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PEAK FREAK MT. AMA DABLAM EXPEDITION - Dispatches

 

  • Ama Dablam Expedition 1996- Team healthy and back in Kathmandu
  • Ama Dablam Expedition 1999- Team celebrates 8 out of 8 on top!
  • Ama Dablam Expedition 2000- Team celebrates 6 out of 6 on top!
  • Ama Dablam Expedition 2004- Success! Team healthy and happy in Namche. 
  • Ama Dablam Expedition 2005- Commences Sep. 25, 2006
  • Ama Dablam Expedition 2006- Commences Sep. 25, 2006
  • Ama Dablam Expedition 2007- Commences Oct. 1, 2006

 

PEAK FREAK AMA DABLAM 2004

October 23- Tunc reporting from Kathmandu. All went well and we summited with Wally Reisinger. Everything was so good. The team was very nice and Tim was exceptionally nice as always. We were sad to be parted with him on his departure to Mt. Pumori. Thank you for all you effort and we will be talking again soon for another climb. Please be safe and happy. All the best, Tunc.

October 23- Hey Becky, Paddy here. Just a quick note to let you know Tim is fantastic and to thank you for all you have done to make this a very special trip. I will catch up to you in Nelson sometime soon. All the best Paddy.

October 22- Hello this is Wally Reisinger here. We made it back to Namche and all is well. We summited!!!. Tunch and Tunc and I and Dendi Sherpa were all together on top. Dendi is great guy and very strong climber. He was so excited he was bouncing around all over base camp. We didn't run into Tim's Pumori team but word has it they are all healthy and raring to go. Thanks for the wonderful expedition. 

October 20- The team reached Namche today and are celebrating a successful trip. Members reaching the summit on Oct. 18th were Wally Reisinger of Saskatoon, and Tunc Findik from Turkey.

October 17- Base Camp is starting to get busy. Six new teams arrived including 30 climbers on one team and 40 on another. The Koreans have pulled out as they were running of time. Our team is happy to be ahead of the crowds again this year and were expected to make a summit bid on Oct. 16. Other reports indicate a recent storm covered the area and everyone was laying low. The weather is clearing so it is hopeful the route will stabilize and they are in process of making their summit bid.

October 1 - 7, 2004

Part of the beauty of the Khumbu Valley is its relative isolation. While telecommunications infrastructure is increasing is increasing in many of the communities in the valley, it still takes some effort for the team to communicate. Evidence of this can be found in the route taken by the following team. It was hand-written by Tim and his team at Ama Dablam base camp and then passed along down the valley to the home of Sherpa writer, historian and good friend Lhakpa Sonam Sherpa who lives in Namche Bazaar. Lhakpa did his best to interpret Tim's handwriting and sent it to me. The message likely covers the teams activities between October 1 to the 7th.

"It was great fun dropping off all the clothes and gifts again this year to everyone. Nima Dorjee and Lakputi say hi and thank you. Everything went well with Lama Geshi today also with the Puja. Everyone was stoked to receive the gift of blessed rice and prayer from Lama Geshi that we are instructed to use on the difficult sections of the route. He was his jovial old self as usual. Everyone had a great time with him. It took us about 3 hours to reach base camp because of a late start visiting with everyone. Ang Karsung met us part way up with a thermos of tea and we have setup camp near the Korean team". 

On the way to Ama Dablam base camp Tim was able to deliver gifts of clothing to many of the families. Generous people from our hometown- Nelson, B.C. Canada and other parts of Canada donated an amazing amount of good quality winter clothing for children which was very much appreciated. A special thanks out to the Forestell family for their contribution. The trek in to base camp allows Tim to catch up with old friends, while the team enjoyed the hospitality of a variety of Sherpa families. 

Before proceeding to base camp our team members have the opportunity to receive a traditional blessing and prayers for world peace at a Puja ceremony performed by special invitation from Lama Geshi. As each person is touched on the foreheads with the Lama, a red string and khata scarf are place around their necks. 

