2006 Background and dispatches
Fantasy Ridge lower part
God’s-eye view of Mt Everest offers three faces.
Hillary summited first on the South Face. The
traditional route from Tibet is on the North Face
Because the third face, the Kangshung Face, expects
visitors in the Spring of 2006, we would like to
describe what is known about that face and compare and
contrast it to the other two.
Research on the Kangshung Face is quick and easy
because few attempts have been made on this face.
Descriptions in books by Ed Webster and Stephen
Venables present the formidable “snowy side” of
Everest. They were lucky to survive and to write of
their daring but difficult journey. Permanent scars
on their extremities are testament to their hardships.
Their party of four must have been overwhelmed as they
stared at the daunting Kangshung Face, and yet they
bravely took turns leading the small expedition toward
the eventually ununsurmountable obstacle. The “Webster
Wall” is one landmark shown in photos, named for the
climber and worthy of the courage displayed. The
climbers came from the United States, Canada, Great
Britain and were led by an American living in New
Zealand. Anderson, the leader, was gifted and held the
respect of his team. He also suffered the agony of
severe frostbite. Even with the difficulties of their
climb, they overcame setbacks and debates over
tactics. They kept climbing.
Their account sets out the travails of the approach to
Base Camp. Bad weather delayed their progress so that
fatigue overtook them before they even set foot on the
mountain proper. Because of the heavy snow, yaks
couldn't reach Base Camp. Porters were substituted,
but they, too, were unreliable. The expedition was
forced to camp for days in no-man’s-land. Food and
fuel ran short. They were facing the an unwelcome
reality -- defeat.
“The thirty-mile approach was finally over and we had
arrived twenty three days after leaving Kharta" wrote
Venables in his account of the climb, “Everest --
Alone at the Summit”. Recognizing that example is the
strongest motivator, the team strode ahead of the
porters leading the impossible trek. “For weeks now
we had been building ourselves up for the climb,
alternating neurotically between fear and hope, but
now I sank gloomily into a new thought of despair,
convinced that the whole project really was suicidal"
Kangshung Face was not to be opened by Venables and his
party. Instead, a tough American expedition
accomplished the goal in two stages - the first stage was
a recoinnaissance in 1980 follow by the1981 expedition
before they were stoped by the avalanche threat just bellow
the 7000 m. mark; the second in the Fall of 1983.
The American team beat Everest into submission through
technological ingenuity using rope launchers to bypass
dangerous pitches and for load hauling. Purists may
disallow these tactics, but one cannot deny the
magnificent accomplishment of these climbers. The
American Buttress was completed in Fall of 1983 thus
accomplishing the first ascent of Mt Everest by the
And now the prospect of a new route by the Fantasy
Ridge looms as a possibility. With so little known
about the area, how can even experienced climbers plan
for such a treacherous task?
Fantasy Ridge higher part
CONTINUED SOON IN "THE THREE FACES OF EVEREST - PART II"
The expedition is open for
sponsorship. In addition, access to the video/photo documentary will be
available in exchange for financial support. The expedition will report
exclusively to EverestNews.com.
POTENTIAL SPONSORS: FOR
INFORMATION ABOUT THE MEMBERS
OF THE TEAM AND DETAILED PLANS FOR THE CLIMB, PLEASE
2006 Background and dispatches
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