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Asia, Nepal, Everest in the Pre-Monsoon

Everest in the Pre-Monsoon. Thirty-seven men (no women) climbed Everest this spring from Nepal in a rather straightforward fashion. No one suffered serious frostbite, altitude-measuring devices were installed at the summit, several hundred empty oxygen cylinders were retrieved to clear the South Col of some of its debris and all four expeditions sent members and Sherpas to the top of the world. Seven Japanese under the leadership of Mitsuyoshi Hongo climbed the mountain by the south buttress. On May 8, Kiyohiko Suzuki, Wataru Atsuta and Sherpas Nima Dorje, Dawa Tshering, Na Temba and Lhakpa Nuru, and on May 13, Tomiyasu Ishikawa and Sherpas Nima Temba, Dawa Tashi and Pasang Tshering reached the summit. At 57 years, Ishikawa is the second oldest Everest summiter. The other three expeditions all climbed the South Col route. New Zealander Rob Hall and American Ed Viesturs led a group that included another 3 Americans, 2 Germans and 1 Norwegian. On May 9, New Zealander Hall, Americans Viesturs, Hall Wendel, David Keaton, David Taylor, Germans Hellmut Seitzl, Ekkert Gundelach, Norwegian Erling Kagge, and Sherpas Ang Dorje, Nima Norbu and Norbu climbed to the summit. This was the fourth time that Hall has climbed to the top and the third for Viesturs. Kagge asserts that he is the first person to have gone from the base of all three of the world’s poles to the poles themselves: the North Pole, the South Pole and the “Third Pole,” the highest point on earth. A South Korean, Heo Young-Ho, claimed in January, 1983 to have been the first, but Kagge’s rebuttal is that Heo began his ski trip to the South Pole three weeks closer to the pole than a setting-off point on the coast, where Kagge began his travels and which, he says, is the proper place to start. Steven Goryl led 5 Americans, who put Rob Hess, Scott Fischer, Brent Bishop and Sherpas Lobsang Sangbu and Sonam Dindu on the top on May 9 and Goryl on May 13. Todd Burleson led a group of 6 Americans, 1 Canadian, 3 Britons, 1 Pole and 1 South African. On May 13, Americans Burleson, Robert Cedergreen, Paul Morrow, Peter Athans, Pole Ryszard Pawlowski, Tamang Man Bahadur and Sherpas Lhakpa Rita, Chuwang Nima, Kami Rita and Dorje climbed to the summit.

Elizabeth Hawley