Haldun Bora, Burcak, Mustafa, Suna, Meltem Soner
Serkan Elif
15th May
24th May - Photo: Serhan Pocan
15th May
Panoramic view from the top of the Everest, 24th May - Photo: Mustafa Cihan
Latest News
May 19th, 2006
Advanced Base Camp

ImageWhile coming here, we talked a lot about the difficult relationships of the base camp life of high altitude mountaineering. We mentioned about some large and small quarrels in between the different camps and nations. As obstinacy with all what we have said, we established some excellent friendships! We met some amazing people. We had friends ‘like us’. We had Brazilian, Norwegian, Swedish sincere friends who were giving information and sharing even without being asked for. In a very short period of time at the base camp, we formed a relationship with some of them that we shared a lot. We liked them a lot and got closer.

Yesterday, we lost our Tomas from Sweden in an unlucky accident happened on his way down from the summit.

And today, we learned that our Brazilian Vitor, who almost became a member of our team, got sick at 8600 meters and has perished at the time he was descended to 8300 meters.

Here, is a very different mountain, a very different place. We appreciate the ones who stand here all alone.

Thanks that we are together.

Mustafa, Suna and Meltem departed from the Base Camp; today they will stay at the middle camp and be here tomorrow. We will again be crowd. It will be very good. Serkan is below with Rodrigo who is the friend of Vitor and will accompany him to come above according to his plan. We came across with a very good opportunity from the base camp and found a place for one person in a vehicle that rarely goes directly to Kathmandu. For this reason, we separated Haldun from Serkan and sent him to Kathmandu to put the things about our approaching return on the track.

Tomorrow we are hoping to clarify the date of our second trial for the summit. We are making use of all our weather condition channels for this purpose. We hope the date that Burçak, Meltem, Suna, Mustafa, Bora and Serhan with three Sherpas who we could persuade will depart, will be determined by tomorrow.

May 18th, 2006
Advanced Base Camp

ImageAfter our first summit climb, we came to life, we came to ourselves. Presently, the summiters Serkan and Haldun have started descending to the base camp. Haldun will go back down to Katmandu to rest and get well. Serkan is going to wait for the team at the base camp. Soner and Elif are going to wait at the advanced base camp during the second attempt. Serhan, Bora and Burçak are going to spend their resting days at the advanced camp. Meltem, Suna and Mustafa are going to leave the base camp for the advanced camp on May, 20th. That’s the current situation of the team.

For the second attempt, there were many other things we had to deal with expect the plan of getting the team together. The most important, our Sherpas didn’t accept going to the summit for the second time! For around one and a half day, we looked for Sherpas for us by seeing other expedition teams around, negotiating and bargaining with them. Finally as we had agreed with another team’s Sherpas, our Sherpas said that they were re-considering our offer and said they would like to talk to us. Finally, we agreed with the Sherpas Lakpha, Lakhpa and Lama from our old Sherpas team. Our problems didn’t finish with that. When we started to work out the calculations on the oxygen bottles, we found out that we didn’t have enough bottles left for the summit! Therefore, we once again had to ask to the other expeditions for spare oxygen bottles. With a little bit of bargaining we got over this too! For the last two days, neither our mountaineering techniques, nor our sportsmanship, nor our team spirit, nor anything else, only our negotiation skills guaranteed the continuation of our climb!!!

In conclusion, the necessary adjustments for the climb for completed. We plan to get together on the May 20th as team second climbing team which consists of 6 people at the advanced base camp and we plan to start our second attempt on the May 21th. The weather forecast reports give a good weather window for the dates May 24th and May 25th. Surely it’s early for the final plan, but it seems like we’re gonna aim at the top of the worlds after  or 7 days.

May 16th, 2006

Tuesday, May 16 th, 2006

Hello our dear support team,

ImageYou’re so concerned, so supportive to us, we can’t just make short explanations. At the beginning, we were either mentioning not-so-good stages shortly or not telling them at all, in order not to make the families anxious. But the Everest project’s dimensions has grown into a situation in which the families have to go deeper, harder in their support. Especially we need forcing of the limits of patience of close friends and relatives. Because there’s a lot of rightful curiousity that needs to be ceased.

