Everest and Lhotse climbing expedition news Spring 2009

Everest and Lhotse climbing expedition news Spring 2009

(Photos in slideshow: Fabrice Imparato, Dan Mazur, Bruce Manning, Roman Giutashvili, Tunc Findik and Gennady Kopieka)
News of our recent expedition: Everest & Lhotse Climb
Spring 2009
29 March to 5 June, 2009

View our links for more information about our upcoming Everest Nepal, Lhotse and Everest Tibet expeditions. We are now accepting applications for the spring of 2010, so please join us for Everest, Lhotse, Cho Oyu and our treks and trekking peaks.

Dispatches: Please click one of the links below to go directly to that dispatch or just scroll down.

22 May, 2009

Here’s SummitClimb’s Everest / Lhotse team’s post-summit greetings! 

We’re all in basecamp now except for Roger and Jason. Roger’s spending the night in Camp II after getting there from Camp IV and Jason started his trek out of the basecamp today.

We all want to address our greetings to him! He started the summit push with the team but started having a bad cough when we were approaching the balcony.

The Everest team (David Fairweather, Vikram Sahney, Jason Maehl, Richard Pattisson, Dale Wagner, Samuli Mansikka, Thile Nuru, Tenji) got to Camp IV at South col (7950 m.) in the afternoon of 19th. For a few hours we rested in the tents napping, preparing drinks and enjoying snacks. Our sherpas Thile and Tenji woke us up at 8:30 pm. and we started to get ready to start climbing the last 900 meters to the top of the World. There were already a lot of climbers above us and the wall up towards the balcony looked like a pearl of lights in the darkness with the climbers headtorches pointing out the route.

We headed off with a slow and steady pace. I always love climbing in the night – everyone’s being quiet and focused to only the next step up the hill. What’s beyond the range of your headtorch is not relevant.

We were getting there – slowly but making progress -  each step taking us closer. Unfortunately Jason started coughing real hard. I had a talk with him and we decided that he’d turn back.

The rest of us, we got to the balcony which actually is the start of the ridge. You get brilliant views to both sides of the mountain from there. The sun was about to start rising and it coloured a thin bright orange line between the heaven and earth – the sky and the Tibetan plateau.

We had a short brake at the balcony but the night was cold (we later heard that it was –37 C that time). It was better to move and we started off on the narrow snow ridge taking us (and many other climbers) fairly steeply towards the South summit. The sun had risen.

Once on the South summit, you are able to see the Hillary step and the knife-edge ridge taking you there. There hadn’t been any summits for two weeks so now that the weather was perfect the crowds had taken over the place. The climbers forming the line of headtorches we saw earlier in the night were now here to climb up and down the narrow ridge. We could do nothing but wait for the descending climbers to get down but just us soon as a climber of a big team got down we launched up the rocky Hillary step before the next ones had a chance to tuck in between.

Above the step the slope gentles out and you start the last steps to seek the highest point. The summit is a bit hidden just as soon as you get over the Hillary step but becomes clear after a few more steps. 

The small and pointy summit was covered under katas and prayer flags. 

The numerous sherpas were celebrating around a statue of the Buddha that was just a minute ago been taken up there.

Below the south summit (Richard Pattison).

Vikram was our first member to reach the highest point at 10:45 am. He was sitting just below the top and was waving at the rest of us who only had a few more steps to go. The weather was nearly perfect so just as soon as we got there we congratulated each other and started taking photos. The sky was clear on the South side but the Tibetan plateau was mainly covered by clouds.

After the photos and phone calls we headed down. The clouds came in covering everything and once we got across the South summit the weather turned nasty. It was snowing and blowing – it seemed not at all like the day we had when climbing up the same hill.

The descent definitely wasn’t enjoyable at all but we had to get down to our camp at South col. At South col we tucked in our tents and spent a night after which the weather was perfect again for the following teams to reach the summit.

In the meanwhile our Lhotse members Domnhall and Lakpa Nuru had climbed up the Lhotse couloir to reach the summit. By the late afternoon of 19th Roger, Josette, Phurba and Sangay had moved up to Lhotse Camp IV to start the climb early the following morning.

Roger and Phurba started early that night but Josette, who was climbing without oxygen, started later to avoid the cold of the night.

Roger, Phurba, Josette and Sangay summitted and got back to Camp IV. 

Roger and Phurba spent a second night there but Josette descended to Camp II and Sangay to Camp III.

I think we had a really good success rate with five out of six Everest members and three out of four Lhotse members having reached the top. 

I’m sure that our Dane, Morten Lindholm, could have made it if he hadn't gotten sick at the beginning.  We are all proud of our Everest member Jason Maehl who gave it a good try until he had to turn back below the balcony. He was well prepared and motivated so I am sure that he can make it and I’d love to see him back on Everest in the future. Go for it Jason!

So good season for us and we had a good time on Everest / Lhotse massif. 

Our Everest North and Cho Oyu expeditions are still on so don’t forget to check how they’re doing!

Best wishes to everyone!

Samuli Mansikka - Expedition Leader / Summitclimb back to top



Rich, Sam, and Dale on the summit (Richard Pattison). Sam above the balcony (Richard Pattison). Dohmnall and Lakpa on the summit of Lhotse (Domnall Dochartaigh). Sam cutting into the team's special summit congratulations cake made by our awesome cook in basecamp (Samuli Mansikka).

20 May, 2009

Lhotse team summits today! Everest team in camp 2. 

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hi, this Sam from SummitClimb calling in for Wednesday the 20th of May.

Last time I called from the summit of Everest and now we’ve descended a good 2400 metres lower down to camp 2. I’m here with the Everest members, except for Jason Maehl, who is safe in basecamp where he descended today.

On the Mt. Everest summit I forgot to tell you what’s going on with the Lhotse group. Our Irish member, Domhnall Dochartaigh summited yesterday on the 19th. Today Roger Danks (UK) and Josette Valloton (Switzerland) summited, so all of the Lhotse members who went for the summit made it all the way to the top of the 4th highest mountain on earth. They are up in the higher camps, but are planning to come down to camp 2 tomorrow on the 21st.

The Everest members are planning to go to basecamp tomorrow. This is going to be our last time through the ice-fall, getting back to the luxuries of basecamp like showers and maybe a big meal. We’re really looking forward to getting there.

I’m going to send you some photos from the summit and higher slopes of Everest and Lhotse tomorrow or the day after. Also, I’ll write in details about the summit day and hopefully some of the members will write their personal experiences as well.

So I’ll call you from basecamp tomorrow. We’ll wake up at 8:00 and leave camp 2 at 9:00ish, so we’ll get there by noon tomorrow on Thursday and the Lhotse members will get there the day after on Friday morning.

