WRAP UP: It was an epic ending dealing with weather,
bags and planes. But hey, its not like we haven't had to do this
before. Lukla has always been an adventure but never this serious
with the crash victim statistics. Very sad and had everyone a bit
nervous for the remainder of the season. First it was the
plane crash caused by fog in Lukla that threw everything off. Then
at the end of the climb, Lukla airport was closed again for a couple
of days due to fog just when we were schedule to fly out. Let the
adventure part three begin! Three members did the Jiri run and
managed it in three days while others were jumping helicopter lifts
out. A couple of our Sherpas managed to sneak on a military
heilcopter in the area. Becky always says, "you can always
get out of Kathmandu to the mountains, but you never know how you will get back".
Those who have been before will know what she means. Everyone
is now safe and sound and home with loved ones looking back on
the climb and already making plans for future mountain adventures.
Some are coming back to Pumori to have another go at her while
others feel they got enough out of the expedition to push on to
their ultimate goal of climbing Everest in the next year or two.
We were thwarted from
the summit this year due to the instability in the snow pack on the
summit ridge. Once the Sherpas reached the summit ridge they
encountered waist deep snow that was unconsolidated sugar snow known
impossible to set an axe or anchors. We had to make the hard
decision to call off the summit push for everyone's safety but we
made the most of the climb while there.
It was an odd season in
the Himalayas this year. The Sherpas are the first to be affected by
what we call bad omens. Because of their spiritual attachment
to the mountains and things they have seen and losses they have had
to live with, we are sensitive to their feelings. First the plane
crash, then a couple of deaths on Cho Oyu, large scale avalanches on
K2, epics on Manaslu and then the breaking off of the of the large
chunk of the jewel box (dablam) on Ama Dablam followed by two
climbers reported dying possibly from falling off old rope.
Messy, and should have been avoided if these reports are true.
Times like these are
good reminders to everyone to stay on your toes, take nothing for
granted and play smart.
See you on Everest in
PHOTO: Tim Rippel-
Mount Pumori left. PHOTO GALLERY: Coming soon!
out our Kathmandu gear page. While everyone was
climbing this autumn I have lurking around Kathmandu checking out the goods to
share with you.
Nov. 5, 2008 - Lukla
Jam... Foggy again today. Ade and Martin managed to
secure a helicopter lift out last minute this late afternoon when
the sky opened so they could catch their evening international
flight home. Tim explained how that good fortune happened to me via
sat-phone, but as normal it was all garbled so I missed it. I did
get that he was on the phone with the helicopter company trying to
negotiate tomorrow for the remaining team members and another one
for their bags that has to go separately. Yesterday they were
14th on the waiting list. Tomorrow there are groups to fill 26
flights, the math isn't looking good. To add to it there is another
50+ passengers heading down from Namche tomorrow. The weather looks
good on the forecast for tomorrow but the numbers are too great for
passengers in waiting.
It has been a very odd
weather season. Autumn is the popular trek season because it
is so clear and r.arely are there back logs. Expedition
summits are being aborted because of too much snow and still
snowing. Lukla has had more than enough fog this autumn. The
oceans are warmer this year and brewing up all kinds of trouble in
plea from Patrick Grillo's wife: "Get ahold of Becky to
get ahold of someone to send a car to Bhandar tomorrow at 6:30pm or
we will miss the flight".... Patrick, Mango and Yvan opted for
the 3 day hike/run from Lukla to Jiri fearing the worst.
However the run is taking them longer than they thought.
Like I always say to
people. "It is easy to get out of Kathmandu but you never know
how you will get back". Fun part is that in this part of the
world it always works out. These people are used to working the laws
of "everything is possible".
Nov 5, 2008 -
Fog in Lukla- Foggy in Lukla from the rain last night.
Could burn off but there is now a back-log of flights. Wait and see!
Nov 4, 2008 -NO
GO for flights into Lukla today.. Mango,
Patrick and Yvan opted to go for the 3 day walk out to Jiri and then
take the bus from there to Kathmandu. The rest of the team have
their head in their hands at the Sherpa coffee shop watching the
rain. This is not the best ending to an expedition. Lukla is not the
nicest place to sit out bad weather. By this point everyone really
wants to get get home to their loved ones. I am sure they will make
the most of it and hopefully tomorrow the clouds will part. The
forecast doesn't look that great though. Stay tuned!
2008 -Planes overhead in
Lukla: 0730 hrs: Tim calls in from Lukla. They are
watching clouds in the vacinity right now hoping for an opening so
their plane can get in and get them out. It is currently overcast in
Kathmandu and the forecast is for rain over the next two days.
Fingers and toes are crossed.
found at Pumori BC while we were there this
year. It has your name on it so we know who you are and we have
pictures too! You may want to consider reimbursing us for our
expenses to clean it up, carry it out and disposal fees.
On a lighter note, last
night before Tim headed down to the bar to meet up with the boys.
Tsedam gave him instructions on the after hours access to the
property. Only thing is Tim didn't bother to share this knowledge
with the team who came in much later than he did. Tim's evil side
surfaces- beware!!! he's bad, he can real bad... He thought that
it would probably be a good story for the morning. Apparently they
had to scale some rock wall in the vacinity and had some technical
difficulties while doing this. It resulted in them have to
wake the house up to get them up and over. Oh boy.... Tim and I
chuckled about it this morning . We have to make sure we put in the
exclusions: RETURN BAR TRIPS
November 1, 2008 - Namche
ho- down! and death on Ama Dablam Everyone
left in the valley has gathered in Namche Bazaar to celebrate a safe
expedition. Tim said the new alternative route on Ama Dablam looks
pretty technical from where is was standing yesterday in Pangboche.
Today a death has been reported on Ama Dablam. This would be the
second incident since the first incident in 2006 involving the
deterioration of the Dablam. Tim
assessment on the instablity last year.
There is nothing much to
say about our team today. They are keeping busy shopping,
drinking beer and socializing. Tomorrow (Nov. 3) they will walk down
to Lukla then on Nov. 4 fly to Kathmandu. I was talking to Kiran
yesterday (our airport/ground handler staff) and he said it
has been a very unusual flight schedule this autumn. The mornings
are still foggy so they are pushing flights in in the late afternoon
and coming in to Kathmandu as late as 4pm. This is very much out of
the norm. Usually all fights are finished by noon or just
Over and out!
October 31, 2008- Happy
Halloween back home I remember our first halloween in
Nepal in 96'. We all got dressed up in whatever we could find and
paraded around Thamel with a large crowd of the locals joing us wanting to understand our festival. They had not heard of it
before. Anyone that has been to Nepal can appreciate how much
they love festivals here. They joined in in our fun, it was a
Tim reports in: "We
were up on a bluff climbing yesterday when we heard the ding ding
ding of yaks bells. They finally came into view and I started to
count them and thought hmmm...that is that exact number we had
coming tomorrow. Whoa!!! they were pulling into our camp, they are
day early!!! We scrambled down and started a hasty pack of the
camp and will be on the trail today. After the yaks are fully loaded
Rick, Wake, Martin and myself and the Sherpas will head down to
Pangboche and then Namche the next day. Grant was wanting to
organize one of my infamous pee pool games so we will look forward
Tim;s pee pool game. The
best part is you don't even have to know how to play and it doesn't
how many play. Anyone in the bar gets a shot at it. The porters
really get a charge out of it, hanging with the team, playing a game
and enjoying some party time together. It is a great way to end an
expedition. Photo: 96' Ama Dablam team
The team is still on
schedule for an ETA in Kathmandu on November 4th. They are all
scattered throughout the Khumbu Valley right now, most likely
encroaching on Namche Bazaar in the next couple of days. Once
they all reach Kathmandu and for some even in Namche they will
access to their own emails to report home. Once everyone is safely
back in Kathmandu we will say over and out on this blog.
October 30, 2008
- Playing the boulder
fields: Today Tim, Wake, Rick, Martin are
playing in the boulder fields practicing climbing in their
plastic boots on rock, placing anchors etc. Yesterday they were
up in the vancity of ABC and higher practicing crevasse rescue
scenarios. Wissam and Duncan are currently doing the hike
between Namche and Lukla. They should be checking in there
around 3pm this afternoon Nepal time. Tomorrow they fly to
Kathmandu. Apparently there has been a lot of white knuckling
reported by passengers taking the flight out since the crash.
Rest assured everyone back home. The skies are clear now and the
foggy conditions have passed. Autumn is here!
2008 - Training
days in progress at BC: Team members were up on
the route today between BC and ABC practicing mountain skills.
Grant and Arkhom have opted for a trek around Gokyo Ri and
Wissam and Duncan should be in Namche by now. Other than that
all is good with our gang. Tim will be calling in tonight. Last
night he tried for three hours to get through. The over-loaded
cell phone situation has been difficult to make contact. I
expect tonight after the city settles down he will be able to
get through again.
Over and out...
flowers everywhere... orange marigolds that is..... Happy Newari
2008 - Back
at BC- A very tired Tim called in last night
from BC. They cleaned off C2, dumped a bunch of gear at
Camp 1 and ABC and brought some down. Today Tim and a couple of
members are heading up to ABC to intercept loads the Sherpa's
are now hauling down from C1 to ABC. Tomorrow it should be
Some of the Everest
training climbers are going to do some more training taking advantage of the extra time in the area while
others are talking about slowly making their way down to Namche. The yaks
don't arrive at BC till Oct. 31 so the climbers have a few days
to explore around the Everest region. The Khumbu valley is
extremely busy this year so they may be wise to stay put. But on
the other hand I know they are probably getting pretty tired of
their surroundings and being cold so you can't blame them if
they want to get lower and warm up.
No one seems to be
summiting anything this autumn in the Khumbu. All
expeditions in the Annapurnas have been called off, Ama Dablam
teams going home with no summits, all for the same reasons. Too
much snow up high.
