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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Thursday, June 2, 2011

RT @garrettm2011 6/2/2011 8:50am UTC

Celebrating in KTM! Just flew out of the Khumbu today. Successful climbs of Everest & Lhotse, Nuptse attempt to 7200m.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Team is back in base camp, climbers preparing to head home to USA

Today the climbing team arrived back in base camp after leaving from
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!

Garrett Madison

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

Lhotse Summit!!

As Garrett's RainOn powered Tweet reported, the summit of Lhotse has been reached! Truly an amazing accomplishment!

Alpine Ascents' website officially reports: At 4:22 am on May 20th 2011, Garrett Madison, Tom Halliday and Kami Rita Sherpa made the summit of Lhotse!!

Get safely down guys!

Going for it: The Everest / Lhotse Twofer

As you can see in the RainOn tracking map above a subset of team is underway on their Lhotse attempt.  Details from the Alpine Ascents website:
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.

Joe Kluberton

 Godspeed Garrett, Tom, and Kami Rita Sherpa!  We are enjoying the show.

Team back at Camp 4

The team reported that they were safely back down to Camp 4 on the South Col (26,000 ft.) just a little after 11:00am local time.  Most are resting up before their descent back down the mountian but a few may make the call to head up Lhotse after a rest.  If so, they would be heading out around midnight local time.  Stay tuned!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Garrett and team reached the summit of Mt. Everest just around 8:30 AM local time!!  They appear to be below The Balcony now and nearly safely back to Camp 4 on the South Col.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Team has left base camp to begin summit rotation

This morning the main climbing team is leaving base camp at 4 AM to begin the summit rotation. We are aiming to climb to Camp 2 today, hopefully reaching camp by early afternoon.

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:

Garrett Madison

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Getting ready to move up!

Today we are making final preparations for our move up to Camp 2. We are reviewing our gear, food, & other equipment to ensure all is ready for our summit push.

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

Resting up in Everest Base Camp

Today we rested in base camp and went over our oxygen systems. We
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

RT @garrettm2011 5/7/2011 8:21am UTC

The climbers hanging out in the Tengboche cafe. 2 more nights in Debuche resting up for the summit push

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Remembering our last rotation

Today we are resting & recovering in Base Camp, enjoying the warm weather and some great food. Tomorrow we plan to descend to Pheriche for the first night of our dropback to lower elevations. Everyone is doing great today.

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.

Returned from 2nd rotation

The team has just returned from our 2nd rotation and is now resting in Base Camp. We spent a night at Camp 3 (see attached photo), which is over 23,000' and a very high altitude to spend the night without any supplemental oxygen!

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!

Garrett Madison

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Camp 3! (and tough GPS conditions)

As part of their second acclimatization rotation, the team reached Camp 3 on the Lhotse face hours ago. Due to the steepness of the Lhotse Face, a clear view of the GPS satellites is sometimes difficult and can produce location errors in the tracking as you can see by couple of the data points in the map and elevation profile graph above. Rest assured that I'm certain they didn't go up and down as the track might suggest and we have received word that the team is safely tucked in at Camp 3 after a long day of climbing.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Resting up for the 2nd rotation

We've been enjoying base camp the last 6 days resting up and getting ready for our 2nd rotation on the mountain. The days have been filled with short hikes, showers, and evening films in our movie tent.

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

iPad Support!!

We are pleased to announce that the tracking map now has support for the iPad and other platforms not currently supported by the Google Earth 3D Plugin.


Friday, April 22, 2011

We’re back from the first rotation!

Yesterday we descended down from Camp 2 to base camp to finish our first rotation. We spent a total of 5 nights above base camp, 2 nights at Camp 1 (19,000) and 3 nights at Camp 2 (21,300'). The time spent above base camp will help us acclimatize to the higher slopes of Everest for our next rotation (to Camp 3) and for our summit rotation. We also are able to put our skills that we reviewed in base camp to the test (fixed line travel, ice climbing, etc.)

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

Update from Nepal

Exciting!  I just got a cell phone call from Garrett Madison from Everest Base Camp.  They have been having some issues with their satellite modem and that has made it difficult for them to provide blog updates.  They hope to have that resolved while the climbing team is away making their first rotation up the mountian starting today.

