is it!.... We often get
referred to as the "Mom and Pops" of Everest. We'll go with
that.... I hope it says and shows what's most important...in that we care!
Welcome to Peak Freaks
Everest 2013' season and blog spot. We invite you to follow our annual push to the top that
has been going on here actively in a commercial sense since 1991, the year
of our first Everest experience, now our 12th Everest.
We continue to keep our
teams small in size offering more flexibility to work around the
challenges as they are presented. We continue to keep our staff ratio well
above average of other teams -safety in numbers rules!!!- and
can sleep at night knowing our Sherpa and Western Mountain Guides always
give us 100% to get the job done, and more importantly bringing everyone
home maintaining our 100% client safety record during 23 years and 42 Himalayan
expeditions and other extreme adventures worldwide.
SPOT:A place for comments and more. updated remotely
if this site is inactive.
Be sure to
use the FOLLOW BUTTON at the top of this page to get updates
delivered to your Facebook and to view our photo uploads.
25, 22:00hrs (NPT) Last
crux of Everest + logging of a different kind.
limited weather windows are here now with onset of the monsoon. Kaji
Sherpa tells me just a couple flights got out this morning and then
this window closed for the day and now it's raining. Sean, Patrick,
Kevin and myself will wait it out for our reservation "first
flight" tomorrow morning, give it the day to try and get in. If
that fails we are on to Plan B. A new option not used yet, no
it's not a helicopter! I'll let you in on it if we have to resort to
the walk today from Namche to Lukla, I get to stop in and visit all
our Sherpa friends along the way and get caught up on local gossip,
development and such. When walking today the trail was super quiet with
tourist as was Namche, however there are quite a few in Lukla now
positioning themselves to get out to Kathmandu, but otherwise it was
quiet, except for the train of porters working carrying trees up and
down the trail. Big big trees, it takes 8 porters to a tree.
ago a huge wind storm came through here knocking down some very large
trees in the park. Though this is Sherpa land the ministry does have
say what happens with the trees because it's also a park. It took a while
to decide but they've come up with a plan entitling the Sherpas to the
timber but it has to be shared among them. So each tree is labeled
with the owners name and are now being transported to their rightful
owners. With the dam project and the timber salvage there will
be a lot of employment for porters and Sherpas in the off season this
year in the Khumbu Valley. Progress being a good thing in these two
crossed for good weather tomorrow but if not, it's not. Life in the
and out... Tim
24, 22:00hrs (NPT)LIGHTS
GO OUT IN NAMCHE...plus... SUMMIT PHOTOS
Sean, Patrick and Kevin are still in Namche Bazaar tonight enjoying
the ambience here. Interesting how quiet it is here, it's the end of
the trekking season and typically the valley would be filled with
hundreds of climbers this time of year all filtering through on their
way home. It seems like many climbers put the "helicopter
out" in their budget these days. We wonder if it will hurt the
local economy of the lodge owners and porters in the future?.
I had a
good talk with Tsedam tonight, owner and good friend of our favorite
lodge in Namche. He tells me that the power is being shut off in
Namche for 6 months or more on May 30th. The water project that was
developed here in the mid nineties needs a new damn and system. The
current one is allowing too much silt in it choking it off. It's going
to be a huge project and if it's not completed by the beginning of
autumn trekking and climbing season here will resort back to the old
one during that time. Tsedam is busy stocking a water supply to carry
his business over for the limited summer trek season as this is
his full-time home and he also runs a home for homeless children up
here.. All the other lodges are boarding up and heading out elsewhere.
I also met
with Simone today, he got the contract to work his helicopter during
the project so he's pretty happy to be getting some bucks to help pay
for his expensive machine.
so many changes here and all over Nepal the past 23 years. It's
interesting to have had this opportunity in a country where there are
no roads allowing the appeal of this beautiful land be preserved for
tourist to see and experience. There aren't many places on the
planet where a culture has been so nicely preserved in our life-time
to watch it change ten fold.
and the scenery are still the most rewarding experience that people
take home from here. No matter what peaks you climb or aspire to, it's
the intense sense of team that you get in Nepal. Everyone is in it
together from the beginning to the end of each expedition, from the
moment you step out of the airplane, to reaching your personal goal,
or not, it's the journey and the people that you meet along the way
that's infectious and stays with a person forever. It's not by any
means just the tourist that take away great memories, the Sherpa
people also carry their new friends and relations with them for a
life-time and we should not forget that when returning to hectic lives
abroad. They gave you their all and wait for the next season do it all
over again for someone else. Pretty special.
tomorrow.. Over and out... Tim
photos now on my Facebook... New rules.... no face no summit
credit by the Ministry of Tourism Nepal. Take those goggles & mask
22, 21:00hrs (NPT)Nice
our Sherpa crew and special guest and wine master, James Cluer who
arrived just in time to meet Sean, Patrick and Kevin before they hit
the trail a day early. Kevin climbs down from Camp 2 and heads off
down the valley below right away, good on him, go get some air.
leaves James and I and our crew. What a perfect ending. We moved into
our Sherpas dinning tent and got into that case of wine. James managed
to successfully do his high altitude wine tasting at the foot of the
glacier and will do some more again tomorrow. He takes this very
serious. It's not a lark like so many things are here today, this was
the real deal as altitude does effect wine.
at the Sherpa party I made them aware of just how expensive this wine
is. The bottles were worth between $500 and $700US. Now if that didn't
get some big eyes and laughs from them. They'd take a sip, laugh and
say "200 rupees" take another sip and say it again and
again. Good party...knocked everyone out pretty good tonight. LOL
great fun for James to be part of our Sherpa party, the stories, the
laughs of the going on's here each season. It's all just one big comic
relief at the end when you start to look back at some of the well....
I must say, "entertaining" reason's people climb
Everest. Met a Canadian- Nepalese a few days back, he came to introduce
himself as a Canadian. He had no arms and summited Everest, apparently from Calgary,
good for him I guess. This is the part had me shaking my head,
he was taken off the mountain at C2 by long-line and I managed to get
the whole thing on GoPro of him flying through air all the way to base
camp hanging from the line. I can't imagine what a trip that was and
how it felt. Makes me wonder if
this is going to be a new thing. Climb up, fly down. Oh man... Never
of flying- Murad, Lee and Marty did not make it to Kathmandu by
helicopter. Instead they had to do a weather stop in a field between
Lukla and Kathmandu and are there for the night. Hopefully the weather
will improve to pop them out tomorrow morning.
it.... for base camp as of tomorrow morning but the adventure still
continues to get everyone out of the Khumbu. This can be a huge and
epic challenge this time of year.
I want to give a big thank you out to all the families of climbers at
home for trusting us with your loved ones. We always say if we ever
lose a client in the mountains we won't do this anymore, 23 years
later, we're still here.
21, 23:10hrs (NPT) EBC Celebrations minus Kevin
check-in today as the Chinese satellite was kicking the Thuraya
Satellite off this evening. Everyone is down minus Kevin and Tashi who
are at Camp 2. The glacier is super hot in the heat of the day and
it's not necessary since we have Camp 2 and Kami Sherpa there waiting
to accommodate them. They're going to come down first light when it's
ice-fall doesn't have any obvious hazards near the route but it is
certainly getting quite slushy during the day and the heat is
morning at around 09:00hrs Lee, Murad and Marty are flying
out to Kathmandu by helicopter (weather pending of course). The rest
of us will have one more night waiting for Kevin, then we'll be out of
here at 08:00hrs May 23rd for the great walk back to Lukla, and then
(fingers crossed) pending weather we would like to be in Kathmandu on
May 26th if all works out.
crew will make one last trip up the ice-fall tomorrow to bring down
camp supplies from there and then they go home to their families and
celebrations will get underway there. We will stop in and see many of
them along the way and catch up on their lives and all things new
quite a few summits this morning but complaints of how cold it was,
it's even colder here at base camp tonight. It will be nice to back to
the land of living after 2 months on this glacier. Personally I'm
looking forward to playing with grandkids on the sailboat before it's
back to the Himalayas in the autumn for more mountain
else has similar wishes on their list of things they learned to
appreciate more back home. Funny how that happens after being here on
a major expedition in such a hostile environment for such a long
duration. We miss everyone we meet after a climb and we miss everyone
at home while on a climb.
everyone for your social internet interactions on the tools we are
given today. It's really great to get so many people involved on so
Sean Mooney on the summit. First to summit-first to get a photo out
holding his www.righttoplay.com
09:00hrs (NPT) Lhose update
Farebrother has turned back due to route conditions that he was not
comfortable with. Tashi agrees. They are now just above Camp 3,
planning to make it to Camp 2 where they will decide to stay a night
or climb down to EBC.
Sherpa one of our two Camp 2 cooks just arrived back at EBC after 2
full months living up there. He's sooooo happy to be at EBC where it's
warmer. Kami Sherpa is still up there and will wait for Kevin's
decisions before packing up to come down. Now you know why we
love these guys so much. What would be do without them?
the Sherpas just pulled into camp with all our empty oxygen cylinders
so he ended the call to help them pack them up.
teams human waste and other garbage is weighed, we pay to have it
taken down the valley sorted and burned. After it's all accounted for
we get our hefty garbage deposit back. Our food supplies are fresh and
local so scraps are saved and given to the yaks. Nice and clean
when we get through.
20, 21:30hrs (NPT) Camp 2
the late reply, since Tim's check- in I've been frantically answering
to families and media requests.
ARE SAFE at Camp 2..Tim says the team is hysterical at this point
with their achievement. They are all feeling wonderful, tired and had
a smooth down climb from the South Col.
