8000 Meters Facts
Everest 2005: Dirk Stephan and Keith Woodhouse:
To climb or not to climb!
Decision time! To climb or not
to climb? That is the question. Weather forecasts are contradictory but
general view is that no summit attempt will be possible before 20th and maybe
This presents me with I think 3 options!
1. Take the most optimistic forecast and try and persuade a team to have a
go!! Realistically I think that this would border on suicide. Even if I could
convince a Sherpa team to support such an attempt, it would be considered
foolhardy given that there is not a single team above BC at the moment and
given the forecast temperature and wind chill the loss of fingers or toes
would be almost inevitable!
2. I could call it a day and head for home. I can't tell you just how much
this option appeals but to take this option would be reduce to zero the
effort, personal discomfort, physical and mental stress, the likes of which I
have never experienced before to this extent. To give in now would probably
mean it would haunt me forever!!
3. I stick it out, miss my plane home and beg forgiveness from Sue, my family
friends and work colleagues who have been so tolerant of me on this personal
challenge. At BC like the rest of the people here, I'm slowly wasting away,
exercise is becoming more limited as the Ice Fall becomes more dangerous and
unstable. So another decent to Dewoche or somewhere similar will be necessary.
Depending on who would agree to such a plan will determine whether I can
continue to do regular updates! So what to do?
After lunch today we are going
to do a detailed analysis of the different weather forecasts and likely
scenarios. Following that, I will make my decision!
On a separate note one of the
climbers who was hurt in the avalanche at C1 and who turned out not to have a
permit, was allegedly fined $20,000 and banned from entering Nepal for 10
Last night we had quite a
bizarre evening watching the Imax Everest film of 1996 with the Sherpas on a
portable DVD player. Apart from recording Sherpa Tensings son following his
fathers' footsteps, it also recorded the worst tragedy in Everests' history. A
timely reminder if I needed one of how serious this climb really is - still
the Sherpas seemed to enjoy it!!
Dirk Stephan and Keith Woodhouse, a small German/English team of two will
attempt Everest in Spring of 2005 via the normal southeast ridge route. Keith
is in his fifties, Dirk 39. "Both of us have extensive mountaineering
experience, I am in a lifetime project of the seven summits, already started
with Kilimanjaro, 20 years ago. My expeditions have been self organized
whenever possible. I soloed Aconcagua and Elbrus - if you can call it this way
on this beaten tracks. Everest and Carstensz are still missing. Keith and me
climbed Denali together the year before. Keith works for British Telecom as
Manager Global Solutions. I am Pilot for a German Charter Company. My aim is
to support a cancer charity. This has a personal background, as my wife has
cancer herself and I am greatly involved in researching things and supporting
people with the same fate. Everest is a good opportunity to raise funds things
like this. Every support is welcome!"
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