8000 Meter Peaks

Everest
K2
Kangchenjunga
Lhotse
Makalu
Cho Oyu
Dhaulagiri
Manaslu
Nanga Parbat
Annapurna
Gasherbrum
Broad Peak
Shishapangma
Pakistan

Seven Summits

Everest
Aconcagua
Denali
Kilimanjaro
Elbrus
Vinson Massif
Carstensz Pyramid
Mount Kosciuszko
Speakers List
By Region
Contact us
By Fee
Keynote
By Topic
Corporate
Education
Leadership
Adventure
Spiritual
Motivational
Join Our Team
Climbers
Agents

QUESTIONED SUMMITS

The following summits, which had previously been reported by climbers on Everest, have recently been questioned: Charles Corfield, Nima Tashi Sherpa, Da Sona Sherpa, Chhewang Nima Sherpa, Gia Tortladze and Merab Nemsitsveridze. This does not mean that these climbers did not summit. Last year, for example, Everest News removed two Uzbekistan climbers only to put their summit back up after more evidence came in (the evidence was extremely complex in 1998). The confusion was due to the exact date of the climbers’ summit (5/23/98), which was originally reported incorrectly by their Expedition leader. Rather, Everest News is attempting to clear up any questions which have been raised before adding these climbers to Everest News’ final summit list – which is still currently in draft form. Let’s hope the summits in question this year can be clarified and verified.

Some climbers on Everest have reported summits by Charles Corfield, Nima Tashi Sherpa, Da Sona Sherpa, and Chhewang Nima Sherpa. However, these climbers were not on the summit climb with Charles, Nima, Da Sona and Chhewang, but rather believed at the time that the group reached the summit. Further. the Ministry of Tourism in Nepal released a press release confirming these summits stating: climbers were not on the summit climb with Charles, Nima, Da Sona and Chhewang, but rather believed at the time that the group reached the summit. Further. the Ministry of Tourism in Nepal released a press release confirming these summits stating: climbers were not on the summit climb with Charles, Nima, Da Sona and Chhewang, but rather believed at the time that the group reached the summit. Further. the Ministry of Tourism in Nepal released a press release confirming these summits stating:

"Mr. Charles N. Corfield, 1959, Mountain Guide, Palo Alto, California USA and three Sherpa Climbers Mr. Nima Tashi Sherpa, 36 years Khumjung, Mr. Da Sona Sherpa, Pangboche and Mr. Chhewang Nima Sherpa, Thame of American Millennium Expedition to Everest climbed the summit of Sagarmatha on May 18 at 1300 hrs. They had started climbing from the Camp IV (South Col) on 17th May 10 pm. They are returning to Base Camp. The team is leaving Base Camp soon."

Nevertheless, certain questions have been raised by other climbers:

