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  Mt. Everest 2005: Team Alongi 2005: Team Alongi Update


North Col Camp, Camp 1

 

I've been forced to return to Kathmandu Nepal to attend to personal

business.  This came at a most unexpected time in the expedition.  The rest of the team is still on the mountain, preparing for their summit bid.

 

When I left the mountain a few days ago.  Camp 3 was in place.  As of today my Sherpa Staff has put in Camp 4 at 8300M and they are beginning to stock it with valuable climbing oxygen for the summit push.  The mountain should be ready for a summit push in 2-3 days.  After which the team and my staff will return to base camp to rest for 5-6 days.  Once a good rest has been accomplished they'll make their way back to ABC and start for the summit.

 

Everyone on the team was looking strong when I departed BC.  Michael Frank and Scott Streett were of the strongest of the five remaining team members.  Al Baal, Ambrose Bittner, and Ryan Allen were unable to make it to the North Col (C1) their first two tries, so they went to base camp to rest.  They were there when I came down and they left for ABC the morning I began my long journey towards the Katmandu.  I've since received word that Ryan and Ambrose have carried their first load to C1.

 

I still have 3-4 days worth of formal business to attend to in Katmandu. After it's finished I will be unable to make it to the mountain in time to re-acclimatize and make a summit push.  Therefore, I will be heading home to Marysville, Washington, once my business is finished.  I set up the expedition e-mail account on a friend's laptop at base camp, so the team can still receive e-mails from home at the same address.

 

Returning to the city was one of the hardest things I've ever done.  It was an extremely emotional event, resulting in tears from my entire staff of Sherpa.  Spending so much time on a mountain of this size with a handfuls of your closest climbing Sherpa creates bonds that are difficult to describe.  This was not the first expedition I've spent with them, and it's certainly not the last.

 

Yesterday, I went to a Monetary and prayed for the team.  The climbing Sherpas requested I did this to give them safety during their summit push.  One cannot deny the rights and religions of those who you share a mountain with.

 

As I have said before, I organize expeditions to experience the people and cultures of the region, my team members, and the overall climbing on the mountain.  If I reach the summit it's but a mere bonus.  This time, however, my summit attempt was affected, not due to illness or fatigue, but rather a strong desire to stay in the industry - to keep doing exactly what I want to do, climb.

 

The team has all the tools necessary to make the summit.  There is little more I can do now, except wait and see who makes it and who doesn't.  I do wish that every member stands upon Everest's apex.  They have some of the best climbing Sherpa in all the Himalayas taking care of them.

 

From Katmandu Nepal: Brook Alongi

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