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Everest Tibet and Lhakpa Ri North Col expedition climbing news spring 2009

(Photos in slideshow: Ryan Waters, Tim Spear, Franck Pitula, Ken Stalter, Dan Mazur, Myles Osborne, and Colin Pacey)
News of our recent expedition: Everest Tibet & Lhakpa Ri/North Col
Spring 2009
29 March to 5 June, 2009

View our links for more information about our upcoming  Everest Tibet, Lhotse and Everest Nepal expeditions. We are now accepting applications for the spring of 2010, so please join us for Everest, Lhotse, Cho Oyu and our treks and trekking peaks.

Dispatches: Please click one of the links below to go directly to that dispatch or just scroll down.

26 May, 2009

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hello SummitClimb. This is Arnold calling from basecamp with another update from our Mt. Everest Tibet climb.

The day before yesterday we brought Aref down from ABC on a yak. He said he’s improving as he goes lower. Yesterday he drove to the border to Zhangmu and I got the news today that he safely passed the border and they are on their way to Kathmandu. So they are nice and warmer in Kathmandu than right here in basecamp, where it’s snowing right now.

I wonder what’s going to happen with our yaks because they were supposed to come down today so that we could leave for Kathmandu tomorrow.  I hope our yaks will arrive here. The plan is that the group will leave from basecamp on the 27th and arrive in Kathmandu on the 28th. The expedition is finished and everyone is good to go home and see their friends and families.

Here is the official list of all of our summiters and all the times. Our summit date was 20 May and here are the summiters: Rob Springer (USA) together with Lopshang at ¼ past 8:00, Herve Coron (France) together with Jangbu Sherpa at ¼ past 8:00, Honglu (Alan) Chen (USA) together with Yangzhen at 8:30, Nima Yazdipour (Iran) together with Lakpa at 9:00, and Aref Geranmayeh (Iran) together with Pasang at 11:00. These are the official summit names and summit times, so this is what I’ll tell to Ms. Hawley in Kathmandu, who keeps official Himalayan summit records.

We’re looking forward to going home and finishing the expedition. As soon as the cars arrive, I’ll give you another update. Bye, bye. back to top

 

Camp 2 and a stunning view of the lower Himalayan peaks beyond (Gordon Hopper). Herve Coron on the summit of Mount Everest (Herve Coron).

23 May, 2009

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hello SummitClimb news. This is Arnold calling again from ABC.

We have some good news. Elizabeth and Gordon are back in ABC. Unfortunately they had to abandon their summit attempt because of very strong winds and their help in bringing Nima and Aref down from camp 3 caused them a lot of time and energy. They are happy with their resolve and happy to be safely back down in ABC.

Once again, for all of the people who worried about Nima and Aref, they are safe in ABC. They are healthy and okay. I have received many messages on my telephone and it’s impossible to answer them all. Tomorrow they will probably go lower down to basecamp and they will contact family and friends as soon as possible. They have been trying to call family members, but they have not been getting through to everyone. So please do not worry and please do not send me any more messages because it is impossible for me to answer them all by satellite. As soon as they are in basecamp they will give more news and make more calls. They are trying to call but not everyone picks up.

That is it for now. I’ll call if I have an update when our expedition is going to finish. I ordered the yaks for tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, so I think pretty soon we will be back in Kathmandu enjoying some good food. Thanks. Bye, bye. back to top

 

A team member trekking up to interim camp from basecamp. A great view of the north face of Everest (Tunc Findik). Camp 3 (Herve Coron).

22 May, 2009

Update:

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hello SummitClimb news. This is Arnold again and I’m calling in with some good news.

We’re back in ABC and Nima and Aref are with me. They’re doing well. They’re very, very tired, but they are back down safely, so they’re away from the danger. They have some minor frostbite injury on their hands, but tonight we will take care of that. I’m happy to say that our rescue was successful and they’re not sitting up high anymore.

Everybody is tired, so we’re going to rest and take care of Nima and Aref, so everything is good now. They are probably going to sleep well tonight because they didn’t sleep or eat for 3 or 4 days. I think they are happy to be back. If I have more news about their frostbite, I’ll update you again. From what I can see now, it’s very minor. Bye, bye. back to top

Herve Coron at camp 3. Our awesome staff member, Jangbu Sherpa (Herve Coron).

Earlier:

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hello SummitClimb news. This is Arnold, the leader of the Everest Tibet expedition calling from the North Col.

This morning we had a rescue party climbing towards Aref and Nima because they refused to come down. When people can’t come down at high altitude it’s normally not so good, but luckily yesterday evening Elizabeth and Gordon managed to move them down to camp 2. The only thing is that Elizabeth and Gordon were going to summit with 2 sherpas and they had to give up one sherpa to help Nima and Aref.

Last night Nima and Aref spent the night in camp 2 together with our sherpas Pasang and Pemba. This morning we had radio contact and they both seemed fine, but totally exhausted. We sent Lapshang, Lakpa and Jimpa directly up from ABC to assist them down to camp 1. I expect them at any moment here in camp 1. I just had a radio call with Jimpa and he said Nima is doing fine, just moving very slow and coming down with Lakpa. Pasang and Jimpa are taking care of Aref. I hope this is just an epic of exhaustion with no injuries. It looks like they are both doing fine.   

