Thursday, June 2, 2011
Saturday, May 21, 2011
Camp 2 and descending the Western CWM and the Khumbu Icefall. We were
able to take showers, get a good meal, and relax in our "home away
from home." At this point we are all preparing to head home.
To recap our climb:
The climbing team reached the summit of Everest on May 19 between 7:30
- 8 AM. We had a little wind in the morning but the day turned out to
be a great one! We had 100% success because all climbers made it to
the top and back down safely.
On May 20 the Lhotse team (Garrett Madison, Tom Halliday, Kami Rita Sherpa)
made the summit of Lhotse at about 4: 20 AM. We had another great
day, and encountered a few climbers going up the couloir when we were
on our way down.
We achieved our goal of going "peak to peak" in less than 24 hours,
and had great climbing conditions throughout the days we spent at high
altitude. We could not have been successful without the support of
our very hard working & extremely proficient Sherpa team. Thanks to
all who were following our climb!
Photo 1: On the summit of Everest (May 19, 8:14 AM)
Photo 2: On the summit of Lhotse with Everest SE ridge behind (May 20, 4: 45 AM)
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Get safely down guys!
Lhotse Climbers on their way!! May 19, 9:30pm
We have some takers for Lhotse! Alpine Ascents guide Garrett Madison, Tom Halliday, and Kami Rita Sherpa are leaving Everest Camp 4 now and making their way across the South Col to Lhotse Camp 4. It will take them an hour or so to make it to the Lhotse high camp where they will have a quick break before setting out for the 4th highest mountain in the world. It is pretty amazing when you consider that both Garrett and Tom were standing on the summit of the highest mountain in the world earlier today.
Godspeed Garrett, Tom, and Kami Rita Sherpa! We are enjoying the show.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Friday, May 13, 2011
At Camp 2 (advanced base camp) we plan to take a rest day & evaluate the weather, wind speed, etc, and decide when to go for the summit. From Camp 2 we will climb to Camp 3, spend 1 night, then climb to Camp 4. From Camp 4 (the South Col) we will make our summit attempt!
After our Everest summit attempt a few climbers may also attempt Lhotse. We'll keep the RainOn tracker updated with our movement, and also check out the Alpine Ascents Everest Cybercast page for recent updates: http://www.alpineascents.com/everest-cybercast11.asp
Thursday, May 12, 2011
If the weather holds we will plan to ascend to Camp 2 tomorrow (May 13), then rest a day or two there awaiting a good forecast before moving up to Camps 3, then 4, etc. The earliest day we could summit Everest would be May 18.
All climbers are excited for the culmination of our expedition, we're keeping our fingers crossed for good weather!
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
have been sorting gear, checking the weather, and relaxing a bit to
ensure we are ready for our summit bid! We plan to rest tomorrow as
well, then head up the following day to Camp 2 if the weather permits.
Saturday, May 7, 2011
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Attached is a photo of the 3 guides, Garrett, Ben & Lakpa, while up at Camp 1 on our last rotation in our cook tent making food & water for the group.
The climbers are doing great and we will rest here in Base Camp before descending down to a lower elevation to rest and recover. We have been having regular snow up high on the mountain, and temperatures have been ranging from -30 at night to about 50 degrees in the middle of a sunny & windless day.
The Sherpas are helping stock our high camps and fix the route with the current
"good" weather, if all goes according to plan we can anticipate a mid or late May summit attempt.
Hope everyone is enjoying the RainOn tracking map!
Sunday, May 1, 2011
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Now that we are recovered from our last trip up the mountain (coughs & colds have subsided) we are ready to head back up to camps 1, 2, and hopefully spend 1 night at Camp 3. This rotation should take us about a week, and then we will come down to rest for our final "summit" rotation.
Everyone is doing great, and we are looking forward to some good weather forecasted for the next few days.
