Filippi's quest falls short

Iqaluit ( May 29/00) - An Iqaluit resident is on his way home after attempting to climb the summit of Mount Everest.

Gabriel Filippi, site manager at the Nav Canada centre, made an attempt to reach the summit Sunday, May 21, but had to turn back.

Louie Garneau, manager of media relations for Nav Canada, was in touch with Filippi early last week.

"There was a real bottleneck up between camp 4 and the summit, so that was one reason," Garneau said.

Several climbers were attempting to reach the summit that Sunday, as the climbing season on Everest was drawing to an end.

"The other thing that played against Gabriel was the weather. Really, that was the big holdup.

"At 8,300 metres (Everest is 8,848 metres high), he came to the realization that the weather was still deteriorating, it was the middle of the night, he could hardly see anything," Garneau said.

"It was a strong blizzard and he decided it wasn't worth it to keep going."

Garneau expected Gabriel would be leaving base camp at the mountain May 25 and would be arriving in Canada sometime early in June.

"We're really thrilled he's able to come back in one piece," Garneau said. "We're really proud of him."