Unfortunately Elizabeth and Gordon climbed a little bit above camp 3 last night, but of course after being involved in a rescue, they didn’t feel very comfortable and the weather was also not the best today. They decided to turn around and abandoned their summit attempt, so that’s very unfortunate. They’re coming down with one of our sherpas and they’re all moving safely together. I’ll also see them on the North Col.

So I’ll hang out here and make sure all of the members are good. I’ll give an update as soon as I know more, but it looks like there are no serious injuries and everyone is just coming down very slowly.

I met Herve this morning at the bottom of the North Col, so he is back safely in ABC. He also took 3 days to get down from the summit. So our members are having a bit of a hard time getting down, which is a bit special. Normally they are a lot quicker, but they had a very long summit day a few days ago and are just very tired. So far everyone is healthy and we’ll get them all down to the North Col tonight. Bye, bye. back to top

Our comfortable ABC (Gordon Hopper).

21 May, 2009

Update: Team coming down. Nima and Aref still high on the mountain, coming down slowly.

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hello SummitClimb news. This is Arnold Coster again calling in with a new update.

Rob and Alan arrived safely in ABC and finished their climb. Edwin also arrived in ABC today. He decided after taking a long time climbing to camp 2 it was probably safer for him to go down and abandon his climb. So Edwin is also safe here in ABC.

Herve, together with Jangbu Sherpa, is at the North Col camp. He’s doing well. He’s just very tired and coming down very slowly, but he’s in the good care of Jangbu.

In camp 3 we experienced some difficulty today. Nima and Aref had a very long summit day of more than 24 hours and they needed to go down from camp 3 because they cannot stay there. We had a big discussion and they kind of refused to go down. After some talking we finally convinced them it’s not good to stay in camp 3 and they are on their way down to camp 2 right now slowly. They left camp 3 at about 6:00 p.m., so they’re probably going to climb through the night to reach camp 2.

Gordon and Elizabeth are going on their summit attempt and found Nima and Aref in camp 3. I hope Gordon and Elizabeth still try to push to the summit today, but they had to give up one of their sherpas to assist Nima and Aref.

A group of sherpas will climb up tomorrow morning from ABC very early to meet Nima and Aref in camp 2 and assist them down further. We also have a very strong sherpa, Lakpa, at the North Col. He will leave in the middle of the night so he can assist them on the way. So we are kind of involved in a small rescue now.

I will leave tomorrow very early as well to assist in the rescue. I hope to have more news tomorrow. Nima and Aref have left camp 3 and are on their way to camp 2, so I hope as soon as they get lower they are going to be fine.

So tomorrow, more exciting news. I’ll just take a short nap now and run up the North Col to help Aref and Nima. When I have more news, I’ll call in again. Bye, bye. back to top

Jangbu Sherpa below camp 3 (Herve Coron).

Earlier:

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hello SummitClimb news. This is Arnold again, the leader or the SummitClimb Everest Tibet 2009 expedition. Today is the 21st of May.

I just had a call with camp 3 about the status of our members. All of our members had an epic journey coming down from the summit yesterday and they arrived very, very late in camp 3. That’s why they decided to stay there for the night and not to come down lower. Aref especially had problems coming down and didn’t arrive in camp 3 until early this morning. Sherpas had to carry extra oxygen to him to get him down safely. Right now he’s resting in camp 3 and he’s doing fine, except he’s very, very tired. He will probably rest for a couple of hours and then continue his descent.

Herve, Rob, Nima, Alan together with sherpas Yangjen, Jangbu, Lakpa, and Lopshang, are making their way down to ABC today. I will probably see them in the camp this evening. As soon as they arrive, I will give you another update.

Elizabeth, Gordon and Edwin, together with Pasang, Pemba and one of our Tibetan sherpas are making their way up from camp 2 to camp 3 today. They will probably try to go for the summit tonight if the weather permits.

North Col members Pierre, Frank and Gary left ABC and are on their way back to basecamp. Frank made it all of the way to the North Col yesterday, but Pierre and Gary decided to turn around because they found it was too difficult, but all are healthy and safe.

So don’t worry. Everybody is moving around on the mountain and they are all in good health. As soon as the first members arrive back in ABC I will give you another update. Bye, bye. back to top

On the second step at 8,500 metres/27,900 feet (Ryan Waters).

20 May, 2009

Update: Team safely back in camp 3. 

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hello SummitClimb news. This is Arnold again, the leader of the Everest Tibet expedition with some more news about our summit party.

Most of our summit party had a long day coming down to camp 3, but I can tell you that everybody is safely in camp 3 together with our sherpas. So that means Herve, Rob, Nima, Aref, and Alan are safely in camp 3 together with our sherpas Yangjen, Jangbu, Lakpa, Pasang, and Lopshang.

I just had a radio call with them. They had a long day coming down, but they are doing well and tomorrow they will continue the descent to probably advanced basecamp or maybe even lower. So, to all of the families out there, do not worry. Everybody is safe in camp 3. I had a radio call. They are doing fine. Right now they are resting and tomorrow morning they will descend.

So that’s it for now. I will call in another dispatch once I hear from the team tomorrow or see them back down here. Everybody is doing fine. They just had a very hard long day climbing to the summit of Everest. That’s it for now. I’ll contact tomorrow again. Bye, bye.

Earlier: Team summits!!! 

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hello SummitClimb news. This is Arnold Coster, the leader of the SummitClimb Everest Tibet and North Col expedition calling from ABC at about 6400 metres/21,000 feet on 20 May.

