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  Mt. Everest 2005: Scottish climber Rob Milne dies on Everest details

File Photo Copyright©Everestnews.com

Update June 5, 2005: Rob's expedition leader Henry Todd has sent EverestNews.com the following message: "Just below the Balcony he suddenly collapsed, and was found to have died instantly of a sudden heart attack. This was confirmed by the 3 doctors we have on the team who were climbing with him. He had had no problems prior to this and it was completely unexpected. All his team are shocked and saddened by this turn of events and they are now descending the mountain to Base Camp".

Update June 5, 2005: First the official press release that will be published everywhere.

As per the report of Liaison Officer and the concerned trekking agency, the following one member of "Jagged Globe Everest Expedition 2005" team died at the altitude of 8450 m. on the way to the summit of Mt. Everest on 5th June 2005.

1. Mr. Robert William Milne (49 yrs.), Software Engineer,  Livingston, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK.

          The 7 members above mentioned expedition team was permitted to climb 8848 meter high Mt. Everest from normal route for the period of 75 days from 29th March, 2005 under the leadership of Mr. Kenton Edward Cool from UK.

          The handling agency of the expedition team is Summit Nepal Trekking, Kathmandu, Nepal 

The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation expresses its deep sorrow on his sad demise. (Umesh Kumar Singh) Under Secretary

EverestNews.com Notes: Rob Milne was climbing with Henry Todd's group, not the British commercial company Jagged Globe, but apparently as you can see above he was on the Jagged Globe permit. Commercial companies do this all the time to save money.

EverestNews.com spoke with Rob several time before he left for Everest. Rob "born in Montana, grew up in Colorado, University in Boston, then PhD in Edinburgh. after that I worked 3 years in Dayton and 1 year in DC before moving back to Scotland 18 years ago. I'm a dual national, UK and USA. But Scotland is really my home now."

Rob was very interested in new technology that might save climbers lives. See below for more.

Henry Todd is returning to Mt Everest again in Spring 2005 to lead the Himalayan Guides 2005 Everest Expedition. Sue (Harper) Todd, who summited last year, will assist but not stay and attempt the summit this year...

Rob Milne is one of his climbers, more to follow..

Hi-tech support helps Everest climber's bid to join elite

Pioneering technology that enables climbers and explorers to plan expeditions more effectively – and could even help to save lives – will be ‘road tested’ by a Scottish-based mountaineer on Everest this spring. Computer technology being developed at the University of Edinburgh will allow climber Rob Milne to respond rapidly to changing conditions and inform family and friends back home of his progress and any alterations to his plans. Dr Milne, a leading software engineer and entrepreneur, hopes to climb Everest in May and so join the elite group of mountaineers to have climbed the highest peak on each of the seven continents.

Dr Milne, who has already climbed Carstensz Pyramid (Oceania) Vinson Massif (Antarctica), Elbrus (Europe), Kilimanjaro (Africa), Denali (North America) and Aconcagua (South America), will be the first mountaineer to use the IM-PACs (intelligent messaging, planning and collaboration) system. The technology, developed at the Artificial Intelligence Applications Institute in the University of Edinburgh’s School of Informatics, has been designed to provide computer support to people and teams performing a range of tasks – not just expedition teams operating in extreme conditions, but also key personnel involved in planning and rescue services responding rapidly to emergencies. IM-PACs’ foundations in artificial intelligence planning technologies supply a framework that encourages a methodological approach to any task and allows users to transmit and respond to information in ways that can adapt to the circumstances the expedition team finds itself in.

During his ascent, Dr. Milne will be in regular contact with colleagues in base camp who will monitor his progress against his ascent plan. A laptop computer and satellite phone will allow details of his current status and progress to be sent over the internet to a support team in Edinburgh. Were conditions to deteriorate significantly at any time, the IM-PACs technology could be invoked to suggest alternative courses of action. Should conditions deteriorate still further, IM-PACs could be used to widen the scope to review the expedition’s objectives and consider other capabilities and options, such as the availability of rescue services, and set about marshalling these to achieve the revised objectives. 

Said Dr Milne: “On an expedition like this, it is vital to keep track of where you are, what you are trying to do and the contingency options when your brain is barely able to function because of the lack of oxygen. Giving the IM-PACs software an ultimate field test will not only help pioneer the way for remote support, but also provide feedback to my friends and family as to how I am progressing. That lets me relax and concentrate on a safe ascent. This is an ideal combination of leading edge technology to assist with one of the greatest physical challenges on the planet.”

Professor Austin Tate, Technical Director of AIAI, said: “Any attempt on Everest requires a lot of coordination and planning before, during and after the expedition. This makes such ‘extreme’ expeditions good examples of the kind of thing we wish to support with IM-PACs and AI planning technology. Supporting Rob Milne in his final milestone for his personal ‘continent tops’ challenge is a great opportunity to showcase what could be achieved in such missions. Our aim is to provide technology for more effective collaboration in extreme and emergency situations.”

IM-PACs is funded by Scottish Enterprise, the European Research Development Fund (ERDF) and the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh.



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