Ama Dablam October 2004
Ama Dablam October 2004
Dispatch One: International Ama Dablam Expedition 2004 Dispatch 1 - 28/Sept/04
This is Jay Reilly, Expedition Leader of Summitclimb.com's 2004 Ama Dablam Expedition. I'm writing to you from beautiful Kathmandu, Nepal.
Our expedition has officially kicked off today with the arrival of our first members, Rex Dougherty from Park City, USA and Leader-in-Training candidate, Anthony Truscott from Melbourne, Australia. We have a large team this year consisting of approximately 30, mainly climbers and trekkers!
In order to cater for such a large group, our awesome Sherpa Staff, this year under the leadership of Jangbu Sherpa, have already shopped for and packed our 2500kg of food and 1000kg of equipment. The plan is to send our food, equipment, and some staff to Lukla, so they can get a headstart on setting up our Basecamp at 4600m. This plan is being continuously foiled by bad weather in Lukla. Planes simply can't land on the small, ridgetop airstrip in bad weather! However, we live in hope for another flight attempt tomorrow!
Thus far, we have been enjoying the sights, some familiar, some new, of Kathmandu. Our day today started with a pleasant stroll to Swayabunath, or the Monkey Temple, as it's affectionately known. This is one of my favorite places in Kathmandu - perched high on a hill above the city, away from the noise of traffic, bells ringing, Monks chanting......It's most peaceful.
Festivals are always happening in Nepal, and today is the Indra Jarta Festival. Thousands of people crowd Kathmandu's Durbar Square hoping to catch a glimpse of the Kumari, the living goddess. This is the only day she comes out of her house. She is paraded before the masses on top a massive chariot pulled by many men. It is a great occasion! Unfortunately for us, we arrived too late and didn't see her, but there were still thousands of people gathered in the square. The crowds were simply amazing. There was literally no space to walk, as a virtual sea of people seethed back and forth. An incredible experience indeed!
We hope you are well and thank you for reading our dispatches.
From all of us at Summitclimb.com
Dispatch Two: International Ama Dablam Expedition 2004. Dispatch 2 - 29/Sept/04
Dear readers, Day 2 of our expedition was a nice peaceful day due to a strike called by the Maoists. These strikes or "Bandhs", as they are called, are a welcome relief from the endless hustle of busy Kathmandu. There's no traffic, few people on the streets and a sense of calm in the air. On the other hand, they cause untold disruption to travelers and a loss of valuable commerce to Nepali business. Of course, the main tourist district of Thamel remains open, although entrance to the restaurants is made through the rear doors during this time.
Three more members arrived today. Eseline Te Hennepe, from Roterdam, Holland. Eseline has climbed with us on Manaslu in 2003 and Lakpa Ri in the Spring of 2004. She says she loves to wear clogs and has a tulip garden. Jason Thomas from Anchorage, Alaska, and Mel Jones from Bristol, England.
More people are arriving tomorrow and we look forward to the growth of our team!
Stay tuned and we hope you are well.
From Jay Reilly and all of us at Summitclimb.com
Dispatch Three: International Ama Dablam Expedition 2004 - Dispatch 3, 30/Sept/04
I don't care what anybody says. The best eggs benedict in Kathmandu is at Mike's Cafe! This is how we started off our day today, the second and last day of the Maoist imposed "Bandh". Taxis don't usually run on Bandh days, but we were lucky enough to get one from the Hotel Nepa, where our expedition stays. Not so on the return however - a cab approached us and demanded 200 Rupees for the usual 20 Rupees ride to the hotel! You have to give him points for trying!
Nepalis are very entertaining people. A leisurely stroll through a very quiet Thamel at lunch time saw us meet a rickshaw driver, who in a last ditch effort to get us to ride his rickshaw, tried to sell us on the benefits of his rickshaw - shower, telephone, big bed..........Very funny!
A lot of new members arrived today. Ken Tranter from Birmingham, England, Tom Lannermann from New York, USA and London, England, Steve Miscione and Liz Stevens from Seattle, USA, Till Mohns from Stutgart, Germany, Kay Thurley from Berlin, Germany, Guang Wu from Indiana, USA and Taiwan.
We also welcome the arrival of our Leader Daniel Mazur, from Seattle, USA and Bristol, England.
Thank you for reading and following our expedition, from all of us at Summitclimb.com!
