Bredar said the group was lucky it was caught by the winds somewhat below the 29,035-foot (8,850-meter) summit. "Sherpas are inside the tents, helping hold them down. A Swiss group has lost some tents and have taken others down."
The winds may pick up speed by as much as 25 percent and may stay strong until April 28 or 29, Bredar said. "This is par for the course on Everest. The winds can come up like this. It is good that the climbers are where they are. If they had been higher, this would have been a lot more serious," he said.
The winds are unlikely to have a major impact on the overall outcome of the expedition, Bredar said. The expedition is still in its acclimatization stage of the ascent, moving supplies from the Base Camp to Camp Two in advance of the main attempt, which is likely to be in early May.
The Geographic group was scheduled to return to Base Camp Saturday, but will now wait until the wind dies down.
National Geographic is filming the 50th Anniversary Everest Expedition as part of a documentary that will premiere globally in May 2003 on the National Geographic Channel.
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