Everest Nepal, Lhotse, Camp 3 Training Climb, and Everest Basecamp Trek Expedition News, Spring 2011
Everest Nepal, Lhotse, Camp 3 Training Climb, and Everest Basecamp Trek Expedition News, Spring 2011
29 March to 5 June, 2011
Trip Summary: We had good luck this year on Everest, Lhotse, and the camp 3 training climb. 5 out of 6 members reached the summit and 100 percent of the camp 3 training climb members made it.
To begin the trip, we flew up to Lukla and then made a slow and careful trek (with several rest days) through the beautiful forested and terraced Khumbu Valley. Upon reaching our comfortable basecamp we rested and enjoyed some ice climbing training on the glaciers around basecamp. We rested for another day then walked across the valley on good snow-free trails and made an acclimatization camp at 5800 metres / 19,000 feet, where we stayed for a night in order to adjust to high altitude. Then we walked back to basecamp and enjoyed delicious meals and another days rest.
Next we walked through the exciting Khumbu icefall and onto camp 2, where we spent the night and walked part way to camp 2, then returned for another night in camp 1. We went back to basecamp for more rest and then, after a few days, climbed back up to camp 1, and then camp 2, where we stayed for several days, adjusting to the altitude.
The weather held good and everyone was feeling well so we decided to walk up to camp 3 and sleep there for a few nights, and make an acclimatization walk up the famous Lhotse Face. All of us went back to basecamp after 5 days and took an extended rest, walking down to low 4000 metre 13,000 foot high villages to spend several days breathing thicker air and enjoying all of the beautiful green plants and friendly teahouses. Then we climbed back up to basecamp and carried on up to camp 1, camp 2, camp 3, camp 4, and the summit.
It was incredible to be on top of the world and we felt very lucky. The sherpas were amazing and the leader and staff did a very fine job throughout the entire expedition!
Today dawned cold and stormy in basecamp. Everest towered above us and as the sherpas brought tea to our tent at 6:00am, a huge cloud blew across the mountain and sprinkled snow down. The sherpas say the cloud came from Tibet.
It seemed the mountain was urging us to leave, chasing us away with a final blizzard. We hurriedly packed and dismantled basecamp. The yaks had arrived last night and their tenders fed them piles of grass, and we rushed around getting everything ready amidst tinkling yak bells. The sun finally came out, just in time for the pollution control people to come and present us with a letter stating we owed an exorbitant sum of money for the amount of waste we had generated, and they had hauled down, during our expedition.
Finally everything was ready and we said goodbye to basecamp and a pretty tiny red bird came to flit round our camp and bid us farewell. We walked down through the Khumbu Glacier to Gorak Shep, the nearest village to basecamp at 5050 metres. Along the way we took photos of glacial lakes for Doctor Ulyana Nadia Horodyskyj, who is studying glacial recession in Nepal.
Upon reaching Gorak Shep we had lunch then went outside to spend the rest of the day taking measurements and photos of buildings for the Mount Everest Biogas Project, which is basically a group of engineers trying to figure out how to convert all of the human waste in basecamp and at Gorak Shep into usable cooking gas and valuable farm fertilizer. While wandering around Gorak Shep we were reminded of the challenges faced by high altitude tourism on Mount Everest. There is a huge trash dump that burns and processes rubbish for transport to lower environs and also we saw porters trying to get water from a trickling spring that our team studied last year, in 2010, and found to be contaminated. We spoke to them and asked what they thought about the water quality. They said that it was not very good and they had to carefully boil it, but that this water was easier to obtain than that from 40 minutes further away. So it was good to hear these porters were informed.
Indeed there are challenges faced by having this burgeoning village at such a high altitude near Mount Everest. Nevertheless, we find it encouraging that people seem to be aware and are trying to do something to improve the environmental conditions on our world's highest peak. Thanks for following our trek down the khumbu valley and we look forward to speaking to you tomorrow. All of the best for now, from Dan Mazur at www.SummitTrek.com . back to top
Cute little red bird came to help clean up base camp. Gorak Shep, a busy tourist village at the edge of the Khumbu Glacier. Gorak Shep is the nearest village to Eeverest basecamp. Just a bit of the rubbish collected from basecamp and Gorak Shep being burned and processed for transport to lower altitude. On the way out of basecamp we took photos of glacial lakes for doctor Ulyana Nadia Horodyskyj, who is studying glacial recession. Packing up basecamp. Porter dips water from a barely flowing spring at Gorak Shep (Dan Mazur).
Hi this is Gavin Vickers from Australia doing the dispatch for the 23rd.
Alex and I summitted Lhotse a couple of days ago, now we’re back at basecamp and today we’re hoping to start the walk down ready to fly out.
The team is very busy packing up the camp, most of the teams have done here and it’s looking a little bare.
The expedition has been very satisfying, particularly for myself, we had a great team and a great team of Sherpas. We’re going to enjoy the walk down and get near some trees and some oxygen and get back to Kathmandu
Thanks for listening and following our expedition. back to top
Alex traversing the steep Lhotse Face (Stew Edge). Camp 1 with Lingtren, Cho Oyu, and Khumbutse in the background (Squash Falconer). Aalex, Squash, and Jangbu heading into the icefall at night (Stew Edge). Camp 2 after a blizzard (Stew Edge).
The whole Lhotse team summits!
Hi this is a quick dispatch for 21st May just calling in to let you know that Alex Holt from Leicestershire England and Sange Sherpa from Nepal just reached the summit of Lhotse – the planets’ 4th highest peak. Gavin Vickers from Sydney Australia and Dorje Sherpa from Nepal also just reached the summit of Lhotse. We’re very proud of them, they’re doing a great job, they got up early this morning, they’re heading back down, they’re going to pull out the camps as they come down together with their Sherpas and we will keep you informed. Once again we’d like to congratulate them and we’re extremely proud of them, they worked really hard for this and great job you guys up there on Lhotse bye-bye.
Hi this is Alex Holt from England calling in a dispatch for the SummitClimb Lhotse expedition. Today is 21st May and I returned to camp 2 a few hours ago after summiting Lhotse at 5am this morning. I was lucky to be alone on the summit with perfect views and no wind. I saw many amazing peaks including Everest, Makalu, Cho Oyu, Shishapangma and Baruntse and it was difficult to absorb such an amazing landscape. Sange Sherpa joined me on the summit, Gavin Vickers and Dorje Sherpa summited a while later they are resting in camp 4 now and will descend shortly.
Climbing Lhotse was really cool because up to camp 2 to camp 3 is the same route as Everest and from high up on Lhotse I could see many people on Everest around the south summit to the summit. It made me really appreciate the quiet and peacefulness on Lhotse. That’s all for now and thanks for following the news at SummitClimb. back to top
Camp 3 in a snowstorm (Mitch Lewis). The South Col (Stew Edge). Alex Hholt from Leicestershire, England, shows how to cross a ladder efficiently during training in basecamp (Stew Edge). Gavin Vickers, top notch Himalayan climbing leader (Squash Falconer).
Lhotse team going for the summit!
Hi this is the dispatch for the 20th May.
The Lhotse team is in high camp and that is Alex Holt, Gavin Vickers, Sange Sherpa and Dorje Sherpa. They reached Lhotse high camp which is approximately 7800m today at around lunchtime. There’s two platforms and they’re comfortably perched up there. They’re heading off for the summit tonight at about midnight, we have good radio contact with them and they’re going to keep us informed.
The weather today was cloudy with light snow and very little wind. It was warm but not as hot as yesterday and currently the clouds seem to be lifting or burning off as it were and the sky seems to be clearing so it seems like it’s going to be a really good summit night. We’re really encouraged and we wish them all the best.
