30: Some last minute photos from Lars Haugen.
Tim checks in:
Everyone is now safe and sound back in base camp and currently tucked into their
tents. Our super Sherpas have cleaned off the route of all the tents and the
other team that was following our lead has also called it quits after assessing
the conditions themselves, so they will be bringing down our rope.
We got word out for
the yaks to come and get the team bags. Darren, Fergus, Khalid, Michael and Lars
are going to make the trek out starting to tomorrow. We have booked flights out
to Kathmandu for them on Nov. 2 and Tim, Cliff, Wake and Kajee Sherpa will all
fly together on Nov. 3. Ang Karsung will follow the next day after visiting with
his family in the Khumbu. Our other Sherpas all live in the Khumbu Valley so
they will be home first.
Tim and Ang Karsung
spent the day updating inventory lists, inspecting and organizing equipment for
our Everest expedition this spring. Tim says his ribs are a bit sore and again
assures me he is okay. I reminded him that when I once had broken ribs I was
okay too- for the first couple of weeks. But then they started to heal and man
did that hurt!
The trek out from
this journey is when the climbers tend to get really silly. Their antics will
likely not be suitable for repeating on this blog so I will leave those stories
for them to tell. If there are any delays or other interesting tidbits or
stories from the climbers I will post them here.
"One cannot climb at all unless he has sufficient urge
to do so. Danger must be met (indeed it must be used) to an extent beyond that
incurred to normal life. That is one reason men climb; for only in response to
challenge does one man becomes his best." ó Ax
done! Lars, Darren and Khalid are now at base camp with Tim. Wake is
sleeping at Camp 1 and Fergus and Michael are at ABC sleeping. Today the team
broke out to the summit ridge and the Sherpas were not happy. The initial part
looked to be okay, but as they started to analyze it further up it became
apparent "as feared" that the extreme high winds that have been
hitting the Himalayas hard this season has created a slab formation on the upper
part of the mountain. Which might be okay to climb on or it might not? The
"might not" part was the determining factor in the fate of the summit
push being that; sound decision making is a very important part in
this training climb program.
A sore Tim reports
from base camp that the team is happy with their excursion in the Himalayas this
season. They learned tons in mountain skills, tested them, made some
fantastic friendships, played and worked hard, had head aches, followed by sore
muscles and tired bones related to both climbing and laughing too much. They are
(this far) safe, wiser and delirious about their next adventure.
All of the above spells a successful
Boot Camp on Mount Pumori in 2009'
about SPOT?Tim passed Spot off to Darren to take up with him. Not
too long after that it fell off the outside of his pack and went "down
there" somewhere. The Sherpas think they see where it is and are
going to try and get it.
next? I don't have the agenda yet but will keep you posted when I
27:08:50am (Nepal Time)
Tim checks in:
But not in very good shape. He was hit by a chunk of ice while sleeping in his
tent last night and has broken some ribs. Ngima is with him helping him down to
BC. He assures me he is fine just not able to continue climbing in this
condition. The team discussed the situation and without hesitation wanted to
carry on. Norwegian climber Lars Haugen, a very strong and skilled climber has
replaced Tim's lead along with our climbing Sherpas Jangbu, Tashi and Paulden.
Today the team
will do some climbing in and around Camp 2 - string more rope above there and
sleep again at Camp 2. The plan is still to go for a summit push on the 28th if
their reconnaissance of the conditions on the summit ridge prove to be
favourable. I will keep you posted as they progress.
26: 10:00hrs (PDT- Canada)
from SPOT that they are where they are suppose to be so all is good. I like this
thing! They are at the base of the summit ridge- Camp 2- 6300m or something
close to that. If you are looking at the route and photo of the mountain, you
can't actually see Camp 2 because it is the section where it dips around onto
the other side of the mountain from the base camp view.
Photo: Quiet in the kitchen.
This is the time in an expedition that Ang Karsung will be busy prepping for
hungry climbers for when they return. His immaculate and sanitary organic
kitchen will be not be so quiet when they return. I wonder what's on the menu?
Photo: (Mingmar Sherpa in the front Desh
Kumar and Ang Karsung far back)
26: 08:45hrs (Nepal
Tim checks in: Team
is on the move to C1. Khalid left about an hour earlier towards C1 with Jangbu
Sherpa as he wanted to
get a head start. The rest of the team is finishing up breakfast and taking
their time as they don't want to get there too early. Everyone is doing good and
Tim will report again soon.
Shows them at ABC 5700m
25: The timing of this blog is going to change a bit while
they're making their summit push. I usually get the call and update at their
night- 21:00hrs or so, and post our morning. Tim will probably now choose to
call his day time- our evening and I will update as soon as I get a report. I am
working on something right now to post later today but in the meantime I would
like to take this opportunity while all eyes are watching to announce that we
still have a couple of spots left our unique African Adventure- What
are you doing this New Years Eve under the once in a life-time full moon?
Timed to summit under the light of
a full moon this non-technical climb will give you a chance to hike at altitude
on the highest free-standing mountain in the world. Led by filmmaker, EMT, and
philanthropist Scott Mortensen, the "Once in a Blue Moon" experience
will include a documentary film at no extra charge. Don't miss this
opportunity to climb to the roof of Africa with an exciting, professional team
of adventurers in one of the most pristine places on Earth.
Thought I would post
a few of the zillion good wishes the team has been getting. Popular bunch!
"The higher you
climb the higher you are ... Give'r", "be safe Tim & co.!
big ups." "Good luck. Everyone stay strong.""Climb
Safe Tim and team. Nice explanation of your thinking on this
route.""good luck Tim, reach the summit and stay safe... Gbu& All
..... :)""All the best" "He is Norwegian right? :D"
"you have posted some amazing pictures! Have fun and be safe!"
