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New Zealander leading Everest expedition, traverse

Media release – May 2, 2005

New Zealand’s Mike Roberts leading Everest expedition, before rare traverse of world’s highest peak

New Zealander Mike Roberts is leading a major expedition to the summit of Mt Everest this month including a rare guided attempt to traverse the world’s highest peak.

Roberts, originally from Napier, is fronting the Adventure Consultants’ Everest expedition team of 12 climbers including assistant guide Paul Rogers of Wanaka.

Three of the expedition party plan to traverse Everest from south to north immediately following the ascent around May 26. The Everest traverse has been achieved before – but only once before on a guided expedition.

Adventure Consultants was founded by the legendary climber the late Gary Ball and pioneering Everest guide Rob Hall of Christchurch. Hall died near the summit of Everest in May 1996. The company was appropriately passed on to Wanaka high altitude climber and expedition leader Guy Cotter later that year. Cotter has climbed four 8000m peaks and has twice stood on top of Everest.

"In Rob's spirit, the guys are gearing up for something different this year: A traverse of Everest," he said today.

"Guided by four-time Everest summiteer Luis Benitez of the USA, Australian Piers Buck will attempt to scale Everest from the south side and come down the north side.

"The difficulty of an Everest traverse is that climbers don't have the advantage of following a familiar route on their descent.

"The summit is only half way there” and the climbers will have to negotiate new terrain when they are at their most tired," he said.

The expedition is already underway after many months of planning and preparation.
The legendary Ang Dorje, a Sherpa from Nepal, is among the Adventure Consultants team again and if he reaches the top this will be his 11th Everest summit.
Thirty New Zealand climbers have reached the summit of Everest since Sir Edmund Hillary reached the top of the world in 1953. Half of the ascents since then have been by climbers on Adventure Consultants’ expeditions.

Ends

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