I’m calling with some good news. This morning between 8:00 and 9:00 five members and five sherpas reached the summit of Mount Everest. So the members names are; Herve Coron (France), Rob Springer (USA), Aref Geranmayeh (Iran) , Nima Yazdipour (Iran) and Alan Chen (USA), together with sherpas Yangjen, Jangbu, Lakpa, Pasang, and Lopshang.

I have no information yet about exact times when people summited. The weather was perfect. They had a windless summit and they are all on their way back to camp 3 right now.

As soon as I have good details and information about the times I will tell you, but all members are doing great, they are safely on the way back down, and the weather is perfect. This evening I will call in with more news. We will probably also have some North Col summits this evening. So stay tuned. Bye, bye. back to top

Descending the fixed lines from the summit (Ryan Waters).

19 May, 2009

Team heading for the summit!

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hello SummitClimb news. This is Arnold Coster, the leader of the SummitClimb Everest Tibet and North Col expedition calling from ABC at about 6400 metres/21,000 feet on 19 May.

All of our Everest climbers reached camp 3 safely this afternoon. That means that Rob, Aref, Nima, Herve, and Alan are there together with Lakpa, Jangbu, Pasang and one of our Tibetan sherpa climbers.

Everybody is getting ready to climb. They are all doing great. This afternoon we had a little bit of clouds, but all of the clouds disappeared. It looks like we’ll have a great night.

The climbers will leave in about 30 minutes from camp 3 and climb all night until the summit. Tomorrow morning I will call in the first summits.

Also, tomorrow morning Pierre, Frank and Gary will leave for their attempt of the North Col, so a lot of things are happening tomorrow.

Right now everybody is stationed and ready to go, so I hope first thing in the morning I have good news and have many summits to call in. Until then, this is it for now. Bye, bye. back to top

A view of the famous second step, one of the toughest sections during the summit attempt (Franck Pitula).

18 May, 2009

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hello SummitClimb news. This is Arnold Coster, the leader of the SummitClimb Everest Tibet and North Col expedition calling from ABC at about 6400 metres/21,000 feet on 18 May.

The whole summit party reached camp 2 safely. It’s very nice weather and for Everest there is very little wind. They’re doing great. I had a radio call a couple hours ago. Everybody is fine and sleeping. They’re ready to go to camp 3 tomorrow.

Our camp 2 is at 7800 metres/25,600 feet and tomorrow they will move on to camp 3 at 8300 metres/27,200 feet.

Unfortunately, one member of the summit group, Biff, decided to turn around for personal reasons. He’s safely in ABC right now with me.

The weather looks good until the 22nd. Tomorrow Edwin, Gordon, and Elizabeth will probably go with our sherpas for their summit attempt. I will get an update on the weather tomorrow and if it still looks good they will leave for the North Col camp 1.

Today all of our North Col climbers walked to the start of the ropes going up the North Col and they are all pretty tired, but doing fine. Tomorrow they will rest and probably climb to the North Col on the 20th.

So far everything looks good and is going very well. There are not so many people here on the North side and it makes the climbing a lot easier.

I will call in again tomorrow with more news. Our team will probably settle in camp 3 and I’ll give you an update. Bye, bye. back to top

Climbers approaching camp 2 (Myles Osbourne).

17 May, 2009

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hello SummitClimb news. This is Arnold Coster, the leader of the SummitClimb Everest Tibet and North Col expedition calling from ABC at about 6400 metres/21,000 feet on 17 May.

It is a good day. We got some good news that the weather is probably going to be fine for the 20th and 21st of May for our first summit group.

Today 6 of our members and 6 sherpas left for the North Col to start the climb to the summit. Our first summit group consists of Herve, Aref, Biff, Alan, Nima, and Rob. They are accompanied by Jangbu Sherpa, Pasang Sherpa, Lakpa Sherpa, and 3 of our Tibetan climbing sherpas. I just received a radio call from them that they are all in great shape and made it in very good time to the Col. Everybody is eating, sleeping, and relaxing up there and tomorrow they will climb to camp 2.

Also, today we had a big rope course practice session for our North Col climbers; Pierre, Frank and Gary. Everybody did great on the ropes here on the glacier next to ABC. The plan is that they will climb to the Col in the next couple of days.

Everything is going well. Our first summit party is trying for the summit. Tomorrow I’ll call back and everybody should be in camp 2. So stay tuned because we’re going to have some summits soon. Bye, bye. back to top

Between camp 2 and camp 3. Herve above camp 3 (Herve Coron).

15 May, 2009

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hello SummitClimb news. This is Arnold Coster, the leader of the SummitClimb Everest Tibet and North Col expedition calling from ABC at about 6400 metres/21,000 feet on 15 May.

Today our North Col members: Pierre, Gary and Frank made it safely up to ABC after spending just 2 nights in intermediate camp at 5800 metres/19,000 feet. They made it up here quite fast. They’re doing very well and are very healthy. Tomorrow they will rest and then we’ll do our rope practice before climbing the North Col.

Everest members Nima, Aref, Biff, Herve, Rob, and Alan are here. They’re waiting for the weather to do their summit attempt of Everest and it looks like we will probably have a chance on the 20th. We will check the weather forecast again tomorrow to be sure. If the weather forecast is true we will probably leave the day after tomorrow to climb to the North Col, camp 2, camp 3 and hopefully summit on the 20th of May.