OK. Everyone is feeling good and I’ll make another call when I get to basecamp. Bye. back to top

Dale Wagner on the summit (Samuli Mansikka). David Fairweather and Vik Sahney on the summit. The Hillary Step. Richard Pattison on the summit (Richard Pattison).

19 May, 2009

Everest team summits!!!

Team reports in live from the summit (click here to listen)

Hi everyone. This is Samuli Mansikka, the leader of the SummitClimb Everest Nepal & Lhotse expedition.

You know what? I’m calling from the summit of Mount Everest (cheers!!!). I’m here with our team members; Dale Wagner, Richard Pattison, Vikram Sahney, David Fairweather, Thile Nuru, and Tenji (our super strong sherpas).

The route wasn’t easy up here. It was a long and hard route, but we made it in pretty good time, despite all of the rope fixing.

There are some clouds on the Tibet side. The Nepal side is much clearer, so we can see all of the mountains from the Nepali side. Pumori is way below, as well as the 7800 metre high Nuptse. They all look so small from here because this is the highest you can get. We can see Cho Oyu and Shishapangma. Makalu is in a bit of clouds now, but we got a good view of it in the morning. We can also see fog all across the Tibetan Plateau from here.

So we are getting ready to head down to a lower camp now and I will call in another dispatch later today when we are all down safely. Thanks for following along our expedition and don’t forget to check on where our Everest Tibet and Cho Oyu expeditions are on the mountain at SummitClimb.com. This was Samuli Mansikka reporting in from the top of the world. Bye. back to top

A view from the south summit to the Hillary Step. Summit Shadow (Richard Pattison). The Khumbu Ice-fall and mountains at night. Jason, David, and Rich at camp 3 (Samuli Mansikka).

18 May, 2009

Everest team going for the summit!

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hi everyone. This is Samuli Mansikka, the leader of the SummitClimb Everest Nepal/Lhotse expedition, calling in with a dispatch for the 18th of May at around 20 minutes to 7:00 p.m. I’m calling from camp 4 on the South Col.

The whole Everest team is here with me. I’m sharing a tent with Dale and Jason. David, Vikram and David are in a neighbouring tent. Thile and Tenji, our super strong sherpas, are in another tent.

The weather looks perfect, so we’re ready to summit tomorrow on the 19th, probably pretty early in the morning. One problem is that nobody went up yesterday or today, so the fixed ropes might be covered under some snow from the last few days.

We might not be the first team heading up, but somewhere in the middle. We plan to start the ascent at 9:00 or 10:00 in the evening, so we are leaving in a few hours. The climb itself will probably take 10 hours. We expect to witness a beautiful sunrise from the summit.

Everyone is doing well. We made it from camp3 to here in pretty good time. Once again, Vikram was our speed demon, so to speak.

It’s beautiful. The sun is setting right now, colouring the tents and the plateau of the South Col. Sherpas are taking pictures of a statue of a Buddha, wishing for good luck.

We’re looking forward to it. We’ve been here for almost 40 days on the mountain, so everyone is really excited about our summit attempt.

I’m planning to make a call from the summit. So wish us luck and hope the weather stays good. This was Sam on Monday the 18th. Bye. back to top


Our comfortable high altitude camp 4 (David Fairweather). David Fairweather on the summit. Josette Valloton on Lhotse. Roger crossing a ladder in the ice fall (Samuli Mansikka).

17 May, 2009

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hi, this is David Fairweather from the SummitClimb Everest Lhotse expedition reporting for the 17th of May.

Today the Everest team climbed from camp 2 up to camp 3 on the Lhotse Face. It took us 4 ½ hours, which is comfortably the fastest we’ve done this climb, so everyone is feeling good and looking forward to the challenges ahead.

When we arrived at camp 3, we found that the tents were partially buried by recent snowfall, so we had to spend a fair bit of time digging them out in order to get into to them. We’re all now resting, some of us on oxygen, and we’re intending to use oxygen to climb up from here towards camp 4 at around 8000 metres/26,000 feet tomorrow morning.

The weather remains good for the moment and we are on track for our 19th of May summit day.

The Lhotse team remained in camp 2 taking a rest day today. They intend to head up to either camp 3 or camp 4 tomorrow and thus will summit on either the 19th or 20th of May, depending on the weather and how fast they’re climbing.

So everyone is doing well and looking forward to the future challenges. We hope to be back down safely in a few days. Thanks. Bye, bye. back to top

One of our team members ascending the Lhotse face with the South side of Everest in the background. Our awesome sherpas Thile and Tenji in between camp 1 and camp 2 (Samuli Mansikka). 

16 May, 2009

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hi everyone. This is Samuli Mansikka, the leader of the SummitClimb Everest Nepal/Lhotse expedition, calling in with a dispatch for the 16th of May. I’m calling from camp 2 on Everest/Lhotse.

We have all of the members here in camp 2 now. The summit pushes are on for both Everest and Lhotse. The Everest members came here yesterday and have been enjoying a rest day. The Lhotse members got here today and will have a rest day tomorrow.

The plan is that the Everest members will climb up to camp 3 tomorrow on Sunday the 17th. The next day they will climb up to camp 4 on the South Col. That makes the morning of the 19th our scheduled summit date.

There are a lot of teams up here right now going for Everest and a few teams going for Lhotse. There is a Kazakhstani team that’s planning to do a traverse via Lhotse to the South Col. We are looking forward to their success, while our team follows them and summits on the 20th. That will be Josette and Roger. Domhnall may try to summit a day before the other Lhotse members, depending on the conditions of the route.

All of the members are up here, everyone is taking part in the summit push, and I think we have a pretty good chance of getting everyone to the summit.

The weather is beautiful right now. I’m sitting in the dining tent and drinking a cupful of delicious milk tea. There is light wind, light clouds, and it is really beautiful and warm. We climbed from basecamp to camp 2 today and the climb from camp 1 to here was really scorching hot. It’s all good now. The weather forecast says the 19th and 20th should be good summit dates, so hopefully we can finish the big push and head back home after that.

I will be calling in daily dispatches during the summit push, so be sure to log on to SummitClimb.com. OK. This was Sam. Wish us luck. We’re going at it. Please follow the dispatches and remember to check what’s going on with the SummitClimb Cho Oyu and Everest North expeditions as well. 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).

15 May, 2009

SummitClimb’s Everest summit push is on! Jason Maehl, David Fairweather, Vikram Sahney, Dale Wagner and Richard Pattisson left base camp early this morning to aim for the Everest summit on the 19th. I will head off to camp 2 tomorrow to join the group who’s having a rest day there. The team is accompanied by our multiple time Everest summiter staff members Thile Nuru and Tenji.

