SARS Outbreak Forces Wheelchair Explorer To Delay Everest
08.05. 2003. London. Less than a week before the start of a wheelchair
explorer's expedition to the Tibetan side of Mount Everest, the
China Tibet Tourism Bureau has closed the country to foreigners
in an attempt to prevent the spread of the SARS virus.
Glenn Shaw, who suffers from Brittle Bones and is confined to a
wheelchair (when not driving his Land Rover or paddling a canoe),
has been organising the Everest expedition for over two years. "This
was going to be my 50th anniversary tribute to Hillary and Tenzing's
first ascent in 1953," explained Glenn. The expedition had
been planning to reach Base Camp on May 29th, exactly fifty years
to the day since the historic achievement.
As a result of the decision to close Tibet, Glenn and his team
have been forced to delay the start of the expedition until favourable
weather conditions return to the mountain in the autumn. "Obviously,
all the members and sponsors are very disappointed," Glenn
said. "But as a responsible expedition we respect the action
that the authorities have taken. The health and well-being of the
people of Tibet must be everyone's first concern." Glenn's
supporters and sponsors are all standing by him.
Mount Everest enjoys two brief periods of calm and stable weather
each year: April and May, and October and November. The rest of
the time, strong winds and heavy snowfall can make approaches to
the mountain unpleasant and even hazardous. "I need the best
possible conditions if I am to stand a chance of reaching Everest,"
explained Glenn. "I can't go in May so I have no choice but
to be patient and wait until October.
A Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, Glenn Shaw is a past
recipient of a ski scholarship from the American National Sports
Centre For The Disabled. In 2001, he was awarded a Winston Churchill
Memorial Trust Fellowship, which enabled him to undertake a voyage
by sea kayak around part of the Antarctic coastline. Glenn has also
worked with Brunel University's Research and Development Team to
develop kayaking equipment for fellow disabled explorers.
Glenn Shaw 07880 507263, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Steven Day 07931 777777, email: email@example.com
Notes: See www.glennshaw.com
for high resolution photography, biography, sponsors and details
of the expedition.
For more information on the decision to close Tibet to foreigners,