  1. On June 15, 1999, Everest News was contacted by Jacek Maselko. Jacek said he was asked (by others) whether he ran into Charles Corfield on the summit of Everest on the 18th of May - who supposedly summited at 1300 hours. Jacek replied that he had summited at 1330 hours on the 18th of May with very calm winds and no sign that anyone had been on the summit - i.e., no tracks in the ankle deep snow. Jacek asked whether Everest News was sure Charles climbed Everest on the 18th and not 19th or 17th?
  2. Everest News replied by sending Jacek the following note: "below is the press release from the Ministry of Nepal, which was our source on this one... Mr. Charles N. Corfield, 1959, Mountain Guide, Palo Alto, California USA and three Sherpa Climbers Mr. Nima Tashi Sherpa, 36 years Khumjung, Mr. Da Sona Sherpa, Pangboche and Mr. Chhewang Nima Sherpa, Thame of American Millennium Expedition to Everest climbed the summit of Sagarmatha on May 18 at 1300 hrs. They had started climbing from the Camp IV (South Col) on 17th May 10 pm."
  3. Jacek, replied to Everest News: "I didn't want to start any controversy, but if they summitted at 1pm, how long did they stay on the summit? We were there for an hour and left the summit at 2:40pm - all Nepalese time. Our tracks were still well visible in the snow. Also the time we got to the top, the summit was very calm, so it is doubtful that the snow would have filled in the tracks. I actually looked down the southeast ridge for any tracks because I was curious if anyone had summited that day as well. It just seems strange, because we always had news of anyone summiting on from the south side, and on this day, no one supposedly summitted from the south."
  4. On June 16, 1999, Everest News then asked Jacek: "I assume you have summit photos .... Did you take any down the SOUTH EAST RIDGE,,,,take a peak... Let's talk...."
  5. Everest News then contacted Charles Corfield. Charles called Everest News back and sent an e-mail. Charles clearly states he reached the Summit. He said he did not take a summit photo. However, Charles is not the first person to have not taken a summit photo. Charles also said they just tagged the summit and came back down - which would limit the amount of tracks to the summit another climber would see. Of course, Charles was always very professional to Everest News..
  6. Everest News has since talked with Jacek numerous times. Jacek was kind enough to forward the following photos. These photos belong to Jacek Maselko and are copyrighted to Jacek Maselko. The notes before the links also belong to Jacek. However, the notes after the links are Everest News notes.
  1. jaceksum.jpg - Jacek Maselko on the summit (1:35pm) Note Babu’s tent on the bottom right - down by his feet to the right. http://216.221.191.193/jaceksum.jpg 
  2. seridge.jpg - Looking down the southeast ridge from the summit. http://216.221.191.193/seridge.jpg  
    Note Babu’s shovel at the front left hand corner of the picture.
  3. summit.jpg - picture of the summit itself - note that the tripod is gone.
    Note the clear picture of Babu’s tent and shovel. http://216.221.191.193/summit.jpg 
  4. tadekrys.jpg - Tadek and Ryszard getting ready to descend from the summit
    (2:40pm). They are standing at the rock outcropping at the base of the summit
    cornice. http://216.221.191.193/tadekrys.jpg
    Note the snow at their feet.
  5. For comparison apprsum.jpg - of Ryszard approaching the summit - he arrived on the top 30 minutes after Tadek and myself (note that you can see our footprints in front of him). In Corfield's case there were what 4 [note actually 3] other Sherpas with him, so the tracks should last even longer." http://216.221.191.193/apprsum.jpg 
  6. Jacek’s photos show items that are new to the Summit of Everest in 1999. For example, we know that Babu’s tent and shovel were left on the summit this year. These items are clearly shown in these pictures and are key evidence in pictures allegedly indicating a Summit this year. (Proof if shown with the climber (s))

Everest News plans on speaking with Joao Garcia (who, at last notice was still in the hospital, but that also reached the summit the same day as Jacek). Joao might be able to confirm tracks going from the Summit down the South East ridge.

Other explanations for the lack of tracks seen at the summit by Jacek include that the possibility that a gust of wind cleared the tracks of these 4 climbers before the Polish expedition arrived. Again, Everest News stresses that lack of summit picture is not proof that a summit was not made – other climbers have, in the past, also not taken pictures.

Hopefully these questions can be answered by either finding footprints in Jacek’s photographs or by other evidence coming forward from Joao or others.

Jacek had agreed to send Everest News copies of the slides and/or photos. As this will take some time, Everest News has made requests to Everest climbers and others to study the photos we currently have. These are very difficult issues to work on…. 

The reported summits of Tortladze Gia (commonly referred to as Gia) and Merab Nemsitsveridze are more complex in many ways. Nepal sources (radios calls) and their Georgian climber companion, Merab Khabazi, reported Gia’s and Merab’s summits (including to Everest News). However, other Everest climbers questioned these summits and summit time 3:30. Gia then told Everest News that the time was 12:00, Nepal time. (or 13:30 Tibet time..). Everest News was first sent questions by RISK (http://www.risk.ru/text.index.html)

12 climbers reached the summit from the North on May 26, 1999, ahead of Gia and Merab. The different climbers with whom Everest News has spoken are in agreement on the 12 climbers reaching the summit. Chus Lago Rey reached the summit at 12:30, according to her interview with Barrabes (http://www.barrabes.com/index2.asp?LANG=ENG). Fred Barth and Ghorghe Dijmarescu, among others, have confirmed Chus’ summits. Some have referred to Chus as Sergio Martini’s companion (or wife).

