Everest View Glacier School, Basecamp Trek, climbing trekking news autumn 2015
Everest View Glacier School, Basecamp Trek, climbing trekking news autumn 2015
View our links for more information about our upcoming Everest View Glacier Schools . We are now accepting applications, so please join us.
Trip Summary: www.EverestGlacierSchool.com : We began our trip with a stunning and memorable flight on a 16 seat propeller plane to the little mountain airport of Lukla, followed by a gorgeous trek up through the forested green foothills along the Everest trail. We saw many big icy mountains popping out above us as we walked along easy wide snow free trails. The villages up here are small and quaint with pretty houses and terraced potato fields. Our staff looked after us so well during the trek and we ate and slept well.
After about a week of walking and rest days, we came to a beautiful grassy meadow and set up cho la basecamp at 4600 metres/15,050 feet. We rested for a day and then walked up to the cho la pass at 5320 metres/17,500 feet, where under the superb instruction of Thile Nuru Sherpa, we practiced using ice axe and crampons, how to use ropes and ice screws, snow bar anchors, how to climb up and down on snow and ice, and how to travel safely roped together on a glacier.
After further rest, we walked for an easy few hours over to Lobuche Basecamp at 4600 metres/15,050 feet, and rested a bit more in the grassy fields at the base of Mount Lobuche. In Cho La basecamp and Lobuche basecamp we had our own cook and dining tent where the friendly staff cooked delicious meals and gave us lots of hot drinks.
The following morning, we walked to the rocky Lobuche high camp at 5357 metres/17,550 feet, set up tents near the lake, and rested for the afternoon. Early next morning we woke up before dawn, and went for the summit with our head torches, following our trusty leader Ang Sangay, along with three other sherpas. We walked on rocks for a while, and then put on our crampons when we came to snow and continued walking uphill.
The ridge was snowy and steep going, but we were still hiking, we were not dangling on any ropes. There were no cliffs, only steep snow.
The sun came out and lit up the beautiful snowy ridge, and we reached the summit around 10am. From Lobuche Summit, elevation 6119 metres/20,050 feet, we could see a wonderful view of Everest and many other mountains, truly a breathtaking place to be on such a bluesky morning!
We returned to high camp and had a delicious lunch, then walked down to Lobuche basecamp for a well deserved massive delicious dinner. After a very sound sleep, the next day we set off for Everest basecamp on the "Everest basecamp extension" and over the next few days we explored basecamp and the view ridge of Kala Patar.
All in all this trip was a wonderful walking exploration, mountain learning and first mountaineering experience. The Everest Glacier School is perfect preparation for Baruntse, Ama Dablam, Everest Nepal Training Climb, Everest Tibet Training Climb, Shishapangma, Cho Oyu, and Mustagata. Welcome to our team for the next school !!
Dispatches: Please click one of the links below to go directly to that dispatch or just scroll down.
- 15 Nov
- 14 Nov
- 28 October,
- 27 October,
- 25 October,
- 24 October,
- 23 October,
- 22 October,
- 21 October,
- 20 October,
- 19 October,
- 18 October,
- 17 October,
- 16 October,
- 15 October,
- 14 October,
- 13 October,
- 12 October,
- 11 October,
- Team Roster
14 Nov - The Everest Glacier School team is back in Pangboche after a successful summit. Congratulations. Today they went to Ama Dablam basecamp because they are thinking of climbing it next. Good enthusiasm guys!
We went to Kala Pathar for Everest views as well as amazing views of Ama Dablam. I think it was the coldest place we have been so far - colder than the summit of Lobouche. We trekked back to Gorek Shep and then headed downhill to Lobuche. We spend the night here then off again in the morning to Pangboche. Everyone is fine, hoping our Ama friends are doing well with their summit bid. Sorrry no pictures - I know my family has been looking for them- They will be coming soon. -Belinda and team.27 October,
There wasn’t a cloud in the sky as the members of the Everest Glacier School summited their objective, Lobuche. The group awoke in the middle of the night, and climbed up a rocky face to the glacier. It was at this point that the members got to put into practice everything that they had learned over the course of the week. They crossed the glacier and found the fixed lines, after over 450 feet of ascending the snowy face they were greeted with incredible views from the summit. There are few things more beautiful than sunrise on a glacier, but when the Khumbu glacier is out in full force the views crazy.
