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loading up the yaks Loading up the yaks.
Forty-Eight Yaks
by Liesl Clark
May 21, 1999

I'm sitting with my laptop amidst a whirlwind of tents coming down, like balloons deflating after a festive party. The wind adds to the atmosphere, blowing in from all directions, as yak herders stand holding bells for barter while watching our frenzied packing. Forty-eight yaks lie in the gray sand facing the wind in each direction. A Chinese truck arrives, ready to be filled with the gear that has kept us here for two months.

Last night, 48 yaks carried over 6,000 pounds of our gear down from Advance Base Camp. What was once a small sea of orange tents is now gray moraine, just jagged rocks and ice for the remaining expeditions to trip over on their way to the North Col.

We are all thankful that Conrad Anker and Dave Hahn returned safely from their summit attempt, with the help of Jake Norton and Tap Richards, who met them on their way down from the summit at the top of the Yellow Band at 7:45 p.m. with oxygen, tea, water and food. Andy Politz and Thom Pollard, who went out on a search attempt from Camp VI were fruitless in finding Andrew Irvine or the camera. But their search took them past George Mallory again. "We spent about an hour and a half at the site, finishing what we were unable to finish on the first visit. Primarily, we were looking for the camera with the aid of the metal detector," said Pollard today while packing his duffel.

We will hold a press conference at the Yak and Yeti hotel in Kathmandu on the morning of May 25 to describe the findings of the expedition for the media. At that time, some artifacts will be displayed both at the press conference and on this Web site. Check back early next week to see what was found with Mallory.

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)

Photo: Liesl Clark
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