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Coming Oct. 4

OUR SUPPORTERS

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Sometimes calling "911" just isn't possible.

SUPPORTERS OF

Everest ER

FIRST STEPS HIMALAYA

 

KHUMBU CHRONICLES- Mountaineering climbing news!

EVEREST TODAY daily posts from the team here now

 Everest BLOGS and Himalayan Expedition News Archived here.


Coming Oct. 4        

 

 

                                                                     

 

WHAT'S HAPPENING and IN THE NEWS!

MARTY SCHMIDT- MOUNTAIN GUIDE:  We've had a tragic and heartbreaking loss here at Peak Freaks with the death of Marty Schmidt our lead Everest guide of two years and his son Denali when climbing K2 this summer. They were swept away by an avalanche off Camp 3 on July 27th, 2013' while attempting to be the first father son team to summit K2 in Pakistan. They were not guiding but on a spiritual climb together of their own. 

Tim and Becky Rippel met Marty first in 1994 on Everest north side, both Tim and Marty had on occasion worked with Russell Brice in the early pioneering days of Everest in Tibet.  

We are still trying to come to grips with the fact that Marty and Denali are gone. This is extremely painful to write this but this is life and how it goes sometimes throwing the unexpected. 

Marty's love and unique passion for the mountains and enthusiasm for climbing them will be hard to replace, but life goes on here at Peak Freaks as we start to heal and get ourselves together for another season on Everest in 2014'. We've already started to form a great team of climbers for 2014' and are looking for more members to make once again a complete and well-rounded team. 

We'll be posting here our modified guiding team as soon as we can. In light of this tragedy we will take all the time needed to make sure we've made a good decision. 

We love you Marty Schmidt and we'll miss you. You've had such admiration from anyone that has had the pleasure to get to know you, a brother to all mountaineers worldwide. Now you rest where your heart always was and with your biggest fan by your side.  

Forever in our hearts,  

Tim and Becky Rippel and our Peak Freaks crew.

 

  • March 21, 2012' - The new ruling that was posted here on March 15 has been withdrawn regarding trekkers and base camp. We will be entertaining our guests once again at base camp this year. Thankfully!

  • March 15, 2012' -NON CLIMBERS WILL NO LONGER BE ALLOWED TO STAY AT EVEREST BASE CAMP: Announcing our first hiccup of the season. We heard a rumor earlier this week that Nepal's Ministry of Tourism was meeting to discuss no longer allowing non-Everest climbers to stay at base camp. This means no more trekkers, no more family and friends of climbers, sponsors, journalists, filmmakers or any support workers for that matter unless they are on the climbing permit. To be on the climbing permit it will cost them $10,000.00USD each on top of the regular costs just to get there at around $2700.00USD and other related expenses. 

  • Trekkers will however be allowed to visit camp but they will have to retreat back to a lodge after the long trek to camp. The problem is that there won't be enough accommodation for the numbers that typically go and stay here. So if you're an expedition support worker and need to be there, be prepared to buck up.

  • The worst part is many of us will now have to tell trekkers who have paid on an Everest Base Camp trek they won't be able to stay there. We wish we had some warning but unfortunately these rules are put on all of us without notice. The teams gather in Kathmandu in just 2 weeks from now.

  •  

  • Everest 3D will once again be sponsoring Peak Freaks linking  followers with our climbers allowing you to join us in this journey step by step to the top of the world. Connecting with SPOT GPS tracking. 

  •  

  • Climber aims for Everest:  Frightening fall near Lake Louise refocuses athlete - Everest 2012 climber Travis McPhee was booked to climb with us on Pumori last autumn, but then this happened. He's back on his feet and ready to go for his ultimate goal.     Story.....

  •  

  • UBC Okanagan team heads to Everest for high-level tests on Peak Freak Sherpas and climbing members. Researchers led by a UBC Okanagan scientist will be wheezing their way to the highest laboratory on Earth next month to examine the effects of low oxygen levels on the body.  Physiologist Philip Ainslie of the School of Health and Exercise Sciences in Kelowna has been organizing the 25-person Mount Everest project for about four years. It includes the school’s acting head Gordon Binsted, eight students and post-doctorate researchers from B.C., and scientists from the U.S., New Zealand, Australia and the Netherlands. Video...
  •  
  • Everest Reality "180 Degrees" Climb for Sobriety gearing up for Everest Boot Camp taking place November 2012' Press release...

                                                                                                                                                      

LIVE UPDATES EVEREST 2011- ONGOING NOW!!!

 

Nov. 7, 2010:  Kathmandu: Helicopter crash in the Khumbu, Everest region.. Tim was sitting in our office in Kathmandu today when a call came in: Two people are missing after a helicopter crashed on a rescue mission in the Everest region of Nepal early this morning. The helicopter was one of the 3 new high tech AS 350 B3 high altitude machines that were brought to Nepal last spring and owned by Fish Tail helicopters. 

It was on it's way to rescue two climbers from Mount Ama Dablam. Tim said he was told that one climber was successfully lifted and taken out. The helicopter and rescue worker were on their way back to pick up the second climber from in behind Ama Dablam when the wind hit the helicopter slamming it against the mountain. 

The new helicopters were used for the first time on Everest south last year recovering bodies from days gone by, performing rescues and used for a quick trip out to Kathmandu for post Everest climbers. 

The young pilot had gone through extensive training for this type of operation and is well known by some of our staff in Kathmandu. So sad, our prayers go out to both workers families. 

 

SAD NEWS!... Lama Geshe has had a stroke. He is in Kathmandu hospital and seems to be improving. His son Jigme who is staying in the US with his host family has taken an emergency leave this semester at Nazerth College and is en-route to Kathmandu to care for his father.  

Donations are being asked for and collected directly my Jigme Sherpa who serve as Director of the fund. 100% of donations will be utilized to benefit Lama Geshe and his family.

Those who know us know how dear Lama Geshi is to us. Tim is also currently on his way on his way to Nepal. 

DONATE- PayPal

UPDATE OCTOBER 2, 2010- Lama Geshe

Hello Everyone,

My father is doing pretty well. I met the doctors yesterday and they told me that he had suffered Chronic Subdural Haematoma. Before admitting to the hospital he was motionless and could not talk.The doctors said that it was due to excessive amount of blood in the brain which pushed and squizzed the right side of the brain. My entire family believed he would not survive but now things are in control.

The doctors operated on him to take out the blood and clean the brain. After the operation, he was in ICU for 4 days. During the four days in ICU, rash developed on this bottom which was pretty bad but is getting better day by day. After the surgery, my sister said he could not even recognize her but now he can recognize most of the people who come to see him. He has been eating well. He can move his left side of the body well. His right side of the body at the moment is functionless but the doctors said that he will recover from that as well.

The  doctors still believe that there is blood in his brain and mentioned that they would take those blood out in small amount in multiple periods because they fear that taking out blood at once could damage his brain and also might cause death because of his age.


Love,

--
Jigme Dorji Sherpa
Class of 2011
VP of Executive Operations (UA)

Total Number of Climbers on Mt. Everest

This spring 2010 season we saw a slightly lower number of expeditions attempting Mt. Everest . On the Nepal side 157 foreign climbers and 190 High Altitude Sherpa climbed Mt. Everest .  Though CTMA has not been able to provide us exact numbers, during this same season I predict the total number of climbers on the Tibet side to be around 165.

The latest information from the office of Ms. Elizabeth Hawley, chronicler of all Expeditions in Nepal , gives some very interesting facts. Between 1953 and 2009, the total number of ascents was 4557 by 3163 individuals (some having summited more than once).

Adding this year’s spring total of 513 ascents, of which 268 are new summiteers and the rest are repeat summiteers. In summary, the total number of ascent until today is 5070. Whereas, the actual number of persons having summited Mt. Everest is 3431 till date.

 

New Regulation on Tibet Expedition from autumn 2010:

“In order to promote the organization of expedition, improve team quality and avoid waster of resources, China Tibet Mountaineering Association has implemented some additional provisions for future permit applications, size and reception.

Now the expedition must apply the climbing permits in one month before. If the climbers required applying visas in their own country, they must mention in one month before. As per this new regulation the size of the team for three major peaks ( Mt. Qomolangma , Cho-oyu and Shishapangma) must be above 5 passengers (can contain Nepalese staff) and the ratio for clients with Nepalese staff should be 6:4. The age bar for the climbers has been limited between 18 – 60 years and if the climbers’ age is not within this provision, must provide proof of special health-related applications.”

 

  • Everest South Ridge 2010' Expedition: Full

  •  ACONCAGUA- Summit success 2:30pm January 16, 2010' Completed.

  • ACONCAGUA- Jan. 30, 2010 Full  Summit success: February 14, 2010' - Seven on top!!!

KILIMANJARO 2010'- "Once in Blue Moon" climb and wildlife safari participants are now climbing..  Scott checks in Jan. 6: Team success on Kili now on Safari.  BLOG and video.

 "Sometimes calling 911 just isn't possible" 

When you have a medical emergency, you need the right support, RIGHT NOW! 

Global Remote Medical - Canadian based company PRAXES saving lives working with oil rigs, the military and more are now working with Peak Freak clients worldwide on our 2010' expeditions  including Everest this spring. Stay tuned for more information. 

MOUNT PUMORI EVEREST TRAINING BOOT CAMP.                                                                                                              

"Namaste" "Tashi Delek"  "Welcome"  to our "2009 Mount Pumori-Everest Training"  This is our 5th Pumori expedition. Some with success and all without incident.  

 We have assembled once again an outstanding team consisting of  8 climbers and 11 Sherpa staff members, yaks, porters and the helping hands behind the scenes. Some of those hands are extremely important players in a successful expedition that rarely get recognized. They are the lodge owners- the glue to an expedition, taking care of everyone in and out of the Khumbu Valley. They take care of the sick, re-direct lost bags and more. They communicate via Sherpa mail at which seems to work better than today's cyber technology in some cases. No one understands better the complications that can come about living and working in the Himalayas than them. Keep in mind these people are mainly retired climbing Sherpa's. They have seen it all, and without them picking up the pieces and people along the trail; life could get pretty ugly up there. Hat's off to our family of lodge owners!  We will introduce some of them to you throughout this expedition.  PUMORI NEWS 2009' BLOG  here now! Oct. 4 to Nov. 6- 09'

 

Meet our "hot" soccer team!  Solid team skills are developed early. What's after Everest in the spring for Everest Guide Tim Rippel? His other passion- coaching kids in soccer!

Everest 2009 - May 19- 14 safe successful summits 

 

PEAK FREAKS TO CELEBRATE THE 2010' VANCOUVER OLYMPICS ON TOP OF THE WORLD!

Follow our "Inukshuk" Olympic Mascot to the summit. Tim and the Sherpas have built a 4ft. Inukshuk at base camp. Tim will be building one at each camp and plans to build one on the summit of Everest. An Inukshuk; was used by the Inuit people as a marker meaning: "we were here"  

  • April: 20- Team acclimatized to Camp 2, resting in EBC..more..

  • Meet Craig Evanoff and check out "Mountains Know No Expert"

  • April: 15- Everest 09 Team climbing to Camp 1 tomorrow..
  • April: 14: The Ice-Fall on Everest is completed and our Camp 2 has been established. 

 PEAK FREAKS IS IN-FLIGHT!!! This spring during the Everest climbing season- 3700 flights a day,  7.6 million readers a month on United Airlines...  read "Slippery Slope"

 

April: 15- Everest 09 Team climbing to Camp 1 tomorrow... NEWS HERE NOW! Click on this link to follow along...

April: 14: The Ice-Fall on Everest is completed and our Camp 2 has been established. 

EARTH HOUR CREATOR- Todd Sampson- Peak Freak summiteer summited Everest in 2001 while on expedition led by Tim Rippel. Todd is a Canadian originally from Sydney Nova Scotia now living in Australia and is responsible for the global environmental movement.

Earth Hour is a global WWF climate change initiative. The campaign invites individuals, businesses, governments and communities to turn out their lights for one hour on one day of the year to show their support for action on climate change. The event began in Sydney Australia in 2007, when 2 million people switched off their lights. In 2008, more than 50 million people around the globe participated. In 2009, Earth Hour aims to reach out to 1 billion people in 1,000 cities.

Todd is the CEO of Leo Burnett’s advertising agency in Australia. Some of the current clients include Australia Post, Australian Grand Prix, Canon, Colgate Palmolive, Dulux - Berger and British, Energy Australia, Fairfax, Hallmark, Heineken, Macquarie Bank, Nestle, Nintendo, Procter & Gamble, and Samsung, just to name a few.

Peak Freaks continues to attract like-minded 'mountain huggers' through our "Green Theme" initiatives while playing in the mountains. 

PHOTO: Todd Sampson on the summit of Mount Everest May 21, 2001.

EVEREST 2009:  OLDEST CANADIAN TO ATTEMPT EVEREST AT AGE 67:  Dr. Bernd Wittmann from Penticton, B.C. now holds the record for the oldest Canadian to attempt Mount Everest. This year American Dawes Eddy from Spokane Washington is claiming to be the oldest American at age 65. You can follow Bernd's quest on our current blog Everest 2009'

In 2005 Dr. Sean Egan - associate professor from the Ottawa University attempted Everest at the age of 63 but died from a heart attack on his way down to Pheriche after he complained of not feeling well at base camp.

ACONCAGUA- SUMMIT SUCCESS: Feb. 18, 2009  

AVALANCHE RELATED DEATH TOLLS SOAR IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: Winter 2009: Surface Hoar photo' click onthe photo for the VIDEO of the day! By Marius Bulota,  team 'Alaska to Patagonia' side trip to Nelson to participate in a Peak Freak AST2. 

KILIMANJARO SUMMIT SUCCESS...Jan. 4 at 8:00pm PST (North America time) or Jan. 5 at 7:00am Tanzania time. Everyone summited. Congratulations team!.

KATHMANDU GEAR STORES. While everyone was climbing this autumn I have been lurking around checking out the goods to share with you.

TEAM PEAK FREAKS EVEREST 2008'  MEC- Finalist video! Top 5

Mess found at Pumori BC while we were there this year. It has your name on it so we know who you are and we have pictures too! You may want to consider reimbursing us for our expenses to clean it up, carry it out and disposal fees.

PUMORI- Summit aborted!! too much snow up high. Death's on Ama Dablam . Teams are climbing via an alternative route. Read Tim's assessment of the detioration of Ama Dablam provided last year. 

PUMORI- SUMMIT PUSH TOMORROW!!!- Oct. 24, 2008 Nepal Time and extreme cold tempertures increasing. 

HALF OF THE DABLAM HAS BROKEN OFF AMA DABLAM: Other news: The Dablam broke off again reducing it to half its size on Oct.20th. More avalanches as a result and teams pulling out. Tim made this prediction last year and this is why we moved. It isn't looking good over there.

DEATH ON AMA DABLAM- climber takes a fall November 1, 2008.

ACONCAGUA EXPEDITION  Feb. 6-24/09 Only 2 spots left.

MT. EVEREST SOUTH EXPEDITION April 1/09 Only 3 spots left.

MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR GUY LEVEILLE

October 15, 2008  MT. PUMORI EXPEDITION  Peak Freaks, the only team here, established ABC day before yesterday and are undergoing avalanche training. 

October 6, 2008  EVEREST 2008 SKY DIVE TEAM MEMBER CRASHES- photos

October 5, 2008 -NEWSFLASH....Good friend Guy Leveille who signed up with an Australian operator this year dies on Mt. Cho Oyu- more here..... photo etc.

October 2, 2008 - Mt. Pumori Expedition underway- daily blogs here.

July 14, 2008 - FAMOUS SHERPA CLIMBER PASSES AWAY

Dear Becky, 

This is to inform you that Mr. Gyalzen Sherpa expired a week ago in Namche Bazaar. His funeral was held on July 7,2008. His wife Pemba Lhaki is now 93 years old and is survived by a daughter. their eldest son died of motorbike accident and the elder daughter died of cancer.

 
My father Mr. Pasang Futar Sherpa was also in the 1953 Everest Expedition with the famed Hillary and Tenzing. My father expired 8 years ago and I am his second son. Gyalzen Sherpa is my father's brother in-law ( married to my fathers younger sister now aged 93)

It is so nice to see you are keeping track of our senior sherpas for the world to see. 

Best regards,
Dorji Tsering Sherpa
 

July 14, 2008- New Nepalese Entry Visa Fees announced:

  • 30- day visa fee now $40US, extensions beyond 30 days are now $2US per day.
  • 90 - day visa fee now $100US
  • NEW- 15- day visa for $25US
  • 3 - day transit visa is no longer available.
  • One photo still required for visa issuance of visa at the airport and application which is also available upon arrival at the Kathmandu airport.

