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Everest Tibet & North Col Expedition, Training Climb & Advanced Basecamp Trek News, Spring 2012

(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/North Col & ABC Trek
8 April to 6 June
View our links for more information about our Everest Tibet and North Col Training Climb expeditions, as well as Advanced Basecamp Treks . We are now accepting applications for Spring 2013, so please join us for Everest, Lhotse, Cho Oyu, the North Col and our treks and trekking peaks.
 
Trip Summary: All of our members who planned to use bottled oxygen reached the summit with 4 expert Sherpas on 20, 26, and 27 May, 2012. This was 100% summit success. Also our advanced basecamp trekkers and North Col climbers had a lovely time. We had delicious food, comfortable tents, and excellent equipment  throughout the trip. The leader of our expedition was SummitClimb's Dan Mazur, leading his 9th succesful Everest expedition.

One of the biggest highlights of our trip occurred when Doctor Janice Smith, the oldest ever Australian (age 68), reached the summit of Everest with Tenji and Gyalje Sherpa.

 

Janice Smith at Summit of Everest on 27 of May together with Gyalje (Photo by Tenji Sherpa). Beow Lim & Tenji Sherpa at Camp 2 (Dan Mazur).

This was our 7th successful Everest Tibet expedition, and we send our hearty congratulations to everyone!

Another big highlight of the trip was the perfect sunny and windless weather during the last week of May.

The Tibet side of Everest is known for its stunning views of Everest, much better than the Nepal side. The Tibet side of Everest is also less crowded and less expensive than the Nepal side of Everest. Also the Tibetan culture is very exotic and changing rapidly, so now is the time to see Tibet in its original form.

Our team met in Kathmandu and began the 5 day drive up to basecamp, takingrest days and acclimatizing as they went. Some of our members enjoyed a visit  to Lhasa before we all met up in Everest basecamp.

Upon arrival in our very comfortable basecamp we spent several days resting, eating delicious food, and hanging out in our comfortable heated dining tent, and adapting to the altitude, then we moved up to the "intermediate camp" which lies along the trek to advanced basecamp (ABC). The trek to ABC is also known as the Golden Highway, because of all of the beautiful mountains atop the valley walls along the trek.

Arriving in ABC we rested and did some ice and rope practice on glaciers beside the camp. After a few more days of rest, we climbed up to the North Col where camp 1 is located at 7000 metres / 23,000 feet. The climbing was all on good snow and fixed ropes. The trail was well packed out and there was no vertical climbing. There were fixed ropes on all of the steep sections. Then we walked down to basecamp for an extended rest period, eating delicious food, watching movies, relaxing by the heater in the dining tent, etcetera. For fun several of us walked down valley to explore some lower altitude Tibetan villages and enjoy the famous Tibetan hospitalitywith numerous cups of butter tea, fresh fruits and vegetables, and samplingthe local barley porridge .

 
Our comfortable dining tent. (Beow Lim). Yaks are taking down climbing gear to Base camp. (Janice Smith)
 
During our next foray up the mountain we retraced our steps to ABC and the North Col, aand then walked all of the way up to camp 2 and slept there for a night as an acclimatization exercise. The trail to camp 2 was steep and wind blown, but there was no vertical terrain, we were able to walk all of it, aided by fixed ropes. Then we returned to advanced basecamp for 3-4 days of rest and relaxation.

Finally the weather was looking right and we worked our way back up the mountain, to intermediate camp, abc, camp 1, camp 2, and finally camp three.

On summit day we crossed over numerous steps, some with aluminum laddersattached, and finally topped out on the highest point on Earth. The weather was very clear relatively warm, and there was almost no wind. We snapped a few photos and headed down, basking in the amazement of our good fortune andwhat we had just accomplished.

We welcome you to join our forthcoming www.EverestTibetClimb.com .

Blog posts: Please click one of the links below to go directly to that blog post or just scroll down.

5 June

 
From left Tenji Sherpa (Climbing Sherpa), Janice Smith oldest Australian female (68 years old) to summit Everest, Gyalje Sherpa(Climbing Sherpa) at Kathmandu
 
   
 
From left Tenji Sherpa (Climbing Sherpa), Janice Smith oldest Australian female (68 years old) to summit Everest,, Fred Carter (Husband of Janice Smith). Gyalje Sherpa(Climbing Sherpa). From left Gyalje Sherpa(Climbing Sherpa), Fred Carter (Husband of Janice Smith). Dan Mazur (Expedition leader), Janice Smith oldest Australian female (68 years old) to summit Everest,, Tenji Sherpa (Climbing Sherpa) in Kathamdnu
 
29 May

Team back safe on the North Col.

