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The photographers of the First Ascent Everest Expedition send some final photos of Ed Viesturs before he and Peter Whittaker and Melissa Arnot and the rest of the team leave Advance Base Camp for their summit push.


Ed Prepares for the Climb to Camp III and Summit Bid on Sunday US Time

By Ed Viesturs - May 15th, 2009 8:53 am GMT -0700

Via Satellite Phone - LISTEN IN!

Hi everyone, Ed Viesturs calling, it’s about 6 pm here at Camp II. We had a really nice evening last night very calm, all day was beautiful, this was a rest day here. Weather reports continue to be favorable for the several days down the road so we are right on track. We are going to be headed up to Camp III tomorrow, we will leave here about 7 in the morning and hope to get up there within four or five hours and spend the rest of the day at Camp III. So we are excited.

Everything looks good, day to day for now, the weather reports are getting more and more favorable, the winds are dying up high, we don’t hear the typical roar of the jet stream over the summit, that’s been pushed off to the north. We get a little afternoon cloud, which is pretty typical in the mountains, but there is no major system forecasted, so things are looking good. It’s a day by day kind of process for now but we are going ahead and from there on it will be step by step all the way to the summit hopefully on the 18th. I’ll call hopefully tomorrow afternoon from Camp III things look good, thanks for checking in, this is ed Viesturs calling from camp II on Everest for GreatOutdoors.com.

(Editor’s Note: Nepal is twelve hours ahead of Pacific Time, so the summit bid, if it happens as Ed predicts on the 18th,  will take place on Sunday the 17th for those following in North America.)


Push for the Summit Begins

By Ed Viesturs - May 14th, 2009 7:43 am GMT -0700

Via Satellite Phone - LISTEN IN!

Hey everyone, Ed Viesturs calling. May 14th. It’s about 1:00pm in the afternoon and the six of us climbed today from base camp to Camp II, and so here we are.

We left base camp at around 4:00 this morning and we made it up here in various hours between five and seven hours of climbing. So everyone was here by 11:00. It was very calm, beautiful day in the Cwm. And it was starting to get quite warm, actually, for those that were rolling in around lunchtime.

We’re pretty excited to be here. Also glad to have hopefully our last uphill trip through the Icefall behind us. That was our fourth trip up through the Icefall. And if all goes well we only have then one more trip to go down through the Icefall. It’s always kind of a worry factor. We climbed through there very quickly and we’re glad that it’s over with.

So we’re just hanging out now. We’re going to hang out here all day today. And we will for sure take a rest day here tomorrow. That’s very typical of climbing on this side of the mountain. We budgeted for that. We’ve included that rest day in our planning for when we hope to hit the top, as far as the weather forecast goes. But again it is very nice to be here at Camp II. And hopefully for you guys, starting to get a little bit more interesting.

So I’ll sign out for now and give you a little ring tomorrow and let you know what’s going on. It should be pretty mellow up here. The weather is very nice, very calm, very pleasant. Thanks for checking in. Ed Viesturs signing out for Greatoutdoors.com


Heading Up Tomorrow

By Ed Viesturs - May 13th, 2009 7:40 am GMT -0700

Via Satellite Phone - LISTEN IN!

Hey everybody, it’s Ed Viesturs calling. This is the evening of May 13th. And we did yet spend another day here at base camp but tomorrow we’re heading up.

The weather has taken a change for the better, we had a really nice day today, clear skies. It’s calm and clear right now at night. I can see stars and there’s no winds up high and this morning based on the weather reports and other factors we made the decision to make the move tomorrow, the 14th, up to Camp II. Based on our schedules we hope to be making our summit push the morning of May 18th. We would leave Camp IV, our high camp, probably around anywhere between 9:00 and 11:00pm and climb through the night to reach the summit . . .(satellite transmission fails)

So the 18th hopefully will be our summit day. The weather reports look good, the winds are dying. We’re obviously very excited to get up and get this thing done. Tomorrow we go to Camp II. We have a planned rest day there the next day. And then from there we go to Camp III, to Camp IV. And then very early, or very late in the day on the 17th probably at 9:00 or 10:00 or 11:00 o’clock that night we will begin our summit attempt and hopefully reach the summit of Everest sometime during the morning of the 18th.

So thanks for hanging in there. The weathers been kind of working us over for the last few days but now is our time to go. And hopefully we can pull this off in good form. Thanks for checking in and I’ll call tomorrow from Camp II. Ed Viesturs signing out for Greatoutdoors.com.


