Everest, Spring 2008
Everest, Spring 2008
30 March to 6 June, 2008
Season wrap-up. Thank you everyone. Dan Mazur reports live from basecamp.
This is Dan Mazur calling with the final dispatch from our spring climbing season. I am currently in Everest basecamp and all of our members and staff are down from the hill. It's a beautiful sunny day here. There are a few puffy clouds, light winds, crystal clear blue skies, and birds are flying around hovering on the air currents. As I speak to you I am looking up at Mount Everest and the mighty Khumbu Glacier Icefall, which looks like an enourmous frozen river of white diamonds. Occasionally an avalanche pops off from one of the subsidiary peaks which ring this corrie our basecamp lies within. These avalanches are noisy and impressive, but luckily they never touch basecamp.
This year we were blessed with great success. I am very thankful, and perhaps even a bit surprised with how lucky we were. Of course, the maxim: 'good luck follows hard work' might hold true in this case.
Many of our team members, men and women from around the world, climbed to the top of Everest, our world's highest mountain, as well as to the summit of Lhotse, the fourth highest, and thank god we had no serious accidents.
Everyone tried very hard and achieved their personal goals, whether that was trekking to basecamp, or achieving a personal high point, such as the summit of easy Island Peak, or getting up to high camp on Everest or Lhotse. We commend all of our team members on doing their very best. back to top
We faced a lot of challenges this year, especially with the closure of Tibet due to the Chinese Olympic torch parade on Everest.
However, our members, leaders, and staff showed the patience, flexibility, and determination which good mountaineers need, and we made the best of the season. back to top
14 of our Members summited Everest. Of these, We placed the Youngest Canadian man and the youngest Canadian woman on the summit of Everest. We placed a family of four on the summit of Everest.
14 of our Sherpas climbed to the summit of Everest.
We had excellent expedition leadership from Arnold Coster (photo right: Ang Sherpa and Ms. Sophie Denis on the summit of Everest).
Well, thanks for listening and watching and for your great support. Please tell all of your adventurous friends to join our fun teams of men and women from around the world. Our company survives on word-of-mouth.
This is Dan Mazur from SummitClimb.com signing off. I will look forward to a chance to chat with all of you and meet you soon. So please send me an email, or give a phone call. Ok thank you very much, and Bye for now!
Ps. Please remember to check out our leader-in-training program. We are always trying to get new leaders to join SummitClimb.com . Thanks!
Pps. Would you like to receive a colour Himalayan postcard? Please send us your postal address so we may post one to you or any of your friends and family interested in trekking and climbing. Thank you. back to top
We try to keep the momentum going here at SummitClimb, so would like to mention a few upcoming trips:
We are now working toward our July trip to Mustagata, the world's easiest 7500 metre, 25,000 foot peak, which is perfect for snowshoeing, skiing, racquetting, and snowboarding. The leader is Mustagata expert Jon Otto, who has climbed it 8 times and speaks fluent English and Chinese. There is still time to join our team of men and women from around the world, if you hurry. Climbing Mustagata would qualify you for Mount Everest (photo right by Brad Jackson: Mustagata seen from acclimatization camp at 3600 metres/11,800 feet with Karakul Lake reflecting the mountain).
For the autumn, in September we encourage you to join us on Cho Oyu , the world's sixth highest and most accessible of the fourteen highest mountains, known as 8000 metre, 26,000 foot high mountains. Cho Oyu is located beside Mount Everest. Also in September we offer an expedition to Shishapangma, the lowest of the 8000 metre peaks, and located next to Cho Oyu. The leaders will be me, Dan Mazur and Samuli Mansikka, both of whom have multiple ascents of Cho Oyu, Shishapangma, and Everest. We are relaxed friendly and very competent and safe leaders. This is our 8th Cho Oyu expedition and our 3rd Shishapangma expedition. So please let us know and come on and join our fun group of men and women from around the world. Doing these climbs would qualify you for Mt. Everest. Oh by the way, we heard a rumour that a few members might want to ski these. Wow, that might be something to watch. back to top
In October, we offer the exciting climb of 7000 metre, 23,000 foot high, Mount Ama Dablam, known as Asia's most famous rock, ice, and snow peak. It's a technical mountain, but very climbable. We fix rope from camp 1 to the summit, and the hardest move is French 4, British severe, or North American 5.7 . Our leader is Summit Climb expert and all around nice guy Arnold Coster. This is our 12th Ama Dablam expedition and we have had great success with this peak. It's a really fun and accomplishable technical climb, there is no snow-slogging as basecamp is on grass. This has become a very popular climb for technical climbers who want to test their skills safely at altitude. So please come on and join our fun group of men and women from around the world. Climbing Ama Dablam would qualify you for Mt. Everest. back to top
Well, I could go on about exciting trips we have coming up in spring of 2009 like Lhakpa-Ri and the North-Col for those who want to try their hand at 7000 metre, 23,000 foot high peak climbing, get qualified for Mt Everest, or perhaps even transition right to Mount Everest or Cho Oyu immediately afterward. This has become a very popular trip for us. back to top
Ang Sherpa and Ms. Sophie atop Everest. John Dowd and Tenji 1, Everest summit. Dr. Ken Stalter and Dawa Sherpa (they are on the right side of the photo) on the summit of Everest. Matt Lipscombe-Everest. Tenji 2 on the summit of Everest, John Shelton-Smith's sherpa. Dr. Christian Otto (Eric Otto)-Everest. Eric Otto, the youngest Canadian to summit Mt. Everest (Christian Otto). The Otto brothers (Christian Otto)-Everest. Ms. Agnieszka Kiela-Palys on the summit of Everest. Andrew Brash on the summit of Everest. Laura Mallory on top of Mount Everest. Laura is the youngest Canadian woman to climb to the summit (Pasang Norbu Sherpa). Dan, Alan, and Adam Mallory on the summit of Everest (Sange Sherpa). Lakpa Sherpa and Mike Browder on the summit of Everest (Pasang Sherpa). John Shelton-Smith. Matt Lipscombe and Nima Chirri.