The 12 climbers, who Everest News believes the climbers agree to have reached the summit on May 26, 1999, are:

1.) Naga Dorje Sherpa

2.) Appa Sherpa

3.) Andrei Loushnikov

4.) Ghorghe Dijmarescu

5.) Fred Barth

6.) Man B. Tamang

7.) Sergio Martini

8.) Merab Khabazi

9.) Irakli Ugulava

10.) Mamuka Tsikhiseli

11.) Chus Lago Rey

12.) Sandu Sherpa

Ghorghe Dijmarescu has told Everest News: "Gia did not summit." Ghorghe said he did not see Gia while he was on the summit and that he (Ghorghe) left the summit around 12-12:30pm. Ghorghe explained to Everest News that after his (Ghorghe) summit, he met Gia at the lowest point on the ridge (from that point climbers descent the wall). The time was approximately between 2:30-3:00pm. Ghorghe states that Gia never climbed passed him. Evidence indicates that Ghorghe clearly reached the summit before Gia and Merab (if Gia and Merab did reach the summit). This means for Gia and Merab to summit, they would have had to pass Ghorghe without Ghorghe noticing. Of course, as Everest News has spoken with many climbers on various climbs who do not recall climbers who they passed, this explanation is possible.

Fred Barth feels he cannot render an opinion as to whether Gia summitted, as he was not on the summit with Gia. However, Fred has provided the following answers to our questions:

Q.) Where were Gia and Merab Nemsitsveridze when you went down? Where did you meet them and at what time?

A.) "I met Gia and Merab N. at the point on the NE Ridge where you descend off the ridge, at about 2 or 2.30PM (Nepal time)."

Gia has spoken with EverestNews.com numerous times. Gia has also has spoken to RISK (http://www.risk.ru/text.index.html). Gia has been very professional to Everest News. http://www.risk.ru/text.index.html). Gia has been very professional to EverestNews.com

On other climbers stories, Gia commented: "As about other climbers' stories, I think they are products of either their exhaustion or the little conflict I had with them: on 25th of May at 8300m nobody shared his tent with very tired Boris Korshunov, who was very close to his death (we let him in our tent). The following day I expressed my discontent to everybody."

The Summit picture of Mamuka Tsikhiseli, Merab Khabazi, Irakli Ugulava and Sergio Martini on the Summit of Everest, May 26, 1999, can be seen at: http://georgia.net.ge/meskhitb/ever.htm Mamuka Tsikhiseli, Merab Khabazi, Irakli Ugulava and Sergio Martini on the Summit of Everest, May 26, 1999, can be seen at: http://georgia.net.ge/meskhitb/ever.htm Mamuka Tsikhiseli, Merab Khabazi, Irakli Ugulava and Sergio Martini on the Summit of Everest, May 26, 1999, can be seen at: http://georgia.net.ge/meskhitb/ever.htm

Here are some (of the many) of the questions and answers with Gia

  1. Message Received: 6/13/99

    "This is Gia Tortladze, the leader of First Georgian Everest Expedition this spring from Tibet Side. I write this letter to correct a mistake made by Merab Khabazi in his letter to you.

    On 26th May Merab Nemsitsveridze and me moved a little slower than other Georgian climbers mainly becouse of disorder my oxigen regulator. Also I often stopped to take advertising photos. At about 12.00 (in 30-40 minutes after other Georgians climb) we were in 30 metres from summit. There we stopped to take some more advertising photos. Soon we started descent. We stopped above second step and waited for our friends. Then Merab Khabazi came down and went on but Nemsitsveridze and I waited for Ugulava, who was very tired and moved slowly. We met Tsikhiseli and Khabazi below first step. Then we continued our descent together. So Nemsitsveridze and I were on the summit at about 12.00 and not at 13.30 (as in letter of Khabazi).

    With respect,
    Gia Tortladze"
     
  2. Everest News Questions 6/14/99

    "Hello Gia,

    Let start again. Merab said.