Dispatch 4 and 5: International Ama Dablam Expedition 2004 - Dispatch 30/Sept/04
Dear readers, Our Leaders-in-Training Program is under full swing on this expedition and going very well. We have three candidates - Anthony Truscott of Melbourne, Australia, Jason Thomas of Anchorage, Alaska, and Mark Jensen of London, England.
Anthony is an avid rock climber and has recently completed an Outdoor Leadership course. Jason is a Mountain Guide working on Denali and has decided to try his hand at Himalayan climbing, and Mark is a rock and ice climber and has done many routes in the Alps. We certainly welcome their experience and input into the expedition!
4 more arrivals today - Paul Fitzpatrick from New York, USA, David Carr from France and the UK, Derek Tole from Bristol, England and Pierre Jordache or "Jordie" from Quebec, Canada.
Our progress in getting our 3000kg of food and equipment to Lukla has been slow - mostly due to the weather being too bad to land small aeroplanes. Yesterday, there was a weather break and planes took off from Kathmandu to Lukla, only to discover the first plane of the morning had trouble with landing gear and crashed on the airstrip in Lukla. Luckily, no one was injured, but the wrecked plane is still blocking the strip.
More news tomorrow!
Thank you for reading our dispatches, from Jay Reilly and all of us at summitclimb.com
International Ama Dablam Expedition 2004, Dispatch - 01/Oct/04
Dear fellow adventurers,
We are pleased to announce the official start date of our expedition today and we welcome some more team members.
Hello to Herve Coron of Paris, France, Allan Ewert of Indiana, USA, Wanda Neste of Canada, and Adam Shepard of Sydney, Australia.
It seems the weather in Lukla is still too bad to fly and the damaged plane is still blocking the runway, so in order to send our massive amounts of food and equipment, Murari Sharma from Parivar Trekking booked a helicopter and we managed to get a flight to Lukla. Whew!
Jason and Anthony have been hard at work the last couple of days, checking over member equipment to ensure everybody has the correct things. It's a little late to discover that crampons don't fit boots at Basecamp!
Everything is starting to happen very quickly now and everybody is very excited at the possibility of leaving Kathmandu to begin our trek! We have our expedition dinner tonight at a Tibetan restaurant. The food there is very good - we have had to sample it several times over the last few days. It's a hard job, but someone has to do it!
More news soon.
Thank you for reading our dispatches, from all of us at Summitclimb.com.
Dispatch 6: International Ama Dablam Expedition 2004 - Dispatch 5/OCT/04
Dear readers, This is Jay Reilly back on air, after a few days
Firstly, I'd like to introduce our team in it's almost entirety. We are -
Daniel Mazur - USA - Expedition Leader
Jay Reilly - Australia - Expedition Leader
Anthony Truscott - Australia - Leader-in-Training
Jason Thomas - USA - Leader-in-Training
Mark Jensen - Denmark and UK - Leader-in-Training
Rex Dougherty - USA
Mel Jones - UK
Elselien TE Hennepe - Holland - Trekking Leader
Steve Miscione - USA and India - Trekker
Liz Stevens - USA and India - Trekker
Tom Lannamann - USA
Ken Tranter - UK
Till Mohns - Germany
Kay Thurley - Germany
Guan-Jang Wu - Taiwan and USA
Paul Fitzpatrick - USA
David Carr - UK
Derek Tole - UK
Pierre Jordache - Quebec
Herve Coron - France
Allan Ewert - USA
Johan Frankelius - Sweden
Wanda Neste - Canada
Adam Shepard - Australia
Simon Pritchard - UK
Ray Dolamore - UK
Maximo Kausch - Argentina
Paul Rowntree - UK
Fabrice Imparato - France
Marc Jelensperger - France
Eyel Wigderson - Israel
Vincent Boyer and Caroline Wolberink are yet to join our team in Basecamp.
I'm writing to you from beautiful Namche Bazar at 3400m. We are on a rest and acclimatization day after having been on the trail now for two days.
A little history - The 1st of October saw the arrival of the remainder of our team and our successful and delicious expedition dinner at the Tibetan restaurant. Ahhh....I love it when a plan comes together! Particularly a food one! On the 2nd, we had our expedition briefing, where the Leaders got up in front of everybody and explained how the expedition would work, how to stay safe and healthy on the trek, and all the equipment the members would need for the trek to our 4600m high Basecamp. We then went through everybody's climbing equipment, to ensure there were no nasty surprises at Basecamp. The mountain is not the place to discover you left home without your crampons!
