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Asia, Nepal, Everest

Everest. Our expedition consisted of Americans Robert Hoffman, Kurt Cox, Bradford Bull, Edward DeLean, Philip Perrin, Robert Elias, Karen Stephens, Sherman Bull, Dean Johnson, Ross Berry and me, Mexicans Sergio Fitch Watkins and Alfonso de la Parra and Peruvian Augusto Ortega. [Fitch Watkins and Hoffman had to leave the expedition early because of serious disputes with members over money matters.—Editor.] We arrived at Base Camp on September 2 and by October 3 had Camp IV stocked on the South Col. We decided that October 9 would be our one summit attempt. On October 7, Sherpas Apa, Pasang Kami and Tashi and Bradford Bull, DeLean, Johnson, de la Parra, Ortega and I left Camp II. Our night at Camp III was a long one due to a stove mishap which burned a tent. Bull hastily evacuated the tent in his inner boots and slipped, which left him 30 feet down a crevasse. He was uninjured but his retrieval and rewarming and the adjustments to the camp made for an unproductive night of rest. We arrived on the South Col on the afternoon and early evening of October 8. We left the South Col at 12:30 A.M on the 9th without Johnson, who elected to remain at Camp IV. DeLean turned back at 27,500 feet and Bull and Tashi stopped just below the South Summit. Ortega, de la Parra, Pasang Kami Apa and I, reached the summit at eight A.M. In keeping with the Nepalese Ministry of Tourism’s new regulation, we deposited $4000 as security that we would remove all non-bumable rubbish from the mountain and Base Camp and that we would ship our empty oxygen cylinders, used batteries and other such items back to the United States. We did so and our deposit was refunded in full. The empty oxygen bottles had to be shipped via air freight because they are not accepted in overland shipments at the Indian border.

Wally Berg