Our international Everest team members & Sherpas in basecamp. Please click one of the thumbnails below to view the full size image. Photos by Dan Mazur. back to top
Arnold Coster and Maya Sherpa (They do a great job and we thank them!). Jo Valseth. Ms. Laura Ross. Pasang Norbu and Ms. Laura Mallory. Mallory family: Front row l-r: Jangbu Sherpa, Ms. Laura Mallory, Sange Sherpa; Back row: l-r: Dan Mallory, Alan Mallory, Adam Mallory. Lakpa Sherpa and Mike Browder. Ang Sherpa and Ms. Sophie Denis. John Dowd and Tenji Sherpa 1. John Shelton-Smith and Tenji Sherpa 2. Pasang Norbu and Ms. Linda Tan. Dr. Ken Stalter and Dawa Sherpa. Matt Lipscombe and Nima Chirri. From left to right: Ms. Agnieszka Kiela-Palys (congratulations to her on summitting Everest!), Cherring Dorje Sherpa, and Maciej Palys. Phurba Sherpa and Andrew Brash. Left to right: Dr. Christian Otto, Lakpa Norbu Sherpa, and Eric Otto. Photos by Dan Mazur.
Below are some short video clips taken recently by our team members. Please click the picture or title in the left column to view each clip. In the right column is the description for each video.
|Ms. Sophie Denis and Mr. Jinpa Sherpa on the summit of Mt. Everest.|
|Adam Mallory summit video on Mount Everest.|
|What more can one say about this worrisome John Shelton-Smith video of an avalanche landing near basecamp?|
|Everyone has different ideas about how best to traverse the treacherous Khumbu Icefall. This unknown team decided it would be best to walk through the ice-fall roped together in lock-step, just one metre apart. Hmmmm, we are not sure this is such a good idea (video by Diane Walker)?|
|Everest closed !?!? On 6 May, this enormous Russian-made Nepal-Air-Force helicopter landed in basecamp and 12 troops and dignitaries spewed out to make warning speeches about international security and sweep basecamp and inspect all of the tents for illegal communications equipment, flags, etcetera. Everest remained closed to climbers from 1-8 May while the Chinese Olympic torch team went to the summit. Our sincere thanks to the Nepal-Air-Force for their professional conduct during this difficult situation and for their assistance in air-evacuating one of our sherpas who suffered an apparent stroke on the way to camp 1 (video by John Shelton-Smith).|
|Diane Walker films Stefanos Voutselas crossing a treacherous ladder in the Khumbu Icefall.|
|Even some of the strongest sherpas in the world need to have a ceremony before heading off to climb Everest. Here our super-star climbing sherpas shake a leg at our puja ceremony before heading up to the summit to help our team members get to to the top and back down safely (video John Shelton-Smith).|
|Stefanos Voutselas films Les Williams descending the big scary 3-section ladder at the top of the Khumbu Ice-fall.|
Today Mike Browder and the Sherpa rescue team returned to basecamp. Thank heavens Mike and the Sherpas seem to be OK. Tired but OK.
The Everest marathon began in basecamp yesterday with 146 participants (Dan Mallory).
We were able to speak directly with Mike Browder. He and the sherpa rescue team are carefully and slowly working their way down the Lhotse face. His condition seems to be stable. We hope the team and Mike will reach camp 2 before nightfall. By the way, Mike Browder, Pasang, and Lakpa apparently did reach the summit of Mt Everest at 10:00 am on the morning of 28 May. Our congratulations. However, lets not get caught up in any kind of celebration just yet, until this rescue is over and the team is safely back in basecamp.
Thank you very much.
At 4:00 am this morning we heard that Mike is on the South Col with 4 sherpas and they are preparing to help Mike down the mountain to camps 3 and 2. We sent an additional sherpa, Tenzing, up with more supplies and oxygen to assist, so Mike will now have 5 sherpas helping him. We are doing all we can to get him down and send Mike and the rescue team all of our prayers. back to top
Additional members of the five-person rescue team reach Mike Browder, carrying extra oxygen, food, water, and medical supplies. The five person sherpa rescue team is made up of Sherpas Pasang Gyalu, Lakpa Gyalu, Jangbu, Gyalzen and Tenji. After summitting Everest, Mike may have been suffering from exhaustion, bronchitis, hypoxia, and night-snowblindness. (Mike Browder).
Mike Browder seems to be in trouble on the south summit. He's with Pasang Sherpa and Lakpa Sherpa, two of our best. It seems he is snow blind, and they are trying to get him down. As soon as we heard the news, we sent two more sherpas, Gyelzen and Sangay up from camp 2 to camp 4 with extra oxygen, food, water, and emergency equipment. We are very worried and doing everything possible to get Mike down safely. Our prayers go out to Mr. Browder and the entire sherpa team. We will keep you informed.
At 6:00 am, Mike Browder, Pasang Gyalu Sherpa, and Lakpa Gyalu Sherpa radioed to say they were on the South Summit. We send all of our prayers and thoughts for their safe ascent to the summit, as well as descent. back to top
Laura Mallory and Pasang Sherpa summitted this morning at 9:00 am. The weather was perfect, sunny and calm. They returned to the south col at 4:30 pm. We congratulate them.
Mike Browder, Pasang (2) Sherpa, and Lakpa (2) Sherpa are camped on the South Col now and plan to head for the summit tonight at 8:00 pm. We pray for their safety and success. back to top
Hello SummitClimb news. This is Arnold again calling from camp 2 with some more good news.
This morning Laura Mallory summited at 9:00 a.m., which I think is really good. All of the Mallorys have made it to the summit now. Right now the Dan, Adam and Alan are back in camp 2 together with Linda.
Tonight Michael is still lined up for the summit with Lakpa Gyalu and Pasang Gyalu. Michael is going to be the last member from our team to try for the summit, so I wish him all of the best of luck. He is very strong, I have a lot of confidence in him, and I think tomorrow I will be calling in our last summit before we start packing up. So that’s it for now. Bye, bye. back to top
Canadian Mallory family summits. Congratulations!!!
Hello Summitclimb news. This is Arnold again calling from camp 2.
I have some good news. This morning at 8:00 a.m. local time, Dan, Alan, and Adam Mallory summited Everest. I just spoke with them on the radio. They are doing fine and they will soon start their descent. Unfortunately Laura Mallory left camp 4 last night, but didn’t feel too good so she turned around. She wants to try again this evening with a sherpa. Also, Linda turned around last night and she’s back safely in camp 4.
Today Michael left for camp 3 and he’s going for his summit attempt too.
