View Full Version : My friend will be summiting Everest on Thursday!!

05-17-2004, 11:39 PM
I've been keeping up with the updates on my friend Mike Kodas and the Connecticut Everest Team. His wife, Carolyn, who has been writing the updates said that they will be reaching the top sometime Thursday!!

Say prayers, as this step is the most risky.

05-18-2004, 05:24 AM
I'm so glad to see an update, Donna! What an accomplishment that will be. Keep us posted!! :)

05-18-2004, 12:32 PM
I forgot....

I heard that they summited 30 people last week.....amazing weather!!

Good luck to him and the team.

05-18-2004, 12:39 PM
Dan's climbed Mount Everest before a few years ago and said it was a lot of fun. I am sure they are having a blast! I hope to do it someday, once I am in shape, hehe. :p

05-18-2004, 01:42 PM
I also heard how busy Everest is these days. I still cannot understand how someone can accomplish it! I wish good luck as it is always very very difficult.

05-18-2004, 01:56 PM
If you ever read "Into Thin Ice", you might rethink an Everest expedition. :eek: I guess it all depends on the weather conditions when you plan to do it. I admire anyone that tries, though, and ever since seeing "Everest" at the IMAX theater, I have been so interested in knowing about it as much as possible.

05-18-2004, 02:39 PM

05-18-2004, 04:21 PM
I guess it's quite crowded up there this time of year!!


05-18-2004, 04:33 PM
Originally posted by moosmom
I guess it's quite crowded up there this time of year!!



That's the POOR part of town....

Here in L.A. you'll see a tent every now and then...;)

05-18-2004, 04:38 PM
WOW!!!!!! :eek:

Look at all those tents!!!!!

05-18-2004, 06:00 PM
Well, it seems a storm is due on the summit sometime Thursday, so that's why they want to get there in the next 2 days.

I'm worried :(. But I know that Mike is more than qualified to reach the top!

05-20-2004, 09:16 AM
Keep us posted, Donna. I hope that the weather will cooperate so he can make the summit! Fingers crossed and prayers being said for his safety.

Richard, I love that site you posted. I spent WAAAAAAY to long on it, though! :)

05-20-2004, 12:59 PM
Originally posted by Logan

Richard, I love that site you posted. I spent WAAAAAAY to long on it, though! :)

Blame me for your curiosity!!!:D

05-20-2004, 01:09 PM

Under 'featured news'....

Conn Everest team summmits and is down safely!!

05-20-2004, 01:24 PM
Thanks RICHARD!! I can now breath a sigh of relief! Time to crack open the bubbly and toast to the CT team for a job well done!!!

Hurry home safely guys! There's a party to be had once you're on solid ground!

Otto Kodas says MEEEEEEEEEOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWW!!! Which is cat for "hurry back Daddy, I need belly rubs!!"

05-20-2004, 01:49 PM
Yeah!!!! :)

05-20-2004, 05:20 PM

After all the good news there is troublesome news to report....

One Korean and One Japanese climber have died-Korean Rescue team is out of contact and a Bolivian climber has run into problems.....

Prayers needed....:(

05-20-2004, 08:41 PM
Oh dear. :( What a horrible risk for anyone, as I've always known. But it is still so sad to hear of anyone being lost or dying on the mountain. :(

Steffi N
05-20-2004, 08:47 PM
Donna I am glad and relieved that your friends summited Everest safely and sad for the climbers who lost their lives. I hope the climbers who are lost are found safe.
Donna, I know you will be happy to hear from your friends.
Richard, thank you for posting the link.

05-21-2004, 06:56 PM
More bad news.


Good news!


Listing of climbers who summited (current to 5/17)


05-22-2004, 06:34 PM
Here's Mike's story that was in the Courant this morning. A total of 7 deaths. :(

I sit here with tears in my eyes wondering...Is it REALLY worth it??? As much as I would LOVE to see Mike summit, I pray to GOD that he has the sense to know when it's time to say "enough". :(

A Day of Victory, A Day Of Death
May 22, 2004
By MICHAEL KODAS, Courant Staff Writer

EVEREST ADVANCED BASE CAMP, Tibet -- Dave Watson stumbled into our mess tent like a character from a mountain horror show.

