Martin Letzter on Denali, image courtesy of the expedition website.
Martin and Olof have skied down Everest North side - still no word from Tomas and Tormod

Posted: May 17, 2006 02:21 am EDT
Tomas Olsson wasn't the only Swede to attempt to ski the north side of Mt. Everest this year. Olof Sundström and Martin Letzter were out on the same quest, as part of an ongoing project to ski the Seven summits. According to Swedish Aftonbladet, the two summited Everest Tuesday and skied down the North side. No details yet if the ski was a complete ride - in the climbers own post-summit voice dispatch they report skiing from camp 2.

Meanwhile, concern is mounting for Tomas Olsson and Norwegian Tormod Granheim. The skiers called home from the summit of Everest, about to put on their skis and attempt a ski descent down the Norton Couloir. The two reported an incredibly tough, 14 hour climbing night in a raging snowstorm. "Hopefully, we will be strong enough to do a ski descent down the North Face of Mount Everest. I will report again later, said Tomas.

The Norwegian news source TV2 Nettavisen writes that they have tried to get in contact with the two climbers all day since 10 pm Norwegian time, but without luck. Last the news source talked to the climbers, they were in the Great Couloir, a few hours below the summit. They said they felt incredibly tired, and were negotiating the hardest skiing conditions they had ever faced.

The Northern Ireland/UK expedition however reported yesterday that radio communications with Everest north side summit climbers was impossible for the last few days because of their position and that of a certain mountain which was in the way.

Olof Sundström and Martin Letzter have already skied Elbrus, Denali, Aconcagua, Kosciuszko, Kilimanjaro, and tonight - Everest - the north side for the first time ever (providing the ski was complete). The first to do a complete ski down Everest was Davo Karnicar in the year 2000 (south side).

As part of an ongoing project to ski the Seven summits, the Swedish duo Martin Letzter and Olof Sundstrom reached Tibet after driving 12 000 kilometers from Stockholm to Kathmandu, through Russia, Poland, Romania, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan and India, in a 13 year old Land Rover Defender. Next, the two will head to Antarctica this winter, to complete the series by skiing Mt. Vinson during the Antarctic summer 2006/2007.