AMA DABLAM SUCCESS, OCTOBER 2002:
We believe this expedition placed the oldest man on the summit of Ama Dablam, Paul Mitterbacher, age 65, from Austria.
During the month of October, 2002, we launched our International Ama Dablam 2002 Expedition, organized by SummitClimb.Com under the leadership of Daniel Mazur, Rex Dougherty, and Jay Reilly, all assisted by the People and Government of Nepal, Parivar Trekking of Nepal, Patagonia.com and Ozark Gear, missing our friends at Blue Sheep Adventures. We are proud to report that fifteen members have reached the summit of 6856 meter Ama Dablam. Also, five of our expert sherpas did reach the summit, as well. We set up five camps along the South West Ridge. Base Camp on October 4th at 4575 meters, Advanced Base Camp on October 6th at 5400 meters, Camp 1 on October 14th at 5750 meters, Camp 2 on October 17th at 6000 meters and Camp 3 on October 20th at 6300 meters.
The following members summited.
21st October: Tom Lannamann, Stuart MacCrimmon, Andy Prentice, Ian Prentice and Jon Briggs, with Tek Bahadur.
22nd October: Markus Staehelin, Jay Reilly, Mick Long and Paul Mitterbacher, with Lakpa Sherpa and Galu Sherpa. We believe Paul Mitterbacher is the oldest man to have summitted Ama Dablam, at age 65.
24th October: Ken Stalter, Tom Taplin, Randy Murphy, Patrick Bernier, Roland DeBare and Daniel Mazur, with Jangbu Sherpa and Shera Sherpa.
In general, route conditions were superb, with excellent granite and hard snow. The weather on the lower mountain was warm and pleasant. On the upper mountain, it was very cold and windy. Wind chill on the summit was substantial. An unusually large amount of snow on the upper mountain also made climbing difficult for the first summiteers. We benefited greatly from a strong Sherpa staff and superb Base Camp, trekking, and Kathmandu support courtesy of Parivar Trekking of Nepal. We had outstanding relations with the other teams, and cooperated well, in setting the route and sharing the camps. Everyone got along perfectly.
With old rope remaining from previous years (we tried to remove as much as possible), and plenty of use of this year's ropes, the route, especially between camps 1 and 2, was not always in absolute perfect condition. Still, we did our best to maintain all possible safety procedures and managed to escape with only a few minor mishaps, and neither serious injuries nor accidents.
We are also proud to have donated a computer to the Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee (SPCC), courtesy of Rudy Zuber of Switzerland and Kevin Donovan of Texas. We look forward to future co-operation between mountaineering expeditions in Nepal and the SPCC, the Guardians of the Highest Place on Earth.
For our next phase of the expedition, Tom Lannaman, Daniel Mazur, Jangbu Sherpa, and Lakpa Sherpa will begin climbing the rarely seen and little known North Ridge of Ama Dablam on 1 November, in just a few days. Please stay tuned to EverestNews.com for the latest dispatches of their progress on this extremely difficult ridge.
Our Sincere Thanks to all of the loved ones, family members, friends, charitable donors, sponsors, our excellent dedicated staff, internet providers, media hosts, Alpine Club and mountaineering membership organizations, the Nepalese people and Government, our agents, and those too numerous to mention who are making these expeditions possible in a careful and efficient way, with absolute respect for the local people and environments.
We look forward to our return to the HOTEL NEPA to visit Bidya Sagar Tuladhar, in Thamel, Kathmandu.
At this juncture, we would like to offer a prayer courtesy of Doctor Robert Davidson, a friend of Ken Stalter's:
"My child, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight; they will be life for you, a (Dablam) ornament to grace your neck. Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble; when you lie down...you will not be afraid, and your sleep will be sweet." Proverbs 3:21-24(NIV)
Om Mani Padmi Hom (Hale to the jewel in the lotus.) -Buddha
Ps. We wish to extend further thanks to Miki and Rolf and everyone at Amical Expeditions, for their fine cooperation, also we wish to thank for their excellent cooperation: Anselme Baud, Frederic, Sebastien, Florence, Alexia, Guillaume, Vincent, and all of our superbe amis Savoiards - Morsinaise