Our Lhotse team, Roger Danks, Josette Vallotton, Domnhall Dochartaigh, Lakpa Nuru and Phurba will start their push tomorrow and aim to summit on the 20th. We are waiting for the news from the Kazak team who’s going at it right now.

This morning there was a good number of climbers climbing up the icefall and it seems that most teams are now aiming to summit between the 18th and 25th.

As of writing this at 10:30 am, the weather here in basecamp is beautiful. No wind but some good-weather clouds.. Last night was fairly cold but now it’s nice and warm. Good to sit outside the dining tent and enjoy the spectacular scenery around us.

Right now we have our spotting-scope pointed high on Pumori’s steep slopes where a team of seven climbers is approaching the shoulder.

So this is it! Wish us luck! I will call in daily dispatches during our summit push so log on to summitclimb.com to follow our climb up the highest mountains on Earth! Check also what’s going on with our Everest North and Cho Oyu expeditions!

Samuli Mansikka

Expedition Leader

SummitClimb.com back to top

Vikram in camp 3.Vikram and David in camp 3 (Samuli Mansikka).

14 May, 2009

Here’s SummitClimb’s Mount Everest  Lhotse team’s greetings from the basecamp on May 14th! The wind direction has changed and the weather definitely is improving. Last night was cold though – David measured –9 Celsius inside his tent! However, it’s sunny and beautiful now.

We are now getting ready for the summit push. The Everest  group (David Fairweather, Vikram Sahney, Richard Pattisson, Dale Wagner, Jason Maehl, Samuli Mansikka, Thile Nuru, Tenji) will start tomorrow and aim for the summit on 19th. The Lhotse team (Josette Vallotton, Roger Danks, Domnhall Dochartaigh, Lakpa Nuru, Phurba) will start a day later and thus try to summit on 20th.

There were a number of teams heading up the icefall early today, so if everything goes as planned, we are going to see summits on 18th . Godspeed to all the teams!

Our Swiss member, Josette, wants to address greetings to her family, friends and colleagues! We are so happy to have her with us and hope to soon see her on the summit of Lhotse. She’ll be climbing without bottled oxygen.

Domnhall would like to thank Lucille for the surprise delivery he received here in basecamp! The climbing and skiing magazines were very welcomed and we are going to deliver Dawa Sherpa his letter, photos and socks. Thank You Lucille!

I will call in daily dispatches during the summit push so remember to log on to SummitClimb.com to see how we are doing! Wish us luck!

Sam / SummitClimb back to top


Domnhall, Lakpa and Phurba in Lhotse Camp IV  (Domhnall O Dochartaigh).

12 May, 2009

Here’s Summitclimb’s Everest / Lhotse team’s windy and snowy greetings from the base camp! It snowed pretty hard the whole last night so the base camp looked like a winter wonderland this morning. We can do nothing but wait for the weather to improve to allow us to start the summit push.

Our incredible Lhotse member Domnhall ended up being involved in a rescue yesterday when he was descending from Lhotse Camp IV. He, Lakpa Nuru and Phurba were planning to start fixing the Lhotse route yesterday, but the winds were way too strong for that and so they headed down. The trip down wasn’t quite uneventful.

Here’s what Domnhall has to tell about his last two days high up on Lhotse face; "I left camp two around 0230 before Lakpa and Phurpa, who planned to have breakfast, which I can never do myself that early in the day. The weather was clear and relatively calm and there was only one set of lights already on the Lhotse face from a party of Everest climbers that had left awhile before me from camp two. I made it to the base of the fixed ropes under headlamp, but could turn the light off when I cramponed up. I just made it to camp three around the same time as the sherpas who had caught up with me carrying full loads of rope and extra oxygen for the plan to fix ropes in the Lhotse couloir over the next few days. We all took a quick rest stop in camp three around 0800 and started on oxygen for the trip up to establish camp four.

I started up on one liter flow but after being left by the sherpa and upon reaching the Yellow Band I turned up to 2 liters to give me the extra gas needed to make it to camp four, perhaps only ¾ hour behind the sherpa who had already started to chop out a tent platform.

Throughout the day the weather steadily got worse with increasing wind. Everest had a healthy sized cloud streaming of its lee side – it was still all managable though and the forecast from our Italian friend I had talked to the previous night was for a window the next day, so all was good.

Arriving at camp four, I was greeted with the Sherpas chopping out a ledge with their axes and having to rest often, as spindrift blew up slope and made all communication and work rather trying.

After clipping my bag to an anchor and taking my oxygen off I got down to a fun three hours or so of bracing work with the sherpa of getting our tent ledge chopped. By the end it was getting less than fun – but we got it done without losing the tent, only breaking one pole, having one cold finger, and then started a quick trip down the face (we were all clipped in at all times). We settled into the tent – I melted ice as the sherpas spent twenty minutes tying the tent to the mountain. Hot drinks were followed by a general thawing out of all body parts. Sleep came easily when sleeping on oxygen, so we would have the energy for the the plan that was still on for the morrow if the wind died.

It didn't.

The window was closed with full conditions. After a very protracted breakfast and a radio chat with Sam it turned out that everyone was coming down and high winds were predicted for the afternoon. We left into the storm one at a time and got the hell out of dodge. It was manageable on descending on the ropes, but visibility was often zero – the fact that the ropes were red was a considerable plus.

I came across a party of four climbers also descending just as I came level with camp three – It turns out one of the party had hurt some ribs and a knee in a short fall just above and was being short roped down by their guide. The party was moving slowly but steadily and not knowing the climbers true extent of his injuries, I tagged along to give the two guides I knew extra backup if things got worse. It took 4 hours of wind and spindrift to get off the face, which I've done in less than 20 minutes in the past. The injured climber displayed such a high level of grit and determination it was a privilege to witness. At the bottom of the face I was able to give the climber some well needed anagesics I was carrying, but it was another hour before we got back to camp two. There, I was able to carry out a complete assessment and concur with the guides accurate assessment that the client was able to spent the night in camp two before making his way to base camp. A detailed conversation with the HRA medical support at basecamp backed up this decision.

I spent a tired night at camp two and tagged onto the same group going down the next day, which we did in a good white-out on the western Cwm. Now back at base camp – help out with the HRA with a really sick Sherpa who we flew out this morning and looking forward to a rest day before heading up for the next weather window, which hopefully next time, will be open for us. " back to top

Domhnall up near camp 4, helping the sherpas fix the route (Domhnall O Dochartaigh). The view from camp 3 (Samuli Mansikka).

11 May, 2009

Greetings from Mount Everest Base Camp on May 11th! The Everest team just got back here from Camp II because of the worsening weather high on the mountain. The winds are really strong up there right now and it’s also snowing a bit. The team members are healthy and acclimatized and would have been ready to go for the summit but the weather forecast really isn’t very encouraging at the moment. The mountain always has the last word and we do listen!