"This is inspiring Tim! I wish I could be there!" "It must be
real tough waking up to that view every morning knowing that you get to go
play!!! Stay warm, stay safe and keep having fun!!!! Ya, I'm jealous"
"best of luck, be safe" "man i wish i could be on that team, and
think about a possible summit bid, man that would great"
"WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)" "Good Luck!!! Wish I were there."
"Best of Irish luck for 25th" "wish I was there" Kate Coffey
here still hooked on following every Peak Freak blog following my trek to Pumori
base camp last Fall. The very best of luck to all of ye on the 25th. The trip
looks amazing. Love to be there."
Great to check their progress and to read everyone is doing so well. I so
wanna be there! Tell Wake and Cliff I said hi. "I'll be back too one
day. Looking forward to climbing with Angel on Aconcagua. Hope you are doing
well:)" "makes me miss the ol girl. keep on keeping you
guys...good luck" "Seems like a smart route -- lucky
trails!" "I miss Pumori~!!!!! I`m thinking of you bro! Good luck
on the climb!"
In other words....they go on and on and on...... way too many to post.
24, 2009: 21:45hrs
THIS IS IT!... The
mountain is ready to go. Camp 2 (our last camp) is now secured. More Sherpa
power help with trail breaking would be nice so Tim went to visit the neighbours
to talk about some coordination with their team. It was a noisy day today at
base camp with their helicopter flying overhead (a good portion of it) doing
filming. I wonder if they got the part where Darren mooned them? All fun
:) - Our guys seem to have trouble keeping their pants on this season. What's
SUMMIT PUSH PLAN- Commencing
Oct. 25: Team climbs up
to ABC- Advanced Base Camp
Oct. 26: Climb to Camp 1
Oct. 27: Skill session
and sleep at Camp 1
Oct. 28: Traverse from
Camp 1 to Camp 2 -Only Tim and the
Sherpas have been through this section so far this climb, so they are looking
forward to sharing this section with the team. Exciting!
Mount Pumori is a serious climb and
known as our Everest Boot Camp. We like it here for this purpose for several
The big one being it is quiet and offers lots of space and time for learning
without being pressured by streams of climbers on the route. The mountain and
area offers many aspects for training in all types of terrain beyond what they
would ever be faced with on Everest aside from the altitude, but we have oxygen
supplements on Everest to deal with that.
The route we use is
not the standard route that has frequent avalanches and has claimed lives. The
Standard Route is on the right hand side of the mountain. We climb the South
Ridge which is on the left side. It is steeper but safer in that snow doesn't
build up on the route and there are no gapping crevasses to deal with like
what's on the standard route.
The crux of this
climb is definitely the summit ridge because of its exposure to the elements.
They won't know what they will get till they get up there and see what effect
the temperatures and wind have had on the stability of the route. Fingers are
crossed for them that it is a go. If not, the goal of this expedition (Part 1)
has already been met; To develop self-reliant climbers and have a lot of fun
while doing it. Mandatory (Part 2) is to bring everyone home safely to their
23, 2009: 21:00hrs
checks in:" We had a nice today around camp practicing more skills
and preparing a few of these climbers
that have their sights on Everest in the near future. Fergus and Khalid are both
on our Everest 2010 team and are doing their bit in preparing themselves for the
big E. They are both doing it very well. The ones that didn't really have any
aspirations to climb Everest previously - sure do now! Especially after
our late afternoon hike up Kala Pattar. We decided to go up and shoot some video
and stills at sunset of Everest. Ah struck!!!! - The lighting was incredible
this evening. It is one of those magical places on this planet, a great place to
hang out with the boys and talk of days gone by up there on the big E and the
days that are coming. The visual training part of this program at its
best! Today's mission served us well as we also got to practice rumbling
down a slope in the dark with headlamps on. Hilarious antics tonight! We
took SPOT up so you should be able to see where we were. Over
and out" - Tim
Location #22- Kala Pattar Summit
Photo: Tim Camp 1- Lov'in
life in the Himalayas
Sherpas Tashi, Jangbu, Kaji and Paulden are all up there sleeping after working
extremely hard on the
route and fixing Camp 2. They have just a bit more work to do to secure the tent
platforms and tweak the rope fixing that they have been putting in. They are the
only Sherpas up there working the mountain again this year. Coco the Romanian
climber pulled out of base camp today so it's just us and the Jamie Clarke/Wally
Berg "Hanesbrand team" here now.
CONDITIONS/WEATHER: Weather wise we aren't concerned. Nothing
but blue skies and the winds are not that bad and dying down everyday during the
time we have left here. The only concern we have is the condition of the snow on
the summit ridge. Last season we encountered unstable sugar snow due to the
extremely cold season which didn't allow the snow to bond making it unsafe for
passage. We won't know what we have up there till we get into it. It's all a
guessing game from here on out.
PLAN: The Sherpas are coming down to base camp tomorrow. They will
have a rest day and then we are ready to make our push for the summit on October
Photo: View from
Kala Pattar: Everest/Lhotse/Nuptse
22, 2009 21:00 hrs
checks in:"Nice day at base camp with the team. A couple of the
members took a walk to Gorak Shep
and back. They were feeling energized by the exhilarating climbing they did
yesterday up to Camp 1, whoop'in and holler'in all day.The view of Everest,
Nuptse, Lhotse, the Khumbu icefall - in their face while hanging on precarious
slopes where our Camp 1 is situated. All fun, good laughs coming from the
dinning tent tonight. Days like these are what keeps driving climbers back again
and again. Too much fun!
Jangbu, Tashi and
Paulden Sherpas are all up there sleeping at Camp 1 tonight. Today they fixed
the rope up in between the 2nd and 3rd tower along the ridge. They will likely
have it all in place tomorrow if all goes well and then we will take this climb
Tonight wind moved in bringing with it bitter cold. We are shivering it up good
tonight. Hot water bottles are back on toes."