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

Last stop before Everest base camp

Greetings! Today we are trekking from Lobuche (where we spent the last 2 nights) to Everest base camp. Currently we are taking our last break in Gorak Shep, this is the last outpost before base camp. There is a new cell tower here in Gorak Shep (means dead Gorak (black bird)), so we are now able to use our cell phones & connect to the internet, however it's a slow connection. We hope to have this access in base camp as well.

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

Arrived Pheriche

Last night we arrived in Pheriche, at about 14,200' and everyone is doing great! We had a clear view of both Everest, Lhotse & Ama Dablam as we hiked to Pangboche where we stopped to visit Lama Geshe, the Rinpoche (highest) lama of the Pangboche Monastery. Lama Geshe blessed us for safe travel up & down Everest, it was a nice ceremony. Afterwards we travelled up the valley to Shomari for lunch, then on to the village of Pheriche where will spent the night. We plan to do an acclimatization hike today then spend another night here before hiking up to Lobuche.

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

Visiting Kunde hospital

This morning we are visiting the Kunde hospital above Khumjung. There is fresh snow on the ground & the peaks above. (Pictured: Mike, Marshall, Gopal, David, Andrew)

Yaks in downtown Khumjung

As we stroll through downtown Khumjung before dinner we must step aside for these furry animals as they pass through main street.

Visiting Thame

Yesterday we hiked to the village of Thame, the home of Lakpa Rita Sherpa, our Sirdar. Thame is not on the main trail to Everest base camp, so we see less Western influence here. If one continued on past Thame you would reach Cho Oyu and the pass to Tibet. The Tibetans use this pass to bring goods to trade in Nepal.

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

Resting in Namche

This morning the team went for a short acclimatization hike from our lodge in Namche, the Panorama, to the Syanboche air strip above town. This is where loads are flown from Lukla to begin the trip to base camp on Yaks. We continued up to the Everest View Hotel, a very Zen like building built by the Japanese years ago. This hotel has a great view of Everest, however today the clouds obscured the view, so we will just have to wait a few days more for our first sighting of Everest.

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

Hanging in Namche...

Today we trekked from Phakding to Namche Bazzar, a very scenic hike wind along the Dudh Koshi river in a deep river gorge filled with pine trees. We crossed the river several times on suspension bridges covered with prayer flags, and finally climbed the "big hill" before reaching Namche.

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

Group has arrived in Lukla!

This morning we left the Yak & Yeti hotel in Kathmandu & arrived at the airport before 6 AM. We were very fortunate to be on the first flight out to Lukla! We had great weather so awesome views of the high Himalaya peaks. We are now in Lukla about to enjoy a nice breakfast before beginning our trek to Phakding. We arrived Lukla just a few minutes ago with clear views of the peaks above with fresh snow on them!

Climbing Group is assembled & ready for flight to Lukla

Today the last of our climbers arrived Kathmandu and we have finished our gear checks & staged our gear for transport up the Khumbu valley.

It has been a quick but enjoyable stay in Kathmandu. Our hotel, the Yak & Yeti ( 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:

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:

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!

Garrett Madison

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Expedition Permit Received!

We just visited the Ministry of Tourism & received our expedition permit!  After a short meeting with the various ministers & our liaison officer we took this photo (Pete Athans, Minister, Garrett Madison) 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Departing Seattle!

We are now leaving the Seattle airport & expect to be in Kathmandu in 2 days. Special thanks to Lora Bolding & the United team for making our check in & flight to Asia a pleasant experience!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

RainOn Adventure Tech Field Kit delivery and final walk thru

Field Kit walk-thru
Today I took delivery of the RainOn Adventure Tech field kit and did the final walk thru and testing of the components.  This picture and text post was composed and posted using the field kit.  All systems go!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

RainOn Adventure Tech Field Kit

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:
The iPod (or iPhone) is the heart of the RainOn Adventure Tech field kit and acts as our field computer, media input, capture, and editor, communications device, and entertainment source (eBooks, music, movies, and games).