The weather is good and it’s getting warmer with spring coming. The later people summit the more warm they will feel on the roof of the world, which I think is good. Today I will talk with Jo to make a new plan. He was not feeling too good, but he’s much better. So after 1 or 2 days of rest he’ll be ready to go up also.
We’re still playing the game. People are still leaving camp 2 to go for the summit. So let’s see what happens and I’ll call in as soon as I have more news about the Mallory family. Bye, bye. back to top
Dan, Alan, and Adam Mallory on the summit of Everest (Sange Sherpa). Mallory family and others on the Hillary Step (Sange Sherpa).
Ms. Linda Tan & Mallory family heading for the summit.
Hello SummitClimb news. This is Arnold calling again from camp 2.
The Mallory family and Linda just left the South Col, together with Pasang Norbu, Jangbu, and Sange Sherpa for the summit push. I hope tomorrow at about 10:00 a.m., we get some news from them from the summit. So far they are doing fine and they have a whole night of climbing ahead of them.
Laura came down from the South Col with Pasang Gyalu. She didn’t feel too well and decided to quit her summit attempt on the South Col. Also, still here with me in camp 2 is Jo from Norway. Jo had a little bit of bad luck. The day before he wanted to go to the summit he wasn't feeling good, but he is much better now. Hopefully he will try for the summit in another day or two. So Jo is also still in the race.
All of the members went down to basecamp and are safe, enjoying the good food, and probably very happy after their successful summits.
That’s it for my news for now. I hope tomorrow I can call in 5 summits for the Mallorys and Linda. For now we just have to wait and hope that they have a nice climb tonight. Bye, bye. back to top
Ms. Linda Tan & Ms. Laura Ross attempting summit. Mallory family moving up to camp 3.
Hello SummitClimb news. This is Arnold Coster, the leader of the Everest/Lhotse expedition calling from camp 2 again.
I just want to say that Eric, Christian, Agnieska, Andrew, together with Phurba, Lakpa Norbu, and Dorje all arrived back safely in camp 2 today.
The Mallorys left this morning to climb to camp 3 and have all arrived. They are probably resting now and getting ready for the long haul to the South Col tomorrow.
Linda, Laura and their sherpas, Pasang 1 and Pasang 2, are on their way to the South Col and will probably arrive in a couple of hours. So far the weather is not too good or too bad. It’s kind of weird. Below 7500 metres it’s snowing, but higher up it is clear. I hope the weather holds and Linda and Laura can summit tonight.
Tomorrow Maya and I, together with the Lhotse team members, will go to camp 3 to have another try on Lhotse. So let’s hope this time the wind is not too bad for us and we get lucky.
Until then, I will call again tomorrow with more information. Bye, bye. back to top
More members summit. Third Everest group moving up now.
Hello SummitClimb news. This is Arnold calling again from camp 2.
First of all, I’d like to say that all of our members who summited on the 21st are safely back in camp 2. They all arrived yesterday afternoon. Matt, UK John, Irish John, Sophie, and Ken are all back here in camp 2 now.
I received good news this morning. Eric, Christian, Agnieska, Andrew, together with Phurba, Lakpa Norbu, and Dorje summited Everest this morning. Congratulations to them! It’s great news we are so successful in summiting this year.
Linda left camp 2 this morning to go for her summit attempt and Laura is trying to reach the South Col today. So in the next 2 days we will get some more summits hopefully. Once I have some more detailed news I will call in again. That’s it for now. Bye, bye. back to top
Team members summit. Second Everest group moving up now.
Hello SummitClimb news. This is Arnold calling again from camp 2.
After our success on Lhotse on the 19th of May (Harris and Lakpa summited at about 9:00 a.m.), we had more summits today on Everest. Today on the 21st of May: Matt & Mingma, Irish John and Tenzing, Ken & Dawa, UK John & Tenji, and Sophie & Jimba summited Everest. They all did fine and are back at the South Col resting and drinking. Unfortunately, yesterday Berry had to turn around on the way to camp 4. He told me he felt low on energy and just couldn’t do it. Berry has already returned to basecamp and he’s doing fine, just very disappointed he couldn’t make it to the summit.
Today Eric, Christian, Andrew, Maciek, Agnieszka, Phurba, Lakpa, and Dorje went up to camp 3 to try for the summit on the 23rd. Unfortunately, Maciek had to turn around. He didn’t feel too good climbing to camp 3. He’s back safely in camp 2 with me and he might try another day. So I hope the other 5 members will make it to the summit the day after tomorrow.
Everything is going well. The forecast says the weather will be fine until the 25th, so we’re very happy. Hopefully more of our team will go to the summit. We’ll continue our plan and see what happens. So I’m very positive. Once I have news about Matt, Irish John, UK John, and Sophie coming down, I will call again. Bye, bye. back to top
A shot from above of our team member climbing the Lhotse face (Tunc Findik 2006). Camp 4 on the South Col at 8000 metres/26,300 feet (Tunc Findik 2006).
On 21 May at approximately 8:00 am the following team members summitted Everest:
- Ms. Sophie Denis, 9:00am appx
- John Dowd, 8:00am appx
- Matt Lipscombe, 8:00am appx
- John Shelton-Smith, 8:00am appx
- Dr. Ken Stalter, 8:00am appx
We send our deepest congratulations and best wishes for a safe and careful descent. We are very proud of them and the sherpas who helped! back to top
Lhotse members summit. First Everest group heading for the summit now!
Hello SummitClimb news. This is Arnold calling from Lhotse camp 3 at about 7000 metres/23,000 feet.
Yesterday we went for the summit of Lhotse with Harris, Lakpa, Jangbu, Maya, and me. Unfortunately, Maya, Jangbu, and I turned around because we thought it was too windy. Harris was feeling stronger and continued, making it to the summit with Lakpa. So Harris is the first Greek to make it to the summit of Lhotse and I think that is great news!
Today Matt, Berry, Irish John, UK John, and Ken are on their way to the South Col. I just spoke to them on the radio. They are doing fine and looking forward to reaching the South Col. Tomorrow they will hopefully reach the summit of Everest.
