Dom holding a Free Tibet t-shirt on top of Everest. Image courtesy of Peak Freaks.
"I didnt realise how difficult it would be to sleep this high. The moon and stars are really, really bright." That picture of Jamie sleeping outside at 7900m is begging for a funny caption competition...noted Andrew McGuinness.
On May 12th, Alex Gavan became the first Romanian climber to summit Makalu. Once back in Kathmandu, he ran to the rescue of Iñaki Ochoas together with climbing mate Mihnea Radulescu (who is a male, not a female as we wrote yesterday), on the mighty south face of Annapurna. Back in Kathmandu again, Alex is now heading to Pakistan, where he will attempt GII. Speaking of courage by the way; Alex Gawan was one of the few climbers who spoke out in the murder of a Tibetan nun before hundreds ..
Live image over Contact 4.0 of climbers on the upper slopes of Lhotse (summit in background) courtesy of DCXP (click to enlarge).
Left to right: David Göttler, Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner and Ralf Dujmovits - currently attempting Lhotse. Image courtesy of Ralf/Amical (click to enlarge).
Italy (image), France, Switzerland, Spain, Slovenia - red flares for freedom were lit all over the European peaks, and then - statements of courage arrived from Mount Everest...
Courage on Everest - a gesture for Tibet at last

Posted: May 27, 2008 03:38 pm EDT
Asked to define courage, children most often say it is risking your life. On maturing, people will say that courage is doing the right thing when the wrong thing seems to produce better results.

This, plus "looking past your personal goals and dedicating your life for the betterment of mankind," has been voted top reply on Yahoo answers to the question "what is courage."

Free-Tibet banner finally flies on Everest top!

In the mountains, the childish kind of courage abounds. Few climbers own both sorts; but they do exist. One was Spanish Inaki Ochoa, who - before his death on the highly difficult Annapurna south wall - dared to speak out against the Chinese Olympics in spite of having Himalayan mountains left to climb.

Such was a young American climber, who was expelled from Everest after an American commercial guide handed his Free Tibet banner to authorities in camp.

And such is French Dominique Gilbert, whose pic from Everest´s top sports a Free Tibet t-shirt, the only one of all the hundreds of summit pictures this year.

Peak Freaks team member Dominique Gilbert was the first in the group to top-out Everest on May 21. On summit, he flied a t-shirt with a Games over Free Tibet message printed on it - doing the right thing for Tibet when the wrong thing would seem to produce better results for himself - such as not risking his future climbs.

And there it was - true courage, and hope for mankind.

Sad Smoky Mountains update

Actually, Alberto Peruffo's SadSmokyMountains project has taken off nicely as well. Hundreds of images and videos have been poring in of red fires lit by climbers for Tibet.

Check out some of them here:

www.sadsmokymountains.net

Youtube red flares videos

Everest: More summits Hahns 10th Everest

Dave Hahn called down at 7:26am Nepal time from the summit, IMG home team reported earlier today. Everyone in their team is on top and doing well, and the weather is perfect, with 5mph wind. Summiteers are Dave and Nicky Messner (both from Taos, NM), Samduk Dorje and Phinjo Dorje (both from Pangboche). This is Samduk's 4th Everest summit, Phinjo's 2nd, and Dave's 10th."

Hahn now holds the western record of Everest summits.

More attempts

While most teams are packing up and getting ready to leave, some climbers still hope to summit. Brazilians Rodrigo Ranieri and Eduardo Keppke should have set off from C4 by now, escorted by two Sherpas.

Jamies May 21 summit report

Project-Himalaya team leader Jamie McGuinness has published an interesting summit debrief from May 21:

Phil Crampton is a good friend and now runs his own outfit, Altitude Junkies, Jamie wrote. Previously he used to work for Dan Mazur and while he has summitted Everest a few times, he has missed out on more summits due to dramatic rescues high on Everest. This year he managed to summit on the 21st with one of his team but a day later still make a dramatic rescue of Ryan Waters, a fellow guide, who developed pulmonary edema. Most of Ryan's team succeeded, including Ryan but he became seriously ill on the way down.

