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Expedition chronicle:


24 April, 2003 Alexander Abramov reports:

April 23. Hurray! Our oxygen v 48 bottles - has been delivered. Today is the last day of rest. It was warm and sunny and Slava Pashkov took a sauna before going again to ABC. By the way, Slava is the secret of our expedition. About a month before expedition a guy called and said he-d like to join our Alpindustria Adventure Team to climb Everest. He was not a climber, but a keen hunter. My first reaction was to reject. For the last three months we had about 20 similar offers. But Sergei Zon-Zam (the head of Alpindustria) vouched for him. We had a meeting with Slava, talked for about 3 hours. Why not try? We agreed, that Slava would pay for himself, for a personal guide (Larin) and for a personal Sherpa. We made a deal. I asked him why didn-t he want to start with easier summits. He said what if he didn-t like mountaineering then and would never want to climb Everest after that. Anda it is Everest that is his dream. Pashkov bought all personal gear. I managed to talk Slava into going to the Caucasus, where they climbed Elbrus in harsh February weather together with Sergei Larin. It was a good test. Slava didn-t lose his enthusiasm and went to Everest with us. He has almost become the soul of the expedition. He is very eagerly listening to the stories of experienced climbers. He never complains. He has already been to 7050m and spent a night there. Are there too many climbers who have spent a night over 7000?

If in the beginning Slava-s chances of getting to the summit were 1:20, now they may be 1:2. Let-s follow his progress.

Dima Moskalev and Sasha Sergeev haven-t returned from Zhangmu till night. So most probably they will arrive tomorrow.

And we v 8 of us v will take off to ABC tomorrow at 9 a.m. Vasya Elagin is waiting for us there.


23 April, 2003 Alexander Abramov reports:

April, 22. Early in the morning Chinese 4-wheeled car came and took Misha Litinskiy to Nepal. But this night Mikhail will spend near Chinese-Nepal border in Zhangmu.
The rest members of our expedition decided to arrange sauna. Under the leadership of our doctor Sergei Larin we built a sauna-tent. But all of a sudden it started snowing, then the sun came out, then snowing again - and it repeated about 40 times. So only three of us -Larin, Kaimachnikov and Gudzhabidze - managed to wash themselves. The rest of us preferred to wait till it gets warmer and stay dirty. You know, up to 2 cm - is not yet dirt, and more than 2cm will peel off. Tibetan people don't wash and comb themselves at all.
To crown it all, because of temperature drops the moraine where our tents are is collapsing, the stones fall each time closer to BC. And eagles drop stones time from time. So we'll have to move our sauna tent. This washing at 5100m is one big problem.
Our rest time is coming to an end. On April 24 we are planning to head to ABC, then Camp I (7000m), Camp II (7500m), and may be Camp III (7900m), and after that get down. We hope to be through with all this by May 1. This done, the success of our expedition will be almost ensured.
The only problem is that our oxygen bottles haven't arrived yet, they promise to bring them tomorrow - April 23. We'll see.

That's all for now. Good-bye.

22 April, 2003 Alexander Abramov reports:

April, 21. Looks like it-s better to climb high in the mountains then to sit in BC v there are more problems in BC. As a result of high altitude and pressure, Misha Litinsky has got an eye hemorrhage. He is partially blind now. We decided to send him to Moscow. But there is another problem: Misha lost his passport. Now he is sitting in BC, seeing next to nothing and can-t leave.

The whole day we-ve been making calls to Russian Embassy in Nepal, to insurance company, to Asian Trekking, having negotiations with liaison officer (he hasn-t reduced the price for the car v not by a cent).

The result is: tomorrow Misha goes together with Dima Moskalev to Zhangmu, there the Chinese promise to help Misha sneak to the neutral territory, and our friends from the Russian Embassy will be waiting for him on the Friendship bridge between China and Nepal. They will issue a certificate for Misha, and with that document he will get to Delhi and then to Moscow.

But this will be tomorrow, and today we had a meeting with Estonians, drank Chinese beer with Estonian dry fish.

In the morning the weather was raging: terrible storm in BC, it almost blew the tents away. But it calmed down in the evening. Everest became visible, all covered with snow.

Asian Trekking promised to fetch oxygen only by April, 23. So will have to rest till then.