WORD came through from Nepal last week that Canberran mountaineer John Price (“The high Price of Adventure”, “CityNews” magazine, February 20) and his Kiwi companions Paul and Shelley Hersey sadly did not reach the summit of the unclimbed 7km-high mountain Anidesha Chuli, “the white wave”.John and Shelley made a final push for the summit on May 3, a week after Paul was struck down with suspected altitude sickness on April 25 and taken back down to their 5000m base camp to recover. The pair reached just 5600m on their second attempt at the elusive summit, which has denied access to all who have tried to reach it including a group of New Zealanders last year.
“Conditions were very poor with snow up to chest deep and no visibility,” the team’s spokesperson reported on May 5. “The decision was made to head back down to base camp and regroup with Paul and make a decision on things from there.”
Then a message direct from the team:
“Sad to report that John and Shelley retreated from final summit attempt yesterday. Huge amounts of snow, lots of avalanches, short windows of visibility and a worsened forecast of more snow and wind (up to gale force towards the end of the week) helped the decision be made. A mix of emotions at basecamp. Will start trekking out of basecamp in a few days. Thanks for all the support and interest shown. Shelley, Paul and John.”
They are now in Taplejung on the eight-day trek back to Kathmandu and John, a handy lensman, has promised to send us a few snaps from the trip when he gets there.