1- Darren Bates (Kelowna, B.C.), Michael Noonan (Ireland), Fergus White
More photos will be
going to Facebook first then will be posted in our Gallery.
MOUNTAIN WEATHER:I checked
our weather reports for that region after talking to Tim and he reported there
was a wind and it was cold. He said it wouldn't be normal to get anything
significant moving in this time of year and he appears to be right. The winds at
8000m are averaging 115km to 127km right now up till the 25th of October then
they drop off to 90km a hour and by the 28th of October down to 70km. This is
all 7500m and above so at 7000m and it will much less. This looks good so far to
coincide with our schedule.
22, 2009: 22:00hrs
checks in: "Good trip up the mountain. The team did really well
the last two days up on the mountain and
are strong. Some are more tired than others but that has everything to do with
climbing at altitude for the first time. They all did well and we accomplished
what we wanted to do up there. We are back at base camp now.
When we arrived at
Camp 1 the Sherpas were busy digging out ledges for our tents so I took rope and
started fixing the route up to Camp 2 while Lars belayed me. The now lone
Romanian climber is up there right now but I don't know how far he will get. The
route certainly won't be in the three days that he has left but he is determined
to give it his all till then. May as well... after all he is here to climb and
reaching the summit is just the bonus whereas the climbing is the true reward.
Pictures of our
climb will be downloaded tomorrow and sent out for the blog. Tonight for dinner
we had ground steak with mashed potatoes, gravy, vegetables, salad and finished
the night off with fruit and a movie."
They will rest for two days and then go up to Camp 1, carry a load and spend the
night. Then work there way to Camp 2 in the next progression. Then they will
start to work out the plan for fixing the summit ridge. Everything so far is
going to plan. Tim reports that the weather has been awesome! He also said
the temperature is much milder than it was last autumn when he was there.
out Everest from up on the route on Pumori.
21, 2009: 07:45hrs
checks in: It appears I called it exactly right. Just how long have I been
doing this? They were all cozy in
their tents at Tim's normal check-in time and he didn't want to go signal
searching. He reports that everyone had a really good sleep which is not usually
the case the first night up, but they did! So much so that they are moving up to
Camp 1 for acclimatization today and then will be back at base camp by this
evening Nepal time.
If you look at the
route map on the top right of this page that Tim prepared, you will see where
Camp 1 is and compare it with today's photo. This section with the vertical
lines is what they refer to as fluted snow and it's pretty easy going traversing
across it to Camp 2. If you are up late tonight and get this you can watch SPOT
updating as they move. I feel like I am there and I hope everyone following is
getting the same out of this blog. Today will be a mind blowing experience as
the horizon opens up with a full panoramic view of Everest.
Traversing from ABC to Camp 1
#2- ABC with Ama Dablam in the back ground.
David Cox checks in:
BASE CAMP TREK
TEAM: David confirms that all trek members are now back in Kathmandu checked
into our base hotel. Tomorrow they will be picked up by Kiran and taken out for
night of Nepalese dinner and dance show before preparing for their flight
ISLAND PEAK TEAM:
I haven't heard officially but considering the ideal weather the Khumbu is
experiencing right now I would say the Fabulous Four Island Peak Team probably
summited today :) One of the Sherpas will check-in soon with the news.
20, 2009: 10:30hrs
No news is good
news! My assumptions of why Tim didn't check in today is that they
were busy when the sun started to go down boiling water, fixing a meal and
insuring all their equipment was being stowed away carefully, drying socks and
other clothing in their sleeping bags and chatting up a storm. This is the first
time since the expedition started that they sleep as tent buddies. In other
words Tim was probably too comfortable nestled in his sleeping bag sharing jokes
from tent to tent and didn't want to dress up to go outside and find a satellite
signal. ABC's location doesn't seem to capture the signal so well. So
please rest assured everyone is fine and this is pretty normal at this stage of
the climb. Quiet time- just the climbers and the mountain- a nice time for them
Sooo...... I will
take this opportunity to use this quiet time to make some noise about this
springs "Learn For Life" Everest Base Camp Trek with Peak
Freaks. The trek is already over half booked so if you were thinking about
joining and were one of those people asking me when would you have to commit by?
The answer is now! We only take 12 so it will close soon.
This is a 15-day
base camp trek staying in lodges till you reach our Everest Base Camp at which
you will be invited to spend the night expedition style in tents with the team.
You will arrive the night before they usually head for their summit push. This
is a real boost for the team having some new energy around camp at this time.
The best part!!!!...
is that the trek is also a fund raiser for the "Learn For Life"
Scholarship fund. Learn for Life is a scholarship program created by your
trek leader Vanessa Higgott to break the cycle of poverty and to empower bright
young Nepalese to carve out a better life for themselves
The trek costs:
$2560US and is all inclusive from and including Kathmandu to base camp and
return. You need to be in Kathmandu no later than May 1 and your departure
shouldn't be prior to May 17.
The fundraiser is
optional but why not try? Trekking for a cause, meeting the children at
the "Hopeful Home" with Vanessa and much, much more.
and her girls
19, 2009: 21:00hrs (Nepal Time)
day around camp today for everyone. Sherpas Jangbu, Tashi, Paulden and Kaji did
more carries up to Camp 1 today so it is just about complete. We worked on more
rope and rescue skills and tomorrow we will
climb up again to ABC but this time we will stay the night to allow
everyone to adjust to the new altitude, then retreat to BC the next day. We will
leave BC just after lunch arriving early afternoon. I will be instructing
Avalanche Skill Training the next morning while up there. When we return
to base camp we will do the classroom work for this part of the
"Mt. Pumori is rarely climbed
and in particular the route we have been pioneering since 1998, not the standard
route but the South Ridge. We used to do training on Ama Dablam but it doesn't
sit well with us anymore. We have moved but with a mission in our hands. To
climb and really "Leave-No-Trace" and the only way to do this is to
take human waste "completely" off the mountain. You can read
about our situation and mission on our "Green
Theme Page"and what we are doing here and why. All
expeditions have toilets at base camp but no one except Peak Freaks has been
taking human waste off the route through the use of Biodegradable bags and we
are being loud about it."