Alan Arnette was climbing with Ryan and also turned back from somewhere around The Balcony. He has already left BC.

Tim Rippel's Peak Freaks expedition is next to our BC and also his crew are good friends of ours, many are related," McGuinness added. "There are several people lucky to be alive after some serious events. I assume Sultan became ill with Cerebral Edema. Certainly Tim made a proper rescue, lowering a very uncooperative person down rope length after rope length, until at about 4:30am they had to abandon him, leaving him in a sleeping bag and after fueling him up. This was slightly below the balcony, I think.

The Indian (Snow Lion or army - I am not sure) team then found him around 6am and started working on him. Initially we heard that he was dead, as was the Korean, but later reports said they were both merely comatose, and could be revived. Rescue teams were sent up for both, both being brought down to South Col, and then after refueling, walked further down. Tim also had to cope with one member with snow blindness and another exhausted.

At the South summit, I gave up my oxygen system to Jangbu, who had given his to another team but was finding he could not cope. I also had a spare bottle that went to Andy, I think. I am still vague about this and will fill the real details in later. Then I accompanied Uwe, the Swiss climber, down. He had climbed Everest without oxygen, as had Mingma, the Sherpa with him.

Now the Swiss climber was on oxygen but complained that he wasn't getting any air. I checked his system several times, he was getting 4 liters a minute, the Poisk maximum. So every time he stopped he took off his mask and myself or Mingma either told him to put it on - or occasionally physically put it on him. He was obviously messed up with Cerebral Edema and he had already taken 4mg dexamethazone on the summit; at the South Summit I gave him 4mg more.

Myself and the sherpa accompanied him down, eventually passing Tim and Sultan and co. At the balcony I met a Sherpa coming up to meet us with hot drinks and oxygen, so at last, around 9pm, I headed down alone, after berating the Korean. There is more to that story. Uwe later died of exhaustion on the last easier section to South Col.

More details are expected from Jamie, who reportedly arrived in C4 back from the summit very late in the night, and decided to rest outside (check image).

Andrew Brash: Bye, Everest

I left BC today and walked away from two months of living with my expedition mates and in the world of rocks, gravel, ice, toilet barrels, freezing tents, showers of dandruff, dual ejection illnesses, tang, spam, water with little things floating in it and a well lived in sleeping bag, Andrew reported earlier today from Pangboche. Having said that, it was tough to leave, and I'm going to miss (almost) everyone.

Also Gnaro Mondinelli feels the blues of departure in BC. Melancholy hangs in the air today, he told his home team. Virtually everyone is packing up and leaving. It is somehow sad we are departing this inexistent world. You see, with or without reaching the summit, our life doesn't really change. When we reach back home everything is different, and we have to go on with the real life.

Makalu: Brits still aiming for the SE ridge

With climbing on the North side of the mountain now complete the majority of other teams have now vacated the valley, reported a group in the British Navy team, whose members are attempting Makalus SE ridge. However, with the monsoon still reported to be a couple of weeks away our team on the SE Ridge are planning one more foray up the mountain commencing today. Therefore, activity at SE Base Camp over the past few days has focused on preparing the food and equipment that we need for higher up the mountain.

Our Sherpas will move one day ahead of us as far as Camp 3, positioning much of the stores. We will then take the lead from Camp 4 and push out the final section of the route to Camp 5, hopefully culminating in our summit bid in early June. Colin, Dick and Rupert will make up the British members of the team with Bechhumbe, Ang Dorje and Phudorje representing the Sherpas. Toby will remain at Base Camp.

Lhotse: More summits today

Ron Hoglin, Herman Kristen, and I, as well as our sherpas, Jangbu 1 and Jangbu 2, all summited at around 8:00 a.m - Oh man, we had the most beautiful summit day, reported Sam Mansikka, leader of SummitClimbs Lhotse team. The views were so clear that we could see all of the way to Shishapangma, Cho Oyu and Kanchenjunga.

