Dear friends and readers
of EverestNews. Thanks for your
very kind help in telling the world the story of our Pumori expedition.
As you have heard, we lost our dear friends, Alex Chen
and Phurba Tamang in a tragic accident a week ago.
We would like to take this chance to inform you of the
other happenings on those few days.
9 members of our team reached the summit of Pumori:
A group consisting of Jay, Elselien, Kirk, Matt, Edwin,
John, Reinhold, Karlis, Viesturs and Philip was scheduled to move to
Camp 1 on the 22nd of March. Unfortunately, they had bad weather and stayed in
ABC and hence lost a day. The following day dawned sunny, but very cold and
windy and they moved up the mountain to Camp 1 - hoping the weather
would improve, so they could move to Camp 2 the next day and the summit the day
after - the 25th.
They experienced very high winds all night in Camp 1 and
woke to a very ugly day the next morning. Cloud, ground blizzard, limited
visibility and temperatures with wind chill exceeding negative 40
degrees Celsius. It was not possible to go to Camp 2 that day. The date was now
the 24th March. Our yaks were coming on the 26th and we were due to leave
Base camp on the morning of the 27th. From our position in Camp 1, we
still needed 3 full days on the mountain in order to get to the summit and
back to Basecamp. The sums didn't add up - we were simply out of time.
The other consideration was the
worsening weather. Jay looked out of the tent door and saw a high level flat-bottomed black cloud
barrelling up the valley consuming everything in it's path. This was the
exact type of cloud that caused a 3 day storm on Ama Dablam in 2003.
With the worsening weather threatening for all the world
to dump a lot of snow, We made a decision to descend with to Basecamp.
Our decision was based on 2 main reasons.
A - We were out of time.
B - We felt it safer to descend immediately, rather than
wait for the storm to dump it's load and possibly have someone lost in an
Of course, Murphy's Law states that when you run away
from a storm, the weather will improve - and that's exactly what happened
the following day.
Unfortunate, but...that's mountain climbing....
We have been very busy in Kathmandu since our return on
the 30th March, and do apologize for the delay in communicating with you.
We send our condolences to the families of Alex Chen and
We understand that many people have been very worried,
but assure you the surviving members of the International Pumori Expedition
are healthy and well in Kathmandu. In fact, many of them are now on
their way home to loved ones.
This has been a challenging expedition. However, we did
enjoy some summit success and record breaking by placing the first Turkish
person, the first Latvian woman, and although Alex vanished on the way
down, he did in his last moments, relish in being the first Panamanian on
the summit of Pumori.
Thank you from Jay Reilly and all of us at
SummitClimb Pumori 2005:
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