THE PUSH FOR THE SUMMIT
The towering might of the Eagle Falls with its summit in the clear
With the arrival of the Disney Team late on Thursday night and favourable conditions, apart from
summer monsoons, all appears to be good for a major attack on the summit at Eagle Falls. The
Disney Team were delayed as Sneezy was having a bad allergy attack and his Claritin wasn’t
working too well and Grumpy had major reservations about working with Sleepy and Dopey.
Not quite sure where Snow White is, some say she is sleeping or being from Hollywood may be in
rehab after eating an apple and police are currently holding a wicked witch for questioning as foul
play is suspected. The “MO” seems to be similar to another “Cold Case” involving Little Red Riding
Hood and a wolf.
With variable conditions in the mountains and no sign of the falls run off decreasing the teams are
now getting pushed for time before next month’s expected snowfalls. Temperatures are down 10
degrees and thunderstorms are forecast for the forseeable future.
At Base Camp teams have all had photographs taken and press releases have been issued but so
far no signs of anything other than treks to Camp 2. We get the impression that nobody wants to be
the first to leave and show their route, but as time is pressing they need to get underway very soon or
miss the window.
The French Team of Jacque and Claude at Base Camp
The well groomed Kiwis are quietly confident
The latest in “dayglo” colorful climbing gear from the 6 man Disney
Dawn breaks, and all the climbers try to put her together again, but to no avail! Never mind, the
weather looks good and the French try to sneak away before the others have noticed. The Base
Camp Paparazzi immediately followed, eager to get first footage of the French team’s progress.
Day 1 reports are now in ! The French are going well and have made it to Camp 2. They passed by
Travelocity and scaled the rocks into the void behind the Bismarck Falls and picked their way
through the Stalactites and Stalagmites ( tights come down if you remember! ). They slithered their
way across the wide expanse of Frog Falls and the raging white water and then came down the far
side to Camp 2 where they are drying out and staying the night.
Jacque and Claude reach the Bismarck Cavern
Slow progress in the darkness behind the falls
Dry rocks at last after the fast flowing torrents of the Frog Falls
Happiness is arriving at Camp 2
Shortly after breakfast the Team Kiwi from New Zealand left Base Camp and followed the French to
The Bismarck Falls and Cavern. All went well until the Frog Falls crossing where the gnomes boots
proved totally unsuitable on the slippery rocks and algae. They should, perhaps, have copied Jacque
and Claude and used the Wellington which the French now favor after the dicking they recieved at
The Kiwis surge on passing Travelocity to the Bismarck Falls
They make the Cavern
Slippery going behind the Falls
Through knee deep algae and fast flowing water they make the far side
Having made it to the far side they elected to bypass Camp 2 (and the French) and press on to Camp
3 on the opposite side of the fjord where conditions were much drier for the ovenight stop.
Dry at last at Camp 3
Back at Base Camp the American Disney Team were in no hurry to depart and Sneezy showed off his immense strength lifting Sleepy and bed over his head ! When they finally left they were in good spirits
which seemed to be of a “Jack Daniels” variety which clearly got out of hand when Dopey pushed
Grumpy into the Fjord.
Sneezy shows off his “power lifting”
More “high spirits” as Grumpy is about to get an unexpected bath, with
a “helping hand” from Dopey
Passing Travelocity the rather overweight dwarfs of Sleepy, Doc and Happy had a hard time trying to
squeeze their rotund forms along the ledge behind the waterfall. Sleepy became so tired he was
forced to bivouac at the cavern entry.
Sneezy in power lifting action as Happy tries to squeeze through
Sleepy takes “time out” at the Cavern
Progress across the Frog Falls was slow and ponderous as Sleepy had to be carried the entire way
by Sneezy while Grumpy was very annoyed over his earlier forced bath. The Disney Team also elected
to push on to Camp 3 for the nightstop.
Sneezy carries Sleepy the entire way….. or is he going to toss him in the
With all teams safely in Camps 2 and 3 for the night the projected storm arrived. Tomorrow another
day of wind and rain and then clearing out. Some trench foot reported from the Kiwis and the French
suffered a bad bottle of wine and Sneezy was a bit tired having humped the incumbent Sleepy all the
way to Camp 3.
