Hellas Everest teams delayed but ready to go

After two months of acclimatizing and preparation at Everest base camps, half the members of Hellas Everest, a group of 12 Greek climbers aiming to be the first national team to reach the 8,848-meter summit of Mt Everest, have been stalled by bad weather at their Advanced Base Camp on the north side of the mountain at a height of 6,400 meters, which is being swept by freezing gale-force winds, their leader Costas Tsivelekas reported to Kathimerini yesterday. «Today’s weather was the worst we have had so far,» he said, although adding that morale was still high and team members were conserving their strength by resting in their tents, reading and talking with members of other missions at the camp. If the weather breaks, they hope to set off for 7,050 meters tomorrow, 7,900 meters on Sunday and then their highest camp, at 8,300 meters, on Monday. «A good weather window has been predicted between May 17 and 19, allowing for an attempt on the summit at 11 a.m.» said Tsivelekas. News is more promising from the south side of the mountain, where the other half of the team has moved up to Camp 3 at 7,300 meters, experiencing better weather conditions. Team member Michalis Styllas said it was likely they would try for the summit tomorrow or on Sunday as scheduled by south side team leader Panayiotis Kotronaros. The Hellas Everest mission is being sponsored by Greek Canadian businessman Pavlos Aggelatos.

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