It was 2:15 in the afternoon, and the battered climber still had the oxygen mask over his face and the crampons on the boots he had strapped on at 11 p.m. the night before - above 27,000 feet on Everest's northeast ridge, about to begin his assault on the mountain's snow-blasted summit.

Watson, three teammates on the Connecticut Everest Expedition, and four climbing Sherpa were the first climbers to reach the top of the world on May 20, at 7 a.m. But to get there they battled the worst weather and clung to the most badly frayed ropes that Everest veteran George Dijmarescu, who was reaching the summit for his sixth time, had ever encountered.

The conditions exacted a toll. "If you were going to take the most uncoordinated, unskilled person at climbing, that's how I felt," Watson, an accomplished mountaineer, said later.

Watson had followed the lead of Dawa Nuru Sherpa through whiteout conditions, knelt before a photo of the Dalai Lama that adorns the summit, then hightailed it through the storm back down the mountain. While most Everest climbers descend to one of the mountain's high camps, the entire Connecticut crew battled through the storm, down the 8,000 feet to Advanced Base Camp.

Anne Parmenter, a teammate who did not go to the summit, had just finished lunch at the camp when Watson appeared. She sat the stunned climber on a barrel and stripped the backpack, oxygen bottle, and boots from him, then helped him to a chair and some soup.

Outside, the snow that had been falling since the night before blew sideways. The horror show that began unfolding the day before was just becoming apparent.

The Connecticut Team had just survived what may prove to be the deadliest storm on Everest since the 1996 disaster detailed in the best-selling book, "Into Thin Air." A brutal few days had claimed four mountaineers, maybe more.

Stricken Korean Hiker

Dan Lochner, 22, of Norwalk, has been on Everest on the Connecticut team's permit but made his summit push with another climber and Sherpas a day earlier, on Wednesday.

On his way up, Dan said, he passed a Korean climber hanging from a fixed rope at the base of the summit pyramid that forms the very top of the mountain. The man asked for hot water, but Dan was pushed to the limit himself, and he continued at his Sherpa's insistence. There may have been no way to know the extreme gravity of the Korean's situation. Each climber operates at the very limit of his or her supplies, carrying barely enough hot water for one person to ward off hypothermia.

Wednesday night word spread among climbers at Advanced Base Camp that two Sherpas were trying to deliver oxygen, a sleeping bag, food and hot water to the Korean, who was reported to be stricken with snowblindness and frostbite on his hands and feet. A rescue at that altitude would have been nearly impossible.

George, who in 2002 was involved in a rescue near the highest camp on the mountain, said Friday night, "There's nothing our entire team put together could have done for that guy."

He was just too far up the mountain. From the highest camp on the north side of Everest, climbers en route to the summit must clear three so-called "steps." The first and third are steep hiking. The second includes a vertical wall where climbers use a ladder, left there years ago, and a rope to climb on the way up and lower themselves down on the way back.

The stricken climber was above the third step.

On Thursday morning, when Dave reached the Korean's location, the body was on its back on the slope but still attached to the rope. His hands were bare and held in a prayer-like posture in front of him. Snow covered his face in a ghastly death's mask that exposed his open eyes, nose and mouth.

"Above the third step, on the snow pyramid, you're traversing this hand line on totally sketchy loose rock," Dave recalled. "There's a Korean guy with no gloves on. ... He's hanging on a tether so you can't use the hand line, so you're traversing above him hoping you don't fall on [him]. ... His hands were just like mine, right in front of his face. It was so emotional."

Another corpse, from another climbing season, was sheltered below a nearby rock as though he were napping. Retrieval is difficult on the upper mountain, and bodies are often left where they fall.

More Deaths Reported

Anne and I had retreated from the lower reaches of Camp Two on Tuesday, exhausted and worried about the weather, while the rest of the expedition ahead of us continued up the mountain. Anne had been beating herself up because she allowed a woman 20 years her senior to pass her near the top of the excruciating, six-hour climb above Camp One.