Sean is at
base camp already and Kevin is now sleeping at Camp 4 on Lhotse.
Everything going to plan.
Lee, Murad, Patrick will be at base camp just in time for lunch
tomorrow. Base camp is 80% packed up and everyone will begin
their trek back to Lukla on the 23rd.
Team Peak Freaks on the summit in 2008- taken by Dominque Gilbert from
19,21:00hrs NPT - SUMMIT
UPDATE.... KEVIN & LHOTSE NEXT......
arrived back at the South Col at 16:00hrs, they are resting, tired but
in good shape. Sean arrived at the Col at 12:00n so he headed down and
is already at Camp 2.
at 08:00hrs (May 20) the team is planning on climbing all the way down
to Camp 2, they should be there around 14:00hrs, stay the night and
(May21) morning early, they will be back at base camp, debrief, wrap and wine
Farebrother will depart from the South Col tomorrow to Camp 4 on
Lhotse, summit bid the next day (May 21), climb down to Camp 2 and be
at base camp on the 22nd. Kevin will carry SPOT with him.
Freaks will be pulling out of EBC on May 23rd. Thank you
everyone for all of your support this far, we still have some mountain
after Everest Marty Schmidt is off to Broad Peak (12th highest in the
world), if all goes well and it feels right, he will head over for the
Abruzzie Ridge on K2, along with good friend from Australia, Chris
Pho Temba Sherpa-
Farebrother- Australia 09:10hrs (2 x Summit) with oxygen in
the end, amazing effort with smart choice!!!
Canada/Ireland - possibly the youngest Irish to summit at 24 years
Sherpa- Phortse 09:10hrs (8 x summits)
Sherpa- Khotang 09:10hrs (2 x summits)
Lee Den Hond-
South Africa "Third" South African woman to summit
Sherpa- Khumjung 09:10hrs - (3 x summits)
Sherpa- Tingla - 09:10hrs- (4 x summits)
Sherpa- Phortse - 09:10hrs - (2 x summits)
Sherpa- Khumjung - 09:10hrs - (9 x summits)
Conditions: Busy but fantastic weather. Tim says it's breezy
at base camp but calm on the summit with beautiful warm sunshine.
Cameras are clicking away and then the home stretch begins
It could take anywhere
from 4 to 5 hours to reach the South Col depending on how busy the
route is. Marty says the team is all super super strong.
They have the option to
stop and sleep at C4 or C3 if they want to. Peak Freaks keeps these
camps stocked with oxygen and food till everyone is off the
We have a rescue team
of Sherpas sitting at Camp 3 keeping Camp 4 open for our team and to
be available in the event of a rescue. After our team climbs down from
Camp 4 to 3 our Sherpas move up and tear down Camp 4, following our
members all the way down the mountain till everyone reaches base camp.
It's been a nice and
easy climb this year with good climbers. We are very proud of
everyone, their eagerness to learn, stay motivated and be a solid team
and....... Marty Schmidt ROCKS!!!
Marty will call in
again at the balcony to let us know how everyone is doing.
Tim, Becky & Marty
and our entire Sherpa community and crew.
NPT: Marty, Lee and
Murad are currently climbing at the Hillary Step, there is about a 15
minute line-up, no big deal, everyone is working through it just
There are a lot of
people about to top out right now. The weather is beautiful, cloudy on
the north side, bluebird on the south and next to no wind.
Lee, Murad, Marty
should be on the summit in about 1 hour and Patrick and Kevin in about
2 hours. They are just below the south summit.
Sean Mooney and Pho Temba Sherpa were the first to summit. The others
are following close behind. Happy !!!!!
Remember to help his charity he supports if you can: http://righttoplay.com
Congratulations Sean and Pho Temba- you guys were fast considering you
left the south col an hour after the others.
May 19, 05:30hrs
NPT No news is
I have no news for
anyone at the moment. They are in an area right now where signals get
blocked so that's good news. Spot also takes some time out here.
Peak Freaks Spot/Kevin
and Tashi was turned on before leaving the South Col tonight in Nepal
but it unfortunately will take a bit to register with the satellite
once again. We may only get it on their way down, not sure.
Oh, and thanks to my
good blog follow buddy Web Stanton for finding the correct link for
James Cluer and brining it to my attention. See
I didn't want to look
on the Internet to read about the fire that destroyed my utmost
favorite place in all of
Thamel, (Kathmandu's tourist hub) called "Pilgrims Book
Store", but I did.
It happened on
Thursday.It appears they've
thrown all the books out the window in an attempt to salvage what they
can. I'm so very sad. There was an amazing collection of old pictorial
books upstairs that I'd spend hours going through. This store has been
here for as long as I remember, my first visit was in 1991.
Thankfully the fire
department was able to suppress the fire and not let it spread beyond
the two buildings involved. Thamel has tightly woven and congested
streets with hundreds of people on the streets and in the buildings
this time of year.
19, 01:50hrs NPT Team
has reached the balcony 8500m
Marty, Murad and Lee at
the balcony 8500m, Kevin, Sean and Patrick are one hour behind them
due their opted later start. If all works to plan they should meet on
the summit together which is a great joy for such a tight team.
Next check in will be
in about 3 hours from the South Summit. Everything is going
really well, no problems on the route whatsoever, everyone is moving
at a good pace.
Surprise for the
team when they return
Tim checks in with me
"hey Becky, a case of wine arrived at camp today- do you know
anything about it?"
I ask him to not say
anything to the team but you are expecting a special visit from one of
only 300 Wine Masters of the world- James Cluer. James will be
doing a tasting of wine at base camp to see how altitude effects the
tasting of wines, as he consults on buying to Qatar, the best airline
in the world.
James is now in the
valley and expected to be in camp the same night the team arrives back
in EBC. He has timed his arrival perfectly. www.finevintageltd.com
Tim in his youth used
to pick grapes at a vineyard at his hometown in the Okanagan Valley in
Canada to be able to afford gas for his dirt bike and buy climbing
equipment, they'll for sure enjoy some good conversations on the topic
18, 20:00hrs (NPT)FINAL
SUMMIT PUSH IS ON
team reported having a very good rest during their C4 stay, are in
good shape and on their
way to the summit. Murad and Lee pulled out of camp with their
personal Sherpas at 19:00hrs NPT, Sean, Patrick and Kevin pulled out
at around 20:00hrs NPT. Marty will call when they reach the
balcony at around 02:00hrs.
is on for both waves, Lee and Kevin are both being tracked.
Yesterday's summit went
well, no big lines, no incidents, two ropes in place one up and one
down have been placed at the Hillary Step as planned to help with
passing climbers that can often create congestion.
Low to no wind at all
on the mountain as predicted. Blue skies today with fog at base camp.
The team is doing
really well and we'll report back here again throughout this journey
to top and back.
Over and out... Tim
18, 09:00hrs (NPT) SUMMITS...
cheers at base camp with successful summits from other teams this
morning. This is good news that they managed to get on with their
pushes making way for the next wave, our wave. Should be good going,
weather is doing exactly what we had predicted it would.
I'll check back here
again when the team makes their move. They are planning at leaving
around 19:00 or 19:30hrs (NPT).
Over and out...
May 17: Here's a birds eye view of the
glacier... it shows the enormity. An extremely expensive 16 minute
21:00hrs (NPT) South Col (7986m
That's where the team
is resting peacefully tonight and did fantastic today, I'm proud of
them. It was breezy earlier in the evening as we knew it would be
and now it's calm. Tomorrow will probably be the longest day of their
lives, though the summit push physically will be the longest day for
them the mental part of climbing Everest begins here. They slumber and
twiddle with anything that's twiddleable while waiting for the passing
of the next set of pages of http://warpworld.ca
The book is now broken into 6 pieces and is being passed from tent to
Meet climber Lee Den
Lee's climb is being
followed by thousands in South Africa (her home) thanks to the support
of the television company Carte Blanche "Making a
Difference" Everest campaign. For Lee her climb has two purposes:
to summit the highest mountain in the world, becoming the third South
African woman to do so, and to raise awareness for the mountains that
so many children must climb daily South Africa, in looking after their
siblings as the guardians of child-headed households.
Most of us have seen
the outcry for help on our TV's at home and sometimes become immune to
these ads for help. Lee is hoping to bring awareness from a higher
level. These child-headed households are entirely dependent on social
grants, charities and the kindness of communities. While no-one can
replace the love and guidance of a parent or caregiver, these
households (over 150,000 of them) desperately need food, clothes,
money, shelter and education.
To learn more on how
you can help and make a difference we encourage you to go to this
page, have a read and we invite you to help if you can.
Photo: Tim, Lee, her
support network and Carte Blanche production crew in the Khumbu.
Everyone is taking this
time out to reflect, lay low and save our energy for the nights to
Over and out... Tim
production team was also responsible for the creation of our
"Base Camp Harlem Shake" that was apparently received well in South Africa.
May 16, 21:00hrs
(NT)Camp 3 - High
Altitude Dreams begin here
for real now to our climbers. As they lay in their tents at Camp 3
tonight trying to maximize
on sleep they will start to drift in and out of confused dream
patterns caused by the thin air.
Their minds will meander home
thinking of the years or months they've invested in this climb, the
consideration of their families, sponsors and followers.
that they all hold you close at heart and they are incredibly proud
and happy that it's all unfolding now and that they've made it to the
final stage of this expedition. Our team is quite excited because they
are doing so well, no real doubts in their abilities, they're strong
and just want to get the job done now.