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


Objective:  Welcome to the Alpine Ascents Everest & Lhotse Climb blog with live tracking!  We are setting out to climb Mt. Everest this May and hopefully also climb Mt. Lhotse as well.  Our plan to climb Everest will be the same formula as in previous expeditions:
We will begin our trek up the Khumbu Valley at the end of March, and reach Everest Base Camp around mid April.  We will train at base camp reviewing our technical climbing skills for about a week, then make our first trip up the mountain.  Our first "rotation" will include climbing through the Khumbu Icefall to Camp 1 where we will spend a few nights, then on to Camp 2 for a few nights, then back to Base Camp where we will rest & recover.  We will then head up for our second "rotation" where we plan to climb to camps 1, 2, then 3 and spend a night at 3, then back to Base Camp.  Usually at this time we drop down valley a few nights to rest and recover where the air is thicker.  After a few days rest we head back up to Everest Base Camp.  Our third "rotation" will include an attempt at the summit of Everest, and for some of our climbers, an attempt at Lhotse (4th highest mountain) as well. 
The plan for our "third" rotation is to climb to Camps 1,2,3, then 4.  After reaching the South Col high camp (Camp 4), we will rest 24 hours then depart in the evening with the expectation of reaching Everest's summit the next morning.  We then plan to return to our high camp around noon that day.  The climbers who are planning to attempt Lhotse will rest that afternoon & evening, then depart late that night and descend from the South Col to Lhotse high camp, where they will hopefully ascend the prominent couloir to the summit of Lhotse sometime that morning, then descend down to Camp 2.  The other climbers who have climbed Everest but who are not attempting Lhotse will descend that day to Camp 2 as well (after sleeping that night at the South Col high camp).
Recap:  We hope to safely climb to the summit of Mt. Everest, and then a few of our climbers will try to reach the summit of Lhotse (4th highest mountain) about 24 hours later.  We have made preparations & will continue to stay focused to maximize our chances of success for this "Peak to Peak" adventure.  As always, safety is our number 1 priority! 
Garrett Madison
Expedition Leader

Everest & Lhotse Equipment Shipped to Kathmandu

The last of our 46 boxes have shipped and are on their way to Kathmandu, where we will pick them up when we arrive late next week.  These boxes will travel up the Khumbu valley to Everest Base Camp and provide us with the essentials we need to live comfortably for 2 months at Base. 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Everest Expedition Itinerary

Itinerary (subject to change)  (Please see Everest Trek itinerary for further detail)
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

Mount Everest Expedition Equipment List

This list is only a guide. While you are required to bring everything on this list, there are numerous options, brands, and versions of each piece of equipment, unless otherwise noted. Using our Current Suggested Brand List we encourage you to shop around, do research, use your experience and the listed features to find the best gear for you.

Climbing Equipment
Ice Axe w/Leash. General mountaineering tool. Sizing is important: under 5’7” use a 60cm tool; 5’7”- 6’1” use a 65cm tool; over 6’1” use a 70cm tool. (Too short is preferable to too long). Make sure you have a leash that is designed for use on a glacier axe. Please no technical leashes.
Crampons. With “step in” bindings and flat rather than “cookie cutter” frame rails anti balling plates OK. Keep in mind that ice specific crampons are for technical ice climbing and are not recommended for glacier travel. Anti-balling plates (optional).
Alpine climbing harness. Harness should fit over all clothing, have gear loops, adjustable leg loops and be reasonably comfortable to hang in. Make sure you can get into the harness without having to step through any part of it.
Carabiners (3) Locking; (3) Regular. 2 Twist lock & 1 small screw gate locker; 3 standard ovals recommended.
Climbing helmet. Alpine climbing helmet with sizing adjustments. Check to make sure helmet fits securely while wearing warm hat and balaclava.
Ascender (1). One right or one left.
Rappel/Belay device.
Prussiks. Or bring 40 feet of flexible 6mm accessory cord to make into prussiks.
Adjustable 3 Section Ski or Trekking poles. Optional but highly recommended. Helpful for non-snow covered ascents and descents if you have knee problems.