With tired legs and great feelings of accomplishment the group made it back to basecamp and rested. The cook Pasang surprised everyone with a congratulations cake that he baked. There were hugs of joy, some tears, and congratulatory handshakes as Bill said goodbye to the group. They continued their adventure onto Lobuche today with tired legs, but the electricity and excitement that came from summiting the mountain that shone above them carried them through the day.
Varughese Joe, Belinda, and Ang Sange relax on the summit of Lobuche under a clear sky with great views of Everest (Bill Dwyer).
Hey, this is Bill Dwyer calling with the Everest Glacier School dispatch, it’s October 22nd and I think it’s Saturday.
Wanted to tell you about the day. The highlight of the day was for sure hanging out in the sherpa kitchen and getting to know Pasang who is our cook. He’s also the tallest of our crew, looks like he’s 7 feet tall. It’s a school holiday in Nepal so it’s cool having his son and a bunch of his friends helping out. It’s kind of neat because Pasang had his son in the kitchen showing him the ropes and teaching him how to be a cook out here. They were getting the flour all ready and adding water to it, making chapatis and then rolling it out and making spring rolls and working together having a good time. It’s cool to see the transition a little bit, father and son and seeing the two of those guys having a good time. He’s a great cook, good guy and always smiling.
Other than that, today we’re at Lobuche base camp. We hiked from Cho La base camp. It was about a 2 hour hike, mostly downhill, so it was a nice stroll. We got fresh snow on the ground so it was a little wet coming down, but beautiful seeing all the mountains and peaks in the valley covered in snow as you’re walking through. We followed the trail along a big glacier lake, which was great to see because the banks were all, again, snow covered. We had extremely bright sunshine though as we were walking, so even though there was snow on the ground everybody was in a t-shirt and had to wear a lot of sunscreen. Definitely didn’t feel like cold temperatures at all.
We stopped off in Dzongla so that Varughese could recharge his camera batteries. He’s been taking a lot of really cool photos and a good man for this photography up here. Joe and Belinda ordered some pringles too so when Ang Sangay, Arjun, and Varughese came into the tea house we all had pringles and tea sitting around while the batteries charged up. Then we finished coming into camp and had a briefing, I sat down with everybody, told them about what to wear and what to expect on the summit day and what the big plan was for the next 48 hours.
We’re all looking really forward to it. We checked our O2 saturations and everybody is healthy and awesome. People are feeling strong and pretty positive. They’re getting their equipment sorted and getting ready for our push up to high camp tomorrow, which we plan to do after lunch.
It’s been a beautiful day and right now we’ve got a ton of stars out and I’ve got a hot water bottle in my sleeping bag warming it up for me already, and so has everybody else. It’s going to be a great night. So, thanks for checking in and I’ll call back tomorrow and hope all is well. Bye. back to top
Hello everybody, this is Bill Dwyer calling with the Everest Glacier School dispatch, it’s October 21st.
The big highlight of the day today was the creation of the largest snow yeti woman we could make out of snow that’s fallen in the last 24 hours. All the sherpas that are on our team and the members of the glacier school got together and we filled up some of the wicker baskets the porters had been carrying supplies up with. We stacked up big mounds of snow and basically made this one gigantic snow woman in the middle of camp with ice axes for hands and wearing a lot of climbing anchors and things for necklaces and stuff like napkins for hair. It was a lot of fun. Everybody had some good laughs out of it and it was something to do on a rest day.
Today we woke up after it had snowed all night and buried our tents and we decided it would be a good day to hang around camp, just kind of rest and take it easy and acclimatize. Everybody enjoyed watching all the snow fall all day and building the big snow yeti woman. There was a small class on using mechanical advantage for pulling somebody out of a crevasse. Everybody got a chance at building a z-pulley and the z drag system and pulling a wicker basket filled with snow over some rocks. This is a cool skill to learn if you’re going to be up on a glacier and all the members of the glacier school were trying to build their own afterwards, which was great.
We shared a lot of stories in the tent, drinking tea all day and hanging out with Ang Sangay and Arjun and the other sherpa crowd. We also went through some gear with some people and that worked out pretty well. We had a great dinner tonight and right around sunset the sky decided to open up and turn blue, so we got some beautiful colors in all the mountains with the sunset. Lots of oranges.
