Text Box: Xpedition 8000

Dispatch Thirty-six: April 29th, 2010

Annapurna Expedition 2010

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Day Thirty-six: B3 Arrives to Base Camp for High Altitude Rescue

Check Back For Updates Throughout the Day:

 

April 29th, 2010, 5:00pm: Our entire expedition is present and accounted for in Base Camp. Serguey and Evgheny arrived to Base Camp at 3:30pm. Piotr and Peter arrived at 1pm. Everyone is healthy and in relatively good spirits, considering everything thatís happened. Miss Oh and her Sherpas arrived in the afternoon from Camp I. The only people up on the mountain now are Dawa and Sonam (the Spanish Sherpas) who should be heading down to Camp I or below today from Camp IV, opting not to take the rescue helicopters down from Camp IV (this option required the climber to abandon all equipment and be taken down from the mountain with only the clothing they were wearing at the time). We have left a radio with them so that they can be in contact with their base camp for their entire journey down. The weather this afternoon has changed, and it is now snowing in base camp and forecast to accumulate to 33cm this evening. We are, however, relatively certain that tomorrow morning will be just a beautiful as this morning, and the Sherpas should have excellent weather to descend the remaining distance to Base Camp then.

 

April 29th, 2010, 11:30am: Juanito, Horia, and Carlos are back in Base Camp after being rescued from Camp IV by the B3 helicopter with the help of Jorge. Kinga arrived to base camp from Camp I at 11:26am, and Piotr, Peter, and the Russians are heading down from Camp II and are now just below Camp I. The rescue party couldnít see Tolo anywhere on the slopes, and the Spanish expedition in base camp has had no radio contact with him since last night. It appears that he passed during the night last night and may now be covered with snow. We are all quite devastated by the loss of a good friend and alpinist. May he rest in peace.†

 

April 29th, 2010, 8:00am: This morning after waking up at 6am to head up to the deposit to meet Kinga, the Spanish doctor and Javier arrived to our base camp. They told us that the B3 Helicopter was on itís way to base camp. Jorge quickly got ready, putting on his 8000 meter clothes, and headed over to where the helicopter was landing. The B3 arrived with two Swiss rescue workers and after unloading the craft to ensure it was at a bare minimum weight (they even stripped the doors and seats from† the helicopter), the team took off and did a recon run to determine where it was possible to land and where Tolo and Dawa (Toloís Sherpa) were located. The team returned ten minutes later, removed even more equipment from the heli, and planned with Jorge where they would drop him off. Tolo appeared to be under the snow and as we have had no radio contact, we can only conclude the worst. The crew showed Jorge how to work the sling that would be used to pick up the injured climbers from below Camp IV (Carlos, Juanito, and Horia). For the moment, it appears that Jorge will be dropped off close to Camp IV, Carlos, Juanito, and Horia will be instructed to descend 500 meters from Camp IV, where they will be loaded onto the helicopter with a sling, and brought back to base camp for medical treatment.†

 

Photos: Left: Jorge geared up for the high altitude rescues; Right: The helicopter before being stripped down.