We flew to Lukla on schedule on the 3rd, which was a pleasant surprise! We didn't think we would make it, due to the backlog of people and cargo from the previous week's worth of bad weather. However, we flew and arrived safely in Lukla - although the plane that crash landed 5 days ago was beside the runway and was a stark reminder that flying around big mountains in small planes is maybe not THE safest way to travel.......But if it weren't for the adventure, we wouldn't be here! Oh - the other good thing is that all our cargo got there as well! I love Nepal! Just when you think nothing is going to happen - it does! And with remarkable efficiency!
Everybody is feeling fine and dealing well with the altitude. At the moment, most people are walking around Namche, exploring the trinket shops, or eating pizza and apple pie from the fantastic bakeries that dot the town. The weather is still not so good though. Right now it is quite cold and damp here, with clouds drifting up the main street. (don't forget, we're almost at 4000m!)
An interesting thing happened to me yesterday while crossing a bridge. I was walking behind a yak train and amongst some porters, when I heard an old lady's voice say "hello" from behind me. I kept walking, thinking that there's no reason for her to be trying to attract my attention, when suddenly - WHACK!!! She hit me with a big stick! Obviously to get my attention. I turned around and she gave me an apple! It was a very special moment. I didn't know this old lady, but she insisted on giving me an apple. These random acts of kindness are what make the people of Nepal so special....
We are off to Pangboche tomorrow, and then Basecamp the day after. We'll send more news from Basecamp. I hope you are all well.
Thank you for reading, from all of us at Summitclimb.com.
Dispatch 7: International Ama Dablam Expedition 2004 - Dispatch 9/Oct/04
Dear readers, We are writing to you from our fabulous Basecamp at 4600m! We arrived on the 7th - on schedule - and are now enjoying the first real day of beautiful blue sky and sunshine. Apart from a few minor colds, everybody is feeling healthy and strong, and gazing longingly up at the mighty mountain and her proud summit, that towers 2.2 vertical kilometers above us.
An update - We arrived at the small village of Pangboche on the evening of the 6th. Pangboche is home to possibly one 0f Nepal's most famous Monasteries. This is where the scalp of the legendary Yeti was held for so many years, until it's theft in the 80's. Pangboche is also home to the Lama Geshe, who is a very old and powerful Lama. He is also quite a character!
The whole team went to his house for a "Puja" Ceremony, where the Lama blesses the expedition, our Prayer Flags, and each member individually. He does this by tying a piece of red string around our necks and then gently touching his forehead to ours. Many members were surprised by this and started to laugh. The Lama joined in the laughter, and it soon became very entertaining! Even Jangbu Sherpa, our Sirdar (head man) couldn't stop laughing!
The walk up to Basecamp on the 7th didn't take long and by noon, most people were here, settling into their individual tents (one tent per person) and making them as at home as possible - after all - we have to live in them for the next month!
We had a training day yesterday at Basecamp. Shera Sherpa, Galu Sherpa and Jason Thomas, one of our Leaders-in-Training, climbed about 100m above Basecamp and fixed some rope on a rocky outcrop. Each member took turns in ascending the lines, then abseiling back down again. After a well earned lunch, we were very lucky to have Mr David Padwa from the American Alpine Club and co-inventor of the Gamow Bag give a talk and demonstration on this wonderful piece of lifesaving equipment. Jay then went through our High Altitude Medical Kit and oxygen. Dan then gave us a cooking demonstration, and proceeded to concoct a vile broth, more suited to casting spells than eating. Hmmmmm - I think we'll leave the cooking to Krishna and Jai Bahdur!
Right now, there are 8 people in Basecamp - most of the team opting to walk to Advanced Basecamp for the day. In Basecamp are - Jason, Rex, Mark, Ken, Simon, Ray, Jay and Paul Rowntree. Walking to ABC are - Wanda, Mel, Allen, Guan, Adam, Fabrice, Marc, Herve, Derek, Pierre Jordache (Jordy), Johan, Anthony, Tom, Dan, Paul Fitzpatrick, David, Till and Kay.
