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In late March 2003 a unique team will start from St. Petersburg to Mount Everest, the highest summit of the planet Earth.

The ascension is dedicated to two anniversaries of 2003: St. Petersburg tercentennial and the 50th anniversary of the first ascension on the highest mountain of
the world.

The expedition will end with the St. Petersburg banner hoisted on top of Mount Everest at 8848 meters, after which the expedition will return to St. Petersburg during the celebration of the city's tercentennial. The team of 10 participants includes the best mountaineers of St. Petersburg who had previously climbed on several mountains of 7000 and 8000 meters, and numerous times participated in mountaineering championships of the Soviet Union, Russia, and St. Petersburg.

The expedition is supported by the Federation of Alpinists, Rock Climbers and Ice Climbers of St. Petersburg, and the St. Petersburg Administration.

Expedition leaders:

Andrei Ershov, organizer of numerous mountaineering expeditions in Russia and abroad;

Anatoly Moshnikov, USSR Honored Master of Sport, winner of numerous USSR
and Russian titles in mountain climbing, who has twice climbed the
Everest with no oxygen masks, Snow Leopard.

born in 1953, St. Petersburg (Russia)
- high-altitude climbs including:
1983 - Korzhenevskaya Peak (7105 m), Communism Peak (7495 m)
1987 - Korzhenevskaya Peak (7105 m), Communism Peak (7495 m, two climbs)
1988 - Pobeda East Peak (7060 m), traverse Pobeda West Peak (6918 m) - Pobeda Peak (7439 m) - Voennykh Topografov Peak (6873 m)
1990 - Everest (8848 m, without oxygen)
1993 - Korzhenevskaya Peak (7105 m), Khan-Tengri Peak (6995 m, three climbs)
1994 - Korzhenevskaya Peak (7105 m), Communism Peak (7495 m)
1996 - Korzhenevskaya Peak (7105 m), Communism Peak (7495 m), Dhaulagiri (8167, without oxygen)
1998 - Everest (8848 m, without oxygen), Lenin Peak (7134 m)
1999 - Korzhenevskaya Peak (7105 m)


1. Totmjanin Nikolay (Saint Petersburg, Russia)
born 08.12.1958 Master of Sports, Snow Leopard
high-altitude climbs:
1982 -p. Lenin (7134)
1983 - p. Korgenevskaya (7105), p. Communism (7495)
1984 - p. Pobeda (7439)
1986 -p. Korgenevskaya (7105, first Winter climb)
1988 - p. Communism (7495)
1990 -p. Korgenevskaya(7105), p. Communism (7495), p. Communism (7495, 28 hours BC-BC), Lhotse (first climb by the South Face, till 8350)
1991 -p. Lenin (7134)
1993 - p. Korgenevskaya (till 7000), p.Khan Tengri (6995, three times)
1994 -p. Korgenevskaya(7105, two times), p. Communism (7495, two times)
1995 - p Khan Tengri (6995)
1996 -p. Korgenevskaya (7105, two times), p. Communism (7495)
1997 - p. Lenin (7134), p. Khan Tengri (6995, 14 hours 03 minutes BC - BC), p. Pobeda (7439)
1998 - p. Pobeda (7439)
1999 - p. Khan Tengri (6995, two times), p. Pobeda (7439)
2000 - p. Lenin (7134), p. Korgenevskaya (7105), p. Communism (7495)
2001 - p. Lenin (7134),p. Lenin (7134, 12 hours 46 minutes 4200 - 4200)
2002 -p. Khan Tengri (6995), p. Communism (7439)

2. Ershova Marina (Saint Petersburg, Russia)
born 03.10.1961 Snow Leopard
high-altitude climbs:
1989 - p. Korgenevskaya (7105),p. Communism (7495)
1990 - p. Korgenevskaya (7105)
1991 - p. Lenin (7134), p. Communism (7495)
1992 -p. Lenin (7134), p. Khan Tengri (6995), p. Pobeda (7439)
1993 - p. Lenin (7134)
2000 - Cho Oyu (8201)
2002 - Shisha Pangma (8012)

