Update: Today, 30th May, three members of the IAF team
summited Everest from the North. They are Wg Cdr RC Tripathi (0515h), Sgt NR
Chaudhuri (0630h) and Sqn Ldr SS Chaitanya (0945h).
June 1st Update here
Dear EverestNews.com, As u would
be aware Russel Brice had taken the responsibility of fixing ropes on the
North side. Most teams were rather frustrated at the ropes not being in
position as late as 18th. We accordingly asked for a meeting with him in which
he flatly refused to send his Sherpas to fix rope for the 21/22 window saying
that he needed the Sherpas for sending gear and oxygen for his clients. He
also said that anyone who wanted to climb should either wait tilll he finds
time to fix ropes or do it themselves. A few teams viz Norwegian, Indian Army,
Chinese and Indian Air Force then got together and decided to fix the ropes on
21st. For reasons unknown the Chinese team did not send their Sherpa to fix
rope. The other 3 teams kept their promise and fixed rope till 2nd step.
Russel somehow had a change of heart and sent 4 Sherpas to carry rope from
North Col to Camp III.
That is the story. If we had
not taken the initiative the ropes would not have been up. Unfortunately our 4
member team had to turn back from 8600m because of oxygen and crampon problems
and because 2 members were frostbitten.
Amit Chowdhury Leader IAF
The IAF team has thirty men
and is leaving for Everest on March 29th. The expedition will be led by
veteran mountaineer Wg Cdr Amit Chowdhury. This is the first Indian Air Force
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