Vincent Boyer and Caroline Wolberink have just arrived, as we are writing this.
We'll send more news in a few days! We hope you are all well.
From all of us at SummitClimb.com
Dispatch 7: Hello to all from Ama Dablam Base camp!!
Today's a rest day for most of us here - all team members and the sherpa staff came down off the mountain to attend another puja ceremony at the temple (formerly our bouldering rock) in the camp.
After last night's snow it was a beautiful morning for the ceremony - bit early in the morning for some of us to be drinking rackshi and chang, but good fun was had by all, and we now have the most impressive display of prayer flags in camp of all the expeditions!!
Everyone who's still well has been or is en route to Camp 1 so far. 3 groups developed in the week; first Wanda, Dave, Marc, Fabrice, Herve, Paul (US) and Tom went up to ABC for the night (star-gazing was a treat that night!), then on to camp1 to carry a load the next day and back down.
Coming down we met Adam, Mel, Paul (UK), Derek, Jordie, Anthony (aka T-Dog), Johann, Alan and Guan, most of whom continued to Camp 1 for a load carry, then stayed in ABC for the night. The remaining members - Rex, Jay, Mark, Jason, Ken, Vincent and Caroline headed up this afternoon to stay in ABC.
Rest days are good - mostly spent drinking tea, reading books and making up Yak jokes (more of that later). Jason's been buzzing the camp with his kite - no fatalities yet. The sherpa's are playing football outside - they totally suck though so most of us can give them a game, even though we're coughing up a lung after running around for 10 minutes at 4500m!! Jordie has a 'special' joke that he's been telling every night - unrepeatable here, but it gets better on each telling - we even got a dirty joke out of Wanda the other day! It was Jason's birthday last night, so the sherpa cooks made him a cake which was pretty cool of them (you try getting butter to melt at minus 10 degrees and it's snowing outside!).
Adam and Dave's top three Yak jokes so far:
3:What's a Yak's favorite liquor..........CognYAK (Cognac)
2: What do you call a yak that wants to take over the world?.........a MegalomaniYAK
1: What do you call a Yak bleeding to death by the side of the
.....Disclaimer: these jokes are only funny above 4000m
Going up to Camp 1 tomorrow (or ABC) - carry a load to 2 the next day then back down to BC to rest before the big push!
Alan, Guan and Mel have gone down to Pangboche for a rest day or two. Love and wishes to all of our loved ones...........
This is Dave, Adam, Paul and Paul signing off from Ama Dablam Base Camp, and the SummitClimb team.
Thanks for publishing this on the EverestNews.com website!
I was wondering if you could post this French dispatch as we have many French members, and quite a large French audience for EverestNews.com
Bonjour a tous, nous profitons d'une journee de recuperation au camp de base pour donner quelques nouvelles en francais. Nous avons fini notre premiere phase d'acclimatation apres avoir atteint le camp 1 a 5700m et passe une nuit au camp de base avance. La suite du programme: le 13 montee au camp 1 pour y passer la nuit, puis le 14 les choses serieuses commencent avec la premiere section technique pour acceder au camp 2. Le 15 nous rejoindrons le camp de base pour quelques jours de repos avant l'assaut final.
Aujourd'hui nous avons participe a notre deuxieme Puja - ceremonie tibetaine presidee par un lama et destinee a nous proteger pendant la duree de l'expedition. Cela a ete l'occasion de decouvrir le Chang et le Rakshi (bierre et whisky locaux) sans quoi un veritable Puja ne serait pas reussi.
Une mention speciale pour les yaks qui ont permis d'acheminer notre equipement jusqu'au camp de base avance. Ce sont des animaux de portage tres resistants mais qui ont tres mauvais caractere - surtout lors des chargements/dechargement de materiel. Malgre leur force, ils sont affectes par l'altitude et tirent la langue comme tout le monde a l'approche des 5000m.
Mention aussi pour nos cooks qui ont reussi a faire des pizzas et apple pie a 4600m ce qui a permis de nous maintenir en bonne sante.
Nous esperons que le beau temps va se maintenir de maniere a poursuivre notre programme car de nombreuses expeditions vont arriver et le nombre d'emplacements pour les tentes dans les camps d'altitude est limite.
Prochain dispatch en francais dans 3-4 jours. A bientot.
