Berg Adventures International 2003 Everest Expedition

November 1 – Team feeling great at the South Col. Ready to begin summit bid!

Listen to Audio of Wally's Call (.wav)

Okay I’m calling you from the South Col on the first of November. We had an amazing day .We left Camp 3 at about 11 am and got up here in about four and a half hours. Garry and David left ahead of me, David came in ahead of me and Garry right behind me. They’re all doing great!

Wally Berg at South Col during 1998 GPS expeditionAnother amazing day, pretty steady winds up here, pretty still air. Of course it’s cold. I’m still in the sunlight but really mild conditions for the South Col. I think I’ve been up here nine times over the years, something like that. And it’s probably as gentle and mild as I’ve ever seen it.

I’m looking up at the South Summit, up the triangular face towards the South Summit, and it’s beautiful. It’s hard say it’s inviting to because we know it’s going to be hard, it’s going to be long and challenging. But you couldn’t ask for better conditions than the way they look right now on the afternoon of November 1.

We’ll settle down now, get some rest. And see what time we start out. We’ll probably get a report through Base Camp to you as to what time we start out tonight for hopefully a summit on Everest on November 2.

I’m looking down on our little South Col camp. The Sherpas are busy organizing oxygen bottles and getting all set.

I’ve got to say one more thing about these guys. You know, I made a comment about a myth about Sherpas on the last dispatch. I’ve got another one today. I’m looking down at these brave, really strong and talented men. A lot of people think all Sherpas are good at climbing at altitude just because they’re Sherpas. Nothing could be further from the truth. People who’ve been on big expeditions know that a lot of guys try because of the money, a lot of guys try because of the glory. A few guys excel. I’m proud to say I’ve got six of those guys down there tonight doing great work. Three of them are over 40! They’re old, dear friends of mine and I’m looking forward to climbing with them tomorrow.

One last comment, Roger Bilham – I’m at one of your stations man, and it’s set up and running! I don’t think I’m going to be able to find the other one. Nima Tashi and I looked for it everywhere and it’s got to be in one of these big drifts around here. But we’re up and running with one and we feel good about that.

Okay, it’s clear conditions at the South Col but it’s never the kind of weather where you stay out barehanded and talk on the satellite phones for very long. So I’m going to go get in a tent. And we’ll report to you as our summit attempt nears. Things are looking very good. David and Garry look strong.

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