There were teams who
had positioned themselves at the col for a summit push this morning in
the high winds who decided to lay low for another night. If they have
the resources available to them and don't get too ran down they will
try again tomorrow, but no summits are reported this morning.
Our window is looking
fantastic as we predicted. Warming temperatures for this time of year
combined with low winds, we couldn't ask for a better scenario
considering it's open for quite a spell.
The next day they will
slumber in their tents, hydrate, eat and be ready to go by 21:00hrs (NPT)
the night of the 18th. That's the plan and so far we are sticking to
Kevin who is now
sleeping at C2 will move to C3 tomorrow, sleep and then the next day
move to C4, rest and jump into the summit push with rest of the team.
The team gives a big
shout out to all the EBC trekkers they've met this spring, we are
getting your words of support and it really helps.
Over and out... Tim
Schmidt- team pushing to Camp 3
May 15, 22:00hrs
(NPT).. Perhaps the youngest Irish
climber to attempt Everest-
Patrick McKibben? though he's
living in Canada he is from Northern Ireland and has a Irish passport,
having said that he has potential to become the youngest Irish to
summit Everest and climbing with another Irish climber- Sean Mooney-
same team, hadn't known each other before now and have become the best
of friends throughout this journey.
The best part of this
business is the people we've met through mountains, whether they
climb, trek or even just join us on social media, it's one big happy
planet for people of the hills.
15, 21:00hrs (NPT)Saying
good-by to a Russian Mountaineering legend
NOT PART OF OUR PEAK
Our prayers go out to
Alexi Bolotov's family today, Alexi died at the base of a potential
new route. He had apparently taken a
helicopter over to an area as a reconnaissance. When the pilot went
back to get him he was found dead on the glacier. He wasn't
actually climbing so they don't know if it was rock fall or what
happened. Other reports said something about a severed rope but facts
are all unclear at this time.
Both Denis and Alexi
had been visiting Peak Freaks camp, known to both Tim and Marty quiet
well. Marty had enjoyed several climbs with Alexi over the years so
it's a sad sad day for many climbers and friends of Alexi Bolotov. Tim
reiterates that he died doing what he loves. Rest in peace Alexi.
We are still on plan, we've got information that there are quite a few
heading up to the summit tonight May (15) and another wave at Camp 3
positioning themselves to do a summit push the next night (May
16). We are in a very good position with the lightest of winds
coming for our days of choice (May 18) summit (May 19).
We've been watching
this cyclonic ball doing it's thing in the Bay of Bengal. With the
right mix when it moves up agaisnt India it bounces north and east
away from the Himalayas, this sends high winds and then the calm
before the real storm happens on Everest, (the window of opportunity)
and then the monsoon. We can see it coming now pretty clear so all in
all it's a very normal season, a little earlier like the Sherpas
Our team moves to Camp
3 tomorrow and all report feeling very strong.
Note- to all the
Everest Training-Triple Crown/Autumn trek group members from last
year. Murad is getting all your cheers and is overwhelmed with your
Lee Den Hond's SPOT
Tracker is up now so you can follow her. Click the SPOT link above.
the Wolverine plan. Kevin as many of you may know will be
attempting Everest without oxygen, this being his second time on
Everest after his successful summit in record time in 2011 he may be
able to pull it off. He said on his way down in 2011 he immediately
thought to himself that he'd like to try it without oxygen. It seemed
like a something he could do easy enough.
His approach to do
Lhotse first changed as he wanted to time his Everest summit with his
teammates and now good friends so he'll be doing Lhotse after Everest.
The first plan to do Lhotse first couldn't have happened due high
winds at the time he would have had to start.
Because our team is
spending 2 nights at the South Col, this would be too much for Kevin,
he would lose too much energy hanging out there for two nights without
oxygen so he's spending 1 extra night at Camp 2 and will catch up to
the team on the night of the 18th, starting his push from Camp 3, the
traditional approach but without o's.
After Everest it's in
his plan to attempt Lhotse without oxygen but on both climbs he will
have oxygen available to him if it becomes a life-threatening
situation. Our star Sherpa climber and Sardar Tashi Tunde Sherpa will
be with him as he has not yet climbed Lhotse himself and would like to
give it a go. They are both stoked... Double summit, no oxygen for
Kevin but Tashi will using oxygen for safety and the fact he'll be
carrying backup for Kevin as well.
May 14, 21:00hrs
PEAK FREAKS SUMMIT PUSH IS ON!
Our members are now
sleeping at the Camp 2, the team made it up in good speed yesterday
arriving just in time for lunch. The weather window is nicely spaced
this year but a few cut it a bit short if they were looking at this
window. To catch up they've been flying in to base camp today, I
counted 21 helicopters bringing climbers back up to camp. Gee whiz,
things sure have changed how this mountain is climbed.
Marty says Camp 2 is
pretty quiet, later in the day a few more were starting to
Here's our plan:
May 14: Camp
May 15: Camp
May 16: Camp
3 - sleep on oxygen
South Col- Camp 4 - sleep on oxygen- rest one full day sipping
oxygen. We've been going with the approach the past couple of
years and we feel our climbers really have an advantage in
strength and endurance with this opportunity that we provide. Not
every operator does this.
night, usually around 9pm, earlier if there appears to be a lot
climbers in the same wave.
sunrise on the summit... We've put rocks in Patrick McKibben's
pants to slow him down. I've warned him to slow it down or he'll
be on top at 02:00hrs in the dark. If successful Patrick may be
the youngest Canadian male to summit Everest. I'll have to check
this of course with Elizabeth Hawley. The youngest female
and record for youngest Canadian still today is Laura Mallory. The
youngest Canadian male to date was Deryl Kelly at age 25.
Patrick has more than
physical strength going for him. Very sadly his brother and climbing
partner passed away on Mt. Hector in Alberta, Canada when Patrick was
doing his first rotation to Camp 2. Patrick was very close to
his brother and feels his spirit is with him throughout this journey
to the top of the world.
So this is it, we have a very nice window for
favorable winds and not to cold. Just the way we like it.
Over and out... Tim
12, 21:00hrs (NPT) Oxygen
drill... today the team went
through a second round of oxygen drills, things
like being careful when adjusting your partners flow rate, cumbersome
gloves and foggy thinking can put your partner at risk if you aren't
precise with the settings.
Another important thing
is how to clear the ice that builds up on the mask. We've had
people go through this drill over and over yet when they are starting
to feel the effects of low oxygen level intake they will forget what
is going on and to check it. A good indicator is cold
extremities. Our Sherpa guides and Marty have a lot of experience in
observing behaviors that show adjustments are needed.
We use the 4ltr Poisk
oxygen from Russia with Top Out masks, this systems has worked very
well for us over the years. It takes 3 bottles of oxygen from the
South Col (Camp 4) to the summit and back to the Col. Plus we have
oxygen for them to sleep on at Camp 3 and enough to sleep two nights
if needed at the South Col plus back-up for emergencies.
Masks - Old top (Finjo
Sherpa on the summit) New (Tm at EBC)
Teams are starting to
find their spot in the big picture for a summit bid. A Minister from
the tourism office came around today trying to get an idea of who is
going when. Everyone seems to spacing out pretty good but we had this
conversation last year season as well as we do every year. You will
never really know till you go.
Happy Mothers Day to all
our moms at home.. We love you, miss you, hope your day is warmer than
Stay tuned.... Tim
11, 21:00hrs (HPT) Just a
to let everyone know that the team is back from a great day to Pumori
Camp 1. Tim said he ran the team through the rigors today proving they
are more than ready- they
Now it's strategy time-
weather and crowd management are all that's on the table for
consideration before the big push.
Stay tuned... Becky
10, 21:00hrs (NPT) Rope
fixed and Sherpas summit! .. Hooray! Good work team!
Thsering, Rita Dorjee, Nigma Tsheri and Sonam Phinjo.
time to climb!
There are several teams
looking at the promising weather report and will be making their
summit pushes in the next few days. Kevin and I have been talking and
Kevin is looking at climbing Lhotse first then Everest without oxygen,
this will allow him to acclimatize even higher to 8516m before taking
on Everest at 8848 with hopefully less people around.
The problem with going
without oxygen supplements is the climbers extremities get cold due to
less oxygen flowing through the blood that provides good circulation.
Hanging around too long in lines is not a good thing so this is a
brilliant approach. There are several teams preparing for a summit bid
now so this will buy some him some time.
Peak Freaks are off for
a high altitude walk to Pumori Camp 1 tomorrow and will get a look at
the Everest scene while up there and begin to calculate all the
variables before announcing our summit push. We've got a tentative
plan but we want to make it count the most. The monsoon is coming, we
can now see it now so this time our Sherpas nailed it.
Big congratulations out
to Jasper Merserau, Lynn Anderson, Shannon Elton, Bret Elton and
Tanner Elton. Lynn and had a complete emotional breakdown, my
shoulder is wet and our Sherpa team with their big hearts came running
over thinking something was wrong. This was her dream and yes it was
hard and they all did it together with our amazing Ang Nima and his
Our team is hot!...
I'm super pleased with how everyone is doing. We have a VERY
strong team. We lost 3 of 8 earlier in the climb, it happens with
unforeseen things and we were sad to see them go. From what I
hear compared some of the other teams we've held the drop ratio
together very well. Today we have 6 solid climbers and new life long
friends. Team building at it's best pre-summit is what Peak Freaks is
(youngest- turned 24 in March- and apparently faster than
Marty!!! ) Irish living in Canada
Dr. Murad Lala
(participant from our Triple Crown last autumn) Indian
(thought he was going to be the youngest) Irish, Canadian living
in the UK
Lee Den Hond- an
amazing woman from South Africa with a huge following back home
and for an excellent cause that we will be featuring in the days
NEW PHOTO UPLOAD ON
FACEBOOK... check it out!
