out before too long – it would certainly be a big help. Guy said there will be eight Nepalese military staff members on the mountain, rotating four in base camp and four on the route. That will be interesting.

For the main climbing team, today was a rest day in Lobuche, and tomorrow they will leave in the early morning to hike towards Base Camp, where they will spend their next seven weeks. To read more about the team and their adventures thus far, please follow the link below:

AAI/AC Everest Expedition dispatch report

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