Today it was a little windy, but the weather seems good. The weather forecast is good for tomorrow and the day after tomorrow, so the guys should be fine. I'm heading to camp 2 right now to get some good food. I'll keep you informed. Bye, bye. back to top
Andrew Brash climbing a steep Lhotse face ice-wall on the way to camp 3. Everest is behind him on the left (Christian Otto). Christian Otto leaving the South Col after summiting (Eric Otto).
Lhotse team heading for the summit!
Hello SummitClimb news. This is Arnold calling from Lhotse camp 4 at 7850 metres/25,750 feet.
I'm here with Harris, Lakpa, Jangbu, and Maya Sherpa. We're resting right now for the rest of the night and at about 12:00 a.m. we will set off to attempt Lhotse and see what happens.
Tomorrow Matt, Berry, UK John, Irish John, and Ken will climb to camp 3 to get ready for their attempt of Everest. Everything is going great. I'll keep this dispatch short and hopefully tomorrow I'll have some good news with our first summits. So stay tuned and I'll call tomorrow with more news. Bye, bye. back to top
Groups in camp 2 & camp 3. Summit attempts soon!
Hello SummitClimb news. This is Arnold, the leader of the Everest/Lhotse expedition.
I’m calling from camp 3 right now at about 7200 metres/23,600 feet. I’m on a summit push to climb Lhotse with Maya Sherpa, Harris, Lakpa, and Jangbu Sherpa. Today we had a very hot day climbing to camp 3, so we’re a little bit dehydrated, but everybody is fine.
Matt, Berry, Irish John, UK John, and Ken arrived in camp 2 today. They are going to rest tomorrow in camp 2. Their plan is to climb up to camp 3 on the 19th and to summit Everest on the 21st. So the next couple of days we have a lot of things going on. We’ve probably got people summiting Lhotse and Everest.
Let’s see what happens with our group tomorrow, when we will climb to Lhotse camp 4 at 7850 metres/25,750 feet. Our plan is to summit Lhotse on the 19th. So far the weather gods are in our favour. Let’s see what happens. I’m very optimistic, but you never know with the weather. I’ll talk to you again tomorrow. Thank you for following our news. Bye, bye. back to top
Climbers in the Western Cwm. Looking in the Cwm from camp 3 at 7200 metres/23,600 feet (Andrew Brash).
Team back in basecamp preparing for the summit!
Hello SummitClimb news. This is Arnold again calling from camp 2.
Today our last 2 members who slept in camp 3, Linda and Laura, went down to basecamp for the final rest before their summit attempt. The only member who is coming up to camp 2 today is Adam Mallory. He is trying to catch up for lost time, so we will see him here soon.
All of the members are eating well and resting a lot for their final attempt for the summit. It’s going to be a couple of hard days for them.
Right now all of our sherpas are doing a marvelous job. They have to carry more than 100 oxygen bottles to the South Col at 8000 metres/26, 200 feet. They also have to pitch tents and stock food, so they are pretty busy right now while our members are resting to make everything ready for their summit attempt.
I expect our members back in a couple of days in camp 2. Our first attempt for Lhotse is planned right now for the 19th of May, if the weather stays good of course. The first attempt for our Everest group will be on the 21st, also if the weather allows of course.
So I’ll keep you updated. I’m going back to the sherpas right now to eat dinner with them. Talk to you soon again. Bye, bye. back to top
Hello SummitClimb news. This is Arnold calling from camp 2, 6300 metres/20,700 feet.
Today Matt, Berry, and Irish John came down safely from camp 3 at 7300 metres/24,000 feet and they were the first from our team to spend the night up there. Ken and UK John also went to camp 3 today. All of them are now on their way down to basecamp to do a final rest to prepare for their summit attempt.
Tonight Christian, Eric, Michael, Andrew, and the three Mallorys will sleep in camp 3 to prepare for their summit attempt. Sophie and her sherpa are there as well. That group will also go down tomorrow and rest in basecamp. In that time, all of the sherpas will start carrying all of the oxygen to camp 4 and prepare the high camp so that everything is ready for our members to summit.
I estimate that the first members will summit around the 20th of May, if the weather allows us of course. Everybody is quite healthy and strong.
So we’re doing well here and everybody is getting pretty excited to go to the summit. The clock starts to tick now. In a few weeks we’ll probably be finished. After all of the delays with waiting for the Chinese to summit everything is going very fast now. Let’s see what happens. I’m excited and I’m sure all of the members are excited. Pretty soon I’ll have more news. Bye, bye. back to top
A view of our comfortable camp 2 looking up towards the Lhotse face (Bruce manning, 2007). Members wave in the Western Cwm between camp 1 and camp 2 (Dan Mazur, 2007).
Hello SummitClimb news. This is Arnold calling from camp 2 at 6300 metres/20,700 feet.
Most of our members are relaxing here in camp 2 and waiting for camp 3 to be finished. Today our sherpas pitched three tents in camp 3 and tomorrow they will finish the rest of the job setting it up. Our camp 3 is at about 7400 metres/24,300 feet. Also, two sherpas from our group, Mingma Shera and Dorje, went all of the way to the Geneva Spur to fix the ropes there. Our staff is doing a marvelous job in trying to catch up from our delay.
Tomorrow Ken, Christian, Andrew, Michael, Laura and the Polish couple will come up and join us in camp 2. Then everyone will be in camp 2 except Adam Mallory. He got a stomach problem in camp 1 and had to go down to basecamp, but he's in good hands with our sirdar, Kaji, and our other sherpas who are taking care of him there. So I hope to see him in camp 2 soon as well.
Until anything changes, that is it for now. Tomorrow most of our members will climb on the Lhotse face, sleep in camp 2 again, and then if they sleep in camp 3, I will give a ring again. Bye, bye. back to top
Hello SummitClimb news readers.
Today we got the official news the Chinese summited! That means all our restrictions to climb Everest and Lhotse are gone!
Tomorrow Ken, UK John, Irish John, Jo, Harris, Linda and Sofie will go to camp 2 to join Matt, Berry and the Mallory family, who are already on the way to C2. Camp 3 will be fixed on the 9th and our tents will probably be in place on the 10th or 11th (photo right by Aldas Baltutis: Arnold in Everest basecamp in 2007).
Everybody is very happy to start climbing again and spirits are very high.
On the 10th, Laura, Eric, Christian, Michael, Andrew, the Polish couple, Arnold and Maya will go up to C2. This way we have enough tent space in C3 and everybody will have a good night there.