Right now as I call in the dispatch, there’s about a thousand and one stars out in the sky over blanketed snowy peaks and it’s just gorgeous. Everybody’s happy and healthy, we’ve had a great rest day and we’re looking forward to moving down the valley tomorrow. We’re going to move to Lobuche base camp and move away from the Cho La base camp. Everybody’s doing great. Talk to you again tomorrow. Thanks for checking in. back to top
Hey, this is Bill Dwyer calling in with the Everest Glacier School to give a little dispatch. It’s October 20th and today we had a great day.
We woke up, had eggs and cheese on toast for breakfast which was delicious. Pasang continues to be awesome in the kitchen and everybody doesn't even want to go back to the tea houses any more they’re so thrilled with his cooking.
After packing up our stuff this morning, we hiked up to around 17,000 feet to the Cho La glacier where we had great views of the whole valley. Ama Dablam was out and it was gorgeous. We got up to the glacier face and people had their first experience walking around on top of the glacier and everybody was pretty excited about that. Varughese continues to take photos and he’s doing a great job with that. Belinda and Joe are having a great time trying out the equipment and new things.
We did some classes on building snow anchors, learned how to place a deadman and a picket. We even chopped up some teardrop snow shapes that they could rappel off of, which was a lot of fun too. We practiced walking up and down hills using ice axes, getting our technique down with our crampons so that we’ll be all ready for the mountain in a few days. We then went on the glacier where Ang Sangay and Arjun carried up a fixed line which was probably about 80 feet high. It went down over the side of the glacier and people practiced ascending and descending as if they were getting in and out of a crevasse and having a really good time climbing on that.
We then hung out with the porters and one ran up with fried rice and met us on the glacier. We sat on the side of the glacier and ate our meal of hot fried rice before hiking down in the afternoon. It started snowing on us a little bit on the way down, but everybody was in good spirits. As soon as we got down they had hot soup for us and now everybody’s resting before dinner.
Everybody’s doing great, Belinda wanted to give a shout out to Alex and PeeWee, hoping they’re doing great. The whole group is awesome and acclimatizing well. That’s it for the Everest Glacier School. Thanks so much, bye. back to top
Hi, it’s Belinda calling from the Everest Glacier School. It’s Wednesday October 19th, we’re still at the Cho La base camp.
We’re acclimatizing, checking gear and having many skills training sessions. Today we started with a pancake breakfast and hot tea, then we laid out our all our gear, all our technical climbing equipment on a tarp to make sure everything was in working condition and that everybody had what they needed. This was followed by another session of frisbee and some handstand performances by our guide Bill and our sherpa staff. They were quite awesome.
We learned rope team management and then we moved on to a running belay. Ang Sangay set up a fixed line on a steep rock face and we practiced ascending and descending while we drew a small crowd of trekkers as an audience. They probably thought we were all out of our minds. We wrapped up the day preparing our packs for our trek to Cho La glacier early tomorrow morning, so we actually start to use some our newly learned skills. Everybody’s in good spirits and in good health. Over and out.back to top
It is a strange feeling departing from friends that have shared so much together. Even though we met only one week ago, when sharing experiences as rich as the ones we have experienced on this trek it is hard to say goodbye. The two groups from the Everest Glacier School and the Everest Base Camp Trek parted ways today, and although tears were shed most laughed with each other as we said goodbye.
The group awoke after a sleep-in at the teahouse and had a lengthy breakfast sharing stories that have grown over the last few days. Coffee and tea were poured and people laughed as they ate a delicious meal of Tibetan Bread and eggs. Seeds of friendship were planted and after exchanging emails, visiting invitations, and addresses we hope that something sprouts with future adventures. The Everest Base Camp Trekkers walked under a completely blue sky towards their next tea house destination all feeling healthy and positive as they climb.