Fabrice, Marc et Herve
Thanks EverestNews.com, for your fantastic support of Himalayan climbing! - Dan
Dispatch 8: German language.
Hi, I was hoping that you could put our German member's Ama Dablam dispatch on EverestNews.com ... here it is:
Namaste! und Hoehengruesse auch von "the germans" der internationalen Ama Dablam Expedition! Nach den ersten kwirrligen Tagen im Smog von Kathmandu waren wir froh, als es endlich mit dem Flieger nach Lukla ging. Ueber Phakding, Namche und Pengoche gings hinauf in Richtung Basecamp. Unterwegs gabs viel Spass beim Kennenlernen untereinander (ein Prozess, der sich bei den Dimensionen dieser Expedition sicher noch ein paar Wochen hinziehen wird!) Zu den Highlights gehoeren dabei die allabendlichen Runden gemuetlichen Beisammenseins, die je nach Intensitaet der vorausgegangenen Tagesaktivitaeten unterschiedlich intensiv gepflegt werden.
Hierbei sei erwaehnt, dass die Sherpas, die diese Expedition erst moeglich machen, einen phantastischen Job leisten! Vor allem dank ihrer herzlichen Naturen ist das Basislager inzwischen zu unserem Zuhause geworden.
Ein Hoehepunkt war dabei die Puja bei der der Lama aus Pengboche extra ins Basislager anreiste, um unsere Expedition im Grossen und z.B. unsere Eisbeile im Kleinen zu segnen! Dazu wurden viele Meter Gebetsfahnen im Wind und es gab neben Nepali-Suessigkeiten anregende heimische Getraenke zu verkosten - alles vor der erhabenen Kulisse der frischverschneiten Ama Dablam!
Am Berg geht es stetig voran, auch wenn sich fuer etliche unter uns die Anpassung an die Hoehe durch Erkaeltungen und Magenunstimmigkeiten etwas verzoegert hat. Fast alle unter uns haben inzwischen zumindes eine Nacht im ABC verbracht, etliche auch in Camp 1. Die Fixseile sind inzwischen bis Camp 2 eingerichtet und wir sind dabei, unsere Eisausruestung dorthoch zu verlagern. So beginnt fuer uns hoffentlich in wenigen Tagen der spannendste Teil der Kletterei an diesem wunderschoenen Berg!
(Kay und Till)
Thanks for your support of Himalayan mountain climbing. I know your German readers will enjoy this one. Thank you very much, Yours Sincerely, from Dan and all of us at SummitClimb.com
Dispatch 9: International Ama Dablam Expedition 2004
Dear readers, I hope you are all well, warm, and safe. We, on the other hand, although safe and well, are far from warm! We've had a few days of unstable weather, thunderstorms, snow showers and finally early this morning, culminating in a fierce snow storm with freezing winds, a lot of snow and next to zero visibility. All teams and all members are safely in Basecamp waiting out the bad weather.
Just for entertainment, I should tell you some other stuff that's been going on.... A helicopter almost crashed in Basecamp the other day! It was very exciting! The guy landed it on the edge of a ditch, then someone got out, unbalanced it, and the whole thing tilted backwards so that the propeller thing on the back was about 20cm from hitting the ground! They saved it though by taking off again, and landing on solid ground.
Hmmm - that's about it. Not much happens in Basecamp when the weather's bad. Most people are lying around in their tents, reading and sleeping. Wish us luck for better weather in the coming days!
Thank you for following our progress on EverestNews.com. From all of us at SummitClimb.com
Dispatch 10: International Ama Dablam Expedition 2004
Yahoo!! We woke this morning to beautiful sunshine and clear skies!! It seems the storm, which had escalated to a full blown blizzard last night, has passed. The members spent the morning having snow ball fights with the Sherpas!
But now - back to the business of climbing. Tom, Mel, Fabrice, Herve, Paul Fitzpatrick, Kay, Till, and Marc have all headed up to Camp 1 today to resume their acclimatization schedule. The remaining members are resting in Basecamp, and are planning to head to either Camp 1 or ABC tomorrow.
Thank you for following our expedition. More news in a few days.
From all of us at SummitClimb.com.