Lhotse is the 4th highest peak in the world, it’s an incredible climb. Lhotse dominates the entire Western Cwm and you can see the top of Lhotse very well from basecamp whereas Everest is quite hidden away. The climb up Lhotse includes going up through the Khumbu icefall, same as Everest, across the Western Cwm and then up the infamous Lhotse face which is the same route as you take to Everest. At the top of the Lhotse face perches this very steep rocky kind of horseback ridge with lots of gendarmes or castles as it were on top of it and there’s a couloir which cuts up through that and heads to the summit, which is the infamous Lhotse Couloir.
We’ve been talking to the Sherpas who’ve been talking to some of the other teams and there’s some really good ropes fixed in the Couloir so we think it’s an opportune time to climb Lhotse, so fingers crossed and we wish our team all the best in getting to the top of the 4th highest peak in the world. back to top
Jangbu adjusting tents in camp 3, Lhotse-Nuptse wall behind with crazy fault line (Squash Falconer). Jangbu and Squash sharing a cup of tea on the way to the South Col (Stew Edge). Stew shows off the Starlight Flag. Fulfilling dreams for children with terminal illness (Squash Falconer). Squash falconer abseiling in the infamous yellow band on Everest (Stew Edge).19 May, 2011
Hi this is the dispatch for dispatch for 19th May.
Alex, Gavin, Sange and Dorje are up in camp 3. They left at 5am this morning from camp 2 and they plan to move into camp 4 tomorrow. The weather was warm and windless today, there were a few clouds swirling around but generally it was excellent weather and we hope it will continue.
In camp 2 interesting people stopped by, they’re a clean-up crew Mount Everest Clean Crew; they were sifting through the gravel here on camp 2 to find old bits of trash which they carry down and dispose of properly. So far they have found over 2 kilos of trash on the entire mountain. They left us with an interesting card that they had produced and there are some photos on the card and some drawings and at the bottom of the card it says:
‘I earnestly request that you save yourself by saving the Himalaya,
If not you – Who?
If not now – When?
If not here – Where?
Thank you for visiting the Himalayas, respecting local people, their culture, keeping clean and moving forward with the cleanliness programme for us. Take care and see you again’
What a wonderful card and a great couple of people to run into up here in camp 2.
More tomorrow, take care bye. back to top
Hi this is the dispatch for 18th May.
Today was a beautiful day up here in camp 2 on the Nepal side of Everest. At about 6am a big piece of ice fell down from the high mountain above it made a lot of racket and sent a big shower of ice crystals and dust from the pulverised ice block out into the air. It was quite impressive.
Today was a beautiful sunny day we saw a lot of birds swarming up and down and there were tons of different kinds of birds up here today, soaring along the flanks of the mountain and landing in camp and pecking the ground, lots of little songbirds and big chuffs, it was really stunning. Then we had a great surprise in the morning, we saw two climbers across the valley attempting to climb the famous Mount Nuptse by its North face on a huge ice wall it was impressive to watch and really amazing. Eventually around lunchtime they retreated and abseiled down the face to come back tomorrow.
In another development, a large team of climbers were spotted up on the Lhotse face setting up camp and we think they’re going to finish the route and the ropes.
Our Lhotse team who are Gavin, Alex, Dorje and Sange are going to set off at 4am for camp 3 and then heading up to the high camp tomorrow and they hope to be able to climb Lhotse after a really good test by this big group that’s up ahead right now, so we’re really excited by that.
Today we have some great views of Cho Oyu – 6th highest mountain in the world and our Cho Oyu team is over there right now. We wish them luck when climbing that peak. We also want to encourage everyone to come out and join us for our September/October Cho Oyu expedition, it’s going to be a fantastic climb and we’re just reminder of that seeing these views of Cho Oyu. So we’ll keep you posted, thanks for following our expedition news, take care goodbye. back to top
Squash Falconer prepares to fly from the South Col (Mitch Lewis). Squash, Paula and Lakpa Nuru in camp 3 (Stewart Edge). The summit of mighty Mount Cho Oyu, 6th highest mountain in the world, looms high above basecamp and the Western Cwm. come and join us at www.chooyuclimb.com(Stew Edge). Tent, oxygen and rucksack at the South Col on the morning before descending. Mighty Mount Cho Oyu on the right, Nuptse on left (Stew Edge).
Hi this is Gavin Vickers giving the dispatch for 17th May from camp 2 on Everest. The Lhotse team have been waiting for the ropes to be fixed on the Lhotse couloir that’s now happened so we’ve moved in and we’re on our way for our summit attempt. Before we came up to camp 2, the day before yesterday we were sad to see our Everest members – Squash, Stew, Paula and Mitch all depart with some summits under they’re belt which was fantastic. Also Beow Lim who’s on the Everest Training got to camp 3 and climbed high on the Lhotse face. We also had a visit from Eric Peterson which was fantastic and it was great to hear his stories and listen to him play the guitar he certainly made life in basecamp a lot happier while we were there.
Over the next few days we’re going to be trying to summit Lhotse with Sange and Dorje and hopefully the weather will hold for us so we’ll keep you posted, thanks for listening. back to top
Hi this is the dispatch for 16th May. It’s Dan Mazur calling and I’m up in Camp 2 and today was a busy day.
Beow Lim and Nawang Nuri from our Everest training climb went back down through the Khumbu icefall. They crossed the Western Cwm then down through the icefall and back to basecamp. Beow has completed his training climb with the help of Nawang Nuri and Sange Sherpa everybody did a great job. We all got to an amazing high point of 7200m up above camp 3. We spent the night up there and had some incredible views. It was great and we did a lot of excellent training, ice climbing, ascending, descending, crevasse crossing, learning about glaciers and staying in basecamp, camp 1, camp 2, camp 3 and learning about all the different climbing it was an excellent experience. It’s the first time we’ve had this training climb and we’re looking forward to doing quite a few more.
In other news today we had a kind of melancholy goodbye to our Everest Climbers; Stewart Edge, Squash Falconer, Mitch Lewis and Paula Leonard went down today, leaving basecamp with Lakpa Nuru and Thile Nuru and they’re heading down valley with 6 porters. They plan to go down to Pangboche- the little beautiful village with a forest, trees and lovely views of Ama Dablam, then onto Namche –the capital of the Sherpa people and then finally to Lhakpa – where they’ll fly back from that picturesque village back to Kathmandu in 3 days time if all goes well. Also they were accompanied by Eric Peterson our dear friend who came all the way from Singapore to be part of the Everest ascent and witness that from basecamp and it was really great to have Eric Peterson with us and joining us in basecamp so we said our goodbyes to them.
Tonight in the middle of the night the Lhotse team is going to climb back here up to camp 2 where they’re going to begin they’re Lhotse ascent. That’s Gavin Vickers and Alex Holt and we’re really excited to have them up here climbing with us. They’re going to be joined by Sange Sherpa and Dorje Sherpa in support and helping them get the ropes ready, up to high camp and get the oxygen up there so we’re really excited to have them coming up and to carry on with the climb of Lhotse, the worlds’ 4th highest peak. So thanks for staying tuned and we’ll be in touch soon thanks and goodbye. back to top
Stewart Edge climbing the final few steps into camp 3. Thats the Geneva Spur on the left (Squash Falconer). Climber works her way up the hard blue ice at the top of the Lhotse face (Alex Holt). Climbers work on crossing the Bergschrund at the base of the Lhotse face, enroute to camp 3 (Alex Holt). Making the big climb up to camp 3. Check out the big string of climbers climbing into camp 3 on the middle right side of the photo (Alex Holt).
Hi it’s the 15th May and we’re on the Everest Training Climb. This is Dan calling from camp 3 together with Sange Sherpa and today we trekked to a higher altitude. It was a beautiful day with excellent views. We came down in the afternoon and after a delicious lunch we went straight back down to camp 2 and that’s going to conclude the Everest Training Climb.
