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  Mt. Everest 2005: Czech Hornbein Couloir Several Updates

Everest May 30th, 2005 and people were summiting

Wednesday May 25th: It is very quiet here this morning. In order to have another chance, we need two things: We need to change our plane tickets from 6.3 to 6.8, then we need the weather forecast without wind for the end of May to June for about 2-3 days. We hear back about our plane tickets. There are only 7 seats, and there are 8 of us, so we would have to fly back on 6.14. We are not giving up yet, we download the weather forecast around 1:30 pm. It is nothing positive; it is not giving us any chance. The forecast talks about one day at a time without wind, otherwise it forecasts wind of 100-120 km/h for the next days. We would have no chance to breath without oxygen in this wind. Nobody wants to say it, but it is the END. We have no chance; the mountain did not let us in. The only thing left to do is pack our stuff and get ready to return home. Ivan, Pepino, Sona a Lucka are immediately going to C0. They will get there by the evening and in the morning they will start to clean up. Kasang comes with them, to bring down the supply camp today. Kasnag has a tooth ache and it becomes hard for him to carry a load. He gets to the BC by night and leaves half of the load half way to BC.

Thursday May 26th: We get up at 6 am to take our gear down from the mountain face. Pepino and Ivan get the fix ropes, Sona and Lucka is packing C1. Since we all started early morning, we have almost everything done by 1:30 pm and we are back at C0. Peter and Kasang are coming from BC to pick up a load as well. During the months we have brought a lot of gear and personal items on to the face and under the face. Now we have to take is all back to the BC...This route has one advantage. Things don't have to be carried down, you can slide them down. So we slide down the tents and fix ropes tied together. They slide in the place where avalanches were sliding the whole month. Kasang and Peter pick up a load in C0 and leave for BC. Ivan and Sona pack things in one of the last tents and also leave for BC. They are quite loaded, but they should make it by dark. Because Pepino is cleaning on the face till late afternoon; he will get to the BC the next day. Simon went from our BC to the Chinese BC to re-schedule yaks for earlier than May 30th. But they do not want to change the reservation, even when we try to bribe them. "Be happy that you have got a date at all, and stop bothering us!" We have forgotten we are in China. Here yaks carry one day load from ABC under Everest, then they go 3 days under Cho Oyu, there they carry one day load and then they go back to the Everest BC. It is a total zoo. Unfortunately, we can not speed it up.

Friday May 27th: Ivan, Sona and Peter carried a load down yesterday and so they can rest today. Simon and Kasang go to C0. Pepino and Lucka take some more pictures in C0 and pack more ropes. Simon and Kasang get to C0 by noon. All together, they pack the last things from C0, load themselves up with extra heavy load, and they move to the supply camp. There they will leave some of the load and tomorrow with normally loaded packs (20 - 22kg) they will cross the deceitful moraine (icy, moving with cracks). Simon had an accident when he tasted the deceitfulness on his own skin. At first he slipped and pulled ligaments on both sides of his knee. He continued with a bandage on his knee and then when he was jumping over a crack the landing was loose stone and Simon ended up in the crack with a 30 kg piece on top of him. He was sitting there for a while covered up in the moraine before he started to claw his way out. In the meantime Ivan, Petr and Sona are drying all the tents in BC. Based on the number of the tents it must look like a 20 member expedition instead of the 6 members we are. Sona then went to pick up a keg, which Kasang did not bring. Slowly everybody got to the BC including hurt Simon. Tomorrow we have to go back to supply camp one more time.

Saturday May 28th: We wanted to pack all the tents, but there was a storm over night with a lot of lightning and it was snowing till morning, so we have to dry them one more day. Ivan and Kasang leave to pick up the last things from the supply camp. The rest of us put together our own things. We still look at "our mountain" but it is still very windy and that is not for climbing.

Sunday May 29th: We have our last quiet breakfast. We pack the dried tents, our personal items and prepare basic cargo. Kumar is making an inventory of kitchen. We have to tell him exactly what will have for lunch and dinner and the next day's breakfast. The rest of the food goes to the barrel. Our yaks arrived in the afternoon. We can depart early in the morning and maybe even manage to get to Nyalam. Yak men were drinking the whole time "raksi" (alcohol) so now they are quite obtrusive. But we only have to put up with it for one more day. After dinner we pack our kitchen tent and leave only one Tonoka tunnel to have a breakfast in. In the morning we pack our private tents and we depart.

Our expected itinerary: Monday 30th and Tuesday 31st. Will take us to Chinese BC and then to Tingri (where we will most likely sleep over), then go to Nyalam and Zangm. We hope there will not be any problems during crossing Chinese and Nepalese borders and we will get to the Kodari and then finally to Katmandu by Tuesday evening. There we will have 3 days to repair ripped tents, taking care of supplies and preparing the cargo for transit back to Czech. Our flight is on Friday evening, flying from Katmandu-Dubai-Vienna-Prague. We will be landing at Prague airport Ruzyne on Saturday June 6th early morning.




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