Mountain Zone correspondent Peter Potterfield reports from Nepal

The Other Teams
Thursday, April 3, 1997 -- 7am (Kathmandu)

As The Mountain Zone follows the progress of The Alpine Ascents International 1997 Everest Expedition this spring, other teams will be on the mountain. It's apparent that several late scratches have changed the roster of climbers on Everest this year, according to official Ministry of Tourism documents obtained by The Mountain Zone.

In total, eight official expeditions -- sometimes with more than one team per expedition -- will climb on the south side of Everest this year, another on Lhotse. The Chinese have not released a list of climbs on the North Side of the mountain, but information we obtained indicates as many as 11 teams will try Everest from that side. Among them are a Russian North Face team, and a Pakistani North Col team.
Three south side teams have dropped out. The Brazillian team (Terra Virgen Expedition) and an Indian Team (Indian Independence Golden Jubilee Everest Expedition) and a British team (Himalayan Kingdom's Everest Expedition) are last minute cancels for unexplained reasons.

The remaining teams are listed below. Note that official Nepalese government names are sometimes different than the popular names for these expeditions:

  • Noevir Everest Expedition, a Japanese team lead by Hiroshi Okura; 12 climbers on the South Col route.

  • 1997 Canadian Mount Everest Expedition, better known in North America as the Colliers/Lotus Notes team, lead by Steve Matous, 5 members on the South Col route.

  • Mountaineering Association of Malaysia, lead by Nor Ramile Suliaman, with five climbers for the South Col route.

  • Indonesia Everest Expedition, a large Indonesia team lead by Mr. Rochadi, with 12 members on the South Col route. Guide Anatoli Boukreev is associated with this effort.

  • Audio Everest Expedition, a team from the United Kingdom lead by Peta Watts with 12 members on the South Col. Climber Mal Duff is associated with this climb.

  • Adventure Consultants Everest Expedition, New Zealand, lead by Guy Cotter. Cotter took over this company, formerly owned by Rob Hall, and will lead this climb with American Ed Viesturs.

  • That's a change of plans for Viesturs , who at one point was slated to climb with Dave Brashears and Pete Athans while making a film on high altitude physiology for NOVA.

  • Finally, a guided party lead by Seattle guide Eric Simonson will also be climbing on the South Side under the aegis of Alpine Ascents Internaional.

-- Peter Potterfield, Mountain Zone Correspondent

[Dispatches from Everest Index]