Dutchman reaches Mt Everest peak
21 May 2004
AMSTERDAM — Dutchman Wilco van Rooijen reached the summit of Mt Everest on Thursday morning, the second Dutch national to achieve the feat without extra oxygen and by climbing the world’s highest peak from its northern edge.
Van Rooijen’s spokesman said that the mountain climber had reached the 8,850m peak at 4am Dutch time on Thursday. He said Van Rooijen climbed the summit from the difficult Tibetan side under favourable weather conditions.
But the weather circumstances were not good enough for the Utrecht resident to use a parachute to descend from the mountain peak to the Advance Base Camp located at an altitude of 6,400m, news agency ANP reported.
Together with Dawa, the Sherpa who logistically supported the expedition, Van Rooijen was forced to descend from the summit as quickly as possible back to an environment with sufficient oxygen.
No one has successfully climbed Mt Everest without carrying extra oxygen and subsequently been able to fly or parachute off the summit.
Van Rooijen made contact with the Utrecht “base camp” about 2.5 hours after reaching the summit and the spokesman said he sounded “elated and reasonably fit”.
During the gruelling climb to the summit, Van Rooijen was forced to leave behind two fellow members of the Friesche Vlag Breaker Everest Expeditie 2004, Rex Snelders of Groessen and Tilburg resident Ron Doorakkers.
Snelders was forced to give up on the climb because his frozen fingers continued to worsen, while Doorakkers was forced earlier this week to abandon the ascent because he had not sufficiently recovered from a fall.
Van Rooijen failed to reach the peak of the world’s highest mountain two years ago. His colleague on that expedition, Hans van der Meulen, was the first Dutchman to reach the peak via the northern side without oxygen.
Meanwhile, a Nepalese Sherpa climbed Mt Everest in record time on Friday, reaching the peak eight hours and 10 minutes after leaving base camp, the Nepalese Tourism Ministry said.
The 26-year-old Pemba Dorji surpassed the record of 36-year-old Sherpa Lakpa Gelu, who climbed the peak in 10 hours and 46 minutes in May 2003, news agency nu.nl reported.
A Sherpa is a person with Tibetan descent living on the southern side of the Himalaya Mountains in Nepal and Sikkim. The Sherpas have achieved world renown as expert guides on Himalayan mountaineering expeditions.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news