Matura 2005 z języka angielskiego r 11

Matura 2005

Zadanie 11. (4 pkt)
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CLIMBERS ON ALPINE RIDGE RESCUED BY TEXT MESSAGE

Two British climbers who were stranded on a Swiss mountain in a blizzard for three days were rescued by helicopter yesterday after texting an SOS message from a mobile phone to a friend in London. Rachel Kelsey, 34, and her partner, Jeremy Colenso, 33, were lifted to safety from a snowy ridge by a mountain rescue team after surviving two nights in sub-zero temperatures with little food or shelter.

The pair, who are both experienced climbers, had been huddled behind a large rock on an exposed, narrow, granite ledge since Saturday after bad weather closed in as they descended from the summit of Piz Badile near Lake Como in the Swiss Alps. As half a metre of snow fell around them and a fierce electric storm began, their descent had become impossible and they were forced to stop 3,000 metres up and wait until the weather improved or help could be called.

The alarm was raised by a London-based freelance photographer, Avery Cunliffe, after he received a desperate text message from his friends at 5 a.m. on Saturday morning asking for help and providing details of their whereabouts. Mr Cunliffe, also a keen climber, immediately contacted the rescue services in Geneva but bad weather prevented them from reaching the stranded couple until 8.15 a.m. yesterday.

Speaking after her ordeal Ms Kelsey, a qualified climbing instructor, said the situation had become critical by dawn yesterday and the couple had feared they might not be able to survive another night exposed to the extreme cold temperatures. “It was about minus –15oC for a lot of the time and incredibly damp with biting winds and snow. We had rationed our food but that was running out and we had eaten just two peanuts each in 12 hours,” she said.

Ms Kelsey, who was born in South Africa, said she and Mr Colenso had prepared carefully for the expedition, which was supposed to have taken around 18 hours. “We had checked the weather forecast for a week before we set out and checked it again at the base. It was very good. Unfortunately a severe storm came in out of nowhere as we were coming down from the top. It was a huge electric storm – like nothing I have ever seen. The hair on our arms was standing on end and as the lightning struck, our head-torches would go off. We were concerned because of the metal equipment and we were attached to ropes, which can act as electricity conductors. The snow fell to levels about half a metre thick. We reached the only place where you can shelter for the night behind a large rock about half a metre wide by a metre high. We had a lightweight shelter for protection and we dug away the snow for a bit more cover. We realised it was impossible to descend any further so I texted five friends who I thought would be able to get in touch with the Swiss mountain rescue – that was about 1.30 a.m. in the morning. Then, about four hours later, Avery texted me back saying: ‘I’m on the case’.”

Adapted from: The Guardian, October 7, 2003

11.1. The weather conditions
A. changed unexpectedly during the climbers’ expedition.
B. were bad when the climbers set out.
C. could have been predicted.
D. prevented the climbers from alerting the rescue team.

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11.2. Avery Cunnliff
A. read the SOS message at 8.15 a.m.
B. informed the climbers that he was trying to help them.
C. got the SOS message by accident.
D. doesn’t know much about climbing.

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11.3. The two climbers
A. didn’t prepare their expedition very carefully.
B. come from South Africa.
C. knew a lot about climbing.
D. contacted rescue services by mobile.

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11.4. The text is
A. an account of a tragic rescue operation.
B. a description of a dangerous climbing adventure.
C. a report on weather conditions in the Swiss Alps.
D. an article on the usefulness of mobile phones.

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