Held Hostage by Weather

By Ed Viesturs - May 12th, 2009 7:50 am GMT -0700

Via Satellite Phone - LISTEN IN!

Hey everybody, it’s May 12th, the evening of. Ed Viesturs calling from base camp, again. I know this is quite exciting, isn’t it? Day after day, after day, calling from base camp.

Well, it snowed all day yesterday and then it stopped about today around 10:00 in the morning. It's been a pretty decent day today. Right now I see stars up ahead so things may be on the improve. A lot of high winds still up high. We can hear them earlier in the day, but the trend, according to weather forecasts, indicate that these winds should start to diminish and that’s what everybody here at base camp now is hoping for.

A small group attempted a summit climb on the 11th, or the 10th. That didn’t happen because of high winds. So nobody is really able to do anything at this point. We’re all kind of held hostage right now by the weather. So I’m very hopeful. Every day goes by and every day I’m anxious to get going and get up this thing. Hopefully tomorrow will be a nice day and with good indications we may hopefully, as a team, be heading back up on the 14th. And I will know more tomorrow morning, the 13th, after we get our weather report.

So thanks for hanging in there. Things hopefully will get a little bit more interesting. Hopefully in the next few days. This is driving all of us crazy, as well, me especially. I can’t wait to get back up on this thing in some good weather. So thanks for checking in. Ed Viesturs signing out for Greatoutdoors.com


Video Via Satellite - WATCH!

Ed Viesturs, the GreatOutdoors.com Everest correspondent who is attempting to reach the top of Everest for the seventh time--without using supplemental oxygen--talks about the frustrations of waiting for good weather, and the possibility that will put them in a huge traffic jam to the top.


Ed Climbs Kala Pattar as He Waits for Better Weather

By Ed Viesturs - May 10th, 2009 9:06 am GMT -0700

Via Satellite Phone - LISTEN IN!

Ed Viesturs here, just trying to finish that call, we’re having a bit of weather, a low pressure incident here, it’s been snowing since about noon, very lightly though, and it’s about 8:30 right now, that’s making it a little harder to get the satellites. But as I mentioned we’re still hoping and planning to go up on the twelfth.

Looks like the weather is going to start to break and the winds are going to start dying and we want to be on the front end of that. We should know more tomorrow. Sorry for all these relatively boring dispatches from base camp. I did manage to go down valley today and climb Kala Pattar.

It was about a three hour round trip and for me it was just kind of a get up and get going, and move the legs, and do a workout, I’ve been trying to do that almost every day while we’ve been here rather than just hanging out So looking forward to calling tomorrow hopefully with some better weather reports and some hopeful outcome that we’re going to be heading back up and get this thing over with. So thanks for checking in, this is Ed Viesturs signing off for GreatOutdoors.com.


Video Via Satellite - WATCH!

Ed Viesturs, Melissa Arnot and Peter Whittaker describe the frustrations of waiting at Base Camp for the jet stream to move off the top of Everest so they can plan a summit bid schedule. It's all up to the weather man now for Viesturs and the other members of the First Ascent Everest Expedition.


High Winds Mean More Delay

By Ed Viesturs - May 9th, 2009 8:50 am GMT -0700

Via Satellite Phone - LISTEN IN!

Hi everyone, Ed Viesturs calling on May 9, still at Everest Base Camp, actually I am near Pumori, a peak near Camp I, I had to go out for a hike today to do something. But we’ve delayed yet again, looks like now we’ll probably go up on the 12 and as things change for the better we may go up on the 11.

Today is one of the windiest days we’ve seen up high, large plumes of snow blowing off of Everest and Nuptse and very obviously not a good day to be up on the mountain. Winds are predicted to be high for the next couple of days and then tapering somewhat, with low confidence as far as the weather reporting goes. So we kind of have to play it by ear but I think we are going to be headed up on the 12 and go to Camp II and hang out there and hope we can squeak it in when the winds die.

So it’s part of the game we play here on Everest, it is very unique that this is the how you do it, and these expeditions tend to drag on and get long at this time of the expedition, but it’s still early May so we do have some time but we on our team are all anxious to get going and get to the top of this beautiful mountain. So thanks for checking in I’ll call again tomorrow. Ed Viesturs signing off for GreatOutdoors.com.


Video Via Satellite - WATCH!

A threatening line of unstable seracs finally collapsed into the Icefall on May 7, taking the life of a Sherpa climber, and putting many others at risk. Dave Hahn, one of Ed Viesturs team mates on the First Ascent Everest Expedition, explains what happened.


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