Over and out.... Tim
9, 21:00hrs (NPT)Happy
Campers... all the way
around. I've got my friends back and they're telling
me how happy they are to be back. They enjoyed being down where things
were green and living but it got old quick. They said they missed the
food and comforts here.
Speaking of food, Desh
Kumar is now our head cook, Ang Karsung has been sending him to chef
school in Kathmandu the past couple of years. He even went to a school
for baking. He's getting -really- good. Desh started out as an
assistant trekking guide and over the years of working with us he's
now a full blown chef, not a cook, a chef of high standing and could
work anywhere in the world if he has the desire to.
We still get our Peak
Freak traditional sushi treats now and then but we also get an
abundance of fresh baking, things like loaves of bread, buns, cakes,
pies, muffins, pigs in the blanket, croissants and home made
preserves. Not made with the heavy potato flour they used to use but
some new light variety.
Tonight's dinner was an
assortment of appetizers, soup starter and salad followed by beef
(yummy water buffalo) stroganoff, mixed coconut vegetables, fresh
baked rolls and delicious fresh pineapple from the low lands. Our
vegan and vegetarian climbers get some fancy looking dishes like
stuffed peppers, falafel kabobs, lentil burgers, humus and other
creations I don't know what you'd call them but they sure look
beautiful and apparently taste good.
Marty tried to send out
some pictures but there's some difficulties in the Himalayan
cyberspace right now. He'll try again in a couple days and apologizes
to everyone following.
ROUTE: The rope
to the summit is so close but yet so far if the wind keeps up. I'm not
sure as it's screaming
over head right now up there, it may get postponed once again as we
suggested it might a few days ago. Have to keep trying, we have a lot
of people here now ready to climb and good spacing is mandatory.
Over and out... Tim
Photos: I've grabbed
some shots from Sean Mooney's and Kevin Farebrother's social sites
that show some pretty good mug shots of some of the cast of character
1. Lee and
Sean 2. Tim and Sean 3. Kevin's ventilated
tent 4. The one of Murad- our team doctor and climber was too
fuzzy to use so I've added one from the Triple
Crown/Everest Boot camp he was on with us this past autumn.
5. Marty and Sean. 6. Patrick & Sean 7. Tashi the
trend setter (left)- Sean likes it (right).
To thank Sean for the
his dedication to uploading photos a reminder to help him out with
surpassing his goals to raise funds for "The
Right to Play" campaign.
8, 2013: 21:00hrs (NPT) Whipping
with Rope... Strange header I
know but that's what came to
mind when I sat down to begin today's blog.
The rope part is news
that the Sherpas are going for
it again tomorrow to fix the
upper route towards the summit. They intend to get up to the balcony,
retreat and then finish the next day (10th of May) then get the heck
out of there. If the reports are correct the big hit of wind is
expected to begin the eve of the 10th. Or will it?
There are a lot of ups
and downs and hit and misses in the reports this season. The only
thing that seems normal at the moment is the Sherpas saying "it's
going to be an early monsoon", Tim chuckled on the sat phone as
they say this every year - but never say never.
The whipping part comes
from some research I've doing as a result of recent conversation with
a meteorologists regarding the patterns of the jet-stream and how it's
changing. It's not 100% supported by thoughts that it's related to
global warming due carbon emissions, but that's what the majority
It's thought that the
jet-stream is weakening and not holding a continuous smooth path but
instead it dips and whips in a different pattern causing all kinds of
weather phenomena's like drought, floods, extreme tornados and so
By looking at the
reports these past few days I see similarities of these irregularities
from my experience in watching weather for our teams. This is really
The normal part of all
this is that we expected the mountain would be dry and it is, snow did
come which was perfect and it leaves just as quick as it came, we
climbed to our high Camp 3 rotation on schedule and predicted we would
be held back by wind - which we are. The next part of a "normal
season" will be the break between the two seasons (winter and
monsoon, or summer) that typically happen causing the "window of
opportunity" for Everest summits, a calming transition moving the
jet-stream away from the Himalayas. I can tell you I see it coming and
all in all it's looking good.
Peak Freaks Pumped
up Kicks: Our team is having a blast in the low lands. They
took advantage of their time off to the fullest. They decided to kick
it all the way down to Namche Bazaar. If you recall this is Day 2 on
the trek coming in to base camp so they are really doing this trip all
over again. They are a very energetic and healthy bunch and the very
best of friends now. Meanwhile back at camp Tim is LONELY!!!!... he's
not the happiest camper when he doesn't have peeps around him. The team is back in Pheriche as of
tonight and have reported that they are planning on making their way
back to base camp tomorrow.
Our second trek group
is in Dingboche tonight and will be in Lobuje tomorrow, then base camp
the day after. They are said to be doing really well. It's perfect
timing, they'll be at camp when the team is there and they can all
share stories of this amazing adventure.
Our climbing Sardar
Tashi Tunde Sherpa has been carrying the SPOT Tracker, if you've
looked in recently he tracked up to the South Col with it.
Photo: Lonely in base
7, 2013: 21:00hrs NPT..High
winds set back rope fixing....Good
effort put forth by the fixing team but it's a no go.
High winds were
encountered up high on the mountain today putting a stop to ropes
being fixed to the summit. It looks like by the weather reports it may
be put off now till later next week due to extreme wind forecasts on
the horizon. Just like we said in an earlier report; We get through
the rotations, high winds come and we wait.... a typical Everest
Over and out.. Tim
6, 2013: 09:00hrs NPT.. Summit
ropes going up right now...
both peaks, Everest and Lhotse.. Cheer these boys on!
5, 2013: 21:00hrs (NPT)Camp
4- proud Sherpa team.
Peak Freaks Sherpa
climbers are now resting at Camp 2 after a full day of hauling loads.
All of our equipment like
tents, fuel, food and oxygen is in place at Camp 3 and part of it at
Tomorrow the last of
the loads to C4 including camp equipment and oxygen placement will be
complete at Camp 4 for Peak Freaks. This is the last camp where the
summit pushes are staged from.
After this completion
climberswill retreat for their big rest. Because our staff
are all from Khumbu they can run home and catch up with their
families. Check on the gardens and yaks, get caught up on house chores
and visit with their families they've not seen for six weeks. This is
an exciting time for them, this marks the half way point of the season.
The second part will be
to do it all over again. Not all our staff have the privilege to
summit Everest and not all of them have the desire to either. We have
three levels that our staff aspire to. We have some that are happy to
be carriers and rope fixers who will carry everything up and then
carry it down again behind the summit team post summit. We have some
that are summit Sherpas for our 1:1 Sherpa Guide/Climber ratio and we
also have Personal Sherpas that work closely with our climbers
throughout the entire climb, a climber is never alone on the mountain
when with Peak Freaks. On summit day the guide ratio is boosted up to
2:1 Sherpa guide/Climber and all categories have further guidance with
our Western Guide- Marty Schmidt.
Joshua Jarrin, earned
the elite position as a private Western guide this season.
Unfortunately his client had to return to the US for treatment of an
old injury. Joshua left with him so you won't see him up there in the
summit push. He'll back again next season.
Tashi Tunde Sherpa is
our climbing sardar who is all over the mountain. He's up and down and
all around throughout this expedition keeping things glued together up
there. He's an exceptional mentor and friend to our team of Sherpa
We also offer a non-guided
expeditions for climbers with a very strong bio such as Kevin
Farebrother who has proven to be successful and strong at altitude.
This means he will have with him a climbing Sherpa in the event of an
emergency. Though Kevin is attempting to climb without oxygen will
have oxygen as a backup.
Check out his recent
photo "view from C3 looking at the summit of Everest he took on
his solo night up there".
As mentioned previously
our climbing team is in the low lands of Pheriche taking in the rich
air while I stay here keeping in touch with our Sherpa family hard at
work on the mountain.
Over and out.... Tim
27 to May 4: News posted here:
April 26, 2013' 21:00hrs
POLITICS... Tim and Karsang were
making bets today, Tim saying the rope fixing wouldn't get
completed to C3 and Karsang saying it would.Karsung owes Tim
50 rupees. The Sherpas fixing the rope ran into a serac wall that
needed to be negotiated, ran out of time and returned to Camp 2. It
will be completed tomorrow.
quite a bit of politics and planning that go behind the scenes for the
fixing of rope up the route from Camp 2 to the summit. Well before the
climbing season begins key operators exchange a few emails to figure
out, size and kind of rope and who can get the best price and delivery
of it. One operator takes this on. Then one operator gets it to base
second step is figuring out who will do the work to get it up and
fixed on the mountain when it gets to base camp. This is sorted out at
the leaders meetings. It's usually the key operators that will kick in
with Sherpa power but they also try to get some of the private teams
to help out.
entire process is a team effort, everyone pitching in in some way.
It's figured out how many Sherpas are needed between each camp to get
the rope fixed. In this mix they'll need Sherpas to carry rope and
oxygen for the fixing Sherpas that will be fixing the rope to the
route to the summit. The most haggling is "who gets to fix the
final summit rope". This of course gives the highest media
coverage, this operator and Sherpas will get their names in lights as
heroes of the day as they top out. It should not be forgotten about
all the other Sherpa climbers and operators who pitched in to make the
way for everyone to reach the summit.
and Murad are sleeping peacefully at Camp 1 tonight and tomorrow will
move up to Camp 2 and be joined there by the rest of the team.