Janice, Pasang, and Josette at camp 2. (Dan Mazur). Dan and Tenji at North Col (Beow Lim)

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

28 May

Team back safe in camp 3.

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hi this is a message from the 7000m North Col. It’s a beautiful sunny day here, there’s one other tent here besides ours.

It’s beautiful here. The sun has been out and it’s been calm winds for about a week with summit days everyday and conditions are excellent.

We’re clearing all the camps off the mountain.

This is our lowest camp, tomorrow we’ll be removing this one and heading down to Advanced basecamp. The yaks are coming tomorrow. We’re going to pack up and go to Kathmandu.

Everyone is doing fine.Thanks for following our expedition.Goodbye. back to top

  

Janice Smith and the Sherpas climbing toward the North Col (photo by Steve Coffman).  Members resting at camp 1 (Beow Lim)

27 May

Jan Smith, oldest Australian female (68 years old), joined by Tenji and Gyalje Sherpa summit! 


Janice Smith descending from Camp 3 (Dan Mazur). 

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hi this is Dan Mazur calling. It's the 27th May and we’re at camp 3 at 8300 metres/27,224 feet.

It’s a bit windy and gusty up here; there are a lot of really large clouds all around us but for some reason the clouds are not settled around camp 3 so there are none near us. It’s not too windy, this is our 3rd day up here and we’ve been supporting our team of French, Swiss, Australian, Malaysian, American and Australian climbers.

The time right now is about 5.30 in the evening Tibet time. Jan Smith is down in Camp 3. We’re very pleased about that, she’s done a great job. She’s OK and sleeping right now. The Sherpa’s brought her down; Gyalje and Tenji.

She’s very exhausted; she reached the summit at about 6.30am this morning she was 68 years old yesterday on the 26th May.

She did a fantastic job up there and it shows what you can do if you put your mind to it. I guess you’re never too old to climb Everest and at 68 years old she’s the oldest Australian man or woman that we know of to climb Everest and she did an amazing job.

I’d also like to take a moment to share a thought about Mr Lincoln Hall who our team from SummitClimb found in 2006 resting just below the summit early in the morning. Our team turned around and helped with so many other people to bring him back down. He lived another 6 years and then died of Cancer. What a sad way to go but lucky that he lived another 6 years after we were able to get him down from near the summit of Everest at Mushroom Rock at 8,600m. He was an incredible guy and we will miss him very much. We’d all like to pay out respects to Lincoln Hall and what he did. He was an amazing man.

I’d also like to say at this time that our SummitClimb team over the last two days have climbed three peaks, Cho Oyu, Mount Everest from Nepal and Mount Everest from Tibet. What an incredible task! All of our teams have worked really hard with incredible members from so many countries. Our teams include great leaders, Sherpa’s, workers and logistics people from all walks of life and from all our different offices. We work so hard to put a lot of people on the summit. I’d just like to say that we couldn’t have done it without everyone’s help and we’re really proud of everyone. So thanks for following our expedition!

We’re still walking down, we’re going to rest overnight up here at 8,300m at Camp 3, and we’re working our way down. It’s still extremely dangerous to get down from here so we’re going down very slowly and carefully and hopefully in the next 2 or 3 days we’ll be down in Advanced base camp. We’ll keep you informed and once again thank you very much. back to top

..................... Earlier...

Hi this is the dispatch for the 27th May.

It’s now 6.40am and I’ve just received a radio call from the summit of Everest, Jan Smith is on top of the summit now with Tenji Sherpa and Gyalje Sherpa and I’d like to give them a really big congratulations and also wish them a very safe descent.

I’m in camp 3 right now with Beow from Malaysia and Australia and Pasang Sherpa who returned last night at about 9 or 10pm and they’re safe down here.

We will keep you updated, thank you very much and once again congratulations to the summit team, congratulations to Australia’s oldest woman to climb Everest.

Thank you bye bye. back to top


26 May

Beow Lim  and Pasang Sherpa summit!

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

 
Beow Lim using fixed rope to climb up to camp 2 (Dan Mazur)

Hi, today is the 26th of May. Beow Lim and Pasang Sherpa just summited! The time is 1:15 p.m. Chinese time.

Josette set off for the summit. Last night she came back because it was too cold and decided to go for it during the day. She’s up there now trying to get the summit.

Tonight Jan, Gyalje and Tenji Sherpa are going for the summit after dinner.  Today is Jan’s birthday! She is 68 years old.