Most members will come down after sleeping In C3 at 7200 metres/23,600 feet to have their final rest in basecamp before pushing to the summit.
So everybody is fine and we are all excited to start the final stage of our expedition! Cheers, Arnold. back to top
Hello Summitclimb news readers.
Today Our liaison officer in basecamp told us that 50 Chinese are in camp 3 right now to push to the summit tonight. They hope to summit on the 8th. This means if they summit tommorow we can move around freely again.
Tomorrow Matt and Berry will climb to camp 2 and the four Mallory´s go to camp 1 and then camp 2. 11 of our Sherpa's are in camp 2 waiting to get the "go" to fix camp 3. I think we will have it ready on the 10th, so we are only a little behind schedule and will catch up.
Slowly, through the following days, all members will go up and try to sleep in camp 3 at 7200 metres/23,600 feet. After this we will rest a final time in basecamp and try for the summit when the weather is good. Traditionally this is between the 20-25th of May, but we will see how the conditions are around that time.
We are working closely together with other team and will make the route to the summit together.
Wishing the team all of the best for a safe and successful ascent!!
All our members all healthy and strong and everybody wants to climb higher on the mountain soon! back to top
5 of our team members are still in Dingboche resting, while all of the others are here. No one is allowed to climb to camp 3 yet, therefore the route is not fixed. Today we had a very good good Puja with the SummitClimb Lhotse team. They will go camp 1 tomorrow. The Everest members are bored, but we brought some refreshments from Pangboche to cheer them up. Maybe we will have a party in basecamp! back to top
Hello Summitclimb news. Here is the latest from Everest.
We have found out that camp 2 is opened up again, but we still have to wait for the Chinese to summit until we can go to camp 3. Right now they might try again on the 6th, from what we've heard.
The teams that are going to fix the route to camp 3 have already been made. Also, all ropes and other equipment are now in camp 2 ready to extend the route upwards. As soon as we can go it will just be a matter of one day to finish the route to the South Col.
Right now some of our members are resting in a lower village of Dingboche, while others are trying to stay busy in basecamp. In a couple of days, some of our members will go up to sleep in camp 2. Linda and the Mallory family still have to stay some more nights there before they can go up to camp 3.
So for most of us, we''re just waiting for the Chinese until we can continue our schedule. Thanks. Arnold. back to top
The Everest team is all down from the mountain. Everyone is doing well.
Linda has recovered and is feeling better, so she plans to move up with her Sherpa. Mike is our leader-in-training. He is doing a great job. Matt is feeling strong. Berry is feeling much better, after coming up to basecamp a bit too fast (his bags were lost in Heathrow Terminal 5 and have now arrived). Jo is feeling strong. Sophie is well. The Ottos are ok. The Mallory's have been working their way up the mountain, and Laura Mallory was looking very strong in Camp 2, go Laura! Laura Ross has been quite focused on staying healthy and getting properly acclimated. Andrew is staying the course. John from England is quite keen. John from Ireland is waiting for his chance. Agnieszka and Maciek are staying the course. Haris (who has not been able to speak his native greek to anyone for three weeks) is excited that he has another countryman to speak with, as Stefanos has just arrived with the Lhotse team. Ken wants to stay in basecamp and be ready when his turn comes. Most of the team are moving down to lower villages for a rest.
Many will go down to Dingoche. Arnold and Maya went to Pangboche for a much needed rest. Its been a tough year to lead the Everest team (and difficult to be a member of course), with all of the Olympic torch closures. Foriegn military jets are seen flying over the summit. A helicopter landed in basecamp with embassy officials on board, for an inspection of the basecamp.
There are checkpoints in the Khumbu where our team's luggage is being searched for communications equipment, cameras, flags, etcetera. Our Lhotse team is moving up, between Dughla and Lobuche, and they are looking strong. Go Lhotse team!
Down in Kathmandu our office has been contacting the ministries and embassies to monitor the situation. Ropes on the Tibet side of Everest are fixed to 8300 metres / 27,224 feet. Yesterday was too windy to summit, so the team is hoping to go for the summit on 2-3 May. After the Tibet-side team summits, then the mountain should theoretically reopen in short order. If they don't summit on 3 May, then they are hoping for another weather window on the 6th of May. Various officials are saying that the Nepal side of Everest could remain closed until 10 May, so no teams above basecamp until after 10 May. No one knows if that will be enforced. Everyone hopes this will not be the case. We will be monitoring the situation daily. back to top
The team is currently acclimating in camp 2.
All of of our members, except the Mallorys and Linda, made it to camp 2. They are all healthy and strong. The Mallorys are a little bit behind schedule, but they are sleeping in camp 1 right now and tomorrow they will come up to camp 2 for a short visit before returning to camp 1.
Unfortunately, Linda had a chest infection and couldn't make it to camp 2. Right now she is resting in a lower village with one of our kitchen staff to take care of her. We send her our best and hope she will recover soon.
So everybody is doing fine. This year, due to the Chinese Torch Parade on Everest, our dispatches are a bit less frequent, but don't worry, everyone is doing well so far. back to top
A view of our comfortable camp 2 looking up towards the Lhotse face (Bruce manning, 2007). Members wave in the Western Cwm between camp 1 and camp 2 (Dan Mazur, 2007).
This morning Ken, Andrew, John Shelton-Smith, John Dowd, Sophie, Matt, Tenji(1), Dawa, Tenji(2) and Ang Sherpa went to camp 1 and are planning to go to camp 2 tommorow!
The past three days our Sherpa's have been very busy carrying supplies to C2. We will have a small basecamp there.
Tommorow Laura, Linda, Arnold, Christian, Jo, Eric, Berry, Mike, Maciek, Agnieszka, Pasang (1), Pasang (2), Dorje and Maya Sherpa will go to C1 and on to C2. The Mallory's and Haris will follow on Sunday.
The mountain is probably going to be closed from the 1st of May until the Chinese Olympic Torch team summits, so we are just in time to get some more acclimatization. back to top
Hello Summitclimb news readers. This is Arnold again calling from Gorak Shep.
Most of our members have now slept in camp 1, at about 6000 metres/19,700 feet, and everybody did fine.
Our last 4 members, "the Mallory's", arrived in basecamp two days ago. They look strong and healthy.