"I visited with long time
friend of the Hanesbrand team (our new neighbours) Jamie Clarke who I climbed on
Everest with in 91' and 94' who is with Wally Berg and team today and told them
what we have been doing to keep the mountain as clean as possible and to not let
what has happened on Ama Dablam and other popular Himalayan peaks happen here. They received the idea well and
accepted the supply of biodegradable bags and agreed to use them."
Photo: Spot GSP of our location
training at ABC yesterday.
"really" important to us. We have two groups that are doing
"real" projects in Nepal. We have seen all kinds of people who try,
for some reason fail, while others do not. Key: They need help!
One just started and
is taking her idea by storm. Peak Freak trekking guide Vanessa Higgott's Learn-
4- Life Scholarship program. The other is a couple that have worked for
way too many years on their project. The difference is they tried to do it
on their own for far too long. Thank-goodness we kept track of them and
encouraged them where ever we could and now we are proud to say, they have broke
ground!!! But not just did they break ground the walls are up and the roof
is just about to be put on the First
Steps Himalaya Childhood Development centre. You have to check these
guys out. Long time friend Durga who we first met in 1991 working as a waiter at
the Potala Guest House in Kathmandu, meets Fionna, they move away from Nepal
allowing them the opportunity to do more for the country they love than they
could from within the country.
Here is a little
plea from Fiona for help if you can:
First Steps Himalaya
is delighted to announce that the Sangachowk Early Childhood Development Project
is well underway in Sindhupalchowk, Nepal. Pre-School & mother and baby
classes began in July. The difference in the children is remarkable in just a
short time. They have gone from being dull, unresponsive and dirty to very
clean, happy sociable and active children. The parents are delighted and want
more classes! The children are excited about moving into the purpose built
centre which is almost complete and will be open late October.
To continue and
expand our services to more children, we need ongoing support. Visit our website
for how you can make a difference with us through donations, child sponsorships
First Steps Himalaya- Giving children childhood
Tomorrow we will featuring the "Learn-4-Life"Everest Base Camp trek with Vanessa Higgott -May 1, 2009 and how much fun it
will be for you to help. Join us!
18, 2009: 21:00hrs
checks in: "Our new neighbours finally pulled in today while we were
up at ABC. The entire team made it up in fine form except for Jim Higgins.
Jim is struggling somewhat so I have suggested he go up and do Kala Pattar
tomorrow with Ngima Sherpa. At this point in the
game it is better he go and get high up on something that is not as technically
demanding and deal with altitude adjustments there before trying to deal with it
on technical ground. This is what I like about our training ground. We have so
many options for us here to make it work for everyone. We are hoping the
"go high- sleep low" will help jolt his acclimatization process into
Kami Sherpa who I
climbed on Everest with in 94' pulled into camp yesterday. With him is Nymgal
Sherpas who works with us on Everest. They are both very strong Sherpas working
with the Hanesbrand team this year on Pumori, the new neighbours. Happy to see
them and happy to have them help with the route.
mixed team which is now only two from Romania were going to start fixing the
route to Camp 2 yesterday with the rope our Sherpas carried up to Camp 1. But
only one of them went up and came down again so I don't what their situation is
now. More discussions on this tomorrow to see how they are feeling. They don't
have much time left here.
Our day was a
good day and I know I said it before but I will have to say it again. We have a
really solid team and I am pleased with everyone's performance. Health wise too!
We are doing really good! Last season we were plagued by a virus that jumped
from one person to another and for some it ended their climb. For the ones that
managed to kick it, the mountain conditions ended up kicking us, but all in all
it was a fantastic trip as they all are; each unique and each a very rewarding
Our training up
at ABC today included some snow-craft. Things like anchor building, cramponing,
ice-axe self-arrest and we preformed a mock crevasse rescue. Everyone is feeling
confident and looked good up there today. Happy-happy-happy!
CONDITIONS: From where we are it looks good. I don't think we will encounter
the sugar conditions up high like we did last year because the weather seems
quite a bit different but never say never. The wind is hammering pretty good up
high on Everest. It sounds like a 747-flying from and around that direction but
the sounds never leaves like a plane would. Pretty loud..
Sherpas have already put 2 tents in at Camp 1 and tomorrow they are going to
take 2 more up to Camp 1 and then it is a rest day for them. We will make a move
up to ABC day after tomorrow and stay the night to prepare our bodies for higher
That's all for
now. Lars has sent Becky some photos that she says she has already put up on
which probably gives a close up for those looking, check
them out. They will go here soon in the Gallery
resting after a day of training.
16, 2009: 21:00hrs
checks in: "Today was a busy day. It started with tea delivered to
the tents, a Sherpa tradition to taking fine care of us. We
rousted ourselves for breakfast and not too long afterwards the fabulous four;
Don Odegard, Bob Bowman, Mike Buttle and Barry Schmedding stuck their heads in
the tent. Whoa!!!.. they made it in good time from Gorak Shep. They report
having a fantastic trip and the lodges were relatively quiet but after getting
settled into the comforts of our camp they are joking that maybe they will just
spend the rest of their time here instead of Island Peak. At least I hope they
were joking? hmmm. They took the Gokyo route to get here rather than the
traditional trail which was brilliant because the milk run was very crowded this
year. Example: Trekkers sleeping on tables in Lobuche. Actually this a good time
to make note to independent trekkers. If you come in on your own and not part of
an organized trek, be prepared to endure some not so pleasant nights when all
the lodges are fully booked. There isn't a reservations system. However we at
Peak Freaks do have a system to secure spots when booking through an independent
trek program. We even offer Luxury treks for those who want linens, private
bathrooms and steak dinners with wine. Check it out with Becky or look here: Luxury
the Island Peak team was going in to Gorak Shep yesterday they bumped into our
trekkers and pass on the good news that they all summit Kala Pattar.
