Asia, Nepal, New Zealanders on Everest

Climb Year: N/A. Publication Year: 1989.

New Zealanders on Everest. New Zealanders Rob Hall, Gary Ball, Bill Atkinson and Lydia Bradey were nominally part of a Slovak expedition. They reached 8100 meters on the south buttress. Lydia Bradey split off from the expedition and made an illegal foray onto the South Col route. On October 14, Miss Bradey claims that she made the first ascent of Everest by a woman without artificial oxygen. She said she did not have a watch to tell her what time it was and her camera was frozen. Grave doubts have been expressed by her teammates, who left the mountain on October 14, and by Spanish climbers, who met her near the South Summit and later on the South Col. The Spaniards say they encountered Miss Bradey below the South Summit as she was moving up very slowly on her hands and knees. She says that she was on her feet and going reasonably well. The timing given by her and by the Spaniards are rather different. The Spanish timing, if correct, would mean that she could not have gotten all the way to the summit. “I was resting below the South Summit, day-dreaming,” acknowledges Miss Bradey, “but then I realized I was losing a lot of time and moved on again.” Her case is made more complicated by the fact that she was on a route for which she and her team had not received permission. She can be banned from entering Nepal for up to ten years. The leadership can also be punished in this way. Perhaps to lessen the length of the ban she fears she may receive, Miss Bradey gave a written statement to the Nepalese government in which she said she may have confused the South Summit with the main one.

Elizabeth Hawley