Thank you, Bye. back to top

 

Camp 3 and surround views. members heading for the summit (Arnold Coster).

25 May

Team going for the summit!

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hi this is the dispatch for 25th May. It was really windy last night in Camp 2 and this morning it was really windy but we set off anyway for camp 3. Then the wind died and the sun came out and it was really nice.

Now we’re up in Camp 3. Everybody's here; Beow, Josette, Jan and me (Dan) plus Gyalje, Pasang and Tenji.

Josette set off for the summit tonight at about 10pm and Beow and Pasang set off tonight at about 11.30pm tonight and Jan plans to take a rest day and then tomorrow night go for the summit with Tenji and Gyalje.

Today was a super beautiful day; sunny, warm, calm, gorgeous, lots of views, amazing and it’s great to be up here and we wish everybody all the best and we will keep you posted.

Thank you bye bye. back to top

24 May

Team in camp 2, heading up to camp 3.

 

Camp 2 (Janice Smith)

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

23 May

Team in camp 1, heading up to camp 2.

Climbing Up to North Col from (Beow Lim )   Dan Showing Fixed rope going up to Camp 2 on a cloudy day (Beow Lim) 

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

22 May

Team heading back out of ABC for the summit of Mt. Everest!!  

Beow Lim in ABC with our Solar panel for power and tents. (Jack Puyo). Yaks are taking down expedition Stuff to Base Camp (Dan Mazur)

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

20 May

Jacques Puyo (France) and Jangbu Sherpa (Nepal) summit Mt. Everest!! 

Part 2 - Team reports in live (click here to listen)

 

Jacques Puyo showing Chocolate given by Sim Lim Beow (Beow Lim)

Part 1 - Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hi, this is Dan Mazur, the SummitClimb Everest Tibet leader, calling in a dispatch for the 20th of May. I’m calling from Advanced Basecamp.

On the 19th of May we had a busy day. We were in camp 2 in the morning and packed up to go, hiking up the hill. A large team next to us decided to pack up and go down the mountain. They had heard a bad weather forecast, so everyone on that team went down, including all of their staff. We decided that we would go with them because it would be the wise, prudent and conservative thing to do.

We’ve heard there is supposed to be a good weather window on the 24th and we hope to have some assistance in verifying that with wind speeds, altitude, etcetera.

Jan, Beow, Tenji, Josette, Dan, Pasang and Gyalje  went down to the North Col and eventually basecamp. However, Jacques decided he wanted to continue going up. Jangbu joined him and we received a call on the radio this morning that was relayed from Gyalje on the North Col that they had reached the summit! It was hard to understand the call because of the wind speed and it seems like Jangbu seems to have laryngitis and has lost his voice. But it sounds like they reached the summit, are doing OK and on their way down.

We’ll have more updates for you as they come in. Thank you very much for following our expedition. Bye, bye. back to top

 
Team on their way up the 2nd Step (David O'Brien).
18 May

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

17 May

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Camp 3 with the summit behind (Frank Irnich).
15 May

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

14 May

 

Climbing Up to North Col from crampon point (Janice Smith).

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

13 May

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

10 May

For the past few days, life at Everest Base camp has been a period of rest, recuperation and preparation. At present at EBC-Tibet we have Dan, Jack, Jan, Josette, Geoff, Beow and our dedicated team of Tibetian cook and helpers. Our capable sherpas are already in Advance Base camp, preparing the high camp.

In theory, we should be making plans for our second acclimatisation rotation to high camp i.e., camp 2 or camp 3. In reality, we have to also account for our biggest challenge- the weather. For the past few days, the weather has been typically tibetian on this side of Everest i.e., at EBC we had alternate days of a windy day, snowing next, sunny next day, cloudy, and then sunny again. At EBC we can see the magnificent view of Everest from our campsite. For these past days, on the high mountain the wind has been ferocious. We can see the wind plumes trailing the peak of Everest daily [maybe, 50-80km/hr wind]. 

That being the situation, we designed our own individual program for a few days. Josette and Geoff trek back up to Interim base camp then ABC, to take picture of the Rabula pass, it looks into the seldom seen Kangshung side of Everest. They came back today, happy on their mini-diversion and task accomplished. Meanwhile, Dan, Beow, Jack and Jan did daily 2-4hr trek around the EBC camp. We have trekked up a frozen river, trek to Rongbuk Monastry for a chinese meal (6hr return), climb up west and east side of EBC- up to 300-400m higher.