Dispatch 11: International Ama Dablam Expedition 2004
Our apologies for the long time between dispatches. A lot has happened in the last week. Firstly though - this will be one of the final written dispatches for this expedition. Further dispatches will be made by satellite telephone and recorded by EverestNews.com. They will be available as an audio mp3 file for you to listen to! Pretty exciting huh? I'll try to make them as interesting as possible and not say "um" too many times! Go to www.everestnews.com and follow the links to SummitClimb.com Ama Dablam 2004.
OK - back to the news. All our members have finished their acclimatization climbs up to Camp 2 and are either in the first stages of their summit bid, or the final stages of resting. We have 4 teams this year:-
Team 1 - Mark Jensen (Leader), Fabrice, Herve, Marc, Paul Fitzpatrick, Jordy, Kay and Till. Team 1 is climbing to Camp 2 today and are planning to summit on the 22nd.
Team 2 - Jason Thomas (Leader), Adam, Dave, Wanda, Derek, Paul and Simon. Team 2 is climbing to Camp 1 today and are planning to summit on the 23rd.
Team 3 - Jay Reilly (Leader), Rex, Ken, Guan, Johan. Team 3 is resting in ABC today and are planning to summit on the 24th.
Team 4 - Anthony Truscott (leader) Elselien, Vincent, Caroline. Team 4 is resting in BC today and are planning to summit on the 25th.
In other news, Dan and Tom summited on the 19th at approx 11.30am, and are now safely back in Basecamp. Max summited today at approx 12.00pm and is on his way to Camp 1. Bad news for another team on the mountain -on the 18th, 8 people climbed to the summit in perfect weather, only to be turned back 200m from the summit because the leader forgot to bring enough rope to fix the whole route! Unfortunately they had no time for a second try, because their yaks were coming the very next morning. Needless to say, the team was very upset, and we send our condolences to them. Luckily for us, our 6 leaders and nine Sherpas have worked slowly, carefully, and diligently, and have now fixed and refixed and inspected every inch of the route from camp 1 to the summit and there are now more than 2500 meters of top quality climbing rope in place from camp 1 all the way to the summit, and we are proud to say that the route is in the best shape it has ever been, thanks to Sterling Ropes!
Some minor emergencies here also. Pemba Sherpa, our camp 1 veteran cook had his hand crushed by a rock while he was making a new dining area in Camp 1.
He suffered some cuts on his fingers, deserving 7 stitches and a suspected broken middle finger. A member of the Basque Expedition suffered quite severe HACE and came staggering into our Basecamp. He was treated with an injection of Dexamethasone and sent down with some teammates. We are sad to say farewell to Alan Ewert. He left the expedition a few days ago with suspected HAPE. Thanks to our team Doctor and strong climber from Bristol, Derek Tole, of the Bristol Eye Infirmary, for a fine job in patching people back together during our climb. We hope to bring you more news in a few days time with summit success from Team 1 and further updates on the other teams, and thank you for following our expedition.
From Jay Reilly, Daniel Mazur, and all of us at SummitClimb.com.
Ama Dablam - October 22 Dispatch:
This is Jay Reilly calling from the SummitClimb Ama Dablam 2004 expedition, with a dispatch for October 22nd. We have good news to report today, our Group 1 summited today at approximately 1:30 this afternoon. Right now, Group 2 are on their way to Camp 3, and Group 3 are now sitting in Camp 2, where it's a nice beautiful afternoon up here at 6000 meters and we're brewing up some water and getting ready to head up to Camp 3 tomorrow, That's the latest from the side of Ama Dablam, talk to you soon, goodbye. -Jay Reilly
October 23 Dispatch -
Hello from Jay Reilly of the SummitClimb Ama Dablam Expedition! Sorry for the short dispatch yesterday, I'm not really used to having my voice broadcast over the internet, so I'll try and make up for it today. Group 1, which consists of Mark, Fabrice, Herve, Marc, Paul, Phil, Kay, and Jordy, are on their way back down to Camp 1, and possibly Base Camp today, after a succesful and safe SummitClimb. We've had some more summit news too. Group 2 - Jason Thomas is the leader - consists of Adam, Dave, Wanda, Derek, Paul (from the UK), and Simon; they have summitted today at approximately one o'clock this afternoon, and are now on their way back down to Camp 3. Group 3, led by myself (Jay), consists of Rex, Ken, Guan, and Johan. We are almost all into Camp 3, there are 2 more members just making their way up the last little final stretch. We had a fantastic climb today, the route is in awesome condition, and it is a beautiful day to be sitting up here at Camp 3 at 6300 meters, and looking down over a sea of clouds. Group 4, which is led by Anthony, and consists of Elselein, Vincent and Caroline, is making its way to Camp 2 today. So that's our news, we'll be calling you again tomorrow, hopefully with some summit news from Group 3. Bye for now, from SummitClimb.com!
