The Rock Cave on Everest ©EverestNews.com
EverestNews.com has asked the Turkish team several questions
regarding the events of May 14 and David Sharp. Serhan Pocan, the leader of
the Turkish expedition asked that he discuss the events with his climbers and
get back to us with details, rather than just answer possibly incompletely or
incorrectly. Below are his answers to many questions....
First the brief story, in EverestNews.com tradition UNEDITED
except for fixing a few spelling errors...
This is the story of Everest Turkish Team on May 15th; if
you need further details please ask. At that attempt our team was 7 climbers
and nine sherpas, rest 3 team members were turned back to ABC as they had some
We left 8300 at 10:30pm . Bora and I were trying to summit
without oxygen at the beginning. Rest five were using oxygen. So we two were
very slow and left apart from the team. The first group was not also moving
together. Some climbed faster then the others.
The first group met David around midnight . They saw him
sitting in front of the cave next to dead Indian climber. Eylem Elif Mavis,
Serkan Girgin and two sherpas were the first group. One of the sherpa spoke to
him and told him not to sit and to go. But he refused the suggestion with body
language. They were not aware that he was going up or down and they assumed
that he was resting on the way as many others do. Elif and Serkan stated
later that they did not observe anything strange about him.
The next group, 3 climbers and 4 sherpas of our team met
David about 20 minutes later. That time David was laying down just next to the
Indian body. He was not moving. They all thought he was a dead body just like
Indian, none of them knew the exact number of the bodies on the route.
Last two climbers were me and Bora and 3 sherpa. David was
still laying. I showed his new shoes to sherpas. Their command was like
'he was a newly dead body'. They thought we will learn who he was when we were
back in ABC. We completely had no doubt. He was a dead body for us while we
were climbing up.
Just before the sunrise we (Bora and I) got a radio message
about the problem Burcak had faced. At that time we both turned to oxygen. I
skip the details about the Burcak's (my wife) case. I first send a radio
message to the rest of the team that we cancelled the climb and I call all my
4 friends back at 8600. But soon after we realised that Bora, me and 2 sherpas
were enough to evacuate Burcak. Burcak was getting better. So we changed the
decision. The first four and sherpas proceed to the summit. Bora, me, Burcak
and 2 sherpas began decending to 8300.
When we came to the cave on the way back. It was
about 7:00am . Burcak was belayed both from back and front. I was coming from
back. I was really shocked at that moment, because I immediately realised that
Davids' arm moved. I was really got afraid. Burcak was ok at that moment. And
two sherpas were enough to assist her go down. So Bora and I left our group
and stayed with David. We made him upright. Tried to give him some hot drink
but he couldn't drink it. His nose was completely frozen deep inside. His hand
was frozen as a rock also. He was able to open his eyes but couldn't say
anything. We tried to find out who he is. I checked his oxygen. The gauge was
'0'. At that moment I realised that Bora and I was using oxygen for a very
long time. I checked Bora's gauge. It was just above '0'. The only way was to
catch the sherpas with Burcak. Bora stayed with David trying to help him drink
and move. I went down to change my tube and bring a new one to Bora. When
I met the sherpas they were busy with Burcak. Burcak was still dizzy, and this
was causing big problems at that altitude and at that narrow path. Sherpas
needed our help. So I first called Bora to asist Burcak's evacuation
then radioed the friends coming back from the summit and informed them about
David. Bora and I proceed to go down with Burcak and the sherpas.
When rest of the team arrived to cave David was still laying
down. Soner, Lakhpa and one sherpa from Russel Brice expedition tried to make
David move. Russell Brice's sherpa had an extra oxygen they used it to make
him awake. But those also didn't help to make him walk.
When Soner informed me over radio. I realised that they have
nothing to do more. And I called him down.
After that I asked for help over the radio (the general
frequency 144.5) many many times. I did not get any response.
When we were planning the evacuation of Burcak. We had asked
for help from the Chinese expedition. 4 Tibetan guides were on the way towards
us. We planned to request help from them for David. But unfortunately 2 of
them could only reach about 7900 and other 2 only 8300. This was normal
because they were very tired as they summited previous day.
At that point I realised the truth that we had lost another
climber on Everest. David was hardly breathing, he was unconscious, had
serious frostbites and had gone through a hypothermic phase. This was the case
of the casualty, for the rescue part; there was no extra oxygen left, seemed
no possibility to receive more Sherpas for help, my team was occupied with
Burcak's case (although they all tried to help David as far as they could) and
I couldn't had managed to reach the other teams from he radio.
It was about 11:00am when I announced my team that there
weren't anything left to do for the casualty (during all these time none of my
team members knew who that body belonged and whether he was climbing up or
down). Serhan Pocan
So the Turkish are stating that when they
first arrived at David he was sitting upright and "they did not observe
anything strange about him."