Light hiking boots or trekking shoes. For day hikes and trek to Base Camp. The trail to Base Camp is rocky and rough. Shoes that are light weight, high comfort, plenty of room in the toe bed, with good support are important.
Tennis shoes or low top shoes. For international travel and town days. Optional.
Booties. Optional.
Camp Boots. Optional. Insulated boot for Base Camp.
Double Plastic Climbing Boots w/ altitude liners. Good quality plastic shells with inner boots. Avoid tight fit with heavy socks.
Fully Insulated Overboots. Not needed with Millet Everest or Olympus Mons Boots.
Gaiters. Please make sure your gaiters fit around the boot without being to tight around your leg. Gaiters should have cordura on the inside of the leg. No lightweight hiking gaiters. Not needed with One Sports or Olympus Mons.
Trekking Socks. 3 pair.
Wool or Synthetic Socks. 4 pair heavyweight wool or synthetic socks (wool is warmer) to be worn over the liner socks. When layering socks, check fit over feet and inside boots. Remember to keep one fresh, dry pair of socks available at all times. It is best to bring new socks as they lose their cushioning over time. Socks with padded shins are especially nice with plastic boots.
Liner Socks. 4 pair of smooth thin wool, nylon or Capilene to be worn next to the skin. This reduces the incidence of blisters and hot-spots and makes the outer sock last longer before needing to be changed. They should fit well with your heavyweight socks.
Vapor barrier socks. Optional. Helps reduce moisture buildup in your boots, also keeps your feet a little warmer.

Technical Clothing
Lightweight Long Underwear. 2-3 pair tops & bottoms, Capilene, other synthetic or wool. No Cotton. Lightweight is preferable as it is more versatile (worn single in warmer conditions and double layer for colder conditions.) Zip-T-neck tops allow more ventilation options. One set of white for intense sunny days on the glacier and one pair of dark for faster drying gives the most versatility.
Heavyweight Long Underwear. 1 pair. Expedition weight Capilene. (Alternative: a one-piece suit)
Lightweight Nylon Pants. 1 -2 pairs.
Short Sleeve Synthetic Shirt. 1-2 pairs.
Synthetic/Soft Shell Jacket. A full-zip version is easier to put on and has better ventilation than a pullover.
Insulated Synthetic Pants. Full separating side zippers (This is very important for ventilation. Full side zips also allow pants to be taken off without hav­ing to remove boots).
Down Pants. To fit over insulation layers. Outer shell must be windproof.
Expedition Down Parka. Fully Baffled, Expedition Weight, must have good hood.
Insulated Synthetic Jacket. Optional. Allows you to leave your down parka up higher on the mountain as we establish higher camps.
Hard Shell jacket w/ hood. We recommend a waterproof breathable shell material with full front zipper, underarm zips, and no insulation. This outer layer protects against wind and rain.
Hard Shell Pants. Waterproof, breathable. Full length side zippers preferred because it allows easy removal of pants, 7/8th zippers allowed but is more difficult to remove pants, no short lower leg zippers allowed.

Lightweight Synthetic gloves. 1 pair. Should fit comfortably inside mitts or gloves. Lighter capilene preferred.
Heavyweight Synthetic/Soft Shell gloves. 1 pair. Windstopper is helpful
Expedition Shell Gloves w/ insulated removable liners. 1 pair. For use lower on the mountain when expedition mitt is not needed.
Expedition Shell Mitts. 1 pair. Should be big enough so that synthetic gloves fit inside pile liners.
Hand warmers and Toe Warmers: Bring 3 sets of each. Toe Warmers are different than hand warmers because they are formulated to work in a lower oxygen environment, like the inside of a boot, they also burn out more quickly.

Headlamp. Bring plenty of spare bulbs & batteries. Halogen bulbs are not necessary.
Glacier glasses (w/ side covers or wrap around). 100% UV, IR, high quality optical lenses designed for mountain use, must have side covers, leashes, and a nose guard is particularly helpful. No more than 8% light transmission. If you wear contact lenses we recommend packing a spare pair of glasses. If you wear glasses we recommend prescription glacier glasses (gray or amber). Talk to your eye care professional to find out where prescription glacier glasses are available.
Baseball cap/sun hat. One with a good visor to shade the nose and eyes.
Ski Goggles, 1 pair. 100% UV & IR.
Balaclava. (1) Heavyweight, (1) Lightweight. Heavyweight must fit over lightweight
Warm synthetic/wool hat.
Bandanas (2). Used to shade your neck.
Neoprene face mask. Optional

