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Bad weather results in one of worst seasons in decades

Bad weather in the Himalayas resulted in very few ascents of Everest this year. News directly from Tibet puts the number of ascents from the north at 17, all of which were accomplished in the brief spell of good weather between 15-19 May.

Those who summited include 4 Sherpa, 4 Japanese, 4 Russians, 3 English and 2 Swiss (Kari Kobler with a client), all of whom used supplementary oxygen. After this short respite, bad weather struck, grinding all activity to a halt once again.

The Spanish TVE team, which reconstructed Mallory and Irvine's historic 1924 ascent using original equipment up to 8000m, was forced to abandon its attempt on 20 May due to a violent storm that hit several parties at the Second Step (8600m).

Led by Sebastian Alvaro, the TVE team included Juanito Oyarzabal, the seventh person to have climbed all fourteen 8000m peaks. During his descent he suffered snow blindness and frostbite to his nose.

Everest

The north face of Everest at sunset
photo F. Tremolada - Mnet.




Everest
Everest and prayer flags at Base Camp in Tibet
photo F. Tremolada - Mnet.




According to reports, a Chinese mountaineer and a Sherpa, climbed through a storm and reached the summit a few days later. During the descent however the Chinese mountaineer died, while the Sherpa reached Camp 3 unharmed.

The Italian Mountain Guide Silvio Mondinelli was unsuccessful in his third attempt at reaching the summit. After reaching the Second Step at 8600m a violent storm forced him, Mario Merelli and the Spanish Edurne Pasaban to turn back.

Edurne Pasaban suffered frostbite to all her fingers but a rapid examination via internet by a specialist in Saragoza, Spain, showed that only two fingers were in serious danger. She immediately left Base Camp for Kathmandu to fly back to Spain.

The 11 teams remaining at Advanced Base Camp pinned their hopes for a final attempt at the summit on 25 May. However, the forecasted break in bad weather never came and they were forced to turn back.

On the South Face, the immensely strong Sherpa Babu Chiri reached the summit in just under 17 hours, after having battled against the bad weather.

Spring 2000 is widely considered one of the worst seasons in the last ten years.
Everest
Everest as seen from Tibet
photo F. Tremolada - Mnet.




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Focus expeditions

www.focusworldexpeditions.com

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