May 21, 2008- Canadian Everest team led by Guide Tim Rippel summit Mt. Everest. 13 members reach the top May 21, 2008. 6 members from around the world and 7 sherpas. Tim remained at the Death Zone 27,000 feet for 38 hours rescuing climbers.  Well done! You can home now..... Please!!!!! Becky

May 17- Tim checks in:  SUMMIT PUSH STARTS TOMORROW MORNING!!!! - Tim calls from his sleeping bag at which he complains is too hot because he dressed to climb in the wee hours of the morning up to Camp 3.  Everyone is nestled in and probably enjoying some good high altitude dreams right now. The team is heading up, this is it! 

THE PLAN

  • May 18- Climb to Camp 3- sleep
  • May 19- Sleep at Camp 3 on more night
  • May 20- To the south col- Camp 4 - rest a few hours and then head for the summit in the night.
  • May 21- 0900- or earlier on the summit!

Many teams are still down low, some in the Khumbu Valley, some at base camp and some at Camp 2. The first wave looks like Peak Freaks, the Indian Army, the Nepalese women's team, and Project Himalaya.

Photo of Tim opening his care package delivered by the support trekkers. He is holding a picture of himself climbing drawn by the most important person in the world to him, our 7 year old grandson Ethan. Most important next to me that is, we often take position between number one and number two.  GO GRAMPY GO! 

We are going to try and organize some footage and audio to post to the site when they go for the summit- stay tuned ! 

Support Team blog updated: Good times and pictures to share. 

 

 

 

 

Today we would like to  introduce the eldest member of our team - George LaMoureaux 51 years old, a realtor and cartoonist from Anchorage, Alaska. George's mission for climbing Everest is for the purpose of filming  "The First National Missing Children's Telethon" going from the "Coldest Mountain on the Planet" (Denali) to the "Tallest Mountain on the Planet" (Everest) and back to the "Studio Audience, Lost and Found Children, Law Enforcement, Supporters and Celebrities Endorsements along with Film Shorts for Peak Freaks"  Scott Mortensen, Tim Rippel and sherpa supporters will be behind the camera. 

LaMoureaux has been on a seven year mission to help find children is also fighting another battle; as a "Recent Cancer Survivor" that has had five Cancer Surgeries in the last two months and is on a “Customized All Natural Nutritional Recovery Program” for pre-climb, during the climb and post climb of Everest from sponsor Steve Plante’, owner of the Organic Oasis. “This program will strengthen LaMoureaux’s immune system and create the strength to climb Mt. Everest” said, Plante’. LaMoureaux, also received substantial recognition and support from the Lance Armstrong Foundation for inspiring and empowering people effected by cancer

LaMoureaux, who summited the 20,320 ft. peak of Denali in 2002, which was filmed by a FOX / Olympics Camera Crew, where he and his team went up Denali with only 17 days of food, because of bad weather conditions stayed for 31, consequently half the team turned around and went home, but LaMoureaux stayed until the other half of the team summited, which will be a part of the broadcast event.  Good luck George! there are many prayers coming your way.

A Child Is Missing Program is now in all Fifty States Nationwide and to date we have over 325 safe assisted recoveries to our credit. We work with the US Marshal’s Service, FBI, State and local law enforcement agencies, attorney generals offices and other child safety groups. The program has been used successfully for over 11 years. We also assist in school lock downs, CART, Airport Alerts for children and people with Alzheimer’s.

May 16, 2008- Tim checks in: "Expedition leaders and sherpas gathered yesterday to discuss next steps of fixing the route to the summit. The sherpas need some time to rest and prepare and the winds were high today so everything has been bumped back a bit. Seven sherpas have been contributed from various teams to head out when the winds die down probably around the 19th or 20th.  Peak Freaks will head up behind them on the 20th along with quite a few others from various expeditions to line up for a summit bid beginning May 21st . This should be the first wave of summits. That is the plan as of today. Weather from here on out will dictate how it will go. Everyone has been watching the May 21st window for sometime now and it hasn't changed much. Have a nice weekend everyone back home. We will be enjoying life at Camp 2. Food as usual is good, our infamous Peak Freak's sushi parties are as always a real spirit lifter. We are getting fresh chicken ferried up to us with fresh vegetables and eggs for breakfast so we aren't hurting in the food department. Pass the jelly beans please!  Over and out - Tim "

Our base camp cook Ang Karsung has been working with Peak Freak's for now 17 years. It has been a real pleasure having such a talented cook and friend. Several years ago I taught Tim how to make sushi, he bought the equipment and condiments and spent one afternoon showing Ang Karsung how to do it. Ang Karsung nodded his head, Tim went on his way, and for dinner out came the most amazing sushi 100 x better than Tim's.  I think we should organize a sherpa cook off for the cooking channel. Can you imagine Hell's Kitchen up here!

Really!... having good food is a very important element in the success of an expedition. Maintaining good health through appetizing easy to digest food at these extreme altitudes is essential. Knowing what foods will keep well and eat well takes experience. Nationalities and their tastes are also a consideration for cooks. Because of this Ang Karsung is very good at preparing  international cuisine.  If you are reading other expedition blogs at this time you will see everyone is talking about food. That is because this is the main event from now till summit time.

Support Trek Team- Is now back in Kathmandu. Pictures coming soon. Some are getting ready to depart home tomorrow. Tonight they will be enjoying a Nepalese cultural dinner and dance as part of their Peak Freak bon voyage celebration.

SHERPA MARATHON on May 29, 2008.  THE HIGHEST MARATHON IN THE WORLD! The original Everest Marathon was created and listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the highest marathon in the world. It is the world's most spectacular race and has been held twelve times since 1987.The start line is at Gorak Shep 5184m (17,000 feet), close to Everest Base Camp in Nepal. The finish is at the Sherpa town of Namche Bazaar at 3446m (11,300 feet) and the course is a measured 42 km (26.2 miles) over rough mountain trails.  This race traditionally consists of foreign racers. This year the sherpas are busy organizing their own right now from base camp. They are anticipating a start date of May 29, 2008 ,the end of the Everest season.  

Peak Freak's is sponsoring Ang Pasang Sherpa who has already made several trips back and forth during this year's climbing season.  All the yaks should be off the trail and at base camp by this time collecting expedition equipment so they should be able to really move. Epic!  what a great way to end the season.  Go Pasang Go!

 

May 15, 2008- Tim checks in: "The weather has been awesome and the team is also doing awesome. Sultan (first Everest climber from Oman), did his acclimatization climb to Camp 3 and is now back at Camp 2 resting. He is doing terrific! Farouq (first climber from Saudi Arabia), will be going up to complete his acclimatization day tomorrow and then we are in position to begin our summit bids. More oxygen is doing up and everyone is getting pumped. There are a lot of climbers on them move right now making their way up to Camp 2 from BC getting in position for the big summit push. "  Over and out- Tim

The cyclone we had been watching in the Bay of Bengal has now been down graded to a tropical storm.  We may have some precipitation rolling in around the 21st for a couple of days but the high pressure will hopefully keep it down in the valley. The team is now looking at a summit window around the 18th - 19th in hopes to avoid the crowds on the 21st onward. 

In the meantime Helen Lutz our team dietitian is working with the team and the cook to help build the climber's energy for the feat ahead of them. I will share with you some of her valuable information:

Eating for Everest:  Minimize Your Weight Loss on the Mountain

High altitude mountaineering is an immense physical and emotional challenge.  Eating and drinking are essential to maintaining energy and hydration for best performance.  However due to significant body changes and stresses at high altitude, eating and drinking can be an enormous challenge for many climbers. 

A number of changes happen to mountaineers when they reach altitudes higher than about 3000 m or 10,000 ft.    Many of these changes directly affect how well the body is able to eat, digest and use the food and fluids that are consumed. 

Weight loss is a common consequence of climbing and mountaineering at altitude.  Some researchers estimate that climbers can burn over 6000 calories per day in such extreme environments.  Yet food intakes of climbers at altitude have been shown to fall by 10-50% depending on the rate of ascent and individual tolerance. Just when a climber needs food energy the most, a high altitude, low oxygen environment immediately reduces a climber’s appetite and interest in eating.   

Weight loss at altitude represents the loss of lean muscle mass.  Those lean muscles are the ones that are needed to get you up (and down) the mountain.   Excessive weight loss caused by loss of appetite, exhaustion and stress can lead to further weakness and may mean the end of a long awaited trip.   

Meeting energy needs while climbing at altitude requires a concerted effort.   Carbohydrates are the most efficient source of energy to consume at high altitude.  Complex carbohydrates are found in whole grain bread and cereals, potatoes, dahl, rice and pasta.  These foods take several hours to digest, but provide the body with a sustained long lasting source of energy.  Simple carbohydrates on the other hand are digested very quickly and provide instant energy for working muscles.  Choosing food and fluids that provide the most energy with the least amount of digestive “effort” is the best choice while at altitude.  Research has shown that aggressively loading a climbers diet with carbohydrates, particularly sweet fluids, can be helpful.  Here are some additional strategies to minimize weight loss:

  •   ·       Seek out foods that feel good in your mouth, sit well in your stomach and are more likely to stay down.  Common “hiking” foods such as jerky, trail mix,  

  •        chocolate, cheese or nuts may be unappealing, and take too much energy to chew, swallow and digest. 

  • ·       Include protein rich foods in small servings throughout the day when possible.  Examples include lean meat, hard boiled eggs, skim milk powder added to hot drinks, small servings of nuts and cheese (they digest slowly), and dahl / rice meals.  Protein foods are helpful for repairing muscles tissue.    

  • ·       When you have the time and are feeling well enough, try to eat a larger sized portion than normal. 

  • ·       Snack on small amounts of food frequently throughout the day and be sure to keep these within easy reach.    Examples include hard candies, crackers and jam, instant breakfast drinks, small bites of meal replacement bars (with fluids), small bites of dried fruit (with fluids), dry sweetened breakfast cereal, soft candy such as gummy bears, and cakes.    

  • ·       Drinking sweet fluids that are high in carbohydrates is helpful.  Examples include apple cider, hot jello drinks, hot iced tea mixes, Gatorade, and sweet tea 

  • ·       Develop a schedule for regular, enforced drinking of sweet fluids

  • ·       Drink warm beverages if and when possible.  They are great physical and emotional boosters.

  • ·       If nausea strikes, sip on fluids frequently

  • ·       Most experts will suggest avoiding caffeinated beverages at altitude.  However, some climbers find relief from high altitude headaches by drinking a double strength cup of coffee.      

 May 14, 2008- Tim checks in:   "Nabs is on his way up to C1 then C2 tomorrow. Farouq has arrived at C2 and Dom completed his C3 acclimatization. Tim expects the Indian Army team is probably in the best position to make the first summit bid on May 17. Our sherpas are still working our oxygen supplements up to C4, 21 bottles went up and there is much more to go. We most definitely want to give these guys some days rest before the summit push.  We will make that priority. The ropes are just about completed to the south summit.  

Our summit bid will be the 17th or 18th of May. There is some wind on the 19th that will want to avoid and then there is a calming trend again on the 20th of May. There is a lot of talk of teams looking at the 20th to the 23rd. We are leaving ourselves open for the 17th or 20th depending on the status of our climbers and sherpas and their stamina around those times." 

At this stage of the climb the climbers are starting to show the effects of living at altitude. They loose incredible amounts of weight at altitude. It has been seven weeks now and a week or more to go before the summit push. They have by now lost all fat reserves and even continue to do so while resting. In this harsh environment the body will start to consume muscle when there is no fat left. It is always such a balancing act when climbing Everest. Acclimatization with health, time needed to recover, trips up and down to avoid AMS, hauling loads, sitting out weather. The down time with the Chinese invasion didn't help matters adding another consideration in the equation. Thankfully the weather isn't hammering them too bad this year. There is another cyclone developing off the Bay of Bengal but again, it is not expected to cross over Everest but never say never. They will be watching it closely. The spin off may throw some wind their way and unexpected gusts may develop. They will be watching!  Speaking of watching.... what a roller coaster of emotions for me watching "Storm over Everest" last night. We knew some the people that didn't make it and the sherpas that were put in a very hard position. The amazing David Breashears documentary of the 1996 disaster known to many by the book "Into Thin Air". A must see!!!  Riveting...This is the best climbing documentary you will ever see. 

Tomorrow our team dietitan will giving advice how to maintain body weight at altitude. If you have a particular question about nutrition for the high altitude climber. Now would be a good time to ask our High Altitude Nut - Helen Lutz MPH, RD    Stay tuned!

STORM OVER EVEREST BEGINS TODAY- MAY 13 ON PBS or Watch it online at Frontline- PBS

 

May 13- Vanessa EBC support leader checks in from Namche:     " around 10am that morning, Tim and group radioed from the top of the Khumbu Glacier to tell us all to come outside and look with our binos. They were waving to us! How cool was that???? They were 4 wee peeps standing at the top of the last ladder."  ....more here

Tim checks in: Today Tim, Scott, George, Larry did their acclimatization climb to Camp 3 and are now resting at Camp 2.  Sultan and Dom took one more day of rest at Camp 2, Dom will go up tomorrow and Sultan wants to wait till Farouq and Nabs get up and are rested. 

Tim says, " It was quite the visual the day before yesterday watching a steady stream of climber's butt to butt making their way up to C3, granted most of them were sherpas, but it put it into perspective of how many people there are up here. At base camp everyone is in tents and spread out so you really can't see the scale like we do know. The two ropes up and down from the south col will work well. Also the multiple summit windows on the horizon should make a smooth sailing for those who have been able to maintain strength, both mental and physical. "

 He also added that the route up to C3 was no longer icy. There had been some snow and now with sherpas stomping the steps down combined with the extreme temperatures during the day it is all compressing and making the route straight forward and easy to travel on. They went up in about 7 to 8 hours up and 2 hours down. 

May 12- Climber's going up and trekkers going down!- The trekker's left BC today. There was a storm yesterday and the clouds are still socked in so the trekkers that were thinking of climbing Kala Pattar for the popular photo advantage of the Khumbu glacier and Everest will instead head on down the valley making their way down to Namche to meet up with the rest of the team. 

Nabs and Farouq who took a rest day yesterday at Base Camp were stuck there today because of the storm. Tim, George, Dom, Larry and Sultan had a nice day above the clouds and storm at Camp 2 resting, reading and enjoyed a fresh chicken lunch, ham and veg snacking throughout the day and pasta and soup for dinner. They are comfortable, eating well and gearing up for Camp 3 in the early morning. There is plenty of time for Nabs and Farouq to catch up as Tim is talking about two waves for summit pushes. There are two windows right now. One is May 17 with higher winds increasing on May 18 and slowly tapering off offering another good window on May 21 to 23.  

As noted yesterday the south col Camp 4 is now fixed and our sherpa staff are now ferrying loads of oxygen up for the summit pushes. All is moving ahead in good speed. Good cooperation and everyone is still having fun but are at the same time starting to get anxious to get on top and get home to their loved ones and land of the living. 

May 12- China's earthquake and the Everest region!- Nothing was felt in the Khumbu Valley as far as I know. Nepal has not reported any quake activity there and Tim called this morning oblivious to there having been one.  Rest assured everyone is fine.  Updates coming in the next hour on the climb.  Becky

May 11- THE SUPPORT TREKKERS HAVE ARRIVED AT B.C.   Trekkers at base camp include: Vanessa, Bud, Val, Lisa, Tim, Kim, Sabrina, Naomi, Anne and rumor is out that Scott W. is on his way up today after taking a day off. The team is now sleeping at BC and will head back down tomorrow. Some may make climb Kala Pattar while some start the decent back down. Ginette developed a cold by the time she first arrived at Namche. Read her blog here:

Tim called in from Camp 2: Nabs and Farouq are taking a day of rest at base camp after their long walk back from Namche Bazaar. At Camp 2 right now is: Tim, Sultan, George, Larry, Scott and Dom. Tomorrow is a rest day at Camp 2 while Nabs and Farouq will ascend to Camp 2 to join them. The next day they will all push up to Camp 3. The route to Camp 4- (south col), is now fixed and loads of oxygen are on their way up to stock Camp 4. 

Everything is moving along swiftly now and news of summit bids are going to start coming off of Everest soon.  Exciting times!   Our team is looking at May 17 for a summit bid. The first summit bid window for this year. If they miss that one the next would be May 21. Everyone is doing remarkably well at this point but the hammer comes down now as the altitude really starts to kick in.  It will be a hole new experience for most of them. However they have one common strength that we believe plays a major role in the success of an expedition and that is their positive attitudes and team spirit. 