Saturday, April 23, 2011
Friday, April 22, 2011
Ascending the Khumbu Icefall required crossing several ladders over large crevasses and ascending fixed ropes up to Camp 1. Climbing to Camp 2 was a pleasant stroll up the Western CWM (valley), and only having to cross a few easy ladders.
We stayed up at Camp 2 and hiked around the area to gain further acclimatization, and had some great views of Everest, Lhotse, and Nuptse (the 3 main peaks in the cirque). During our stay at Camp 2 we had some strong winds but managed to keep our tents tied down, and now that we are in base camp we are having some great weather!
Photos: Guides Ben Jones & Lakpa Rita Sherpa taking a break in the Khumbu Icefall, climber Louis crossing a ladder over a moderate crevasse.
Friday, April 15, 2011
The team will climb up through the Khumbu icefall to Camp 1 where they will spend a couple of nights before moving up the Western Cwm to Camp 2 for a few nights acclimatizing before descenting back to Base Camp.
Garrett and team will have the location tracking turned on so we can follow their progress on the 3D map. Sounds better than Friday night TV to me!!
Friday, April 8, 2011
In this photo guide Ben Jones & climber Mike Gibbons are smiling just outside our tea house in Gorak Shep, with the top of Everest just above (the black pyramid just above & left of Mike). The climbing group is doing well & excited to arrive base camp shortly!
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
The day prior, we trekked from Khumjung to Debuche, where we spent the night. The trek from Khumjung took us down to the floor of the river valley and then back up to the Tengboche Monastery. We had light snow throughout the day which was nice and kept the temperature down. After having a snack at a café in Tengboche, we descended to our lodge for the night in Debuche, a valley covered by a rhododendron forest.
We have found that the new cell phone network in the Khumbu valley does allow for limited connectivity. At times we are able to make calls & connect to the internet, but it does not work in every village along the way, so we may be a few days without posting anything new regarding our trek to Everest base camp. Currently we do not have any cell phone access.
1. The team in Debuche with mountains behind
2. Buddhist Stupa & Ama Dablam along the trail to Pangboche
3. First view of Everest & Lhotse
4. Gary Nelson being blessed by Lama Geshe
Sunday, April 3, 2011
We hiked above Thame about an hour to the Thame Monastery, then retired to our "Sunshine Lodge" for dinner. This morning after breakfast we visited with Lakpa Rita's parents in their house, the house that Lakpa grew up in. We then hiked to Kumjung, about a 4 hour hike in total today. The Hillary school is here in Kumjung, and when Lakpa was a child he had to walk from home in Thame to the school and back each day! Maybe that is how he became so strong!
Friday, April 1, 2011
This afternoon the team took advantage of the internet cafe in Namche, and enjoyed more pastries & coffee while blogging and checking in with family & friends. Tomorrow we plan to hike to Thame, the village where Lakpa Rita Sherpa, our sirdar, grew up. Lakpa is the first Sherpa (& first Nepali person) to climb the 7 summits, and has been a guide for Alpine Ascents for many years.
Pictured left to right Ben, David, Tom, Mike, Louis, & Andrew
Thursday, March 31, 2011
This town is awesome, Namche is the referred to as the "Capital of the Khumbu" because it is a main trading hub between Nepal and Tibet. It is packed with tea houses providing lodging to trekkers & climbers, and has a few amenities such as a Pizza House, Bakery, and Cyber Cafe!
Right now we're chilling out at the Cyber Cafe checking email & updating our various blogs, etc, and enjoying some warm apple pie and cafe lattes!Life is good. Our plan is to do a short acclimatization hike tomorrow and spend another night here in Namche.
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
It has been a quick but enjoyable stay in Kathmandu. Our hotel, the Yak & Yeti (www.yakandyeti.com) is a very enjoyable hotel, a quiet sanctuary within the busy & noisy city. Many expeditions heading to and from the Nepal Himalaya stay in this hotel, so we have encountered many other expeditions including several also planning to climb Everest.