AVALANCHE and THE NEWS!: One news source say they now have details
of the avalanche on Lhotse. They added to it saying another source is
denying there even was an avalanche. Not sure who they are
referring to but I will take a defensive stance anyway. We said
we saw a slough on Lhotse but weren't offering any information
on incidents. It wasn't our place. Our Liaison Officers
came to camp saying they had heard of an injury but all is
considered rumour up here till it is proven otherwise in consideration of families back home. We did not comment in
that regard and still can't. We weren't there!
This is why; On two occasions Tim
was climbing on Mt. Everest in the early 90's when news was reported to me
that he was thought to be dead. One time a report circulated around the world of an
avalanche on Everest and that a Canadian was involved. Tim was
merrily guiding on Everest oblivious to my situation at home. The story
grew because Tim had no reason to make contact, or so he thought.
It wasn't until one night he was sitting in the tent with a
Canadian climbing buddy that he heard of it, five days after the
fact. Canadian Andy Evans was asked by his wife on the sat-phone
if he had heard about Tim Rippel? he replied what? she
passed on the news that he was dead. Andy replied, "what do
you mean? he is sitting here next to me" Say no
more.... Tim immediately grabbed the phone
and called home. That wasn't the end of it, a year later it
happened again. A news source got mixed up on the nationality
of a team involved in a avalanche that claimed five lives.... Do
you think I have gray hair?
As you may interpret
from this blog I am a
little sensitive about premature releases. I don't
believe this fervent news reporter should attack expeditions that
choose to play it cool. Quote from the site. We
understand someone has reported this accident never happened.
Just another case of false information "reported"
without checking facts. You've just got to give your head a shake
sometimes. We were at a debate once in Banff where Boukerev was on
the panel of discussion just after the 96' disaster. In the
crowd standing next to us was Kraukauer. The question was put to
the panel- Does media belong in the mountains?
Boukerev had an interpreter
to help defend his situation. The debate got heated when
Krackauer started yelling
from the audience at Boukerev. They had to adjourn the debate because
Krackauer bolted and was about to come over the table at
Boukerev. Tim had a few things on his chest to say too and would
have had I not tugged on his shirttail. The doors quickly opened, thank
goodness it was -20c something outside that evening. Everyone
went their separate ways.
Don't get me wrong;
we very much like and appreciate the news sites. They do an outstanding job
in helping share some of the
amazing adventures people are doing on this planet and in space
for that matter. They inspire folks to get out of the arm chair
and go explore. And yes... we do believe media belongs in the
mountains. It is good to have comparisons and for the folks at
home, they just can't get enough when missing their loved ones. There are some excellent, diligent, hard working,
comprehensive and respectful news resources out there today and
we can certainly appreciate the difficult tasks they have at
hand in "getting it right" in a hypoxic world
such as high altitude mountain climbing.
That's the end of my
fish head toss today, by bucket it empty....Becky :)
25, 2008 - HUMBUG...
I was out this afternoon in Kathmandu par-taking in Newari
New Year festivities with some Newari friends when a very
sombre Tim calls in from ABC.....
have some bad news. Kajee and Dorji Sherpa broke through to the summit
ridge this afternoon and encountered waist deep snow and
instability in the snow pack. It is obvious that the snow left
behind from the monsoon has not had a chance to set-up because
of the cold temperatures we have been encountering. We are going
to climb to Camp 2 and beyond to the summit ridge to have a look
and to get as high as we safely can, but our summit bid is definitely
called off. The summit ridge is much to dangerous at this
has worked hard and a grand finale of standing of top would have
been awesome, but not mandatory, coming home safely is. I
am proud of everyone. They have endured and worked very hard and
learned tons. Good job team!
will be posting expedition antics as reported, stay tuned!
Master of comic relief
waiting for the beer to catch up...
you- no beer, no climbing!
Ivan and Patrick out of the tent
getting a tummy tuck
Duncan and Alex - tea time.
|Kate Coffey or
Hi this is TA calling in from Namche bazaar. I spent much
of yesterday looking back over my left shoulder; stopping to
look back at Pumori and silently tracing the route to the summit
with my eyes and wondering what the mountain would hold for the
rest of my team above camp one. Once we descended the
Dugla hill we saw Pumori no more. Today was a day of
looking both forward and back On with bla was our
constant companion until we finally rounded the corner into
Namche. We stopped to glance back at Everest frequently
and the entire Khumbu valley we had just come down, and looked
forward to places and experiences down valley. It is
always a fine balance of finding the present moment between
memories of the past and expectations of the future. I
suspect tomorrow may be a day of looking ahead.
Once I leave base camp and come to lower environments I can
actually perceive how harsh life up there actually was. As
temperatures warm up and beds get more comfy, appetite returns
and walking is mostly down hill, life and the ability to
philosophize becomes much easier. Today I met a Buddhist
friend, Stephen, from St. Johnís on the trail above Namche, he
is staying in the room next door, small world. I also met
Kevin Adams a good friend of Timís who brought his school
group to trek to base camp. He brought pictures of their
fallen friend to place in his favorite spots in the Khumbu
valley, small world. I had a latte and did a little bit of
email down in Namche, small world. I got a North Face
jacket for Andrew so he could stop wearing his mom Dianneís,
small world. So Iím here in Namche, thousands of
kilometers from home, feeling great fondness and love for all
who bless my life, and for the privilege of walking and climbing
in such an amazing place.
Hopefully team one moved to camp one today, and team two to
advanced base camp. Whenever people learn that we were
climbing Pumori their heads turn almost as much as when they see
my multi-tone hair. Two older Sherpa women couldnít
contain their laughter when I walked by them today in town,
after my shower it was quite quaff and looking quite good.
One last day of trekking should deposit Cliff and I in Lukla
tomorrow with all body parts cross for our flight to Kathmandu
the next day, and communication that wont come via satellites.
As Iím sitting here overlooking Namche, there is the most
amazing light on the snow covered peaks, that you can see from
here and I realize that Iím speaking on the phone and not out
of breath for the first time in weeks.
Have a great night, catch you tomorrow.
Click here http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http://secure.e2rm.com%2Fregistrant%2Fstartup.aspx%3Feventid%3D21241
to donate online and click http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http://www.taloeffler.com
here for a downloadable donation form.
2008 - GOING
UP and WORKING WITH GLITCHES.... Hi everyone, we are
on track with a little web detour but managing. Team members are
doing great! TA and Cliff left BC yesterday and are on
their way to Namche, all is good,. They are loving the richer
air and warmer temperatures.
The climbing teams
are doing well also. Team #2 is currently making their way
between ABC and CAMP 1. The sherpas are moving to C2 and Team #2
has just finished lunch at BC and moving up to
back by one day!- The schedule below is now
bumped back by one day for both teams. Tim says, "We are
still on schedule because our plan is to leave BC on Oct. 31.
The sherpas came down yesterday from Camp 2 freezing cold. One
more day for them to get warm and fuel up would be wise. The
lake is starting to freeze now so that tells us just how cold it
is getting up here." - Tim
was up all night last night here in Kathmandu trying to rectify
a glitch in our web presence. Talk about bad timing. For
some strange reason I am being blocked from our server. To get
around it I put together another page and am posting it with
another service provider. I hope the folks back home can
still find us ok. - Any questions, concerns or internet
advise, you can still email me at email@example.com
October 24, 2008
- TEAM #1- -
See plan below.
Grant Bullington- Duncan Dew - Mark Mangles - Kajee Sherpa -
Dorji Sherpa - Paresh Strestha
October 25, 2008
- TEAM #2 -
Tim Rippel - Wake
Williams - Wissam
Al-Jayyoussi - Ivan Nolet - Patrick Grillio - Martin McHugh - Rick Sladweski -
Arkhom Kijuanichpras - Ade Pettitt - Dendi Sherpa -
TEARFULL TA CALLS IN: Hi this is TA calling in from
advanced base camp on Mount Pumori. I had a pretty good hike
up here at first it was
|A ROOM WITH A EVEREST VIEW
a bit challenging
because it was hard to breathe through all the tears.
Sometimes I think the Himalayas just like to make me cry.
Iíd actually been doing fine until one of my teammates asked if
there was anything they could take to the summit for me. As
you can see, it just undid me. Iíve carried up the breast
cancer foundation flag up to here and if I go up to camp one
tomorrow I will carry it up there. Then I will pass the torch
over to my teammates and hopefully they will be able to take it the
rest of the way.
Itís 2 oíclock and Iíve already lost the sun so its going to
be a chilly night up here. Its kinda like playing house
because I can have all the ridges rests all the sun rests that I
want because Iím the only one up here. I had a wonderful
noodle soup for lunch and will get some kinda meal ready to eat for
dinner. See what the morning brings in terms of energy, focus,
and desire, either going up or down or both. Iím hanging in
there. Iím admiring the view, and let me tell you the view
from advanced base camp canít be beat. Looking over at
Everest, and Nuptse and the Lhotse and the Lhotse face and the ice
fall, itís a real privilege to be up here. I will talk to you
MEET IVAN and PATRICK-
Frequently being introduced by various teammates as the "avid
instructional beer drinking team". May their summit
dreams come true and if not, may the beer stock in Namche be large.
Yvan (left) is a married 48 year old father
of two grown sons and Patrick (right ) is 45 years old, married
and father of a 12 year old son & daughter.
This will be Patrick & Yvan's
second adventure together. In 2006 they competed in the Yukon
River Quest which is the longest kayak race in the world from
Whitehorse to Dawson City, Yukon (750 km). They entered this with
no previous kayak experience and managed to successfully complete
the gruelling race which is recognized as one of the toughest
adventure marathon events in the world. While in the Yukon, they
made a side trip to Alaska and it was at that time while enjoying
the views of the mountains in the distance that they decided their
next adventure would be to climb a mountain even though neither
had any previous mountain climbing experience. Fast forward two
years and they are ready and excited to tackle Mt.
