November 11, 1999

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March 31, 1999
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Latest Dispatch

May 2, 1999

Camp III and Summit Bound

(Note: does not research or edit dispatches.)

Hi, this is Pete Athans. It’s the 2nd of May in the afternoon. I’m giving you a quick buzz here from 23,700 feet (7,230 meters) up on the Lhotse Face. It’s been an interesting day just on a meteorological level. The clouds have been kind of passing in and out of here. We’ve been getting a little bit of precipitation—no more than two inches or so, and we’ve been steadily watching the wind very high up, above 26,000 feet (7,930 meters).

Weather probe The good news with the increased precipitation is that the route is actually filling in a little bit. It’s getting a little snow underfoot which actually makes our job of climbing quite a bit easier. But looking out to the north, through the diaphanous clouds, we see the Southwest Face which is certainly looming large above us, but not nearly as much as it was down in Camp II.

Dave in Camp The winds as I mentioned earlier have been dropping off, and it’s our intention from this point to go up to the South Col tomorrow, and then begin our climb by roughly midnight. We hope to be on the summit on the 4th, so please stay tuned and climb with us.

I’m hoping that we’re going to be able to go to the [South] Col early tomorrow and redrill a couple of our GPS stations, one of which I drilled in 1994. We’re going to be doing a retrofit of that, and also putting up the weather probe for MIT and The Weather Channel. So it should be a pretty exciting day, and we’re hoping to actually get some data downloaded telemetrically to Dave Mencin in Base Camp.

Camp 3 But at the moment, we’re kind of basking inside of our tents. We have these small North Face mountain tents here that are just perfect for Camp III, and we’re taking it easy this afternoon. Bill is kind of taking over the [cooking] job here and is melting some snow. As I look to the summit from the door to the other tent, I can see clouds kind of happily—I think happily. So stick with us.

—Pete Athans, Expedition Leader

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