Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Update from Co-Expedition Leader

Just got this e-mail from last year's Expedition Leader and this year's Co-Expedition Leader on the Tibet side, Art Valdez.


01:38 PM

Hi All,

I am still holed up in Kathmandu waiting for the ABS-CBN Team to arrive so we can cover the last stage of acclimatization and the final push to the summit. Vince Rodriguez of Studio 23 will climb with me on the Tibet side to the Advance Base Camp (ABC - 6,500 meters, 21,300 ft). From Kathmandu, it will take them at least 7days. Assuming they will leave April 30, the earliest he and Sha of Sandugo can leave, they will reach ABC on May 5.

Abner Mercado of ABS-CBN's "The Correspondents" will trek to Everest Base Camp on the Nepal side (EBC - 5,530 meters, 17,600 ft) to cover the descent of the three Pinays. The Nepal EBC Support Group will have John Fortes to coordinate all activities. Leo Oracion, Fred Jamili and a Pemba Sherpa will help set up upper base camp support on C-2 and C-4 to provide shelter and food for the descending Pinays.

I am really praying that the broadcast team of Vince and Abner will make it on Friday, April 27. There is no more time because the three Pinays will be leaving/arriving camps a day or two upon arrival at the respective Everest base camps.

Before proceeding to Tibet ABC, I will undertake a wide detour - fly to Lhasa, capital of Tibet to negotiate with China Tibet Mountaineering Association (CTMA) on the new Traverse charges of $3000/person they slapped on our Expedition. This is on top of the $1700/person climbing permit they imposed recently. I will negotiate with them why they imposed new traverse charges when we are already in the middle of our expedition. If this was presented earlier then we would have prepared and considered our options knowing that costs and charges just keep on going up.

I am flying April 28 and will stay in Lhasa for two days. Then I will travel by car and meet with Vince and Sha in Tingri on May 1. From Tingri we will proceed to Chinese Base Camp (CBC - 5,180 meters, 17,000 ft) to stay for 2 days. From CBC we will climb ABC and hope to make it there on May 5. At this time, the three Pinays will be coming down to ABC after they have slept at Camp 2 (7,775 meters, 25,500 ft). They will be resting for two days, May 6 and 7, and on May 8 will make the final push for the summit. Weather permitting and fixed rope in place at both rock faces of the mountain, they will be at the summit on May 11.

Pastour and Dr Ted called up at 5 p.m. (Nepal time) to report that the girls are sleeping at North Col or Camp 1 (7,010 meters, 23,000 ft.) and will descend today back to ABC. Everyone is afflicted with symptoms of AMS so they decided to go down to CBC tomorrow April 26 to rest and recuperate. The original plan of going down on April 23 at CBC was cancelled because the Pinays showed remarkable physical improvement. Instead, they pushed up higher and had gone up to the North Col. But they are not fully acclimatized yet, hence the decision to descend as low as CBC where they intend to rest for 3 to 4 days.

Then, the three Pinays will climb up to ABC on May 1, to Camp 1 on May 3 and Camp 2 on May 4. They will then descend back to ABC on May 5. Which is why I am looking forward to reach CBC by then together with Vince and Sha. The women will have a two rest on May 6 to 7. On May 8 they will make the final summit push. Weather permitting and wilth God giving them strength and protection, they will wave our flag at the summit on May 11.

They will be at Nepal Everest Base Camp on May 13 and to the warm embrace of the Nepal EBC Support Group.

The schedule here serves as a guide. There are no fast rules in an Everest climb but I hope this will serve as a guide for everyone.

We are nearing the most crucial stage of the climb and we seek prayers from everyone for a successful and safe summit and traverse of the three Pinays.

Art Valdez
Co-Expedition Leader, Tibet

No comments: