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Poised at Camp II
May 19, 1997
By Liesl Clark and Kate Churchill

Today all NOVA climbing subjects are at Camp II (21,300') awaiting optimal weather conditions for a summit attempt. Ed Viesturs, Dave Carter, Guy Cotter, Jangbu Sherpa, Veikka Gustafsson, and Tashi Tenzing have all moved up from Base Camp (17,600'), joining David Breashears and Pete Athans at Camp II. There was a break in the route through the Icefall, due to a collapse, and Jangbu reported at 7:00 AM by radio "many people are turning around and coming down." An hour later Ed Viesturs and his team, including Jangbu, reported that they were able to safely navigate the troubled area in the route.

The winds aloft have been sporadic throughout the day, with some hopeful moments of calm interrupting the roar that everyone has been hearing for the last week. Forecasts continue to predict 40-50 knot winds over the next five days. After receiving the forecast at Camp II David Breashears commented, "Well it looks like if we're going to climb this mountain, we're going to have to climb it in the wind." Our team members have decided to rest one more day at Camp II and then move up to Camp III (24,500') with the first possible summit day being May 23.

In the meantime, an Italian physiological research team has decided not to conduct their planned medical tests at the South Col (Camp IV 26,000') due to high winds. Their Sherpa team is in the process of moving all of their equipment down to Camp III where we understand they will be conducting high altitude medical tests on their climbers. John Tinker's International Everest Expedition (OTT) has made a move up to Camp IV, and are reportedly all safe and sound. They will begin their summit attempt around midnight tonight and as of the last report, the summit team will be made up of six members and four Sherpas. All eyes are on Tinker's team; they will be the first to make a summit attempt since the onset of high winds on Everest.

With the exception of Todd Burleson's team, there are members from every other expedition on the mountain lining up for their summit day. In the meantime, all of our team members are feeling strong at Camp II, despite having spent nearly two weeks in the thicker air of Base Camp at 17,600 feet.

June 10, 1997: Back Home (27)
May 25, 1997: Climbers Return to Base Camp (26)
May 24, 1997: Descending Toward Base Camp (25)
May 23 PM, 1997: NOVA Climbers Safely Off the Summit (24)
May 23 AM, 1997: NOVA Climbers Reach the Summit! (23)
    Hear the archived live audio broadcast from the summit
    Read the transcript of the broadcast from the summit
May 22, 1997: Bid for the Summit (22)
May 21, 1997: Helicopter Crashes at Everest Base Camp (21)
May 20, 1997: Moving On Up (20)
May 19, 1997: Poised at Camp II (19)
May 18, 1997: Departing for Camp II (18)
May 17, 1997: Dead Sherpa Found on Khumbu Glacier (17)
May 16, 1997: Jet Stream Winds Blast Camp II (16)
May 13, 1997: Receiving News from the North Side (15)
    May 13, 1997: RealAudio Interview with David Breashears
May 11, 1997: Five Climbers Presumed Dead on the North Side (14)
May 10, 1997: The Waiting Game (13)
May 9, 1997: Pulmonary Edema Evacuation from Base Camp (12)
May 8, 1997: A Hasty Retreat to Base Camp (11)
May 7, 1997: Sherpa Falls To His Death On The Lhotse Face (10)
May 6, 1997: Spin: A Passenger to the Summit (9)
May 5, 1997: Delayed at Advance Base Camp (8)
May 4, 1997: NOVA Climbers Leave Base Camp for Their Summit Attempt (7)
May 1, 1997: NOVA Team Prepares for Summit Attempt (6)
April 26, 1997: Indonesian Expedition First to Summit in 1997 (5)
April 23, 1997: Expedition Leader Dies at Everest Base Camp (4)
April 22, 1997: Japanese Expedition Pulls Out (3)
April 16, 1997: Traffic Reports on Everest (2)
April 14, 1997: Rescue Season Begins (1)



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