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Lull in storm The view from Camp V after the storm .
Still at Camp V
by Liesl Clark
May 15, 1999

If it isn't the weather, then it's lack of food that can thwart an Everest attempt. After waiting out a day and a half of wind-driven snow, Conrad Anker, Jake Norton, Andy Politz, Tap Richards and Thom Pollard are still at Camp V, but they are running out of food. If the weather improves, as the forecasts have predicted, the team will move up to Camp VI tomorrow.

Jochen Hemmleb has volunteered to carry a pack full of food up to the North Col. Our Sherpas, Dawa Nuru and Ang Pasang, will then carry the extra food with them to Camp VI, where they will meet the climbers tomorrow. "We have enough food to last us until then," Anker reassured us over the radio from Camp V. And there's plenty of bottled oxygen to keep the climbers relatively rested. On a two-liter flow, at 25,600 feet, the oxygen can bring the climbers down to the physiological elevation of approximately 23,600 feet.

This morning, mists of evaporating moisture rose ominously from the East Rongbuk valley below. It marked a change in the weather, the sun burning through the thin clouds below us. The snowstorm had stopped, but the winds were still marginal up high. "I do not have a lot of concern about my team's ability to handle itself up high," said Eric Simonson in an interview last week. "I'm more concerned about other expeditions on the mountain, having to get involved in a rescue, beyond our own expedition."

Ascending Ascending through the fog.

The plan is to conduct a simultaneous summit and search attempt: All of the climbers will move up to Camp VI tomorrow, weather pending. Andy Politz and Thom Pollard will be the search team. They will make a carry up to Camp VI to support the summit team, then they will move out in the direction where we believe Irvine may be, with Thom Pollard filming. Politz and Pollard will return to sleep at Camp V and then try another search attempt the following day.

The summit team, Conrad Anker, Jake Norton, and Tap Richards, with Dave Hahn filming, will begin their summit attempt tomorrow night, if the weather permits, leaving the high camp around midnight. Eric Simonson and the film crew (Ned Johnston, Liesl Clark, and Jyoti Rana) will remain at Advance Base Camp to film the radio communications with the team high on the mountain.

Check back daily to learn more about the team's progress and their gamble with the weather.

Unanswered Questions (May 25, 1999)
Forty-Eight Yaks (May 21, 1999)
On Top of the World (May 17, 1999)
Summit Team Moves Higher (May 16, 1999)
Still at Camp V (May 15, 1999)
Snow Bound (May 14, 1999)
Outsmarting the Weather (May 13, 1999)
Last Trip Up (May 12, 1999)
Up to ABC/The Rescue (May 11, 1999)
The Image of Mallory (May 8, 1999)
In Extremis (May 7, 1999)
Pieces of the Puzzle (May 6, 1999)
Dearest George (May 5, 1999)
Mallory's Discoverers Return (May 4, 1999)
Mallory Reported Found (May 3, 1999)
Waiting in Silence (May 1, 1999)
Up to the Search Site (April 30, 1999)
To the North Col (April 29, 1999)
Waiting out the Wind (April 28, 1999)
Search About to Begin (April 25, 1999)
Pitching a 1933 Tent (April 23, 1999)
Early Camp Found at 21,750 Feet on Everest (April 20, 1999)
Up to Base Camp (April 23, 1999)

Photos: Thom Pollard.
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