Gordon, Elizabeth and Edwin are coming up tomorrow. They’re going to be in our second summit group and they will probably leave about 2 days behind the main group.

Everything is going well. The Chinese and Japanese groups are on their way to the summit right now. They probably will reach 8300 metres tomorrow. We’ll just sit here and let them go first and see what happens.

The bad weather changed. There is still a small chance of some snow around the 18th of May according to the weather forecast, but it looks very good and everything is going well.

When I have more news I’ll call in again. This is Arnold signing off from ABC. Bye, bye. back to top

Climbers ascending the North Col at 6,800 metres/22,300 feet (Fredrik Strang).

12 May, 2009

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hello SummitClimb news. This is Arnold Coster, the leader of the Everest Tibet expedition calling from Chinese basecamp on 12 May.

I forgot to mention previously in other dispatches that 4 days ago three new North Col members joined our team. Pierre from South Africa, Gary from the USA, and Frank from the USA arrived safely in basecamp. Our 3 new team members joined our team and are doing very well and healthy. They’ve been walking around basecamp, climbing nearby peaks, and visiting the Rongbuk Monastery.

The plan was to go up to ABC today with the yaks, but we have so much snow here in basecamp and ABC that the yaks cannot go up, so we had a 1 day delay in basecamp today. Right now the weather is clearing up a little bit. We can see Everest again and it looks like we will probably go up tomorrow.

All Everest members are doing fine. We are all hanging out here. The weather is not the best right now, but it’s good we’re resting so that we’ll be ready to climb.

Today I expect 4 members back from Shegar. Shegar is a small town in Tibet at about 4000 metres/13,000 feet. Some Everest members went down low to get away from the mountain and get back to civilization for a little bit. I expect these members back soon.

Tomorrow we will probably all go to ABC together if the weather stays good. The North Col members will finish their acclimatization, do some rope practice and climb to the North Col. The Everest members will stay put and wait until the weather window opens to climb. Everything is going fine, no worries. I will call back as soon as I have more news. Bye, bye. back to top

 

A climber walking above ABC towards the North Col (Tunc Findik).

 

9 May, 2009

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hello SummitClimb news. This is Arnold Coster, the leader of the Everest Tibet expedition calling from basecamp on the 9th of May.

This is our second night in basecamp and we are all resting, enjoying the showers, and having a good sleep. 4 of our members; Gordon, Aref, Elizabeth, and Allen went down to the village of Shegar to sleep even lower to make sure to get a good rest for the summit. All members are relaxing and doing fine.

It’s still very cold here in basecamp and very windy. It’s not normal for this time of year. We’re waiting to see what the weather is going to do, but our plan is to go back up to ABC around the 12th of May. Everything is looking good. All we need is a good weather period so we can summit. I will call in when I have some more news. Until then, bye, bye. back to top

Ascending the ladder to the North Col (Gordon Hopper).

5 May, 2009

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hello SummitClimb news. This is Arnold Coster, the leader of the Everest Tibet expedition calling from the North Col at 7000 metres/23,000 feet on the 5th of May.

Tonight, all members are spending their second night on the North Col. Everybody climbed up here yesterday. Everybody did really well.

Today we tried to gain some more altitude, but it was kind of hard because of the serious wind we experienced. Some members reached as high as 7,600 members/24,000 metres, so no worries. We’re now just hanging out here in the altitude to get more acclimatization before we go down for our final rest. Also, today our sherpas took up most of what we will need in camp 2, so they did a very good job in such strong winds.

Tomorrow we will all descend to ABC, sleep in ABC, and the day after will go to basecamp for our final rest. Until tomorrow, this is Arnold Coster signing off from the North Col. Bye, bye. back to top

Rob Springer and Herve Coron on the mountain (Herve Coron).

3 May, 2009

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hello SummitClimb news. This is Arnold Coster, the leader of the Everest Tibet expedition calling from ABC at 6400 metres/21,000 feet. Today is the 3rd of May.

All members are here in ABC for 2 nights. Everybody is doing well and healthy. The weather has changed a little bit since the last time we were here and is not so windy and cold anymore, although every afternoon we get a little bit of snow.

Our plan is to spend some time at altitude before we go down to basecamp for our final rest before the summit push. Tomorrow the whole team will climb up to the North Col (camp 1) at 7000 metres/23,000 feet and spend the night there. The next day we will touch camp 2 at 7700 metres/24,300 feet and go back to the Col again to spend a second night there. This will give us good acclimatization for the summit push.

If this is all done, we will go back to basecamp and get civilized again, fueling up for the summit push. This is it for now. More news is coming soon. Bye, bye. back to top

Our awesome team in Everest advanced basecamp. What a great group (Edwin Ludlow)!

1 May, 2009

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hello, this is Elizabeth Tertil reporting in for the Everest Tibet SummitClimb expedition on Friday May 1st from advanced basecamp at 6400 metres/21,000 feet.

The last two days we spent re-ascending from basecamp to advanced basecamp as part of our acclimatization. Each day we ascended about 600 metres, which at this elevation is hard work. Both days we mostly walked on glacier moraines. In addition, there are numerous spectacular ice penitentes on both sides. Some of them are so large they are perhaps over 10 metres tall. They are very photogenic and one could spend hours photographing them. Over all the weather has deteriorated with a few snow showers.