Pumori . Both are up to the challenge and hoping to
successfully reach the summit.
MT. PUMORI ROUTE
MAP- SOUTH RIDGE prepared by Tim Rippel
October 23, 2008-
SUMMIT PUSH TOMORROW!!!-
Here is the plan: Team one begins tomorrow morning.
Oct. 24 to ABC , Oct. 25 to Camp 1
, Oct. 26 to Camp 2 , Oct. 27 to the
Oct. 25 to ABC , Oct. 26 to Camp 1
, Oct. 27 to Camp 2 , Oct.. 28 to the summit.
The teams have been
resting and doing some acclimatization hikes. A couple days ago TA
went to the other side to have a look at the standard route on
Pumori. Yesterday other members went for a climb up Kala Pattar and
today they are all resting in preparation for the summit push
TA may not go for the
summit. She has to pull out early to be back in Canada to receive a
very special award. She knew there was a possibility she may miss
the summit push but was hoping for a early summit bid. Unfortunately
due to the plane crash and backlog of gear we were set back in time
rather than ahead which was what she was hoping for. She is the
second Canadian woman to have made an attempt, and if successful
would have been the first to summit. The first to attempt was Bonnie
Hooge from Prince George B.C. with Peak Freaks back in 1998.
EXTREME HIGH WINDS-
for five days now over Everest. Tim says "the jet-stream has
definetly moved in now and they are feeling it".
DABLAM: The DABLAM BROKE AGAIN !!! As predicted by Tim
last year, half of the dablam has fallen off. It started on Oct. 20,
2008 and there have been at least three avalanches since taking all the
snow off the route with it. The route is blue ice now above Camp 3
and it is not known yet but probably likely, that Camp 3 has been wiped
out again. No one was there and some teams are calling it
quits. See Tim's
educated assessment on the situation last year and why we
moved over to Pumori. Tim is a professional member of the CAC-
Canadian Avalanche Center actively working as a avalanche
technican/forecaster for the past 20 years. Also I would like
to add that Hugo and Grant were on Ama Dablam last year with
us when debris came off the dablam. Hugo was sleeping right near it.
A hair raising night for him, we immediately called off the climb.
The summit should never be worth risking lives. Summit Climb
reported that they are calling off their climb and that half of the
dablam is now missing.
There hasn't been any new snow since the team has been on
Pumori.- awesome! But it has been cold. Base Camp has been
around -10c to -15c at night and dropping.
Has been completed by all members. All participants of the climb
were run through the program and were provided a manual an Avaluator
card and a completion certificate.
Memorial service is Oct. 24 in Winnipeg. Guy was climbing on
Cho Oyu with an Australian outfitter. Took a fall and died from his
injuries. His body was left there. Words and photos from Cho Oyu
have been posted by his climbing partner Guy Higgot on the
page we have made in memory of Guy
During his memorial
service on Oct. 24th - Tim Rippel will burning juniper at Pumori
base camp and casting prayer flags to the wind to send some of Guy's
energy home to Canada. Cho Oyu is right next to Pumori. Other
friends of Guy L. are either going the service in Winnpeg or doing
something special in their own way. One to mention is Kevin Adams
from the UK who was a member of our Ama Dablam 2006 expedition where
he and Guy Leveille first met. Kevin is taking a photo of Guy and
words to him and placing it in a special place in the Khumbu. A
place where they all sat together and dreamed of big mountains.
Kevin will leave in a few days from the UK to do this.
The Higgots, performed a
ceremony for him at the Boudanath Stupa in Kathmandu before coming
home. You can see the beautiful photos that Guy and Vanessa Higgot
took and the words that Guy H. said for him during his Sherpa style
send off on Cho Oyu on that page as well.
October 22, 2008-
Part Two: Winds
over Everest and Lhotse avalanche view: Tim calls
in: He confirms the two teams on Everest is a French/Italian
team who have quit due to high winds over Everest. The other team is
Korean who were going to make a summit bid on Oct. 19th but he
hasn't heard or seen anything since. I asked him about the
Lhose avalanche rumour. He said all that he could see is a small
slough on the Lhotse face with his binoculars and that there was no
word of anyone being involved.
Our Pumori team is still
working it bit by bit. Ropes and camps are in at Camp 1 and Camp
2. I will be talking to Tim again tonight to ask what the game
plan is from here on out. We were cut off before we had completed
our conversation. Our team is now two members smaller. Tim Irvine
from Australia is to arrive in Kathmandu today due to a chest
infection that he can't seem to get under control. This has forced
him to call off his climb. Carl Lindstrom from the USA who has also
called off his climb will join him. Carl explained to Tim that he
had a wonderful time, loves Peak Freaks and quite simply just had
enough of his cold and needed to go low and get well. The days are getting colder as time goes
Himalayan region is now entering into winter, which means it is only
going to get colder.
For me I spent the day
catching up with friends, many namaste dee dee's (sister in
Nepalese) and hand shaking in the streets of Thamel with
local merchants, rickshaw drivers and more- the fun stuff. The
big talk among folks working in the mountaineering and trekking
industry right now is the crash at Lukla airport. I am told this is
the second time for the German company to lose their clients in a
plane crash in the Himalayas. For years pilots have turned
back due to poor visuals on this landing strip irking many
passengers in the past thinking it was clear enough for them as
passengers to see. On this day there was a line-up of flights all
tucked one in behind the other. That was how good the flight
dispatch was that morning. Apparently last minute a band of
fog crossed over the entrance of the strip just moments before the
pilot was gearing to put it down. Because of the uphill rather than
flat landing strip, the twin otters have to line up in perfect
position, usually slightly below the strip, with a careful
calculation with the entrance of the strip and the uphill ascent, no
room for error, say no more...The wheels caught the wire fence that
keep the animals off the runway, the plane started to skid sideways
and then burst into flames. No one made it out alive except for the
People have been asking
us if this is common? Answer to that is "no", there
was only ever one crash previoualy at Lukla since the airstrip was
built by Hillary back in the 60's. Sadly it involved his first wife
Louise and daughter Belinda who where killed on that plane back in
October 22, 2008
IN KATHMANDU!- Namaste.....
Ok, I am here but I am waiting for a call from Tim. He forewarned me
that the lines may be jammed for cell phone communication at peak
periods which is likely this morning here in Kathmandu. Just a soon
as he makes contact I will be reporting. Becky
20, 2008 Hello everyone! I am
in the sky for the next 23 hours making my way to Kathmandu. My next
blog will probably be October 22 . I will get back to you just
as soon as I make contact with the team again. - Becky
- TIM CHECKS IN FROM ABC-
Nestled in his tent next to Wake Williams. Today the training team
went to Camp 1 and then retreated to sleep at ABC. Tomorrow they
will head down to BC while Tim will be moving up to do some
work on the route and then join them back at BC. Hugo's team took
the day off.
I would like to
introduce Wake Williams. He is from our neighbour here in the
Kootenay's He is quite comfortable in the Himalayan
environment with snow and small quaters. The only thing that is
missing is his beautiful dog. Enjoy Wake's introduction.,
I live in the town of
Trail in the same area in the province of British Columbia as Tim
and Becky Rippel- about 45 miles away. I celebrated by 59th birthday
on the same day, Oct 8 as our puja ceremony in Pangboche. I retired
about 5 years ago from a human resources mgt. career and now work
very part time as an excecutive/leadership coach and organizational
I am a novice climber,
have taken a mountaineering course in the Canadian Rocky mountains
and have trekked twice:2001 to Gokyo Ri and 2005 (during a road trip
in Tibet) from Rongbuk Monastery through Everest North Face base
camp up to advanced base cmp at around 21,500 feet. I live four days
a week in a 65 year old log cabin at 6000 feet in the ski area
mountains near Rossland B.C. and depending on the season, hike, ski
and snowshoe in the surrounding mountains all year around. The
remainder of each week I am the primary live-in caregiver for my
mother who is 93. I was married, am long divorced and have no
further aspirations in that regard. Photos of Wake, his
home and his best friend.
18, 2008 - TIM
CHECKS IN Today Hugo and group went up to
Camp 2 and returned to BC. Team #2 took it easy today. They are
feeling a bit tired
from yesterday so decided to chill'ax
today. Tim Irvine is having trouble with a chest infection so
he has retreated to Namche. Hopefully the ritcher air will help him
snap out of it. Words from Tim Irvine to follow shortly.
arrived today and joined us for dinner. His team will arrive in a
BIRTHDAY ERIC - from uncle Grant.
View from Camp 2 Pumori of Everest/Lhotse/Nuptse and the Khumbu
Glacier/Everest Base Camp
October 17, 2008
- Our good friend Guy
Leveille Memorial information is now posted. Guy died
in a climbing accident on Cho Oyu. He had signed up with an
Australian outfitter, they were climbing without oxygen. He had
turned around due to fatique. He took a fall and died from his
injuries. Follow the link for more information including
photos and comments from his Freaky Friends that he became close to
since our Peak Freak Ama Dablam climb in 2006.
checks in: The route to Camp 1 is fixed and
everything is moving forward as planned.
this is TA checking in from advanced base camp on Mount Pumori at
5700 metres. Iím happily ensconced in my
sleeping bag with everybody elseís gear, it seems like there could
be a disadvantage in choosing the palatial palace. Advanced
base camp is a repository for everyoneís sleeping gear and
climbing gear so that we donít have to carry it back and forth
between base camp.
Yesterday and today were night and day, I had a fantastic climb up
today, had energy, and fortunately we were able to climb at our own
pace so I left camp first and was able to take little micro
rests. I actually got up here in about the same amount of time
carrying a 40 pound load as I did the other day when we were without
a load, so I as pretty darn pleased with that.
The view of Everest across the way is amazing. A little
leticular cloud over the summit, some high cirrus clouds so who
knows with a change in the weather we may get more blue skies.