The learning from this few days of rest is the notion of flowing with nature and accommodating the weather. Climbing a mountain is not just wanting to do what you want to do, we need to work along side the great forces of nature and to apprerciate and to respect mother nature.

Beow back to top

 

 View to EBC-photo (Beow Lim). Painter at EBC (photo Beow Lim). Dining Tent-EBC-Tibet (Beow Lim). Back to EBC- Geoff, Josette + Norbu (Beow Lim).

6 May

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

 

Hi this is the dispatch for May 6th.

We’re in basecamp resting. We heard that the rope fixing team has made it up to camp 2 at approximately 7500m and they’re working towards camp 3 at 8300m. We’re just biding our time in basecamp staying warm, staying healthy, staying fit and hoping that we can have a crack at the summit as soon as the rope fixing team gets up there and gets the job done.

The weathers been pretty good we’ve had snow fall in the night just a little bit and then in the morning the dawn’s usually clear with lots of sun no cloud and no wind so conditions are looking better and it seems like it’s getting warmer here so we’re very optimistic.

Thank you very much and bye-bye. back to top

 

ABC at 6400 metres, with Everest and Nnorth Col behind  (Photo by David Howard).

5 May

Retrospective of the last weeks. by Jacques Puyo, Steve Coffman, and Jeff Botz.

We are now at base camp (BC), it is snowing. How Beautiful !  Snow might be good news as we are a bit tired of the windy and weather we have had over the last two weeks, since we have been on the Chomolungma Mountain (Mt Everest).

Let's share what life is at BC, and then come back to advanced base camp and North col happenings last week. back to top

Life at BC (5,200m):

Now that our new Friends (to BC, ABC, North Col) have turned away from the Mountain and returned to Kathmandu, we are now a reduced number of folks hanging around.
  • Folks:  Josette Valloton of Switzerland, Jan Smith from Australia, Beow Lim from Malaysia and Australia, Jeff Botz of North Carolina, Dan Mazur of Seattle, USA / Bristol, England (leader), and Jacques Puyo (France).
  • We have a large and very happy staff:
  • Samdien: expedition manager and chief cook, (Tibet), Chowang chief guide, (Tibet), Cho Norbu, basecamp manager (Tibet), Tabo basecamp worker (Tibet), Norbu basecamp worker (Tibet),  Tsering ABC Manager (Tibet).
  • Tenji Sherpa, Chief Summit Climbing Sherpa, (Nepal),  Jangbu Sherpa, Chief Member climbing Sherpa (Nepal), Gyalje Sherpa, Summit Climbing Sherpa (Nepal), Pasang Sherpa, Member's Climbing Sherpa (Nepal).

While our staff has been working so hard, our climbing members have been hanging around waiting for better weather.

Hanging around means;  drinking tea, washing clothes, watching DVDs (including le gendarme a St Tropez in Mandarin, tres apprecie des Tibetains, morts de rire), enjoying the great food by our cook and his kitchen boys, reading books, repairing material, sewing (Ama Gaga (Jan !) services much appreciated), socializing with the other expeditions.  The latter is increasing around two questions:  When are the fixed ropes going to be fixed on the Mountain ? When will there be a subsequent decent weather window of opportunity to launch a summit initiative ?

 

Gustavo Grillo surrounded by ducks in Tingri (Janice Smith).

The centre of gravity of our team is our Team's beautiful custom made Tibetan Mess Tent made of very warm double fabric.  It is very large, warm and comfortable, has 8 sofas, and is well decorated with colourful wall hangings, paintings, and carpets. In the Center, the large heater burning dried Yak dung has everybody's attention, especially when the sun decides to leave us in the shade with the Moraine of Rongbuk Glacier. Sun rays on the tents at 9:30 am are the signal to get out of the tents, temp always < 0C, for a warm drink. back to top

Life at Advanced Base Camp (ABC 6,400m) - Jacques Puyo

Between BC and North Col, there are two camps: Interim BC (5,800m), and ABC.

From BC to ABC, this is a 25kms (15 Miles) walk. First a wide valley (along Rongbuk main glacier and  its huge moraine lake) then step onto the 'Miracle Highway'.

Unique in the world, the Miracle Highway is a thin rocky moraine in the middle on the East Rongbuk Glacier, on which Yaks can walk (and carry gaz, food, tents, anything)  during miles and miles, allowing to reach very high altitude. This is the technical miracle.

The 'Highway' is snaking in the middle of the glacier and offers stunning views of 50 meters ice Pilgrims,  Shark fins.one's imagination drives here, especially that due to high altitude, the walking is slow and there is time to look around.

