November 11, 1999

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March 31, 1999
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April 27, 1999
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Latest Dispatch

April 27, 1999

Anxious to Climb: South Side Base Camp

(Note: does not research or edit dispatches.)

Hey everybody, this is Pete Athans reporting from Base Camp. It’s Tuesday, the 27th of April. Just wanted to check in with you all and let you know it’s almost a full moon out here tonight. It’s a beautiful night, all the clouds that were around earlier have all dissipated and completely revealed the beautifulness of Base Camp. It really is quite an amazing evening.

However, up high it’s more than windy. The Sherpa teams were able to finish bringing oxygen, our camping gear, and a variety of other equipment for our projects up to the South Col today. They will be leaving at about 5:30 a.m. to come down tomorrow. We will be together tomorrow evening and then our team will go up to Camp II.

Dawa Our plan from there is to actually take a rest day at Camp II and then work up to Camp III. By that time, our Sherpa team will have rested and they will come up to Camp II. Then we’ll meet going to the South Col the following day. That all depends on the winds kind of dropping down a little bit, so we’ll just keep you posted on how all that looks.

In the event that it stays windy, we will be going over to our Camp I on Nuptse, putting in a cache of rope, food, fuel, tents, and basically just getting our three-pronged effort completely underway. We’ve been resting down here now for about four-and-a-half days, so we’re pretty anxious to get going.

Kelly and Oxygen Yesterday we went through the oxygen masks and regulators, calibrating them and checking them for size before packaging and shipping up the mountain. The masks are former MIG (Russian fighter plane) accessories, now recycled into high altitude mountaineering equipment. They can be temperamental and ice up, as I have experienced, so constant vigilance is in order unless you want to turn an oxygen assisted climb into oxygen-free ascent (which happened to me last year).

In any case, I hope you’re all following and hope you’re having a good time doing so. It’s been great visiting with you all—look forward to talking with you soon. This is Pete Athans, and I’ll be signing off from here. Have a great evening. Bye now.

—Pete Athans, Expedition Leader

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