Tonight we had some really good opportunities to explore how we were feeling up to 7200m and we did some ice climbing, crevasse crossing and saw how we felt crossing on some ladders. We also familiarised ourselves with the basics of abseiling, ascending, ice climbing and we put all those skills to good use over last couple of days on the Lhotse face and also in the Khumbu icefall. Tomorrow we will be using those skills again.
Thanks for following along. We also have some updates on the Lhotse team. The ropes are being fixed now so that’s very encouraging. There are still a few sections that need to be finished with the rope fixing before the team sets off and we’re also looking for a really good weather forecast so we’ll keep you informed, thank-you bye-bye. back to top
Paula crosses the huge 5 section ladder in the Western Cwm while Thile Nuru Sherpa holds the ropes (Mitch Lewis). Stew Edge and Dorje Sherpa climbing down a ladder in the Khumbu icefall (Squash Falconer). Climbers working their way up to camp 3, which can be seen at the upper right (Alex Holt). Climbers on blue ice on the Lhotse face beneath bizarre clouds (Alex Holt).
Hi this is the dispatch for the 14th May and we’re up here with Beow Lim along with me Dan Mazur and Sange Sherpa and Nawang Nuri Sherpa. We climbed up from camp 2 to camp 3 today. We’re doing the Everest Training Climb and we climbed up here today, it took about 7 hours. The weather was very beautiful, sunny, no wind, gorgeous conditions and we reached camp 3 at about 4.30. We’re just relaxing around in the tent and it’s getting darker. We’ll see how we feel tonight and keep you posted about our plans tomorrow.
The Everest team have returned to basecamp and are doing very well and everybody’s fine.
We saw the rope fixing team going up the Lhotse face today. It’s getting windy up there ahead of us so we’re not too sure how much progress we’ll make and we’re watching the weather forecast very carefully now. We’re hopeful that our Lhotse team can get to the top as soon as possible with all due safety with the fixed slides.
So thanks for following our expedition and we’ll keep you posted, thanks very much, bye-bye. back to top
Tents lined up in camp 1 (Stew Edge). Closeup of camp 2 seen from above (looking down from camp 3). The top of the Khumbu icefall can just be seen on the upper right (Alex Holt). Clockwise from upper right - Pasang, Jangbu, Mitch and Lhakpa Nuru on the summit (Stew Edge). Climbers working their way through a steep section on the Lhotse face. Note the wind blowing down the face (Alex Holt).
Everest team members safely back in camp 2.
Hi this is Squash from the Everest team giving the dispatch for Friday 13th May.
I apologise if I sound out of my mind and what I say isn’t completely accurate but I’m very, very tired at the moment. Basically on the 11th May in the early hours of the morning, the Everest team (myself, Mitch, Paula and Stew) all left camp 3 and climbed to camp 4. We climbed through the clouds and it was one hell of a day, really tough and we arrived in camp 4 in the afternoon.
We started boiling water and eating food because the plan was that we would be leaving at about 8/9pm that night for the summit. The reason that we wanted to leave that night was because we’d been following the weather reports really carefully and for the 12th May they had forecast clear skies, very light winds, and basically perfect weather. So we all got food and water and had some rest and prepared for the summit.
It was really rough climbing. Stew wasn’t feeling too well so he asked someone to turn his oxygen up but it actually got turned off. It’s a really easy mistake to make but he then climbed for the next two hours amazingly with no oxygen and was quite slow. Anyway we soon realised what had happened and he started off again when the oxygen had got turned back on. Mitch was doing really well, making good time. Paula was feeling incredibly cold though and very tired and when you feel like that it can be dangerous to go on so she made the very difficult, but right decision to turn back and she’d done incredibly well though and had made it over 8000m. She’d been strong throughout but she made the right decision to stop there.
Myself and Mitch carried on. It was looking quite clear. We were expecting the sun to come up at about 4am but we didn’t see it. A lot of clouds rolled in instead and the wind picked up. At this point a whole load of other teams turned back but we decided to carry on. Things got really hyped up and difficult, we got a little bit cold, we got tired and I think if we were honest we got a little bit scared.
We were wondering if we should turn back as well but we decided to carry on and made it all the way to the summit. Mitch got there first, Stew got there second and then shortly after I arrived. Conditions were absolutely terrible, you could see about a few metres in front of you, the wind was probably about 50 miles an hour and with the wind-chill it was probably 40/50 degrees below freezing. It was just awful up there. So whilst we were excited to be at the top we just wanted to get down, I didn’t even get a camera out and take a picture at the summit unfortunately. Stew got some summit shots and so did Mitch and I did a tiny bit of filming but we got off there very quickly.
Something very sad happened as we were walking down; we came across a Japanese climber who didn’t have any down gear, he got very cold and was struggling and couldn’t carry on. We tried to offer him help but there was really nothing we could do so we carried on and we heard today that he actually passed away, so obviously our thoughts and concerns go to his friends and family. It’s terrible and when something like that happens it’s quite difficult to deal with.
We carried on down and we made fairly good time. We got in about 4.5 to 5 hours to camp 4. It was amazing to get back down there, you can’t quite describe the feeling of it because you’re so tired and exhausted and you just feel all kinds of emotion. Obviously I didn’t fly off the summit, there was no question as to whether I would or not when I got there in those conditions and getting to the summit of the mountain was enough. We all got back down safely and now we’re in camp 2 and tomorrow we’ll be back in basecamp so we’ll tell you more then but that’s it for now we’re all doing well and thanks for following. back to top
Mitch, Squash, Lhakpa, and Stew on the summit (Jangbu Sherpa). Stew edge on the summit (Squash Falconer). Stew and Squash on the summit (Jangbu Sherpa). Squash on the summit (Stew Edge).
Everest team members Mitch Lewis, Squash Falconer and Stew Edge summit!
Hi, it’s the 12th May and the local time is 10:45 am in Nepal. I’m reporting from the Everest Nepal Expedition. Currently I’m standing in a small icefall near camp 2 in the Western Cwm together with Beow Lim and Dorje Sherpa who are on the Everest Training Climb doing some acclimatisation.
I’d like to give you the full report on the Everest summit team. This morning at around 8:30 Mitch Lewis and Lhakpa Nuru Sherpa reached the summit of Everest and then around 9:30 or 10 am Squash Falconer and Stewart Edge reached the summit of Everest together with Jangbu Sherpa and Pasang Sherpa. Paula Leonard together with Thile Nuru Sherpa are still working their way towards the summit and Squash Falconer will not fly from the summit of Everest today. There’s a heavy cloud on the summit with winds that we believe are 60 kmph. It’s snowing quite hard inside that cloud on the summit and conditions are not appropriate for flight today. We’re sorry to hear that but hopefully Squash will go back down to basecamp and rest for about a week and then give it another try and try to be the first woman to fly from the summit of Everest. There’s still plenty of time on the expedition as we have more than three weeks left, so stay tuned.
As far as the Lhotse expedition goes we’re waiting on ropes to be fixed to the summit. We hope that will be soon although today the weather does not seem ideal for that to happen with winds, snow and clouds so it may be a few more days on the Lhotse expedition.
Thanks for following our dispatches and we will keep you updated, bye-bye.
This is the second dispatch for the 12th May. The local time is 11:15 in Nepal. We just got word on the radio that Paula Leonard and Thile Nuru Sherpa have decided to turn around and they’re coming back down due to the high winds, poor visibility and a lot of snowfall. So regards that they’ve made the right decision to turn around and come back down. We will keep you updated with more news, thank you for following our expedition, bye. back to top
Everest team going for the summit!
