A Hasty Retreat to Base Camp
May 8, 1997
By Liesl Clark
Due to forecasts of high winds on Everest's summit that are not expected to dissipate
until the 12th of May, David Breashears, Pete Athans, Jangbu Sherpa, and David Carter all
returned to Base Camp yesterday afternoon. New Zealander Guy Cotter and his other team members
Veikka Gustafsson and Tashi Tenzing also returned to Base Camp for a two to three day rest,
awaiting better weather.
Ed Viesturs remained at Camp II with Spin, Pete Athans' crash test dummy/companion for his summit
day. Ed carried a load up to Camp III "for some exercise" as David and Pete made it down to
Base Camp in what seemed like a record 2 and a half hours. "Pete and I were surprised on
the descent at the big changes in the Icefall route," explains David Breashears. "One
thousand feet of fixed ropes and ladders had been re-routed due to massive collapses
in the Icefall."
"We've renamed ourselves the 'Everest Yo-Yo Expedition,' continues David, "but it's all part
of the game. Waiting for the right weather is crucial to our safety and ability to conduct
the neuro-behavioral tests. We descended to Base Camp because it's more restful and healthful
than Advance Base Camp (Camp II) and allows us to conserve precious resources up there,
such as food and fuel."