Congratulations to them! They would of had magnificent weather so the views and
photos will be outstanding. They are going to send some photos out from Namche
to Becky so watch for them on the blog real soon."
breakfast we all gathered our climbing equipment, boots, rope, hardware and some
food that was all placed in a pile around the stupa.
We built a stupa at our favourite camp site a few years back. When we arrive the
Sherpa's string the prayer flags from it wrap a Peak Freak banner around it and
place juniper they bring up from the valley below for burning during Puja time.
Rice! don't forget the rice! lots of rice for tossing. It was all good today,
everyone behaved themselves."
I went up with the team up towards ABC to identify the trail with them in the
event they are going up and down without me through this section and make the
wrong turn somewhere when they are tired and just looking at their feet.
The Sherpas took more tents up to ABC then carried rope up and started to fix to
wants to know what we had to eat so please know we are being well fed up here.
Yesterday we had fresh roasted chicken for dinner and tonight was fish cakes-
"yum" with vegetable, rice, potatoes mashed and with gravy too!
Breakfast is eggs, hash browns, toast, oatmeal and that kind of thing. And not
to forget to mention a tradition at which we have started a wave of copy cat
operators now in the Himalayas, our infamous sushi.
We dug out the Gammow
bagtoday to do a demonstration today as part of our Everest training
are enjoying beautiful weather. Warm during the day, mid +20c and by night it
drops down to about -8c or -10c.
Time to turn in
..... over and out! Tim"
15, 2009: 21:00hrs
checks in: "Everyone is doing awesome! Today we worked on knots
making sure everyone is confident and is on the same
page. We usually practice on the way in to base camp and then apply them in the
boulder fields to get everyone up to speed and to be assessed before moving up
on the route.
I brought with me
this year a hammer drill to bolt our training ground making it safer to instruct
in the boulder fields. We do teach pro placement on the training climb but there
is a situation here that is best dealt with this way when operating commercially
in this area. The team preformed well today and I am impressed with
their abilities. No one's abilities are ever taken for granted when on a
Peak Freak expedition. We have a really solid team. Some "new to
climbing" and a couple of "old hats" so it's a really nice mix.
Mentoring at it's best in the mountains. "Learn-See-Do"
I got up at
06:00hrs to say good-bye to the trek team. They climbed Kala Pattar and instead
of coming back to Pumori BC for the night it was decided last night that they
would instead head down to Pheriche after their summit bid to stay the night
giving them one extra day to split the section between Namche and Lukla. This
section is a full 7-hour trek so it's nice to hang out, enjoy some Sherpa night
life and sleep in at Namche on the way down and enjoy your last days in the
Khumbu. So that's what they did and are currently enjoying the richer air bit by
bit as they make their way out.
Tomorrow is Puja
day and we are all looking forward to that. We didn't plan too much in
the way of climbing or training because one never knows how good the chang will
be. Or should I say how good the team will be :) Bob, Don, Mike and Barry the
Island Peak team will be arriving tomorrow. Everyone is looking forward to
catching up with them again. They will do a training session, Puja party and
then will be off again to climb their mountain."
CONDITIONS:"Anyone following this blog that was on Pumori last year
will be interested to learn that there is no snow up at ABC and the glacier has definitely
receded. The winds have been kicking the climbers on the Tibetan side of the
Himalayas this autumn. Becky tells me that many teams have called off their
climbs in various regions in the Himalayas. We are holding pretty good from
where we are. The post monsoon clouds are being held down by Namche by the
higher winds coming off the Tibetan plateau. This leaves us with beautiful blue
skies where we are and fortunately with not too much wind. Hopefully the
winds will take a break the higher we go."
mixed European team that were here before us brought 400m of rope. We are going to share
ropes by using ours to fix up to Camp 2 and beyond but they only have 10 days
left before they have to leave which means we won't have it fixed to summit by
that time. They are going to see how it goes and possibly for go for it alpine
style pending conditions up high.
PHOTO: Our Pumori
base camp- between the two lakes. Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse in the
14, 2009: 21:00hrs
from Pumori Base Camp... "Today was an enjoyable rest for the
climbers and two of the trekkers who opted to lay low and enjoy
the comforts of base camp. The climbers organized their personal gear bags and
tent space. The solar lights are placed around camp creating a nice ambience for
everyone to enjoy and to help find their way back to their tents after dark. The
tent is glowing, the tunes are playing, the heater is keeping our space nice and
cozy and tea is always on.
David Cox, Dave
Macedo, Bart Johnson and Dean Alonso trekked to Everest Base Camp today and
tomorrow all of them and Tricia Kumro and Rob McMahon will climb to the summit
of Kala Pattar.
preformed well moving the rope over to the snow ridge and hauled up more of our
rope to work above towards Camp 1. More tomorrow it is time to turn in and put
my toes on the hot water bottle. Over and out- Tim "
base camp with Everest in the "far" background.
The photo gallery
page is now up for this expedition: Please refer to the
Gallerylink at the top of this page. Also take a moment to check out
"Everest Underdogs Trailer" by Scott Mortensen of our Mt Everest 2008
Epic Expedition while on that page.
SPECIAL FEATURE: Pumori 09' trek team member David Cox's mission to help the
Canada is a key leader in
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million groundbreaking study in children is continuing to shed new light on the
key triggers that lead to the development of MS, and is made possible through
fundraising activities like this.
Fellow Cyclists, Golfers, Hikers, Friends, Neighbours, & Family
vision. Overwhelming fatigue. Cognitive issues. Paralysis. Muscle weakness.
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is usually diagnosed during our family and career building years, the years that
feel the most promising and exciting.
MS Society of
has been holding summer cycling fundraising rides for about 20 years.
