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Delay Another Day

By Ed Viesturs - May 8th, 2009 9:11 am GMT -0700

Via Satellite Phone - LISTEN IN!

Hi Everyone. It’s Ed Viesturs again from Everest base camp. It’s April, sorry May 8th. And we will not be going up tomorrow, on the 9th. We are yet again delaying another day until the 10th. I know this sounds like a broken record but that’s kinda how it is at this point of the game. We are ready to go. We have everything in place. It’s now just a matter of finding that perfect window of opportunity that will allow us to make a good pace and hopefully successful summit bid. So, not going up on the 9th. It looks to be a strong chance that we'll be going on the 10th . . .(satellite transmission fails)


Agonizing Patience

By Ed Viesturs - May 7th, 2009 8:53 am GMT -0700

Via Satellite Phone - LISTEN IN!

Hi Everyone. Ed Viesturs reporting. The evening of April (May) 7th here at Everest base camp. Well, this is part of the game we play, this kind of agonizing patience that we need. We have decided to wait here one more day. We will not be heading up to Camp II tomorrow. We were going to wait another day. Our decision was based on weather reports and also the health of our team.

We’re looking at the weather reports which show us what the wind speeds are up high and we had been aiming for May 12th. The weather reports were not great, they weren’t good either. So we’ve decided to wait another day to see if the weather report might change overnight. And that certainly can happen. And this is part of what we do when we climb these big mountains.

We’re prepared to go. We’re acclimatized. All of our equipment is in place. But now it’s based on what the mountain is telling us. We have to wait for the weather to be optimal, for the health of the team to be optimal, and this will then allow us to make the best effort on our single push to the top.

So we will not be going to the summit as had planned on May 12th. Nor will we be leaving base camp on May 8th, tomorrow. We’re going to hang out another day and if things change tomorrow we can certainly leave base camp on the 9th and play it by ear from there.

So, sorry for the delay but that’s kind of what the game that we play when we’re here in the big mountains. And, believe it or not for us, it’s very agonizing, very frustrating. But with all this time and energy invested into the expeditions we want to make sure we have the best possible chance of getting to the top and so (satellite transmission fails)...


Final Days of Rest Before Summit Push

By Ed Viesturs - May 6th, 2009 8:33 am GMT -0700

Via Satellite Phone - LISTEN IN!

Hi Everyone. Ed Viesturs calling from Everest base camp. The evening of May 6th.

Our fourth of five so called rest days here at base camp. What people might think is we’re just laying around for five days vegetating. But in actuality it’s time for us to kind of recuperate from being at high altitude here at the rather rich altitude of 17,500 feet. We have good food here. We can carbo load. We can mentally prepare. We can repair any equipment and prepare ourselves for pushing back up for our summit push.

We have one more rest day, that’s tomorrow and on the morning of the 8th very early, probably at 3:00 or 4:00 am we will make our push back to Camp II. It’s kind of a normal play by play that this happens this time of the expedition where after establishing all the camps and acclimatizing we come back down, we wait, we rest, and we hope that we time it just right so that the weather window that we’re looking (satellite transmission fails)... That’s what we’re planning on. We’re still looking forward to hopefully going for the summit on May 12th and that’s kind of all I have now.

What I’ve been doing each day is at least going for a short hike every day. At least to keep moving a little bit. I don’t want to just sit around. I like to stay relatively active but not in an extreme way. Just a little walk here and there down valley or up some of the nearby ridges. So one more day tomorrow to finally prepare our equipment and gear we’ll be taking up with us on this final push. The Sherpa are very, very excited to go for the top as well, believe it or not. And so that kind of gets the excitement going within the whole team. So thanks for checking in. This is Ed Viesturs signing out from Everest base camp and GreatOutdoors.com.


Video Via Satellite - WATCH!

GreatOutdoors.com Everest correspondent Ed Viesturs, and Peter Whittaker, discuss what's involved in deciding on when to go back up high for the final summit push as they attempt the South Col route on the Nepal side of Mount Everest.


Summit Schedule Decided

By Ed Viesturs - May 4th, 2009 7:33 am GMT -0700

Via Satellite Phone - LISTEN IN!

Try again. Hi everyone, Ed Viesturs calling, Everest base camp, the evening of May 4th. This was our second full rest day here. We had a team meeting today and based on favorable weather reports and based on the health of the team we do plan to go back up the mountain, leaving here on May 8th, and shooting for the summit on May 12th.

Typically we would leave the South Col at about 10:00 or 11:00 pm. That would be the night of the 11th. And hoping to reach the summit within 8 to 12 hours after that sometime in the morning of May 12th. So Seattle time, that would be in the evening of May 11th.

So that’s the plan for now. Obviously the plan can change and that will be based primarily on weather reports which we are watching very, very closely but for now that’s the plan we’re going to stick with. So on the 8th we would leave base camp and climb to Camp II. On the 9th we would take a rest day at Camp II. On the 10th climb to Camp III. On the 11th climb to Camp IV. And on the 12th we would be making our summit attempt.

So thanks for checking in. I’ll keep you informed if anything happens or changes. But this is Ed Viesturs signing out from base camp trying to rest and relax and also get psyched up for our summit bid on May 12th.


Back at Base Camp Before Final Summit Push

By Ed Viesturs - May 2nd, 2009 9:22 am GMT -0700

Via Satellite Phone - LISTEN IN!