The route to base camp from here takes about 2 to 3 hours crossing the old wooden bridge over a fast moving river just outside Pangboche before ascending up the hill side to Ama Dablam base camp. 

The day after arriving the team takes a rest day to acclimatize to the new elevation. Base camp is at an approximate altitude of 4600 meters, and is in a stunning location. The team was treated to an hour and a half of fantastic views before the clouds rolled in for the remainder of the rest day. The team started the safety check on our equipment including their harnesses, ropes and practiced use of stoves at altitude. The sounds of avalanches caused by new snow high up on the mountain could be hard occasionally throughout the night. 

The next day the team made carries to ABC- Advanced base camp at 5300 meters. They set-up camp and stashed some gear and equipment and returned to base camp for the night. 

The Korean team has been having difficulty fixing the ropes to Camp 2 and the PFE team was expecting to be able to help with the fixing to Camp 2 then Camp 3 within a few days.

So far the weather has been rainy and cloudy which translates to new snow higher up on the mountain. These conditions higher up have been challenging for the Koreans. The team expects the weataher to break by the time they make it to Camp 2 and should match the patterns that are normal for the Himalayas through mid- October and November. All of the team is doing well and they are looking forward to reaching the summit around October 15th.

September 30, 2004- There is nothing like a little experience and some good friends to make travel in the Himalayas easier. Tim received a call today from friend in Lukla confirming that Ang Nima Sherpa is on his way up the Khumbu Valley with almost half of the expedition bags while the rest of the bags are coming in from Kathmandu. The delay in baggage hasn't effected the team's plans as we store our equipment in the valley. Although they will be waiting for the rest of their gear to arrive the team will still be able to set-up base camp and begin establishing Camp 1. 

September 29, 2004- The team is in Namche Bazaar, and is spending the day acclimatizing by hiking up to Kunde. The area is home to both a school and medical clinic that were founded by Sir Edmund Hillary, as part of his ongoing and legendary efforts to contribute to the lives of the Sherpa people. Tim was able to finish shopping for the rest of the expedition food to be loaded on the yaks for base camp during this time. 

September 28, 2004- Thank goodness for the decision to hire a helicopter; flights have been backed up in Kathmandu for nine days now due to poor weather in Lukla. There are close to 100 climbers in Kathmandu right now all waiting for the weather to clear at Lukla. The weather has been fairly difficult so far this season. The helicopter which was intended to drop the team in Syangboche ended up having to drop them in Lukla instead. Unfortunately the weight restrictions compounded with bad weather had some weight restrictions that resulted in leaving some of the baggage waiting in Kathmandu till the weather improves. 

September 27, 2004- The weather at Lukla is still socked in and a call has been made. Tim hired a helicoper and they are on their way to Syangboche landing strip situated above the clouds near Namche Bazaar. They will drop down to Namche and spend the next two days acclimatizing. This will allow the team to be slightly ahead of schedule. They should be the first team on the mountain as per normal.

September 26, 2004- Tim reports in from Kathmandu that the team is all set and ready to go but mother nature is already dictating the next move. The weather has been socked in in Lukla for 4 days now causing a back up of climbers and trekkers in Kathmandu all waiting to begin their expeditions. The window for the landing of flights at Lukla is very small. They start dispatching at 6:30am in the morning and normally finish around 11:00am before the weather closes in again for the day. If the window opens they will dash as many flights in as they can. Unfortunately these back logs put many teams off schedule. They will wait and see what the morning brings. 

September 23, 2004- Let the expedition begin! The full team of 7 has arrived in Kathmandu and are in the expedition preparation process that takes place around all mountaineering expeditions. Ministry of Tourism formalities, shopping and packing cargo is in process. The team in expected to leave Kathmandu, Lukla bound by fixed wing on September 27. 

 

 

   

      

 

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