May 11, 2008 "HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY"- This is a prayer that Nabil's Mum composed for Nabil and for all the members of the Peakfreak expedition lads for the their final ascent. And this perhaps would reflect the prayers of all the other Mums who like me would want to wish them all a successful summit climb and a safe return.   Suhaylah

MUM'S PRAYER

May the hardness of the mountains inspire you to remain strong, both physically and mentally.
May the Lhotse face so steep and shiny, hold your every step with firm embrace.
May your strength and stamina never fail as you negotiate the path across its face.
May the mountain spirits be around you, to guide you and lift you up and calm you.
With oxygen masks and crampons on, may you navigate your way safely through the maze of fixed ropes.
May you watch your every step over the slope of Geneva Spur, and sandy stones of yellow band, and lose no hope.
May the rose tint skies await you on your morning summit day,
With light wind on tow you shall ascend Earth's glorious peak in  May
Please do not linger for long up there, as your body cannot endure the hardships of the pressures abound.
You need the strength to be homeward bound.
You will return a Hero,  life's ambition fulfilled -  so rise and rejoice as your family and friends  await you.
 
God Bless You.

AND I BIG HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY TO ALL OUR MUM'S,  MOM'S and WIVES!  We will be very good.  We all know-  " The summit is optional and that coming home is mandatory." 

FINAL CONTRIBUTION TO THE TIBETAN PEOPLE:   During the take over of Mount Everest by the Chinese and throughout the torch relay around the world there was one climbing news website who rose to the occasion in support of the Tibetan people publishing information never heard before.  Today's contribution I want to pass on to our readers. It is well worth reading!  EXPLORES WEB:  George Patterson's  FINAL CONTRIBUTIONTO THE TIBETAN PEOPLE

May 9, 2008- We have our BC village back to ourselves - Tim checks in: Our military friends said their good byes yesterday thanking us for our cooperation and our hospitality. They are now packed up and gone and the mountain has been given back to the climbers on the south side only. China had announced in April it was going to re-open Tibet May 1 to foreigners again and a few days later made the announcement to keep it completely closed till after the Olympics is finished in August.  What this means for us on the south side?  

It means climbers can now wear "Free- Tibet" t-shirts and mention those words, we can have sponsor banners back on our tents, we have our mountain radios back, sat-phones, computers and video cameras returned to us, our freedom of speech, say what we want on our website and the best part is the mountain is now open to climbing to the summit!!!  

Last night was a very noisy night. The mountains were alive train wrecking all around us. Big chunks were slamming down off Mt. Pumori and the ice- fall was crashing and groaning. The days are getting warmer which will start to deteriorate the structure of the ice-fall. Have no fear though because the ice-fall doctors have built the route away from any of the dangerous areas and will be maintaining the ladders throughout the day. 

Everything is moving along swiftly right now. The ropes are in to Camp 3. Some of our sherpas headed out today to start chipping out tents spots at C3 and everyone is contributing sherpa man power among their teams to start fixing the route to C4- the south col.

Our teams climbing plan currently looks like this:

  • May 11: Team climbs up to C2 - sleep there two nights.

  • May 13: Team climbs up to C3- sleep one night.

  • May 14: Retreat to BC- or C2 and rest.

  • May 17: Good weather for a summit bid from the 17th to the 21st and possibly beyond. 

Depending how well the climbers recover from their sleep at C3 will determine how the summit bids will play out.  Scott, Farouq, Dom and Nabs are due back from Namche excursion tomorrow. As well the trekkers are now at Lobuche and should arrive at BC tomorrow.  Tim said the Peak Freaks camp looks like a little village of its own with many tents assembled for the trekkers scattered around them. It will be bustling with activity tomorrow night if they are on schedule. 

It has been quite fun for the trekkers and the climbers because of the break down to Namche. With everyone being scattered out down the valley during the closure, they have had the opportunity to become acquainted and really feel like they are part of the climb too and they are!  Their moral support does a lot for the climbers and what perfect timing! They will see everyone off on May 11- big celebration...  The last celebration was yesterday. It was Saad's birthday. Ang Karsung whipped him up a beautiful sherpa cake for the team to share with him. Nice!

Stay tuned! - summit fever is just around the corner....          P.S.  Roger and Mario were successfully lifted by helicopter today to Kathmandu. 

May 8, 2008 - A Larry spotting!- Trekkers spent the night with Larry May 8, May 9 at 0300hrs he sprinted off to base camp. The others will take it easy as Scott has an sprained ankle he needs to treat it with tenderness.

May 8, 2008- Chinese torch put helicopter rescue on hold. Now a trekker is stranded and very sick.  Emails from our headquarters in Kathmandu..

Becky

"The helicopter was ready to fly early this morning but the army suddenly stopped the flight as the Chinese are taking the Olympic flame up to the summit this morning. The Army received an order from the Ministry to ground helicopters.   The scheduled Lukla flights have operated but they are not allowing any helicopters to fly to Everest region.  They have put a temporary hold order on helicopter flights.   We were told by Dynasty airline that maybe we can do the flight after 10.30 am when they expect the Chinese will have completed their bid to the summit.   I have explained all this to Roger, and Tsedam is with them at the helipad in Namche waiting for the chopper".

Hi Becky,

"The Olympic torch has reached the summit and its on the way back 
down.  We are now getting permission for the helicopter to take off 
in about 15 minutes".

Becky

"Unfortunately the weather has turned bad and its cloudy, windy now 
and the helicopter is unable to fly in this weather. We have now 
scheduled a flight for tomorrow morning.  we will get them out 
tomorrow for sure".

Mario Trinchero had been bitten by an insect in Kathmandu before the trek and it has turned into a staff infection. The antibiotics are not working and he needs to be hospitalized

May 8 - Scott in Namche 0718hrs Nepal TimeHey Becky, Did our "GO! China mantra finally pay off? We have late breaking word that the summit was torched. I'm packing my bags in Namche Bazaar along with Farouq, Nabs, and Dom for the 26 mile walk back up to base camp. We'll take it easy as not to fry our legs. If the rumors are true we should be up to Camp III next week and then summit ourselves sometime before the end of the month...

Again, this info is all communicated via the Sherpa wireless but it has been quite reliable so far... all family and friends wish us luck. Hopefully we can now start fliming, calling, and communicating. We are keeping you in our thoughts and prayers and you are with us every step of the way... Godspeed,   M. Scott Mortensen

EVEREST HAS BEEN TORCHED

May 8, 2008- this picture distributed by China's official Xinhua Nws Agency

CHINESE SUMMIT-  Here are a couple sites to check it out.

Live torch coverage at CNN website      Live torch coverage at Beijing website    CCTV- Beijing Official Internet broadcast

May 7 - Chinese going for the summit right now?    Go China go!!!!  I am sure the climbers on the south side would be beside themselves to join in the celebration. Out of a courtesy for all that they have been through they should be allowed to help cheer them on.  Can someone in China please wake them up share the news? I am serious! -  Becky       Posted: 1300hrs PST.

May 7, 2008 - Tim calls 0800hrs PST from Base Camp - Three days to go till Sagamartha (Nepalese name for Everest) is suppose to be given back to the world according the permit agreement. Our team members are slowly making their way back from Namche enjoying every minute of the land of the living. A place where things grow and body cells mend. Speaking of which- I sure hope Scott's sprained ankle is on the mend. 

Some of our Sherpas have been given permission to carry rope up to Camp 3 to start getting ready for the opening of the upper mountain. 

The weather is favorable from where I sit at base camp, but higher winds prevail on the summit. The weather reports show higher wind spikes in the next few days and dropping back down around May 13 but nothing significant. The skies are clear up top. This is all normal weather patterns for Everest. Traditionally the calmer wind transition doesn't take place till mid to late May so all is normal.  

Saad has had a successful acclimatization stay at C1 and C2 and will be ready to sprint in Rapid Ascent style whenever he is given the word "go" and the oxygen is in place at Camp 4. 

Everyone is doing well, spirits are still high, everyone is having fun but anxious to get on with what we all came here for. Planes were flying around Everest again yesterday but still no word from the Chinese.  Over and out- Tim

Our support base camp trek team who the climbers enjoyed an evening with in Namche should now be sleeping in Pangboche. Home of Lama Geshi, the Yeti Skull, Nima Dorjee and his wife Lhakpani. Tomorrow they will be moving up to Dingboche for two nights. We should be getting word from them by that point. 

A party of three on the trek team had a helicopter evacuation this morning out of Namche Bazaar.  Mario Trinchero from the USA had been bitten by an insect in Kathmandu that turned into a staff infection. He has been on antibiotics and bed rest but it is not healing. He needs hospital care. His father Roger returned with him and friend Paul Krsek who has been doing a dynamite job taking care of the them with the help of Lhakpa Sherpa and coordinating logistics. All three are returning to Kathmandu. Roger and Mario went by helicopter and Paul will walk out to Lukla and fly by fixed wing from there to meet up with them in Kathmandu.  Mario will likely go on intravenous to combat the infection. 

Wishing them all safe travels and Mario a speedy recovery! They are missed very much by the rest of the team. - Becky

May 6, 2008- To worry about what you don't have, is to waste what you do have!

Blog # 4- by Scott Mortensen

Do you ever wonder why someone would want to climb the world’s tallest mountain?  Me too.  Usually, I prefer adventures that are a little more off the beaten path, like taking a couple of mountain bikes across the United States (hi Matt!) or surfing some secret big wave spot (Derrick, get the jet ski ready;)  No cameras, permits, hype, or fuss.  Despite, my low-pro preferences, this year on EVEREST is proving to be quite a unique adventure.  Other adjectives I would throw in are: frustrating, scary, scandalous, painful, harmonious, and successful.

Fellow climber, Nabil Lodey’s quote still rings true (he’s from UK ), “I’m trying to reduce the variables on a trip where there seems to be no constants.”  Since, only my family knew about my plans to go to Everest—and that was only two days before my flight left for Kathmandu—I would like to inform all my other loved ones of my intentions….For those of you who don’t know, my quest atop the world’s highest mountain is a goal that includes finishing an independent film, completing a book, and helping to shoot “Climb for America’s Missing Children.”

 

So far it’s going great.  Great that is, until I decided to escape the BASE CAMP theatrics for some R&R down the valley.  On the walk to Namche Bazar, I tweaked my knee in a downhill, Sherpa-led sprint.  (“Don’t compete with the Sherpas,”…Gold Team Leader is often quoted as saying, and once again he is right.) Additionally, in the last 800 meters of the 26-mile trek I sprained my ankle in foggy, white-out conditions.  I was trying to film scenery while passing some Euro-dudes, chain smoking cigarettes…What can I say, I’ve never been good at multi-tasking, so maybe “don’t compete with trail-blazing Euro-dudes sucking on coffin nails” is another motto I should add to the cache.  I doubt either injury--the knee, nor the ankle, is serious.  I just find it ironic that I thrashed myself in pursuit of rest and relaxation.  Some Advil and ice and I’ll be fine….I think.  I have a terrible innate ability to judge the severity of my pain.  Years back, I missed a landing at Mammoth Mountain ’s Snowboard Super-park and broke my neck.  I didn’t go to the doctor’s office until four months later because it was the middle of track season.  I was trying to break the four minute mile…not my neck.  By the time I got the MRI, the bone (C-7) had already healed.  On the flipside of my pain-threshold meter, sometimes a hangnail keeps me hurting for days.  Or, I worry that the brown mole on my forearm has turned into a cancerous melanoma and I’ve only got weeks to live…Humans, we’re neurotic to the bone aren’t we?  Hello?  Anyone?  It’s not just me is it?:)

 

Anyway, I only bring all this up because our friend Mustafa is attempting Everest for the third time.  Sponsored by the KING of JORDAN, he has battled chest infection, ulcers, and now a vicious toothache in his pursuit for 8850 meters.  This year is his third attempt.  He too traveled to Namche Bazar, though his mission was a bit more crucial than mine.  In his previous two attempts injury caused him to turn around very close to the summit, and this time he was taking no chances with the toothache.  At altitude, a caving cavity, crown, or canal can wreak havoc.  Fortunately, a brilliant Sherpa dentist, Nawang Doka Sherpa has a dental practice in Namche.  Unfortunately, she left for a week one day prior to Mustafa’s arrival.   Without an expert opinion, he was looking at another risky summit attempt.

 

Enter Team Peak Freaks. Nabs, Larry, Faruq, Dom and I were sharing pepper steaks at our favorite Namche spot, the illustrious Zamling Hotel, when we overheard the table near us talking about dentistry.  Sure enough, there was a dentist in the house.  Also, an assistant or two.  And for no extra charge all three of them, Rebecca, Kelley, and Amy also happened to be beautiful.  The Charlie’s Angels of Dentistry if you will.  Now all we had to do was find Mustafa.

 

In a simple twist of fate that often accompanies adventurers (and ankles for that matter) we happened to find Mustafa in the town square the very next day.  Too bad for him, the Charlie’s Angels of Dentistry had already left for Khunde, as scheduled…or so we thought.  We found Rebecca, Kelley, and Amy conveniently postponed in a bakery around the corner.  Now all we had to do was break into the vacant dentist’s office and Mustafa’s summit hopes would be restored.  No problem.  This is team Peak Freaks remember?  In honesty, we didn’t do anything except film the whole ordeal.  Within the hour, the proper phone calls were made, permission was granted, and Mustafa was getting molar #31 yanked right out of the socket.  It was gruesome!!!!  I got it all on film.  Can’t wait to edit it together, add some music, and post it on YOUTUBE.

 

So the molar of the story, (sorry, had to be done) is that for those who believe it all works out in the end.  At least that’s my motto.  On the bright side, my knee and ankle do not hurt at all when climbing, only descending...so who knows, maybe I’ll bring my snowboard to the summit and try to land that rodeo flip somewhere over the ice fall.

 

In all seriousness, I am very thankful that Rebecca, Kelley, and Amy could be of assistance for our friend.  Their group is doing great non-profit work with children in the area.  Mustafa, though down a tooth, is all smiles and I feel very confident that he is going to make it to the summit this year—and more importantly, back down again all in one piece.

 

For those who want to know what’s going on at base camp, trust me, you don’t.  It’s like a town of circus freaks without the carnival up there.  They shut down the mountain!  I didn’t even know you could do that.  I mean, it’s not Disneyland .  But on the bright side, we all made it to Camp II before we got booted out of there.  Our team spent a couple of restful nights at the equivalent altitude of Denali …and felt great.  So, keep the faith…I am sure it is going to work out for us just like it did for Mustafa.  And in keeping with the Olympic spirit let’s all cheer on the Chinese climbers.  May 2008 forever be known as the year Mt. Everest got torched.  Our summit aspirations rests on their early success and resultant permission to climb on…so from the bottom of my heart…GO China !!!

 

In a closing serendipity, the Peak Freak trekkers just entered the Zamling hotel.  Our numbers are growing—from 9 to 25.  Also increasing is the positive energy that abounds when adventurers of like mind assemble together for a unified goal.  You’ve heard about the high altitude horror stories in years past—thieves, cons, and careless crusaders… I’m happy to report that among our group, there is none of that.  It seems that the more adversity that is dumped on our heads, the more our team rises to the occasion.  So thanks to Tim and Becky for assembling an amazing crew…Next year, you might want to think about adding the Charlie’s Angels of Dentistry--Rebecca, Kelley, and Amy.  Oh, and if the King of Jordan happens to read this, a small donation to Nawang Doka Sherpa’s dentist office in Namche might be in order.;)

 

So many stories, so little time,

 

M. Scott Mortensen

 

Trek team now have their own blog page: SUPPORT TEAM

Saad Naseer- RAPID ASCENT UPDATE: Saad has received special permission from the authorities allowing him and Pasang Sherpa to go up to Camp 1 for acclimatization. 

May 5, 2008- Meet the teams MVP.  If you have been reading Scott's blogs you will know why. Here is an example of what one of Scott's friends has to say.

Michael Scott Mortensen- filmmaker/writer and good friend! 

"Just checked in and found out that my friend Scott is on your Peak Freaks expedition this year to Mt. Everest.  I just spent the last 30 minutes reading through the amazing blogs.  I came away utterly hyped by the entire teams endeavors!  I was struck by how often in Scott's blogs he praises his team members, which tells me (as he does not praise lightly) that they really are brilliant.  It is typical of Scott's style however to place others on top. (in spite of his competitive nature).  Scott truly is humble. In his service to others he continually puts their needs above his own.  Regardless of a deadline he may have looming - if you have a need; a project, an orphanage, a film to edit, a film to shoot, a charity that he believes in , you come first.  Always.
 