This is my 16th MS Bike Tour and
my fourth Multiple Sclerosis fundraising tour in B.C. after 12 years of cyclingin
ís tourrides encompassing some
30 rides covering almost 3000 km. This year though I have taken on the
volunteer role of Site Coordinator for the South Vancouver Island Chapterís
annual two day Cowichan Valley Grape Escape
tour. As a result, I will not be able to directly participate
in the ride.
more information on donating and helping support MS through David, please refer
to our AMAZING PEOPLE PAGE
13, 2009: 21:45hrs (Nepal Time)
Namaste from 5209M our Mount
Pumori Base Camp. I forgot to ask Tim what was for dinner but I am
thinking some fresh roasted chicken to celebrate our Canadian
Thanksgiving. Everyone arrived safe and sound. He said he sent me 10
photos from today but they are apparently still traveling around in cyber-space.
As soon as they come up they will be posted to Facebook and then to follow here
in the photo gallery.
News: Our Sherpas have already fixed our ABC- Advanced Base
Camp and tomorrow they are going up to re-fix some rope
towards C1. We had heard from our Sherpas that there was another team up here.
They are climbing the way we used to- NO SHERPA SUPPORT!!!... the way we
pioneered this area. Hat's off to them! It's hard work that way. They
started out with seven climbers and unfortunate due illness are reduced to only
two. We were hoping for more. They brought 400m of rope which is good but they
had fixed it a gully that Tim discussed moving with them. Tim usually fixes it
up on the snow ridge which he feels is safer. So our Sherpas will head up
tomorrow and flip it up and over on the ridge. We are aware of another
team following in behind us by a few days with 3 Sherpas and just a couple
climbers. We are 4 Sherpas and 9 climbers so we will likely be the power supply
up there again this year.
next?Tomorrow is rest day, adjusting to the new altitude and
organizing personal gear. The next day is a training session day and the day
after that the Lama arrives and performs our Puja. A very spiritual event.
The Western team members, the Sherpas and the climbing equipment is all blessed.
This takes place around the base of the Stupa that the Sherpas have built prior
to the teams arrival. Juniper is burned, boots and all are piled in a big heap,
some food, all required to climb will receive the Lama's blessing.
The Puja is a very touching moment
for most climbers. The Lama's chant, the ringing of the bell, tossing of rice,
prayer flags in the wind and smoke swirling around them. A time where everyone
will be facing themselves since they started to plan this mission. They will now
realize what they are up against. Their thoughts will drift home to all the
people they love and the people who have inspired them. If there was any fear-
they will now face it head on having the massive mountain and the route towering
above them. For some the party is over and it's time get serious while others
might feel the party has just begun. Climbing Everest is a mental game and this
the best place to deal that card and put fear behind you while learning some
technical climbing skills and experiencing life on a Himalayan expedition. The
best part? Everest is right there too! They will look over their shoulder
on their way up to ABC and be able to look in the eye of Everest who will still
be looking down on them.
The day of the Puja the Island
Peak team will arrive just after the Everest Base Camp trekkers depart.The
Island Peak climbers should arrive in time for a blessing. The team is
looking forward to their arrival- they miss them. Puja party- just have to be a
wee bit careful with the chang that is traditionally served during these
Photo: Puja with Pumori in the
13, 2009: 10:45hrs (Nepal Time)
Tim and team stopped in at Gorak
Sherp (5170M) for tea and to make a quick update. They will be heading out after
tea and some snacks. They will rise about 150m in 20-miutes and they will all
have arrived successfully at Pumori Base Camp. They all sound very
excited in the background. .GO TEAM 09'
Other exciting news is SPOT must
have heard me complain about not being able to zoom in enough. Wow!!
Check it out now.
Tim will be shooting some photos off
to Facebook again shortly.. stay tuned!
Lobuche: Elevation 5008M-16430FT- Happy
Thanksgiving everyone! Tim has been checking in but family visiting took
me away from the blog for a bit, sorry! Last I spoke to Tim they were on
their way to Lobuche for their last night spent in a lodge before checking into
our Chateau Dome at Pumori base camp at an elevation of 5309M.
They are starting to get up there now. Our base
camp trekking group will start to do some adventures in the area using our base
camp as their base over they next 3 days after they arrive. They will climb Kala
Pattar at an elevation of 5545M or 18192FT for a sunrise shot of the Khumbu
Glacier and the views of Everest and the route on the Tibetan side and Nepal
side and summit of Everest all at the same time from this location and then
return to the comforts of base camp. The next day they will actually go up the
moraine leading to the Khumbu Ice-Fall and staging area- Everest base
camp for all Everest expeditions climbing via the South Ridge. Then they have an
extra day added in their itinerary to participate ( if they desire) in a
mountain skills program with Tim Rippel before heading back down the
Tim reports everyone is doing good. They all
preformed well above Dingboche and are in fine shape.
I am currently working on a photo gallery page
for this blog but in the meantime you may want to join Tim's Facebook as he has
been uploading there. Cick on the "F" below to join. Also don't forget
to check out SPOT.
10, 2009:21:00hrs (Nepal
Dingboche: Elevation 4360M-
moments with Lama Geshi as always and everyone is now blessed by him to climb
Pumori. The Sherpas will not climb without his blessing. The next blessing will
be at Pumori base camp where all our equipment will be blessed during our Puja
ceremony and then we are set to go.