Hi this is the dispatch for May 11th and I’m calling you from camp 2 where we have Gavin Vickers, Alex Holt, Dan Mazur, Sange Sherpa, Dorje Sherpa. Our Everest team is up on the South Col and they are getting ready to head for the summit right now and that team includes Mitch Lewis, Paula Leonard, Stewart Edge and Squash Falconer, Jangbu Sherpa, Pasang Sherpa, Thile Nuru Sherpa and Lakpa Nuru Sherpa.
The Everest Team went through some rough weather going from Camp 3 up to the South Col arriving at various times. The big news is that Squash Falconer is going to try and jump off the summit of Everest in a paraglider, we’re not sure what’s going to happen with that so stay tuned.
The Lhotse team sherpas went up to camp 4 today to assess the situation and deposit 9 bottles of oxygen and 2 tents along with some gas, a stove and some food and they’ve just returned here this evening after a long day. They’ve also been getting to work on fixing the ropes up to the summit of Lhotse and we’re waiting patiently. Thanks for following our expedition and we are going to update you as regularly as possible with the exciting news of our summit teams.
Thanks to the team down in basecamp, we’re looking forward to Sange Sherpa coming up to us tomorrow with some more food and fuel to keep us going here in camp 2 as we await for the teams to fulfill their programmes. Thank you very much for following our expedition, we wish you all the best take care. back to top
Hi this is the dispatch for the Everest Nepal Expedition, today is the 10th of May and I’m actually doing the dispatch from camp 3 on Everest on a radio.
Camp 3 is 7100 metres, there’s not so much oxygen up here. The team Mitch, Paula, myself and Stew left camp 2 this morning at around 5am. We arrived up here in good time, especially Stew who rocketed up here like a Sherpa.
Everybody’s in good spirits, we’re just resting now as we’re going to get an early night. Tomorrow morning we’re going to get up early and climb ahead to camp 4.
That’s about all I have to tell you, we’re all really excited, we’re all feeling really good and I’m about to eat some meat and potato hotpot. It isn’t so brilliant for vegetarians but I’m a terrible vegetarian! Keep following the despatches because there’s going to be lots happening in the next 24 to 48 hours.
Lots of love, thank you Squash. back to top
Hi this is Gavin Vickers from Australia doing the dispatch for the Summit Climb Lhotse/Everest Expedition for Tuesday 10th May.
The Everest team which includes Squash, Stewart, Mitch and Paula left very early this morning and made their way to camp 3. They hope to make their way to the South Col tomorrow with an eye for a summit attempt the day after.
The Lhotse team, which is Gavin and Alex have been delayed for 2 days at camp 2 waiting for the ropes to be fixed in the Lhotse couloir which should happen in the next couple of days.
The team’s doing great and also Dan’s here with Beow doing some acclimatisation today and hoping to get to camp 3 in the next few days. The team is doing really well and everyone’s healthy, please keep following the dispatches. back to top
The famous Hillary Step going up towards the summit (Richard Pattison).
Hi this is the dispatch from the Everest Nepal Expedition for the 9th of May and we’re up here in camp one. There’s three of us here. Beow Lim, Dan Mazur and Nawang Nuri Sherpa. We climbed up to the icefall today from basecamp. Up in camp 2 we have Squash Falconer, Stewart Edge, Alex Holt, Gavin Vickers, Jangu Sherpa, Sange Sherpa, Pasang Sherpa, Dorje Sherpa also Mitch Lewis, Paula Leonard, Thile Nuru Sherpa, Lakpa Nuru Sherpa and the group in camp 2 plans to go up to camp 3 tomorrow.
Sange Sherpa went up to camp 3 today to reconnoiter today. There was a big wind storm a couple of days ago that knocked out a bunch of our tents so we had to replace those tents and also that same windstorm affected all the other teams. All of the other teams lost tents on the mountain in Camp 3. In this camp today we have Eric Peterson. He has checked in from Singapore and he’s down there with Gyalje Sherpa together with Jay Bahadur. So all of the teams are planning to move up tomorrow and we’ll keep you updated.
Right now it’s snowing lightly with a light wind but overall the weather conditions are pretty good in our camp. I can’t say what the conditions are like on the summit but we have heard that there is quite a bit of snow that has accumulated up there and we’ll tell you more when we get there. Thanks for following and goodbye. back to top
Hi this is the dispatch for the 8th of May from the Everest Nepal Expedition. In the early hours of this morning our members went up to a higher camp in the mountains and right now Squash, Stewart, Gavin, Alex, Jangbu, Sange and Dorje are up in camp 2. There was a big wind storm at 1 o’clock in the morning that knocked down a bunch of tents from all of the different teams, especially the larger tents like the dining tent and the kitchen tent. Luckily we were able to save our tents and get them patched up and repaired so now they’re OK.
In Camp 1 we have Mitch, Paula and Thile. The're doing well. Dan and Beow are in basecamp with Lakpa, Nawang, and Gyelje. They’re planning to head up to Camp one in a couple of hours.
Everyone’s doing OK. We had some high winds on the mountains like I mentioned and luckily it seems like our tents have survived but a lot of tents from other teams got damaged and blown around and some of ours got damaged as well but we patched them up, so we’ll be OK. We’re going to keep making progress up the mountain and we will keep you posted about how everything is going, thanks a lot for following our progress.
We saw this beautiful, rare, wild Himalayan Tahr ram sheep on the slopes above Pangboche. Gorgeous!!!! back to top
We saw this beautiful Himalayan tahr ram sheep on the slopes above Pangboche.
Thanks to Chris and Norissa Howard, even though today was a rest day, we made a special trip to the local Pangboche school to give the kids and their teachers toothbrushes, toothpaste, pens and pencils. The children and their teachers were very excited and thankful to receive the gifts!!!! back to top
Teachers getting ready to to hand out toothbrushes, toothpaste, and pens. Thanks to Chris and Norissa Howard!. Here is the school where we gave the new toothbrushes, toothpaste, and pens. Thanks to Chris and Norissa Howard!. Students appreciating their new toothbrushes, toothpaste, and pens.
Life in basecamp takes on many aspects and here are just a few! back to top
Amanda Fitchen, Gary, and the Island Peak group visited us in basecamp. Diet coke, and a propane heater, this is what keeps us going in basecamp!. Kaji Tamang, our superb basecamp manager, and Jangbu Ssherpa our chief sherpa (in background).
Hi this is Gavin Vickers from Australia doing the dispatch for the 3rd from Everest Basecamp.
We climbed carefully to camp 3 and spent 2 nights there, then came back to camp 2 and then back through the icefall which had changed considerably since the 10 days when we went through it before.
All the members are really well, some are lying down to recover from the altitude and some are staying in the beautiful confines of basecamp and enjoying the party-like atmosphere with all the other teams. All the members are doing great and we’re just waiting for a weather window to attempt the summit, so when that weather window comes we’ll be making our way up to camp 1 or camp 2 and then all the way to the South Col for the summit attempt which should take about 6-7 days.
Everyone’s pretty excited about that and in great spirits. This has been Gavin Vickers, thank you very much. back to top
Camp Two at Sunset looking West (Mitch Lewis). Mitch and Lakpa descending the Lhotse Face (Paula Leonard).Paula and Thile climbing (Mitch Lewis). Mitch and others on Lhotse Face (Paula Leonard). Team at breakfast (Stew Edge). View o Everest from Camp3 (Squash Falconer).
This is Stewart Edge from England on the Summit Climb Everest south expedition.
We’ve just spent two nights up at camp 3 on the Lhotse face at 7100 metres. The Lhotse face is 80 degree sections of blue ice and 50 degree sections of fresh snow which we all had to jumar up. The higher we got the slower we all became as the effects of the new higher altitudes and the town view of tents on display took affect. The whole team made it in great time.