Personal Equipment
Expedition Backpack. 3,500 - 4,000 cu. in. There are many great packs.
Trekking Backpack. 2,000 - 2,500 cu. in. (Optional)
Sleeping Bag. (Expedition quality rated to at least -40°F). Goose down preferred over synthetic for bulk & weight. If well-cared-for a down bag will last much longer than a synthetic bag. Your bag needs to be long enough that your feet are not pressing out the foot box which will make you colder. It should be roomy enough for comfortable sleeping but snug enough for efficient heat retention.
Sleeping Bag. (Expedition quality rated to at least -20°F). A second bag for Base Camp. This avoids the carrying of the Expedition Bag up and down the mountain after the higher camps are established.
Self Inflating pads(2). Two 3/4 or full length pads. One for use at basecamp and one for camps higher on the mountain. If you are over 6’ a long is recommended. Make sure to include a repair kit.
Closed-Cell foam pad. Full length closed cell is recommended, used while staying at camps higher than basecamp and to be used in combination with your self inflating pad.
Cooking Gear: Cup: 16oz. plastic insulated mug with snap-on lid (retains heat well and is spill-resistant in the tent). Some prefer a non-insulated mug for warming hands.
Spoon: Good quality tough plastic (lexan).
Bowl: Plastic Tupperware type with 2-3 cup capacity and lid.
Sunscreen. SPF 40 or better, 2 small tubes. Make sure that you have new sunscreen.
Lipscreen. SPF 20 or better, at least 2 sticks. Make sure your lipscreen is new.
Water Bottles: 2 to 3 Wide mouth bottles with minimum 1 Litre capacity per bottle. No water bag or bladder systems, they freeze or are hard to fill.
Water Bottle parkas for the big bottles.
Toiletry bag. Include toilet paper, hand sanitizer and small towel (as well as tooth brush, tooth paste etc.)
Pee Bottle (1 Liter). Large mouth, clearly marked water bottle for use in tent.
Pee Funnel (for women). It is a good idea to practice, practice, practice. For use in tent.
Camp Knife or Multi Tool. Medium sized. Keep the knife simple.
Thermos. 1 Liter capacity. Needs to be strong. Stainless Steel Vacuum bottle.
Trash Compactor bags (4). To line stuff sacks to keep gear dry & one large enough to line pack. At minimum 3 mil. thick.
Camera gear. Optional. We recommend a small digital point and shoot camera above BC. Simple and light. For more information, see recommendations on the FAQ page of our website. (
Compression Stuff Sacks. Especially for sleeping bags and clothing.

2 Large duffle bags w/ travel locks. Used for transporting your gear.
Base Camp Items. It is good to bring additional items which you have found to be useful on previous expeditions. For example: paperback books, playing cards,MP3 flash player, short-wave radio, game boys, musical instruments, ear plugs, lots of batteries, etc.
Travel Clothes. A set of clean clothes is nice to have to change into after the trip.

First Aid
Small personal first-aid kit. (Simple and Light) Aspirin, Moleskin, molefoam, waterproof first-aid tape, athletic tape, Band-Aids, personal medica­tions, etc. The guides will have extensive first-aid kits, so leave anything extra behind. Let your guide know about any medical issues before the climb.
Drugs/Medications/Prescriptions. Climbers should bring Mupirocin (Bactroban) cream, excellent topical antibiotic for scrapes and cuts. Cirpro­floxin (Cipro) 500mg tablets for traveler’s diarrhea and for urinary tract infections. Loperamide (Lomotil) or Immodium for diarrhea. Azithromycin (Z-pak) 250mg tablets for non-gastrointestinal infections. Acetazolamide (Diamox) 125 or 250mg tablets for alltitude sickness. Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) 200mg tablets for altitude headaches, sprains, aches, etc. Excedrin,Acetaminophen (Tylenol) 325mg tablets for stomach sensitivity.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

How to Use the Map

Once you install the plug-in, the Google Earth map at the top of this blog will automaticaly keep the currently reported postion in view.  You can just leave the page open and let it do it's thing if you like.  When the team is moving, the position will be updated about every 10 minutes.

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:
From top to bottom, these controls allow you to:
  • (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
You can also click on the placemarks for the camps (such as "Camp I") and the camera will fly to a pre-defined view for that placemark.  It will also display information about that camp in a balloon window.  Clicking a route segment (the line between the camps) will display information about the segement of the route, such as distance and the amount of elevation gained.  The track marks can also be clicked on for more information too.

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!!