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
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
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..
support helps Everest climber's bid to join elite
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
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.
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.
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.”
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.”
funded by Scottish Enterprise, the European Research Development Fund (ERDF)
and the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh.
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