The participants of the Everest Glacier School had an acclimatization day today. After a quick lunch they gathered for a hike up the ridge above Pheriche. There are no longer trees to block the view, so the immense valleys of the Himalaya seem too big to fit in one camera shot. Varughese continues to practice his photography and when we topped out the ridge he was overwhelmed with the beauty and did not know where to shoot first. Lhotse, Makalu, Island Peak, and Cholatse all towered above the group making for vistas that seem unimaginable unless they are experienced first-hand. Joe and Belinda told stories of family back home, and laughed together as they hiked along the ridge. The group climbed above 400 metres/14,000 feet while feeling great, and with an awesome view of Lobuche (the mountain they are heading towards) they are only feeling better.
The rest of the afternoon was spent socializing and reading books, getting ready to eat another great dinner at the tea house together. Thoughts are sent over to the trekkers, as it will not be the same dinner without our good friends, but adventure awaits us. The teahouse we are staying at has a selection of chocolate cake, apple pie, and carrot cake, so we are sure that dining will be another excellent experience!
Thanks for checking in, and we look forward to reporting again tomorrow! -Bill Dwyer back to top
Rick and Laurie smile as the clouds part to reveal Mt Everest (Bill Dwyer).
The beacons of Ama Dablam and Everest continue to grow on the horizon as if they are floating closer. The members of the Everest Glacier School and Everest Base Camp Trek have gone through hundreds of photos of the mountains, as every turn provides another breathtaking view.
The trees began to thin out and the yaks began to get more fur the higher the group ascends, but the fresh mountain air is helping everyone appreciate the mountain environment. All around the stunning views of snow capped mountains and cascading rivers flood the senses as we trek.
We awoke to the sound of cymbals and horns blowing in the distance from the monastery at Tengboche. After a light breakfast the group began walking up the valley through falling leaves and the changing colours of the autumn season.
Our first stop was the Buddhist Nunnery at Deboche where a smiling nun gave us a private tour of the inner prayer rooms and gardens. It was a quiet location where participants were able to interact with the artwork and symbols adorning the walls without the tourist crowds of the other monasteries on the trek.
The climb went up to fourteen thousand feet and participants had their first experience with high altitude in the Himalaya. All were happy with the accomplishment of climbing the high mountain pass, and greeted each other with high fives and handshakes on the top. As the forest thinned out on the hike immense fields and rocky slopes began to unfold to the horizon. The sun fell behind a veil of clouds, adding to the mystery of the valley. Farm houses lined the valley and the large furry yaks stood with stoicism on the grassy ridges, blowing in the mist.
After cresting the 4000 metre/14,000 foot ridge we were greeted with views of Pheriche, where we would be spending the night. We walked through the scrub-grass field and into town, where we found a warm fire and a large teahouse with fresh carrot cake. Everyone is doing well and looking forward to a quiet night sleeping above thirteen thousand feet in a warm teahouse.
Thanks for checking in and we look forward to reporting again tomorrow. -Bill Dwyer back to top
Belinda, Joe and Varughese stand in front of Lhotse on our acclimatization hike (Bill Dwyer).
The sound of horns blew from the top window of the monastery. Monks in red robes began to climb the stone steps up toward the prayer room.
On the inside incense was burning and tea was poured. The monks huddled over their pillowed seats and began to chant together. High in this Himalayan town the participants of the Everest View Glacier School and The Everest Base Camp Trek were treated to a prayer ceremony from the monks of Tengboche Monastery.
The day began in Namche with hot showers and fresh breakfast. Tea and coffee were had while looking out over the ancient city from our tea house window. We began the hike at 8 in the morning and soon found ourselves walking high above the river valley we had come from. Mt. Everest and Ama Dablam were our beacons of light as we followed the trail towards their base. The crisp morning burned off quickly as we climbed upwards through the trees, and the sun came out in full force. The high mountain breeze was appreciated by all and kept everything at the perfect temperature.
We had lunch at a tea house next to a river where Pramila was treated to some great soup and others sampled the Dal Bhat, the traditional Nepali food. It was a perfect location to refuel for the climb into Tengboche where we would be spending the night. It was a steady climb, but the conversation never stopped as Belinda and Bill wowed the group with some jokes.
When we reached the high mountain village of Tengboche we were greeted with warm ginger tea and biscuits. Soon the monks were calling from the window of the monastery to invite us over to watch their prayer ceremony. Inside the smell of incense and tea was strong, the chanting was mesmerizing, and the artwork on the walls was incredibly colorful.