Today they are trekking to Pumori ABC at about 5700 metres/18,700 feet to get some more altitude. After this they will probably practice on the ropes and ladder on the lower part of the ice-fall to get comfortable with this obstacle, before going to camp 1.
Right now the members who slept in camp 1 are resting, taking showers, and washing clothes. Normal basecamp life!
This morning 14 Sherpa's went up to pitch camp 2. They will put a full kitchen and about 16 tents there. This is going to be our 2nd Summitclimb village on the mountain. It will probably take about three days before our camp 2 is fully operational and our members can sleep there. Until then we will probably do small walks around basecamp.
We are not in a rush, as we are still a long way from climbing to the summit of Everest and Lhotse.
Cheers, Arnold back to top
Hello SummitClimb news.
Slowly all of our members have been sleeping in camp 1. Yesterday Eric, Christian, Linda, Laura, Pasang (1), Pasang (2), Arnold, Maya, and Berry slept in camp 1. Maya and Arnold stayed in camp 1.
Right now Sophie, Jangbu, Haris, Lakpa, Agnieszka, Maciek, Jo, Matt, and Mike are here to sleep in camp 1. Last night we had a pretty windy time here, but tonight it will be a lot better. All of the members are very healthy and doing very well, so I don't see any problems.
After tomorrow only the Mallory's still have to come up to camp 1 and sleep here. Pretty much everybody will be ready to sleep in camp 2 after that. I think it's going to take 3-5 days more for us to make a good camp 2, so after this most people will rest in basecamp, wash their clothing, and then climb up to camp 2.
Everybody is fine here and the expedition is going well. I will call the next dispatch from Gorak Shep again. Bye, bye.
We would like to send our sincere thanks to the Nepal Army for coordinating communications and assisting in the rescue of the ill sherpa. Things went very smoothly, thanks to them. We are grateful. back to top
The sherpa's rescue helicopter has arrived in Kathmandu. Many thanks to all of the sherpas and team members who helped out. Also a very heartfelt thank you and our deepest appreciation to the Nepal Air Force for a brilliant helicopter-rescue.
The doctor examined Gyelzen Sherpa and said he is OK, he just needs some rest. Gyelzen is able to walk, speak, eat, drink, and seems fine. He went back to his village to be with his family and the doctor will conduct a follow-up exam tomorrow. We wish him all of the best. Thank God. It seems this was not a very serious accident, and could have been much worse.
Today and tomorrow our entire Everest team plans to move into camp 1, and we wish them all of the best for a safe and successful journey through the Khumbu Icefall. back to top
A team members going up the fixed rope in the icefall towards camp 1 (Dan Mazur).
Mrs. Nima Sherpani telephoned us this morning to report that our team worked through the night to carry the ill sherpa down to Pheriche hospital.
Mr. Murari Sharma telephoned from Kathmandu airport to say the helicopter will takeoff shortly to bring the sherpa back to Kathmandu, where he will be immediately transferred to the Kathmandu hospital for further examination and treatment. back to top
On a worrisome note: A sherpa, Gyelzen (1) Sherpa, has suffered an apparent stroke at 11:00 am on 17 April, 2008 at the top of the icefall. He was going up to camp 1, but did not reach there. Instead, he lay down on the trail at around 5800 metres/19,000 feet and complained he could not feel the right side of his body. He is unable to walk and his right side seems to be paralysed. 20 sherpas working together carried him back to basecamp and we are sending a helicopter for him now. We are very concerned about his safety and are working to evacuate him to the hospital in Kathmandu as soon as possible.
We are very mysified that this happened, as he climbed to the summit of Everest in 2006 and 2007 with no trouble. In addition, during today's journey to camp 1, he was not carrying a partcularly heavy rucksack, nor was he climbing too fast, as he was together with the group. His age is 39 years old.
On a more upbeat note (not to diminish in any way the tragic happenings of the day), 5 members and three sherpas moved to camp 1 at 5950 metres/19,500 feet, where they are safely spending the night. These are:
- John Dowd,
- John Shelton-Smith,
- Dawa Sherpa,
- Tenji (1) Sherpa,
- Phurba Sherpa.
Sending our best wishes to the team and everyone in Everest basecamp, especially to all of those who lent their kind help. back to top
Hi SummitClimb news readers.
The army gave us permission to go on, so we are planning to install camp 1 and sleep there tomorrow with the first group of 5. Today most members relaxed, took a day hike to explore the hills around basecamp or went into the icefall to perfect their skills.
So I don't have much news right now, but tomorrow I should have more. Arnold back to top
Today we had the big meeting with the military.
This is what they said:
- Radios are allowed, but we have to give them one so they can listen in on our conversations.
- No Sat-phones or Rbgan until 10th of May. They want us to hand them over.
- No camera's or video until the 10th of May.
- We can't climb above camp 2 until the 10th of May, but Sherpa's are allowed to fix ropes up to the South Col between 06:00 a.m. and 18:00 p.m.
- Everybody will get a liaison officer but they are delayed in arriving in basecamp because of the elections. They will inspect our camp for sat phones, Rbgans, etc., but they will respect the privacy of our member's tents.
- There will be a check post at Gorak Shep and all trekkers will be checked and are not allowed to bring their camera's to basecamp.
- If the Chinese torch team summits early then we can just go ahead before the 10th of May. Right now the Chinese are planning to summit on 28 April.
Dear SummitClimb news readers,
Today we went into the Khumbu Icefall for the first time. I think the route is great and a lot easier than previous times I was here. All of the members enjoyed playing with the ropes and ladders a lot.
Yesterday most of our members went to Pumori ABC, which lies at about 5700 metres/18,700 feet, thus making today's walk in the icefall a lot easier.
We are not allowed yet to climb to camp 1 until the army arrives here. They are going to keep an eye on the climbers here on the south side, so nobody does anything bad to the torch climb on the other side of Everest.
I think tomorrow we will have another meeting in basecamp and then be able to proceed to C1.
That is all for now. I'll write again as soon I have more news. back to top
Practicing on ropes and ladders in the icefall (Arnold Coster).
back to top
Hello Summitclimb news readers.
Today our plan was to walk to Kala Patar and see the nice views of Everest, but when we woke up this morning it was snowing. So we decided to spend our day training and learning different rope techniques. We climbed some ice, trained rappelling and, most importantly, we practiced how to walk on the ladders in the Khumbu Icefall.