We plan a day or two of rest, followed by a trip to the North Col. Best wishes to my family. I miss you a lot. Bye for now. back to top

Our team dining together, eating a delicious meal in our comfortable dining tent in advanced basecamp (Gordon Hopper).

29 April, 2009

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hi, this is Dr. Biff Palmer reporting in for the SummitClimb Everest Tibet expedition on April 29th.

Today was our second full rest day in Chinese basecamp at 5200 metres/17,000 feet. Not much activity occurred today. Highlights, however, included the mysterious disappearance of underwear, a dental issue, and a vigorous debate as to whether watermelon has a Viagra effect. Given the relaxed nature of the activity, we used the remaining time to reflect on past and future events.

They say that in mountaineering you know you are having fun when you are suffering. Using this definition, the group members have been having a big party for the last several days. On 26 April we ascended to the North Col at 7000 metres/23,000 feet from ABC and then had a 22 kilometre descent from ABC to Chinese Basecamp the following day. These vigorous activities have given the members ample opportunity to have a good time.

On the descent to basecamp, one can continues to encounter the yak caravans carrying heavy loads to resupply existing groups at ABC or establish camps for newly arrived groups. One is particularly struck by the almost robotic movements of the yaks as they ascend higher into the oxygen poor environment, seemingly in defiance of their evolutionary requirement for oxygen. This ease of movement is in contrast to that of most expedition members. As an example, the author of this dispatch had an O2 saturation of 80% at basecamp dropping, to 63% upon arriving at ABC, only to recover to the high 70s 24 hours later. It is the hope of the group that these excursions into hypoxic environments will facilitate this poorly understood phenomenon that we call acclimatization.

On April 30th the team will ascend back to ABC, eventually sleep at camp 1 and camp 2, and then once again return to basecamp. After several rest days the third trip will be the summit attempt. There is no question that over the next several days the group will be having a lot of fun. In closing, I send my love to Robert and Kelly Palmer, my two children with whom I am very proud. back to top

28 April, 2009

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

This is Alan Chen reporting for the SummitClimb Everest Tibet 2009 expedition on 28 April.

We have just finished our first successful acclimatization climb to the 7000 metre/23,000 foot barrier on the North Col. Yesterday afternoon we descended 1300 metres to spend 2 days resting in basecamp. During the descent we were able to take more pictures of Everest, glaciers, plenty of yaks passing close to crevasses, and also the different camps.

Now everyone is at basecamp. There are many more tents and prayer flags. It is much more colourful and less military looking than before. Thanks for following along our expedition. Bye. back to top

Aref climbing towards the North Col (Nima Yazdipour).

26 April, 2009

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

This is Gordon Hopper reporting for the SummitClimb Everest Tibet 2009 expedition. It is my pleasure to give this report on the 26th of April on our first day of real mountaineering.

Up to this point, we had only really been trekking, but today we ascended the glacier wall to camp 1 at 7000 metres/23,000 feet. The morning started with a hike to crampon point at 6500 metres/21,300 feet. This was followed by a 100 metre ascent on the glacier to the base of the North Col. After this it was a 45 degree ascent on a mixture of blue ice and compacted snow on fixed lines.

All of the members either reached the Col or were within 100 metres of it. At this altitude the ascent was extremely strenuous because our bodies are not meant to function in such oxygen deprived air. Further more, we only reached advanced basecamp at 6400 metres/21,000 feet 4 days ago.

Tomorrow we are going to descend to basecamp at 5200 metres/17,000 feet to let our bodies recover, rest, have a shower, wash clothes, and regain our appetites. Best wishes to my family. Bye. back to top

Climbers on the North Col at 6,800 metres/22,300 feet (Ryan Waters). 

25 April, 2009

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Greetings news readers. This is Edwin Ludlow calling from advanced basecamp at 6400 metres/21,000 feet for the SummitClimb Everest Tibet expedition on 25 April.

Today was day 28 of our expedition. Last night was a little colder than usual at about -20 C. Most people arose at about 9:00 a.m. This might seem a little late, but we’re operating on Beijing time, which is a few thousand miles away.

A delicious breakfast was served in our comfortable dining tent at 10:00 by our awesome cooks. After breakfast we packed our rucksacks with ice-axe and crampons, put on our climbing boots, and departed upwards towards the North Col on an acclimatization hike.

It’s amazing how much the camps have expanded in the last few days in all directions with 60 or 70 yaks arriving and departing daily. They cannot stay at this altitude for more than a few hours. It took us a full 10 minutes to clear the campsite. Some of the tents seem large enough to house a small helicopter.

The air is getting thinner and we are all gasping to get the last few molecules of oxygen available. The trail is a bit rough with occasional snow and ice patches. To the left (the east) are ice blue seracs and on the right (the west) are towering cliffs of rock, which are sometimes unstable. On the snow and ice face ahead of us, we can see the line of our sherpas climbing steadily towards the North Col camp.

When we arrived at the crampon point, where we attach crampons to go higher, the fuel we had for climbing higher waned, so we lazed in the sun and had a few snacks before returning to ABC.

After yesterday’s puja, it was amazing how colourful the campsite looked, with bands of prayer flags strewn from one side to the other. Following lunch, most people laid in their tents.

Tomorrow we intend to climb up to the North Col and then return to advanced basecamp. The day after we will return to basecamp for a few days, where there will be a fight over the shower tents no doubt.