Domnhall, Lakpa Nuru and Phurba climbed up to Lhotse Camp IV (7850 m.) yesterday as they were hoping to start fixing the route in Lhotse couloir. However, after a night spent up there they too are now descending to lower camps because of the high winds.

It seems now that, according to weather forecasts, that we might need to spend at least two days here at basecamp before getting to start the summit push. We don’t yet know for sure if it’s improving on 14th but we are wishful. If we get to climb to camp II on 14th, we’d head for the summit on 18th, weather permitting.

The Lhotse team, Josette, Roger and Domnhall might try to go for the summit a day later. However, we do have all the supplies (1200 meters of rope, nearly 30 snow bars, almost 30 ice screws and a good bundle of rock pitons) at Camp IV but we still need to set it in place.

I’m sure everything will come together nicely at the end – we just need to be patient and wait for the weather to improve.

Wish us luck!

Samuli Mansikka  back to top

Climbers ascending the Lhotse Face (Richard Pattison).

10 May, 2009

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hi everyone. This is Samuli Mansikka, the leader of the SummitClimb Everest Nepal/Lhotse expedition, calling in with a dispatch for 10 May.

I’m at camp 2 with the whole Everest team. Our plan was to climb to camp 3 tomorrow, but the winds on the South Col are still very strong. We’re going to spend tomorrow in camp 2 as well. However, Lakpa Nuru, Phurba and Domhnall went higher up today hoping to start fixing the Lhotse route on the 11th.

Right now the weather doesn’t look too good. It’s snowing here at camp 2, but I’m sure it will stop by tonight. It might be that Josette and Roger, who are in basecamp right now, might have to stay there for one more day instead of climbing up here tomorrow as planned.

The Everest team is now at camp 2 waiting for the weather to improve and hoping to get to go for the summit on the 14th or 15th.

Wish us luck. This was Sam from SummitClimb. Bye. back to top

Roger and Domhnall in camp 2.The team playing a fun game of 'uno' in camp 2 (Samuli Mansikka).

9 May, 2009

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hi everyone. This is Samuli Mansikka, the leader of the SummitClimb Everest Nepal/Lhotse expedition, calling in with a dispatch for 9 May from basecamp.

The Everest members headed up to camp 2 today, as we are looking forward to some good weather soon. We’re hoping to sneak to the top during a weather window on the 14th or 15th of May. The members; David, Vikram, Richard, Jason, and Dale climbed up there early in the morning with our sherpas, Lakpa Nuru, Sangay, and Phurba.

I am following the team tomorrow with Tenji and Thile. I stayed behind to organize the Lhotse summit team, which we hope to start on the 11th.

The weather looks kind of grim right now, with clouds hanging above basecamp and the icefall. There has been high winds hitting the top today and we’re waiting for it to calm down before we climb up to the South Col.

All members are feeling good and we’re ready to finish the big push. It’s just that we came here to climb the highest mountain on earth and challenge ourselves. We’re not here to challenge the fierce winds.

The mountain always wins if it wants to, but we the climbers, need to be humble and wait for the mountain to allow us to step to the top. So for that we need all the luck, prayers, and blessings, so wish us luck and follow the dispatches here at SummitCLimb.com. This was Sam. Bye. back to top

Namche Bazaar. Rich in camp 2 (Samuli Mansikka).

8 May, 2009

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hi everyone. This is Samuli Mansikka, the leader of the SummitClimb Everest Nepal/Lhotse expedition, calling in with a dispatch for 8 May from basecamp.

Yesterday was a sad day for all of us here on Everest. That morning we witnessed a big avalanche that launched off of the Western shoulder and carried down a long way. Unfortunately, 3 climbers who were descending the icefall were caught in that. 2 of the victims were found in a crevasse, but soon after that we heard that there was also a sherpa climber missing.

The people on the team starting looking for him right away and also a rescue party started off from basecamp. The party, consisting mostly of Jagged Globe, IMG and Himex staff, was at the scene in only half an hour. They did a good job organizing the rescue of the 2 injured climbers. The 2 are all right now thanks to a decent rescue.

This morning the teams got up and we went through what happened yesterday during the rescue and also discussed how to perform better if something like this happens again. Willy and Damian from Jagged Globe called the meeting together.

The search for the missing sherpa climber continued early today, but unfortunately without results. We are deeply, deeply sorry for the loss.

We have postponed the summit attempt by one day, so we did not leave basecamp today as we earlier informed. We are now planning to climb to camp 2 tomorrow on Saturday and have rest day there on Sunday before climbing to the higher camps.

So wish us luck. This was Sam at SummitClimb. Bye. back to top

Avalanche sweeping down the mountain in the Khumbu Valley near Everest Basecamp in 2008 (John Dowd).

6 May, 2009

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hi everyone. This is Samuli Mansikka, the leader of the SummitClimb Everest Nepal/Lhotse expedition, calling in with a dispatch for 6 May from basecamp.

All of the team members are now here in basecamp. Most of them went to the nearby villages of Dingboche and Pheriche to rest before the summit push. In the meanwhile, our staff has been working super hard supplying our high camps for Everest and Lhotse. Our staff is doing a great job and we are really very proud of them.

The route has already been fixed to the summit of Everest, but we still need to wait for the job to be done on Lhotse. Now the plan is that the Everest group will start their summit push on May 8th, which is Friday this week. The members will first climb to camp 2, where they will have a rest day before climbing up to camp 3. From camp 3 they will climb to the South Col on the 11th. That makes May 12th the summit day for our Everest group.

All of the members are healthy and ready to go for the summit. The members for this group are Vikram Sahney, Jason Maehl, Dale Wagner, David Fairweather, and Richard Pattison. Our Everest team is accompanied by our awesome staff members Thile Nuru and Tenji, who both have multiple ascents of Everest, so they are really strong climbers.

The Lhotse team is starting their summit push a day later on the 9th. The team consists of Josette Valloton (who is climbing without bottled oxygen), Domhnall O Dochartaigh, and Roger Danks. The staff members with this team are Lakpa Nuru and Phurba. Their projected summit date is May 13th.

The weather looks good and it’s supposed to stay like this, so now wish us luck for the summit push. I will call in dispatches daily during the summit push, so don’t forget to check out the website to see how we’re doing. This was Sam from SummitClimb. Bye. back to top

Roger and Sam enjoying the view from camp 3. The view from camp 3 at sunset looking down to the Western Cwm.  Climbers ascending the Lhotse Face. Looking down the Lhotse Face from camp 3 (Richard Pattison).

1 May, 2009

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hi everyone. This is Samuli Mansikka, the leader of the SummitClimb Everest Nepal/Lhotse expedition, calling in with a dispatch for 1 May.