Camp 3 is cut into the ice snow half way up the face with fantastic views of the Western Cwm way below and the headrest of Lhotse still way ahead of us. We're having to use hanging space to make ice for drinks and meals. The stove seems to always be preparing just to keep us rehydrated.
On the second day up here we’ve explored the face above the camp and reached camp 4 on the South Col. We all slept better on our second night and I was woken up by all of the thaw frost falling on me and we made snowballs in our tent at 5am.
We’re now on our way back down to base camp at approximately 300 metres down the Lhotse face which was awesome, as we decided to spend the night at camp 2 last night. We’re already at the lower altitude of 6300 metres which feels great. Everyone’s looking forward to showers and more exotic food at basecamp today. Our timed donation rotations are now over and we’re awaiting a weather window either at basecamp or in the lower villages. To follow more of my dispatches please visit my website thanks. back to top
Camp 2 after snowfall (Stew Edge). Camp One Tents (Mitch Lewis). Camp 3 (Stew Edge). Camp Two at sunset icewalls (Mitch Lewis).
Hi this is Paula Leonard from Florida and Alaska, USA on the SummitClimb Nepal Everest expedition. Today is Friday April 29th.
Yesterday we got off to a fairly early start and headed up the Western Cwm to camp 3 at about 7000 metres/23000 feet. It was a very difficult but very successful assent of the Lhotse face with pitches that were 45 degrees plus and required us to be both clipped in and jumaring up long stretches of blue ice. Our sherpas as usual were superhuman and super cheerful guiding us up here. While we were climbing it alternated between boiling hot and freezing cold.
We had a windstorm last night where it seemed like giants tried to shake our tents off the ledge where we’re perched. Today after the wind subsided some of the members are resting and some are climbing a little further up. The only wildlife we’ve seen so far are birds. We’re hoping to head down to camp 2 tomorrow everyone is acclimatizing well, signing off lots of love to all of my peeps, bye. back to top
Our visitors at base camp (Beow Lim). On the Lhotse Face (Mitch Lewis). Peter Rogers, Jeanette McGill, Carol Dahl and Helen Brown came to visit us at base camp (Beow Lim). Squash & Stew celebrating Squash's & RAB's 30th birthday (Squash Falconer).
Hi this is Alex Holt from England calling in a dispatch for the Everest Nepal & Lhotse expedition. Today is Wednesday April 27th.
Last night it snowed 20cms and we are resting in camp 2 today. No one is going up the Lhotse face right now. Yesterday the team climbed up to the bottom of the Lhotse face. Stew and I climbed up the bottom section with mainly Sherpa guides. It was steep and icy.
In the next three days we all hope to climb together to camp 3 and sleep there for a few nights to finish our acclimatisation. Most days start off sunny and turn cloudy and snowy in the afternoon.
I’d also like to add something for Friday the 29th. Last night we slept at camp 3 for the first time and this morning I climbed up to the yellow band at 7500m. There were a group of 4 sherpas just above the yellow band fixing rope to the South Col. The route is unbroken and snowy in most places with ice in other places. That’s all for now. Thanks for following the news at www.SummitClimbNews.com bye. back to top
Stew, Alex, Gav-The Massive & Dan about to leave Camp One (Squash Falconer). Stew coming down the Lhotse face from Camp Three (Squash Falconer). Squash opening her birthday hat - which says 'SQOASH' on it & her birthday cake (Squash Falconer). Squash pointing out a rather large crevasse near Camp Two (Squash Falconer). Stew on 5 stage ladder (Squash Falconer). Mitch in the Western Cwm (Lakpa Nuru Sherpa).
Hi, this is Gavin Vickers from Australia giving a dispatch for the SummitClimb Everest/Lhotse expedition for 25 April.
There are beautiful blue skies up here at the bottom of the Lhotse face. Today we climbed 350 vertical metres towards camp 3. It was a nice climb until a snow storm blew in and we turned around and headed back to camp 2.
Today was Anzac Day in Australia, a remembrance day to all of the soldiers serving in the armed forces.
It was a great day and we ended it with a delicious meal. Thanks for listening. Bye, bye. back to top
Squash, Paula & Mitch walking from Camp 1 towards Camp 2 (Stew Edge). Squash, Stew, Alex and Jangbu climbing through the ice fall (Gavin Vickers).
Today was a very special day for two reasons. One of the reasons is it was Easter Sunday and we all got woken up early by Gavin doing a fantastic impression of the Easter Bunny and brining chocolate eggs to all of our tents. We were all delighted by that.
It was also a special day because it’s my 30th birthday. I can’t tell you how great it is to spend my 30th up here at camp 2 on this Everest trip.
We had a really nice day, spending it acclimatizing around camp. We helped the sherpas build a platform for our dining tent and had some nice food. Tonight we had a really nice meal and I even had a chocolate cake covered in pineapple. I got a nice hat with my name knitted on it, although there was a spelling mistake which I think kind of made it nicer. The rest of the team all got together and gave me presents. I got some foot warmers, jelly energy beans, and some chocolates so it was kind of perfect.
The weather has been really good. It’s actually been amazing for the whole trip. We’ve had lots of sunshine, not too much wind and it’s been kind of quite stable. There has been a little bit of snow, which has been nice and makes everywhere look clean.
We’ve also been meeting some famous people, some quite cool people…literally. Today Kenton Cool stopped by our camp and had a cup of tea. He was with a French gentleman named Sebastian who was also really nice and stopped by for some tea. Yesterday we met Dave Hall, who is up here with a 16 year old American girl. We think she is attempting to be the youngest female to climb Everest.
Then, bizarrely, while we were standing around drinking tea today we saw the pope. Or at least somebody dressed as the pope. We were all at camp and this guy with a TV crew appeared dressed as the pope, so that was quite funny.
I think that’s about all. I had a brilliant birthday. I’d like to say hi to everyone at home, tell you I’ve had an amazing day and when I get back to basecamp I’ll get in touch with you all.
The whole team is doing really well. We’re all happy because it’s Easter Sunday and we’ve all had Easter eggs. The next few days we’re going to start some more acclimatization and maybe head up the Lhotse Face and get to camp 3, but we’ll see how it goes.
That’s all for now. I’ll call in again soon. Bye. back to top
Squash in the ice fall - just crossed three ladders going over a huge crevasse! (Squash Falconer). Squash & Stew in their tent at Camp 1 (Squash Falconer).
Hi this is the dispatch from the Everest Nepal expedition on the 23rd of April.
We’re up in camp 2. The elevation here is 6330 metres or so. Our sherpas have located a really beautiful camp on a high marine at the base of Mount Everest. It’s a stunning place and we have a really peaceful camp. There’s nobody camped around here, so it’s very quiet. They fixed us a delicious lunch and an amazing big dinner.
Now we’re heading off to sleep and our plan for tomorrow is to have a rest day up here in camp 2 and explore the environment, check out the setting and see what is going on here with an eye towards in the next three days or so (maybe 4 days) working our way up towards camp 3 and trying to spend the night up there.
So we will keep you posted on how everything’s going. Thank you very much take care. Bye, bye. back to top
Alex on the Lhotse Face (Stew Edge). Beow Lim abseiling in the Khumbu Icefall (Beow Lim). Building a platform at Camp Two for the dinning tent (Squash Falconer). Gavin crossing icefall ladder (Stew Edge). Gav 'The Massive' mending his climbing boot (Alex Holt). Dan eating noodles Camp 3 (Stew Edge).
Hi this is the Everest Nepal dispatch for 22nd of April.
