25 May 2005
Dear All, It's Caroline - (Rex's
little sister) on behalf of Rex to update you all on his progress.
Currently he is at camp 2,
having arrived there yesterday just mid day. He left base camp at around 5am
and made his way up through the ice fall accompanied by a large contingent of
the team that are also looking for a similar summit day date as he is. The
predicted weather improvement (now forecast to improve gradually starting on
the 27th or 28th and looking even better on the 29th and 30th) is now starting
It is very difficult to judge
the wind at the moment because the jet stream lying above Everest shifts about
causing the winds to fluctuate dramatically. Sometimes it is still, others
calm winds and a significant amount of time it's like a hurricane over the
summit! Some of the experienced Everest guides reassure us that this is
typical, and that the forecasts are always bad. Somehow we all expect them to
say "perfect weather, no wind, no snow just sunshine - happy climbing and
enjoy the view!" but they will never say that. Especially as the weather
changes so quickly up at Everest and the weather men need to protect their
hides so they emphasis the negative. Remember the weather can mean the
difference between life and death and I certainly wouldn't want to be a
weather man when the stakes are so high! (Even though they are by no means
responsible!) It seems the weather dominates conversation up here as though
talking about it will change it!
Anyway Rex decided to
position himself for a summit around the end of May, and there are glimmers of
hope for calmer days around there if you read between the lines on the
forecasts. Fixed ropes still have not been put in place above the Balcony and
other teams are planning to have Sherpas fix on the 28th. Rex had a rest day
at Camp 2 today and after some assessment will make the call as to whether he
will move up to camp 3 tomorrow or stay at 2. The further you ascend, the less
time you want to be up there, so if Rex decides for a 28th or 29th push he
will inevitably stay at Camp 2. Again it depends on that forecast, but at
least he is in position to take advantage of anything that arises.
On the bright side we do
still have a little time and the boys are all up and ready! Hilary and Tenzing
summated on the 29th after all!
As things start heating up
with Spring ant the monsoon on its way the air is often punctuated with really
loud crashing thunder sounds. These are the many avalanches that happen every
day and night. I often wake up in the middle of the night to the roar of snow,
ice and rock thrashing and plummeting down the mountain. This afternoon there
was even one just over the ice fall, which may have upset the route and the
SPC (ice fall doctors) will have work to do tomorrow. It was the afternoon so
it I highly unlikely anyone would be in the icefall, everyone travels early
when it is still cold and the precariously balanced ice blocks are still
frozen into place. However as it gets warmer and warmer here the ice fall is
falling into disrepair and becoming even more dangerous as things melt and pop
and crackle and start to slip and avalanche. (In my personal opinion it is
still ***** cold! Especially at night with sub zero temperatures and I'm
actually looking forward to the warmer Sydney winter as a relief!)
I will keep you all updated
regularly on Rex's decisions and ascent.
Rex Pemberton is a motivational
Twenty-year-old Australian Rex Pemberton has a dream. Already an
experienced Alpine climber, Rex has set his sights on Mt Everest and hopes to
become the youngest Australian to stand atop the world's tallest mountain by
summiting in 2005.
By the age of 10 Rex wanted to climb every hill and mountain he could find,
by 16 Rex was on an expedition to Bolivia and Peru where he climbed
6,025-meter Mt. Huclca Huclca. In addition he has already climbed on six of
the seven continents including famous ascents of Mt. Cook and Mt. Aspiring in
New Zealand. He's stood atop Mt. Blanc, the Matterhorn and 14 other
4,000-meter peaks in the European Alps.
If things go according to plan and corporate funding falls into place Rex
will lead an expedition to Nepal in the spring of next year. It's not a cheap
venture, as any Everest veteran will tell you. Rex, who runs his own
development company and works with corporate trainers Peak Times, is looking
to raise at least $65,000AU for his expedition. It's a venture that Rex
believes will pay big dividends for the Australian corporation that funds his
expedition. He expects a lot of interest and publicity during his attempt at
the Australian record for youngest Everest summiter.
As he works toward completing his dream Rex continues train and maintains a
rigorous schedule of running, gym workouts and stair climbing to keep in top
shape for the challenge ahead.
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