He has written about those on the team but who will write about him?  He, amongst his friends is a powerful magnet.  They flock to him (like birds migrating North) as if to receive by osmosis, a part of the energy and life spirit that emanates from him.  He motivates and inspires everyone around him. Even from a distance - his feats, his projects, his undying desire to serve makes a person feel ashamed if they live anything less than, the talents God has blessed each with.
 
I just wanted to let you know that while he writes of the greatness of those he climbs with, they too are in the presence of greatness by having him as part of their team.
 
God speed to each of the members and it's my prayer that each succeeds safely in his personal journey!"

 

May 4, 2008- Climbers in Namche Bazaar:  Now resting in Namche Bazaar is Dom, Farouq, Nabs, Scott and Larry.  Dom was there since yesterday, Farouq, Scott and Larry left early in the morning from BC and Nabs left later. Apparently there was quite the snow storm and Nabs reports in from Namche before the others who left in the morning. I have since received more news from Farouq and photos so we can rest assured they are enjoying some yak steaks and apple pie and may be taking in a few beers at the local pub downtown Namche. Good times!  While Sultan, Tim, George and Saad are holding out at base camp having their own good times. 

Where are the Chinese? no one seems to know and there is much confusion at base camp in Nepal. One day you can make a sat phone call, the next you can't but someone else can. Yes you can send out messages, no wait a minute- now you can't. Organization of the rules at base camp seem to be playing out the same way. Everyone off the mountain- wait.... no... okay maybe you can take some rope to Camp 3. Everyone not on the permit must leave at once.... wait...well okay you can stay.  What a season on Everest this has been. It has been hard to get organized when everything keeps changing.  No matter, so far everyone is making the most of it and doing well and spirits are still high, all of which is most important at the end of the day.    

ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST!   Helicopter crash Makalu Base Camp: Many expeditions that were scheduled to climb Everest from the north side in Tibet and were cancelled without prior notice opted to go climb Mt. Makalu Elevation (feet): 27765. Elevation (meters): 8462 in Nepal. Check this video out of an unfortunate landing. All seven survived!

 

May 2, 2008-Base Camp Support trek team have all arrived in Kathmandu. Between power outages due conservation practices and natural ones caused by recent thunderstorms they have managed to get a team photo dispatched from our Kathmandu base camp hotel.  Right now they are all sleeping peacefully after a long day of touring the city and visiting the Hopeful Home orphanage children and delivering clothing and educational supplies. Good job on Vanessa's part getting everyone organized in their team shirts for the photo op!  Not an easy task when everyone is tired from their long flights. They look pretty darn good.  What a team!

 

CLIMBER UPDATE

As for the climbers, most of them other than Tim, Sultan, George and now Saad,  have decided to go all the way down to Namche Bazaar instead of Dingboche. It is quite possible they will meet up with  the support trekkers while there. The trekkers are scheduled to depart tomorrow morning to Lukla. Day 1 of the trek. They will walk to the village of Phakding situated along side the Dudh Kosi river that comes out of the Khumbu Glacier. The climbers were reporting earlier that Everest is really dry this year. However things could change at anytime as mid to late May is the onset of the rainy (monsoon) season. They don't need any snow loads on the icy face leading up to Camp 3 at this stage of the game. They were expecting some yesterday but it is hopeful it will melt because the days are starting to get very warm. 

THE SILENT CHINESE SUMMIT ATTEMPT AND TORCH? Seems everyone is scrambling around to see what their next move might be. You can be sure that with what little information is getting out, and what is really happening, will be two different stories for security purposes on both sides of Everest.  What we do know is the weather is favorable right now for a summit bid and with winds picking up again slightly May 7 onwards. This is what I see on the weather graphs but as weather goes in the mountains there is much more to consider. Everest can create  its own weather at these altitudes. 

 

 

May 2, 2008-Base Camp Support trek team have all arrived in Kathmandu. Between power outages due conservation practices and natural ones caused by recent thunderstorms they have managed to get a team photo dispatched from our Kathmandu base camp hotel.  Right now they are all sleeping peacefully after a long day of touring the city and visiting the Hopeful Home orphanage children and delivering clothing and educational supplies. Good job on Vanessa's part getting everyone organized in their team shirts for the photo op!  Not an easy task when everyone is tired from their long flights. They look pretty darn good.  What a team!

CLIMBER UPDATE

As for the climbers, most of them other than Tim, Sultan, George and now Saad,  have decided to go all the way down to Namche Bazaar instead of Dingboche. It is quite possible they will meet up with  the support trekkers while there. The trekkers are scheduled to depart tomorrow morning to Lukla. Day 1 of the trek. They will walk to the village of Phakding situated along side the Dudh Kosi river that comes out of the Khumbu Glacier. The climbers were reporting earlier that Everest is really dry this year. However things could change at anytime as mid to late May is the onset of the rainy (monsoon) season. They don't need any snow loads on the icy face leading up to Camp 3 at this stage of the game. They were expecting some yesterday but it is hopeful it will melt because the days are starting to get very warm. 

THE SILENT CHINESE SUMMIT ATTEMPT AND TORCH? Seems everyone is scrambling around to see what their next move might be. You can be sure what little information is getting out and what is really happening will be two different things for security purposes on both sides of Everest.  What we do know is the weather is favorable right now for a summit with winds picking up again slightly May 7 onwards. This is what I see on the weather graphs but as weather goes in the mountains there is much more to consider. Everest can create  its own weather at these altitudes. 

May 1, 2008 (Nepal time)-- Khumbu Chronicle urgent update-  Apparently the agreement that the expeditions signed as a condition to climb this year isn't worth the paper it was written on. The mysterious Chinese visitor that arrived at BC by helicopter a couple days ago was a Chinese official who came to insist the Nepalese military completely close the mountain down from May 1 to May 10, contrary to what the expedition leaders signed as a condition of being granted and paying for a permit.  A couple of hours of negotiations with the Nepalese military Major (who went to bat for the climbers) reached an agreement before the Chinese official started to get dizzy from the altitude and had to leave. Sigh.

The new verbal agreement will now allow 2 sherpas per team to stay at Camp 2 but they have to rotate every two days. All persons at base camp that are not on the climbing permit have to leave base camp from now till May 3 or thereabouts??? whatever that means. This includes many expedition leaders who don't take out a spot on a permit since they don't actually climb on Everest. Crazy!  Also any base camp managers and support people must leave and no trekkers are allowed in during this time. Everyone's permits were checked one by one so there are a lot of people packing right now.

Yesterday- April 30-  there was a plane doing circuits around Everest  passing from the north side to the south side dipping down to film the north face of Everest. Word from official Nepalese sources "in the know" in BC said the Chinese were filming. They also said the Chinese had summited but apparently they couldn't keep the torch lit so they are going to try again. This is why the closure is still in affect and security is being beefed up.

Our team is heading down to Dingboche right now to do some communicating with loved ones, if the line up isn't too long. Gee, I wonder how much per minute calls are going to be at Gorak Shep and Dingboche today? Tim is holding at base camp to greet Saad who will be arriving tomorrow and get the oxygen supplements sorted for carriage to Camp 4 whenever things settle down and life on Everest returns to normal.

Stay tuned as nothing seems to be written in stone.

April 30, 2008- Khumbu Chronicles update- Our team should now be sleeping at base camp as the mountain is closed starting tomorrow. Originally climbers were allowed to climb as high as Camp 2. Now it appears they have to vacate the mountain completely. They are now only allowed to have 2 sherpas per team at Camp 2 due to Olympic torch relay security.  During this time our climbers were planning on retreating down the valley  to Dingboche or Pheriche  to rest in the richer air. We may even get another dispatch from Scott while down there. 

As for the Chinese, the torch is rumored to be at  Base Camp on the north side in Tibet but there is little news coming out of there because journalist are falling ill due to altitude sickness. They weren't given much time to prepare by doing the  normal acclimatization layover schedule before arriving at BC because of confusion on who was going to be allowed if anyone at all.  No one has seen the torch and probably never will because journalist aren't allowed to go past base camp. 

There was a worrisome cyclone in the sea of Bengal headed in the direction of the Himalayas but it looks like it will miss the region, thankfully. Calming wind trends are in the forecast starting May 2 to 6 so it is possible for the Chinese to summit with the torch and get out of there so teams on the south side can have a crack at it.  There is still much work to do before this can happen. Our team needs to stock camp 3 and 4 and undertake one more acclimatization climb to Camp 3 in order to be ready for a summit bid if another window of good weather opens like the one forecasted for May 2 to 6.  "IF" is the part we are worried about. If a second window doesn't open we are in a bad position competing with the Chinese for the" next window" once again.  If it does open this week, but happens to be the only one, we are also in a bad position.  Talk about being between a rock and hard spot. 

THE PERFECT SCENARIO: The Chinese summit May 2 or 3.  The weather holds all of May, no winds and no snow. Wouldn't that be grand? but not realistic. There is a storm coming in the next day or two bringing snow to the lower elevations. 

Let the show begin!

April 29, 2008- Peak Freaks Khumbu Chronicles- Our team should be sleeping at Camp 2 still. They have been up there for a few days now getting the most out of their acclimatization opportunity before they are shut down. 

Because no one is allowed into Tibet to give a report we have no confirmation on what the Chinese are actually doing. Rumors are that the torch is at Everest base camp on the Tibetan side of Everest and because they have asked that the Nepal side of Everest be closed May 1 to May 3 and the weather forecast is showing a couple days of calm, it is thought that they are planning on going to the summit during this time. It is odd that such a large international event would be kept so secret.   

  • Everest south had a  brief helicopter visit with Chinese officials who took a walk about Everest base camp on the Nepal side. No one knows what they were doing there. 
  • The teams at Camp 2 are coming down reporting a sign being placed there saying  "Dear climbers, do not go past this point." There is also military police on duty at Camp 2. 
  • Saad Naseer checked in.  He went from Lukla to Namche in just under six hours. He is now sleeping in Pangboche.. 

 

April 29, 2008- Peak Freaks Khumbu Chronicles- Our team should be sleeping at Camp 2 still. They have been up there for a few days now getting the most out of their acclimatization opportunity before they are shut down. 

Because no one is allowed into Tibet to give a report we have no confirmation on what the Chinese are actually doing. Rumors are that the torch is at Everest base camp on the Tibetan side of Everest and because they have asked that the Nepal side of Everest be closed May 1 to May 3 and the weather forecast is showing a couple days of calm, it is thought that they are planning on going to the summit during this time. It is odd that such a large international event would be kept so secret.   

  • Everest south had a  brief helicopter visit with Chinese officials who took a walk about Everest base camp on the Nepal side. No one knows what they were doing there. 
  • The teams at Camp 2 are coming down reporting a sign being placed there saying  "Dear climbers, do not go past this point." There is also military police on duty at Camp 2. 
  • Saad Naseer checked in.  He went from Lukla to Namche in just under six hours. He is now sleeping in Pangboche.. 

 

April 28, 2008- "21- Day Rapid Ascent" The team is now complete! Last team member arrives in Luka this morning.  Allow me to introduce Saad Naseer from Chicago. This is one climber that hasn't been affected by the Chinese closure of upper Everest.  Saad's plan was to arrive in Kathmandu April 27and attempt a "record breaking rapid ascent of Mount Everest in 21 days or less."  Saad is scheduled to arrive in base camp sometime before May 8 in time to celebrate his birthday at the foot of Everest with the rest of the team, and to be ready to attempt the summit with only one acclimatization climb to Camp 2 before heading out for the summit. He will be in position to climb immediately upon the opening of the upper part of the mountain which is currently closed till the Chinese have completed their torch relay on the Tibetan side of Everest.

Saad's 21- day ascent from Kathmandu to the summit and back if successful, will be done in one third to one half the time of a normal mountaineer- without the standard four to six weeks of acclimatization and pre-summit bid. " I have nothing to justify my desire OR guarantee my success but I have the heart and the experience to give it my best shot" says Saad.

After talking to Saad it quickly came to our realization that if anyone could do it,  he could.  He has several factors and some preparations that will all be working on his side. He has spent the past five weeks sleeping in a High Altitude sleeping chamber designed by a Canadian company based out Ontario called - ALTITUDE TECH. They claim that sleeping in the tent will change Saad's oxygen saturation slowly in his blood stream helping him to acclimatize well before he even arrives at the mountain. If this proves to be true, it may be that climbers in the future won't need to take so much time away from work and family to attain the acclimatization needed to climb Everest.

Saad has demonstrated an ability to acclimatize faster than normal, an ability that he attributes at least in part to genetics. Saad has not only proven to climb with above average speed but his choice of mountains and summit record is extremely impressive.

Saad's climbing bio includes:

  • Summited every notable mountain in the continental United States including a solo summit of Mt. Rainer and a solo summit the Grand Teton.
  • Summited Mount McKinley twice, once via the west buttress and once via the west rib which he did solo from 16, 000 feet on.
  • Summited Aconcagua, the highest mountain outside of the Himalayan and Karakoram ranges over 23,000 feet.
  • Summited Kilimanjaro in Tanzania in just three days.
  • Summited the Matterhorn, a much coveted cllimb as well as the Eiger, one of the most technical climbs and the Monch and the Jungrau in Switzerland.
  • Summited Mount Blanc in France.
  • Summited Mount Cook and Mount Aspiring in New Zealand.
  • Summited Mount Alpyamay, a very technical climb, Mountain Quitaraju and Mount Huascaran and climbed through the Peruvian Andes.

If successful, the Ministry of Tourism of Nepal is anxious to record his summit in the Nepalese Mountaineering records for a non- national record.

 

April 25, 2008- Plan B in effect.......  Team news- thanks to "Communications Plan B" and Scott.. 

Writer/Filmmaker 

April 19th -A large slap of glacier falls off the Col between Lingtren & Pumori and trains wrecks its way down the southeastern face. our team is safe of course, watching the big show from an icy precipice on the other side of the upper Khumbu valley. We are at 5900m, finally through the popcorn patch of the ice fall where sketchy boulders of snow and serac give way to rolling plains of glacier.

"Wow, this one might dust base camp." Tim says over the din of rumble that reverbs off the mountain walls. The rest of us stand drop-jawed, a little less accustomed to gravity's white rampage.

As the avalanche unravels, speeds & spills a fine mist settles over the rocky basin thousands of feet below. Fortunately base camp- nomadic sprawl of multi-colored tents & prayer flags prove to be a safe harbor. A prevailing southerly blows the now impotent cloud back towards Tibet. heart rates return to normal. 

As always, after witnessing one of these natural extremes (I.E. A big wave, a big storm, a big avalanche) I am left awestruck. Only hours before this event, Tim, Dominique, Nabs and I were taking a snack break on a relative flat part of the ice fall known as "The Dam"  I was only one nibble into my cheese and salami cracker when something deep inside the bowels of the glacier dropped - and along with it all of our stomachs. The ensuing echo sounded very much to me like a loud "GULP" was something trying to swallow us? Instead of sticking around to find out, we retreated to higher ground where the glacial anatomy was a bit less ravenous. Sure enough, a passing sherpa informed us that three of his colleagues had perished in this precise location last year.  Words from a 1982 Canadian Everest rattled through my head. "The ice fall is not a proper mountaineering route." no matter, we carefully graciously emerge unscathed to as far as the fixed ropes would take us. At 12:45pm, about an hour away from Camp I, the whole team stopped for lunch. After rest & re-hydration we unloaded the contents of our packs, down-suits, sleeping bags, thermarests, and all the necessary gear we'd need for Camp I. In  two days time, we'd be back.

April 21- Yesterday, Tim, Sultan, Dominique, Larry , Nabs and I made it to Camp 1, not without our share of adversity. Nabs (The guy from the UK :) Valiantly fought his way through injured intercostals cartilage, a bout of Khumbu cough, and black nail on his left foot resulting from a bad case of hammer-toe. "oh yeah, you're going to lose that nail for sure." I calmly reassured him. nonetheless, he dealt with the pain, marched over the final snowy perch & dropped his pack at our camp I tent. Tonight we were going to by roommates. 

As we melted snow for our dinner of curry chick peas, lentil soup and hot tea a cold wind started to roar. The chill slowed our cooking progress so I dug into a half frozen MRE composed of mystery casserole and a crumbled oatmeal cookie. Delicious actually. At various times during the night, the wind seemed angry enough to rip our tent apart at the seams. The payoff being that under the deafening cacophony, I could scarcely hear Nabs' incessant cough. Poor guy.

