Equipped with portable electronic devices that range from high-definition camcorders to satellite-based mobile phones, a three-member climbing team sponsored by Dell (PRODUCT) RED + Windows Vista (PRODUCT) RED, MSN and MSNBC – and carrying a variety of flash-memory products from SanDisk Corporation – is on the flanks of Mt. Everest hoping to reach the summit as part of a campaign to call attention to AIDS in Africa.
Everest Team INSPI (RED), led by Jeff Dossett of Washington state, who is executive producer and general manager of the MSN Media Network, hopes to scale the 29,035-foot peak by late May. The effort is aimed at raising awareness for (RED), an initiative that partners with companies such as Dell, Windows and other major brands to help eliminate AIDS in Africa.
The climbers are chronicling their ascent with digital cameras and camcorders loaded with high-performance SanDisk® flash memory cards, including SanDisk Extreme® Ducati Edition, SanDisk Extreme® IV and SanDisk Extreme® III CompactFlash® cards – which are designed for rugged use and wide temperature ranges -- and the new Sandisk VideoHD™ SDHC™ cards. The expedition also has SanDisk® microSD™ cards for their mobile satellite phones, SanDisk Cruzer® Titanium USB flash drives for file backups and SanDisk Sansa® Clip audio players to help pass long nights spent in their tents.
The other members of the Everest team, all residents of the Pacific Northwest, are professional mountaineering guides Dave Morton and Melissa Arnot. Morton has reached the summit of Everest four times and has climbed extensively in the Himalayas, South America, the Cascades, Alaska and Russia. Arnot guides on Mt. Rainier in Washington and on other peaks worldwide, and is a trainer of wilderness emergency medical technicians with Remote Medical International
"We're pleased that SanDisk is supporting our team with its high-performance flash memory products,” said Dossett before the group left the United States for Nepal in late March. “Professional photographers and expeditions worldwide have relied on SanDisk's pioneering technology in flash memory, and SanDisk has established its reputation for creating durable products that perform well in challenging environments."
Video camcorders are among the team’s most important gear. They are taking helmet cams and handheld camcorders, including Canon’s new VIXIA HF10 Dual Flash Memory high-definition model that records to both internal memory and SD™/SDHC flash cards. Other gear includes the Canon VIXIA HV30 HD video camcorders, a Canon EOS 5D Digital SLRl camera, a Canon PowerShot SD870 IS, Nikon D300 and D80 still cameras, Motorola (PRODUCT) RED SLVR mobile phones, and Dell (PRODUCT) RED XPS 1330 laptop computers. They also are equipped with portable recharging devices to keep their gear operational.
Dossett, serving as a first-person “citizen journalist,” is sending regular dispatches to various websites, including joinred.spaces.live.com and msn.com
The climbers are currently at Everest’s South Base Camp, which is located at an elevation of 17,600 feet and is practically a tent city of expedition activity during the short climbing season. There, the team intends to spend several days adjusting to the altitude before proceeding to four smaller camps along the southeast ridge. At Camp IV, which is on the treacherous South Col at 26,000 feet, they will have only a couple of days to assess weather conditions and decide if they can attempt the final leg of the climb. Reaching the summit at more than 3,000 feet higher requires climbers to leave around midnight since the effort can take 10 or 12 hours.
Dossett, 47, a Canadian citizen who is originally from Toronto, has reached the top of Everest once before, in 2004, when he became the 87th person in history and the third Canadian ever to complete the “Seven Summits,” reaching the summit of the highest mountain on every continent. Commenting on his support of (RED), Dossett said, “I had to do something. When I met with (U2 band leader) Bono to talk about (RED) last December, I told him that I can’t sing, but I can climb mountains. This is what I was inspired to do. Our Everest Team INSPI (RED) hopes to inspire others to do what they can, purchase (PRODUCT) RED and raise awareness to help people living with HIV AIDS in Africa.”
SanDisk Corporation, the inventor and world’s largest supplier of flash storage cards, is a global leader in flash memory – from research, manufacturing and product design to consumer branding and retail distribution. SanDisk’s product portfolio includes flash memory cards for mobile phones, digital cameras and camcorders; digital audio/video players; USB flash drives for consumers and the enterprise; embedded memory for mobile devices; and solid state drives for computers. SanDisk is a Silicon Valley-based S&P 500 company, with more than half its sales outside the United States.