This is Philip Ling with news from the International Summitclimb Pumori Expedition 2005.
We apologize for the delay in
the recent dispatches however all leaders and members have been high on the
mountain in preparation for the summit push. Dan has telephoned several
dispatches in during the hiatus.
In the latest dispatch,
Dispatch 10, we mentioned how the expedition had been divided into 3 groups in
preparation for the push to the summit. However since then, it was decided to
form two groups instead.
Members Rex, Greg, Roland,
Frasier and John recently retired from their attempts to climb Pumori due to
various reasons, and they will be missed.
The first group is led by Dan
Mazur and Mark Merwin, climbing with members Liga, Alex, Roy, and Tunc.
The second group is led by Jay
Reilly, Philip Ling, Kirk Morley and Elselien Te Hennepe, climbing with members
Matt, Edwin, Reinhold, Karlis and Viesters.
As outlined in the previous
dispatch, the first priority was to ensure that all leaders and members had met
the minimum requirement of at least one night spent at Camp 1 (6100m) to aid
acclimatisation, then returned to either Base Camp (5400m) or Advanced Base Camp
(5800m) for a rest before heading for the summit. This they did, and then the
summit push was on!
The first group departed ABC on
March 22 and spent the night at Camp 1, before moving on to Camp 2 for the
night, from here they would head for the summit early the next morning (March
24). Roy decided to return to Camp 1 shortly after setting out.
The second group departed ABC
on March 24 and spent the night at Camp 1. They intended to head for Camp 2 on
March 24 in preparation for a push for the summit March 25. However early on the
morning of March 24 a freak storm brought heavy wind and snow to Camp 1, along
with temperatures of -42 degrees Celsius! With conditions now simply too
dangerous to climb to Camp 2, along with the time constraints, the decision was
made to return to Base Camp.
Meanwhile, the first group was
stuck in Camp 2 during the same storm. With nowhere to go, they decided to stay
and try and ride it out. Miraculously, and beyond everyone's expectations, the
storm cleared leaving the window open for a summit attempt on March 25.
More will be told about summit
day in a separate dispatch.
Editorial Note: It is unclear if Phil knew of
the deaths of Alex Chen and Phurba
Tamang when he filed the above dispatch. We have been waiting for the follow up
There has only been 2 accidents where climbers
have died on Pumori since 1993 until this accident. In 1997 3 climbers died in a
fall, and in 2001 5 Spanish climbers died in an avalanche.
to Summarize: The Ministry of Culture, Tourism
and Civil Aviation reports that Alex Chen and Phurba Tamang of the
International Pumori Expedition 2005 (I) Team died on crevasse by slipped down
from about 100 meter below the summit while descending from the summit of the
Mt. Pumori on 25th March 2005 at 3:00 pm.
Summiters included: Alex and Phurba Tamang
Summiters also include 25th March 2005
1. Mr. Daniel Lee Mazur, (44
yrs.) Leader, USA.
2. Ms. Liga Hartmane (28
yrs.) Member, Lativia.
3. Mr. Jangbu Sherpa, (37
yrs.), High Altitude Worker, Patale - 4, Okhaldhunga.
4. Mr. Mark
Merwin, (28 yrs), Member, USA.
5. Mr. Tunc Findik, (33
yrs.), Member, Turkey
6. Mr. Tenji Sherpa, (22
yrs), High Altitude Worker, Patale- 4, Okhaldhunga.
7. Mr. Phuri Sherpa, (36
yrs.) High Altitude Worker, Patale- 4, Okhaldhunga.
Our prayers are with the families; this is a
dangerous sport where people die every year, but that does not make it easier
for those who lose loved ones.
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