As for the rest of the team. Larry "Gold Team Leader" Williams & Dominique "The Dominator" Gilbert are proving to be among our hardest charger's. Both of them climb with stealth and style. Larry is a gritty veteran who knows the power of proper pace. We share a lot of things in common- we sport the same mid-90's Dana Designs pack, we wear size 13 Scarpa Inferno plastic mountaineering boots, we even have the same "personal best" in the 800m from our high school track & field days. Finally, we are both devotees of the same Magic Mountain Elixir that has ensured our high altitude health over the past month. (Product classified.) in the end, I think Larry will make my top ten all time hero list as his knowledge of bird, French, World War II Trivia, and episodes of "my name is Earl" far surpasses mine. 

Dominique looks a lot less like an assassin now that he's lopped off his 12-inch goatee. nonetheless, I stand back a few meters when he's double fisted with ice axes, free soloing up our base camp practice wall. 

Sultan (first Everest climber from Oman) is acclimatizing well after a challenging start. Tim, as he does with all of us, is assisting his progress. It must be difficult making the transition from mountains of sand to mountains of snow, yet he is climbing stronger everyday. 

Speaking of fearless captain & coach, Tim is proving to be a guide with endless energy. experience, and the enthusiasm to share his abundant mountaineering know-how. His skills are a comforting commodity in an atmosphere often flooded with more ego than ability. His care for the team is apparent on the mountain and off. For example, he hooked me up with a loaner pair of foot warmers (thanks Mr. Henry Todd!), he manages the eco-friendly solar panels for our rest-day movie nights (Nabs provides the DVD player), and he deals with an endless barrage of ridiculous & redundant questions. ("are there hot dogs at Camp III?")

As you may recall from the report, Farouq had a crampon blowout only minutes into our first ice fall training run. Though we all searched for his "missing link" the tiny piece of medal was lost for good. Or so we thought! nine days later, refusing to give up Tim found it on a small ledge within a crevasse. Those odds have to be greater than a proverbial needle in a hay stack. 

Oh yes, here's one final "I appreciate our guide "Tim" story. On the night Nabs and I were tent partners, I noticed that our floor was leaking like a sieve. "Hey Nabs." I said, "with this wind chill and a swimming pool for a floor I'm pretty sure we'll be frozen solid by morning." Nabs' only reply was another torturous coughing fit which I translated as "GOLLY GEE" , and all this on top of I've forgot my tea & crumpets! " or something to that effect. 

Fortunately Tim walked by at that exact moment. "Hey Tim, I know there's nothing we can do about it now but all our down gear is getting wet because of this soggy floorboard." Before I had a chance to discuss the heat loss properties of wet down Tim had ripped the fly off a storage tent and chucked it inside our cubby hole. "There you go boys, use that for your footprint." he whistled and walked off into the sunset. Out of growing respect for our Canadian patriarch, I am now a committed fan of maple syrup, ice hockey, Pamela Anderson ....whatever parts of her that are still Canadian that is. 

Okay, it's getting late and I am now delirious. Let's rap this up. Farouq, our faithful, Saudi Trooper got a late start to Camp 1. After battling a chest cold with a round of antibiotics (Cipro) he charged his way up there. his positive energy never left him and he's right back on the track with the rest of us. George on the other hand fell into a crevasse a few days ago. (A mini-crevasse according his sherpa, Ang Pasang. Maybe even a regular hole.)  He reports, " I was about 500 meters from base camp when I fell in, twisting my knee & ankle in the process." Fortunately, a daily regimen of ice, aspirin, and light duty seems to be healing him quick. Like Farouq, George is a man with no shortage of inspiration. As a recent Cancer survivor (cell carcinoma of the head & neck) his energy is astounding. In his own words, "three months ago they said I was a dead man...I'm not giving up this easy." I am certain he will be fully recovered when we head out for Camp II in a few days.

It is now dark and cold and everyone has gone to bed. in the rising moonlight a late show avalanche props down the Lho La Pass...the mountainous saddle that separates Nepal from Tibet. There is so much to say, but for now I just listen. The snow cascades like metal at velocity in this silver moonlight, spilling its gust over a rocky shelf and landing in the thunderous applause hundreds of feet below. Again, I am awestruck. Good moves in these acts of creativity & deconstruction. 

I am freezing cold now, but I am not tired and there is on more piece of blank paper waiting for some ink. Besides, the sherpas are still carousing about in the their communal tent and their frequent laughter is warmth enough despite the fact I have no idea what they are saying. 

I suppose I will finish this discourse by answering questions I intend to ask of everyone present..."why do you climb?".....For me, climbing is a passionate pursuit that works as a simple life metaphor. I enjoy the hard work it takes to "move upward." I love the creative force required to "get over." and I thrive in the leap of faith that comes when you finally make it "on top." The new perspective earned through adversity allows me to see how every stop along the journey carries its own special purpose. Such is the nature of hardship....self-imposed or otherwise. you refuse to quite, keep pushing, reach for that state of higher being & eventually you'll come up with a view that transforms all the agony into ecstasy.

Finally, being able to share this adventure with family, friends & fellow climbers is an awesome gift. And thought his year on Everest seems to carry an extra dose of adversity the end result will be similar to years past: An entity that is alive is reduced to the lowest common denominator by one that is not. Our team is hopeful that in this education, we will have what it takes to reach our goals.

April 24, 2008- Chinese making it impossible for official Olympic coverage to take place of the torch relay on Everest in Tibet. The BBC released an interesting story today on how they have been given the run around and missed a one hour surprise deadline to book permission to be there. Oh boy!

April 24, 2008- The route to the summit and how it will work:  The main hazard climbers face on Everest is the famous Khumbu icefall,. Many say this is the crux ofKhumbu Ice-Fall at sunrise the climb on the south side of the mountain within Nepal. It is  located not far above Base Camp and in our case this year, we are camping right at the front door. The ice-fall  is caused by the rapid movement of the Khumbu glacier over the steep rock underneath. The movement breaks the ice into sérac (large, pointed masses of ice) cliffs and columns separated by huge crevasses, and causes repeated icefalls across the route between Base Camp and Camp I. Many people have died in this area. Exposed crevasses may be easy to avoid, but those buried under snow can form treacherous snow bridges through which unwary climbers can fall.

The standard climb of Mount Everest from the south side ascends the Khumbu glacier to Base Camp at 5,400 m (17,600 ft). We use four camps above Base Camp; these camps give the climbers an opportunity to rest and acclimate (adapt) to the high altitude. The route from Base Camp through the great Khumbu icefall up to Camp I at 5,900 m (19,500 ft) is difficult and dangerous; it usually takes one to three weeks to establish because supplies must be carried up the mountain in several separate trips. Once Camp II, at 6,500 m (21,300 ft), has been supplied in the same manner using both Base Camp and Camp I as bases, climbers typically break down Base Camp and make the trek from there to Camp II in one continuous effort. Once acclimatized, the climbers can make the move to Camp II in five to six hours. Camp III is then established near the cirque of the Khumbu glacier at 7,300 m (24,000 ft). The route up the cirque headwall from Camp III to the South Col and Camp IV at 7,900 m (26,000 ft) is highly strenuous and takes about four to eight hours. The South Col is a cold, windy, and desolate place of rocks and snow slabs.

From the South Col to the summit is a climb of only 900 vertical m (3,000 vertical ft), although its fierce exposure to adverse weather and steep drop-offs poses many challenges. The section between 8,530 m (28,000 ft) and the South Summit at 8,750 m (28,700 ft) is particularly treacherous because of the steepness and unstable snow. From the South Summit there remains another 90 vertical m (300 vertical ft) along a terrifying knife-edged ridge. The exposure is extreme, with the possibility of huge vertical drops into Tibet on the right and down the southwest face on the left. A little more than 30 vertical m (100 vertical ft) from the summit is a 12-m (40-ft) chimney across a rock cliff known as the Hillary Step; this is one of the greatest technical challenges of the climb.

Our sherpas left yesterday for Camp 2 and the climbing team will follow in about 3 to 4 days - weather pending. Once they reach Camp 2 they plan on staying at least 4 nights to completely acclimatize to this altitude.  They will then retreat to Base Camp and wait it out to see what card the Chinese will play in taking ownership of the mountain this year during the Everest climbing season restricting all climbers to only climbing  to Camp 2 until they are finished with their torch relay. Keep in mind the Khumbu ice-fall is not climbable after May 31. Warmer weather starts to melt the glacier making it completely unsafe for climbing the end of May beginning of June.. 

April 23, 2008- American Climber William Brant Holland climbing with a Nepal based operator has been dismissed from Everest after Nepali officials found a "Free Tibet" flag in his bags in Base Camp. Holland is reportedly on his way back to Kathmandu where his fate will be decided more fully.  Another climber was asked to leave when he refused to hand over his sat phone.

 April 21, 2008-  SUPPORT TREK TEAM SOON TO DEPART TO NEPAL ....Members from our Everest 2008 Base Camp support team are gathering  in Kathmandu next week to begin the trek up the 

Peak Freak trek guide Vanessa Higgott

TREK LEADER VANESSA HIGGOTT and Santi from the HOPEFUL HOME.

Khumbu Valley to help boost the expedition up to the summit. They are scheduled to arrive at base camp May 10.  This is the same day the team will be allowed to start climbing again beyond Camp 2 to the summit. This season we have a group of 16 trekkers combined with our18 sherpa staff members and our 9 climbers who will be taking up a very large spot at base camp when all 43 of them gather together to celebrate the onset of the summit bid. 

Our support treks are not only meant to help give our climbers a moral boost. The word "support"  has another meaning. This years trek will be lead by Vanessa Higgott from Ontario who is organizing a scholarship fund for the HOPEFUL HOME. She will be taking our trekkers who have been busy gathering clothing and other items much needed by the home. They will have the opportunity to meet the children and drop the goods off to them.  The fun kind of giving!

We will be covering the trek in to base camp (thanks to their contributions coming soon to this page) and maybe even hear some base camp tales that may filter down through the Khumbu Chronicles gossip column since we won't have our communication reinstated till May 10. 

MT. EVEREST 2008 EXPEDITION SUPPORT TEAM ROSTER

  • Vanessa Higgott- trek leader from Ontario - Vanessa's bio 

  • Lisa Wood- Utah

  • Valerie Littleton- Utah

  • Sherell Price- Nevada

  • Sabrina Leire-Rodger- Ontario

  • Paul Krsek- California

  • Ginette Rodger- Ontario

  • Scott Webber- Manitoba

 

  • Hugo Fortin- Ontario

  • Kim McCloy- British Columbia

  • Tim McCloy- British Columiba

  • Roger Trinchero- California

  • Mario Trinchero- California

  • Annie Garneau- Ontario

  • Naomi Garneau- Ontario

  • Bill Winters- Florida

 

 Good luck to all of you!  

April 20, 2008- Permission granted for an uncensored satellite phone call.  Tim checks in this morning to confirm the team is all doing great. Everyone has been up to Camp 1 except for George and Farouq. Farouq leaves tomorrow to do his acclimatization sleep at Camp 1 while the others continue to put their time in at base camp waiting for Camp 2 to be completed.  Our team was on the route between Camp 1 and base camp when Gelyzen Sherpa who was working for another team collapsed and was diagnosed as having suffered a stroke.  Our sherpa team helped take him down off the route and he is now safe and sound in Kathmandu. 

The route to Camp 2 is just about completely fixed with ladders and ropes.  Our sherpas have  been up to prepare the area where our Camp 2 base will be assembled. The team expects to be taking their first trip up to the highest elevation so far to Camp 2 in about 2 to 3 days time.  They will sleep there getting their bodies adjusted to the new altitude for one night, maybe two,  and then retreat back to base camp to recover once again.

The winds have been battering them a bit in exposed sections on the route. Nothing out of the norm that is. This time of year battling wind is common due to the warming spring weather pushing the colder winter air out of the region.  When the spring weather has won, it will create a calm period on the mountain (briefly), before the clouds and storms start to move in caused by the onset of the monsoon season, which brings a lot of moisture with it in the form of heavy snow fall and poor visibility. This calm period is what is referred to as " the summit window". The summit window  traditionally takes places every year mid  May and it is, or "was" their intentions to be in position with all camps stocked and all members acclimatized to the altitude of Camp 3 when the summit window arrives.

The wind is expected to linger a couple more days and then drops off quite a bit on the 23rd to 25th of April. Then come the 26th of April some of the highest winds yet should be expected.  Possibly as high as 120km winds on the summit of Everest.  

It has been rumored that the Chinese were hoping to put the torch on top of Everest on the Tibetan side as early as April 28. If my wind predictions are right this may not happen. However if they get it there earlier this week, say for April 23 to 25th, it could be possible.

It is a fine balance between health and weather that makes a successful summit climb on Everest.  So far we have health and the weather is considered to be all of normal so far. 

I don't know when the next report from the mountainside will be out so keep watching! We have some Plan B communications in progress and will be posting when they are received.  Tim also says that everyone is warming up at base camp. When they first arrived they were wearing the heaviest of the fleece clothing and now they are starting to sport their 5500m beach wear.   :)

Stay tuned!

Becky

April 19, 2008- AT CAMP 1 - According to expedition plan our team should be sleeping safe and sound at Camp 1. This would be their highest sleep so far at 6065. There was a report that got out from base camp via a Sherpani women in the area that a sherpa climber from another expedition had collapsed in the ice-fall complaining the side of his body was numb. He was brought down and taken out to Kathmandu by helicopter. He has summited Everest twice so it was considered odd he would have difficulties this time around. He was able to walk and talk with no problem prior to his evacuation. 

April 17, 2008- Chinese at 7500m on the north side of Everest- Tibet. Still along ways to go and high winds today have held them back. Sorry, no news on the south side within Nepal because of the Nepalese ban. However, it looks like my weather graph reading was right telling Tim in one of our previous pre-ban conversations to expect high winds April 17.

April 16, 2008- No News Is Good News!- In a perfect world....I would be reporting a conversation I just had with Tim. But in the case of the communications ban we will go with assumptions. They were ready to head up to Camp 1 and return to base camp. Because we haven't heard otherwise from the military, it will be safe to say that they are now sleeping like babies safe and sound in base camp.

MT. EVEREST COMMUNICATIONS BAN NOW OFFICIALLY IN EFFECT- April 15, 2008

Families of the climbers will not be left in the dark. We have established limited communication to let everyone back home know the status of their loved ones while climbing. Plan B is now in effect.  Readers don't go away for too long. We will be posting some great information to fill in void during the communication gaps up until the ban is lifted May 10.

My last conversation with Tim he said the team was heading up to Camp 1 tomorrow as planned. Jim Carter scientist from Nassau is at base camp this year performing a study on the effects on the brain of a climber at altitude. They have selected our Peak Freaks team to help them with these test. They will have tested our climbers at base camp and will also test them throughout their climb. This is the same test that is performed on astronauts while in space. They will be tested as they ascend and descend by a series of questions and functions to perform. Tim said the team is really excited about it.  It will give them something else to think about and do. Climbing Everest believe it or not can get quite boring. 

MEET TEAMMATE NABIL LODEY - FUND RAISING FOR UNICEF - JUST GIVING!

Excerpt from the Business Times Online:

[ Lodey’s attitude might come across as cavalier, but it is not. Indeed, a glance at his CV reveals a predilection for life on the edge allied with finely calibrated risk-taking.Peak Freak climber Nabil Lodey This is a man who, fresh from his degree in economics at Queen Mary, University of London, joined the Royal Navy. He soon found himself seconded as a UN observer to the de facto independent Caucasian republic of Abkhazia in the midst of its secession attempt from Georgia. “My role involved a blend of diplomatic and legal skills,” he says. “We’d often be called to meet the opposing sides on the ceasefire line and assess what had happened.”

In his 11 years with the Navy, during which he qualified as a barrister, Lodey also saw service in Baghdad, Basra and Afghanistan before joining Freshfields last year. A year later, he had itchy feet. “It had always been a dream of mine to take on a really big adrenalin challenge. I’ve always wanted to find out what my personal limits are. For family reasons, too, I was keen to do something for charity.” Because he used to row competitively, Lodey toyed with the idea of rowing the Atlantic. Ultimately, though, the allure of Everest took hold. As if this isn’t dangerous enough, Lodey is forfeiting job security for the climb.

What are his chances of a successful summit attempt? Lodey admits that he has read Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air, an account of a disastrous Everest expedition in 1996 in which eight climbers were killed and several others stranded by a rogue storm. The book and its events led to criticism of guiding companies that take inexperienced clients into environments as severe and potentially fatal as Everest. “I asked the company a huge amount of questions about the expedition and especially about my lack of experience. I was reassured by its professionalism. The fact is that we’ll be in the mountains for three months and during the first few weeks, at low altitude, we’ll be learning a huge amount about mountaineering.”