We’re back up in camp 1 at 5900 metres. It’s slightly windy, there’s a bit of snow blowing around, a few clouds, but the weather’s generally pretty good and the team’s feeling pretty well overall. We’ve got all the members and sherpas up here. We climbed up to the icefall today.
It’s now in the early evening and tomorrow if we’re feeling well we hope to go up to camp 2 for some acclimatization and to have a look around on the higher mountain. We will keep you posted. Thank you very much. Bye, bye. back to top
Camp Two (Squash Falconer). Mitch taking a rest after arriving at Camp Two (Squash Falconer).
We have a great team and our trip to camp 1 was amazing! I thought these were really awesome. back to top
Hi, this is Squash Falconer doing the dispatch for the 17th & 18th of April for the Everest Nepal Trek.
Yesterday we got up at 3 o’clock in the morning so that we could leave basecamp at 4 o’clock and climb through icefall early to get to camp 1. It’s important that you go through before the sun hits it when it’s nice and cool and cold.
This icefall is absolutely incredible with massive seracs that you have to climb around and through, massive great crevasses and loads of ladders tied together that you have to climb across. Most of the way is fixed rope so you have to clip in on your safety line. It was a really incredible hike up here.
All the members made it to camp 1 in really good time and it was really warm when we got up here so we just hung out in our tents.
It was a very special day yesterday. It was one of our members, Stewart's birthday and we decided that we’d put a bit of a treasure hunt together for him so that he had to work for his presents. What we did is we gave him little tasks to do, like 5 star jumps to get his next clue or 5 sit ups or kiss Dans’ head or something like that. The clues were things like go to the tent where 'man mountain' is and 'boy on heat' is. That was obviously Gavin and Alexs’ tent. Anyway by the time he’d collected his clues and done all his tasks he got to his final clue at Mitch and Paula’s tent and that’s where he got his present. What we’d done is all put some goodies in a bag for him so he got some chocolate bars, beef jerky, a packet of biscuits and some other nice things, but we’d also got him a hat knitted down in Lowdeshay by one of the ladys who owned a pea hut. Due to his surname, Edge, we got Edgie written on his hat so he was pretty pleased with it and that was a nice way to end the day.
We were all in bed by 7-7.30 pm and pretty tired after our hard day through the icefall. This morning we got up at a much more reasonable hour at about 7.30 – 8 am and had an easy day today. We hiked up a couple of hundred metres toward camp 2 to this huge crevasse where they’d tied 5 ladders together. None of us actually crossed it but it was pretty amazing to look at it. In fact, that’s not true. Jangbu, one of the climbing sherpas, crossed it and we’ll put a photo up of that. It’s absolutely amazing.
Then we came back down to camp one for lunch and we all just hung out and rested. The weather got quite bad this afternoon. It got really windy. A couple of the other teams lost tents. We were fortunate. We only had a couple of tent poles snap and we tied the rest of the tents down. It’s calmed down again and now it’s nice outside.
It’s 6.30 pm now and we’re all going to bed and going to get up early tomorrow and head back down to basecamp. OK keep following the dispatches. Bye. back to top
Mitch looking refreshed after he'd had a shower at base camp (Dan Mazur). Mitch in the icefall (Mitch Lewis). Mitch practicing crossing a ladder (Mitch Lewis). Paula in the icefall (Mitch Lewis).
Hi this is the Dan Mazur calling on the 17th April. I’m just calling to recap what we’ve been doing the last few days here on the Everest Nepal expedition with Summit Climb. By the way, today is Stewart Edges’ birthday! I’m calling you at 3.15 am.
We’re about to head up the icefall. It’s a gorgeous moonlit night. There’s no wind, the temperature is below freezing, but it’s not very cold and we’re looking forward to getting a delicious breakfast and having an early start as we head up the icefall for the first time. Everyone’s feeling well and is very excited. We have 8 sherpas and 7 members with us today so it’s going to be a big group. We’re going to have a lot of fun and be very safe.
On the 14th of April we came down from Pumori ABC where we’d been doing some acclimatizing at 5700 metres. We came down to Gorak Shep and all of us checked our emails and enjoyed hot tea. It was nice to come down to this small village and relax and do some people watching as a lot of trekkers go through here to see Mount Everest. We also checked out the vicinity for bio-gas for an environmental project we’re working on with the Mount Everest Foundation for Sustainable Development.
On the 15th we had a very enjoyable rest day. It was sunny and gorgeous. We washed clothes, ate lots of food and had some visitors who came to basecamp; Scott Darcy and his friend Tim from Alaska, as well as Luca from Italy. They spent the night with us on the night of the 15th and we were treated by Mitch Lewis to some very fun videos and we watched some segments of ‘The Office’ television programme which features in Britain and the USA, as well as a 30 minute episode of a cartoon called South Park.
Then on the 16th we got some aluminium ladders from the Icefall Doctors camp and set those up in our basecamp and simulated a crevasse bridge. We crossed by walking across these ladders with ropes and everyone had a go at it; all the members, all the sherpas, the visitors and even some members came over from the Swedish climbing team, as well as some people from the medical camp. So we had a big gathering in basecamp. It was really fun with gorgeous sunshine. We took a lot of photos and it was amazing to practice crossing this ladder and remind ourselves what it’s like.
We went to bed really early around 7.30 pm and now I’m talking to you this morning, so wish us all the best. We’re going to go up to camp 1 for a couple of days and then we’re going to acclimatize, hike around up there, spend a few nights, and face the altitude. Then we’re going to come back down to basecamp most likely on the 19th. We’ll have to walk back down to Gorak Shep where we have satellite connection so we can send our emails, seeing as that this year the satellite emails and internet aren’t working as well in basecamp. We’ve been talking to the other teams and everyone seems to be sharing in that so we hope that’ll be solved quickly, but we will stay in touch with you as much as possible. Thanks for listening and take care, bye bye. back to top
'Old School' climbers Soren and Matt came to visit us at base camp (Gavin Vickers). Paula in the icefall (Mitch Lewis).
Dispatch for Everest Nepal and Lhotse Team 2011 - Squash Falconer
We arrived at base camp on Friday 8th April. Some of the trekkers came to visit the next day (Becci ,Rob and Leah). It was really great to see them, they did so well making it all the way not only to base camp but all the way to our camp (which is about an hours walk into base camp).
We really like our camp, mostly because there's a shower tent!
After a couple of rest days we spent some time checking and preparing our climbing gear and had a morning in the lower ice fall practicing our climbing and descending techniques. It was good fun and we had a laugh..
We also had our Puja - a traditional sherpa ceremony where kit is blessed and prayers are said for a safe climb and return. It begins in a calm fashion but soon descends into drinking and throwing rice and flour everywhere - obviously!
Yesterday, after one more rest day at base camp, we hiked across to Pumori ABC (5,700m) so that we could spend a night acclimatizing at a higher altitude. It was really beautiful over there and the views of Everest, Lhotse and Nuptse were fantastic.
The whole team made it over there in really good time and everyone was feeling good after a night at a higher camp. back to top
Camp Two at Sunset (Mitch Lewis). Ladder and Boot in the Icefall (Mitch Lewis). Ladders between camp one and camp two (Mitch Lewis). Lakpa, Mitch and Stew at the bottom of the Lhotse face (Squash Falconer).
Hello, this is Mitch Lewis with Summit Climb Everest Nepal Expedition 2011. Today is Wednesday April 13th; we’ve got a lot to catch up on for the last 7 days.
We left Gorak Shep on April 7th and arrived in basecamp on April 8th. During the time here we’ve had a lot of snow and sunny times we’ve also had a fair amount of adventure, visiting the Everest ER and also relocating.
Everybody here is in good shape both mentally and physically, we’re all acclimatizing well and we had our trekkers come visit us on April 9th which was great fun.
