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Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Report from 1st Philippine Mt. Everest Expedition Team

This was actually an email sent by Mr. Regie Pablo of MFPI regarding the updates on the Philippine team in the elusive Mt. Everest Expedition.

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Hello!

Here's a short report from our training in India:

We had our training at Manali, India. Manali is a town under the jurisdiction of Himachal Pradesh. Manali is about 15 hours drive from New Delhi and about 500 kms. away.

Our training center is called the Directorate of Mountaineering and Allied Sports (formerly Western Himalaya Mountaineering Institute). Our senior course instructor was Rajeev Sharma, a two time Everest Summiteer. He has also summited Lhotse together with the French Army Expedition Team. He led the Indo-Nepali Joint Women's Climb in Everest which put the former record holder of the youngest woman summiteer of Everest, Ms. Dicky Dolma. The team met Ms. Dicky as she is working at the insitute. She sumitted Everest at the age of 19 (the new record holder I think did it at the age of 16). We met a lot of Everest summiteers in the Institute.

Our team was given a special course which incorporated a basic mountaineering course with an alpine expedition to a 6,000 meter peak.

The first part of the training concentrated in Manali where we had theoretical and practical lessons on rock climbing, aid climbing, knot tying/ropemanship, river crossings / tryolean traverse, leadership, etc. This is about two weeks of training.

After this, we move to the village of Parsiu which would be our holding camp. Parsiu is about 3,100 m. asl.

Our first acclimatization climb was done at Baralacha Peak. The estimated elevation of Baralacha Peak is 5,450 m. asl. Everyone in the team except our camera crew ( due to signs of AMS) made it to the summit.

Then we move to our basecamp. Our objective were the peaks of Kyorang Range. Before the expedition, we continued with our training and took lessons on ice climbing, glacier travel, crevasse rescue, cramponing and ice axe techniques, etc.

The team was divided into two teams, Team A and Team B. Team B was assigned Kyorang Peak 1 and Team A was assigned with Kyorang Peak 3. Team B made it to the summit of Kyorang Peak 1 at an estimated altitude of above 5,800 m. asl. Team A made it to less than a 100 meters before the summit (estimated elevation of Kyorang Peak 3 is 6,300 m. asl.). They had to turn back because the route identified had a very deep crevasse before the summit and there was avalanche danger. It was a good exposure though for the team at an altitude above 6,000 meters.

At the endorsement and recommendation of the Institute, Kyorang Peak 1 will be renamed as Pinoy Peak. As President of MFPI, I have already communicated the requests to the Indian Mountaineering Foundation. I will make the request formal when the UIAA holds its General Assembly in New Delhi on October 14 - 16, 2004.

We would like to invite you this Saturday at the Central Plaza, Libis, Eastwood for the TNF Adventure Race. We have some videos and photos to share with you.

Sa mga patuloy na naniniwala at sumusuporta, maraming salamat po sa inyong lahat! Epsecially to the people of the The North Face and Primer Group, maraming salamat po!

Regie Pablo

p.s. to Banong and Uly, pasensya na at di na kami nakadaan sa inyo, medyo di na namin kayang lumabas sa Hongkong...

Maraming salamat ulit!

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