Interim Camp, a kind of yak transfer station at 5800 metres, is a convenient way to cut the 25kms and 1,200m elevation journey into 2 Days. 

When arriving at ABC, simply the highest "basecamp" in the world, at 6400 metres, the perception is that you are not only high (it is difficult to breath), but also far away from civilization. In that context the expeditions are doing an amazing job into organizing the camps.

ABC looks like a mini BC, the key difference is the means to reach the camp:

Truck/Car vs Yak/Feet.the absolute value of things has already changed.

Prayer ceremony in ABC at 6400 metres: In spite of the sparse frigid air which hits you like an immaterial herd of horses, the spirits of the Tibetan and Sherpa staff are high on the day of our expeditionary prayer ceremeony, known as a "Puja". It begins with the construction of a small rock tower with prayer flags spreading out in all directions and now all team members deposit climbing equipment at the base to be blessed during the ceremony.

Our own cooks and sherpas lead the ceremony by reading an ancient script used in Pujas all over the Himalayas to invoke the good graces of the mountain Gods. After the reading there is drinking of (mostly frozen) beer and coke, dancing and singing  and general merriment. Now the Gods have been addressed with piety the climbing can begin.

Looming above the Puja was the mountain itself. At this postion looking like the flank of an impossibly giant antediluvian marine monster who's side has been riddled with scratches and long scars on deep black rock then filled in with snow. All this reminiscent of current day whales we may have seen on Discovery Channel with similar but smaller scars from struggles with hooks, harpoons or other beasts. The scars also look like a white roadmap on black which make me wonder if anyone has ever initiated a climb right up these wind worn tracks. 

After the prayer ceremony, we all put our climbing gear on and went to practice glacier travel and ice climbing in the many flat glaciers and small ice walls around ABC. back to top

Last week North Col Push: (7,045m) - by Steve Coffman

I started out with Jacques, Beow, Tensi and Jongbu. We geared up at crampon point and crossed a large ice plain to the bottom of the face where the fixed ropes begin. I was quite tired at that point and turned back to where Dan and two of our strong Nepalese Sherpas were coming up. They convinced me that they were going to go up very slowly and I agreed to give it a go. At the slower pace the climbing was not too difficult with good fixed ropes and well defined steps and route in the snow and ice face. The highlight was the ladder across the bergschrund at the top where you have to transition off the ladder and back on to the ice.

The wind was very strong but we were well protected at the North Col camp by large seracs.  The next day Dan and 1 Sherpa led us above camp 1 toward camp 2 in strong wind. We spent a second night at the North Col and then started down in a big group. The wind was extreme on the descent and the multiple rappels became hectic and blur together in my mind. At each rope change one sherpa or another would quickly "suggest" a descent technique including munter hitch, figure of eight, hand over hand.

At the bottom of the face the wind was so strong I was very happy to have an axe, hiking pole and crampons. Even with that equipment there were gusts across the ice plane between the base of the fixed ropes and "crampon point" that threatened to blow me off my feet and turn me into a hockey puck on an ice rink.                  

After forcing my way through the wind and back to crampon point I did the trudge back down to ABC probably as tired as I have ever been.

It was an amazing adventure with incredible views of Everest and the surrounding mountains and I owe a debt to Dan and the Sherpas for convincing me that I could climb it and for keeping us all safe going up and down. back to top

 

Group Picture In Base Camp: Left to right: Ben White, Peter Blaquiere, Dru Dubois, Badri Vijayarghavan, Sim Beow Lim, Jeff Botz, Jack Puyu, Gustavo Grillo, Janice Smith, Tenji Sherpa, Gyelje Sherpa, Pasang Sherpa, Jangbu Sherpa (Janice Smith).

4 May

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hi this is the despatch for the 4th May. We’re in base camp, everyone’s doing fine, we’re hoping for better weather and resting It’s been snowy and windy up high so we’re just watching the forecast.

Thanks for following the expedition goodbye. back to top

 

Basecamp at 5200 metres with Everest behind (Photo by David Howard).

2 May

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hi this is the dispatch for the 2nd May.

Everyone’s back down in basecamp resting waiting for the winds to abate up high. Dave, Steve and Badri took off today to head back to Kathmandu we’re going to miss them very much. We’ll be down here resting for two days. It’s beautiful, sunny and comfortable we have a really comfortable basecamp with great food. So we’re going to be recovering, doing some laundry and biding our time to go back up the mountain.