Tim says it's a beautiful day again on Everest, sunny and warm. This
kind of weather sure helps in lifting spirits.
AS A MATTER OF MAP
Part of being married to a guide like Tim is being
required to live with terrain maps as your decorative wall and
ceiling paper throughout the house. It's not uncommon to find pins in
our bed that fall from the ceiling, red ones for marking goals reached
and green for those still on the bucket list. I've been getting spiked
by quite a few green ones lately. I think I'm being told something.
When a guide sits down to
paper and pencil to sketch out a map, you know something is on the
burner. From my perspective this translates into a business plan,
laying out all the stuff that needs done like logistics.
if you’re wondering where I'm going with this, my thoughts today are
being prompted by a news cast this last week in Canada when it was
announced that Google Street View was mapping the inside of the
Parliament Building in Ottawa to offer virtual tours. This turned my
focus to check out the Google
shot that was recently taken at Everest Base Camp. A quick google
search takes me to the shoot of the EBC moraine area that you can
rotate around - that's it?...I
felt let down.
Now if we could only incorporate Tim's map that he
did last year for his action plan when the Lhotse face fell apart and
things got a little rocky around camp.
help glue everything together, the map was very helpful to coordinate
much needed team communications, especially in light of the large
number of teams who showed up, some didn't have radios, or didn't join
operators meetings to get important information like radio frequencies
for emergencies and so on, if they even had them at all. This map turned
out to be a very useful tool never mind the social rewards he enjoyed
while getting around and meeting everyone in the making of it.
Now just watch, "Google maps the streets of
Everest Base Camp".. coming soon. I
understand that Tim’s
map idea has been widely accepted by other leaders to continue with
this in the future.
Have a good weekend..... Becky
2012 Everest Base Camp team locations Map: Prepared by Tim Rippel
25, 2013: 21:00hrs (NPT) Camp
3 fixing ...starts
tomorrow and expected to be completed around
Climbing to C3:
Tomorrow Murad and Lee will head up to Camp 1, the next day the other
members at base camp will meet them on the route heading up to Camp 2
where they'll spend one or two nights depending on wind and fixing
completion to C3.
Base Camp: The
team is in high spirits today, right now we are the eve of the full
moon tomorrow. It's incredibly beautiful, the mountains with all the
new snow and torched up by moon, words can't describe it. Just wow!!
To add the fun today
solo trekker Craig Falkenhagen from California who we've been
following his progress up to base camp arrived in great shape today with Ngima Sherpa,
Ang Nima's son. It's always fun to have someone new to talk to and get
tales of the outside world that they bring with them. We are all sure
enjoying each others enthusiasm for how things are working out and how
much fun we are all having.
I'd have to say my
personal highlight today beside meeting Craig was the horseshoe
RMI - Marker Tucker
joined with Justin Merle from IMG vs Peak Freaks - Tim
Rippel/Marty Schmidt...... and.......... wait for it........... WE
Back to the tent to get
in on movie night with the team.
Over and out...Tim
Our all time favorite
night photo taken by Peak Freak Everest summiteer Dominque Gilbert from
Quebec in 2008 during the full moon at base camp.
24, 2013: 21:00hrs (NPT) HAR
- Saying good-bye to Christof..
"no"... that's not a har har, we certainly aren'tlaughing. HAR is the short for High Altitude Retinal Hemorrhage,
another one of those difficult effects of climbing at these
elevations. Studies are starting to show that a good portion of
mountaineers have this, some will know and some never will.
When team mate Christof
Deblauwe from Belgium returned to EBC he complained of seeing flashes
and some yellow color on his return from Camp 2 yesterday. Tim took
him over to EverestER immediately to have him checked out and it was
determined he may have developed HARH. A re-check this morning the
doctors confirm HARH and explained that he's in a situation that would
only get worse and potentially cost him loss of vision if he were to
continue climbing higher. Altitude sickness and effects is something
that should not be taken lightly up here, being able to communicate
your symptoms with your guides and team mates is very important as
Christof was evacuated
this afternoon to a lower elevation and with weather on his side made
it all the way back to Kathmandu today. His climb is over, he will be
missed as part of our dynamic team in 2013.
Nice weather today,
lots of resting, laundry detail... Tim frustrated with Ncell the 3G
network here, wondering why it seemed to work fine last year and
what's up with this season? I told him it's because somebody is
probably watching NetFlix over closer to the tower....... I don't
know, just a funny thought :)... cheered him up.
23, 2013: 21:00hrs (NPT)HAPPY CLIMBERS BACK AT EBC.. The team enjoyed a beautiful day
today for a down climb return to base camp after their successful two
night acclimatization rotation at Camp 2. We were complimented
today by another expedition on our good weather reading the past few
years, credit due Becky for that. :)
CAMP 3 SCHEDULE and
SUMMIT: It looks like the route will be fixed up the Lhotse
Face on or around April 29. This lines up perfectly with the position
we are now in. Our team will rest here at base camp for three or four
days then head back up and get on the route to gain acclimatization at (24500 ft /
7467m). Whether or not they will sleep here or not will be
determined later on. We'll need to look at the big picture and where
things sit when that time comes.
After CAMP 3 is fixed
the Sherpa climbers will move up to fix the route with rope to Camp 4
and then the summit. If all goes well the summit rope should be fixed
starting anytime after May 1st to 6th. This is the typical time it's
been fixed the past few years so we are on schedule and then if it's a
typical season we will get hit with weather that will ground everyone
for a bit.
Good talking with the
team tonight, good laughs. Proud of their movement up there. Everyone
is doing well, we just need to keep Murad warm. Murad was with me on
our Everest Training Climb - Triple
Crown this past autumn. That's another reason why this is such a
good tool for those who aspire to climb Everest to have, he had a good
sleeping bag, but where he comes from he's not used to cold. Since we
learned this in October I had his bag taken to Sonam and Norgay at
Everest Hardwear to put extra feathers in it, he's still cold!!......
he won't be sleeping alone up on the mountain on this expedition,
definitely needs a tent buddy.
Over and out... Tim
23, 2013: 10:00hrs (NPT) HOME
IN TIME FOR LUNCH... Tim
just checked in and the team is about 1.5 hrs from base camp. It's a
gorgeous day and they are making good time between Camp 2 and base
camp. The route is easy going as there are a lot of climbers now
deciding to move up the mountain for their rotations packing the trail
in. Ang Karsang says "soups on - come on and get it".
22, 2013: 21:00hrs (NPT) CAMP
2- All is good.. our team got
out to look at the Lhotse Face close up. Lots of snow
up on the lower mountain but not much at all on the Lhotse Face. We've
been watching how things were going to develop up there and make a
decision on the fixing of the route to Camp 3. It's pretty much
decided now to not even bother with the route that has been used up
until last season, instead the the old original route that was established years ago
will be fixed as we did last year. The wind keeps blowing the new snow
off the Lhotse Face so this will
be the safest option once again in an attempt to avoid potential rock
There was quite a bit
of snow building today on the lower mountain, between Camp 2 and base
camp. Several teams turned around and it's not snowing now and is
predicted to give us a good window for travel back down tomorrow
before the next storm. The snow was knee deep in some sections but
with the other teams turning back they've nicely punched in the trail
for us so it's looking good.
Everyone is having a
fabulous time up there. Over and out.... Tim
21, 2013: 21:00hrs (NPT) Camp
in. Team made it to Camp 2 in good time and have settled down
for the night after a good dinner. Tomorrow they will hike up to the
Lhotse Face and have a close look, oxygenate and keep the legs moving.
They'll sleep there again tomorrow night and then come back to base
camp to rest till the route gets fixed with rope up the Lhoste Face.
Once the route gets fixed the Sherpas will start hauling loads up to
C3, tents, fuel, food, stoves, oxygen and more rope for fixing the
rest of the mountain to the summit.
After Camp 3 is
established and stocked the last camp, Camp 4, often referred to as
the South Col because of its position will be assembled. This is the
most critical camp. This is a life saving camp near the death zone
after a summit push, if you can make back to hear in bad shape chances
are you will survive. You don't have this option of dropping down
quickly to a safe heaven quickly when climbing on the North Side but
then you don't have the ice-fall to deal with either. Both sides have
Meanwhile back at base camp all the leaders attended a memorial
service for the resent deaths of Sherpas that have worked here for a
very long time and who have made great sacrifices in making climbing
Everest possible for everyone. It was a very touching event put
on by the SPCC, the environmental control services for parks. The
leaders all left with envelopes for collecting donations for the
passing of two senior ice-fall doctors who have been major
contributors, Mingma Sherpa (49) the most recent who fell in a
crevasse while working here on April 8th, and Ang Nima Sherpa (59) the
oldest of the team who passed away in his home in Pangboche in
January. It was a nicely orchestrated function.
Over and out... Tim
Photo: Camp 2
21, 2013: 08:00hrs (NPT) Camp 2 here we come! Change
in plans, the snow quit around 22:00hrs last night and the team woke
to sunny skies so they're going for it. They should be in Camp 2 in
about 4 hours.
Tim also reports that
he's happy with what's being blanketed on the Lhotse Face and how it's
bonding with the warmer temperatures that they're starting to enjoy.
This is the perfect fix for what was a rocky route. A bit of wind took
off more than we had hoped for but at least its some.
20, 2013: White Out....
Team holding up at Camp 1 due to white out conditions making it too
difficult to climb up to Camp 2 so the decision was made to hold tight
for today and see what would come in the form of snow. It snowed
most of the day off and on and has built up enough to cause concern to
climb higher to Camp 2 at this time.