As a footnote, I would like to send my love and best regards to my dear wife Joyce. Over and out. back to top

Our comfortable ABC at 6400 metres/21,000 feet. Members on their way to the North Col (Nima Yazdipour).

24 April, 2009

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hi, this is Aref Geranmayeh reporting in for the SummitClimb Everest Tibet expedition on April 24th from ABC.

We had a great puja ceremony today with the sherpas to bless our safe passage on the mountain. Hopefully the celebration will bring luck to our expedition. Now that we’ve had the puja, our sherpas will begin setting up the higher camps and working their way up the mountain.

After lunch, all of the members went to the East Rongbuk Glacier to do a bit of training and practice ice climbing techniques with the leader.

We’re excited to begin our climb of Everest. Thanks for following along our expedition and we’ll keep you updated. Bye.  back to top

Our puja ceremony in advanced basecamp. Our team at crampon point, 6500 metres/21,300 feet (Nima Yazdipour).

23 April, 2009

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hi, this is Nima Yazdipour reporting in for the SummitClimb Everest Tibet expedition on April 23rd.

All members left intermediate basecamp at 11:00 a.m. in perfect weather and we started climbing to ABC. The route was surrounded by amazing icy towers on one side and high mountains on the other side.

The team’s proper acclimatization is our main goal each day, so we made a decision to hike very slowly and continue the process of acclimatizing as easily as possible.

All team members reached ABC at 6400 metres/21,000 metres after 5-7 hours of trekking. The weather was a bit windy in ABC after we arrived.

The sherpas who left intermediate basecamp yesterday had already set up our advanced basecamp by the time we arrived.

ABC is located between the East Rongbuk Glacier on the left side and Changtse Mountain on the right side.

Last, but not least, all members are healthy and well acclimatized. We are all planning to reach the upper camps in the coming days. Thank you. Bye. back to top

Our comfortable ABC, 6,400 metres/21,000 feet (Ryan Waters).

21 April, 2009

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hello SummitClimb news. This is Arnold Coster, the leader of the Everest Tibet expedition calling in a dispatch for 21 April from interim camp at 5750 metres/19,000 feet.

All members spent their first night here. Everybody is healthy and fine. Yesterday the members and all of our equipment left basecamp. 3000 kilograms of equipment were loaded on more than 70 yaks. Early in the morning our staff left interim camp together with the yaks and set up ABC at about 6400 metres/21,000 feet.

We will spend a second night here at interim camp because it gives our bodies more time to get used to the altitude. Also, the staff will be able to set up ABC before we arrive.

Tomorrow we all have a long day of fun hiking ahead of us. I will call in again once we've reached ABC. Until tomorrow, this is Arnold. Bye, bye. back to top

Sunset at interim camp on the way to ABC. You can see the high walls of the valley we trek through on the Rongbuk Glacier. There are plenty of "ice pilgrims" (huge penitentes), as well as frozen lakes and the surrounding hills of the valley (Tunc Findik).

19 April, 2009

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hi, this is Dr. Biff Palmer reporting in for the SummitClimb Everest Tibet expedition on April 19th.

This is our 3rd day in Chinese Basecamp at 5200 metres/17,000 feet. Members have used this day to continue the acclimatization process. Activities have ranged from short hikes in the neighbouring hills, washing clothes, reading, and playing chess. Many also used the day to take showers in our rudimentary, but functional shower tents.

The camp is situated in a valley in which the North Face of Everest towers above one end. The beauty of the mountain is particularly noteworthy at sunset, at which time the face takes on a bright orange hue. Equally as impressive are the nighttime skies. Without city lights, one can easily see the brightly lit Milky Way extend from one horizon to the other.

Health wise, the team is in good shape. Several members have had minor respiratory colds, but nothing serious. For my professional colleagues, renal function is stable. We anxiously await the arrival tomorrow of 56 yaks to carry equipment to what is called ABC (advanced basecamp).at 6400 metres/21,000 feet.

The team will move tomorrow towards ABC, but spend two nights at an interim camp at 5800 metres/19,000 feet to continue the acclimatization process.

As I sign off, I send my love to my two precious children, Robert and Kelly Palmer. back to top

A team member trekking up to interim camp from basecamp. A great view of the north face of Everest (Tunc Findik).

18 April, 2009

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hi, this is a dispatch for the SummitClimb Everest Tibet expedition on April 18th from Everest Basecamp at 5200 metres/17,000 feet.

Yesterday after breakfast we left Tingri and drove very anxiously through the Tibetan Himalayan foothills, with spectacular views of the mountains and numerous yak herding families towards basecamp.

After arriving at basecamp around noon, we helped set up tents and unpacked our gear. The rest of the day we spent exploring our immediate surroundings and enjoying the view of Everest towering over us.

After a mild night of -5 degrees centigrade, half of our group explored the way up to IBC (Intermediate Basecamp), while the others walked down the valley to the Rongbuk Monastery for a puja ceremony, blessings for a safe and successful climb.

After a tasty lunch, we relaxed in basecamp and continued our acclimatization to the rising altitude. Bye for now. back to top

Preparing our yak loads at Chinese basecamp at 5,200 meters/17,000 feet. Chinese base camp is located just near the medieval and active Rongbuk Monastery. Our camp is comfortable for the few days we spend there, with a full kitchen and dining tent, where our cooks prepare 3 hot delicious meals a day. There is plenty to explore in the surrounding hills, as well as many international climbing teams to meet (Ryan Waters).