Been melting snow for some drinking water and had some soup for
dinner around 1 and will start to melt some more snow to make dinner
round 2 and a hot water bottle to take to bed. Tomorrow we
will venture higher on the mountain. The Sherpaís put in the
fixed lines and the route into camp one today.
I will talk to you tomorrow
October 16, 2008- TRAINING
DAY - all is a go! Everyone worked hard today
and had a lot of fun. It felt good to finally get the gear on and
start going through the motions of climbing this mountain. ABC is
completed and Camp 1 is just short a few meters of rope to finish it
off. Tomorrow Kajee, Jangbu and Dorje Sherpa will be
fiinishing the route and start to dig out Camp 1 tent sites. That's
all for today from me. Tashi Delek - Tim
Team #1- The lead
climbing team will be pushing up to ABC to spend the night tomorrow
Hugo Searle- Leading
TA Loeffler - Canada
Rick Grillio -
Grant Bullington -
Mark (Mango) Mangles
Cliff Powys - UK
Carl Lindstrom -
Duncan Dew -
Team #2- Will be in the
field undergoing further Avalanche and Mountain Skills Training with
Tim and other instructors, and/or taking it easy nursing coughs or a
bit of both..
Leading - Canada
Al-Jayyoussi - Jordon
Ade Pettit -
Tim Irvine -
this is TA calling in from Pumori base camp, under sunny blue skies,
we are about to lose that sun and then the temperature will plummet.
Today was perhaps one of the toughest days yet for me as well as one
of the funest, such is the paradox of high altitude
mountaineering. Starting out the hike to our rock face for our
practice session, I felt as though someone had stolen one of my
lungs, I was instantly panting and struggling to find a rhythm, for
going up hill and each step brought a bunch of coughs. A few
others that shared the day too had the same struggle. I
persevered and we arrived at the precipice that would be our
training ground for the day. At points where I almost coughed
to the point of vomiting I looked over to Everest, and had a large
sense of dťjŗ view and wondered if I would ever unlock the secret
of staying healthy in the Himalayas.
I did my best to stay present in today and just focus on this climb
and not wonder Ďifí. We practiced jumaring or rope
ascension, passing anchors and repelling, before enjoying a warm
spell for lunch. After lunch I felt as if all my energy had
been stolen from my body and I took a long time getting my harness
back on. I did one ascension and repel then rested as my turn
for the double jumar ascension drill. I thought I would do the
shorter of the two but was then called over to do the longer stepper
one. Something deeper within me took over and I powered up the
line with good technique stopping only to pant veraciously at the
effort. I past the crux and felt great to be standing at the
top all be it severely out of breath. I continue to treat my
cough with warm humid air and I hope it decides to leave soon.
In the mean time Iím doing my best to stay positive, despite the
sore throat, hoarseness, and fatigue it seems to be causing.
I heard from Paula today that the fundraising part of the climb is
going well and nearing $4900. I hope it can keep pace with me
as I give this climb my all and venture to sleep at advanced base
camp tomorrow at 5700 metres. Our wonderful Sherpaís have
fixed the lines almost to camp one, they are within 150 metres so
rapid progress, health allowing should be made over the next
week. I would appreciate your thoughts and or prayers for the
healing of this cough, and please send infusions of energy my
way. Thanks for your support, special hellos today to Takunda
Thanks for following along and I will catch you all tomorrow.
TA is attempting to raise one dollar per metre of Pumori ($7161)
during her climb. TA is climbing Pumori in honour of her
mother Denise, a breast cancer survivor and 100% of the money raised
goes to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. www.taloeffler.com
2008 - OUR
BAGS ARRIVED- ya!... Tim
checks in: Just like Christmas up here today. Everyone is happy to
cargo. Now the team can get on with (A) the climb and (B) the
instructional sessions. Tonight the climbers were all handed their
AST1 manuals for the Avalanche Skills Training seminar and did some
classroom work. Tomorrow they will get out to analyse the snow pack.
The next day Hugo will take the lead climbing group up to ABC while
the Everest Training group will begin their mountain skills training
sessions. All is back on track and in perfect time.
Fortunate for us we keep
our gear stores up in the Khumbu so we were able to accommodate
everyone comfortably while waiting for their personal gear.
Let the climb
OTHER NEWS- From
Trekker Kate Coffey-
Bowan Island, B.C. Canada.
- Kate loved the boulder park and
could not get enough of it, and her 1st camping experience at Mt
Pumori was a treat - yeah right?!
- Steve and Alex's highlight was
climbing the ridge from Pumori base camp to overlook EBC
- Ken's highlight was taking part in
the puja ceremony at base camp. It represented the culmination
of multi-months dream.
At Pumori base camp, evenings
were spent passing around the oxygen saturation meter where everyone
tried to beat Alex's numbers - Go Trekkers Go!!
On the morning of Mon Oct 15,
we left base camp at a temp of -10degrees and made our way down the
Khumbu Valley slowly but surely to Periche via Memorial Hill.
Periche and surroundings reminded Kate of Connemara in the west
of Ireland and the creek running through the valley caught Steve's
photographic eye. We were very happy to make our way to Namche
this morning in anticipation of hot showers!! And perhaps a visit to
the bakery - yum!
We are thinking of our friends
the climbers and hope they are doing well, and will watch their
summit progress via the blog - we are rooting for you all!!
- Signed Steve, Alex, Ken
Becky - 2 photos attached, one
of Pumori base camp. And the other one of Wissam
insisting on standing on a pile of yak dung as he claimed it
was the only place to get a signal for his sat phone ..... despite
everyone else getting a signal just outside of the yak dung - crazy
Becky - Ang Nima also says
hello and hopes to see you in the Kumbu soon. And he says
welcome. And smiled broadly - he has such a lovely smile.
Becky - I am looking forward to
meeting you in person in Kathmandu, I think we arrive there on Oct
18 and Tim said you arrive on Oct 19 so hopefully we can connect
before we fly out on Oct 21.
Until then! - Kate
This has been the BEST experience ever, Tim is just fabulous.
I challenged myself to the nth degree but it was all worth it.
Thanks to Peak Freaks for helping me realise my dream.
14, 2008 -
ABC ACCOMPLISHED and OH WHAT A VIEW!: TA checks in
from Pumori base camp. We are just down from our first big
climb up to advanced base camp, our Australian team members would
say were Ďbloody knackeredí. About a 4 and Ĺ or 5 hour
experience, we got to meat the rock gully that we will get to climb
each time that we go up. Some pretty louse stuff, which is
actually probably the most dangerous part of our climb getting up to
advanced base camp. Those of us with colds, and coughs, and
runny noses struggled a bit to make our way up to our new elevation
height for this trip of about 5700 metres for advanced base
camp. The views over to Everest and Lhotse were positively
amazing. We strained our eyes trying to find any evidence
about what the two Everest teams that are climbing this fall are
doing. Trying to see if they had tents on the South Col,
because we could see the summit pyramid, much of the Lhotse face,
the Geneva Spur and the yellow band, so it was a pretty amazing
There is four tents at ABC, we replaced one of them today to be able
to send a smaller tent up to camp one as our belongings
arrive. Weíve had a Yak watch much of the day, the Yaks are
akin to Santa Claus for us at the moment but unfortunately no
sightings yet of Santa Claus or the Yaks or our belongings. We
are a little bit stymied because that has all of our climbing
gear. Our Sherpaís are all set to go and set up camp one as
soon as their climbing gear arrives on those very same Yaks. A
couple of them went down valley today to see if they could find out
where they might be. So tomorrows plan depends a little bit on
weather or not the Yaks roll in, maybe a rest day, maybe a training
day, maybe some of both. We are resting now after our big day,
we will have a little dinner in a little bit, rehydrating, and
trying to breathe death to give our poor bodies which are existing
on less then half as much oxygen as sea level, a little bit of
I want to say hello to the WOKies today, as I was hiking was walking
up to almost the height of Kilimanjaro, 185 metres short, I was
thinking of us and what an amazing trip we had in Africa, and what
a big push that was. So hello to all of you, hope you
are doing well. Thanks to all who are following along, thanks
for all the good wishes, you are helping us all get up this very big
and very steep mountain, and we are all thanking you for that.
So keep us in mind as we go higher and higher or as we rest
Pumori Awareness Climb for Breast Cancer- please donate.
CANADIAN THANKSGIVING- to everyone at home. Today Grant
and Hugo arrived and are happy to be re-united with the team. The
team took it easy today while Kajee, Dorje, Jangbu and Lkakpa Sherpa
stocked ABC with all our tents. We said our good bye's to the
trekkers who are now sleeping in Pheriche. The valley is incredibly
busy right now. Teahouses are full to maximum capacity and the trail
is a big line-up. This the effects of the backlog from the crash at
Lukla airport and the persitant fog that had been backing up
flights. Everything is going smooth now but the result is an
overcrowded Khumbu Valley- Over and out.... Tim.
TA checks in:
Hi this is TA calling in from Pumori base camp. Happy
Canadian thanksgiving to all: Iím thankful for all my friends and
family who support me so well in both life and adventure. Iím
thankful for a good nights sleep last night that made everything
seem much brighter today. Iím thankful for a hard working
Sherpa staff who have placed tents at advanced base camp, and who
provide us with the most delicious meals here at base camp. Iím
thankful for a new tent platform that doesnít have the entire
Himalayan range poking up through it. Iím thankful for a hot
shower, rest this morning and an inspiring solo hike this afternoon,
that revealed both the Khumbu Ice Fall and some inner strength and
resolve. Iím thankful for the wonderful trekkers who have
joined us for the first part of this adventure and who are now
trekking back to Kathmandu. Iím thankful for the arrival of
our last two teammates Hugo and Grant with the climbing
permits. Iím thankful for my tea!
and hope that we continue to build a strong team that will see us to
the safely to the summit and return. Finally, Iím thankful
in advance for the arrival of our gear duffels, whenever in the next
while they do arrive so that it can quickly go from Thanksgiving to
Everything is going well here at base camp. The Sherpaís
actually put the tents at advanced base camp today so we will
complete our carry from yesterday tomorrow morning and get all of
that up into advanced base camp. Soon after our gear arrives
we will be able to do some of our rock training, and snow training
and that will enable us to start spending some nights at advanced
base camp and start the placement of camp one and eventually camp
two. Colds are still going around, working hard on mine to try
to get rid of it, lots of humidity treatments and took my walk very
very gently today so hopefully get rid of it on the sooner side, so
we can stay healthy and keep moving up the mountain.