We have run into notable Himalayan figures such as Peter Athans who has just completed an archaeological expedition in the Mustang region of Nepal. Peter has produced some fascinating work in this field & very worth checking out. To see Peter's recent findings check out the following: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/03/110301-himalayas-caves-defleshed-skeletons-science-nepal-mustang/
We also spent time with Elizabeth Hawley, who keeps very detailed records of climbers heading into the Himalaya. There was a very good article on Elizabeth in Outside magazine this month. Her Himalayan Database is very impressive indeed & also a useful tool, to check out her work visit: www.himalayandatabase.com
Last night we had a team dinner at a very good restaurant of traditional Nepali food. It is fun to sample the local cuisine, and to immerse oneself in the local culture. Today our group went on a city tour and visited several important cultural & historical landmarks in Kathmandu (Monkey Temple, Crematorium, Bodhnath Temple).
Tomorrow our plan is to fly to Lukla and begin our trek up the Khumbu Valley to Everest Base camp. Pending good flying weather, we hope to trek to the village of Phakding where we plan to spend our first night in the Khumbu. We are excited to begin our journey into the mountains!
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
|Field Kit walk-thru|
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
In additional to the standard plethora of cameras, electronics and communications gear that equips an Everest Base Camp, this season Garrett and team will be utilizing a RainOn Adventure Tech field kit. RainOn Adventure Tech is a hand selected set of devices, apps, and accessories for location sharing, dispatches, documentation, and entertainment. The 2011 Everest/Lhotse RainOn Adventure Tech field kit is comprised of:
- iPod touch 4G 32GB
- mophie juice pack air - iPod touch 4G
- Power Support HD Anti-Glare Screen Film
- a broad set of indispensable iOS apps for communications, media entry and editing, and other services
- DeLorme Earthmate PN-60w with SPOT Satellite Communicator w/ 4 Energizer L91BP Lithium AA Batteries
- SanDisk Ultra II 4GB SDHD Card for GPS maps and tracklogs
- Think Outside Stowaway Sierra Bluetooth Keyboard w/ 1 Energizer L92BP Lithium AAA Battery
- NOTE: this accessory is discontinued, but the best I've ever used. We are looking for a replacement product or the current manufacturer.
- Energizer L91BP-8 Lithium AA Batteries (4 - 8-Packs = 32 batteries for PN-60w and SPOT)
- Pelican 1020 Micro Case for smaller items and general storage
- Energizer L92BP Lithium AAA Batteries (3 for keyboard)
- iPod spare headphones
- mophie USB charging cable
- Power Support Black Smart Pen for using iPod touch with gloves
- zoomMediaPlus zoomIt SD card adapter for iPod for importing Digital Still Camera photos and GPS tracklogs
- Orange Pelican 1400 Case
We are very excited to be using the mophie juice pack air for the iPod touch 4G to virtually double the battery life of the iPod in such a stylish and cool case. Also the mophie's standard micro USB connector for charging means one less cable for us to carry. The same cable is also used to charge the zoomIt SD card adaptor and the standard Apple iPod cable is not needed in the field. In our opinion, mophie makes the best battery cases for iOS devices and we can't wait to check the performance in the demanding Himalaya environment.
Friday, March 18, 2011
Thursday, March 3, 2011
Day 1: March 26: Depart Home Country
Day 2: March 27: Transit via Bangkok
Day 3: March 28: Arrive KTM
Day 4 March 29: Tour of KTM
Day 5: March 30: Fly to Lukla
Trek to Base Camp with Family and Friends:
Approach to Base Camp: Our expedition begins with a flight from the USA to Kathmandu, Nepal. We spend a few days in Kathmandu checking gear, meeting the Sherpa and preparing for our flight to Lukla (9,000ft), which is at the base of the Khumbu Himal. From here we begin our trek to Everest Base Camp. The trek takes approximately 10 days and travels from the Dudh Kosi valley up through the Imja Drangka and finally onto the Khumbu Glacier. Along the way we visit the villages of Namche, Tengboche, Pheriche and Lobuche, most of which are fascinating and richly cultured villages that provide spectacular views of the Himalayas. The trek in also gives us the chance to explore the many different regions and take the time to visit local monasteries and visit with Nepali friends.