The team is now here in Everest basecamp, except for Josette and Domhnall.  Josette spent last night in camp 3 with our sherpa, Sangay, and Domhnall is resting in the nearby village of Dingboche. Most of us are following him down there tomorrow, as this is our last rest period before the summit attempt. It’s nice to get out of basecamp for a few days before the hard climbing to the highest summit on Earth. We are most likely headed to Dingboche or Pangboche tomorrow to get out of basecamp and enjoy some delicious local meals in the teahouses. It’s also nice to get to sleep on a proper bed because we’ve been camping for 23 days now.

We’ve also made some summit plans now that everyone has slept at camp 3. It seems that our Lhotse team will start the summit attempt on May 7th and the Everest team a day later. That means we will go for the summit of Lhotse on the 11th and Everest on the 12th. We are very well acclimatized and healthy, so we can only wish that the weather allows us to follow our summit plan. The Nepali calendar conveniently indicates good days and bad days, so we naturally checked that our summit climb goes with good dates.

Now we have a few days to do nothing, except for reading and sleeping and of course getting ready for the big push. We’re all very excited about it. Remember to tell your friends and colleagues about our website, SummitClimb.com, where we send in news and photos from the ongoing Mount Everest and Lhotse expedition. Thank you for following the trip. Bye. back to top



Camp 3 on the Lhotse Face. Ascending above the Khumbu Ice-fall (Samuli Mansikka). Our comfortable camp 2 at the foot of the Lhotse Face. Camp 3 covered in mist with the Geneva Spur in the background (Richard Pattison). Crossing ladders in the ice-fall (Samuli Mansikka).

29 April, 2009

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hi everyone. This is Samuli Mansikka, the leader of the SummitClimb Everest Nepal/Lhotse expedition, calling in with a dispatch for 29 April.

I’m calling from camp 3 in the middle of the Lhotse Face. I’m here with David, Jason, Roger, Vikram, Dale, and Richard. We’re drinking some hot chocolate right now. Domhnall spent the night up here yesterday and we saw him coming down as we ascended, so he’s one day ahead of us. After this we will have finalized our acclimatization, except for Josette, who is planning on coming up to camp 2 tomorrow.

The weather is beautiful. We were expecting to have some light snow, but maybe it will happen tomorrow. Right now the weather is incredibly clear and we just witnessed the most beautiful sunset. We could see Cho Oyu, Pumori, and numerable Himalayan summits below us.

Everything is good here. Tomorrow we are planning to head down to camp 2, then maybe all of the way to basecamp. We’ll see. After that we’re going to have a long well deserved rest. Everyone is doing well. We have no stomach bugs, altitude problems, and it’s very cozy here in camp 3. We’re on a comfortable ledge in 4 tents and have a lot of hot chocolate.

I’ll get back to you soon. This was Sam from SummitClimb. Bye. back to top

Team members ascending the Lhotse Face.  The view down from the Lhotse Face to the Western Cwm. Members clipping into fixed line on the Lhotse Face. Our comfortable camp 3. The spectacular view from camp 3. (Sam Mansikka)


28 April, 2009

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hi everyone. This is Samuli Mansikka, the leader of the SummitClimb Everest Nepal/Lhotse expedition, calling in with a dispatch for 28 April from camp 2.

We just finished our breakfast and we’re having a rest day before moving up to sleep in camp 3 tomorrow. Yesterday the whole team, except for Josette, climbed to camp 3 and returned here for the night. Everyone did very well on this acclimating push. We started from camp 2 at 7:30 in the morning and got back here between 2:00 and 3:00 in the afternoon.

Our camp 3 is very well positioned on the Lhotse Face. It’s at around 7150 metres/23,500 feet and is set below a steep icy step. The views from there are spectacular.

Tomorrow we are moving up there to sleep for 1 or 2 nights and that should finalize our acclimatization programme. After that we’ll return to basecamp and probably descend to a lower village like Lobuche or Dingboche for a few days of rest.

Everyone is doing extremely well. Nobody has stomach bugs, chest infections or other health issues. Everyone is acclimatizing well and we’ve been blessed with the most amazing weather ever, so everything is going smoothly as planned.

It is a shame that our Danish member Morten can’t be here with us. We’re thinking of you every day and hope to get to climb with you again later.

That is all for now. Thanks for checking the dispatches here at SummitClimb.com. This was Sam. Bye. back to top


Team members climbing up through the ice-fall.  The view of basecamp from above in the ice-fall. Our awesome cook serving up pizza in our comfortable dining tent. Our comfortable basecamp (Sam Mansikka).

26 April, 2009

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hi everyone. This is Samuli Mansikka, the leader of the SummitClimb Everest Nepal/Lhotse expedition, calling in with a dispatch for 26 April from camp 2.

Today our plan was to wake up at 5:00 a.m. and climb to camp 3, then return here for the night. However, the wind picked up pretty hard last night, so we didn’t leave our tents and ended up taking shelter here for the day. It didn’t snow at all, but it was super windy here in our camp and especially up on the Lhotse face. Josette decided to go to basecamp, but the rest of the team is still up here.

We’re all being very optimistic and hope the wind calms down tonight, so that we get to go on with our plan to go to camp 3. I think we’re all well acclimatized to camp 2’s altitude now after spending a few days up here.

Wish us luck and follow the dispatches here at SummitClimb.com. This was Sam. Bye. back to top

A view of our comfortable camp 2 looking up towards the Lhotse face (Bruce Manning).

25 April, 2009

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hello, this is Richard from the Everest/Lhotse SummitClimb team.

First of all, happy ANZAC day, which is the Australian/New Zealand memorial holiday for the Army corps. So happy ANZAC day to my fellow Aussies and Kiwis. I had a simple service offering a few words of remembrance in my Aussie cricket top and bucket hat. I’ve also carried up a quantity of whiskey and cola for us to share and pass around at dinner tonight.

We’ve enjoyed a rest day here at camp 2. Most of the team slept well for their first night here at 6400 metres/21,000 feet. Josette joined us from basecamp this morning. Many of us rested in tents, struggling to regulate the temperature as the sun set.

Our sherpas have done a great job setting up camp 2, hacking it out of the icy moraine, especially our comfortable dining tent with Flintstones style furniture.

At dawn, I could see a long line of tiny dots on the Lhotse face. Each dot was a sherpa climbing up, establishing and stocking camp 3 for their teams.

Camp 3 is tomorrow’s objective for us on an acclimatization climb. We’re all very excited for this. It should take quite a few hours to get up there and down, but we’re looking forward to it.

The weather has been perfect over the past fortnight, but there are still some strong winds up high. The Everest route is now fixed past the Geneva Spur, with the South Col expected to be reached tomorrow. The fixed ropes for the Lhotse team’s summit attempt will follow in the next week or so. We’re hoping the good weather trends continue over the next week and the rest of the season.