So thanks for following our expedition goodbye. back to top


 Beow Lim abseiling during ice climbing practice on the small ice walls around ABC (photo by Steve Coffman). Glacier travel practice day on the flat glaciers in front of ABC. Tthat is Badri and Jack with Mount Changtse in the background (photo by Steve Coffman).

1 May

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

This is the dispatch for the 1st May.

We got back to Basecamp, everybody’s fine and are going to take some rest days.

It’s windy, the weathers’ good, and no snow to speak of. We’re hoping for another window of opportunity to go back up the mountain to camp 2 and see how everybody’s feeling and keep climbing Mt Everest.

Thank you

Bye bye back to top

 

Ice pilgrims tower along the miracle highway (photo by Steve Coffman).

29 April

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hi this is the dispatch for the 29th April.

We woke up early on the North Col. It was a beautiful sunny morning and hiked back down to ABC through some very strong winds.

Before leaving the North Col we took down a bunch of our tents because of the winds we packed them up carefully then went down the North Col and there were very high winds. It was a beautiful day, gorgeous sunlight and got back to ABC in some really strong winds, very cold.

We plan to head back down to basecamp for some well deserved rest tomorrow and we’ll probably be down there for several days. We will keep you updated.

Thanks you very much

Bye bye back to top

 North col camp in foreground. Background-slope to camp 2, then full route to c3-summit ridge. Look closely and see a line of 50 sherpas on the snow slope (Dan Mazur).

28 April

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hello family and friends, this is Steve from Seattle here reporting from the North Col for our dispatch for April 28th.

We climbed up yesterday on fixed ropes and very steep ice and snow faces. Just before we reached the North Col tent side we had to negotiate a ladder and transition back onto the face which would have been scary if I hadn’t been so tired.

We spent a good night sleeping well at 23,000ft about 7,100m elevation. Tent side is very well protected from the wind but I can hear it rushing up above our head right now and it sounds like freight trains up there.

Today on the 28th we did a little walking along our way towards camp 2. This required fixed rope gear as the wind was so strong. Between clouds blowing through we could see into Nepal and the beautiful mountain ranges leading up to Everest from the southwest. The team is feeling well, we will spend one more night at the North Col and come down tomorrow for rest and acclimatisation at lower elevations

We’re all missing you terribly and looking forward to seeing you soon and things are going quite well here.

That’s all from the North Col and Tibet.

Thanks Goodbye. back to top

 

 

Jan and the Sherpas climbing toward the North Col (photo by Steve Coffman). Jan Smith and Dan Mazur practicing glacier travel on flat glaciers around ABC (photo by Jeff Botz). Beow Lim in interim camp, with Everest behind (photo by Jeff Botz). Josette, Samdien, and Norbu, walking on the flat East Rongbuk glacier beneath Everest (photo by Jeff Botz).

27 April

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hi this is the dispatch for the 27th April.

We hiked up from ABC to 7050m high on the North Col.

It was a long tough hike and it was pretty steep. I’m up here with 5 people from our team and 4 sherpas.We’re getting camp set up and feeling ok.A couple of other members stayed down in ABC to rest.

We plan to stay up here and acclimatise and climb around. We’ll keep you updated.

Thank you and goodbye. back to top

 

Prayer ceremony small stone tower at ABCwith Everest behind (Photo by David Howard).

26 April

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hello, bonjour, this is Jaques reporting from Advanced Basecamp in Tibet. It is April 26th and 10pm local time.

The dispatch today will be made in English and French, I shall start with the French so thank you for your patience.

So back to English – this is Jaques reporting on behalf of the team here, we are now at Advanced Basecamp for 5 days and 4 nights at 6400m high. It’s a very nice environment with a glacier just below us. We have many expeditions around from many countries; I think we are one of the only expeditions where we are so mixed culturally and getting along fine. We’ve made friends with a Chinese expedition team and that’s going great.

Yesterday we received some excellent training on the glacier on fixed ropes and ice wall climbing to prepare us for tomorrow as we are scheduled to head up to the North Col.

Conditions are on everybody’s mind here. To give you some idea the temperature is minus 15 degrees Celsius and windy. The temperature is ok when you are in the tent and in the sleeping bags sleeping but it is windy and cold.

We have a nice consistency in the team and we’re all getting along very well and some guys are becoming more and more important such as the cooks and Sherpas

This was the news from today.

Merci & bye bye back to top

 

Steve, Dan, and Beow at North Col (photo by Steve Coffman).