DCXP already posted some summit pics over Contact 4.0.

Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner called home from Lhotse BC on May 22, ready for a summit push with husband Ralf Dujmovits and David Göttler.

Spaniards Carlos Pauner and Javier Perez were airlifted from BC yesterday. The climbers hope to return to Spain as soon as possible, so that Carlos can have his frostbite properly treated in hospital.

Annapurna: Alex Gavan straight to Pakistans GII

On May 12th, Alex Gavan became the first Romanian climber to summit Makalu. Check the summit video here. Once back in Kathmandu, he ran to the rescue of Iñaki Ochoas together with climbing mate Mihnea Radulescu (who is a male, not a female as we wrote yesterday), on the mighty south face of Annapurna.

Back in Kathmandu again, Alex is now heading to Pakistan, where he will attempt GII. Speaking of courage by the way; Alex Gawan was one of the few climbers who spoke out in the murder of a Tibetan nun before hundreds of Cho Oyu climbers on Nangpa La.

Links to teams on Everest and Himalaya:

Everest

Irish Everest/Graham and Ian
Klimb for kids/Tim Warren
James Balfour
No guts know glory/Rob Hill
Lee Farmer
Adventure Peaks
Peak Freaks
IMG
Alpine Ascents
Adventure Consultants
Summit Climb
Alaskan Granite
Danish Everest
Cordoba Everest
Nepalese 77 year old
Eco Everest/Dawa Sherpa
Coldfeat Fiennes/Cool
Mountain Madness
Jagged Globe
Lincoln Hall rescuers Andrew Brash, Myles Osborne and Dan Mazur
MountainTrip dispatches
Project-Himalaya Everest dispatches
Cheryl and Nikki Bart
Miura senior (Japanese)
Alan Arnette
David Tait
Rodrigo Raineri (Vitor Negrete's mate) and Eduardo Keppke (no 02)
Gnaro's Share Everest
www.marcoconfortola.it
Andalusian Lina
www.stephan-keck.at
Keck at www.alpinist.at
Francois Guy Thivierge
SpaceRef.com carrying news of Scott Parazynski
Scott Parazynski blog
Martin McGarvey's blog
Vietnam Everest
Norbert Joos' Everest diary
Kari kobler's expedition blog

OTHER HIMALYA

Makalu

UK Royal Navy
Waldemar Niclevicz and Irivan Gustavo Burda
Andrew Lock
French Makalu
Santiago Quintero
Blair Falahey
Joao Garcia
Ralf Dujmovits' updates
Spanish paper covering Lolo Gonzales
Andalusia/Basques and Lolo Gonzales dispatches
Latvia:Atis Plakans (leader), Liga Plakane, and Kaspars Klapkalns
News on Juanito on Marca.com
Alex Gavan's website

Manaslu

Dutch team expedition website
Katja Staartjes
Menno Boermans
Amical
Maxut's updates on Mount.kz (Russian)

Dhaulagiri

Dhaulagiri west face Babanov/Nick Totmjanin
news on the Argentinean team
Martin Minarik
Radek Jaros and Zdenek Hruby
Kinga and Kasia
Gerlinde
Ivan Vallejo
Polish Dhaula with Artur Hajzer and Ryszard Pawlowski
Himalaya Maestrat
Lithuanian expedition
News on Al filo team on S.Alvaro's blog
Radek Jaros and Zdenek Hruby

Annapurna

Inaki Ochoa
Horia Colibasanu
Don Bowie
Piotr Pustelnik's dispatches
Peter Hamor's website
Piotr Morawski's website
Bogomolov updates on RussianClimb
Ueli Steck
Annapurna 4 ski expedition


Lhotse

DCXP
Rosa's updates on LNE
Mario Merelli's website
Carlos Pauner


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