During this time the icefall is being prepared by the icefall doctor. Yesterday was the big day of our Puja. The sherpas and all of our staff went to a lot of preparation. We had lamas do the religions ceremony and we all had fun, there was a lot of rice and other stuff.
Today we’re heading off to Pumori advanced basecamp and we’re looking forward to talking to you soon. We will have internet access in about 2 or 3 days. We haven’t had any so far at basecamp and it’s been very limited coverage.
We have two more things to add; two days ago we had a massive ice climbing training expedition at the base of the Khumbu icefall where we all had a chance to practice our jumar and for some of us it was our first time abseiling and for at least one of us ended upside down it was perfect training. After that we were also lucky enough to have chocolate covered apple pie as part of the celebration of Puja.
Also just to remind you that a number of us have blogs, mine is:
Mitch and Lakpa at bottom of Lhotse Face at big Crevasse (Paula Leonard). Mitch and Lakpa climbing (Paula Leonard). Lhotse Face below Camp Three (Mitch Lewis). Mitch at Camp Three below Everest (Paula Leonard).
Thanks for putting this up on Summitclimb & summittrek news & social media.
Yesterday our team reached Everest basecamp at 5300 metres, 17,380 feet. Our basecamp is scattered among 5 metre, 16 foot high lumps of ice and moraine rubble heaps, interspersed with tiny frozen puddles. This morning it is quite sunny and calm at the moment, but clouds keep scudding across the sky and blocking the sun, then snow comes sprinkling down. A wisp of wind rattles the tent fabric from time to time and last night's crisp clear darkness lit with a sliver moon was punctuated with the explosions of ice crashing inside the infamous Khumbu icefall.
Our team of 7 climbers, 7 sherpas and 2 cooks are melding together nicely, as we build up our camp, chopping tent platforms in this glaciated moonscape terrain and everyone nestles into their own comfortable private tent. We are camped at the base of the mighty Khumbu icefall and the icy rocky ramparts of Everest tower above us massively. These huge Himalayan peaks surround us in three directions because we are camped in an enourmous glacier basin, as if sitting in the mouth of a shark with so many tall teeth poking out all around and above. We are treated to picture postcard views of the mighty mountains looming over our heads, exotically named Pumori, Lingtren, Khumbutse, Changtse, West Ridge of Everest, Lhotse, and Nuptse. What more could we ask for?
On a sadder note, after joining us for lunch, our basecamp trekking team has descended from basecamp and is heading down valley to warmer forested hillside potato terraces bathed in green light and dotted with blooming Rhododendron flowers and grazing yaks. We had a lovely time walking together with together with the trek team and they will be missed very much.
Uh oh, just now a delicious scent of freshly simmering home made noodle soup tickles my nose and, low and behold, the cook is banging a pot just outside our comfortable dining tent, so I am afraid its time for me to say goodbye and join the team at our long table where we sit together, break bread, share stories, and prepare for the coming day.
Sorry I have rambled on and thanks for listening. back to top
Hello, here is the dispatch from the summit trek team for 8 April, 2011.
Upon reaching the summit of Kala Patar, Norrisa Howard made this speech:
I would first like to quote Dickens:
"This trek has been the best of times and the worst of times."
The best of times making new friends, and seeing the beauty of God's creation. The worst of times would be squat toilets.
I would like to say hello to our friends Melanie, Dan, Linda and Pete.
And best wishes to the summit climbers.
I will close by quoting Forest Gump: "That is all I have to say about that."
Please enjoy the attached photos. back to top
Rob and Beccy on a rock almost at Gorak Shep Photo (Beccy Cresswell). SummitTrek Spring 2011 team in Lobuche with Nuptse behind (Chris Howard). Stewart Edge on the summit of Kala Patar with his charities flag (Stewart Edge). Rob, Beccy, Leah, and Sanje Sherpa on the summit of Kala Patar (Leah Jay).
Hi, this is Gavin Vickers from Australia reporting for the SummitClimb Lhotse expedition on the 7th of April. After a nice breakfast we left Lobuche and walked down to the Khumbu glacier for the last glimpse before base camp to Gorak Shep. We enjoyed some lunch. Unfortunately some of our members are experiencing symptoms from altitude, but are feeling much better. Today the climbing group will move up to basecamp, and the trekking group are tackling the trekking peak, Kala Pattar, at 5550 metres. It’s nice weather, there are spectacular views of Everest and the Khumbu Icefall. The trekking group will join the climbing group at basecamp tomorrow for lunch before descending to Lobuche. Thanks for following the news from the mountain. back to top
Norrisa Howard and Chris Howard on the summit of Kala Patar. Chris is wearing a Go Pro Camera on his head. Norrisa Howard poses on the summit of Kala Patar with Glamour Magazine (Chris Howard).
Hello this is Alyn Caulk from Virginia, USA, reading a note to Gavin Vickers for his birthday, the 6th of April 2011 from Lobuche, Nepal.
His name is Gavin Vickers,
But to us he’s Gav the Great,
Our yeti most magnificent,
Our thoughtful, faithful mate.
I’ve heard he is a cyclist,
A regular triathlon champ,
A runner in Tibet, no less,
In bright red underpants.
He loves his two Dalmatians,
Elvis and Freckles, what marvelous names,
And drives a silver cougar, a mentor for the youth at home
More awesome than a cougar.
A ruggedly handsome face has he,
And twinkle in the eye,
That melt the girls both near and far,
(We think he’s picked one on the fly).
But though he works in coal mines,
We know his heartfelt passion,
To climb the highest heights all around,
With fortitude and in steadfast passion.
For us he is our leader,
Fearless, competent, tactful, kind
Patience with wise council,
Always ready, keeping us in mind.
His booming laughter cheers us,
Regardless of the cold,
We would be lost without him,
He keeps us in the fold.
When tragic times befall us,
In unexpected ways,
His skill and spiritual compassion,
Provide relief and help us through the days.
And so we celebrate this special day,
In honour of his birth,
We wish him all success and love,
And many many more years of joy, On earth and beyond.
Happy birthday from Linda, Pete, Melanie, Dan, Beccy and Rob, Norrisa, Chris, Leah, Alyn, Squash, Stewart, Paul, Mitch, Alex, Dan, and Deha. back to top
This is Beccy and Rob from Warrington in England on the 5th of April. We’re reporting on the Everest Basecamp Trek!
We woke up after a FREEZING night – it must have been at least minus fifty. We didn’t care though, because this was the best tea house – it had a sit-down toilet! Yay! We started the day with a full English breakfast, complete with sausage, bacon, waffles, bean, black pudding, the full works. After breakfast, obviously we were very full, we went for a little walk around Pheriche and went to the medical center to talk to the doctors there. Obviously it was getting a bit busy, the usual star thing going on, you know, Julia Roberts, Tom Cruise and the rest of the usual clientele.
We set off to Dugla at half past eleven. The scenery was absolutely fantastic and we took some really cool photos. It was sunny but still very cold. You can see lots of mountains in the background, including Ama Dablam. We also saw Squash chasing some yaks around a field, trying to get some footage with a video camera.
It was an easy walk today, but the air was very cold and we could definitely feel the difference in altitude. At about two o’clock we reached the bustling, sprawling city of Dugla , which in actual fact was just one teahouse. By teatime, we were faced with mixed grill on the menu, followed by a black forest gateau which was absolutely delicious.
After dinner, Dan filled us in on what was going to happen on the following day. Then it was hot tubs, champagne, strawberries, and we all retired to our en-suite luxury rooms with mints on the pillows.
The Sherpas, as always, have been just fantastic. It’s been another great day. back to top
Alex and Gavin in Tengboche (Leah Jay). Peter, Linda, Chris, and Norrisa at a cafe in Namche Bazaar (Leah Jay).