Day 2, and the French were up early now having to make up some ground on the other teams who
had slipped past while they were at the vino. They quickly descend to the Eagle Head Pass and are
up and over it making good time en-route to the base of the North Face. Claude took a nasty tumble
on the head of the Eagle and was lucky not to be swept away by the torrent.
The French quickly attack Eagle Pass
Much French cursing from Claude
The route up the North Face will require many pitons and a lot of rope work to scale the vertical wet
rock so Jacque takes the lead ahead of the limping wimping Claude. While the safety helicopter
has them on HD TV we can zoom in and see the severity of the task.
The Helicam shows the French working their way up the North Face
Hard work on the wet rocks
In the early afternoon they make it over the ledge and set off into the boulder field but due to the storm
we lost visual on the dynamic duo as the clouds rolled in.
On top at last, now the boulder field to work through
Time to find the shelter of Camp 5
News just in from the Kiwi Team……….. Later start than planned, tents full of mist and low cloud but
all clear now with flaps open…….. must have been the Fosters !! Good progress over the Pass and
slow and steady along Lower Balcony. Hillary step tricky but all team members over……. now at the
base of the South Col……. whose bloody idea was this ?
The Kiwis use the beak to scramble over the Eagle
Along Balcony and over the adverse slippery Hillary step to the daunting
sheer cliff of the South Col
Tough going up the Col……… a lot more water than expected…… bloody awful boots!……. no grip……
thank God for pitons and good old rope !
Skillful climbing from the New Zealanders to make the top ledge
Finally made it over the first ledge………. Summit in sight……….. storm rolling in…….. must rest……
will try for summit in the morning…….. low on beer !
…… almost there !
Day 2 with Disney and we avidly await their departure to see their chosen route, which so far, remains
unknown apart from Team Leader Doc. From Camp 3 they cross back over the Fjord and scale the
Eagle Pass…….. but what’s this? ……… from the head of the Eagle they are going straight up !! yes,
they are going to take on the “Parton Cleavage” ……. a giant fissure between two mammoth rocks……
well it could work as dwarfs are bigger than gnomes …….. and if they slip and fall? ……. what a nice
way to go!
Happy, and who wouldn’t be, is up first using the “Jack and the Beanstalk ” technique with Sneezy
and Dopey acting as hand and foot holds until he reaches the crack. From there using his bulk he
can secure pitons in the soft rocks for others to follow.
Doc’s well thought out plan has them over “Dolly’s Rocks” and the “Cleavage” and they try for Camp 6
as the storm clouds gather. However, the intense efforts of Sneezy humping Sleepy up the Falls has
paid its price and despite a superdwarf attempt they cannot get him onto the final ridge. With nightfall
and wind and rain approaching they elect to bed down at Camp 5 and wait for morning.
A superdwarf effort from Sneezy in the gathering gloom as the storm
Day 3, nothing from the French or the Kiwis but Team Disney are in radio contact. They say the worst
of the storm has passed and Doc has reviewed the team and making his decision as to who will
make the first attempt on the summit. Sleepy woke up suddenly during the night and is now confirmed
with a chronic case of insommnia. Bashful has finally come out of the closet and admitted he is gay.
Sneezy has contracted a terrible head cold to add to his other malady. Happy is grumpy as he has
been told he will not be on the final ascent. Grumpy is even more pissed off than usual as he has been
left in charge of the restless talkative Sleepy.
No ! I’m not Happy you dimwit……. I’m Grumpy !
Final pairing for the summit attempt confirmed as Team Leader Doc, and the humper and dumper
At first light the duo set off for the summit and after treking along the ridge they arrived at a simple
mound denoting the highest point. With the wind still howling the American flag was planted and
Doc took the salute while Dopey gave a “high 5” and hummed the anthem.
Team Leader Doc takes the salute as the American flag flies over the
Some time later, with improving weather, the scene was re-enacted for the World’s press.
” Team Disney summit the Eagle”
TONY DOWN Director
No gnomes or Dwarfs were harmed during the making of this epic documentary