Thatís about it for this Thanksgiving Monday from Pumori base
came, weíll talk to you tomorrow, thanks.
STORM & PUJA: TIM CHECKS IN: We had a rude
awakening this morning. A fierce wind ripped through base
camp uplifting our toilet and storage tent. All is good now.
Everything has been reassembled and secured. Today was our Puja and
we did a carry of rope up to ABC to get out and help with
acclimatization. Everyone is now tucked into their tents for the
night. Over and out- Tim.
Hi this is TA calling
in from North 27 degrees, 59 minutes, 40 seconds ; East 86 degrees,
50 minutes, 15 seconds, our second day at base camp here on Peak
Freaks Mount Pumori expedition.
Today we had our Puja ceremony, the Lama came up from Pangboche to
bless the mountain and our equipment and us as climbers. I
found it a very emotional ceremony as it was the same Lama that had
come to do our Puja at Everest. Itís a serious kind of
affair, and really brings home what we are about to do. With
burning Juniper and chanting, the prayer flags looked absolutely
beautiful against the mass of Pumori when the pole was raised and
the prayer flags began to flutter in the wind.
After lunch we did a carry half way to our advanced base camp and
marked the route with cairns to make it easier to find our way in
the dark. Tomorrow I guess we are going to try to do a carry
all the way to ABC. The good news is that our gear is on its
way up. It landed in Lukla yesterday so hopefully on Tuesday
we will have warmer things since it has been unseasonably cold up
here, its pretty chilly, Iím tucked into my sleeping bag again as
I make this call.
I want to say a big hello to Patrickís daughter Hunter and my
niece Rayne, because I know they are both following along. Iím
hoping that my acclimatization catches up, Iíve been dealing with
a little bit of a headache and I seem to have caught the team cold
that we have been passing around. We are all hoping that we
pass it around early and get it done with so that it doesnít
interfere later in the climb.
Thatís all the news for today, take good care and we will take to
2008 - THE
BAGS HAVE LANDED and THE TEAM IS AT BASE CAMP....
"A BIG SHOUT OUT "to our partner in Kathmandu,
Sonam from Senge who levitated the teams bags to Lukla with the
help of a twin otter that is. Sonam formally owned and operated well
known Great Escapes Trekking. We have been working with Sonam for 18
years now. Senge is Tibetan for "male lion". The Dali
Lama's terrier dog is named Senge. ( A little Tibetan trivia for
you). Kiran our ground person also of 18 years and Dendi
Sherpa our climbing sardar have been at the airport since Oct. 4.
The first flight was turned back due to the crash at Lukla and it
all went sideways since then. The climbers should have their bags in
the their possession in about 3 days. Hugo and Grant should be
pulling in just before the bags arrive. Sounds like they will need
Hugo checks in from
Dingboche: We both have colds, Grant is first in Namche
and has since given it to me, because he insists on not covering his
face when he sneezes. I call him Typhoid Grant. Other than that
we're fine and acclimating great.
Lori checks in from
Namche. Her and Joanne had a big day yesterday. They made it in
to Namche at dusk after a full 8 hours on the trail. They can relax
now and put their feet up.
Tim reports from BC.
A very strong Mark Zisbser on the trekker team, sprinted from
Lobuche to Everest Base Camp and showed up at Pumori BC just in time
to chill'ax with the team and enjoy a nice tasty meal. Tim
says everyone is thrilled with the quality of comforts we provide
and the great food. A nice break for the teahouses that were
starting to get very crowded and the food (as always) is not as good
as our base camp food.
TA also check in from
BC with a description of Pumori Base Camp. Not many folks get
here to see how sweet it is.
Hi this is TA calling in
from Mount Pumori base camp 5284 metres. Iím sitting here in
my tent, in my ultimate layer otherwise known as my sleeping bag
because the sun has gone behind the clouds and when that happens the
temperature drops. Outside my vestibule I see a wonderful
glacial lake thatís part of our water supply as well as the most
commanding view of Mount Pumori. If I look out the back of my
tent I see Everestís summit pyramid in all of its glory. Itís
the most amount of the summit pyramid that Iíve ever seen from any
of the places that Iíve been privileged to see it.
It was about a 3 and Ĺ to 4 hour trip in here to our base
camp. Itís pretty exciting to be here, to see all the hard work
the Sherpaís have been doing to get our base camp set up. We
had our wonderful first meal in our mess tent. Weíve begun
to see how much rock dancing we are going to need to do over the
glacial moraines. To move some of our supplies over to our
advanced base camp will mean learning to flow and balance over those
rocks over the next few days. We hear the Lama is coming in
tonight for a Puja ceremony tomorrow.
At the moment I have an Irish flag as well as a Cork flag flying
from my tent in honor of Kate my tent mate. She did a great
job of getting in here today with us as did all the other
trekkers. Hope everyone out there is having a great day thanks
so much for your support. I want to say thanks to Earl my
communications king, also to Marian whoís helping out with
communications, to Deb and Will for helping out with the website, to
Paula for being my Breast Cancer Foundation liaison. A BIG
welcome home to my mom and dad who are arriving back home from their
big trip in China. And Hi to Leo and Takunda as well. So
everyone is doing well we are all excited and thrilled to be here at
base camp. Let the climbing begin
Talk to you tomorrow.
TA - www.taloeffler.com
October 10, 2008 -
TA- A late submission. My fault... I am busy
packing and getting ready to head out Nepal to meet up with the
team. I will be blogging from our Himalayan post beginning Oct. 21.
Hi this is TA calling in from Lobuche
4930 metres above sea level. We all had a great walk up here
today; it took us about 4 hours and 30 minutes. We arrived and
promptly all devoured lunch, so appetites are good all round, just a
few little headaches. It is sobering as always to go through
the climberís memorial park on the top of the hill. We got
our first glimpse of Pumori today and more then a few expletives
were said. So we are all doing pretty well, looking forward to
getting into base camp tomorrow. We hope that our gear
actually got out of Kathmandu today. Iím running low on
batteries so Iíll sign off for now but talk to you again soon.
FOG- AND ALTITUDE -Some trekkers have hit the
wall. Lobuche is a turning point for some. The thin air starts to
take its toll. Joanne started to get the sniffles and a sinus
headache so she has opted to turn back in the morning and wait in
Namche with Lori who also turned back. Namche is a nice comfortable
place to hang out waiting for the return of the others. Good coffee,
bakery, shopping and nice accommodation.
We have a situation in
Kathmandu. The holiday season "Dashain" which is treated
much like our Christmas season where government offices close. Only
thing is they close for two weeks, but they don't, but maybe today
they will...well maybe ok ,for 1 hour, or so, or maybe they will
have just one person work instead of the normal 15. That should do
it! .Hugo and Grant spent 6 hours waiting at the Ministry office to
receive our permit. They were the first issued that day and reported
there were 20 teams in line behind them. This year seems odd. We
have never had to wait so long to get processed.
Our other hurdle right
now is the fog laying over Lukla airstrip. There has been a lot of
moisture this monsoon and the cold air is moving in later than
normal and holding at the elevation of the airport causing flight
cancellation day after day. Whenever there is small window they
blast in with passengers only, no cargo. They don't make as much
revenue on cargo so everyone can go, but no cargo. This is hurting
the teahouses right now. They haven't been getting supplies, food
etc. for the lodges to feed all the trekkers and climbers they are
sending up. We are ok, our team arrives at BC tomorrow and we have
all our food supplies because we buy local and store our equipment
up the Khumbu Valley. Our climb won't be interupted other than the
climbers "seriously" will need their climbing
Fortunately Tim has a
good training program lined up for everyone that will fill in the
time till their gear arrives. He is going to run everyone through
the Canadian Avalanche AST1 program. This
is a very intense avalanche skills training seminar, worlds best
that Tim teaches here in Canada to outdoor professionals and
backcountry skiers around the world. Avalanches kill more climbers
in the mountains than any other accident. Valuable knowledge for
anyone playing outside a controlled mountain environment.
Another thing they are
going to do is have every one climb Kala Pattar to gain more
altitude and start carrying loads up to ABC. They can do this with
hiking boots as their climbing boots are still in Kathmandu.
Word from Kathmandu is
that they are going to try and get one of the grounded Royal Nepal
planes operational to start ferrying loads of cargo up and also
looking into getting a helicopter sent over from Tibet to help out.
Wait and see!
Hugo and Grant in
Dingboche Oct. 10
Lori turned back
yesterday to Namche
Joanne turning back
tomorrow to Namche
Everyone else is
doing fantastic and so will Lori and Joanne when they check in
to the comforts of the lodge in Namche.
October 9, 2008
FALLING TODAY- This week has been plagued with tragedy in
the Himalayas. First, a skydiver dropping out of the sky breaking
her leg. Plane crash at Lukla airport killing 18 people. Two
climbers take a fall on Cho Oyu resulting in death. First death
reported was our good friend Guy
Leveille- Canadian who joined with an Australian outfitter.