Good night in camp 2. Rich. back to top


Our team members ascending a ladder near the top of the Khumbu Icefall to reach camp 1.  Our team at the top of the ice-fall. Above the ice-fall and camp 1 between camp 2 (Samuli Mansikka).

24 April, 2009

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hi everyone. This is Samuli Mansikka, the leader of the SummitClimb Everest Nepal/Lhotse expedition, calling in with a dispatch for 24 April from camp 2 at 6400 metres/21,000 feet.

We left basecamp at 5:00 a.m. this morning and went through the ice-fall to camp 1 where we sorted out some equipment we had left there. After that we went through the Western Cwm to our luxurious camp 2.

The weather has been amazing, so we have actually seen climbers fixing the route on the Lhotse Face. They’ve been super fast, as we can see someone at the Yellow Band already.

Our staff is heading to camp 3 tomorrow to start making support ledges for the tents. The members will be staying here for a rest day to acclimatize.

Domhnall carried our DVD player here, so we expect to watch some more ‘Lost’ and ‘Scrubs’ to pass the time. We just finished a delicious dinner and are getting into our tents now. I’ll call again soon. Good night everyone. Bye. back to top

Our team enjoying a delicious meal in our comfortable basecamp dining tent. The view at sunset up the mountain from basecamp (Samuli Mansikka).

23 April, 2009

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hi everyone. This is Samuli Mansikka, the leader of the SummitClimb Everest Nepal/Lhotse expedition, calling in with a dispatch for 23 April from basecamp.

After a few rest days and a lot of TV watching the team is heading up to camp 2 tomorrow. Everyone is really excited about it, as we are planning on staying there for several days this time. The weather has been just amazing, so we are hoping it will stay like this. Our plan is also to get up to camp 3 once the route is fixed and maybe even stay there for a night after a few more rest days in camp 2.

Everyone is healthy and eager to go up, so wish us luck and blue skies. I’ll call you from camp 2 when we get there. Thank you all for following our trip here at SummitClimb.com. Bye. back to top

Our team resting and having a cup of tea in basecamp. The lama performing bells for our puja ceremony in basecamp (Sam Mansikka).

21 April, 2009

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hi everyone. This is Samuli Mansikka, the leader of the SummitClimb Everest Nepal/Lhotse expedition, calling in with a dispatch for 21 April from basecamp.

The team members have been enjoying a few rest days as the sherpas have been working hard to establish camp 2 at 6400 metres/21,000 feet.

Unfortunately there was a big serac fall at the upper part of the Khumbu Icefall this morning, which has caused some delays to all of the teams. The collapse forced all ascending climbers, including our sherpas, to return to basecamp instead of making it to camp 1 and camp 2 today. We might have a 1 or 2 day delay before we can move up to camp 2.

The serac fall apparently took down a fairly big part of the route and we are so happy that there was nobody up there at the time of the collapse. Our plan from now on is to minimize the time spent in the ice-fall, so the next time we move up we’re planning to stay there for quite some time.

We will first move to camp 2 and after a rest day there, we will touch camp 3 then return to camp 2 for some more rest and acclimatizing. At the same time, the sherpas will be setting up our camp 3 on the Lhotse face for us to be able to spend a night up there.

Our plan now is to move up again on Friday the 24th. I hope the weather stays as stable as it’s been thus far. It’s been phenomenal.

Today most of the members went down to Gorak Shep to see the cricket match, which I guess is supposed to be a Guinness World Record for the highest cricket match ever played. I’m sure it’s been good fun and a welcome change to our basecamp routine.

Our team members here are all very healthy and in great spirits. We’d like to say hi to all of our families, friends, and colleagues who are following us on our adventure here at the Mount Everest massif. Stay tuned for more here at SummitCLimb.com. This was Sam. Bye. back to top

The view from camp 1 looking towards camp 2 and up the Lhotse face (Sam Mansikka). 

19 April, 2009

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hi everyone. This is Samuli Mansikka, the leader of the SummitClimb Everest Nepal/Lhotse expedition, calling in with a dispatch for 19 April from basecamp.

Today we were scheduled to have a rest day, so resting was pretty much what we did. Domhnall, Jason, Richard, Roger, and I went for a walk to Gorak Shep, where as Josette, Vikram, David, and Dale stayed here in basecamp. They had some showers, washed clothes and took it easy.

We also watched some quality TV series on DVD here. Everyone is really hooked on ‘Scrubs’ and ‘Lost’, which are our favourite shows here.

Not much happened today, so I guess we could consider it a successful and relaxing rest day. We are getting excited about the cricket match that is scheduled to take place on the21st in Gorak Shep. Most of the team will be heading to Gorak Shep that day to see the highest cricket match in the world.

That’s it for now from SummitClimb’s Everest and Lhotse expedition. Be sure to check for dispatches here at SummitClimb.com. This was Sam. Bye. back to top



Our awesome Everest and Lhotse team at their puja ceremony in basecamp (Richard Pattison). What a great group (Samuli Mansikka). Sam and Richard practicing some climbing near basecamp on their rest days (Richard Pattison).

18 April, 2009

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hello and Namaste. This is Richard Pattison calling in for the SummitClimb Everest Nepal/Lhotse expedition with a dispatch for 18 April, 2009.

We’re all back safely in basecamp now after a 2 day foray on to the mountain, all knocking an hour off our previous ice-fall descent time. We had 2 okay nights at camp 1. Moderate winds kept us awake on the first night and we had an early start this morning. We cooked for ourselves on stoves hanging from the roof of the tents and dined on packet soup and 2-minute-noodles.

We’re probably the most acclimatized team on the mountain now, having touched camp 2 at 6400 metres/21,000 feet. We’ve cashed most of our down gear at camp 1.

The team has made a unanimous resolution to carry straight through to camp 2 in the future and bypass camp 1. The allure of a dining tent with tables, chairs, and a cook is too much. Camp 2 will be fully established in a few days. One or two tents with stoves will be left in camp 1 for us to rest and melt snow on the way through. It’s only another hour and a half to camp 2 on an easy and gently rising, fairly smooth glacier.

It’s often said a week is a long time in politics. It is even more in the Khumbu Icefall. The conditions have changed considerably in just 3 or 4 days. Firstly, there is far more traffic and due to the traffic, there is a clearly defined path now under the ropes and the short steep sections, requiring jumaring and front pointing, is now an easy staircase.

New ropes have been added in slow sections to speed up queues, in other sections for a better route, and to avoid a couple of collapsed sections. Some of the ladders now hover above ground because the ice has moved and the rope is now taught, but your body weight basically brings the ladder back down to ground.