The group is doing well and looking forward to a warm dinner and hopefully a view of the sunset through the clouds, as we spend the night in our high mountain town. Thanks for checking in, and we will post again tomorrow. -Bill Dwyer back to top
Roger, Rick, Lori, Pramila and Marian say goodbye as they hike out of Pheriche (Bill Dwyer).
Hello, this is Roger Naylor from the Everest basecamp trek calling in from Namche Bazaar. Today we had an acclimatization day. Following a good breakfast, we headed up a ridge above Namche. After an hour and a half slogging uphill beyond the corner, we had stunning view of Ama Dablam, Everest, Lhotse and Nuptse. Simply breathtaking. After spending some time at 3800 metres, we headed back downhill to Namche at 3400 metres. We went to the sherpa museum and did some shopping. Everyone had a great day and is doing well and we’re all looking forward to tomorrow. That’s it for now, and we’ll call in again tomorrow. Bye bye. back to top
As we rounded the bend in the trail, it came into view. Off in the distance the most famous mountain on the planet shone under a clear blue sky. The sun had been out for the entire morning, so the cooler breeze made the hike a perfect temperature. It was a shorter hike, only for acclimatization, but it was hike that the participants agreed would be something they remember for the rest of their lives.
The day began early again when there was still a crispness in the morning air. We had pots of coffee and ginger tea over breakfast as we planned the day. Leaving our teahouse, the 'Himalayan Lodge', we climbed up winding stone steps out of the amazing town of Namche. We had views extending down the entire Khumbu Valley with thousand foot waterfalls cascading downwards. The further up we walked the more the snowy peaks began to show themselves. Soon we rounded a corner and got our first glimpse of the steep snowy face of Ama Dablam. The white snow rose majestically out of the alpine tundra. As we continued around the corner Mt. Everest came into view, a mountain many of us had only heard about in history books. Now we were face to face with one of the most amazing peaks on the planet. We climbed up the hill before clouds formed in the valley, so the view was clear and perfect.
When we arrived at a hotel at the top of the climb there was tea waiting for us on the back deck, where we could laugh together and take in the view. On the way back down, Ang Sange took us to the Sherpa museum where artifacts of the valley were displayed. Everyone was able to learn a little more about the culture and understand the people that they are climbing and trekking with. After today everything around us seems like a much richer experience.
We had lunch at a local café which had just opened its doors. Joe and Belinda were able to get espresso and cappuccino, while Rick enjoyed a "perfect" club sandwich. The rest of the afternoon was spent wandering through the winding streets and taking in the markets of town. The group is doing great, acclimatizing well and all are happy to be having a once in a lifetime experience. -Bill Dwyer back to top
Varughese and Pramila look out at the incredible views of Ama Dablam (Bill Dwyer).
This is Rick Gross with the Everest Base Camp and Glacier School programme. The date is October the 12th.
The update for the day is: I cannot put into words the overwhelming beauty of this land and people that we are experiencing. Yesterday we trekked up and down the trails from Lukla dropping from about 8000 to 8500 feet in elevation. Today we trekked through the Himalayas for 8 hours and 2400 feet in elevation gain arriving in Namche. At over 11,000 feet it felt like finishing a marathon. This is the holy grail of trekking in Namche. It’s amazing, the people are warm and friendly and the views are absolutely beautiful. There’s masses of people everywhere and everything is trekked up the mountain by the Nepalese including the kitchen sink. Can’t get enough of the view, smells of food and the amazing tea houses. back to top
Prayer flags rustled with the morning breeze as the team awoke. We gathered for a tasty breakfast of eggs, fruit, and Tibetan bread with honey and then walked out of Phadking towards the river. The trail wound around rock hewn steps, and through forested hills. The team crossed suspension bridges over rapids with incredible views above the forests into the snow capped peaks.
As we crossed through the small mountain villages the group was able to watch the local Sherpa people farming, with children playing in the fresh cut grass. In one village we stopped for a lunch at a tea house. Pramila ordered a chicken curry with the traditional Dal bat and was pleased when the waiter brought out a whole plate of fresh vegetables. We socialized on the back deck and enjoyed the sunshine and the fresh mountain air.
We continued the hike up the first large hill. The group was slow and steady as they climbed through the trees and into the alpine zones.