Yesterday it was confirmed that Miha Valic
-Slovenian from a separate incident involving another team died on
his descent on Cho Oyu from a fall.
is happily and slowly making their way to Pumori base camp. They are
now sleeping in Dingboche. This is their second night here for
acclimatization purposes. They will be moving up to Lobuche tomorrow
for two nights. They should be at base camp in time to celebrate a
Canadian Thanksgiving. Bring on the roasted chicken!
reported this morning that two planes did land in Lukla yesterday
contrary to what they were previously told. There is a run on
helicopters or should I say helicopter. He said there is only one
available at this time for shuttle purposes so they are in
the only thing falling today is the Canadian dollar and hopefully
the bags will follow suit in the next couple of days.
October 8, 2008- PLANE
CRASHES AT LUKLA- Today in Lukla a 19 seater
Yeti Airlines DeHavilland DHC-6 Twin Otter, the ones we use all
the time to access the Everest region crashed yesterday killing 18
people- two Nepalese nationals and 16 tourists. The only survivor
was the pilot. Due to fog the aircraft had dropped too low and
snagged its wheels on the security fence at the entrance of the
NO PEAK FREAK
PARTICIPANTS WERE ON THE PLANE. Hugo and Grant are in Namche and the
other members are now in Dingboche. We are affected though.
Unfortunately due to the busier than normal season and intermitent
fog issues our climbers bags were to be trailing behind them with a
couple of our sherpas. This finally happened after waiting in KTM
for five days. The gear was on the plane following the crashed
plane. They are now informed that the airstrip will be closed for at
least 5 days because of the crash and when it does open only
passengers will be allowed to clear the back log of trekkers in
Kathmandu and no cargo. If they waited it has been calculate about
10 days time before they get their gear. To get around this Tim is
now organizing a helicopter to cargo our members gear bags up to
them. What a week, everything seems to be falling out of the sky.
October 7, 2008-
LAMA GESHI- PUJA
TIME..... Tomorrow morning is our teams private
blessing with Lama Geshi. Tim visited Lama Geshi today to ask for
our special blessing for good friend Guy Leveille who just recently
perhished on Cho Oyu. Emails are pouring in from climbers who have
climbed with Guy. You can read them here. +
phots. Information on Puja's with Lama
TA- checks in:
Hi this is TA calling in
from Pangboche at 3985 metres. We are in the land of yaks, our guest
house is surrounded by oodles of yak pens, and we experienced our
first yak jam today, at one of the suspension bridges.
We have passed into the part of the terrain where they start using
yak patties, they gather up the yak poop and pat them into patties
and place them on the stone walls so they can dry. Then they
pour kerosene over them and burn them in the stove, which we are
appreciating tonight because its pretty chilly.
We started with a warm spell today, clear skies, folks actually
caught a glimpse of Everest before it clouded over by getting
up early. By about midday we started to lose the heat and it
started to chill up so we are all dressed really warmly
tonight. Had a wonderful time passing through the rhododendron
forest, some deciduous forest with autumn colored leaves and that
wonderful smell of autumn.
We are all happy to be here in Pangboche, we are separated from our
trekkers for the night they are in Deboche. We are here early
so that we can go to our blessing tomorrow with Lama Geshe. At
the moment, folks are enjoying the sounds of Bob Marley in the
dinning room. Weíve all rehydrated with some warm tea, were
going to have some pizza, and momoís, and finger chips for our
dinner, to replenish our energy supplies. Tomorrow we will
head on up to Dingboche.
I realized the other day that I didnít tell you the story of
meeting up with the climbing Sherpa from my 2007 expedition, hes
guiding some trekkers and we figured out that we knew each
other. At the time we where doing our knots, I was showing
someone a triple bowline and heíd never seen that, so here I was
teaching a four time Everest Summiter a new climbing knots he didnít
know. It was a wonderful little connection with him and had me
feeling a little bit confident that evening. Just thought I
would share that story. Things are going well, people are
feeling good, and we will continue upward tomorrow.
Thanks for following along and we will talk to you from Dingboche.
TA - www.taloeffler.com
October 6, 2008
- EVEREST SKYDIVER CRASHES-
Click on photos to
enlarge (from Tim Rippel).
TIM CHECKS IN: The
news of Guy Leveille's death on Cho Oyu has reached him from
Kathmandu. He is still in a state of disbelief and has no words at
the moment other than he will miss him dearly and is desperate for
information of the events that unfolded. They were close
Other news from him was
the Skydiver drama today. Tim
hears a wap-wap-wap above him; it is the skydivers coming in. He ran
the edge of Syangboche airstrip to film them dropping off over the
edge when one of our trekkers came running to him yelling "Tim,
Tim, one of them crashed". He was first on the scene to
stabilize the female skydiver until their medical team arrived. She
had apparently dropped in through the fog and became disoriented.
When she went to correct her shute, she picked up too much speed and
smashed into the ground. She is bruised and broke her leg.
We had a fine day trekking up to Khunde and Kumjung today. We
sauntered uphill at a lovely pace and stopped to watch the Everest
Skydivers take off
from the Sangboche airstrip. Some of our group even helped
with the rescue of one of the parachutists when they crashed when
they landed short of the field. They jumped from 29,500 feet
(higher than Everest) and awe was ever present in the crowd.
We had a yummy lunch of dal bhat at Ang Nima's place. After
the meal, his wife offered chang all round (homemade rice wine) and
I thought, "When in Sherpa land, do as the Sherpa," and
downed two cups. Only Tim had more I think. They
presented us with katas (ceremonial scarves) and sent us on our
tipsy way towards Khumjung and the Everest Bakery (formerly
the worldís highest bakery). Those that had saved room
enjoyed a treat and we hiked back via the Everest View hotel.
There was no view since some think clouds had descended so we will
hopefully catch our first glimpse of Everest tomorrow.
Please forgive the typos. Internet costs 15 cents a minute and
I am trying to type fast.
Altitude continues to be a good teacher on the subject of
impermanence-most of the group is doing just fine with it just far-a
few minor headaches
that's all. I'm feeling well and strong thus far and pretty
Tomorrow we head for Pangboche and will participate in our puja
soon. I look forward to meeting Lama Geshe and hope I can get
a nugget for my Budhhist practice from him.
We've been passing a group of trekkers trekking with young
children. It's so exciting to watch the kids exploring this
mountainous world and Nepali culture. When the kids get tired
(aged 3-9), they ride in specially adapted porter baskets.
Starting the next generation of adventurers young.
Thanks for all of your support. Call you from Pangboche.
We just received
information that good friend Guy Leveille has passed away on
Mt. Cho Oyu in Tibet. He was climbing with an Australian outfitter-
Field Touring Alpine- FTA... more here
October 5, 2008-
IN NAMCHE BAZAAR: Tim Rippel calls to say everyone
is feeling great, no headaches and having too much fun.
Team heading out this morning from Monjo. Everyone except for
Grant and Hugo. They have the precious document in hand and
are flying to Lukla tomorrow.
TIM IRVINE REPORT
"Namaste" from a cold,
overcast Namche Bazaar. Two days in, we are going well. I have
proudly taken the honour of being the first member of either team
to experience gastro. However, life at high altitude was never
meant to be easy. We cannot control what happens to us
up here, but we can control how we respond.
A few of the team have been keeping
everyone updated with blogs. So rather than articulating what has
happened since my previous blog, I felt it necessary to
provide a brief insight into each of the team members.
Obviously nobody on the team is perfect. Over the coming weeks, we
will agitate each other more and more. However, here's a look at
how I view each of the team:
* Rick: Extremely articulate and a
humble person. He is easy to converse with.
* Adrian: The quote of the expedition so
far came from him. He described the torturous hill climb into
Namche as "cheeky." This was exclaimed while others
in the group were giving less complimentary vernacular of the hill
* Tim Rippel (Leader): He will be a
friend for life to me and many others.
* Arkhom: He has no body fat, so he
gets up hills quite comfortably. I enjoyed racing him into the
village of Monjo yesterday.
* Martin: Is built like a climber and
will thrive on Pumori.
* Patrick: Mango's description of
Patrick (below on this blog page) is apt. No matter what happens
on Pumori, he will be leading our expedition celebrations. Every
expedition team needs a guy like Patrick.
* Ivan: He is Patrick's
partner-in-crime and a great bloke. He also knows a fine
photograph opportunity when he sees it.
* Cliff: Has grand mountaineering
plans for the future and will succeed. He is also genuinely
* Wake: An intriguing bloke who
appreciates the finer things in life.
* Carl: One of the most genuine blokes
you could meet and is always willing to share a laugh.
* Wissam: Our technology guru. Importantly,
he doesn't take himself too seriously.
* Mango: A lot of people on this team
have a great attitude, but his is the best. He is someone I
will continue enjoying trekking/climbing with.
* TA: A very popular member of
the team! She's great value.
* Duncan: My roommate. He has a
quick wit. If any practical jokes occur on this expedition,
we will blame Duncan.
As for Grant & Hugo, we look
forward to catching up with then later in the week.
* Ken: A guy I built an instant
rapport with. He is a humble, easy-going man who is so appreciative
of the scenery. A fellow salesman, he and I get along well.
* Joanne: Her wonderful personality
permeates to everyone on the team.
* Kate: One of the lovliest people you
* Steve: Another keen photographer who
I spent some time trekking with this morning. He is wisely
pacing himself to Pumori Base Camp. After a shower today, I
heard Steve humorously bellow from the next room, "That
was the best shower I have ever had!"
* Alex: A quality young man who I'm
looking forward to getting to know more over the coming days.
* Lori: Two words best describe
her: "Warm heart!" In addition, I think she is the
only person who smiled as we all trudged up the massive hill
into Namche today.
* Mark: Adds a balanced dimension to
this team. There is nothing fancy about him. He simply
On a personal note, happy birthday to
Thomas and Jack, two of my six awesome nephews.