24 April

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hi this is Beow calling in the dispatch for the Mount Everest Tibet expedition. Today is 24th April and we’re up here in Advanced Basecamp at 6400m. We have been really busy doing a variety of things including resting, having a big puja prayer ceremony and a walk up towards the crampon point to the top of the Advanced basecamp at about 6500m. We also got our climbing equipment ready for everybody and we walked out onto the Rongbuk glacier in a big group and came back to basecamp. We tried out all of our gear, practicing glacier travel and learning how to use all of our stuff during a training day. Today we had a rest day and some of us went over to the Chinese/Tibetan team to participate in their ceremony.

We’ve made some great contacts with the people around us so we keep visiting each other and having a nice time getting to know the teams all around us.

The weather has been really good and sunny and a little windy but so far the Sherpa’s and climbers have been making good progress putting up the fixed lines and we’ve heard that the fixed lines are already up to camp 2.

We’re going to miss our team members Dru Dubois, Dan Ashbolt, Ben White, Peter Blaquiere and Gustavo Grillo who went in a jeep back to Kathmandu today. They’re going to meet up with the office manager Murari Sharma and have some celebratory drinks back in Kathmandu.

We really miss those guys and wish you were all here but thank you so much for joining our team.

OK that’s it for now – signing off and I’ll keep you informed bye-bye. back to top

 

View of North Col from near crampon point (photo by Jeff Botz).

21 April

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hi this is the dispatch for 21st April.

Today we walked up from interim camp up to ABC at 6400m. It was a long and beautiful walk on the miracle highway surrounded by towering iced pilgrims and it was really impressive. We had great sunny weather and then for the last hour the snow started to come in so it made it even more realistic.

We got to our really comfortable ABC camp with a heated tent and our own sleeping tents and everybody’s comfortably tucked in. Dave and Drew decided to stay down at interim camp. back to top

Advanced basecamp at 6397 metres seen from a distance (Gordon Hopper).
20 April

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hi this is the despatch for Everest Tibet for the 20th April.

Today we rested in interim camp at 5800m and we took it easy some of us took walks, took photos there’s a good view of Everest and basically we all relaxed and read books.

One of our members Peter decided that he would stay at Basecamp and we have two staff down there looking after Peter, one cook and one kitchen/porter guide, hopefully he’ll come up and join us soon. If not our Advanced Basecamp trekking group will be back down in a few days to rejoin him.

Thanks a lot for following our expedition and I will keep in touch. Thank You. back to top

 ABC seen from slightly above (Dan Mazur).

19 April

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

This is the dispatch for the 19th April.

Today we took a rest day, in our camp at 5800m the weather was really nice, warm, sunny, a little bit of light winds, no snow and a couple of our members came up from base camp today to join us so we had a nice group around the dinner table, some good conversation and we plan on taking another rest day tomorrow to acclimatise.

Thanks for following our expedition

Bye bye back to top

18 April

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hi this is the dispatch for 18th April. All the team hiked up to interim camp at 5800m, the weather was good and it was a long walk to the east Rongbuk glacier and a very beautiful walk.

Some of the team members decided to stay at basecamp and rest a bit and come up tomorrow.

Thanks for following our expedition. back to top

5800 metre interim camp located on Rongbuk Glacier taken on a snowy morning. 

17 April -

Hello family and friends. This is Steve reporting from Tibet base camp.

We are sad that our friend Vladimir had to go back down last night to be checked by a doctor but happy to hear he has cleared the border and is safe in Kathmandu.

Today (17 April) was a rest day and the team is in high spirits ready to move higher to Interim Camp in the morning. The big excitement today was the arrival of the yaks and their departure with our gear for higher camps. It was sunny and windy all day with spectacular views of Everest. We can see across the west ridge to Nuptse in Nepal as well. Of course the highlight of every day is the good food and the hot showers. The wind is a bit chilly so speedy dressing at the end of the shower is mandatory.

Yesterday (16 April) we walked down the hill a bit to the Rongbuk monastery where we descended into a deep low room and the lama blessed each of us, We then went to an upper level outdoors and held a Puja ceremony, Our endeavor was blessed by the lama and we threw tsampa (barley flour) to be blown by the wind. Dave presented a large medical kit to the lama for use by the monastery and surrounding people which was greatly appreciated.

After the Puja we walked over to the tent village and drank tea and had noodle soup for lunch and spent a nice couple of hours joking with the proprietress.

The group is all watching Hunger Games on DVD now and will soon retire. Best to all our families that's all for now from Tibet base camp.

-Steve back to top

Yaks moving along trail to ABC below Everest (Gordon Hopper).

