Asia, China, Everest Hang Gliding

Publication Year: 1987.

Everest Hang Gliding. We arrived in Base Camp on September 8, but because of confusion with the Chinese and the yak drivers, we didn’t establish Advance Base at 5500 meters until September 16. On the 19th, Camp I was placed at 6000 meters. We began fixing ropes on the west ridge on the 21st, generally following the 1983 Bob Craig route except at the start, where we went on the left side of the crest. On September 24 we put Camp II at 6600 meters just below a prominent rock on the crest. On October 3 we began hauling hang gliders. It took over a week to get a glider to Camp III on the crest of the west shoulder at 7170 meters. On October 5 leader Steve McKinney made a trial flight from 6200 meters down to Camp I, using pre-takeoff oxygen and skis. The pilots were in position on October 11, but high winds prevented attempts from the shoulder. On October 16 we dismantled Camp III and pulled the glider down. Other members included climbers Kim Carpenter, Heidi Benson, Pete Athens, Catherine Freer, Craig Colonica and me and pilots Bob Carter and Larry Tudor.

Andrew Politz