Tim Irvine (White Monkey)
October 4, 2008- PUMORI: KEEPING HER
DRESS CLEAN.... We announced last during our Ama Dablam climb
that we were going back to Pumori this autumn. You can read about
our reasons which are environmental ones, in this blog. http://www.peakfreaks.com/amadablam2007news.htm
I just came across some
online comments that suggest operators who were denied access to
Tibet (which was not us by the way) are taking climbers to
alternatives that might not be safe. We have been offering climbs on
Mt.Pumori whenever possible, this is our fourth expedition since
1998, some with success and all without incident. Information on the
route we climb "south ridge" and not the exposed and
avalanche prone "standard route" has not been provided
previously by us because we had hoped to hold off the crowds and
pollution that now darken the once pristine Ama Dablam. But with the
age of the Internet and blogs, we know it will be just a matter of
time before our secret gets out and the teams will follow in hordes.
Already this year Fabrizio Zangrilli is expected to show up with a
team and follow our lead later this month. He checked with us our
green policy which was very much appreciated. We have bio bags in
hand ready to hand out. We are coming out of the closet this year
about our preferred route but at the same time want to come out and
initiate new standards on the daughter mountain in an attempt to
keep Pumori's dress lofty and white. After all, she is the unmarried
daughter of Everest :)
October 4, 2008-
GRANT BULLINGTON from Vancouver, Canada checks in:
Grant was on our Ama Dablam expedition last year and is back for
more..... Tim reported that there is a busier than normal climbing
season this year which coincides with the Dashian festival.
Unfortunately this has caused a back log at the permit office. Tim
and team are now sleeping in Monjo at Chombi's house situated along
side the Dudh Koshi river leaving behind Hugo Searle and Grant
Bullington in Kathmandu to intercept the document on his behalf and then catch up
on the trail in a couple days. Here is Grant's report while waiting in
(first left), Hugo (second left)- sitting around the stove
at our Ama Dablam base camp last year telling tall tales.
GRANT: Thanks to the
Nepalese brand of bureaucratic efficiency, Hugo and I get a couple
of extra days in KTM while we wait to meet with permit office and
fly out (fingers crossed) the next day. It's all good as I am out
of Tiger Balm... need another Ghorka knife etc (read TA's entry if
this didn't make sense). We got up to see the group off this am
and were excited to hear planes taking off while Hugo and I had
breakfast on the upper deck of Helena's rooftop cafe.
Combination of naps, writing postcards and doing some rather hard
sudoku's I'm ready for lunch.
We're going to the permit circus
tomorrow am and should be done before Dashai ends... and weather
permitting fly out Monday AM. Until then I'll avoid buying
more gear (so far I'm up 2 down jackets and a pair of technical
The walk in will be interesting with
it being just Hugo and I. I've instructed him to go and learn some
new material for the walk. We'll miss watching the other
climbers/trekkers' group dynamics take shape in the first week.
Then again we'll get dropped into the mix cold and see what all
has developed on the walk in. They're a fantastic group and
hope to cross paths in Namche before catching up at BC.
I'm going to be missing a few things
while I'm hear and want to give some shout-outs - to my
brother Keith' on his birthday, my nephew Eric on his and congrats
to the turkey I won't be eating because I'll miss (Canadian)
Wish us luck at the permit office!
October 4, 2008- HI THIS IS TA
CALLING FROM MONJO
we completed our first day of trekking. Almost didnít get to
trek today at all because the Lukla airport was shut down for a
small period of time, so we had all our fingers and toes crossed as
we sat on the runway.
Got to do the exciting
flight through the clouds, they actually looked alot like castles to
me today. It was amazing as the pilots wound their way down
through the opening in the cloud cover to find the runway at Lukla
airport. It is always an exciting landing at the short take
off and landing strip, which is about as long as an aircraft carrier
and cantered upwards to slow planes down because they are landing in
such a short distance.
Itís wonderful to be back on the trail. Iím so excited to
be walking away from all the horns and hooting of Kathmandu,
everyone is pleasantly tired tonight. I spent some of the day
today with a bit of an altitude headache which I could breathe
away. So Iím glad that it passed and tomorrow we face the
big Namche hill.
Thanks for tuning in as we start our trek towards Everest and of
course Pumori and all the villages up towards them.
Thanks and have a great day
Just a reminder on this the eve of the ďRun for a CureĒ, TAís
climb of Pumori is also a fund raiser for the Canadian Breast Cancer
Foundation. TA is attempting to raise one dollar per metre of
Pumori ($7161) during her climb. TA is climbing Pumori in
honour of her mother Denise, a breast cancer survivor and 100% of
the money raised goes to the Canadian Breast Cancer
So please take a minute and donate. You can find inforamtion
on how to donate at www.taloeffler.com
Thanks for the support - TA
October 3, 2008- MANGO
from Australia check in.
Well it has been a great couple of
preparation days in Kathmandu. The team is starting work as
a cohesive unit and while the first couple of days started with
some heavy "training" sessions these have now
tapered into lighter ones in prepartion for the trek in. (I
suppose I shouldn't mention that a training session in
Kathmandu consists of drinking Everest beer in large
bottles until the hotel runs out.) Patrick and Ivan
are the "training" leaders and like all good leaders,
lead by example.
Shopping fills in the time between
"training" and and it is sometimes a competition to
see who can buy the most gear and still get it in their bag and
pack and keep it in the weight limit.
One member of the trekking team
(who will remain nameless...Joanne) has taught us all the joys of
germaphobia and how not to get sick from anything. I
think she recommends bathing in soap-free hand wash 5 times a day.
She has also taught us how to open toilet doors with our feet,
flush with our knees and switch lights and close doors with our
Tim (our fearless leader) continually
comes up with unusual names for items (it must be a Canadian
thing). When he ask the Aussies what they call a hat, we relied
"a hat" and then he asked what do we call a warm hat and
of course we replied "a warm hat". Apparently
Canadians have different words for these 2 items.
Tomorrow we fly to Lukla, and I will
try to add more on each of our adventures and fellow adventurers
as we go.
Remember: Adventure before
October 3, 2008
MEET TIM IRVINE-
from Australia- AKA-
"White Monkey" oh boy, I am going to here about this one. Tim,
an accomplished pianist was asked -
|Tim playing piano at the
Shangri La Kathmandu
*Why do you want to
climb Mt. Pumori? Answer: "I'm going on this expedition
for the thrill of the challenge and in the hope that it may lead to
greater mountaineering conquests in the future. Hopefully I'll be
able to learn some things off Tim Rippel, Hugo, and everybody else
in the team."
Following is a blog we
received from the White Monkey before he turned in for the night in
from Kathmandu, Nepal. After months of preparation, it
is exciting to finally be in Nepal. This wild
capital city, Kathmandu, has 1 million inhabitants who
have the greatest backyard on Earth Ė the mighty
is a city like no other, a maze of congested dusty
streets lined with sub-standard homes and businesses
which rise up to 5-storeys high, many with partially
completed roofs. Nepal is one of the poorest nations
in the world. The initial culture shock hits hard every
as the sun set following an extremely humid 30
degree Celsius (86 degree Fahrenheit) day, the whole
team met up for the first time, the remainder of us
arriving yesterday afternoon. There we were, sitting
in a circle in the pleasant courtyard of the
Nirvana Garden Hotel, fifteen climbers and seven
trekkers hanging off every word that our experienced
leaders, Tim Rippel and Hugo Searle, were giving us.
Tim Rippel is well known in this country and for good
reason. He is a professional and we are in safe hands.
why are we doing this Pumori expedition? Some are here
to do a training climb for a Mt Everest attempt in the
future, some are here to conquer a peak higher than
7000 metres, some are here to conquer Mt Pumori in the
hope of summiting other enormous Himalayan mountains
in the future, and TA is here to raise money for the
Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.
upon meeting TA, I saw a depth in this woman. Having
been personally touched by breast cancer in her
family, she continues to be an advocate for this
horrible disease. It gives the rest of us extra
motivation to make this expedition a success. Her bright
pink hair is a common reminder of the cause.
of our individual goal, we are here as a team and
there will be countless stories and laughs shared
over the coming weeks. Many of us will be pushing
ourselves to the absolute limit, physically. So we
will need each other's constant encouraging words.
morning, most of us ventured off on a fascinating hour
day tour of two of the main attractions in
Kathmandu - the Monkey Temple in the hills overlooking
the city, and the popular Durbar Square. However,
it was travelling through the city which arguably
provided the most excitement - both on foot and in the
tourist bus - as we dodged pedestrians,
pollution-belching two-wheeled and four-wheeled
vehicles and stray cattle & dogs.
delights the senses. Colour abounds in every
direction, the aroma of spicy food pierces the
nostrils, the taste of dust rising from the
sub-standard roads is somewhat unpleasant but cultural
nonetheless, traffic mayhem is on show for all to see
and hear, and the tourist area is lined with hundreds
of bizarre souvenirs and gifts to touch and purchase.
to say, once in the majestic Himalayan mountains, the senses are
thrilled even more Ė the awesome sight all day every day of
the highest and most brilliant peaks on Earth, the taste and
scent of sweet Sherpa tea and fresh omelettes in the
morning, the exhilaration as you take your first steps of the
expedition, and what would have to be the most wonderful sound
ever created: the ringing of bells hanging around the necks of
yaks carrying goods, as their masters herd them along the trail
from village to village. I have already purchased some yak
bells as gifts for friends from a
now wealthy shop owner in Thamel.
afternoon we had free time to send emails, explore more of
Kathmandu, drink beer before it is discouraged to do so at
high altitude, catch up with Sherpas from previous Himalayan
expeditions, or sleep off jet lag. After arriving yesterday, Carl
& Rick are still on North America time; Duncan & I are still
on Australian time.
the scene is set. Our 30 kg (66 lbs) of gear is
packed and we are ready to go. Tomorrow morning (Saturday) we will
rise early to catch a spectacular 45-minute flight (some might call
it a frightening flight) to the picturesque Himalayan hillside
village of Lukla. From there, we will follow our Sherpas and either
end up in Phakding or Monjo. On Sunday or Monday we will have
our first glimpse of Mt Everest (on this trek) as we
head to the large and vibrant village metropolis of Namche
Bazaar. There, we will enjoy 2 nights of acclimatisation.
expect to have our first sighting of Pumori early on
Thursday 8th or Friday 9th en route to Tugla after an initial
steep hill climb behind the village of Dingboche.