15 April -

Well here we are at Base Camp. But I wouldn’t say it’s camping. It’s more like glamping (glamour + camping= glamping). We arrived last night at around 6pm to our well and truly established glamp site and after dumping some stuff into the tent, we came to the mess tent for what was, by far, the best meal I’ve had on this trip. The Sherpas did a sensational job and continue to do so.  

After dinner we just had a social time in the mess tent before retiring for some sleep…but that sleep never really happened for me. Going from sunny Australia to the base of Everest is a bit of a temperature shift, so it was a bit tricky to sleep when it was about -5°C outside. And whoever wrote “-30°C” on my sleeping bag is definitely gonna get a slap in the face from me. So it was a difficult night, plus the diamox (alt sickness pills) still require at least two toilet breaks at night, if not more.

In the morning, what a view! Looking at the North Face of Mt Everest on a clear day. How good. It’s quite an impressive sight because if you didn’t know already…it’s a pretty big hill. Just a rest day today at Base Camp. Had a shower which was borderline disastrous. I half expected the clothes I left outside to be blown down the valley as she is blowing a gale (it was either that or leave them inside to get wet).

Things are looking good though as it’s lunch time so I am gonna have to love you and leave you. Til next time.

Whitey, Ben White from Sydney Australia back to top

Yaks in basecamp being loaded for the trip up to interim camp, Everest behind (Dan Mazur).

14 April -

Hello everyone, this is Jacques, reporting progress of the team.

The team is quite diverse: Australians are the most (Jan, Beow, Dan, David, Ben, Pete), already planted 2 Australian flags in the camp!  Americans come next (Jeff, Steve, Dru, shall I count our US-UK Leader Dan?), then one Swiss lady (Josette), one indian (Badri), one Malaysian, one Brasilian (Gustavo), one Russian (Vladimir), and one French (Jacques).

Diversity extends to our Sherpas (Nepalese) and to the expedition staff (Tibetan).

English is the common language, and many politeness interactions are happening in many other languages, including Nepalese, Tibetan and Mandarin.

We have reached Base Camp today at 5200 m / 17,000 feet, comfortably seated in nice vehicles on bumpy roads. The landscape of the Tibetan Plateau, just after the winter snow is gone with signs of the beginning of spring.

Amazing mountains, including Mount Everest, difficult to use words here (you'll see pictures)!

Altitude acclimatization is the number one subject of conversations. Some of us are on 'Diamox', some others are not; everyone has their recipe, beliefs.Trying to keep headaches away, drinking a lot (liters and liters), moving slowly are observable behaviors around the magnificent and comfortable Common tent (I mean barn!).

That is it for today, there will soon be news.

Jacques Puyo (Mountain Man) SummitClimb expedition member from Grenobles, France back to top

13 April -

We had a lucky and relaxing rest day in Tingri today. There were sunny views of Everest and Mount Cho Oyu. Everyone is feeling well. Tomorrow we head for Everest basecamp. 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). 

 

12 April -

We reached Tingri at 4200 metres. It is a bit windy, but everyone is fine.

Dan Mazur - expedition leader

11 April -

Hi, this is Dan Mazur writing from beautiful downtown Nyalam, Tibet, at 3700 metres. Our departure from Kathmandu on the 10th went well, and we crossed the border from Nepal into Tibet efficiently and smoothly.

We took a rest and acclimatization day in snowy Nyalam, exploring the town and surrounding hills. The weather is normal, not too cold, a mixture of light snow and light wind.

Our Tibetan hosts have been extremely friendly and very welcoming. Everyone in the team are doing well, becoming adjusted to the altitude, and very healthy so far!!! back to top

Team Rosters:

Everest Tibet - 

  • Dan Mazur - US/UK (leader)
  • Ms. Josette Valloton - Switzerland
  • Ms. Janice Smith - Australia
  • Jacques Puyo - France
  • Beow Lim - Australia

Everest Tibet Training Climb -

  • Steven Coffman - USA
  • David Howard - Australia
  • Dru Dubois - Usa
  • Badri Vijayarghavan - USA
  • Vladimir Shakirov - Russia

Advance Base Camp Everest Trek - 

  • Gustavo Grillo - Brazil
  • Jeffrey Botz - USA
  • Peter Blaquiere - Australia
  • Daniel Ashbolt - Australia
  • Ben White - Australia

Everest Tibet Climbing Sherpas & Staff -  

  • Gyalje Sherpa
  • Tenji Sherpa
  • Jangbu Sherpa
  • Pasang Nurbu Sherpa
  • Samdien - cook back to top
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