There will be those who will say that taking on Everest as an accomplished mountaineer is a high risk, but that attempting it with such relative inexperience is mad. But if anyone can do it, it is the determined former Navy officer from Freshfields.  ]

Nabil Lodey had to resign from his position in international law in the International Arbitration Group at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. He says jobs like this don't just wait while you take time off to pursue other interests. 

The expedition and equipment is completely self-funded, however, he is separately raising money for UNICEF and is pleased to be able to say that every penny he raises will go to charity rather than subsidizing his expenses. To contribute to his fundraising effort, please use the link below.

If successful, to the best of our knowledge, he will be the first member of Middle Temple to climb Mount Everest - and possibly the first member of the Bar.

Tim and I had the opportunity to meet with Nabil together for the first time when we were all headed to climb Kilimanjaro this year at the same time. It was timely that I personally had the opportunity to meet Nabil before the Everest climb started. He is one great guy and the team adores him and values their new found friendship.  His great sense of humor that spilled out at the first moment we met assured me  that the team was in for good time. By the sounds of Scott's blogs, I was right!

A word from Nabil aka Nabs:

"Wherever I go in the world, I am always touched by the innocence and resilience of children, and their ability to play and laugh in any environment however bleak, impoverished or dangerous. Like many other privileged individuals, I am saddened by the injustice that millions of children all over the world still do not have access to even the most basic and essential rights that we take for granted: food, water, medical care, and education. This is why I have chosen UNICEF whose programmes are focussed on the survival, education and development of children throughout the developing world. I hope you will support my fundraising appeal to ensure that those who are most in need benefit from these programmes.
I will be pushing my own boundaries to the limit in order to reach the summit and raise as much money as possible for what I believe is a very worthy cause. I take this opportunity to point out that the cost of the expedition has already been entirely self funded and that every penny that is raised over the coming months by you will go to directly to UNICEF."
To donate:  Unicef - Just Giving Everest Expedition

 

April 14, 2008- Meeting on communications ba Today the senior L.O. came over to  introduce Tim and  the head of the Nepalese military along with 4 other members of the military who will be monitoring the unique climbing regulations this year on Everest. The formal meeting with the expedition leaders and the military is scheduled for tomorrow to hand down the procedures and expectations of the climbing teams with regards to their communications equipment. They wanted to meet with Tim to get an idea of what questions and concerns the climbing teams might have so they can prepare themselves.

Tim explained to them that the number one thing expeditions will want to have is a communication link with home, and that this was of the utmost of importance to all of them. The leader of the military group understands this because he is a climber. He himself has summited Everest and has a family too. Tim explained that everyone has gone to great length in preparation and expense to come and climb and that the communications ban was not part of the plan so it is difficult to swallow. They discussed websites blogs. Tim explained that websites that are relaying dispatches from the mountain are doing it mainly to update their family and friends at home and for some it is being used as tool for securing sponsorship funding and was never intended from what he knows of the climbers here today, would be used as a political medium. He told them for us at Peak Freaks like other commercial operators, website blogs help generate tourism for Nepal and that this is a good thing.  They said absolutely no to cameras but are pondering how to best handle communications but are not making any promises. 

Tim also asked them what their plans were for trekkers coming in that have cameras and sat phones. They advised that trekkers will be stopped before entering the base camp area and will be asked to park their cameras and phones for collection when they leave. As mentioned in one of our earlier dispatches, it would be a good idea for trekkers to mark their equipment and perhaps take a photo of your equipment with you for easy identification. 

Here are some of the restrictions in the agreement expedition leaders were asked to sign as a condition of being granted a permit this year:

  1. Climbing between April 1 to May 10 up to Camp 2 only. There will be police on the mountain to Camp 2 to make sure.
  2. The rest of the mountain will be open after May 10. The mountain closes by call of nature and the ice-fall melt May 31. 
  3. All electronic equipment is not permitted on the mountain from April 1 to May 10. This includes all cameras, video and other. Laptops, PDA's and Satellite phones. All items will be collected from expeditions by the Liaison Officers at base camp and locked up till after May 10.

Ice-fall update!  The ice-fall doctors will sit it out tomorrow until  the meeting is over then the next morning, Peak Freaks will be the first to head out tailing behind the ice-fall doctors who will dart ahead to fix the last section to Camp 1. Peak Freaks team will drop a load and hang out getting used to the new altitude before retreating to base camp to sleep.  Tim also said from their little trips up so far the fall is looking good. He said the docs had commented on how good it looks to them too this year. They are pleased!

Larry checks in with is wife Carol Thanks so much for all the updates you're posting; they really keep me going :). I talked to Larry last night (our time) and he was cracking me up. He is just giggling...so I know he is "high", literally, that is...but I'm sure it's not just the altitude, he seems very happy with Tim's leadership and the whole set up, it is just so wonderful to hear how excited he is. So thank you for everything you are both doing! - Carol 

 

April 13, 2008pm- Ice-fall doctors allowed to return to work on the route. More liaison officers arrived today and couple more teams. The senior L.O. and a few others that Tim has become friends with over the years of working there gathered in the Peak Freak tents for a social this afternoon. A meeting was organized and leaders were told that the ice-fall doctors have been given permission to complete the route to Camp 1 but no one is to climb until the military officials have all arrived and they have their meeting. So one more day in occupying themselves. 

Peak Freaks sent over more sherpas to help work on the helicopter rescue pad. It has been established there for rescues for sometime but because it is on a glacier it needs maintained moving the new rocks that have pushed up since the last season. 

Other entertainment today included watching a DVD brought up from Ang Ngima sherpas son Ngima who is our official runner this year. The DVD was a copy of the documentary just aired 2 weeks ago called "The Climb". The story is about the 1982 Canadian expedition where Laurie Skreslet was the first Canadian to summit Everest and Pat Morrow. This film was aired on CBC just a couple weeks ago.  Ang Nima Sherpa who will be leading our group of base camp trekkers up to base camp May 1 was in the film and was part of that expedition at Pat sent him a copy. Tim contributed DVD footage of Everest to to the film.

April 13, 2008am- Military stops the ice-fall doctors from fixing the route!  The senior liaison office has arrived at base camp with news that the military has ordered the ice-fall doctors to quit fixing the route. Tim met with him to try and get some answers as to  why?  He was complimented by other expedition leaders for pushing for answers that the liaison officer didn't seem to have.  It was then decided to send a radio down to Gorak Shep to pass off to the military official in charge to get answers. The agreement that all expeditions signed with the ministry of Nepal to climb this year said they could climb but only to Camp 2 but now they have asked them to stop with no reason. It was discussed in Kathmandu that there would be military up on the route this year as part of the compromise with the Chinese officials pressuring Nepal.  It might be just a matter of them wanting to slow everyone down till they can catch up.  

EVEREST BLOG by Scott Mortensen

Writer/Filmmaker 

Three days ago, we all tried our hand climbing the notorious Khumbu ice- fall. Our base camp is situated as such that we have front row seats to this glaciated freak of nature. The ice fall, as you may know from Everest photos or films is a dangerous amalgamation of sapphire seracs and hanging boulders made of snow. To me, it looks like a whitewater tidal wave frozen mid-explosion. As Dom and I were studying the fragments, searching for a route through the melee, he quipped in his regular French/Terminator style accent, "the" more I look at this, the more it looks like foolishness. He is no doubt, the strongest ice climber out of our crew. 

Our progress was slow, as we were hammered by snow for the duration of the climb. Clipping into ropes with expedition mittens, was cumbersome to say the least. Certainly the altitude was making our legs, crampons, boots, and packs seem all the more heavier. Tim leads the way through the maelstrom with excellent precision, a feat made especially more impressive considering he did it with one crampon affixed to his boot. Poor Faroq had an early "wardrobe malfunction" blow out a spring in his crampon. Tim, being the ever generous and capable guide, switched gear with him and still whooped us all up the mountain. 

As a team , we really didn't get too far. But yesterday delivered a brilliant twist in the weather and with it, a seemingly miraculous spike in the our ice climbing ability. Under blue skies and 75 degree F temperatures we pounded our way very close to Camp1- The golden pot at the end of the Khumbu Ice-Fall rainbow! we are the first team to progress this far along with the route established by the legendary ice-fall doctors. The heroic sherpas who risk life and limb to set the ladders and ropes through the frozen maze. 

And though we are all in good spirits about progress, thee was humbling reminder waiting for us at the top. Tracks from a snow leopard bonding to and fro, leaping over crevasses crossing up, back, and down showed us all how the real pros navigate though terrain- and without crampons !!!

April 12, 2008- The Liaison Officers and Military are just outside base camp at the last lodge location at Gorak Shep.  The team saw them on their way back from Kala Pattar today so Tim has sent Dendi our expedition climbing sirdar down to be a fly on the wall.   This could be it!

Other news is that the team is preparing equipment in the morning to head up to Camp 1 or close to depending on the ropes and drop a load. The Sherpas won't be going anywhere. They will wait till more fixing has been established as they prefer to boot it all the way to Camp 2.  This is the plan anyway. Tim said he will update me with what actually happens tomorrow.

Scott prepared a green style dispatch today as a practice run should we loose our new world communications.  I will transpose it tomorrow for everyone to read. I on the other hand have been practicing reading weather reports. If I am right- they should be expecting high winds on April 17 up to 95 km per hour on the summit of Everest.  Only problem is I  won't have confirmation from the ground because they can't see the summit where they are at base camp. If they were to see it, and trekkers could from Kala Pattar or Tengboche, they would see a lenticular cloud formation over the summit of Everest which is the tell tail sign of extreme winds. 

Stay tuned!

April 11, 2008- No idle time for our team During the past 11 days our team has been getting acquainted with their new home, meeting new arrivals and bonding with their Sherpa team mates. They have been practicing ice climbing skills and movement on ladders and are all checked out with 85 to 98 percent oxygen saturation levels at Everest Base Camp's  altitude of 5380 m (17700 ft)

High altitude affects the human body due to oxygen deprivation.  Oxygen is critical to normal cellular function.  The main physiologic effects of hypoxia (low oxygen) alter physical performance, mental performance and sleep.  Our team is well past this stage now and are feeling energetic.

As one gains altitude, there is a drop in the barometric pressure with a corresponding drop in the oxygen pressure.  At an altitude of 3,000 meters (9,840 feet), commonly an altitude encountered at ski resorts, the barometric pressure and the oxygen pressure are 70% that noted at sea level.  At 5,000 meters (16,400 feet) the oxygen pressure is 50% that at sea level.  On the summit of Mt. Everest 8,848 meters (29,021 feet) oxygen is 29% that at sea level.

Persons over 50 years of age seem to be less susceptible to altitude illness.  Women are equally prone to AMS but seem to be less susceptible to HAPE.  Physical fitness is not protective against high altitude illness, although obesity may be a risk factor.  Medical conditions such  hypertension, coronary artery disease and diabetes do not seem to affect the susceptibility of high altitude illness.  Genetics seem to play an important role. 

Having said that, the team has opted to go climb a non-technical trekking peak- Kala Pattar 5600 m (18,500 feet)  that is behind them down the valley. They will keep their legs moving as to not let any muscles become weak after all the training they have done. They will now be able to climb Kala Pattar with good speed and push their lungs hard. Had they done this on the way in to base camp they wouldn't get as much out of it as they will now. There won't be any tricky maneuvers, ladders, ropes or bulky equipment  to slow them down here as there will be on Everest. 

During this time away the ice-fall should open and our sherpa team will start hauling loads up to assemble Camp 1 and then Camp 2. By the time the team returns they will be ready to get up to Camp 1 6065 m (19900 ft) right away.

Tibet   reverses plan to reopen to tourism.  May 10, 2008 we were notified all Everest expedition permits on the north side within Tibet were cancelled and no foreigners would be  allowed entry into Tibet. Earlier this week, April 8, I was notified by our Tibetan contact that Tibet would be reopened to foreigners commencing May 1 but the monasteries would remain closed. Then just today I was notified that this plan has now been  reversed keeping Tibet's doors closed till after the Olympics.  One more disappointment for climbers who had high hopes to climb and acclimatize on the Nepal side and wait till the Chinese were finished with their torch relay to go and have their crack at the summit well  after the Chinese had cleared off Everest.  No hope now of a summit bid on the north side  since the Olympics doesn't take place till August. Autumn on Everest anyone? Not Peak Freak's, we will be busy training for Everest South Ridge spring of 2009  on  Mt. Pumori the daughter of Everest.

Enjoy the photos above....be sure to click on them to enlarge them.

Have a good weekend!

April 10, 2008- While the Ice-doctors work- the climbers will play!  The new way of climbing Everest!  Much unlike the old days where around every  block of ice would be a surprise. Now with the new system, all expeditions pay a fee to employ the brave select sherpa climbers to do what they do best in making the mountain as safe as possible for passage. Tim said the ice-fall is in good shape from their recent trip up to check out the progress. He said there is one spot that looks a little risky and the plan would be to  just move through it as fast as possible and the docs will be watching it closely. Everyday with melting and glacial movement is a new day anyway, all part of climbing. Throughout the climb the docs will  monitor each section and adjust ropes and ladders and the route as needed. The docs came down for a rest today and to collect more rope. One more trip up and Camp 1 will be ready for teams to start assembling. 

I always tend to get ahead of myself with excitement early in the climbs. Everything seems to be working like clock work and visions of an early summit often play in mind. Rarely does it happen, especially on Everest. The winter weather is still in the area which holds back on mountain storms. Timing of an April 1 start works for climbing on Everest as climbers need this time to acclimatize. They do this by climbing high and sleeping low. Then they go high and start sleeping high.  All of which is mandatory to achieve proper acclimatization. Folks back home think they are mad. Why would go high and then go back down so many times? For more information refer to our pages on Acute Mountain Sickness and Surviving Everest

Tim did a walk about today meeting and greeting the new expedition arrivals while other members did laundry and caught up on reading and their journals. He told Dominique that he met two climbers from Quebec while out so Dom went and had a nice visit. Tim reports that BC is quiet. Not so many teams this year as it was thought to be by earlier reports. It was thought that  because of the closure of the Tibetan side of Everest all the teams would come and overcrowd the south side which was a concern. Not true (so far), pretty quiet. I had read someone's blog that they are late getting to BC because they are having trouble getting yaks and porters and are sitting it out in the valley. It is possible that they just haven't all arrived yet. Numbers were thrown out there a week ago that they may be 250 climbers including locals at base camp but I am also told of  news of new climbers just now arriving in Kathmandu. 

April 10 was the Nepalese election day! All seemed to go off without a hitch so far. This could mean the arrival of the Liaison Officers who are selected to search and monitor electronic equipment and enforce the communications ban may be arriving soon. Until then....we are here!

Over and out! Team now sleeping in BC.

April 9, 2008: Several Firsts with Peak Freaks this season!  First Saudi, First from Oman,  21-day Speed Ascent, Climb for "America's Missing Children", Climb for Unicef. Hopeful Home Everest Support Trek. All being featured here over the course of the expedition. 

 

April 9, 2008: Several Firsts with Peak Freaks this season!  First Saudi, First from Oman,  21-day Speed Ascent, Climb for "America's Missing Children", Climb for Unicef. Hopeful Home Everest Support Trek. All being featured here over the course of the expedition. 

FIRST SAUDI TO CLIMB MT. EVEREST ! By Scott Mortensen

Today, I’d like to delve into a “profile of courage” for one of our team members, Faruq from Saudi Arabia .  I told the boys that I am going to try and write about them all while I

Faruq Alzuman- First climber from Saudi Arabia to climb Mt. Everest

 still like them and am not freezing cold and exhausted up on the mountain…So the first shout out is for Faruq Alzuman of Saudi Arabia.  You’d think the pressure of being the first Saudi to summit Mount Everest would weigh heavy on his stout shoulders.  Instead, he ambles through the days with a genuine appreciation for the moment.  Whether it is with a Nepalise cook, Sherpa guide, or fellow climber, Faruq is always ready to give his full attention to the person before him and the task at hand.

 

 Now, if you are a typical American like me, you may not know much about the Saudi region and the rich culture within it.  In fact, because Saudi Arabia is the birthplace of Osama bin Laden as well as 15 of the September 11th hijackers, you may harbor negative connotations of the country.  One handshake with Faruq will change all that.  In fact, I believe he underestimates his own capacity as a cultural ambassador for his country.  He quickly inspired me to learn more of his culture and heritage.