16 April, 2009

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hi, this is Richard Little calling in for the SummitClimb Everest Tibet expedition on April 16th from Tingri in Tibet.

We’re at about 4400 metres/14,000 feet spending a rest day here before going on to basecamp tomorrow. We left Kathmandu at about 4:30 a.m. on the 14th and arrived at the Friendship Bridge on the border at about 9:30 a.m. that morning. It took us about 5 hours to clear the processing at the border, which was kind of tough for us because most of us got very little sleep the night before, as it was New Year’s Eve on the Hindu calendar. There was lots of activity going on in the hotels and streets of Kathmandu with lots of noise, but we were anxious to get started.

After crossing through the border we spent the night in Zhangmu, which is a border town. Then the next morning we spent what can only be described as 6 teeth-jarring hours on dirt roads to get here to Tingri. It’s an extraordinary place located up on the Tibetan plateau.

It’s been great because we’ve now switched our diets from Nepalese to Chinese food for a change. All of the food has been really great with lots of it.

Everyone is doing fine here and looking forward to being in basecamp tomorrow. With that, I will say bye for now. This is Richard Little signing off. back to top

15 April, 2009

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hello SummitClimb news. This is Arnold Coster, the leader of the Everest Tibet expedition calling in a dispatch for 15 April from Tingri in Tibet.

Yesterday we had a hard day crossing the border in Zhangmu, but eventually we managed to get into Tibet. It was a bit hard for me to call, so that’s why I’m reporting in now.

This morning we left Zhangmu early at 7:00 a.m. Chinese time and drove to Tingri. The whole team is in Tingri now at 4300 metres/14,200 feet. Tomorrow we will also stay in Tingri so that the truck with all of our equipment can catch up and go ahead to basecamp. When we show up our basecamp will be ready.

All members are doing fine and healthy. Everybody was a little bit irritated from the long wait for the visa and also the long wait at the border crossing, but everything is good now. Our expedition is finally getting started.

The weather is perfect. I’m sitting on top of a hill right now looking at Everest and Cho Oyu and they just look gorgeous. There are very few foreign teams here, so I think we may have a big mountain for ourselves.

I will send the next dispatch in once we reach basecamp. Bye, bye. back to top

This is a spectacular view of Tingri, the last town we stay in before heading to basecamp. In the background you can see Cho Oyu , the world's 6th highest mountain (Tunc Findik).

13 April, 2009

Hello SummitClimb news readers.

We finally got our papers to be able to cross the border into Tibet.

Tomorrow morning, 14 April, we will leave at 4:00 a.m. to the border town of Kodari. We hope to cross the border into Tibet on the same day. We will go through Zhangmu, Nyalam, and Tingri before we will reach our final destination of Chinese basecamp. We are all very exited to go after waiting for so long. Finally our expedition will start. We will call you as soon as we have crossed the border. -Arnold Coster back to top

8 April, 2009

Hi SummitClimb news readers.

Yesterday we finally got the got news from Lhasa that our Everest permit is approved. Now we only have to see how fast they can wrap up the paperwork.

We had a very good trek up to Kala Patar. All members reached above 5300 metres/17,400 feet and some even went up to 5500 metres/18,000 feet. Because we are all used to the altitude now, we can drive straight to basecamp and be able to make up for lost time.

Actually, we are very lucky to see both sides of the mountain and the trek in the Khumbu Valley is so nice.

Today we will trek for about 8 hours back to Lukla and if everything goes well weather wise, we will fly back to Kathmandu Friday morning.

This is it for now and I hope the next message will be from Tibet in a couple of days. -Arnold Coster  back to top

Members heading out of Lobuche towards Everest basecamp (Elselien te Hennepe).

3 April, 2009

Hi SummitClimb news readers. This is Arnold Coster, the leader of the Everest Tibet and Lhakpa Ri/North Col expedition reporting in.

The whole Everest Tibet group is in Namche now, except for Herve.

It is still not sure when we will receive the Tibet permit, so instead of waiting in noisy, dusty Kathmandu, we decided to go into the mountains to start our acclimatisation.

We will climb as high as possible, so we can skip days on the drive into Tibet. This way we will not loose a lot of time. We are having contact with Tibet every day and they are positive we will get a permit and visa. It's just a little bit delayed.

Today everybody walked to the 'Everest View Hotel' and got some very good views of Everest.Tomorrow we will probably go to Pangboche at about 4000 metres/13,000 feet to gain some more altitude.The whole team is very happy to be here and thinks this little side trip is like a bonus.

As soon as I have more news about the opening of Tibet, I will report it to you. This is it for now.

Arnold Coster back to top

2 April, 2009

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hi, this is Dan Mazur calling from SummitClimb.com & SummitTrek.com with a dispatch for 2 April.

I’m reporting in for the Everest Basecamp Trek, Island Peak Climb, Everest View Glacier School, and Everest and Lhotse climbs.

Today our group rested in Namche for acclimatization. Namche Bazaar is a really beautiful village with lots of lovely views of the mountains around. It’s a fairly big village and the capital of the Sherpa people. There are all sorts of amenities here. There is even a fantastic cyber café called the ‘Dante Café’ and I’d like to especially send my thanks to Santosh Arigati who runs the establishment.