But later we heard that a badly worn rope that a Japanese woman attached herself to on the infamous Second Step broke, dropping her into the void. [An Associated Press report confirmed that a 63-year-old Japanese woman died while returning from the summit.]

Said Anne, "Turning around was maybe the best decision of my life."

As the Connecticut team's summit party straggled into camp Thursday, Anne rounded up chairs and cups of tea, then helped the climbers out of their mountaineering gear. After dark, she worked her way up the rocky slope above the team's tents to escort George and fellow expedition member Chuck Boyd home by headlamp, and later did the same for Everest veteran and teammate Lhakpa Sherpa.

The following morning Lhakpa and George, who are married, recovered in the cook tent and lamented this climbing season's mounting death toll.

"Seven dead," Lhakpa said, repeating a number that had been circulating in camp.

"Lets hope that's just gossip," her husband replied, later expressing fear that the combination of unusually bad ropes and bad weather could lead to a tragedy like the one in 1996.

On the night of May 10, 1996, a powerful storm swept Everest's "Death Zone" with snow, subzero cold and hurricane-force winds while more than 30 climbers were descending from the summit. Within 24 hours, eight had died and three others had suffered severe frostbite.

By the end of the day Friday, expedition leaders, news services and trusted Everest websites were confirming the deaths of three Koreans and one Japanese climber. Expedition leaders at Advanced Base Camp say at least two more are dead, although that could not be independently confirmed. In any case, the whereabouts of at least two other climbers were uncertain.

Bad Winds, Bad Ropes

Bad ropes, snow-covered crevasses and continuing snow kept the climbers that remained high on the route in peril.

"The poorly fixed ropes with the bad weather - that's the perfect recipe for disaster," George said.

Climbers use carabiners, clips with a locking snap to attach to a rope and guide them on steep climbs. Sometimes they will use an ascender that will slide up a rope but not down, keeping climbers from falling back.

But the ropes wear out quickly, and not all the ropes to the summit had been replaced as expeditions began reaching for the summit this season. Above the mountain's highest camp, scores of climbers clipped into badly frayed and aged ropes.

"The rope is old and trashed, with the core showing through half of it," Dave said.

"We did almost the whole [climb to the summit] in the dark. It wasn't bad at night 'cause you can't see the abyss and what would happen to you if you blew one of these moves and the rope broke. You'll probably kill everybody around you, 'cause you're all just 5 feet apart and you think, ... `I wish it was dark again so I don't have to look at that.'"

The weather has been uneven, depending on where one is on the mountain, and when. On Wednesday, when Dan reached the summit, he was above the storm. But that wasn't the case Thursday, when the Connecticut expedition reached the top in whiteout conditions.

The storm came and went in Advanced Base Camp, but in the higher camps it dropped up to 2 feet of snow, continuing into Friday. Dave said that at Camp Two, the snow was blowing at 40 mph or 50 mph, with 2 feet of fresh powder.

Snow adds to the danger of hiking on the glacier because it covers deep fissures called crevasses, cracks that can swallow a climber. With 2 feet of fresh powder, the snow is like a rug over a hole.

"Everest to me just seems like bragging rights," Dave said when asked if the climb was worth it. "But it means something to me - walking past all these dead bodies of people whose dreams died there."

05-26-2004, 08:57 AM
My friend Mike and his wife Carolyn are now descending Mt. Evarest.

I talked to my friend Joanie yesterday because I hadn't seen an update since some of the CT team summitted. She said that ALOT had gone on and Mike and Carolyn decided enough was enough.

It seems that one of the climbers, who is there with his wife, beat the living crap out of her while on the mountain, after she asked for a divorce. I'll get more details later, but I never really liked this guy to begin with. It seems his motives for summiting were personal as opposed to being a "team" effort.

Anyway, I'll let you know the details as they become available. I'm just glad that they had the sense to make the right decision.