We asked a series of questions: Here is the
Q. EverestNews.com: Was Max from Himex ahead of your first
group (Eylem Elif Ma v is, Serkan Girgin)? Were others ahead of them?
A. Serhan Pocan: "All the HIMEX group was ahead of all our
groups. I don't know specifically where Max was."
Q. EverestNews.com: On the way down did you or any of your
others climbers see anyone else helping David except what you
A. Serhan Pocan: "No, only [the one] Himex sherpa as I've stated"
Q. EverestNews.com: When you talk time, are you speaking Tibet time, Chinese Time, Nepal
time, or Turkish time?
A. Serhan Pocan: " Nepal time."
Q. EverestNews.com: On the way down, who was directly ahead of your group [the group he was
in] if you know? Were they descending from the summit or did they turn around?
A. Serhan Pocan: "There were single climbers around. I am
not sure but most probably they did not reach the summit."
Q. EverestNews.com: Did anyone from your group at any time
ON THE WAY UP see anyone else from OTHER groups helping David Sharp? If so who
A. Serhan Pocan: "No we did not see any body helping David
on the way up."
Q. EverestNews.com: Did anyone take pictures of David while
he was alive ? (we don't publish pictures of dead climbers)
A. Serhan Pocan: "We did not. I don't know if someone else
did. I just only heard that someone filmed him, but that's not our team. "
Q. EverestNews.com: Another person reported that Dawa Sherpa
from your expedition attempted to help David Sharp on the way up… Arun treks
have not confirmed this only saying they saw David and keep going…
A. Serhan Pocan: No, I was very close to Dawa on the way up
while passing through David. In fact he showed me David. I asked him whether
he is a known dead body. He said he did not know the route of Everest he asked
same question to the sherpas with us (Fruwatembea which we called Lama ) They
said previously there were only Indian body and this new body should be this
years event. I showed them the new boots he was wearing. Then we were sure
that he was dead a few days before and Dawa told me; 'at the ABC we will learn
who he is'. And this was the last thing we talked. Then we proceed on our way.
Q. EverestNews.com: Do you know if any of your Sherpas
helped him on the way up ? ( I think you have already answered this no…, but
just want to confirm)…
A. Serhan Pocan: No. Nima sherpa who was climbing with Elif
warned him on the way up. He told him not sit but to go down. But this can't
be considered as help because David was OK at that moment. He was busy with
Q. EverestNews.com: Do you know if a Dawa Sherpa helped David on the way down?? (somewhat confusing here in that Dawa Sherpa did not
summit, also Arun does not say he helped…)
A. Serhan Pocan: As I mentioned before. Furuwatemba (Lama),
Dawa, Burcak, Bora and I were decending together with this order and close to
each other. When we arrive to cave, Lama, Burcak and Dawa did not stop. They
were dealing with Burcak and proceed going down. Bora and I spend sometime
with David (I've written the details of this)
Q. EverestNews.com: What were the names of the Sherpas in
your group who was with this group who meet David at around midnight?
A. Serhan Pocan: Sherpas were always going up and down, One
was for sure Nima. Kami was mostly with Serkan Girgin so he should be there.
But Lakpa sherpa was moving rapidly. He might be there also. So although I
wrote two at that time they might be three.
Q. EverestNews.com: Was anyone with David at this time
midnight (from your story, it sounds like there was no one ), but just what to
A. Serhan Pocan: At the moment they were talking to David
there were no one else.
Q. EverestNews.com: Was David wearing his oxygen mask? (at
A. Serhan Pocan: "Both of them not sure about whether he has
a mask or not. The only thing Serkan remembered was he was busy with his
bag. And the thin gloves he was wearing was strange to them. Serkan said he
thought that man sitting was a sherpa rather then a European. Because only the
shoes were new and good shape rest of his suite was poor. '
Eylem Elif Mavis, Serkan Girgin and two sherpas were the
first group. One of the sherpa spoke to him and told him not to sit and to go.
But he refused the suggestion with body language. They were not aware that he
was going up or down and they assumed that he was resting on the way as many
others do. Elif and Serkan stated later that they did not observe
anything strange about him.
Q. EverestNews.com: How did they pass him? Meaning did they
have to unclip from the rope? Or how did they get around him?
A. Serhan Pocan: David was already unclipped himself. He was
not blocking the path cave is a bit aside of the path.
Q. EverestNews.com: The descent: did he have his mask on?
A. Serhan Pocan: No, I am sure because the first thing I
noticed was the huge ice coming through his nose.
Q. EverestNews.com: Was David talking at this point? Any
idea how long they gave him oxygen?