Hi Everyone, Ed Viesturs reporting for GreatOutdoors.com. It’s about 6 p.m., May 2, and my team, we’re all here safe and sound back at base camp after our final acclimatization round. Personally I got up at about 4:30 this morning at Camp III, Melissa Arnot was there as well. We packed up and departed at about 5:15 this morning with the plan of descending all the way to base camp. Melissa had a bit of a rough night last night with some stomach flu so coming down the Lhotse face was not quite as quick as we’d hoped, but it was fine. Once we reached Camp II her husband Gerry Moffatt was there and they decided that Melissa and Gerry and a couple of Sherpa would descend on their own to base camp. I was allowed then to go on my own and I made it back down to base camp by about nine o’clock this morning. So just under four hours from Camp III here to base camp.

The rest of the team descended as well, we’re all here at base camp, the plan is here to spend probably at least three if not four days resting, regaining some strength, we’re all acclimatized now and this is a very normal scenario, once your acclimatized to hang out at base camp for three four quite possibly five days to gain some strength, to luxuriate in the thick atmosphere here at 18,000 feet, and also to get psyched and get primed for the summit push.


Ed Reaches the Top of the Yellow Band at 25,000 Feet

By Ed Viesturs - May 1st, 2009 7:51 am GMT -0700

Via Satellite Phone - LISTEN IN!

Hi everyone, Ed Viesturs reporting, May 1, about 4:30 in the afternoon. We spend the night here at Camp III last night, some of us had good nights some of us not so good, that’s kind of typical for getting to a new altitude, you simply don’t sleep that great. But we were up quite early, 6 o’clock this morning or so.

A few of us had plans for going higher. Personally I had plans to go higher, it was a beautiful day. Peter Whittaker followed me for a little bit and then he descended back down to camp II. Gerry and John got up early as well and descended immediately to Camp II. I climbed in very nice weather all the way up to the top of the yellow band which is at 25000 feet. That’s something I wanted to accomplish as far as my acclimatization and it was a perfect day to do that.

I was back at camp by late morning and basically I’m just spending the rest of the day here acclimatizing, wanting to spend a second night here at about 23,800 feet. Melissa Arnot is here as well. She wanted to spend a second night also, she didn’t climb today, she just hung out here in camp. So we’re both here at camp III. We’ll spend the night and get up quite early tomorrow, and hope to be on the move by five o’clock because our plan is to go all the way back down to base camp and there we will rest for three or four days and come back up and hopefully on the next round we’ll make our summit push.

So everything is going great, I feel good, quite typical acclimatization, when you come up here you don’t have a good appetites, you don’t sleep as well but the next time you come back up here things should feel a lot better. So I’m happy with what happened today, going all the way up to 25,000 feet, and then going down tomorrow and resting and then coming back up in several days.. So thanks for checking in. Ed Viesturs signing out for GreatOutdoors.com


Ed Viesturs Via Satellite Phone From Camp III

By Ed Viesturs - April 30th, 2009 8:38 am GMT -0700

Via Satellite Phone - LISTEN IN!

Ed Viesturs calling April 30, about 11 a.m., just got here to Camp III about a half hour ago . . . not really Camp III, it’s just a little ledge right now. So I’ll grab a shovel and start chopping and start digging. The rest of the team is somewhere behind me . . . .. . . Camp II to Camp III . . . (satellite transmissions fails) . . . .

Here safe and sound, beautiful, beautiful day, looking up at the summit of Everest, little bit of a wind cloud, not much wind here though. So the plan is to establish camp today, gotta make a big level platform here, we’re going to put up three or maybe four tents if there’s room, auger in for the rest of the day, spend the night. I think a couple of us at least are going to stay for two nights, a few of us at least will climb higher tomorrow, maybe somewhere through the Yellow Band or toward the Geneva Spur at 25 or 26,000 feet.

So here we are at Camp III April 30, things are looking good, I’ll check in again tomorrow probably in the evening after I see what shakes out. Thanks for checking in on GreatOutdoors.com. Ed Viesturs signing out.


Back at Advance Base Camp Before the Move to Camp III

By Ed Viesturs - April 29th, 2009 8:02 am GMT -0700

Via Satellite Phone - LISTEN IN!

Hi everyone, Ed Viesturs reporting again for GreatOutdoors.com, here at Camp II, it’s about 5:30 in the evening the sun is just starting to set, it’s calm, very beautiful, we’re just hanging out outside packing our loads. I didn’t call yesterday, it was a rest day, not much to report.

Today was quite productive, we climbed again up the Lhotse face to Camp III, did some filming along the way, good for acclimatization, good for getting images and footage, and we’re all here back at Camp II. Now we’re packing up our stuff to move to Camp III tomorrow where we are going to spend the night. There will be five of us going, myself, Peter Whittaker, Melissa Arnot, Gerry Moffat and John Griber. We will all be just climbing and moving to Camp III tomorrow. That’s the total end result of tomorrow, We don’t want to do any filming or any other work other than getting ourselves to Camp III.

Most folks will spend one night at Camp III at 23,750 feet, and then come back down here to Camp II for another night. I plan to spend two nights up there to acclimatize and again in between those two nights I want to climb higher, hopefully in the vicinity of 25,000 feet. Weather has been great, everything has been going very well in my opinion. This is exciting, once we get down off this rotation we’ll go to Base Camp, we’ll rest for a few days and be back up here hopefully in no time at all and be pushing for the summit. Thanks for checking in. I’ll call again tomorrow night from Camp III hopefully, assuming everything goes well which I do assume, and I’ll call again tomorrow.


Photos from the Lhotse Face Below Camp III

By Peter Potterfield - April 28th, 2009 10:46 am GMT -0700

Images from the First Ascent Everest Expedition show Ed descending the steep ice of the Lhotse Face, using the fixed rope, and the action at Camp II, Advance Base Camp.


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