This is Paula Leonard from Florida and then Alaska, USA reporting in for the Everest Nepal expedition on the 4th of April.
In Tengboche we were woken up through the night by thunder, and in the morning, everything was covered in snow. It was beautiful. After breakfast, some of us went to the local monastery where we received blessings and safety for the mountain. We saw a baby yak (that let us pet it) then we trekked through the falling snow to the Shangri La lodge to see a local presentation by the Himalaya Rescue Association on high altitude illness. After a meal and some tea, we had another early night and we’re all looking forward to basecamp in a few days.
Alex Holt and Stewart Edge with Dorje Sherpa, first views of Everest (Stewart Edge). Beccy, Mel, Squash, Lakpa Nuru, Daniel and Gavin on the trail to Pheriche (Beccy Cresswell). Rob and Beccy on the trail with a yak (Beccy Cresswell). Stewart Edge at the Tengboche monastary (Stewart Edge).
This is Stewart Edge From England with the SummitClimb Everest Nepal expedition, on the 3rd of April, 2011. We awoke to tea being brought to our tents, the most amazing views of the sun hitting the snow peaks of Namche. I think we could all get used to this! We have a long day ahead of us, so after a breakfast of coconut rice pudding we set off with our climbing sherpas leading the way. Within a few hundred metres of camp, we saw the national bird of Nepal, the Danphe.
We had some magnificent sights, with Ama Dablam, Lhotse, and Everest. With a huge plume of snow being blown from the summit of Everest, I think it's all sinking in. If all goes well, we'll be on the summit in seven weeks time.
It's a beautiful day for trekking with the sun shining. We stopped many times to take in all the views. Nepal is all hills and it was no surprise that we had to descend 400 metres before a long climb back up to Tengboche. The hill that leads to the monastery before descending again through a rhododendron forest and back up to Tengboche where we were camping at 3950 metres/13,000 feet. It's been a long day, 9 hours trekking, but a great one. To follow my dispatches from the summit, please visit my site, . back to top
Beccy, Rob, Linda, Pete, Leah, Stew, Gavin, Paula, Mitch and Alex on the trail just after Namche Bazaar (Beccy Cresswell). Group members attend a blessing at the Lamas house in Pangboche (Stewart Edge).
Hello, this is Norissa Howard from Indianapolis, Indiana. Today took a much needed rest day after our big climb yesterday.
We were up at 7am for a warm breakfast. And then we went off to town where we enjoyed lunch at the Everest Bakery. They easily have the best pizza in town.
We did some more shopping and walking, which we enjoyed and then had a slow walk back up to camp. Some of us took naps, others journaled, some just enjoyed the sun and views of the beautiful Himalayan mountains surrounding our campsite.
Then a shower before dinner. We watched a cricket match between India and Srilanka – Srilanka won. Then we had a restful night. back to top
Yaks crossing the last bridge on the way to Namche. Some of the members a few hundred metres before Namche (Max Kausch).
This is Linda, Leah and Peter from Newcastle Australia. We woke up to a nice warm cup of tea prepared mby our wonderful kitchen staff.
We had a group breakfast and briefing with Dan and Gavin.
The trek started and we wandered around the gorge through quaint villages and across suspension bridges, which tested one's vertigo!
The group checked in at the national park entrance and we were then on our way! Surrounded by breathtaking, snow-capped mountains, one felt extremely miniscule. Crossing two more suspension bridges, the climb towards Namche Bazaar started. It was a steep incline and one had to be in awe at the locals carrying these huge loads. With the altitude, there were many stops along the way.
We arrived at Namche, thanks to our hard working and friendly sherpas and made camp. All the trekkers are now relaxing with the local, wonderful hot food and sharing stories of the day. We now all have the luxury of a rest day at 3400 metres, acclimatization and the local chocolate cake tasting in Namche. Yum!
View of one of Namche's sourrunding peaks. Namche Bazaar (Max Kausch). Leah showing some children her camera in Tok Tok (Beccy Cresswell). Porters with heavy loads on the way up to Namche Bazaar (Stewart Edge).
This is Squash Falconer on the Everest Nepal trip calling in a dispatch for the 31st of March, 2011. At 5 am this morning our full SummitClimb teams, which are Everest Nepal, Everest Tibet, Lhotse, and Everest Basecamp Trek all gathered together in Kathmandu and headed to the airport for our flight to Lukla, where our trek begins to Everest basecamp.
Seeing is believing the apparent chaos at the airport, as many expeditions are getting organized into groups and piles to be loaded onto the plane, which is specially built for the tiny landing strip at Lukla. It's a stunning, short 40 minute flight and then you literally feel like you're heading right into the mountain, as the plane approaches the 500 metre runway.
Half the group made it to Lukla on the early flight, and as the clouds rolled in we weren't sure if the kit and the rest of the group would make it – sometimes it can take days to get in or out of Lukla. But after a few hours, everybody plus the kit were in.
We just had a short trek today, to a small village called Tok Tok. It was a really pretty walk, following the river through the valley, and passing many cherry blossoms, rhododendrons, and magnolia trees. The magnolias are massive, almost the size of footballs! Everyone was in pretty good shape today and excited to start their expedition. There are lots of interesting people and it's nice to get to know each other.
If you're interested in seeing exactly where we are now or want to follow as our expedition progresses, I have a DSX Satellite Tracker which gives our exact location. To see where we are on Google Maps or Google Earth, you can go to my website, www.squashfalconer.com and in the top right hand corner of the page is a link called “Squash's Latest Location” - click on either the Map icon or the Earth icon and you'll be able to see us! back to top
Today was a very busy day of shopping, etcetera. We also had our team briefing to meet all of the members and explain the trip.
Briefing at the Kohinoor Hotel (Gavin Vickers).
Today is the first day of our spring climbing and walking season. We are in Kathmandu and all of the members are arriving. Tomorrow is the big team briefing at the Kohinoor Hotel. It has been raining here in Kathmandu, which is good as it keeps the dust down and puts water into the reservoirs. If all goes well, we plan to fly to Lukla on 31 March. Please wish us luck and enjoy the attached photos. Thanks for following our expedition teams in Nepal and Tibet! back to top
Kaji Tamang and Jangbu Sherpa checking the gamow bag in our Kathmandu office. Lakpa Gelu, Kaji Tamang, Lakpa Nuru checking dining tents at the company store room in Kathmandu. Scott Patch gets a blessing from the Lama (Gavin Vickers). Team in boudha monastery (Gavin Vickers).
Everest Nepal -
- Dan Mazur - UK/US (Leader)
- Ms. Squash F. - UK
- Ms. Paula L. - US
- Stewart E. - UK
- Mitch L. - US
- Gavin V. - Australia (Leader)
- Alex H. - UK
Everest Basecamp Trek Nepal -
- Ms. Alyn C. - US
- Ms. Beccy C. - UK
- Robert C. - UK
- Ms. Melanie P. - Australia
- Ms. Linda H. - Australia
- Ms. Leah J. - Australia
- Christoper H. - US
- Ms. Norissa H. - US
- Peter S. - Australia
- Daniel W. - Australia back to top
Everest and Lhotse Staff -
Climbing Sherpas -
- Jangbu Sherpa
- Thile Nuru Sherpa
- Lakpa Nuru Sherpa
- Sange Sherpa
- Pasang Sherpa
- Dorje Sherpa
- Nawang Nuri Sherpa
- Gyelje Sherpa
Trekking Staff -
- Kaji Tamang - sirdar as well trekking guide
- Deha Shrestha - assistant trek leader
Kitchen staff -
- Jay Bahadur - cook
- Dorje Sherpa- kitchen boy
- Sange Sherpa - trekking cook as well kitchen boy