Today we rested and had a nice walk around the perimeter. We went to the ‘Everest View Hotel’ and had some gorgeous views of Everest, where we are so excited to be going tomorrow. We also had some great meals, relaxed, and enjoyed some fun time with our team.

I have some really good news. Our Everest Tibet team led by Arnold Coster, our senior Everest guide, arrived in Namche today. It was so great to see him and all of the team. They’re up here acclimatizing while their Tibet permit is being sorted out.

Some sad news is that Sam and Morten tried to fly to Lukla today, but all of the Lukla flights were apparently cancelled. We miss them, but hopefully they’ll be here soon.

We’re so excited to be trekking up tomorrow to Pangboche, so we can get started on our Everest trek and make our way up to basecamp.

Thank you very much for following our expedition. Take care. Bye, bye. back to top

Namche Bazaar, the capital of the Sherpa people. See this unique village on our trek to and from basecamp (Tunc Findik).

1 April, 2009

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hi, this is Dan Mazur calling from SummitClimb.com & SummitTrek.com with a dispatch for 1 April.

I’m reporting in for the Everest Basecamp Trek, Island Peak Climb, Everest View Glacier School, and Everest and Lhotse climbs.

Today we woke up in the village of Phakding and had a delicious breakfast, got our equipment sorted out, and walked along the trail to the village of Jorsalle, where we entered Mount Everest National Park. It really felt great to be inside the park and like we had already achieved some success. Then we stopped and had a delicious lunch before making the tough climb up the big hill to Namche. In beautiful weather with gorgeous sunshine we reached Namche in the afternoon, some as early as 2:00, others not getting there until 4:00 or 5:00 because they were stopping along the way to take photos. We went to our respective hotels, while some of us decided to camp instead.

I have some special news for today that our Everest Nepal and Lhotse climbing permits were issued. Thanks very much to our local agent of Parivar Expeditions, Murari Sharma, as well as our Everest Nepal leader Samuli Mansikka and special thanks to Morten Lindholm for all of his fantastic help.

Another important news item today is our Everest Tibet expedition flew to Lukla. They are going to take some extra days to acclimatize because there has been an unfortunate delay in issuing the permits for the Tibet expedition. We don’t think they’ll be issued until the 5th of April, so they decided to come up to the Khumbu and do some acclimatizing.

Thanks for following our expedition and we look forward to tomorrow’s dispatch. Bye, bye. back to top

30 March, 2009

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hi, this is Dan Mazur calling from SummitClimb.com & SummitTrek.com with a dispatch for 30 March, 2009.

Today we had a really busy day. The weather was gorgeous and we’ve been having some rain in the evenings, which is nice because it freshens up the air. Kathmandu is really beautiful right now and very peaceful. The people here are so friendly and welcoming.

We had our orientation meetings today. Everyone is fully informed about how the trips are going to go. We enjoyed meeting each other and it looks like we’re going to have some great climbs and treks this year.

We’re just preparing now to get our Everest Nepal expedition into the field. They are going to fly tomorrow to Lukla, as well as our Everest View Glacier School, Everest Basecamp Trek and Island Peak climb.

It seems the Everest Tibet climb is going to have to wait a couple of days for the permits to be issued, but we’re feeling very positive about how that is progressing and we’ll be travelling to Tibet in a few days.

Thanks for following our expeditions and we’re wishing you all of the best. Thank you very much. Bye, bye. back to top

29 March, 2009

Hi. This is Dan Mazur writing to you. All members of our treks and climbs have been arriving and we are looking forward to our team briefings on 30 March. The weather has been very nice. Warm and sunny during the day with a bit of light rain in the evenings. We have been enjoying early morning team walks to the Monkey Temple. Our staff of sherpas have been busy packing and our office staff have been getting all of the permits, flights, and transport arranged. Thanks for watching our SummitClimb and SummitTrek news!!!

A view of Swayambhunath Stupa, the "Monkey Temple". It is the most ancient and enigmatic of all the holy shrines in Kathmandu valley. Swayambhunath's worshippers include Hindus, Vajrayana Buddhists of northern Nepal and Tibet, and the Newari Buddhists of central and southern Nepal. Each morning before dawn, hundreds of pilgrims will ascend the 365 steps that lead up the hill, file past the gilded Vajra (Tibetan: Dorje) and two lions guarding the entrance, and begin a series of clockwise circumambulations of the stupa. On each of the four sides of the main stupa there are a pair of big eyes. These eyes are symbolic of God's all-seeing perspective (Dave Dogruel).

Team Roster

Everest

  • Arnold Coster - Netherlands (leader)
  • Ms. Elizabeth Tertil - Canada
  • Gordon Hopper - UK
  • Biff Palmer - USA
  • Alan Chen - USA
  • Edwin Ludlow - UK
  • Nima Yazdipour - Iran
  • Herve Coron - France
  • Aref Geranmayeh - Iran
  • Rob Springer - USA

North Col May:

  • Pierre Jonker - South Africa
  • Frank Sarnquist - USA
  • Gary Lanker - USA

North Col March - April

  • Richard Little

ABC Tibet March - April

  • Ms. Erin Shalbrack

Staff:

  • Lhakpa Gelbu Sherpa - climbing sherpa
  • Pasang Gelu Sherpa - climbing sherpa
  • Jangbu Sherpa - climbing sherpa
  • Ang Babu Sherpa - climbing sherpa
  • Kipa Sherpa - cook

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