Day 6: March 31: Phakding
Day 7 April 1: Namche
Day 8: April 2: Thame
Day 9: April 3: Khunde
Day 10: April 4: Tengboche
Day 11: April 5: Dingboche
Day 12: April 6: Dingboche
Day 13: April 7 : Lobuje –
Day 14: April 8: Lobuje –
Day 15: April 9: Gorak Shep, Kala Pattar
Day 16 April 10: Base Camp
Days 17 – 56: April 11 – May 23: General Climbing Schedule (Schedule on the mountain is approximate and subject to current conditions. Delays/Early departures can occur).
Base Camp: Years of experience have helped us to establish the finest Base Camp on the mountain. With the highest quality tent structures and imported foods, we strive to ensure the time at Base Camp is restful and revitalizing. By providing these accommodations, we make every effort to keep climbers healthy and rested.
Climbing Route: By the time we reach base camp, our climbing leaders and Sherpa will be well on the way to having the lower part of the mountain (the Khumbu Ice Fall) already fixed with ropes and ladders. We establish four camps on the mountain. The first, Camp I at 19,500ft, is situated at the top of the ice fall. This camp functions as an intermediate camp until Camp II (advanced base camp) is established at 21,000ft in the Western Cwm. Camp II will consist of large tents for cooking and dining and several smaller tents for sleeping. Camp II will be our base during the placements of Camp III and Camp IV (23,500ft and 26,300ft respectively). Camp III, which stands at the head of the cirque on the Lhotse face will consist of three and four man tents. This intermediate camp helps us to reach Camp IV (high camp) on the South Col. Most of our Sherpa are able to carry directly from Camp II to Camp IV, so large amounts of gear are not needed at Camp III to establish Camp IV. Oxygen will be used above Camp III to help aid climbers in reaching high camp before attempting the summit. From Camp IV, we travel along the South East Ridge to the South Summit. From here we traverse for a few hundred meters before reaching the Hillary Step and then onto the main summit.
Summit Attempts: After Camps III and IV are established and all our supplies are in place, we return to Base Camp ( and lower villages) for a rest. At Base Camp we organize our summit teams and prepare ourselves for summit attempts. Once we are ready, we return to Advanced Base. If good weather prevails we move the summit team to Camp III. On the 2nd day, the summit team moves up to Camp IV. Day 3 will be summit day. They start very early that morning and attempt to reach the summit before midday. After the summit, they retreat back to the South Col and next day they descend to Camp II. Guides and Sherpa will accompany all summit attempts and oxygen will be used.
Departure: (These are approximate dates)
Day 57: May 24: Pheriche
Day 58: May 25: Namche
Day 59: May 26: Namche
Day 60: May 27: Lukla
Day 61: May 28: Fly to KTM
Day 62: May 29: Extra day delayed flights
Day 63: May 30: Depart KTM
Day 64: May 31: Arrive Home Country
(actual end date cannot be determined until the expedition is completed)
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
However, the 3D map is fully interactive and tons of fun to play with!! Explore! You can click and drag the map left and right or in and out with your mouse or use the navigation controls that appear on the upper right side of the map:
- (circle with the 'eye' icon) change the view from the 'camera' including spinning about the compass. Click on the 'N' to cause the map to orient North up.
- (circle with the 'hand' icon) move the camera around - left, right, in, out (same is click and draging on the map).
- (+ - slider) zoom in and zoom out of the map
Become a navigation expert (and impress your friends) by checking out the full user documentation on Navigating in Google Earth. It's worth a look!!