The weather reports are
showing that the precipitation is going to hang around a while longer so the safe thing to do would be to return to
base camp and wait it out and then let things settle before going any
The good thing is they
have tagged Camp 2 so our team is certainly in a good position to move
when things improve. All part of climbing in big mountains, weather
Over and out.. Becky
19, 2013: Good work team! Good day!... Everyone made
it to Camp 2, spent the day and are now sleeping
back at Camp 1. Tomorrow they will go up and stay one or two nights
and get used to life there.
Camp 2 is our advanced
base camp at an elevation of (19,900ft / 6492m). Here we have all the
same facilities we have at base camp except for a shower, We have a
dinning tent, sleeping tents and a toilet tent where human waste is
collected in buckets and carried off the mountain and disposed of down
the valley where it is able to break down, dry and be burned and in
some is used in the fields.
Our human waste is
collected in biodegradable individual bags from C2 on up, we highly
discourage human waste anywhere on the mountain and have been
promoting this responsibility to other teams for years. They
eventually got on board and tried all kinds of procedures to try and
find something better but the biodegradable kitchen bags are the
trick. No chemicals, no plastic to burn and proven to start to break
down in less than 10 days. They can be bought at Walmart, a bag of 40
for $3.99. Pretty simple...
Our Camp 2 kitchen crew
will stay up here at this elevation throughout the expedition from
here on out. They will keep
the home fires burning making sure there is hot water and hot meals
available for the team as they come and go. Some members will be
climbing up high, while some passing through coming down at different
times. This allows our members to have some flexibility in their
movement on the mountain. Knowing there's back up oxygen, food and
that there's someone home really helps up here.
The team will move up to Camp 2 tomorrow and the plan is to sleep
there for maybe two nights. Then they'll return to base camp and be
ready for Camp 3.
Camp 1 (19900ft /
Camp 2 (21300ft /
Camp 3 (24500 ft /
Camp 4 (26000 ft /
Summit (29028 ft /
The climbers are out of reach for satellite conversation back home or
3G for the next few days. We have radio communications between them
and base camp during these times. Just a heads up to family at home
that this is why you won't be hearing from anyone for a few days. No
news is good news is the way it works here.
Over and out... Becky
Route map of Everest South - Team 2013 heading to Camp 1:
More photos uploaded on Tim Rippel's Facebook today.
18, 2013: CAMP
1 - everyone made it
in good form, a couple minor headaches which is to be expected.
We have up
there with Marty and Joshua and our Sherpa guides: streak of
lightening Patrick later joined by Tony, Murad, Lee, Christof.
Earlier was Sean right
behind Kevin who went up like a wolverine chasing a rodent- hence
It's always good to see
good speed when climbing in the ice-fall. The next rotation the slower
ones will pick up speed, their time can sometimes be doubled once they
are acclimatized fully and have more experience crossing the ladders
and working the route and for some overcoming fear.
happened again today now that all leaders are here. Today it was
decided among the teams how many Sherpa climbers are tossed in the mix
as a joint effort to carry the required rope up the mountain and fix
the route to the summit. It works best that the teams with the largest
amount of climbers and Sherpas kick in more support, this was
accomplished. It all went well and it was nice to see our Nepalese
leaders taking the lead in organizing this ritual this year.
The team will move up to Camp 2 for a day trip, have lunch, hang out
there resting, taking photos and then return to Camp 1 to sleep for
the night before returning the next day to sleep at Camp 2.
Looking good..... over
and out Tim
File photo of Camp 1
area adjacent. Expect a photo upload in the next day or two.
17, 2013: Abort!
Trip to Camp 1 was aborted this morning. Sometime shortly after
4:00hrs our members were adjusting their packs on their backs and
noticed headlamps turning back from other climbers moving up the
ice-fall. Tashi made contact with Sherpas ahead and learned that the
ice-fall had broken up in a section and needed to be re-routed and
Our team decided to
turn back not knowing how long this process would take and if it would
create a slow moving line so they opted to give it a go again
Tim said it was a good
practice for everyone to see how long it takes them to get ready for a
3:00 wakeup call, eat, load up and get climbing within an hour.
While the climbers
rested more and entertained themselves Tim ran the Sherpas through
more rope rescue scenarios. They really enjoy this kind of thing, love
to learn. The day before he had ran them all through their First Aid
training. You can never practice any of these two skills too
The ice-fall ladders
were adjusted and re-routed in about 2.5 hours.
are climbing.... rope fixing preparations
Freaks are up at 3:00am tomorrow morning, grab some breakfast and head
out to begin climbing at 04:00hrs. Everyone is super excited to be
getting the acclimatization rotations underway before the big push.
Here's the plan:
Tomorrow Camp 1,
they can stay over night here now because they slept on top of Kala
Pattar the night before. If they had not done this they would have
only been able to handle a day trip to Camp 1 and would have to return
to base camp to allow their bodies the time needed to adjust to the
higher altitude. We approach the climb this way to lessen the time
spent in the ice-fall, only one trip through it up to again
acclimatization to Camp 2.
April 16: Climb to
Camp 1 - sleep
April 17: Day trip
to Camp 2 - return to Camp 1 sleep
April 18: Climb to
Camp 2- sleep 2 nights here
April 19: Return to
base camp and wait for the rope to be fixed to Camp 3 and then that
rotation will take place. The last one before the summit push.
essential piece of equipment for climbing mountains. Today the Sherpas worked on
preparing the rope for fixing the route up the Lhotse face and to the
summit. The 10mm rope comes on spools, we take it off the spools and
cut it in sections for carrying up the mountain by the Sherpa teams.
They are cut into 200m and 100m lengths and put into bags.
The bags are then
numbered and will be checked out before it goes up the mountain and
checked back in to make sure all bags are accounted so we know it
has all been used properly and nothing has been missed.
The Sherpas will carry
the 200m bags at the lower elevations and save the 100m bags for
higher up where the air is thin. These bags get heavy the higher they
go with the thin air.
Time to sleep, early
start tomorrow. We'll report back here when the team is all settled at
Over and out... Tim
14, 2013 -
last of the trekkers were forced to take a helicopter out to
Kathmandu today due to high wind. This is the first time we've had a
trek group stranded here. Climbers at the end of the season with the onset
of the monsoon is common but I don't think we've had trekkers before,
first for everything I guess. Most are on their way home.
climbers were sleeping at 5545m last night This is an important step we
like to use for visualization, a wicked tool we believe in to prepare
the Everest climber mentally. On top Kala Pattar they can see the
route and see yourself on it. Once you reach base camp you lose all
views of Everest, you are so close and tight up in the glacier and
that's all you see: the scary part - the gaping ice-fall - the
constant crashing of the avalanches- the groaning of the glacier under
your tent. It's good to get back and up high where you can have
a good look and see what you're hearing to clearly understand what you
need to do to stay safe and realize that the summit isn't really that
far away and that good speed of ascent is critical in certain sections.
they can gain some altitude, do an exercise in how everything works up
there after you've tired and have been climbing all
day, settling in for a night, how the stove works, how water boils at
altitude, how food is working for you and more than anything, get
inspired to begin this climb.
great having a climber like Kevin Farebrother, a firefighter from
Perth is on the team again. Kevin (aka- Wolverine) offers mentorship
to this years team. He's one strong climber who has proven himself up
here with us previously in 2011 with a speed ascent from the South Col
to the summit, it wasn't a race and he wasn't even timing himself,
that's just how fast he moves at altitude. He was on top so fast that
it was still dark and alone and was able to sit up there and take it
all in and watch the sunrise. If my house ever caught on fire this is
the kind of guy I'd want busting me out with an axe.
back again this year to attempt the summit without the use of oxygen
and plan to climb Lhotse on his way directly afterwards. We have great
faith in his ability to pull it off, if all the stars line up for him
and of course good weather and health.
adjacent: Kevin Farebrother on the summit of Everest in 2011.
had a good night out and now back at base camp in their personal
PLAN: We had a skiff of snow
today, nothing much but expecting a few more centimeters tomorrow
backing off on Wednesday night according to weather reports. I'm
liking this report for the team heading up day after tomorrow up to
Camp 1, it's certainly not a lot of snow to be concerned about in the
ice-fall and in fact it will a blessing making it not so hot as it
would be with sun beating down on us.
CONDITIONS: Tashi Sherpa, our
team sardar has been up and down the mountain several times to Camp 2.
He reports that the ice-fall is so far in good condition, no extended
double ladders and nothing significant looming overhead and so far no
towering chunks have developed that can collapse, so that's all good
news. However it can change as things start to warm up, that's all
typical stuff we watch while climbing here.
Lhotse Face, hmm.. it looks like we may have to consider the traverse
away from the section prone to rock fall again this season. We really
don't see the snow here that we were hoping for. There was a good dump
just days before the climbing season kicked off here that sounded
promising when we heard about it in Kathmandu, but it appears to be
gone now. It's actually quite dry looking up there again. We could use
some more for sure to glue things together better.
13, 2013: Trekkers delayed by high wind... Lukla airport,
six of ten managed to fly by helicopter to Kathmandu today. Hopefully tomorrow is not a
repeat and the other four get out without issue. Safety first!
Climbers had a rest day today and
were watching a moving this evening when Tim checked in. Over and
We got on the ladders today in the
ice-fall and put our skills to work and for some like Sean they linked
to 3G and got on Twitter. Tomorrow we rest and then we will be heading
out for an acclimatization night out.
