Changing China

Giant on the move

Nick (& Mark & Dave), the torch and Everest – Day 13

May 7, 2008

rtr209tx_comp.jpgIf the word around camp is anything to go by, the final assault on the summit of Everest will begin in the early hours of Thursday morning. Journalists and accompanying officials have spent much of the day taking souvenir photos and snapping up post cards at the “world’s highest post office”.

The rumours would appear to be based on nothing more than collective will (or hysteria, perhaps).

A brief flurry of concern fizzed around camp when, after two days of clear skies, the wind picked up and clouds blocked our view of Everest.

This project is no walk in the park, though, as the climbers hanging around here are keen to emphasise.

But optimism remains that by mid-morning tomorrow, the mighty achievement may have been accomplished.

Dave and I will be keeping our fingers crossed. Mark, being a South African, is holding his thumbs.

China mountaineering team spokesman Zhang Zhijian details on a diagram the proposed route for the Olympic torch’s ascent of the world’s highest mountain Mount Everest, also known as Qomolangma. Photo by David Gray.


“We have just seen the Chinese approaching the summit!” reported Silvio ‘Gnaro’ Mondinelli on May 5. “They were at 8,600m, in the middle of a very strong blizzard. They couldn´t make it.” Silvio and his mates watched the attempt live… from the summit of Kalapattar.

“It was a large team of about 10 people,” Mondinelli said. “They had overcome the Second Step, but then the storm forced them down without reaching the summit.”

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