 

Upon further study, I learned that Saudi Arabia and the United States have a lot in common.  Most notably, we are both trying to find our national identities in a world where rampant modernization, mass consumption, and extreme wealth have exploded in the last century.

 

Formally, the United States and Saudi Arabia sealed their first commercial handshake on March 3, 1938 in the Persian Gulf city of Dammam .  That handshake was covered in oil as U.S. petroleum companies and King Abdul Aziz ibn Saud completed a successful drilling venture in the region.  Today, Saudi Arabia hosts over one fourth of the world’s oil reserves and with it, the power to influence nations.'

 

Faruq is from Saudi’s capital city, Riyadh which is an ultramodern testament to the power of global enterprise.  As in America , hip kids with cell phones, fast cars, and posh bars line the streets of the burgeoning metropolis.  Apparently, the city’s nightlife is hard to distinguish that of Los Angeles .  But Saudi Arabia is not just another conservative country trying to deal with change.  Their nation is the birthplace of Islam and the keeper of Mecca and Medina .  Their cultural history is rich in tradition and progress.  When Europe was still staggering through the dark ages, Arabia was making profound developments in science and philosophy.

 

Though Faruq is not sure of the correct English word it sounds like his father works as an Urban Development official which must be no small task for a city that according to some sources “has seen more change in the last six decades than the previous 13 centuries.”

 

As such, it is no wonder that the youth in Saudi Arabia are at a similar existential crossroads as the kids back in the U. S. of A…namely, what do we do with all this newfound opportunity spawned by an explosion of wealth and modernization?  The luxury is nice.  The availability for education and employment is overwhelming.  Yet where the dollar soars the soul often stagnates.  I call this the Irony of Endless Choice.  The irony arises in this paradox: in a world where everything seems to be at your fingertips, it is hard to get a grip on anything.  As for me, I am undertaking this journey to Everest because it has been a deep seeded desire and now is the right time to pursue it.  For Faruq, his reasoning may be similar.  We both come from modest origins and yet we harbor big dreams.  He once worked as a sign twirler on the streets of Seattle , I was a janitor in a church.  We are both extremely physical and yet deeply spiritual.  Though we have spoken nothing of it, I am sure that together we share a vision of adding some soul to the march of human progress.  Faruq is so proud to be representing his country, it makes me miss my own.  And while every nation has its own particular vice, there is also no small amount of virtue in his homeland.  The Arab culture is one that brought us the modern numerical system, algebra, the paper mill, and my personal favorite, the guitar.

 

In short, I am looking forward to more time on the mountain with Faruq and am hopeful to see where our imagination can take us, not just on a journey to the top of the world, but also around it.

 

 On another note when down the valley I had a time out day while the rest of the team when to Kunde and  met Ang Nima Sherpa’s family who invited everyone over for a nice course of Yak steaks and received a khata from his wife to be blessed for our safety on the trip.  Nabil said he would not climb with me as I did not receive the customary red string blessed by the Dalai Lama himself.  I promptly reminded him that the Dalai Lama and I shook hands in 1996 after a peace talk he gave in New Zealand .  Nabil quickly recanted his statement but it was too late.  For a small fee, I may let him climb with me as the eternal fortitude from his highness still permeates my being and most certainly will give us all a holy shot at the summit.  Until next time, be well my beloved family and friends.  

 

We miss you all.

Scott


April 7, 2008  

Everest 2008 Highlights- Peak Freaks at base camp April 1, ice-fall fixed with 900m of rope and seven ladders, Puja ceremony performed on the first moon for good luck, team ready to go to Camp 1.

EVEREST 2008 GREEN THEME- Eco Alternatives- Peak Freak's leading the way!...more here

March 22, 2008

PEAK FREAKS EVEREST TEAM - going up!  After a very bumpy political start our team is on their way to Everest Base Camp.  Peak Freaks will not be supporting Chinese peak fees on Everest next year. We have moved our expedition for 2009 to remain on the south side in Nepal.  Follow the teams progress here: 

March 17, 2008- Tim arrives in Kathmandu today. He will joining in with a group of concerned trekking agencies, expeditions leaders and other representatives to try and get some clarity on the Nepalese position with regards to the Chinese requests to Nepal to close the south side of Everest as they have on the north side in Tibet. We are confident that a workable agreement can come together now that more time has lapsed allowing a better understanding on what impact such a proposed closure would have on the economy of one of the world's poorest countries. Nepal generates 4 million in revenue each year from Mt. Everest.  Our expedition is still on schedule. To learn more go here 

 

March 10, 2008- NEWSFLASH    See full dispatch log here!

CHINESE ARE TELLING EVEREST North Side expeditions to not come  till after May 10. Unfortunate for some expeditions to have this news dropped on them one week prior to the onset of the climbing season.  It was not really an unexpected announcement. It was just never clear what their intentions were.  


  Feb. 19, 2008

Everest South 2008 - Team list and expedition news page is up.

 

EXPEDITION FULL

 


Feb. 20, 2008 ACONCAGUA: - Tim Rippel checks in to report 100% summit  success on Aconcagua Feb. 17, 2008. ! 

 

The highest mountain in the Americas and one of the world's 7 summits.

 

The summit is just 12 kilometers from the Chilean border. This expedition begins and ends in the City of Mendoza, Argentina. The city of Mendoza is a charming town with pleasant wide avenues, boulevards and parks. It is also the wine capital of Argentina and February is wine festival time. Say no more.  We are having fun! - Tim and Becky.....more....photos too!

 


 

Peak Freak climbers will have the best on Everest this spring by using the new TOPOUT masks. It is our intentions to offer our team members only the best that there is.  For more information the developments of this new technology please read more here.  Breath and move faster and more efficiently on the mountain, tried and tested to be the best!. If there is better why wouldn't you? 

 


 

Jan. 13, 2008 KILIMANJARO News Year climb a big success!   , Photo Jan Burks- age 64- from Nakusp BC getting a big congratulatory squeeze on the summit from Tim Rippel.

 

Join us next year for New Years on top of Africa via the  Machame Route. More.....  All air seats must be booked no later than June 15, 2008 for our special peak season departure or you could miss out.

 


 

 

CLIMBING MT. EVEREST OVER THE AGE OF 60? New studies are out.  

The general increase in death rate is 25 times higher for people in their sixties than for people in their twenties. Not so on Everest, where older climbers attempting the peak actually have a less relative risk of dying than young climbers.

The general attempt/fatality risk on Everest is 1-2%. While a 30 years old runs an 80 time higher risk to die on Everest compared to if he stayed home; the risk increases only 3 times for the 60+ years old. Based on all human experience (and proper statistics), the message to senior mountaineers can only be one:
Keep climbing!

 

For an interesting overview of this study and links to sources of studies check out the information from our friends at MountEverest.net 


 

 

CLIMBING MT. EVEREST OVER THE AGE OF 60? New studies are out.  

The general increase in death rate is 25 times higher for people in their sixties than for people in their twenties. Not so on Everest, where older climbers attempting the peak actually have a less relative risk of dying than young climbers.

The general attempt/fatality risk on Everest is 1-2%. While a 30 years old runs an 80 time higher risk to die on Everest compared to if he stayed home; the risk increases only 3 times for the 60+ years old. Based on all human experience (and proper statistics), the message to senior mountaineers can only be one:
Keep climbing!

 

For an interesting overview of this study and links to sources of studies check out the information from our friends at MountEverest.net 

 


 

 

ICE AVALANCHE AT CAMP 3 AMA DABLAM - No injuries and safe returns by everyone!


 

 

BRIDGE CROSSING REPAIRED- Sep. 28, 2007. Ngima Sherpa checks in today from the Khumbu Valley. The bridge is undergoing it's final repair to be ready for the busy climbing and trekking season.  Originally teams would have been re-routed via Phortse a village at 14,000 feet but this won't be necessary now. This is good news for the Tenboche Monastery and the monks that look forward to the visit from foreigners each year.


 

 

Bridge Blow Out on the Everest trail- Sep. 11, 2007 News from our Sherpas today that the crossing the Dudh Kosi River at Phugitenga (between Kyangjuma and Tengboche) was swept away today. The National Park authorities are trying to build a temporary bridge ASAP but it may take some time. In the meantime our teams will take an alternative route via Phortse. 

 

 

This is not the first time for Peak Freaks. During our 17 years of trekking and climbing in the Everest region it can be a common occurrence during  the monsoon. We have even re-built our own from time to time. Just another part of the adventure in this remote environment that we all come to experience. Peak Freak's three teams arrive Oct. 1 in Kathmandu and being trekking in the valley on Oct. 3.  Let the adventure begin!

 


 

 

PAVED ROAD TO EVEREST BASE CAMP SUSPENDED: July 31, 2007: Responding to global concerns China has decided to seek an environmental study on its controversial plan to upgrade an existing road to Nepal and Mt Everest in the fragile Himalayan region of Tibet.

The planned paved road to the Mt Everest base camp will have to undergo an environmental study before it is given the go-ahead, vice chairman of the Tibet Autonomous Region, Hao Peng said as reported by the Times of India.

 


 

 

PAVED ROAD TO EVEREST BASE CAMP! June 19 the Chinese announced project Olympic Torch relay road construction now in progress. The 20 million dollar project will involve blacktopping an existing 108-km  (67-mile) unpaved road. 

 

On completion, the highway will become the major route for tourists and mountaineers who are crowding onto  Mount Everest, in ever larger numbers.

 

The torch relay for the 2008 Beijing Games has been touted by organizers as the longest in Olympic history, but it has already been dogged by controversy. 

 

As a result the permits being handed out on the north side will be limited in spring of 2008. Tim Rippel encourages anyone thinking of climbing in 2008 to sign up now for the south side as permits will be tight as a result.

 


 

Everest Wrap Up 2007'- June 5- To date 514 summits via the north and south have taken place and 7 deaths. In 2006 the record was broken and this year they were broken again having the most since Everest was first climbed in 1953 by Sir Edmond Hillary. There has been some controversy on who has the correct summit stats and records. Because we are climbing in two countries where there are variable means of communications being used between liaison officers, media resources and climbers it will be sometime before there is a streamline means of processing and verifying this information. If you are looking for information on a summit record and need verification, my suggestion would be to locate the climbers contact information and simply ask them. We gave up trying to record them as the information started to get distorted and began only recording stats from climbers directly. 


 

YOUR EVEREST DREAM... Dreaming of giving it a shot? Here is the place to start: MOUNTAINEERING COURSE   or  EVEREST TRAINING CLIMB


 

Everest Summit news -South- May 19- Canadian Everest climber Elias Saikaly turned back due to exhaustion. Good work Elias. Canadian Everest veteran and previous summiteer Gabriel Filippi also turned back.

Everest Summit news -North- May 19- Tunc Findik (Turkish) summited and Canadian Everest climber Wally Reisinger turned back due to complications from the altitude. CONGRATULATIONS Tunc!

Everest Summit news -North- May 18- 200+ summits are being reported on Everest this year. Included in those numbers are Peak Freak's Everest training climbers Kevin Adams (British)  who summited today and Aldas Baltuits (Lithuanian) who summited on the 17th. CONGRATULATIONS! 

May 21, 2007- Everest South Summits- Nepal

1. Mr. Muhammad Fauzan Haji Hassan (40 yrs), Malaysia at 9:55 a.m
2. Mr. Idris Bin Said (51 yrs), Malaysia at 6:15 a.m
3. Mr. Ahmad Reduan Bin Rozali (24 yrs), Malaysia at 7:28 a.m
4. Mr. Ahmad Fakhri Bin Abu Samah (25 yrs), Malaysia at 7:28 a.m
5. Ms. Marina Binti Ahmad (26 yrs), Malaysia at 8:00 a.m
6. Mr. Mohammad Rafi Bin Kori (28 yrs), Malaysia at 8:05 a.m
7. Mr. Nga Temba Sherpa (51 yrs), Juving-9, Solukhumbu, Nepal
8. Mr. Dendi Sherpa (22 yrs), Juving-3, Solukhumbu, Nepal
9. Mr. Domachhiri Sherpa (26 yrs),Juving-9, Solukhumbu, Nepal
10. Mr. Pasang Gelu Sherpa (43 yrs), Gudel-9, Solukhumbu, Nepal
11. Mr. Ang Gyalzen Sherpa (32 yrs), Lokhim-9, Solukhumbu, Nepal
12. mr. Lama Dawa Sherpa (32 yrs), Wafu-4, Solukhumbu., Nepal

1. Mr. Casey Aaron Grom (33 yrs), USA
2. Mr. Michael William Nixon (48 yrs), South Africa
3. Mr. David Allen Hahn (46 yrs), USA
4. Mr. Karma Rita Sherpa (31 yrs), Khumjung-9, Solukhumbu, Nepal
5. Mr. Nima Karma Sherpa (23 yrs), Khumjung-9, Solukhumbu, Nepal
6. Mr. Finjo Dorjee Sherpa (20 yrs), Khumjung-8, Solukhumbu, Nepal

1. Mr. Michael Jhon Haugen (31 yrs), USA
2. Mr. Chhebbi Bhote (32 yrs), Hatiya-3, Sankhuwasabha, Nepal
3. Mr. Lhakpa Bhote (37 yrs), Hatiya-3, Sankhuwasabha, Nepal

May 20, 2007 - Everest South Summits -Nepal

1. Mr. Pavel Bem (44 yrs), Czech
2. Mr. Pemba Tenzing Sherpa (32 yrs), Namche-4, Solukhumbu, Nepal
3. Mr. Nima Nurbu Sherpa (33 yrs), Namche-8, Solukhumbu, Nepal

1. Mr. Young Ho Heo (53 yrs), South Korea.

1. Mr. James A. Patterson III (40 yrs), USA.
2. Mr. Nathaniel B. Smelser (45 yrs), USA.
3. Mr. Ang Chhiring Sherpa (45 yrs), Khumjung-8, Solukhumbu, Nepal
4. Mr. Mingma Dorjee Sherpa (42 yrs), Khumjung-9, Solukhumbu, Nepal
5. Mr. Phu Nuru Sherpa (27 yrs), Khumjung-9, Solukhumbu, Nepal
6. Mr. Samduk Dorjee Tamang (26 yrs) Khumjung-7, Solukhumbu, Nepal
7. Mr. Mingmar Sherpa (37 yrs), Jantarkhani-1,Okhaldhunga, Nepal
8. Mr. Da Sonam Sherpa (39 yrs), Khumjung-8, Solukhumbu, Nepal
9. Mr. Karma Sarki Sherpa (21 yrs), Khumjung-9, Solukhumbu, Nepal

1. Mr. Ryan La Vor Campbell (37yrs), USA.
2. Mr. Samuel Kilbourne Kay ( 32yrs), Britian.
3. Mr. Russell David Lamb ( 31yrs), British.
4. Mr. Fernando S. M. Palacios (47 yrs), Mexico.
5. Mr. Gyaljen Dorjee Sherpa (20yrs), Khumjung-9, Solukhumbu, Nepal
6. Mr. Ang Karma Sherpa (33yrs) Khumjung-9, Solukhumbu, Nepal
7. Mr. Pa Nuru Sherpa (39yrs), Khumjung-9, Solukhumbu, Nepal

1. Mr. Michale John Roberts (46yrs), New Zealand.
2. Mr. Cedric Ross Hayden (39yrs), USA.
3. Mr. Pasang Bhote (34yrs), Chepuwa-1, Sankhuwasabha, Nepal.
4. Mr. Lhakpa Dorjee Sherpa (46yrs), Gudel-4, Solukhumbu, Nepal.
5. Mr. Ngima Dorjee Sherpa (33yrs), Khumjung-7, Solukhumbu, Nepal.

May 20, 2007 - Peak Freak Everest Training climbers

Aldas Baltutis and Kevin Adams summit via the North Ridge, Tibet.

May 19, 2007- Everest South Summits- Nepal

1. Mr. Benjamin Salazar Cortes (31 yrs), Mexico.
2. Mr. Andre V. Brendenkamp ( 50 yrs), South Africa.
3. Mr. Danuru Sherpa (29 yrs), Khumjung-9, Solukhumbu, Nepal.
4. Mr. Mingma Tenjing Sherpa(21 yrs),Khumjung-9, Solukhumbu, Nepal.
5. Mr. Tsewang Lendu Sherpa (28 yrs), Khumjung-9, Solukhumbu, Nepal.
6. Mr. Ang Namgya Sherpa (25 yrs), Khumjung-8, Solukhumbu, Nepal.