This morning we found a 20 metre section of rope buried under a large serac. It was a reminder of the glacier movements and more like what I was expecting from the ice-fall. We had already made a decision in the team that no one would be left in the ice-fall after midday.

There are 4 kilometres of rope at camp 2 to fix across the Lhotse Face to the South Col. All teams have contributed in some form. We hope the route will be fixed to camp 3 for our next venture on to the mountain and our further acclimatization to the altitude.

We now have 2 more rest days here in basecamp. We spent the afternoon watching a marathon of ‘Scrubs’ on Vik’s DVD player and tonight we’ll watch a couple of episodes of ‘Lost’. Bye for now. back to top

Ladders at the top of the ice-fall.Our team ascending to the top of the Khumbu Icefall (Richard Pattison).

17 April, 2009

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hi everyone. This is Samuli Mansikka, the leader of the SummitClimb Everest Nepal/Lhotse expedition, calling in with a dispatch for 17 April from camp 1.

We enjoyed another night here after walking up to camp 2 and back. We woke up at 7:00 a.m. and started off around 9:00 after a nice breakfast.  The walk to camp 2 is about 2 kilometres and maybe 400 metres of elevation gain. It’s all very easy terrain, so the members made it there in about 2 hours. After getting back, we just had a lazy afternoon here in camp 1 getting our bodies adjusted to the altitude.

Tomorrow we’ll wake up pretty early and climb down the ice-fall to basecamp, where we’ll probably take a few rest days. I’ll call you when we get there. Bye. back to top

Camp 1 seen from the side, with Lingtren & Khumbutse behind. Camp 1 with Everest and Lhotse in the background (Richard Pattison).

16 April, 2009

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hi everyone. This is Samuli Mansikka, the leader of the SummitClimb Everest Nepal/Lhotse expedition, calling in with a dispatch for 16 April from camp 1.

This is the first night we’ve spent here in camp 1 at around 6000 metres/20,000 feet. After a trip to camp 2 tomorrow, we are returning here for a second night. It’s been really good for getting used to the altitude.

Unfortunately, our Lhotse member Morten is not here with us tonight. He had to retreat to Lukla because of a lung infection. We are all very sad to see him leave and would all love to get to climb with him someday in the future.

The views are amazing from where we are right now. You can see the Lhotse face and the Everest Southwest face very well. There are also spectacular views down the Khumbu to Pumori and Cho Oyu, which Everest members, Vik and Dave, climbed with us last autumn. It’s great to have the 2 of them here with us again after a successful, though little bit windy, Cho Oyu expedition a few months back.

But now it’s all about Everest and Lhotse, so wish us luck and thanks for checking our dispatches here at SummitClimb.com. Bye. back to top


View of our comfortable Camp 1, which is mainly a resting point to camp 2 (Sam Mansikka).

13 April, 2009

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hello and Namaste. This is Richard Pattison calling in for the SummitClimb Everest Nepal/Lhotse expedition with a dispatch for 13 April, 2009. A belated happy Easter for yesterday.

Today was the most anticipated and essential day of the expedition so far: we ventured into the Khumbu Icefall for the first time. We walked with nervous excitement from a restless sleep at 4:00 a.m. and left camp (5300 metres/17,400 feet) after breakfast at 5:00 a.m. The full moon was so bright that we didn’t need torches. There was quiet confidence in the team following our constant ice-fall training 2 days ago and puja ceremony yesterday, where a Lama from Pangboche Monastery came to bless us and our equipment (ice axes, crampons, boots, helmets, and harnesses) and also to say a few prayers for our safe passage on the mountain.

The objective for today was an acclimatization climb to the top of the ice-fall at 6100 metres, 20,000 feet and also for our sherpas to establish our camp 1 with tents, stoves, and other equipment. However, we knew that the route was not finished yet, so we hoped that the Icefall Doctors would race past us and complete the route before we arrived. That they did, although Josette and Domhnall were too quick and had to wait. I’m sure they have similar ancestry in their family tree.

The whole group arrived between 3 ½ and 5 hours. It was a quick climb considering the average time is 7 hours for a foreigner on their first trip of the season. We rested for an hour near camp 1 and enjoyed the situation. I always thought the ice-fall would be scary and intimidating, but it wasn’t. It was beautiful and inviting. Maybe this was just a friendly and polite introduction, but apparently this is the most straight forward route for quite a few years. It was quiet and relaxing with great views across the valley to Pumori.

The first 3 crevasses passed in short succession only needed half a ladder each, so it was an encouraging start, but no crevasse was longer than 1 ladder throughout. The biggest construction was actually 3 ladders laced together to overcome a serac near the top. We lost count of the horizontal and vertical ladders. There were also a large number of short steep sections that required jumaring up and a few other crevasse jumps that added excitement.

The route is fixed throughout with rope from bottom to top safely. The whole team coped well with this obstacle course. The descent took almost the same amount of time and was quite exhausting. The altitude, blazing sun, dehydration and lack of sleep took its toll.

We’re all quite tired, but a happy and excited camp to have been through the ice-fall. We all think we deserve two full days of rest now before we do anything else. We’re all turning into bed now for about a month after today’s exertion.

We send our love to our family and friends at home. We’re thinking of you. Bye for now. Rich. back to top

David Fairweather crossing a ladder in the Khumbu Icefall. Descending the icefall with prayer flags hanging above (Richard Pattison).

12 April, 2009

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hi, this is Dale Wagner calling in for the SummitClimb Everest Nepal/Lhotse expedition with a dispatch for 12 April, 2009.

We had a rest day today in basecamp. It was a beautiful day and good for showering and washing clothes. We also had a puja ceremony, which was very exciting with lots of throwing rice and flower. The sherpas had quite a bit of chang and there was some dancing as well.

Everyone is excited for tomorrow. It’s going to be our first trip into the ice-fall, so we’re leaving early in the morning.

That’s about it. Everyone is doing fine. Thanks for following along our expedition. Bye. back to top

Rich in the Western Cwm (Richard Pattison). Members coming out of the Khumbu ice-fall (Samuli Mansikka).

11 April, 2009

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hi everyone. This is Samuli Mansikka, the leader of the SummitClimb Everest Nepal/Lhotse expedition, calling in with a dispatch for 11 April.

We are in basecamp now and have had a really good day here. The weather has been amazing and we’ve been training on some fixed ropes, ladders, and a course that we set up close to the start of the ice-fall route. Some members have been adjusting their equipment and just getting familiar with the many features of the route we are going to climb.

The Ice-Fall Doctors, the specialists who fix the route through the Khumbu Ice-Fall every year, say that the route may be open to camp 1 on Sunday or Monday. After the route has been fixed we’ll start establishing our camp 1 on top of the ice-fall. The elevation there is about 6000 metres/20,000 feet.