October 24 Dispatch -
This is Jay reilly of SummitClimb calling from Camp 3 on Ama Dablam. I want to leave a dispatch for October 24th. We had some good summit success today, Group 3, which was led by me (Jay) and consisted of Rex, Ken, Guan, and Johan, all summitted today at approximately 11:45 am. We believe that we have placed the first Taiwanese climber on the summit of Ama Dablam, but we will have to wait until we get back to Kathmandu to confirm this. Meanwhile, Group 2 has made its way back down to Base Camp today, so they're probably eating pizza and yak steaks as we speak. Group 4 has arrived up here in Camp 3, it is led by Anthony, and consists of Elselein, Vincent and Caroline. They also have with them a sherpa, or sherpani, called Nima Dolma. She is 17 years old, and we're hoping to put her onto the summit tomorrow, which would break the record that we hold - of putting the youngest woman on the summit of Ama Dablam - that we accomplished last year with Camille Kinny, who was 20 years old at the time, and from Australia. So, if we can put Nima Dolma on the summit, we will have broken the record for youngest woman to summit Ama Dablam for the second year in a row. That's all I have to report, I hope everyone is well, and I will call again tomorrow. Bye for now, from SummitClimb.com!
October 25 Dispatch -
Hello, this Jay Reilly from SummitClimb calling from Ama Dablam Base Camp. All of us in Group 3 have made it down safely to Base Camp today. It was an 1800 meter descent, so we're all pretty tired right now. Last night there was alot of wind in Camp 3, and it was very cold. We left there around 8:30 this morning, and arrived here at about 4:30 this afternoon. We have heard news that all of Group 4 have summitted, they summitted very late in the day however, and they returned to Camp 3 in the dark, but they are all safe in Camp 3 as we speak. We also had some exciting news, in that Nimma has become the youngest woman ever to summit Ama Dablam, we believe (we'll have to verify that when we get back to Kathmandu). Also, our success rate thus far on the expedition, with the last group summitting today, has been 28 out of 30 people reaching the summit in total safety. So, we've had a phenomenal success rate, and we're all very, very happy. Okay, that's it. We have a nice rest day tomorrow, and then the yaks come the day after tomorrow, and then we start our trek out to Lukla, where we will catch our flight back to Kathmandu. We will talk more soon. See ya later from SummitClimb.com!
October 26 Dispatch -
This is Jay Reilly calling you from Ama Dablam Base Camp, which we are actually leaving today (October 27th), and we're heading down to the nearby village of Pangboche, where we start our trek back to Kathmandu. We had word from Group 4 yesterday, they were safe in Camp 1 as of last night, and they'll be making their way down to Base Camp early this morning in order to pack and load their equipment onto the yaks so they too can move out of Base Camp. We had a small snowstorm yesterday, which left about 2 1/2 centimeters of snow on the ground. Last night was just the most incredible night, there was a full moon and, with fresh snow on the ground, it was bright enough to read by at 10 o'clock in the evening. Anyway, we just wanted to let you know that we are leaving Base Camp today, starting our trek back to Kathmandu, and we wanted to thank you all very much for your support and coverage of the SummitClimb.com 2004 Ama Dablam Expedition. So, from all of us, thanks again and we hope to see you soon!
Hello this is Jason Thomas and Tom Lannamann writing the final dispatch from Sunny Kathmandu. Everyone one is safe and sound, relaxing and recovering from an awesome climb and fun evening on the town. Our trek out from base camp was great, every step the air became thicker and thicker!! All went well except for one small accident. One of our strong members David Carr slipped on a rock and broke his ankle. He wanted to walk out, but after we had one look at his foot we called in a helicopter. We all wish David a speedy recovery.
We spent the night in Namche enjoying beer, pizza and a good night sleep. In the morning many of there members spent time bargaining with the Tibetan traders before the long walk back to Lukla.