Everybody enjoyed getting their equipment out of their duffle bags to finally climb something.
Also, Berry arrived in basecamp today. He was stuck in Kathmandu because his luggage had not arrived yet. He looks healthy and strong and it's good to have him on the team with us.
Now our plan is to go to Kala Patar tomorrow if the weather is nice. If not, we will play around in the icefall again. The 'Icefall Doctors' haven’t finished fixing the icefall with ladders and ropes, so we can't go to C1 safely as of yet.
That is it for now. back to top
Hello Summitclimb news readers.
We have been in basecamp for two days and are enjoying the comforts.
People are washing clothes and taking showers. Our basecamp is very big with about 35 personal tents for staff and members. Each member has their own private tent that does not have to be shared. We have one huge and comfortable dining tent for members, one for staff, two kitchens, two showers and three toilets (Photo right by Arnold Coster: The view of the mountains after fresh snow).
Yesterday we had a big "puja" ceremony and our expedition got blessed by a Lama (Buddhist priest). It was also a social gathering for staff and members. We had some drinks and snacks, relaxed and celebrated the start of our expedition.
Today we did some medical training. We practiced with the gamow bag. This is a portable hyperbaric pressure chamber. In this bag we can simulate a descent of 1500 metres/5000 feet if members become ill from altitude. We also talked about high altitude medicine.
Tomorrow we will go for an acclimatization hike to Kala Patar, a rocky 5545 metre/18,200 foot high outcrop near basecamp. From here we will have a good view of our climbing route.
So everybody is fine and I think we have a great team! back to top
Our puja ceremony in basecamp and members resting afterwards (Arnold Coster).
The team has reached basecamp.
Hello SummitClimb news.
Yesterday, after a long 8 hour hike, we finally reached our destination of Everest basecamp. All of the members did fine and everybody is strong and healthy. After a hard night of sleep (the first night at altitude is always a little rough) we had a 2 hour puja ceremony this morning with all of the staff, members, and sherpas from other teams. It was a good ceremony with a lot of snacks, drinks, and ‘chyaang’, the local beer in Nepal (photo right by Arnold Coster: Walking in the snow up to basecamp).
All of the members are happy and everybody is resting in their tents right now. Tomorrow we will do a day of medical training where we will practice how to use the gamow bag and learn about high altitude medicine, so everyone is familiar with emergency procedures on the mountain.
Right now it’s starting to snow a little bit, so tonight we will have a warm night because even though it’s snowing, it is always warmer than when the sky is clear.
I will send some pictures soon by internet, but I am still missing some luggage, including my satellite modem. As soon as I receive that I will show some pictures of basecamp so everybody knows where we are. So until then, that’s it for right now. Bye, bye. back to top
Hello SummitClimb news.
On our walk from Pangboche to Pheriche we got about 3 inches of fresh snow, which made it pretty tough, but it was also a great adventure. Luckily, when we arrived in Pheriche, there was a hot stove waiting for us and our cooks prepared us an excellent meal.
After a good night's sleep in Pheriche, we woke up in the morning and the sun was shining again, with all of the high peaks around us covered in a fresh layer of snow. We had a beautiful hike to Dughla with nobody having any trouble with the altitude.
We had a good meal and sat around the stove again. After a good night's sleep we walked to Lobuche, where we plan to stay tonight. We saw our first views of Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, and Pumori here. Everybody is getting very excited to reach basecamp tomorrow.
Tomorrow is going to be a tough walk, taking about 8 hours to reach basecamp. There are rumors that basecamp is not very busy, which is good for us and I'm sure our sherpas have reserved a very nice spot for us. So until we reach basecamp, that's it for now. Everybody is doing great and we're having a good time. I'll call you again from basecamp. This was Arnold. Bye, bye. back to top
Hello SummitClimb news. This is Arnold, the leader of the Everest/Lhotse Expedition 2008.
I'm calling from Pangboche at about 3950 metres/13,000 feet and it's a snowy day. All of the members have left and are walking to Pheriche today, 4200 metres/13,900 feet. Everybody is doing fine and we are strong and healthy.
Yesterday we had a big puja ceremony led by the lama here in Pangboche and the expedition got blessed, so we are good to go now to base camp. We decided to stay one extra night in Pangboche because we had some problems getting enough porters and yaks. All of the teams are moving up at the same time because of the permits being issued so late this year. While creating some minor logistical problems in the valley for others, it's not going to affect our expedition at all.
Mr. Kaji Tamang, our field supervisor telephoned today. Due to heavy snowfall, the team stayed put in Pangboche today, and did not move up.
Hopefully the snow will clear so the team can move up tomorrow. Thanks for reading.
Hello SummitClimb news readers, I am Arnold the leader of the Everest / Lhotse expedition.
On 1 April, after a rainy start in Lukla, we all arrived dry in Phakding the same day. Everybody was very happy to be on the trail in the fresh mountain air!
After a quiet night of good sleep, the whole team walked up to Namche Bazar at about 3500 metres on 2 April. Although this is a steep hike, the whole team did great. I think we have a strong group this year.
On 3 April we spent our day relaxing in Namche Bazar. This is the last big village on the way to basecamp. It has a nice market some good restaurants and bars, and the hiking around town is great with some good views of Ama Dablam, Everest and Lhotse.
On 4 April, we will walk to Pangboche, which is about a 6 hour walk from Namche. On the way we will pass the monastary of Tengboche. This will be an interesting stop on the way.
We will stay in a nice lodge with great views of Ama Dablam and the south face of Nuptse and Lhotse.
So everything is going well and all of our team members are having a great time.
The team made it to Namche Bazaar. It was a beautiful trek. They plan to rest tomorrow. Thanks for reading!
Our team flew to Lukla today on a beautiful sunny morning. Everyone was very pleased to be getting out of Kathmandu and beginning their expedition.
Looking forward to an enjoyable trek to basecamp. back to top
Our team boarding the plane for Lukla (Dan Mazur).
Today we gathered the entire group together and had a nice breakfast and then all of our expedition and trek leaders, as well as office staff presented an orientation session to the members and helped them finish their shopping and packing. We are ready to go! We had a delicious final banquet, said goodbye to our new friends in Kathmandu and went back to the hotel to get to bed early.
