everest 

Whistler's Everest expedition has been postponed until next year. The decision to postpone the trip came last week, when it became apparent that the expedition wouldn't be able to raise enough funds in time for the August departure date. The team needed $150,000 by July 15, a big chunk of which was to come from the sale of expedition leader George Tumpac's house. The house didn't sell, and funds from sponsors wouldn't have been enough to cover costs. The team has managed to obtain another climbing permit for August 1997. "I'm very disappointed personally," said team member Jayson Faulkner. "We worked hard to get everything together." The postponement has its good points, though, he said. The success rate of those climbing Everest is about 36 per cent. "With only four months to prepare, we were decreasing our odds of success by quite a margin. I'm looking forward to a greater chance next year." The extra time, said Faulkner, will make for a stronger team of climbers. Three or four other climbers from Vancouver and Whistler have expressed an interest in joining the expedition. "This gives us more time to do things together as a team," he added. "The message is, we're going ahead for next year, we postponed for all the right reasons, but I'm disappointed. I was ready to go." Faulkner is one of three Whistler team members, along with Reto Marti and Rob Driscoll, planning to scale the world's highest mountain. Faulkner extended his thanks to the Whistler community for supporting the expedition and assured sponsors and those who donated funds that all the money raised will be used for next year's expedition.

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