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21 May 2003 08:03
The South African team attempting to reach the summit of Mt Everest—the world’s highest point—have had to turn back due to bad weather conditions, their publicity team said on Wednesday.
Representative Anne Vicente said the Discovery Everest team set out on its summit bid at 9.30pm (“Everest time”) on Tuesday in fairly windy conditions. Another attempt may be made on Wednesday night.
As they climbed, the wind picked up until eventually the team was being “hammered” by the wind.
Team leader Alex Harris, Sean Disney and Robin Walshaw were the team members to reach the highest point, but at 8 500m they came across Sherpas “beating a hasty retreat from the summit because of atrocious weather conditions and decided to turn back”, Vicente said in a statement.
The team had safely reached Camp 4 at 7950m and were “regrouping and assessing the strength of the team members”.
The other members are: Sean Wisedale, David Ker and Deshun Deysel.
There are between 80 and 100 people at Camp 4, and some climbers are injured but none of these are South Africans. Vicente said the team would retreat to Camp 2 at 6 400m where Harris would assess team strength and energy and the weather.
“Tonight (Wednesday night) might be another opportunity to go up. Everyone is consolidating their fastest and strongest teams…” - Sapa
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