Views of the valley started to drop below the group and waterfalls were cascading down into the river valley below. Marian and Bill walked together through the climb talking about family and friends back home, but were continually distracted by the singing birds and breathtaking views.
As we topped out the hill, Varughese pointed out towards the horizon to a large snowy mountain with streaming plumes of snow. It was our first view of the highest point on the planet, Mt. Everest. For many it was a reminder of where they were and just how far they had come.
The hike finished by wrapping around into the mountain village of Namche Bazar. Namche is a colourful village and the largest town in the valley. Prayer flags, prayer wheels, and winding stone streets add to the magic atmosphere of excitement. Even though it is the largest town in the valley, the snowy mountains that line the horizon make everything seem small.
The group finished the beautiful day with a hot shower at the local tea house and gathered for laughs and reflection over hot ginger tea.
Even though it was a full day of walking the group continues to glow with an excitement about the city they have climbed to. -Bill Dwyer back to top
The team walks past an area of written prayers as they ascend the Khumbu Valley. Team pose for a photo at the park entrance. Roger spins prayer wheels as we pass through a shrine (Bill Dwyer).
Hello SummitClimb News, this is Belinda with a dispatch for the glacier school and base camp trek. It’s October 11, and we're reporting live from Phakding.
We’re safe with 5 of us pursuing the Everest base camp trek and 3 of us pursuing Lobuche peak. Today was our first day and we flew in small planes from Kathmandu to Lukla. It’s really amazing and exciting. Almost as exciting as Kathmandu was, but I guess nothing would compare to landing at the Lukla airport while navigating through close mountain passages and landing on the shortest runway known to mankind. We all held our breath.
We had time for breakfast and then we trekked from Lukla to Phakding. This initialed walking trails through many villages and an exciting river crossing over a suspension bridge, again a lot of breath holding. Of course all of this was made possible today by our tireless sherpas and our awesome expedition leaders. Tonight we sleep in Phakding and tomorrow Namche Bazaar. Thanks for taking this dispatch and I hope everything is clear. Take care. back to top
Out of the City and into the Hills
It was an early rise for the members of the Everest Base Camp Trek and Everest View Glacier School. After a few days taking in the amazing sights, sounds, and smells of Kathmandu we left the city for the Himalayan Range. Bags are packed, boots are tied, and equipment has been purchased, everyone was ready to go as the bus picked them up after breakfast. The airport was a beehive of excitement with the team getting all of the luggage ready for the flight, but even with all the action things flowed smoothly for us all.
The flight gave aerial views over the Kathmandu temples and winding streets. The green hills far below the plane were dwarfed by the large snow giants of the Himalaya range in the background. As we flew, jaws dropped at the sight of the area we were soon to enter.
Arrival into the first mountain town of our journey, Lukla, was refreshing. We could smell the fresh forests surrounding town, and the sound of prayer flags and bells were heard in the distance. We had brunch at a local restaurant, where participants enjoyed the fresh eggs from the village. Belinda was happy to see a Starbucks in Lukla, and amazed when she received a real latte with fresh espresso.
We hit the trail after breakfast and walked along the valley edge.
Throughout the day the sound of the white water churned in the river.
We walked through monasteries filled with color, flags, and spinning prayer wheels. All around we were greeted with the traditional “Namaste” and smiles from the local people. It was a world apart from what many of the members were used to, but the smell and sights of the mountain towns brought a sense of peace to everyone as we walked.
Ang Sange and the support of the porter team was extremely helpful.
They loaded the yaks, which walked with a Buddha-like calmness under their loads. Varughese practiced his photography as the yaks passed him on the trail over some of the bridges that stretched across the rivers and streams. Some of the Sherpas walked with the members and Pramila, who is originally from India, got to know them by talking in Hindi.
It was a magic day for the start of our journey. As we arrived in Phadking to a late lunch we could all see the snowy peaks rising into the background, reminding us of the adventure that is yet to come.
Thanks for following!
Everest View Glacier School Team:
- Bill Dwyer (leader) -US
- Ms. Belinda Pioggia - US
- Joseph Pioggia - US
- Varughese George - US
Everest Basecamp Trek:
- Ms. Pramila Kumari - US
- Ms. Lori Durand - US
- Ms. Marion Goodkind - US
- Rick Gross - US
- Roger Naylor - UK back to top