Tomorrow, April 1st, we will fly up to Lukla first thing in the morning to begin our trek. Kathmandu has been lovely, warm and peaceful, a very interesting city, and we will miss it very much. However, we will look forward to the next chapter: trekking to bascamp. We will keep in touch. Thanks for reading! back to top
Hello, this is Dan Mazur from SummitClimb.com writing to you from a beautiful and peaceful Kathmandu.
More of our team members are arriving in Kathmandu, and our staff has been meeting their flights and bringing them to the hotel. We have been checking the members equipment and clothing, as well as helping them purchase/hire any missing bits and pieces. We all went out to dinner and had lots of fun. Our team orientation is scheduled for tomorrow morning, and we are looking forward to having our team all together.
We fly to Lukla tomorrow, on the 1st of April to begin our trek to basecamp. Thanks for reading and we will send more news tomorrow. back to top
Hello, this is Dan Mazur from SummitClimb.com writing to you.
Our team members are arriving in Kathmandu, and our staff has been meeting their flights and bringing them to the hotel. We all went out to dinner last night and had lots of fun. More members are due to arrive tomorrow, and our expedition orientation meeting is scheduled for the morning of the 31st.
A view of Swayambhunath Stupa, the "Monkey Temple". It is the most ancient and enigmatic of all the holy shrines in Kathmandu valley. Swayambhunath's worshippers include Hindus, Vajrayana Buddhists of northern Nepal and Tibet, and the Newari Buddhists of central and southern Nepal. Each morning before dawn, hundreds of pilgrims will ascend the 365 steps that lead up the hill, file past the gilded Vajra (Tibetan: Dorje) and two lions guarding the entrance, and begin a series of clockwise circumambulations of the stupa. On each of the four sides of the main stupa there are a pair of big eyes. These eyes are symbolic of God's all-seeing perspective (Elselien te Hennepe).
- Mr. Arnold Coster-the Netherlands (leader);
- Mr. Mike Browder-USA (leader-in-training);
- Ms. Sophie Denis-France;
- Ms. Agnieszka Kiela-Palys-Poland;
- Ms. Laura Ross-USA;
- Ms. Linda (Si Yan) Tan-Singapore;
- Ms. Laura Mallory-Canada;
- Mr. Andrew Brash-Canada;
- Mr. John Dowd-Ireland;
- Mr. Matt Lipscombe-UK;
- Mr. Dan Mallory-Canada;
- Mr. Alan Mallory-Canada;
- Mr. Adam Mallory-Canada;
- Mr. Eric Otto-Canada;
- Dr. Christian Otto-Canada;
- Mr. Maciek Palys-Poland;
- Mr. John Shelton-Smith-UK;
- Dr. Ken Stalter-USA;
- Mr. Jo Valseth-Norway;
- Mr. Berry van Welzen-the Netherlands. back to top
- Mr. Murari Sharma-Nepal/Tibet Staff Director (7 x Everest, 5 x Cho Oyu, 2 x Shishapangma, 3 x Lhotse);
- Mr. Deha Shrestha-Nepal/Tibet Assistant Staff Director (7 x Everest, 5 x Cho Oyu, 2 x Shishapangma, 3 x Lhotse);
- Ms. Maya Sherpani-Climbing Sherpa (2 x Everest, 2 x Cho Oyu);
- Mr. Jangbu (1) Sherpa-Climbing Sherpa (4 x Everest, 1 x Cho Oyu);
- Mr. Dawa Sherpa-Climbing Sherpa (4 x Everest, 1 x Cho Oyu, 1 x Lhotse);
- Mr. Pasang (1) Sherpa-Climbing Sherpa (5 x Everest);
- Mr. Tenji (1) Sherpa-Climbing Sherpa (5 x Everest, 2 x Cho Oyu, 1 x Shishapangma);
- Mr. Dorje Sherpa-Climbing Sherpa (6 x Everest);
- Mr. Ang Sherpa-Climbing Sherpa (5 x Everest, 1 x Cho Oyu, 1 x Shishapangma, 2 x Lhotse);
- Mr. Sange (1) Sherpa-Climbing Sherpa (2 x Everest);
- Mr. Jangbu (2) Sherpa-Climbing Sherpa (6 x Everest, 1 x Cho Oyu, 2 x Shishapangma);
- Mr Tenji (2) Sherpa-Climbing Sherpa (3 x Everest);
- Mr. Gyelzen (1) Sherpa-Climbing Sherpa (2 x Everest, 1 x Shishapangma);
- Mr. Nima Sherpa-Climbing Sherpa (4 x Everest);
- Mr. Nuru Sherpa-Climbing Sherpa (4 x Everest, 1 x Cho Oyu);
- Mr. Lakpa (1) Sherpa-Climbing Sherpa (4 x Everest);
- Mr. Pasang (2) Sherpa-Climbing Sherpa (6 x Everest)
- Mr. Shera Sherpa-Climbing Sherpa + Member Trek Leader (2 x Everest, 1 x Cho Oyu, 1 x Lhotse);
- Mr. Lakpa (2) Sherpa-Trainee Climbing Sherpa (2 x Everest);
- Mr. Phurba Sherpa-Trainee Climbing Sherpa (1 x Everest);
- Mr. Gyelzen (2) Sherpa-Trainee Climbing Sherpa (1 x Everest);
- Mr. Sange (2) Sherpa-Trainee Climbing Sherpa (1 x Everest);
- Mr. Lakpa (3) Sherpa-Trainee Climbing Sherpa (1 x Everest);
- Mr. Jangbu (3) Sherpa-Trainee Climbing Sherpa (2 x Everest);
- Mr. Kaji Tamang-Basecamp and field transport manager (4 x Everest, 2 x Lhotse);
- Mr. Kipa Sherpa-Cook (5 x Everest, 4 times Cho Oyu, 3 x Lhotse);
- Mr. Jai Bahadur Nagarkoti-Cook (5 x Everest, 3 x Lhotse);
- Mr. Temba Sherpa-Cook (5 x Everest, 3 x Lhotse);
- Mr. Dorje Lama-Assistant Cook (5 x Everest, 3 x Lhotse);
- Mr. Pemba Sherpa-Camp 2 Cook (4 x Everest);
- Mr. Sange (3) Sherpa-Camp 2 Cook (1 x Everest). back to top