3. Vladimir Gaidamak (Omsk, Russia, lives in Germany)
born in 1958, Omsk (Russia), lives in Germany
- high-altitude climbs including:
1988 - Lenin Peak (7134 m)
1990 - Khan-Tengri Peak (6995 m)
1991 - Pobeda West Peak (6918 m)
1993 - Korzhenevskaya Peak (7105 m, 15 hours), Communism Peak (7495 m)

4. Oleg Nasedkin (Moscow, Russia)
born in 1958, Zelenograd Sports Club of Mountaineering, Zelenograd
- high-altitude climbs including:
Korzhenevskaya Peak, 7105 m (1992, 1995)
Communism Peak, 7495 m (1995)
Khan-Tengri Peak, 6995 m (1999, two climbs)
Pobeda Peak, 7439 m (2001, till 7000 m)
Makalu, 8463 m (1997, till 7600 m)
Cho Oyu, 8201 m (2000)
2002 - Shisha Pangma (8012)
5. Vladimir Belous (Bratsk, Russia)
born in 1969, Bratsk
- high-altitude climbs including:
Lenin Peak, 7134 m (1993, 1995)
Khan-Tengri Peak, 6995 m (2000)
Pobeda Peak, 7439 m (2001, till 7000 m

Shisha Pangma (8012)

6. Tom Masterson (Quebec, Canada)
born in 1944, Quebec (Canada)
- climbing experience including:
Korzhenevskaya Peak (7105 m)
Communism Peak (7495 m)
Khan-Tengri Peak (6995 m)
Pobeda Peak (till 6800 m)
McKinley (6194 m)
Aconcagua (6959 m)

7. Andrey Dulskiy (Irkutsk, Russia)
born in 1969, Irkutsk (Russia)
- high-altitude climbs including:
1993 - Lenin Peak (7134 m)
1995 - Lenin Peak (7134 m)
1999 - Khan-Tengri Peak (6995 m)
2002 - Communism Peak (7495 m)

8. Dmitry Pryuts (as doctor) (Saint Petersburg, Russia)
born in 1963, St. Petersburg (Russia)
- work in high-altitude expeditions including:
1986 - Korzhenevskaya Peak (first winter ascent)
1986 - South-West Pamirs
1987 - Central Tien-Shan
1988 - Central Tien-Shan
1990 - Lenin Peak

to the top

Expedition chronicle

23 May, 2003 Dmitry Pryutts:
Tom Masterson and Vladimir Gaidamak will stay at 8300 (camp 3) due to high winds. Perhaps they will try tomorrow! Siberian climbers are descending to ABC because of frostbite (1st and 2nd degree). Anatoly is trying to make a decision about weather. Oleg may try to go for a summit attempt, it all
depends, again, on the weather. We just checked the weather forecast, and it appears that the wind will remain until next week. ABC will be evacuated on the 25th.
Jon Miller (hello Marina!) and Doctor Dmitry

22 May, 2003 Andrey Ershov (message from our doctor):

Radio contact 15:00h Chinese time

Nikolay Totmyanin is standing on the top of Everest without oxygen! He will wait for 30 minutes on the summit to welcome his teammates Vladimir (using oxygen) and Andrey (not using oxygen), both from Siberia.

From Doctor Dmitry, Everest Base Camp

(morning) Andrey Ershov:
Yesterday our climbers were on 8300 m (Camp 3). Today they will try to reach
the summit of Everest.

16 May, 2003, Tom Masterson:

Starting tomorrow, Saturday May 17, we head uphill in three waves (Sat, Sun, Mon) hoping for an adequate window in the weather. Winds aloft have been life-threatening. To date, no one has made it to the summit. Our thoughts and prayers are for everyone's safety.

At 7700

New photo!

12 May, 2003 Marina Ershova, May 11:

Yesterday Nikolay Totmyanin, Vladimir Gaidamak and Anatoly Moshnikov reached Camp 2 on 7800 m, despite very strong wind could reinstall our tent and spent a night there. Right now they are going down to ABC. Vladimir Belous and Andrey Dulskiy reached 7800 too but they could not find good enough place for the second tent and very strong wind forced them to go down. Tom Masterson could reach a destroyed camp on 7500 m and spent a night in the broken tent there. Now they all plan go down to BC for rest and preparing for the summit bid.
Oleg Nasedkin and me decided to spend one more day at ABC because of very strong wind. We plan to go up tomorrow if the weather is a little better.

