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Sherpa preparing burning juniper at a chorta Departing for Camp II
May 18, 1997
By Liesl Clark

Today our team left Base Camp for Camp II in what will be this year's final chance to make a summit attempt on Everest. Many other teams are also departing Base Camp today and heading up the Icefall, as it looks like there will be a break in the weather this week. A cloud of smoke hung low over Base Camp. Looking around in the pre-dawn light, it seemed as though all of the chortens (rock altars) at Base Camp were aflame with juniper branches. Kharma, one of our kitchen boys, lit a small branch at 4:00 a.m. and said a prayer.

All members of our expedition and film crew were up before the sun, cradling steaming cups of tea in the kitchen tent, to send off David, Pete, and our climbing Sherpas (Dorje, Kami, and Dorje). As they disappeared into the rocks of the glacial moraine of the Khumbu, we could see up to 40 other climbers trudging slowly toward the base of the Icefall, their hunched back-packed figures silhouetted against the white of the distant ice blocks.

Although the winds up high are still reaching 70 and 80 knots, we are hoping that weather reports indicating a break in the pattern by May 21st. are correct. Ed Viesturs, Dave Carter, Guy Cotter, Veikka Gustafsson, Tashi Tenzing, and our Sirdar, Jangbu Sherpa will be heading up to Camp II tomorrow morning. Today, David, Pete and the Sherpas will be rebuilding our Advance Base Camp (Campt II) which was destroyed two days ago due to hurricane force winds that hit the camp and flattened some 35 tents.

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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