    "So, on 26-th of May 14 people started from last camp (8300 m) for the summit, from 1.00 to 2.00 AM. There were 5 Georgians among them.

    At about 10.30 the summit reached Apa Sherpa and George (American Romanian). Then Nanda Dorje and Andrei (from Commercial expedition of Skripko). Then 10.55 Fred Barth and me. Then 11.15 Mambadur, Mamuka Tsikhiseli and Irakli Ugulava (Georgians). At about 12.00 Sergio (Italian who completed all 8000-peaks), Maria [Chus Lago Rey](climbing without oxygen) and her Sherpa (don't remember his name).

    At 12.15 I began descent. Sergio, Maria and Sherpa left on the Summit. I met my friends Gia Tortladze and Merab Nemsitsveridze above the Second Step. They continued their way and as they say reached the summit at about 13.30. We were back to last camp at about 16.30.

    So Mamuka Tsikhiseli was on the summit on 26-th of May, at 11.15.

    Very best wishes, Merab Khabazi"
    Hello Gia,

    Let start again. Merab said.

    Note that he does not give the time as Nepal or Tibet.

    Everest News asked: "If I understand you correctly, you are saying Merab was incorrect and that you were at the summit at 12:00. It this Nepal time or Tibet? And were Sergio and Chus there with you?

    Also we heard that you and Merab Nemsitsveridze did not go all the way to the true Summit. But was very close ? Is this true ?

    What did Ms. Hawley say? We have not asked her yet...

    Thank You"
  3. 6/16/99

    "Thank you for your message.
    Merab Nemsitsveridze and I were at the summit at about 12.00 Nepali time. There we stopped to take advertising photos. We saw all the 12 summiters, but we were in 30-40 metres from the summit at that time. After everybody left the summit, we went closer and took summit photos with Lhotze and Makalu (some of the photos are attached to this message).

    I gave the detailed information to Ms. Hawley and she had no questions.

    With respect,

    Gia Tortladze"

    Gia provided Everest News with his Summit Certificate, which can be located at: http://209.164.86.188/sertif.jpg. "Thank you for your message.
    Merab Nemsitsveridze and I were at the summit at about 12.00 Nepali time. There we stopped to take advertising photos. We saw all the 12 summiters, but we were in 30-40 metres from the summit at that time. After everybody left the summit, we went closer and took summit photos with Lhotze and Makalu (some of the photos are attached to this message).

    I gave the detailed information to Ms. Hawley and she had no questions.

    With respect,

    Gia Tortladze"

    Gia provided Everest News with his Summit Certificate, which can be located at: http://209.164.86.188/sertif.jpg. "Thank you for your message.
    Merab Nemsitsveridze and I were at the summit at about 12.00 Nepali time. There we stopped to take advertising photos. We saw all the 12 summiters, but we were in 30-40 metres from the summit at that time. After everybody left the summit, we went closer and took summit photos with Lhotze and Makalu (some of the photos are attached to this message).

    I gave the detailed information to Ms. Hawley and she had no questions.

    With respect,

    Gia Tortladze"

    Gia provided Everest News with his Summit Certificate, which can be located at: http://209.164.86.188/sertif.jpg.
  4. Gia’s photos have been provided by himself, and can be seen at:

    http://216.221.191.193/t1.jpg

    http://216.221.191.193/t2.jpg

    http://216.221.191.193/t3.jpg

    http://216.221.191.193/t4.jpg

    http://216.221.191.193/t5.jpg

    The above photos are what Gia refers to as: "There we stopped to take advertising photos. We saw all the 12 summiters, but we were in 30-40 metres from the summit at that time."

    http://216.221.191.193/t6.jpg

    http://216.221.191.193/t7.jpg

    http://216.221.191.193/t8.jpg

    The above photos are what Gia refers to as: "After everybody left the summit, we went closer and took summit photos with Lhotze and Makalu (some of the photos are attached to this message)."

    Below you will find more of Gia’s comments on these photos.

  1. Everest News Questions 6/17/99

    "Hello Gia,

    Thank you for the photos and detail.

    We still want to make sure of a couple of points.