Tim checks in:" We
are all here and doing good. up here. Just one trekker is starting to
notice lack of appetite which is something I will keep an eye on. It's all
normal though. The weather started out sunny and then a few clouds here and
there. Everyone is now in their rooms and I will do the same shortly. It's a wee
chilly, we all have our down-jackets on now in the evenings but by day we are
back in just our shirts. Looking forward to getting to our home at base
camp. Don't forget to SPOT
us,...Over and out! - Tim "
A little wooziness begins here for
some. This is the altitude where a lot of people start to feel the effects of
the higher altitude. When a trekker starts to loose their appetite this is
something we watch closely. A climber will have more time on their agenda so in
time they will usually adjust. "Time" is key and this is why we
have the acclimatization day built into our itinerary at this point. Tomorrow
they will go even higher but return to this same elevation to sleep before going
any higher to sleep. Very important! Tomorrow they will climb up a
non-technical ridge above Dingboche or possibly a day hike up to Chukung Ri,
close to our base area for our Island Peak treks. By days end they will be back
in Dingboche for the night and then the next day it's Pumor base camp for those
who are feeling up to it by that time. For those that aren't they can take their
time, go part way or even take one more day in Dingboche if needed. There is no
pressure put on anyone and we encourage always that everyone go their own speed
and let their body do it's thing.
This page is starting to get a
little photo heavy so I am creating a photo gallery page to link you to the
Ang Nima and Kami Rita in
their kitchen in Kunde
Tengboche with Kwangde in
Yaks waiting for the
Lhakpa Dorjee and Tashi's
Ang Nima and teams.
Splitting in Tengboche into 3 teams all meeting up again with
climbers at base camp.
On the trail. Mt. Ama
9, 2009 20:30hrs (Nepal Time)
Team checks in: "The weather was beautiful today and the views were up
in the top 10 of what I've seen with the new snow on the mountain tops. We had
lunch down at the river before climbing up the steep hill to Tengboche, home of
the infamous monastery. The trekkers will sleep here tonight so they can take in
an early morning chant with the monks. The four Island Peak climbers took off a
different route from Tengboche to being their variation trek through Gokyo and
will meet up again with us at Pumori Base Camp for a training session and sushi
before they head off to climb Island
Peak. We are here now at Ang Temba's house sharing the space with the
group of doctors that are here for a Wilderness Medicine session. I pulled out
some BC Wild smoked salmon as our snack for this afternoon which seem to be much
appreciated by all.
Everyone is doing fantastic and
looking forward to our blessing with my good friend for many years now, Lama
Geshi. Over and out from Pangboche! " Tim
Becky here: I will posting some
photos in the next couple of hours and introduce everyone to a new SPOT
Adventure page. They were successfully tracking all day yesterday so check out
8, 2009: 21:30hrs (Nepal Time)
Namche Bazaar: Elevation
reports a significant storm last night pounding down on the Himalayas and from
what I hear it was all over the Himalayas creating havoc on mountaineering
expeditions. However tonight the skies have opened and standing boldly in front
of them is Kwangde Ri elevation (6011M) and Thamserku at an elevation of
(6623M). Both beautiful mountains. Hopefully they are saying good-bye to post
monsoon weather and entering into autumn which is traditionally dry and colder.
Tomorrow they will be surprised with the view of Ama Dablam. About 20 minutes up
the hill from Namche headed out towards Tengboche they will get their first view
of Everest and other well-known peaks. They would have seen Everest as early as
day 2 of this itinerary but the weather has been holding them in suspense.
Cameras will be snapping out of control tomorrow during lunch at Lhakpa Dorjee
and Tashi's "Ama Dablam View Guest House" perched in the best spot of
all of the Himalayas. You just can't beat this view....and with fresh snow...
!!!... I will try to find some shots to share with you later.
In the meantime here are some photos
of the team Tim has forwarded. They celebrated Wake Williams 60th birthday
tonight. Wake presented a speech tonight complimenting Peak Freaks. He
has been on expedition with us before. In no time he had Tim all welled up and
apparently it was infectious- ah you guys!...toughen up.!!... you have a
mountain to climb. Tim used to say to me all the time "stop-it!!!.. you're
getting the rope wet". I was always getting the rope wet. Either by crying
because I was scared to death in certain situations or when he cinched me up on
a bowline when we got married at the family ranch in Nasko, B.C. You know the
part where the minister says "you can now place the ring on her
finger"? not at our wedding. Instead Tim rides up on horseback with two
others to where I was waiting by the river. Playing in the background was the
sound track from Clint Eastwood's film "The Good, Bad and Ugly"
He explained to me that being hitched together by rope would keep us tighter
than a piece of jewellery ever would. Today I am very fond of rope. Lots of
Namaste from Namche!"We are
all doing fantastic, no head aches and we all made it to Namche is good time.
Right now there is a wicked storm encroaching upon us from India. It is brining
a lot of sideways rain. Can't say I have seen a storm like this from here
before. It is expected to pull out of here by tomorrow afternoon. Our trek thus
far was pleasant as it was raining most of the day. Everyone was pleased as it
can get stinking hot
Lhakpa Gelgan just came down from
Pumori BC to greet us. He has our base camp all set-up for us and said there is
about 6 inches of snow at camp. It melts and snows again. Usually Pumori BC is
relatively dry but I am not surprised with this current precipitation that
wouldn't be snow at BC. Time to nest in for the night. Over and out- Tim"
Tomorrow everyone will go up to Ang
NIma's house for lunch and visit the Hillary School, Everest Bakery, Kunde
Hosptial and then retreat to Namche Bazaar to sleep. This is our go high-sleep
low routine for allow the body to adjust to the higher altitude before sleeping
higher. More on AMS here. Check the Gallery
6, 2009: 21:00hrs (Nepal Time)
checks in:"When we arrived in Lukla Ang Nima and his big smile was
there to meet us as always and his son Ngima who will also be working with the
trekkers. We headed out for Monjo after lunch and it started to rain. Two pieces
of our gear bags didn't make it in along with Kaji Sherpa who was staying with
them. That plane was the last one that attempted today before the weather set
in. The plane aborted a Lukla landing and set down in a small village below
Lukla called Pablo and will overnight there and bring Kaji and the bags up to
Lukla tomorrow. We stopped in and had a visit with Tshering, owner of the
Namaste Lodge in Phakding. She plays a wicked harmonica and makes the best
vegetable curry in the Khumbu. After introducing her to everyone we moved up
Monjo (2800m) just across the suspension bridge and up about 200 metres.