The walk to Lukla was fantastic, it was fun to pass all the trekkers huffing and puffing up the hill to Namche, while we casually made our way down. Just a few weeks earlier that was us!! Rex, Jay, Mark and I (Jason) arrived in Lukla a little late; we were held up on the way by Mila, our head zopkio driver, who insisted we drop into his house for a glass of ‘chang’ (local beer). We didn’t all realize at first that here, cups of chang are bottomless. Anyway, the rest of the ‘trek’ (‘stumble’) passed by quickly, even though we were slow.
In Lukla our cooks made us a final celebration dinner, great curried chicken, cake and of course more chang! Johan and Paul surprised us and showed up AFTER dinner - they had been trekking near Mt Everest and had had a long walk.
At five a.m. we rushed to the Lukla airport to check in for our seven thirty flight. We were excited because the weather was nice - we had thought we had avoided the dreaded Lukla wait for good weather. Of course our planes were late because Kathmandu was clouded in rather than Lukla. The last group finally left Lukla at two in the afternoon.
We all made it back to hotel, tried (and failed) to use up its entire hot water supply with REALLY LONG HOT showers for everybody, and then hit the town. After we gorged ourselves on great authentic Italian pizza at Fire and Ice, we were off to the famous bar Rum Doodle, where we took part in a long tradition of signing the summiteers names on a ‘Yeti Footprint’ that we then posted on the ceiling. After drinking the bar dry at Rum Doodle we moved on to Tom and Jerry’s for more of the same, except with louder music and therefore, more dancing. We called it an early night (of those who made it home, we carried to the last one to his bed at 3am) so as not to be too tired for the big celebration party, which is graciously being organized by Murari, our fantastic trekking agent, and his wife and extended family. Here the expedition members, Sherpas, and other staff will eat great food, as always, and probably drink copious amounts of soda pop and warm milk! Well, maybe we’ll just stick to what we’re good at – booze.
To all of you, thanks for following our dispatches,. We hope you will follow us again on our next adventure, to Pumori next spring. To all the members, thanks for a good trip and we look forward to climbing with you again.
AMA DABLAM SUMMITTEERS
Dan Mazur October 19 - leader
Tom Lannamann October 19 - leader
Galu Sherpa October 19
Max Kausch October 20
Eyal Wigderson October 21
Mark Jensen October 22 - leader
Paul Fitzpatrick October 22
Kay Thurley October 22
Marc Jelensperger October 22
Fabrice Imparato October 22
Hervé Coron October 22
Pierre ‘Jordie’ Jordache October 22
Ang Shera Sherpa October 22
Lhakpa Kong-le October 22
Jason Thomas October 23 - leader
Till Mohns October 23
Wanda Neste October 23
Dave Carr October 23
Adam Shepard October 23
Paul Rowntree October 23
Simon Pritchard October 23
Derek Tole October 23
Tenzing [Makalu] Sherpa October 23
Furi Sherpa October 23 - superpowered cook boy! Also summitted Everest!
Jay Reilly October 24 - leader
Rex Dougherty October 24
Ken Tranter October 24
Guan Jang Wu October 24 - first Taiwanese ever to summit Ama Dablam
Johan Frankelius October 24
Jangbu Sherpa October 24 - Sirdar (head climbing sherpa)
Tenzing [Patale] Sherpa October 24
Anthony Truscott October 25 - leader
Caroline Wolberink October 25
Vincent Boyer October 25
Elselien te Hennepe October 25 - trekking leader
Phurba Tamang October 25
Lhakpa [Patale] Sherpa October 25
Nima Doma Sherpa October 25 - youngest woman ever to summit Ama Dablam
Ray Dolamore climber
Mel Jones climber
Alan Ewert climber
Liz Stevens trekker
Steve Miscione trekker
Our outstanding Basecamp Staff:
Krishna Lama Head cook
Jay Bahadur Shrestha Head cook
Temba Sherpa Maitre d’
Mingma Sherpa Advanced base camp cook
Pemba Sherpa Camp 1 cook
Sangay Sherpa Sirdar for early and late groups
Mila Sherpa Head zopkio driver (Lukla – Namche)
Nima Lamu Sherpa Head yak driver (Namche – base camp)
Murari Sharma Trekking agent
And our team of cook boys: Tsapte, Mila Rai, Dorje Gurung, Wongchu, Gyalzen, Rinzing