    1.) Basically what we understand is that you and Merab Nemsitsveridze were close to the Summit. You saw all the 12 "other" summiters. But you were 30-40 metres from the summit at that time ? After everybody left the summit, you went closer and took summit photos with Lhotse and Makalu (some of which you sent us...).
    Is this correct?

    2.) Is it also correct that you did not actually go up on the Summit pyramid? and is that what you told Elizabeth Hawley ? (We will contact her in a couple of weeks, once we have our list complete to compare)...

    3.) Basically you went right near the summit but not actually up on the pyramid is that correct for both you and Merab Nemsitsveridze?

    Sorry for the questions, I know it is hard to discuss in a language not your normal... Many climbers have told us they really enjoyed their time with you on the mountain... We thank you much for your time and effort and wish you well in your further climbs. We have made many Georgian friends this season... Best wishes"
    6/17/99

    "Hello Gia,

    Thank you for the photos and detail.

    We still want to make sure of a couple of points.

    1.) Basically what we understand is that you and Merab Nemsitsveridze were close to the Summit. You saw all the 12 "other" summiters. But you were 30-40 metres from the summit at that time ? After everybody left the summit, you went closer and took summit photos with Lhotse and Makalu (some of which you sent us...).
    Is this correct?

    2.) Is it also correct that you did not actually go up on the Summit pyramid? and is that what you told Elizabeth Hawley ? (We will contact her in a couple of weeks, once we have our list complete to compare)...

    3.) Basically you went right near the summit but not actually up on the pyramid is that correct for both you and Merab Nemsitsveridze?

    Sorry for the questions, I know it is hard to discuss in a language not your normal... Many climbers have told us they really enjoyed their time with you on the mountain... We thank you much for your time and effort and wish you well in your further climbs. We have made many Georgian friends this season... Best wishes"
    6/17/99

    "Hello Gia,

    Thank you for the photos and detail.

    We still want to make sure of a couple of points.

    1.) Basically what we understand is that you and Merab Nemsitsveridze were close to the Summit. You saw all the 12 "other" summiters. But you were 30-40 metres from the summit at that time ? After everybody left the summit, you went closer and took summit photos with Lhotse and Makalu (some of which you sent us...).
    Is this correct?

    2.) Is it also correct that you did not actually go up on the Summit pyramid? and is that what you told Elizabeth Hawley ? (We will contact her in a couple of weeks, once we have our list complete to compare)...

    3.) Basically you went right near the summit but not actually up on the pyramid is that correct for both you and Merab Nemsitsveridze?

    Sorry for the questions, I know it is hard to discuss in a language not your normal... Many climbers have told us they really enjoyed their time with you on the mountain... We thank you much for your time and effort and wish you well in your further climbs. We have made many Georgian friends this season... Best wishes"
  2. Gia’s Reply 6/21/99

    (Gia) Thank you for kind wishes. I'll try to answer your questions.

    (Everest News) 1.) Basically what we understand is that you and Merab Nemsitsveridze were close to the Summit. You saw all the 12 "other" summiters. But you were 30-40 metres from the summit at that time? After everybody left the summit, you went closer and took summit photos with Lhotse and Makalu (some of which you sent us...).

    (Everest News) Is this correct?

    (Gia) We climbed the true summit and our photos confirm this, because otherwhise it's impossible to take Lhotse's photo.

    (Everest News) 2.) Is it also correct that you did not actually go up on the Summit pyramid?

    (Everest News) and is that what you told Elizabeth Hawley? (We will contact her in a couple of weeks, once we have our list complete to compare)...

    (Gia) I told Elizabeth Hawley that we were in 30-40 metres from summit when we (Merab Nemsitsveridze and I) stopped to take advertising photos and then
    climbed summit. I wanted to show her our photos but she was very bussy and we agreed to do it next time.

    (Everest News) 3.) Basically you went right near the summit but not actually up on the pyramid is that correct for both you and Merab Nemsitsveridze ?

    (Gia) If you call "pyramid" the last 5-6 metres Merab and I climbed it and took
    photo where is seen Merab and Lhotse on background.