A. Serhan Pocan: They not only give oxygen but tried to move
him. First they repaired the mask. Because all the tubes connecting mask was
full of ice. And mask itself was frozen and not fitted to his face. Lakpa hit
slowly all his body to provide circulation. They stand him up pulling from his
harness. Soner was not sure how much time they spend. But he said they worked
a lot. He was trying to talk but no clear words.
A. Serhan Pocan continues...
1- To make things clear. 2006 Everest Turkish expedition was
a national team expedition. And I was the leader of that expedition. So our
expedition was not an commercial or international or national but joint
expedition. And Arun trek was only providing sherpas and kitchen work for us.
Arun at the same time has other international expeditions. But they are
different from our group. When I say someone is from our group I mean only my
team (Turkish team) not the rest of the Arun climbers.
2- Eylem Elif Mavis is a lady from our (Turkish) team.
Q. EverestNews.com: Tim Smith from the Himex team.. has
stating the following in his press release…. "Well after 2 months of climbing we pushed for the summit of
everest on may 15th, an extremely cold day. My team left Camp 4 at
10:00PM and myself and Lakpa Sherpa pulled out of our tent at 11:00PM after
clipping into the rope we realised we were stuck behind a team from Turkey and
when we arrived at the second step (a very technical section) at about 8300
Metres. We were held up for an hour behind some inexperienced Turkish
climbers, putting us far behind the rest of our team. One of the Turkish
climbers suffered a seizure on the second step and had to be evacuated off the
mountain, making us susceptible to the extreme low temperatures at high
altitude and putting us at risk for frost bite and missing our summit attempt.
After finally getting past the second step with loss of feeling in my toes we
pressed on passing two dead climbers in a cave"...
[Editorial Note: "The cave" where David Sharp froze to death
is NOT above the Second Step. EverestNews.com attempted several times to
interview Tim. But we only received this press release from him which contains
this major factual error.... We currently have several questions into him,
hopefully he will talk and answer in full as the Turkish have...]
Tim's press release goes on to say: "After descending from
8757 Metres, we heard a radio call from Max, a teammate of mine informing our
team leader, Russel Brice that one of the presumed dead climbers was now in
fact alive and shaking. When we arrived, Purba Tashi and Lakpa Sherpa pulled
him out of the cave and gave him a fresh bottle of oxygen. They tried to
stand him up, however his legs were frozen solid and a rescue was not
Q. EverestNews.com: So could of, Tim Smith and his Sherpa" been behind the
Turkish climbers at the cave [which is below the Second Step as the Turisk
leader knows] or do you think the Turkish climbers passed him
and he was therefore behind some of your climbers at the Second Step??? Or ??
what do you make of his statement?? Any ideas??
A. Serhan Pocan: About Tim Smith; There are a few bottlenecks on the
north side of Everest. First, second and third steps. And a couple of steep
places. On the rest of the route it is very easy to pass someone. So if
someone's performance is OK it is impossible to be stucked because of some
other people. Moreover, it took hours to go from camp 3 to second step. I
couldn't understand why he waited at the back till second step.
Near second step while we (Bora, me and two of our sherpas)
were trying to approach to our collapsed friend Burcak, we met two climbers.
They were not together. Two separate climbers. We warned each of them to turn
back. They seemed really bad. I don't know who they were and where were they
from. So nobody was behind Burcak at the second step that time. All the HIMEX
group had already passed her. Tim could be one of these sick people I think.
And moreover Burcak was taken aside (released from the rope) quickly by the
sherpas. So she did not block the route.
And a small note. That 'inexperienced' girl summitted Everest only 9 days
later directly from ABC, without having a rest at BC.
A. Serhan Pocan contiues... As I stated before;
Three different groups from my team tried to help David.
First group tried to give him hot water, checked his equipment and report the
situation over the radio. But first group could not do much because we were
busy with our own evacuation (rescue operation of Burcak). This group consists
of Me and Bora
Our second group that helped David was Eylem Elif Mavis (from our team) and
Nima sherpa (One of our sherpas). They tried to give him oxygen. But his mask
was frozen so they clean the ice from the mask. Tried to give some oxygen.
But had to left David as their oxygen was going down to zero.
Third group was the one that taken David [out] of the cave.
were Soner Buyukatalay (from our team), Lakhpa (our sherpa) and another
sherpa That sherpa was Mark Inglis' sherpa, I am not sure but most probably
his name was Phurba. No body else were there. I just called my friend Soner to
check once more. This was the case.
are not accurate; [but around]
1st group around 7:00 am Nepalese
2nd group around 8:30 am Nepalese
3rd group around 11:00 am Nepalese
I don't know who Max is. When we were passing (I mean three of our groups) no
body else were there. Only the sherpas that I stated.
2006: The investigation into the death of David Sharp
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