|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
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
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
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
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
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
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.