Have a good weekend, Tim and Becky
11, 2013 "The Good, the bad
and ugly on helicopters" Dang.... woken
up by a fly by helicopter over
The good is the ability to quickly
evacuate someone by helicopter to Kathmandu compared to the way it
used to be done. There is more education on mountain sickness today
but there is also the option of helicopters which may be taken for
granted, it's only an option if the weather
permits and that should be taken into serious consideration when
playing in the mountains. If weather fails you'll have to be prepared
to do it the
old way. The quiet way.
Before helicopters a climber or
trekker with injury or AMS would be walked out, and in the night if it
by a porter. The patient would be stuffed into a basket and carried on
the porters back suspended by a trump line (woven sash) around his
forehead. It would take a couple porters switching off and on for the
entire journey till you could be taken out further by a very large-
tank like - M-17 Russian Military Helicopter, these could be accessed
in Lukla. Later an airstrip was built in Syangboche, above Namche
Bazaar. Airstrips up here at these altitudes need to have a drop off
to allow the crafts blades to catch wind on descent because of the
thin air. That was a bit of a screamer as a passenger.
opened in Lukla for fixed wings. It was a dirt airstrip up until 2004
when it was paved. Only small fixed wing and helicopters can land
1997: A helicopter crashed at
EBC, however, no one was killed. The pilot was Colonel Madan, who had
piloted the world’s highest helicopter rescue a year earlier. In
1996 he had flown above the icefall to rescue American Beck Weathers,
famed by the book "Into Thin Air". Madan said of the 1997
crash that he had just lost complete control of the helicopter and
this would have to do with the thin air.
2003: A team of 9 climbers
were looking for a quick way out after their Everest climb and hailed
a Russian Helicopter to camp. It got just a short distance from camp
and fell, killing two of the nine passengers.
2005: Another crash!
MI-17...No one hurt, video link below: There was a brief quiet time
here after these incidents up until the new high tech helicopter AS350
B3 owned by Fishtail Air made it's high altitude test flight to the
summit of Everest. This was when everything changed here. The Russian
helicopters weren't working out here so the new technology was
impressive, or so we thought.
2010: Fishtail Helicopter
crashes on a rescue mission on Ama Dablam (near Everest) the pilot and
technician were returning to collect the last climber when they
crashed killing both of them.
YouTube Link: Everest
Base Camp Crash I like how the pilot just walks off the
craft like it was all planned and the soothing music. Lucky for
him. These helicopters became the way to transport groups to
Lukla for a few years. We used them often ourselves. We could move all
our climbers, trekkers and gear in one haul. Those were the
up in Kathmandu - 1996
with gear piled in the middle - 1996
new high altitude AS350 B3
As for the team, everyone is doing
well. It's a quiet time right now for the blog with news as they are
just putting in time adjusting to the altitude here and getting out
doing skills reviews during the day and getting to know each other.
Nothing exciting to report in that regard for everyone
Over and out... Tim
10, 2013' "All in a
days work... our
Sherpa team carried loads to Camp 1 and Camp 2 today. Everything is
moving along to plan, by the time the camps are complete and ready for
occupancy the climbers will also be ready to move pending weather. We
don't want to put them up there in a storm, it's snowing right now at
base camp lightly but we are expecting a good dump this coming
Everyone did well with equipment
briefing today and tomorrow we have more work to do on the ladders,
ropes, jumars and so forth. Not much to say so I'll turn this over to
Becky now. Over and out .. Tim"
Looking HAPE in
"High Altitude Pulmonary Edema" The adjacent photo is of a
good friend of ours, John
Dyck from British Columbia. His wife Trish, my friend of over 30 years
made contact with me last night via Skype. The two of them were headed
up to base camp. John is a highly regarded climber back home, he was
headed to climb Lobuche after base camp. They were not on a Peak Freak
trip, they were doing this independently with the help of Ngima, our
Ang Nima's son, their guide.
I'm telling this story to show just
how quickly someone can get into trouble up here. So far there have
been two deaths of trekkers not known to us, John could have very well
been a third. He reached Namche Bazaar and fell ill and was running a
fever, nothing new here with GI bugs, colds and so on being passed
around - so you just go to bed and hope for improvements come
Morning came and things quickly
spiraled into a desperate situation of survival. This is when Trish
Skyped me. I know this stuff, I've had HACE myself and I've seen HAPE.
HACE effects the brain and HAPE the lungs. HAPE is by far the worst
one to get in a remote location. You need oxygen, dex and to get down
and out quickly. All of which we were able to organize within one hour
of when she told me he was making a funny sound, like a cracking in
chest, like a cold.
"Oh hell, we have a
problem". Ngima summoned the doctor in Namche, Tsedam grabbed
the oxygen and the helicopter was fired up in Kathmandu within
minutes. John's oxygen saturation dipped to 46%. He was losing consciousness
and as Tim later puts it, "it sounds like he was definitely
Had the weather not been good or the
helicopter not been available, its
quite possible we could have lost a good friend.
I Just wanted to share that with
everyone. John is super fit and an avid climber and for some reason
his body said, "not today John". This can happen to anyone,
accomplished climbers and high end athletes alike. Fitness doesn't
clear the way for people coming here. You still have to be on your
toes and listen to your body, if you can. John didn't have a chance to
listen to his, that was left for other people at this stage to do it
for him. John had good resources to help and support him and we
can't stress enough how important it is to make sure when you visit
here that you know who you are associated with and that can you trust
their actions should things go wrong.
9, 2013' Down
to business now... The
trek team departed camp today after a fantastic early morning
shortly thereafter getting up close in the ice-fall. Tears, fears and
complete joy were all part of the emotions circulating the group.
After a late lunch they packed up and headed down to the closest
village to base camp called Gorak Shep. Tomorrow very early they will
make their own summit bid on top of Kala Pattar. They think they were
impressed at this point, wait till they get up there.
The climbing team got down to
business after camp cleared out, showers first order of business. It's
all been one big social for the past nine days, now it's time to start
talking climbing and getting into each others heads to begin playing
this mountain with so many variables.
Tomorrow we rest and begin our
strategy and safety talks, the next day we'll get out on the ice and
start assessing skills to make sure we are all on the same page. This
serves as a good opportunity for the personal Sherpas and the western
guides to see how well honed these climbers are and if any adjustments
are needed. Some are known to us, repeat climbers or participants of
our previous training climbs, while some we've not seen in action till
now. As certified guides there are ways to run climbers through the
rigors and see how well they respond so we can trust them up there
when the going gets tough. Sometimes decisions have to be made quickly
to avoid situations that should be prevented. Rule number one of
leading people up here in this hostile environment is
Busy? looks much the same as last
year, it's hard to tell. Not sure how many folks are here as trekkers
and who are climbers. We'll have a better idea in a few weeks when
things settle out. Maybe some are doing Island Peak or Lobuche or even
Nuptse. Those climbing Lhotse will be on the same route as us till the
South Col or Camp 3 so you can count them in the busy factor. I will
say there are some extremely large expeditions here.
Just as long as they carry their poop off the mountain we're ok with
Over and out.... Good luck
Photo: Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse &
Everest 2013 climbers with Ama Dablam in the background.
8, 2013' - Tim checks in: "We
have arrived.. Everest Base Camp.. 5360m..."
So good to be home
at base camp. Karsang and the crew cooked up a fantastic roasted
chicken dinner, sushi for starters, veggies and an awesome cake,
followed by some good laughs and tired team. Everyone is off to bed
Tomorrow I'll take the trekkers out
to touch the ice-fall so they can say "they could go no
further" and get that photo. Then early afternoon Ang Nima
will take them down to Gorak Shep. They are going to climb Kala Pattar
to get the most sought after photo of Everest with the Khumbu glacier,
Lhotse and Nuptse from the summit of Kala Pattar at 5545m. .
We have our old location back that we
had a few years ago here at EBC. It's tucked up into a cave feature
very close to the ice-fall, no wind and quiet. I was super tickled to
see what the Sherpas did for me. I have my own island. They built my
personal tent camp in the middle of a lake with a stone walk way to
the middle of it. They placed rocks to put my tent up high on it
for great views, I love these guys! They are the best team one could
ever have, I feel so honored to have them in my life all these years,
truly my family away from family.
Tashi went up to Camp 2 today to
organize our camp location. Tomorrow the climbers will start
organizing their equipment while the Sherpas will begin carrying loads
to build Camp 1. This is a temporary camp used in the early stages of
the climb for a layover place if needed. We'll need to take the
dinning tent, toilet tent, sleeping tents, kitchen equipment and food
supplies. The next work load will be carrying supplies and equipment
to Camp 2.
Before any work begins on the
mountain we'll have a Puja ceremony, this ceremony is believed to make
divine Sagamartha (Mount Everest) and ask her for clear the passage
for everyone, the Sherpa climbers will not climb before they are
blessed, this will take place tomorrow morning so the trekkers can be
part of it too. This is the most important blessing for our team;
Western climbers, Sherpa climbers, foodand equipment. Climbing boots
and axes and crampons will be piled around the Stupa, it's a moving
experience for anyone who has had the opportunity to be part of one,
the burning of juniper and the chant from Lama Mingma, the tossing of
rice and drinking of chang (or beer) all adding to this
magical-spiritual event. Of course there is also a monetary part to
help support the local monasteries.
Climber Lee den Hond is here with a
TV crew, Kate Barry and Jonathan Crawford of "Carte
Blanche", we are happy that the timing has worked out for them to
capture this part of the expedition to share with everyone back in
Good news on the communications
front. 3G seems to working well from EBC. Over and out..... Tim
Jonathan Crawford at work.... Mountain Guides- Joshua and Marty
sporting their styl'in white glasses and their fat guide packs.