1. Mr. James Stoddard Waldron (60 yrs), USA.
2. Mr. Adolphus G. Hancock ( 48 yrs), Canada.
3. Mr. Pasang Rinji Sherpa (29 yrs), Khumjung-9, Solukhumbu, Nepal.
4. Mr. Mingma Chiring Sherpa (35 yrs),Khumjung-9, Solukhumbu, Nepal.

1. Mr. Robert C. Voughn (51yrs), USA.
2. Mr. Nima Tashi Sherpa (yrs), Khumjung-7, Solukhumbu, Nepal

May 18, 2007- Everest South Summits- Nepal

1. Mr. Kim Seong Bong (66 yrs), South Korea at 7:13 a.m.
2. Mr. Lee Jang Woo (63 yrs), South Korea at 9:45 a.m.
3. Mr. Ngima Geljen Sherpa (21 yrs), Chaurikharka-6, Solukhumbu, Nepal at 7:13 a.m.
4. Mr. Ngaa Tenji Sherpa (28 yrs), Makalu-9, Snakhuwasabha, Nepal at 7:13 a.m.
5. Mr. Tshering Jangbu Sherpa (30 yrs), Lokhim-9, Solukhumbu, Nepal at 7:13 a.m.
6. Mr. Jangbu Sherpa (28 yrs), Juving-1, Solukhumbu, Nepal at 9:45 a.m.
7. Mr. Pasang Dawa Sherpa (30 yrs),Chaurikharka-3, Solukhumbu, Nepal at 9:45 a.m.

1. Mr. Noewe Cristina Wenceslao (yrs), Britain.
2. Mr. Phu Tashi Sherpa (35 yrs), Khumjung-8, Solukhumbu, Nepal

1. Mr. Robert H. Casserley (32 yrs), Britain.

1. Mr. Kenton E. Kool (34 yrs), Britain at 8:15 a.m.
2. Mr. Omar Sherif Samara (29 yrs), Egypt at 10:15 a.m.
3. Mr. Robert J. Parfet (30 yrs), USA at 7:30 a.m.
4. Mr. Edward A. Supplee (24 yrs), USA at 10:30 a.m.
5. Mr. Gregory K. Maud (33 yrs), South Africa at 8:15 a.m
6. Mr. Lhakpa Wangchu Sherpa (21 yrs), Khumjung-7, Solukhumbu, Nepal.
7. Mr. Tapchhen Lama (28 yrs), Hatiya-3, Sankhuwasabha, Nepal.
8. Mr. Chewang Dorjee (26 yrs), Khumjung-8, Solukhumbu, Nepal.
9. Mr Dorjee Gyalgen (25 yrs), Khumjung-8, Solukhumbu, Nepal.

1. Mr. Anthony Victor Saunders (57 yrs), Britain at 11:30 a.m.
2. Mr. James Durie Kerr (38 yrs), Britain at 10:00 a.m.
3. Mr. Douglas P. Beal (41 yrs), USA at 9:00 a.m.
4. Ms. Samantha Larson (19 yrs), USA at 11:30 a.m.
5. Mr. David D. Larson (51 yrs), USA at 12:20 a.m
6. Mr. Wim E. L. Smets (39 yrs), Belgium at 11:30 a.m.
7. Mr. Lhakpa Thundu Sherpa (34 yrs), Khumjung-8, Solukhumbu, Nepal.
8. Mr. Pemba Gyalgen Sherpa (33 yrs),Khumjung-9, Solukhumbu, Nepal.
9. Mr. Ang Namgyal Sherpa (23 yrs), Khumjung-7, Solukhumbu, Nepal.
10. Mr. Tika Bahadur Tamang (34 yrs), Rampur-8, Ramechhap, Nepal.
11. Mr. Passang Dawa Sherpa (31 yrs),Khumjung-7, Solukhumbu, Nepal.

1. Mr. David Simon Jhon Tait (45 yrs), Britain.
2. Mr. Phu Tashi Sherpa (35 yrs), Khumjung-8, Solukhumbu, Nepal

1. Mrs. Noewe Cristina Wenceslao (28 yrs), Philippines.
2. Mrs. Janet Belarmino ( 29 yrs), Philippines.
3. Mrs. Carina Dayondon (29 yrs), Philippines
4. Mr. Pemba Chhoti Sherpa (35 yrs), Gaurishankar-1, Dolakha, Nepal
5. Mr. Lhakpa Galjen Sherpa (26 yrs),Chaurikharkha-7, Solukhumbu,Nepal

1. Mr. Thomas M. Lehane (49 yrs), Ireland at 7:30 a.m.
2. Mr. Iain M. G. Peter (48 yrs), Britain at 7:10 a.m.
3. Mr. Pem Chhiri Sherpa (28 yrs), Changkhu-6, Dolakha, Nepal at 7:30 a.m.
4. Mr. Dawa Gelgi Sherpa (32 yrs), Changkhu-4, Dolakha, Nepal at 7:30 a.m.
5. Mr. Pemba Rita Sherpa (28 yrs), Gaurishankar-1, Dolakha, Nepal at 7:10 a.m.
6. Mr. Wangchu Sherpa (30 yrs), Namchhe-4, Solukhumbu, Nepal at 7:10 a.m.

1. Ms. Paul Frank Giorgio (43 yrs), USA.
2. Mr. Nima Dorjee Tamang (28 yrs), Bakachol-9, Khotang, Nepal
3. Mr. Lhakpa Chhiri Sherpa (35 yrs), Chaurikharka-2, Solukhumbu, Nepal
4. Mr. Phur Tenji Sherpa (39 yrs), Juving-5, Solukhumbu, Nepal

May 17, 2007

Everest South- Only 2 summits on the south reported for this morning. More coming tomorrow. Many more as the weather is holding. Canadian Everest climbers Elias Saikaly and Everest veteran Gabriel Filippi sleeping at C4. Summit bid in the next 4 hours. If successful this will be Gabriel's second summit success being the second Canadian to do so. The first was Dave Rodney from Calgary, Alberta.

Everest North-  reports of summit totals in the 200+ are coming in from climbers. No official stats of names available as of yet due to the complexity of communications from within Tibet to the outside world.

May 17, 2007

As per the report of Liason Officer from the base camp and the handling trekking agency, two members permanent residents of South Korea, Mr. Hee Joon Oh (37 yrs) and Mr. Hyun Jo Lee (34 yrs), of "2007 Park's Everest South West Face Expedition 2007" team died by falling down from 8300 metres during their accent to Mt. Everest (8848 meters) on 16 May, 2007 at 2:00 a.m.

May 17, 2007

EVEREST SOUTH 27 CLIMBERS TOPPED OUT - Summit List - Provided by Nepal's Ministry of Tourism.  We don't have the stats from the North side yet as the authorities don't have the same communications systems as they do in Nepal. We will update the north side as we hear.

1. Mr. Hongbin Kim (43 yrs), Republic of Korea at 10:40 am.
2. Mr. Junghyun Youn (37 yrs), Republic of Korea at 11:45 am.
3. Mr. Mi-Gon Kim (35 yrs), Republic of Korea at 8:34 am.
4. Mr. Mingma Tengi Sherpa (33 yrs), Yaku-9, Sangkhuwasabha, Nepal at 8:35 am.
5. Mr. Sanu Sherpa (30 yrs), Makalu-9, Sangkhuwasabha, Nepal at 10:40 am

6. Mr. Guillermo Benegas (39 yrs), USA
7. Mr. Erik Lane Dalzell (24 yrs), USA
8. Mr. Eirik Tryti (48 yrs), Norway
9. Mr. Bjorn A.B. Evensen (40 yrs), Norway
10. Mr. Lhakpa Norbu Sherpa (29 yrs), Namchhe-2, Solukhumbu, Nepal
11. Mr. Chhonwa Nurbu Sherpa (47 yrs), Chaurikharka-7, Solukhumbu,Nepal
12. Mr. Nima Ondeki Sherpa (34 yrs), Juving-1, Solukhumbu, Nepal
13. Mr. Tshering Wnagchu Sherpa (24 yrs), Namche-5, Solukhumbu, Nepal
14. Mr. Ang Pemba Sherpa (28 yrs), Namchhe-7, Solukhumbu, Nepal
15. Mr. Maila Tamang (40 yrs), Narayanthan-6, Kabhre, Nepal

16. Mr. Johan Earnst Nilson (38 yrs), Sweden

17. Mr. Sonam Sherpa (35 yrs), Beni-9, Solukhumbu, Nepal at 9:15 A.M
18. Mr. Kami Sherpa (29 yrs), Jantarkhani-9, Okhaldhunga, Nepal at 9:45 A.M
19. Mr. Lhakpa Gelje Sherpa (36 yrs), Tapting-1, Solukhumbu, Nepal at 9:15 A.M
20. Mr. Da Chaamba Sherpa (40 yrs), ,Gudel-5, Solukhumbu, Nepal at 9:45 A.M

21. Mr. Apa Sherpa ( 47 yrs), Thame-7, Solukhumbu, Nepal
22. Mr. Lhakpa Gelu Sherpa (40 yrs), Juving-1, Solukhumbu, Nepal
23. Mr. Passang Geljen Sherpa (21 yrs), Juving-1, Solukhumbu, Nepal
24. Mr. Arita Sherpa (47 yrs), Namche-7, Solukhumbu, Nepal
25. Mr. Ang Passang Sherpa (39 yrs), Namche-7, Solukhumbu, Nepal
26. Mr. Pemba Rinjee Sherpa (36 yrs), Juving-1, Solukhumbu, Nepal
27. Mr. Mingma Tsering Sherpa (25 yrs), Juving-1, Solukhumbu, Nepal

May 16, 2007

EVEREST NORTH SUMMIT REPORT- 100+ summits as of today. Summit bids are crowding the route. Aldas Baltutis has summited and sources report that Dereck is having some troubles and Kevin is at ABC resting. There will be another wave of attempts once the route clears, weather maintains and climbers are fit and rested. Stay tuned!

May 15, 2007 NEWS FLASH.. 

EVEREST NORTH SUMMITS!- May 15- 50+ summits today on the north side. Amazingly good weather, clear skies and calm. Very busy on the route. Everyone is safe and the second wave of climbers are preparing for their ascent tomorrow. Names of today's successful summits we be verified shortly. The south side climbers are now on the move to high camps and summit bids will start in the next day or two. Great season... safe and successful so far. Only 1 death this season on the south of Dawa Sherpa who was hit by a block of ice. Stay tuned!

May 14, 2007

EVEREST NEWS NORTH 2007- Aldas Baltutis was shooting for a summit bid this weekend. We haven't heard of any summits as of yet so it is likely he will be heading up with the mass wave of summit seekers slated for May 15 and 16. Tunc and Wally are in fine form and Kevin is heading up to ABC to  be in line for a summit bid. Stay tuned... the heat is on... 

May 12, 2007

EVEREST NEWS - SUMMIT FEVER- the fever is getting hot! Dates for summit bids are being set for both the north and south sides of Everest. Negotiations on who goes first, what time, what day, how many, are all being calculated during this time. The window of weather is looking good for May 17 and this has created a frenzy at base camp with anxious climbers ready to go. The north side is fixed to the summit and word is out that the Chinese Olympic torch team were successful. The team consists of mainly Tibetan climbers. The south side is still working out some rope fixing issues to the summit. This is the time of year it all goes down. Everyone back home is waiting word but there hasn't been much to say in the last week as all the work on the mountain has been done. Those who were able, made it to the high camps for acclimatization, and those who did well there are in position for their summit bids. Stay tuned during the next week as the stories unfold.

May 4, 2007

Everest News North 2007- Sources report the team of 5 sherpas did indeed summit Everest on May 3, 2007. Wow... a spectacular early summit. Summit fever is in the air for the north side. The route was completely fixed to the summit before the end of April.  I can't remember it ever being fixed so early for a spring ascent. 

May 3, 2007

EVEREST NEWS NORTH 2007- Kevin Adams is sleeping at the north col as part of his acclimatization process. Tomorrow Tunc Findik will follow to do the same. If successful this climb will complete Tunc's desire to summit Everest from both sides having already summit via the south in 2001 where Tim Rippel first met him. Word also has it that 5 sherpas who were fixing the route on the north side to the summit may have continued on and summited. We are still waiting confirmation of the details.

May 1, 2007

EVEREST NEWS! SURVIVING EVEREST- Important facts all climbers need to know.

Death of Sherpa climber name confirmed! 40 year old Dawa Sherpa from the Solo Khumbu age 40 sadly passed away April 26, 2007. Dawa was working near Camp 3 on the south side. He was a member of the an International Expedition led by Mr. Wolf Herbert from Austria. Our hearts go out to Dawa's family and fellow climbers during this difficult time.

April 27, 2007

EVEREST NEWS SOUTH 2007- An avalanche has blocked the ice fall. The ice doctor's (sherpas employed as a group to maintain the ladders) are working to re-open it. In the meantime all members were at BC and are waiting for news on the stability of the route and ladders.

April 26, 2007

Death on Everest! The first death on Everest this season has been reported today. Via the south route near camp 3 a sherpa was struck by a chunk of ice and fell to his death. We are still waiting clarification of his name and the team he was with. Stay tuned!

April 24, 2007

Everest North News Update!   Peak Freak's Everest training members Wally Reisinger, Kevin Adams, Dereck Davey, Tunc Findik, and Aldas Baltutis have all successfully reached the top of the north col and are now resting at ABC.  Good work team!

April 23, 2007

EVEREST SOUTH NEWS UPDATE! Canadians Gabriel Filippi and Elias Saikaly- Finding Life climb in memory of Sean Egan have arrived at base camp and made their first acclimatization climb to Camp 1. Now resting in base camp whilst sitting out the new snow covering the mountain.  

April 13, 2007

CHINESE TORCH RELAY ON EVEREST: It is official. Chinese to carry the Olympic torch relay style to the top of Mt. Everest via the North Ridge in Tibet May of 2008. Due to this event Everest permits via the north ridge will be limited making way for the cleaning and preparation of base camp and the route. Our spots on our Everest south 2008 will also be limited so don't delay.

April 10, 2007

MT. EVEREST NORTH 2007 UPDATE!  - Peak Freak's Everest training members Aldas Baltutis from Lethuanian, Dereck Davey from Australia and Kevin Adams from the UK are currently on their way to base camp. All members were part of the training climb on Ama Dablam last autumn. On the team joining them will also be past Peak Freak Ama Dablam members Wally Reisinger and Tunc Findik. Best wishes of success goes out to all.

October 16, 2006 

MT. PUMORI- ITALIAN TEAM TRAGEDY: Situated next to Mt. Ama Dablam in the Khumbu valley. Two Sherpa climbers died in an avalanche on Mount Pumori on Saturday while there might be few more casualties on the peak, officials at the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation said today.Ang Jabu Sherpa, 33 of Okhaldhunga and Phurba Thundu Sherpa, 21 of Dolakha, both members of the Latonia International Pumori Expedition 2006, were killed in an avalanche while climbing the 7161m high peak.

A few more casualties are likely as detailed information as not yet been received. The liaison officers of this expedition and other members of the expedition are trying to be contacted at the time of writing. The 10-member Italian expedition was the only one on Mt. Pumori at the time of the incident. Mt. Pumori is not as tame as she looks. Her sloping shoulders hold considerable amounts of snow that are easily triggered by climbers cutting into the load. 

A sad day... our hearts go out to the families of everyone involved. 

October 14, 2006

Chinese military shoot Tibetan's crossing over the pass seeking refuge in Nepal!

No news from base camp but big news coming out of Tibet.

I feel I must share this, 

My heart is bleeding. News is slowly coming in from climbers returning from Tibet. Slowly because climbers on Cho Oyu have been trying to leave the country before they talk. The Chinese military was caught in action and on film by climbers on Cho Oyo of an assault on 70+ Tibetans crossing over the Nangpa La pass to seek refuge in Nepal. The Chinese poised and shot at the group who were forced to run up a 19,000 foot slope in knee deep snow. First the Chinese said "it was self defense" but now the footage is surfacing that tells another story. The group was led by a nun who was shot to death and a child and left on the slope. About 40 of them escaped and are now in Kathmandu, 16 children were captured and about 17 are missing.

This will bring about interesting debate on the future of climbing and tourism in Tibet. To follow this situation, see photos and learn more check here. http://www.savetibet.org

The Dalai Lama has always said that people should continue to travel to Tibet otherwise we would know even less of China's disrespect of human rights and how else will news from Tibet reach the outside world if not through refugees and tourists.  Climbers say the Tibetan women and children were chased on to the glacier and hunted down like rats.

What is a Sherpa?  

 

 

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