Photo Tom West ©EverestNews.com
5/21/2005: Howdo, Would you be so kind as to update the website with the
following. I'll speak to you on the phone seeing as it's the weekend. Here's
the message: False start on the first summit bid: Ian, Tom and Stuart met up
with Mick on the North Col. We had a provisional weather window of at least 4
days before the wind was due to pick up. The evening radio call brought a
revised forecast indicating strong winds returning much sooner. We took the
painful decision to retreat and wait for a better forecast.
On top of
the obvious physical challenge, the emotional and psychological side of
climbing this mountain cannot be underestimated: You get a favourable
forecast, a window in the weather, anticipation, anxiety, butterflies, you set
off, get to camp 1 after considerable effort only to find out on the next
radio call that the weather is likely to deteriorate, instant downer on
the emotional rollercoaster. All our mountain planning is based on weather
information which is dependent on the relatively unpredictable and fickle
nature of the jet stream and jet streaks. All indications at the moment point
towards a late arrival of the monsoon which generally determines the best
climbing weather window. This is most likely to occur at the end of May or
even the beginning of June which is somewhat unusual.
at the summit this morning (it's snowing this afternoon) the wind is
blasting snow off the top, a moderate plume of cloud is streaming off the lee
side. With a summit temperature of around -30 celsius and an estimated wind of
around 30km/hr, the wind chill would be around -60 celsius. I think it was a
wise call to come down.
hopefully. That's all for now. Hope you are all well. Stuart.
Update May 20th:
7am (5/19/05): Firstly, a big
thanks to Matt Reedi (I hope I have spelt it correctly) for the barrel of
goodies. Application has been made to the Guinness book of records for the
highest ever watermelon...
and Tim will return today after a night spent on the North
Col and a
recce up the North ridge to 7500m.
morning the weather forecast for the next 5 days indicates lower winds so
after the telephone call, Tom, Ian and Stuart are moving up to the North Col
to meet up with Mick.
they will go to Camp 2 (7700m) and make a summit attempt from there. All being
well they will summit on the 22nd.
4hrs from ABC to C1 and 4-5 hrs from C1 to C2, there they
drink and sleep. Next day they will climb to Camp 3. This is
more of a
staging post than a real camp, they will try to rest, eat and drink but will
leave C3 around 10pm for a 8-10hr climb to the summit. They will try to
descend as far as they can after summiting but at least to C2.)
The team are made up of:
British climbers are from or have strong links with Keswick in
District, Northern England. They are a private, non commercial, group of
friends. They do not have much in the way of
so updates are by satellite phone and the occasional email courtesy of the
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