Everyone is now tucked into bed. Good to see Chombi again. Everyone loves his
Mount Kailash Lodge."
Tonight is the first good sleep
everyone will have since they arrived in Nepal. Sleeping by the Dudh Kosi the
sounds and fresh air will send them all into dream land till the hills come to
life again by the sounds of the yak bells passing by their windows gently waking
is now tracking in the Khumbu. View it in Hybrid mode to best
orientate yourself. The signal is from Lukla. We are still working out some
technical tweaks and the mapping seems to be limited. I had hoped it would be
like Argentina where you could actually zoom in enough to see the trail imprint
on the mountainside.
Tomorrow- Namche Bazaar....stay
6, 2009: 10:30hrs (Nepal Time)
Tim checks in: "All our teams made it
in. The weather is marginal, trekker bags are with them and climber bags are to
Tim was just preparing to order lunch then they will move up
the trail to Monjo. They will be staying at Chombi's lodge. More news after they
arrive in Monjo.
5, 2009: 22:16hrs (Nepal Time)
The good news is the weather is
looking good for flights to Lukla tomorrow. They have been going out on schedule
the past couple of days. Tim had been talking to other guides who just returned
from working in Cho Oyu, Manaslu and area and they are reporting that the
conditions of the Himalayas is pretty good. Traditionally post monsoon you can
get hit with a lot of snow up high but it looks good so far. However we are
aware this can change at anytime and differ from region to region. We will learn
tomorrow what the Khumbu has to offer us so far.
Everyone except Tim was tucked away
their beds at the time of his call. The power was out (as it usually is) and the
"ugh" of generators were humming them to sleep. Tim and Darren managed
to upload some photos on his laptop to share with you via wireless a` la
generator. If you know Peak Freaks you know we are much apposed to the use of
generators in the mountains but if they are spewing anyway in the city for other
uses we may as well use them.
Tomorrow the team is up at 4:30am,
jump into their trekking boots and head out the airport for the flight to Lukla.
Tim said he will check in to let everyone know when they have arrived.
The kids always love it when uncle
Tim comes to town and invites them out for dinner with their dads and team. They
get to dress up and have an evening out in Thamel.
PHOTOS: (Dinner with team and
kids)- (Tim with Ang Karsung's daughter and Mingmars daughter- Mingma and Mingma)
(Breakfast time) - (Kiran loading everyone up for a city tour).
21:30hrs (Nepal Time)
Everyone has now officially arrived
in Kathmandu. Last straggler is Fergus White from Ireland. Tim was going to
check in with him right after this call bringing him up to speed with tomorrows
events. Speaking of which; we were surprised to learn that he and Michael Noonan
(both from Ireland) had not known each other when they joined the team. Makes it
a little more special for the two of them.
Many members spent the day looking
around in the gear shops. Just another bonus of joining our Everest Training
climb is that you get to do all your gear
shopping from here. Everything from your socks to the hat on your head
can be purchased here now as well as technical and camp equipment. We can set
you up with Millet Everest Boots, get your down-suit custom made and stowed for
you. By the time you finish your training climb- you are set to go in all
aspects of preparedness for climbing the big E.
Tim was a bit grumpy when I talked
to him. He was still in negotiations with the L.O. Anyone who has organized an
expedition to Nepal before would understand this awkward task. You soon learn to
accept that you will always loose.
Other than that some were out
checking out the temples and sights and tomorrow we have organized a Kathmandu
City Tour for everyone and dinner was at everyone's all time favourite place "The Third
21:30hrs (Nepal Time)
"Namaste from the infamous
Rum Doodles restaurant". "We just finished dinner and are starting to
get used to the time-change. With me this evening is Wake, David, Darren, Cliff,
Bob, Don, Barry and Mike. There was a lot of yawning going on tonight so I have
taken a moment to update family, friends and followers around the world.
Khalid arrived while were out and
is now resting in his room. There was a message at the hotel that Rob is
arriving tomorrow and the rest of the team should all be here by Oct.
Today I did the Ministry
formalities and visited with many folks from around the world. Kathmandu is more
my home today than back in Canada and it is always exciting to catch up on news
from this vibrant hub of guides coming and going, Nepalese friends and even
folks from home visiting here. A shout out for Leo and Maurine from the
Kootenays who surprised me with a visit today.
Okay, enough chatter...time to go
talk to my pillow and get some rest, more tomorrow."
Again we are pushing the use of
biodegradable human waste bags. Big note on the "BIODEGRADABLE" word.
At last, (spring 2009) towards the end of the Everest climbing season, a client from a
very well known large scale expedition operator, asked their leader to also
provide them with human waste bags. This was very good news! However their research led them to a bag
system that is not suitable. We have had various companies come forward and
offer their products since our push for cleaner climbing in the Himalayas. All
of them so far have offered a solution that is even more harmful to the
environment. These bags were not biodegradable and "they are not just
one bag!!!..." they were bags packaged with multiple bags for one use. Example:
One to fill, one to add the harmful chemical to break it down, then one to
contain it, and one to transport it. PLEASE DON'T USE THESE!!!... Ugh...
The bags we provide for our
participants is an enviro-film bag and you can find them at Walmart in the
garbage bag section. Try one at home if you like with normal garbage and see
just how fast they breakdown. They say 40-days but it actually seems to be
much quicker. Also beware of bags that claim to be biodegradable that don't work
at all. Do everyone a favour and do a test drive at home before you bring them
We have a toilet at base camp and
so do other expeditions. The problem is that there are no toilets on the
climbing routes. We are the only ones "to-date", that we are aware of,
using bio bags on the routes and hope to encourage all teams to join us in
keeping our playground clean and safe.