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Northern Ireland Everest Expedition 2003
the team

Ten years after the first ascent by an Irishman, there was the first Northern Ireland Everest Expedition.

I (Jamie) first met Richard Dougan, the expedition leader, on Cho Oyu where he had an epic expedition with some success but also some close shaves and, very sadly, one team member dead. Bravely he wanted to continue and climb Everest, and he asked me to organize it, which I did as Explore Himalaya's expedition consultant.

David Sharp (from the mainland UK) climbed Cho Oyu with myself the year before and wanted to go to Everest. Already having met Richard, he joined them, rather than a guided expedition.

The last piece of the puzzle is how I ended up on the team; I was the Nepal-based organizer but I worked as a climbing sherpa for no more cost than the original allowance for a sherpa.

Ultimately the expedition was successful but there were a few lessons learned, by everyone.

The fresh-faced team, L to R, Dave Sharp, Duggie, Steve, Banjo, Richard and myself about to enjoy pizza
at the famed Fire & Ice restaurant. We didn't look like this when we returned there after the expedition.

 

Richard Dougan - expedition leader
High point: second step, 8570m
returned with superficial frostbite

Dave Sharp - team member
High point: 8500m
returned with frostbite.
Image licensed by AP.

"Banjo" Bannon - team member
Summit 31 May 2003
no injuries

Temba Sherpa - cook and sherpa
High point: camp 3, 8300m

Jamie McGuinness - climbing sherpa
Summit 31 May 2003

Ang Furi Sherpa - climbing sherpa
High point: camp 3, 8300m

Karsang - crew

Dorje - crew

Topke - crew

 

Our Tibetan crew were the best, courteous, clean and very hard-working.

Duggie (L) - physio and BC-ABC support with Stevie - medic
Stevie arrived at base camp with diarrhea and dehydrated, and that progressed to cerebral oedema,
so Duggie escorted him down and to Northern Ireland.

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