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Kathmandu, Nepal, (Nov. 4, 1998)–Another climbing season has passed with Mount Everest–the world’s highest peak at 29,028 feet–still unskied.
Windy, cold conditions over the last month proved challenging for American climber and skier Craig Calonica, who was making his third attempt to ski Everest.
Calonica’s plan was to descend Everest’s North Face on skis, after summitting with a team of Sherpas. He arrived in Nepal late in September to acclimate to the mountain elevation and await a window of good weather to make the risky trek to the top.
But, that window never came, and bad weather would again prevent Calonica from making the summit. The climber cited hurricane-force winds, blowing 100-200 mph, which can often happen at this time of year when the jet stream lowers to about 24,000-25,000 feet.
Although disappointed, Calonica said he was grateful that it was the weather that put an end to his climb rather than ill health, accidents, or death. Calonica added that has not given up on his plan to ski Mount Everest.
“I’m going to take a break from this place for awhile, sit back and think about it some, and when it all comes back to me, I’ll return,” he said.