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Asia, Tibet, Everest Attempt

Everest Attempt. Our “Climb for Hope Expedition” was organized to get charity money to combat the Rett Syndrome. Our members, mostly from Canada, were Ernie Sniedzins, Dr. Mario Bilodeau, Dr. Dennis Brown, Jamie Clarke, Ross Cloutier, Jim Everard, Alan Hobson, Mike Kurth, John Mclssac, James Nelson, Al Norquay, Hilda Reimer, Tim Rippel, Timo Saukko, I as leader and American Dr. Michael Sullivan. We fixed ropes up the North Col in early September. Monsoon snows buried them twice and so we had to dig them out. A huge sérac fall buried them a third time. It snowed continuously for the first three weeks of September. Then, after a week of fine weather, the jet-stream winds began. We established Camp V at 26,000 feet in late September. The whole camp was blown away in early October, a fact discovered by Brown, Mclssac and Bilodeau. They encountered 60-mph winds and -30° C temperatures and were lucky to make it back alive. We performed a spectacular rescue from 25,000 feet when Rippel damaged leg ligaments and had to be lowered down the North Col. A summit attempt had been set for October 8, but jet-stream winds prevented any movement. Future expeditions may be well advised to camp above the North Col and at 24,500 and 26,500-27,000 feet and avoid a camp at 26,000 feet, where the winds funnel badly.

Peter Austen, M.D., Alpine Club of Canada