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Questions and Responses
Set 1, posted May 1, 1999
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This is an awesome thing you are doing. How do you feel about retracing history and finding it to be accurate or not?

(name witheld by request)

Response from Liesl Clark, NOVA Producer:

Retracing history here on Everest is becoming more interesting every day. Relics seem to turn up every few days, which take us back to the early expeditions in a vivid way. The big question is whether we can fill in some of the gaps in the 1924 attempt on Everest. We hope to find some clues that might help further our understanding of what happened to Mallory and Irvine.


I understand that an objective of the expedition is to locate a camera carried by members of the British expedition in the 30's. If this camera can be located, what are the chances of the film being still "viable"?
Thank you,

Ralph Slesinski
Baltimore, MD

Response from Liesl Clark, NOVA Producer:

The experts at Kodak believe that, if we keep the camera frozen and get it to the Kodak labs in time, they may have a chance of salvaging the film. They were able to salvage some film found in a camera from a 1931 expedition in Antarctica. Please see their article on our site, explaining in detail how they plan to process the film.


Is the same route that the book Into Thin Air took?

Andrew Allen
Elkview, WV

Response from Liesl Clark, NOVA Producer:

This is not the same route that the 1996 expeditions depicted in Jon Krakauer's book "Into Thin Air" climbed. They were on the south or Kumbu (Nepal) side of Everest. We are on the northern, Tibetan side, climbing the North Col route.


In two weeks, I'll be leading the Altiplano stage of a search for Bolivia's first accurately documented meteorite. My three companions live in Durango, Colorado and should cope well with the initial 12-14,000' altitude. I'm a former volcano climbing guide (to 15,000'), have visited Bolivia before, and feel prepared for the initial period.

Following two weeks at this altitude, and as practice for next years attempt up Aconcagau, and in the company of experienced guides, we will attempt Huanya Potosi (19,990') and then the Sajama Volcano (21,400'). It's been suggested that we begin acetazolamide AND diamox as soon as we reach La Paz. I'd prefer to use neither. Except for sleep apnia, I seem to get around like a mountain goat. At what altitude, should one definitely begin administrating these drugs, if at all?

Happy trails,

Kevin Kichinka
Ft. Myers, Florida

Response from Liesl Clark, NOVA Producer:

Acetazolamide is the chemical name for Diamox. Our doctor, Lee Meyers, believes that Diamox is not necessary if you've acclimatized slowly and properly, but if when you get to La Paz and you're not able to sleep, a low dose of Diamox might help you until you are acclimatized. If you're only going to go up to 14,000 feet, you probably won't need it at all, as long as you don't have any symptoms of AMS: headache, nausea, and sleeplessness. Meyers suggests you only use Diamox for a short period of time. It is a sulfa-derivative drug, so if you're allergic to sulfa drugs you should not take Diamox.

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