11 May, 2003 Marina Ershova, May 10:

I am calling from ABC, 6400 m. Yesterday Oleg Nasedkin and me came to ABC from BC, tomorrow we will go up to Camp 1 on the North Col and then will try to reach Camp 2 on 7800 m. The other our members - Totmyanin, Gaidamak, Belous, Dulskiy, Moshnikov and Masterson - started one day earlier. This night they spent on the North Col and now they are trying to reach Camp 2 on 7800 m. They say that our tents on the North Col are in good enough order after the storm and they hope that our tent on 7800 was not blown away. Our tents here in ABC were not destroyed too much by the storm. Now the weather is better but it is difficult to say that will be tomorrow.
After our third acclimatization climb and during the hurricane a half of our team spend several days at Zashixong - the village that is about 60 km from Base Camp. The wind there was not so strong and it was good for rest and recuperation. So now we are in good physical conditions and all will depend on the weather.

7 May, 2003, Tom Masterson:

(Monday, 5 May 2003)
Still the wind blows! We visit the British Navy camp and the summit weather forecast is for 110 knots (130 mph, 190 km/hr) winds on the summit which will diminish only to half that value by Friday, North Col winds decreasing from 80 knots (95 mph, 130 km/hr) to about a fifth that value by Friday (Thank you, Royal British Navy/Marines, for the convenient units).
Here, our mess tent blew down once, but one of us was inside and able to get help to rebuild it quickly before damage was done. Sometimes when such gusts hit, you can see them moving down the valley and attempt to find shelter before they hit. Other times, it sounds like there is a jet plane overhead
and it gets closer & closer until it hits.

We visited a French group, who are also waiting for better weather before heading back up and knew a friend of Volodya (G's) from Argentiere in France. We visited with another British group who said that all the tents on the South Col on the other side of the mountain had blown away.

Xinmin Yan from CCTV, the Chinese national TV, visited with us. She is trying to coordinate an all-group event on the 11th of May as a start for the official week of celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the Hillary's first ascent. They are planning a week-long program (2 hours/day) with 2 hours of live coverage from base camp on the first day (during which they
wish to interview someone from each group) and concluding with live coverage of the Chinese team arriving on the summit. We mentioned that Hillary did not arrive on the summit alone, and that very few of the groups heading to the summit could possibly get to the summit without Sherpa help. She admitted that there was very little attention paid to the efforts of the
Sherpas (and others who have helped immensely). We talked extensively about the Chinese treatment of minorities, especially Tibetans, and indicated ways in which that could be helped without jeopardizing her job. She also asked telling questions about Russian treatment of Chechens. She stayed for lunch with us, and enjoyed borsch which Dima had just taught our cooks how to make. She has also travelled extensively and worked close to my home in Canada as well as done an extensive interview with my neighbour, Gary Neptune.
The interesting change in the Chinese logistics is that the summit day is postponed by about a week from the original plans. It is still interesting that they are trying to plan a summit bid to coincide with a TV program, but, as we have seen, they are not without precedent... Stay tuned.

Volodya & Andrey returned from lower elevation today and some climbers may head up to ABC tomorrow to check on status of our upper camps. As that happens, communication will diminish from this end.

(Tuesday, 6 May 2003)
Unabated ferocious winds all night long. The prevailing wind direction is W to E, but the direction here is from S to N in the Rongbuk moraine glacial valley. Summit wind speeds this morning clocked at just under 200 km/hr. More than half our tents tired to blow down this morning, requiring extensive maintenance and rebuilding. We hope that the winds will abate
enough tomorrow that we can make our way up to ABC and assess where we are.

expedition photos, part 9:

News archive

5 May, 2003
Tom Masterson

4 May, 2003
Marina Ershova

3 May, 2003 Tom Masterson

2 May, 2003 Tom Masterson

25 April, 2003 Andrey Ershov

24 April, 2003 Marina Ershova

19 April, 2003 Tom Masterson

18 April, 2003 Andrey Ershov

14 April, 2003 Marina Ershova:

9 April, 2003 Marina Ershova:

8 April, 2003 Tom Masterson, Vladimir Belous

5 April, 2003 Vladimir Belous

1 April, 2003 Andrey Ershov

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