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Asia, Tibet, Everest Ascent and Tragedy

Everest Ascent and Tragedy. There is no restriction on the numbers of members an expedition may have on the Tibetan side of Everest. A commercial British party organized by Out There Trekking led by Jonathan Tinker consisted of 19 climbing members, four Sherpas and a research team of four Americans. It sent to the top Polish guide Maciej Berbeka and Lhakpa Nuru Sherpa on October 9 and Tinker and Babu Tshering Sherpa on October 10, but not one of its clients got to the summit. The successful climbers used a variant, climbing farther to the right and avoiding the First Step. One client was a Briton with two artificial legs, Norman Croucher, who took several spare sets of limbs with him and got to 7600 meters. A well known British actor, Brian Blessed, who has written a book about his passion for Everest, reached 8400 meters without the help of bottled oxygen. The members were British, Polish, American, Australian, Irish, Finnish, French and Russian. American Karl Henize died at Advance Base at 6400 meters from high-altitude sickness. A one-time astronaut, aged 66, he was surely the oldest person to die on Everest. He was a member of the research party from the American space agency NASA, whose mission was to study the effects of solar radiation on human tissue for NASA’s trip one day to Mars.

Elizabeth Hawley