Personally, this area is one my favourites in the Himalayas. Yak
herding fields line the ridge and the valley stretches far and wide
leading your eyes to some of the most impressive mountains in all of
the Himalaya - Ama Dablam, Pumori, Taweche, and Cholatse.
is a big adventure awaiting us and we cannot wait to get
of us will write again soon - if not in Namche, then
not long afterwards. From all of us on the team, thank you for your
October 2, 2008-
MEET TA LOEFFLER
I would like to take the opportunity to introduce team member TA Loeffler
from Newfoundland, Canada. TA is climbing for Breast Cancer Awareness and
will be hearing a lot from here throughout the climb. If successful she
will be the FIRST Canadian woman to climb Mt. Pumori. TA, the only woman
on the team has quickly been voted the teams "favorite
personality", that didn't take long, I knew it would happen.
Here is an introduction from TA followed by her first blog from the
Nirvana Hotel in Kathmandu- enjoy!
Climb For Awareness
name is TA Loeffler. I
am a professor of outdoor recreation at Memorial University in St.
Johns, Newfoundland. After
summitting Denali in 2005, I set a goal of climbing the seven summits,
the highest peaks on each of the seven continents. Throughout
this journey, I've aimed to inspire others to have big dreams by
sharing my adventures online and by dedicating my efforts to causes
near to my heart.
Outside the Box look
October since my mom, Denise, was diagnosed with breast cancer, I have
run the Race for the Cure in her honour. I
vividly remember the first time I wrote her name on my race bib. I
was just learning to run and I wasn't sure I could do the entire five
kilometers. During the
race, there were times I could hardly breathe as I was overcome with
so much emotion. After
the race, I sent that race bib off to my mom with a note expressing my
love and hopes for her recovery.
each year has passed since then, I feel both sadness and anger as the
list of names I added to my race bib grew. It
seems as though every month I hear of a friend or family member that
is affected by breast cancer. I'm
going to miss this years race. Instead
of running shoes and T-shirt, I will be donning climbing boots and
soft-shell jacket. Instead
of writing my moms name on my race bib, I will write it on my ice ax. Instead
of running 5 km with thousands of others close to home, I will be an
expedition climbing Pumori with Peak Freaks.
a 7161-metre peak that sits across the valley from Mount Everest, is
translated as Everests daughter. I
am dedicating this climb to my mother, a breast cancer survivor, and
to all who have also had to make the mountainous journey through
a 7161-metre peak that sits across the valley from Mount Everest, is
translated as Everests daughter. I
am dedicating this climb to my mother, a breast cancer survivor, and
to all who have also had to make the mountainous journey through
breast cancer. By
honouring those who've faced breast cancer, I hope to heighten
awareness of breast cancer prevention, screening, and early detection
as well as raise funds for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. I
have set a fundraising goal of one dollar per metre of the peak.
One hundred percent of the money
raised through the climb will go directly to the foundation (i.e. none
of it will go towards the costs of the climb).
climbing Everests daughter, I hope to contribute to a future for all
children that is free from the suffering caused by breast cancer.With
each step in training and each step up the mountain, I will keep both
the mountain and the larger cause for which I am climbing in mind. I
will remember my mothers strength and courage in facing her treatment
and draw upon that during the inevitable moments of doubt and
discouragement as I attempt to become the first Canadian woman to
are two ways to contribute to Pumori: Climb for Awareness. You
can donate online by clicking here or you can click here to download a
form that can be submitted via mail. Thank
you in advance for your support of both my climb and the Canadian
Breast Cancer Foundation. Please
visit my website: www.taloeffler.com for
Greetings from the Nirvana
Garden,- October 2, 2008 Nepal Time
Iím sitting in the shade being quite delighted at the magic of
wireless. A gentle breeze carries the caw of nearby crows, the toots
of horns, and the crinkle of bike bells to my ear. The garden is
adorned with flowers that are a good match for my hair and my teammates
have taken to calling me, ďPink.Ē Unfortunately, it seems I wonít
be pink for long as the areas of my hair that have been exposed to sun are
already turning an interesting shade of yellowy orange. Once we hit
the high UV of altitude, who knows what will become of my hair
color? I may come home a bleach blonde!
The streets of Thamel are their usual chaotic selves. Over the warp
of broken pavement, passes a weft woven from pedestrians, rickshaws, motor
bikes, cars, vegetable vendors, and the occasional beggar looking for
small change. It is a delicate balance of yield and go that brings
me safely to my destination and I must tune into the variety of honks and
toots that indicate whether I should avoid something bearing down from the
left or right.
I can tell things are a bit better in Nepal these days as the street
vendors are a little less aggressive in their sales of Tiger Balm, Buddha
statues, treks, and weed. Itís funnyĖI get offered much more
weed now that my hair is pink. As someone who has trouble saying ďnoĒ
sometimes, Thamel provides great practice as Iím say it several times
per block. As usual, Iíve been eating myself around the world
visiting old haunts serving Japanese, Middle Eastern, Thai, and Indian
foodĖall at fantastic prices-my lunch was $2.00.
Most of the team has arrived and is making the transition to this time
zone. Iíve slept through both nights with the help of melatonin
and seem to be getting hungry at the appropriate intervals/times.
Already there is a friendly camaraderie and plans for reunions on various
continents. Everyone seems a bit nervous about their gear (me
included) and are looking forward to out expedition briefing this evening
where we can get all of our questions answered.
Weíve been treated to two very sunny dry days, a gift, considering the
week before we arrived was subject to daily thunderstorms. Hopefully
the weather will hold and allow us to fly to Lukla on the morning of Oct.
4th and begin trekking. My body is antsy. The past several
days have yielded no exercise so lots of energy has built up in
anticipation of release.
Iím headed with Raj to my favourite prayer flag shop this afternoon and
will do my best to be disciplined and only buy a few strings. Thanks
for all of your well wishes. I carry them close to my heart.
September 30, 2008- Dashian
Festival. Everyone is now on there way to Kathmandu.
There will be much going on when they arrive. The Deshian festival will be
in full swing. It takes place late September and early October, the
Nepalese people indulge in the biggest festival of the year, Dashain.
Dashain is the longest and the most auspicious festival in the Nepalese
annual calendar, celebrated by Nepalese of all caste and creed throughout
the country. The fifteen days of celebration occurs during the bright
lunar fortnight ending on the day of the full moon. Thorough out the
kingdom of Nepal the goddess Durga in all her manifestations are worshiped
with innumerable pujas, abundant offerings and thousands of animal
sacrifices for the ritual holy bathing, thus drenching the goddess for
days in blood.
The eighth day is called the
'Maha Asthami'. The fervour of worship and sacrifice to Durga and Kali
increases. On this day many orthodox Hindus will be fasting. Sacrifices
are held in almost every house through out the day. The night of the
eighth day is called 'Kal Ratri', the dark night. Hundreds of goats, sheep
and buffaloes are sacrificed at the mother goddess temples. In the
darkness of the night Durga temples, army barracks, and old palaces all
over Nepal hold sacrifices for the mother goddess. The sacrifice continues
till dawn. The old palace in Basantapur Hanuman Dhoka, is active
throughout the night with worships in almost every courtyard. While the
puja is being carried out great feasts are held in the homes of common
people where large amount of meat are consumed while our Buddhist friends
pray for the animals.
September 29, 2008
THE EXPEDITION BEGIN! Today's flights to Kathmandu are
full with climbers and trekkers embarking on the capital city of Kathmandu
over the next few days. Record numbers are expected this year which
is very good for Nepal. Flights and hotels are all showing full to
The weather in the mountains
has not been that favorable for climbers who came for earlier climbs. The
monsoon is still hammering the mountaintops with wind and snow and
inter-nepal flights have encountered occassional delays. We bumped back
our expedition a bit this year and have been watching the developing
pattern of a later monsoon each year. To compensate we have been moving
our expedition start dates back a few days each year. In light of this
years activity we will once again be bumping it back even more. Next
autumns climb will now commence Oct. 4. Like Tim and I always say
" nothing in mountaineering is absolute" you must be able to
Everyone should be Kathmandu
come Oct. 2.. Stay tuned! Becky
PEAK FREAKS CLIMBING
Guides: Tim Rippel- Canada and
Hugo Searle -USA
CLIMBING Team #1
Ivan Nolet- Canada
Patrick Grillo -
Mark Mangles -
Carl Lindstrom - USA
TA Loeffler - Canada
CLIMBING Team #2
Duncan Dew -
Al-Jayyoussi - Jordon
Ade Pettit -
Tim Irvine -
SUPPORT TREK ROSTER
Dendi Sherpa- Sardar
Ang Nima Sherpa
Desh Kumar Sherpa
Ang Karsung Sherpa
Lhakpa Gelgan Sherpa
TA Loeffler "PINK
OUTSIDE THE BOX'- Climb for Breast Cancer Awareness. TA,
if successful will also be the first Canadian fwoman to summit Mt. Pumori.
Much more to come about TA and her Pumori Awareness quest. Check out
her website- TA LOEFFLER
Our Everest Training "boot camp" this year will
include the AST Level 1 certification program to participating members.
The CAA (Canadian Avalanche Association) is recognized internationally and
is the highest standards for avalanche forecasting and safety skills
in the world. Avalanches take more lives in mountaineering than
anything else and we take this knowledge and awareness seriously. All
participants will be ran through a rigorous training and classroom
sessions throughout the climb. Instruction by Tim Rippel, professional
member of the association for over 18 years.
more to come.......