7, 2013' - Shortest dispatch ever... "In Lobuche,
cold, food was a nice treat with Karsang's cooking, can't wait to get
to base camp and get into my tent so it will be warmer to communicate
from inside my sleeping bag, everyone is good.... over and out!... Tim
The deal here is in order to get a
good signal on the satellite phone, Tim needs to be outside the
building where it's pretty chilly this year.
The food part is the teams great
appreciation for our camp crew coming down from Base Camp to Lobuche
today. Bringing with them our kitchen equipment, pots, pans, eating
utensils, food supplies and so on. We do this because Lobuche is not a
regular habitat for the Sherpa people, it's a seasonal village for the
climbing and trekking season facilitating everyone with meals and
lodging while here.
Lobuche is at critical altitude where
one could get AMS- Altitude Mountain
Sickness if they do not layover here for at least one night before
going any higher. It's not a home based lodge, it's instead staffed
by contract workers who do the best they can in providing meals with
limited water resources. It lacks a sense of pride like you'd find in
a lodge that is someone's home like the ones we use throughout the
valley. It also gets overcrowded as all trekkers/climbers must layover
here for a night, or for some two nights, before heading high up to
Everest base camp. The risky part in staying here is that illness
tends to circulated around through the kitchens in Lobuche. Because of
this we have our kitchen brought down and our staff do the cooking to
keep our team quarantined in an effort to keep them healthy for the
days ahead. An intestinal infection at this stage is not something a
climber who invested so much money, and time, and training into wants
to have to deal with.
At the end of the day their bellies
are full with good food and they are more than excited to get to base
camp tomorrow and check into the comforts we provide for them
The one good thing about reaching
Lobuche for me (also spelled Lobuje) at an altitude of 4931m is I get reminded
of my favorite Youtube of all time of this area. The team has
been here the last couple of season's at full moon, not this time but
equally just as beautiful and I could not resist showing this again.
Enjoy! Make sure your screen is clean, that is not dust
you see in the sky.... Becky P.S.
The SPOT link "above" is working now. Glitch fixed..
5, 2013'- Cold and clear at 4412m - Dingboche.. It's
chilling cold this year. Some of the trekkers were having
trouble staying warm in Deboche last night, wait till tonight here in
Dingboche, 678m higher. We are happy we've got the clear skies though,
makes it all worth while.
Everyone is doing awesome!.. Tomorrow
we will be hiking above Dingboche to boost our haemoglobin to kick in
and allow out bodies to adjust to the new heights we will move to the
day after. We will sleep two nights here to help make that happen
before moving up to Lobuche for one night, then that's it, we will be
at Everest Base Camp on April 8th as planned.
I uploaded a bunch of photos
but same as last autumn there seems to be some issues with the
Internet here in Dingboche. Not much say other than everyone gives a
big shout out to all the followers of this blog. Over and out
till tomorrow... Tim
Great shot from Kuntal Joisher taken
from Dingboche while on our Pumori Expedition in 2011. This is what we
4, 2013: OVER 50 YEARS OF
HIGH ALTITUDE MOUNTAINEERING
EXPERIENCE with Marty Schmidt, Tim Rippel and Joshua Jarrin- photo
left to right.
This is Joshua's 2nd season on
Everest and he's already gained elite private guide status. Marty is
off to climb K2 immediately after Everest. These guys love what they
do and are better than good at it. Tim's next altitude adventure
will be training aspiring Everest and other climbers on three 6000m
peaks in Nepal during our Everest Boot Camp - "Triple
Day 4 on the trail:Brrr... Climbers are in
Pangboche (3901m), the team is somewhat protected here from the
extreme winds up high. Only the climbers are sleeping here tonight so
they will be ready to rise and shine early for their puja
with Lama Geshi who resides here, this is a spiritual highlight of
this journey. They will be blessed with prayers, chants and given the
"protection and blessing cord", Lama Geshi will tie a knot
in the cord, then prays over it and blows the power of this mantra
into it. Then he places it around the climbers neck as a blessing to
keep them safe throughout this journey. Tim has a drawer full of them
at home as he never takes it off till 2 weeks after he returns. He
gets pretty attached. Lama Geshi tells Tim that because he is a leader
and has great responsibility and he needs added protection. He's given
a little hand made silk stash pouch stuffed with juniper, a prayer
note, and other spiritual herbs of the region. It is then strung onto
the red cord and hung from his neck.
The trekkers are spending the night
at Deboche (3734m) by the river. Lower elevation and ambient in the rhododendron
forest by the river. Tomorrow morning they will hike back up the trail
for a morning chant with the monks at the Tengboche (3867m) monastery.
The next blessing will be the big one at base camp with all the
equipment, food and Sherpas that must be blessed before they begin to
start working on the mountain.
Destination tomorrow for both
trekkers and climbers is Dingboche (4412m), at this elevation everyone
will really start to feel the effects of the thin air. They will also
start to feel the wind and chill here. It's certainly colder than it
has been the past couple of years this time of year. Winter came in
like lion which has been good for healing the glaciers with lots of
snow and cold temperatures.
TIDBIT: What's "boche"
? In Nepal it defines a village.
Over and out... Becky
REMEMBER THE MAN WHO SKIED EVEREST?
reports bumping into a bunch of oldies this year who are
attempting the summit of Everest. One of the definite "over
the hill" types to mention is 80 year old Yuichiro Miura.
Miura climbed to the summit of the 8850m mountain in 2003 and 2008. He
skied down Everest from an altitude of 8000m in 1970, or so Tim often
jokes- slid or flew down Everest- rather than skied it, no turns and
using a parachute.
Tim would know the difference having
been the first to ski on the north side of Everest in 1991 from the
North Col during a Canadian expedition. Pat Morrow filmed his ascent
but the footage was given to a film company who had the rights to it
and we've never seen it. I think it was Yale Productions out of
Vancouver. We've never asked for it but should one day.
Tim was excited to meet Yuichiro
today and remembers when he came to our home before his 2003 ascent on
Everest with his leader of his ski ascent - Don Kato. All eyes
will be watching Yuichiro this year because of his age, experiences
here, and the fact he's had heart surgery four times and has brought
his heart specialist with him. Crazy! love
these guys who wake up one day, slip on their man pants and go for it.
Peak Freak members are enjoying the
opportunity to meet some of the characters that are lured to this
region each year. There's a certain kind of addiction to this place
for anyone who has been here. I'm sure a lot of our past climbers and
trekkers who are following the blog would agree.
Today the team went to Ang Nima and
Kamrita's house up in Khunde for lunch, took a walk around and visited
the Sir Edmond Hillary school and captured some great shots. Photos
will be posted on Tim's Facebook. If you aren't already following his
FB click on the FOLLOW button up top and have a look.
Over and out.... Becky
2, 2013'- Everest 2013' team arrives in Namche Bazaar (3445m)
Full bellies and ready for bed. Most
of the team have already hit the pillow, just a few of us burning the
candle for a little longer.
The enthusiasm is certainly building
after everyone caught a glimpse of Everest today from the little
hidden trail on the way to Namche today. This is the first time
trekkers will see Everest, we'll see it again tomorrow when we
hike to Khunde and Khumjung to acclimatize higher for the next days
rise in elevation and enjoy it in the comforts of Ang Nima's
Slowly we go... climb high sleep low
rule of thumb for staying healthy here. It's great to be back in our
second home and with a great bunch. Everyone is doing really
well and having a great time. Over and out.... Tim
1, 2013' - 07:00 hrs - (NPT) PERFECT..
perfect day, perfect weather, perfect landing in Lukla... Time
for some breakfast then we'll pack up and head'er to Monjo (2804m).
The team is stoked to be out of the city and looking forward to
sleeping by the river tonight. No barking dogs, no honking horns and
clean air. ..Tim
- HERE WE ARE, minus
a few that didn't make the morning photo shoot.
We are off to a great start. The
weather has been good getting flights in and out of Kathmandu to Lukla
so we are all heading off to bed in the next hour to rest up for our
04:00hrs wake up call to meet our "hopeful" first flight
Gear checks are complete and bags are
organized. Our base camp was built weeks ago and our cargo was sent up
early February so we are now officially ready to climb, just need
climbers up there and we're off to the top of the world.
I'll give this blog a shout out once
we land in Lukla. Happy Easter everyone at home.... over and out
29,2013- Ministry Formalities, Mountain Works and team members
one by one members of the
expedition are checking into our base hotel in Kathmandu. It's a fun
time but also very tiring as we are all suffering from jet-lag.
There appears to be a few things
shaking in changes with regards to way things are done here. Each
climber is now required to carry and ID card at which added an extra
four hours to the paperwork formalities at the Ministry today.
There has also been some changes in
the way the mountain will be setup this season. One of them is an
effort that is currently being put forth to fix the mountain ahead of
it's typical schedule with the thought that more climbers can be
pushed through earlier lessening the overcrowding situation of a small
window. Interesting how this will play out considering the jet stream
has more to do with the window of opportunity than rope. As part of
this aggressive approach the ice-fall doctors have already completed
fixing the route with rope ladders to Camp 1. The Lhotse face is
slated to be fixed in just a couple days.
There is a good amount of snow on
Everest this year which is good to see in keeping things glued
together up there from avalanches and rock fall. But when it starts to
heat up we'll be back to the typical challenges of climbing this
mountain and working around hazards as they present themselves.