As you all were following closely, our peak attempt started with our departure from the advanced base camp to the 7000 meter camp. After that, our plan was to reach the 7900 meter camp, but because of the weather that plan delayed one day. In the meantime, Suna’s, Mustafa’s and Meltem’s sickness in their upper respiratory system increased due to the altitude, it was decided that they should go back before they have more serious problems. With the break of the weather, the rest of the team reached the 7900 meter camp. One day later, they left for the camp at 8300 meters.

On the climbing day:

The starting camp for the peak is at 8300 meters. However this isn’t a real camp. We arrived there around 16:00 and left for the peak climb at 22:00. After this stage everyone climbed at their own speed, but we moved as a big team together with the Sherpas. The 2 people at the very end were Bora and Serhan, as planned. Nobody was behind them.

Elif, Soner, Burçak, Haldun and Serkan climbed with oxygen support, Bora and Serhan climbed without oxygen support, but in case of an emergency there was oxygen supplies for Serhan and Bora.

The first hours of the climb were fast and good. The order of the climb was Elif, Soner, Serkan, Haldun, Burçak, Bora and Serhan. 5 Sherpas were climbing inbetween carrying the spare oxygen supplies. And 4 Sherpas were carrying our safety supplies at the very end. Around 3 o’clock there were agitated talks on the Sherpas’ walkie-talkies. As Bora and Serhan could only move slowly and as they were moving together with the Sherpas at the back, they learned what happened. Burçak, fainted at the difficult pass ‘Second Step’ at 8600 meters, probably because of tiredness,  fatigue, lack of sleep, and the variability of the oxygen rate. Serkan who had passed the ‘Second Step’ curve didn’t realize what happened. As Lakpa Sherpa and the other Sherpas were doing the first aid, Bora and Serhan arrived at the place of event. It took 2 hours. Finally she managed to get up and could walk with support. As she recovered quickly, nothing was said to the team at the top until they reached the summit. The team at the top arrived at the summit with the order of Elif, Soner, Haldun and Serkan. Burçak was descended to the advanced base camp at 6400 meters by Bora, Serhan, Furuwa and Dawa Sherpas on the same day. This is where there’s a doctor. Presently, nobody has a serious illness , only dripping noses and aching throats.

As dear Uğur Uluocak emphasized it, mountaineering is the sport of controling risks. We are doing the evaluation of our small accident as taking an important risk under control.

Now our team is at ease. We are done with an important part of our priorities. We won’t turn back to our country empty handed. Yet we still have time and we have unfinished plans. One of this is the whole team making the summit, and the other is to reach the summit without oxygen supply. During the 15 days left, the team will first rest, and then will get on the way for another attempt.

May 15th, 2006

Advanced Base Camp, 22:00

Team members at Camp 1 will continue their descend tomorrow. Good night everyone!

Advanced Base Camp, 19:00

Almost done. Burçak, Elif, Serhan and Soner are back at the advanced base camp. They are very tired and after taking some fluid went to their tents to sleep. I think they need to sleep two days in order to recover :) Serkan, Haldun and Bora are currently resting at Camp 1 (North Col) and rehydrating. They are also planning to return back to advanced base camp tonight.

Advanced Base Camp, 12:45
I’m writing this especially for the ones who are waiting curiously. Our team reached the summit. Elif has become the first Turkish woman to climb Mount Everest. Serkan, Soner and Haldun are the other team members that made the peak. But I’m writing this cautisously. Because what is important isn’t making to the summit but returning safely and our friends are yet on their way back. I’ll share my happines with you when they are back on safe altitudes, namely Camp 2 if possible to Camp 1. Burçak, Serhan and Bora had to turn back probably at around 8500-8600 meters because the conditions got tough, and Burçak didn’t feel well and she couldn’t continue. Currently, Elif, Serhan, Bora and Burçak are resting at Camp 3 and they will continue their descend. Soner, Haldun and Serkan are on the way to Camp 3. They will also continue their descend after resting at Camp 3. The weather is presently clear and there’s no wind. It’s 12:45. See you again today.

Hakan Kocakulak 

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