    Very best wishes, Gia Tortladze"

Gia has suggested Everest News contact Ringi Tinjo, liasson officer from TMA "who watched our climb by telescope."  "who watched our climb by telescope."  "who watched our climb by telescope." 

Gia's "Summit photos" do not show Gia nor Merab at what is referred to as the true summit; nor do they show Babu’s items. Once again, not all climbers have taken photos at the true summit of themselves.

As many of you know, Everest News is an American-based company that is assisted by people from around the world. Everest News attempts to be fair and unbiased… Everest News will continue to work on these questioned summits in search of answers.

Hopefully others climbers will come forward and talk….

The spelling and grammar have not been corrected in the e-mails…They are "raw"…

For the record, Everest News would like to say, "Everest News has not made a final determination on these summits. We are keeping an open mind, listening and studying all the information."

The Staff at Everest News

Update 7/7/99

  • Everest News received the following report from Bikrum Pandey of HIMALAYA Center, Kathmandu.

Everest News, I have discussed this (the question of Charles Corfield's summit) with Above the Cloud's Managing Director Mr. Gyalzen Sherpa, over a long lunch. Gyalzen (Gyatsen) is the organiser of Willie's Berg's last years expedition and this years' American Millenium Expedition.

According to Gyalzen his climbing Sherpas gone with Charles had reported, on return, to their Base Camp Sirdar Chungba Sherpa of this American Millenium Expedition that Charles Corfield's team had reached to the Bishop Rock where Willie Berg had installed GPS Satellite last year. This Bishop Rock site is believed to be short of 50 feet below the real summit.

When they reported to the Ministry Tourism about their Summit Success, Corfield, according to Gyalzen, might have thought that few feet here and there (50 feet) did not make much of a difference to the real summit, which can often happen in the mountain. So they could have reported it as the summit success to Nepal's Ministry of Tourism.

So, HIMALAYA Center thinks that Charles Corfield's team had summitted the Bishop Rock, not the Internationally accepted Mt. Everest Summit.

The next step will be to interview the sherpas themselves.

Thanks Bikrum Pandey @HIMALAYA Center, Kathmandu

Bikrum Pandey at HIMALAYA Center, Kathmandu, is a well recognized source of information in Nepal. He is a senior Tourism Professional of Nepal, Vice President Nepal's Mountaineering Association and Correspondent of Britain's reputed HIGH magazine . Bikrum is a regular contributor to Everest News.

Update: Risk www.risk.ru has updated their site with a story on part of these  Questioned Summits http://www.risk.ru/eng/news/index.html

New Information is included in

  • Comments of Viacheslav Skripko, head of International Everest expedition, 1999.
  • Risk also have had mail exchange with Gia Torladze, head of First Georgian Everest expedition, 1999. 
  • Risk's whole story

 

Daily News and Notes, what made this site famous among Everest climbers. Updated Everyday !

Send Mail to mail2006@everestnews.com.   Copyrightę1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003. EverestNews.com  All rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Disclaimer, Privacy Policy, Visitor Agreement, Legal Notes. Read it.

 

 

 

 The Best Source for Gear On-line

 

Altitude pre-
  
acclimatization

   Ascenders

   Atlas snowshoes

   Black Diamond

   Botas

   Brunton

   Carabiners

   CaVa Climbing Shoes
   Clearance

   Clif Bar

   Cloudveil

   CMI

   Crampons

   Edelweiss ropes
  
Eureka Tents

   Featured

   FoxRiver

   Garmin

   Granite Gear

   Harnesses
   Headlamps
   Helmets

   HighGear
   Ice Axes

   Kavu Eyewear

   Katadyn

   Kelty

   Kong

   Lekisport

   Lowepro

   Motorola

   Mountain Hardwear

   Mountainsmith

   MSR

   Nalgene

   New England Ropes

   Nikwax

   Omega

   Patagonia

   Pelican

   Petzl

   PowerBar

   Princeton Tec

   Prescription Glacier

   Glasses

   Primus

   Rope Bags

   Seattle Sports

   Serius
  
Sleeping Bags

   Stubai

   Suunto

   Tents

   Thermarest

   Trango

   Tool Logic

   Trekking Poles
   Yaktrax
  
and more here