Now it’s time to go and enjoy the delicious dinner are great cooks Jay Bahadur and Temba have prepared for us. I will call in again after the puja ceremony. Bye. back to top


Team members climbing between camp 2 and the Lhotse face. David, Richard, Domhnall, and Dale at our puja ceremonyin basecamp (Samuli Mansikka).

10 April, 2009

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hi everyone. This is Samuli Mansikka, the leader of the SummitClimb Everest Nepal/Lhotse expedition, calling in with a dispatch for 10 April from Everest basecamp.

The whole team is now here in basecamp now that Morten and I finally got here after waiting a few days at the Kathmandu airport. The weather is amazing right now, showing a lot of improvement from the past few days of snowing. This morning when we left Lobuche there was a thin layer of fresh snow covering everything, which was just beautiful.

We are having a basecamp puja ceremony on Sunday, which according to Pangboche’s Lama, is a good day to have it. Climbing these big mountains is hard work, but it always involves some luck too, so we try to get all of the luck we can.

Everybody is doing well here and happy to be at the base of the highest mountain on Earth. Today some of our members climbed to Pumori advanced basecamp with our super strong Sherpa, Tenji. I’m going to go meet the team on their way back with some tea. Some members hiked down to Gorak Shep, which is only an hour or so from basecamp, so it’s nice to go visit there occasionally and use the internet.

It’s great to be here again. I’ll call in again soon with more news about SummitClimb’s Everest and Lhotse expedition. Bye. back to top



Everest basecamp on a misty morning (Fabrice Imparato). Team having breakfast in base camp. Climbers ascending the Khumbu ice fall. Josette in the Khumbu Icefall (Samuli Mansikka).

9 April, 2009

On 7 April we left Lobuche early. After a tea in Gorak Shep we all decided to climb Kala Patthar, minus Josete and Dale who went straight to basecamp. We all had amazing views of Everest from Kala Patthar.

On 8 April some of the trekkers and Jason and Gisela hiked to basecamp. The trekkers posed for pictures with Ed Viesturs as we hiked to basecamp alongside him. The rest of the day was spent playing cards and relaxing in basecamp.  

On 9 April we spent the day playing games and cards, watching videos, and relaxing in basecamp. - Jason Maehl back to top

5 April, 2009

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hi, this is David Fairweather calling from SummitClimb for the Everest Nepal/Lhotse expedition with a dispatch for 5 April, 2009.

We left Pheriche, where we spent the night, and climbed the ridge up to Dingboche to one of the last places we’ll be able access the internet. Then we had a spectacular walk along the ridgeline with amazing mountain views in beautiful, clear and sunny weather to arrive at Dughla which is a lone hut.

This is the last place we will be with the trekking group because from here the people doing the glacier school will branch off in a different direction. We’re going to be walking up to Lobuche and then hopefully in 2 days we’ll arrive at basecamp.

Everybody is doing well and we’re all looking forward to arriving at the mountain. Bye. back to top

A Buddhist statue atop Dugla Hill, with Ama Dablam in the background (Elselien te Hennepe). The awesome HRA clinic in Everest base camp (Samuli Mansikka).

3 April, 2009

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hi, this is Dan Mazur calling from SummitClimb for the Everest Nepal/Lhotse expedition with a dispatch for 3 April, 2009.

Today we woke up in Namche Bazaar and had a nice breakfast. Then we walked along the trail down into the gorge of the Dudh Kosi River that comes from Everest and had a cup of tea before climbing the big hill up to the Tengboche Monastery, which has some impressive views of Everest and Ama Dablam. We then walked along to the village of Pangboche where we camped in some tents and had a delicious meal at one of the lodges.

On the 4th of April we got up early in the morning, had our breakfast, and went to a blessing ceremony known as a puja, which was orchestrated by Lama Geshi, the head Lama of the Pangboche Gompa.

We then walked along the trail for a couple of hours and made it up to the village of Pheriche, which is located in a very large plateau. We relaxed, played cards, had a delicious meal and went to bed early.

Thanks a lot for following our expedition and we’ll have further dispatches for you tomorrow. Bye, bye. back to top

Elselien te Hennepe, our past Everest basecamp leader, receiving a blessing from the local Buddhist Lama in Pangboche (Liz Stevens).

2 April, 2009

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hi, this is Dan Mazur calling from SummitClimb.com & SummitTrek.com with a dispatch for 2 April.

I’m reporting in for the Everest Basecamp Trek, Island Peak Climb, Everest View Glacier School, and Everest and Lhotse climbs.

Today our group rested in Namche for acclimatization. Namche Bazaar is a really beautiful village with lots of lovely views of the mountains around. It’s a fairly big village and the capital of the Sherpa people. There are all sorts of amenities here. There is even a fantastic cyber café called the ‘Dante Café’ and I’d like to especially send my thanks to Santosh Arigati who runs the establishment.

Today we rested and had a nice walk around the perimeter. We went to the ‘Everest View Hotel’ and had some gorgeous views of Everest, where we are so excited to be going tomorrow. We also had some great meals, relaxed, and enjoyed some fun time with our team.

I have some really good news. Our Everest Tibet team led by Arnold Coster, our senior Everest guide, arrived in Namche today. It was so great to see him and all of the team. They’re up here acclimatizing while their Tibet permit is being sorted out.

Some sad news is that Sam and Morten tried to fly to Lukla today, but all of the Lukla flights were apparently cancelled. We miss them, but hopefully they’ll be here soon.

We’re so excited to be trekking up tomorrow to Pangboche, so we can get started on our Everest trek and make our way up to basecamp.

Thank you very much for following our expedition. Take care. Bye, bye. back to top

Namche Bazaar, the capital of the Sherpa people. See this unique village on our trek to and from basecamp (Tunc Findik).

1 April, 2009

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hi, this is Dan Mazur calling from SummitClimb.com & SummitTrek.com with a dispatch for 1 April.

I’m reporting in for the Everest Basecamp Trek, Island Peak Climb, Everest View Glacier School, and Everest and Lhotse climbs.

Today we woke up in the village of Phakding and had a delicious breakfast, got our equipment sorted out, and walked along the trail to the village of Jorsalle, where we entered Mount Everest National Park. It really felt great to be inside the park and like we had already achieved some success. Then we stopped and had a delicious lunch before making the tough climb up the big hill to Namche. In beautiful weather with gorgeous sunshine we reached Namche in the afternoon, some as early as 2:00, others not getting there until 4:00 or 5:00 because they were stopping along the way to take photos. We went to our respective hotels, while some of us decided to camp instead.

I have some special news for today that our Everest Nepal and Lhotse climbing permits were issued. Thanks very much to our local agent of Parivar Expeditions, Murari Sharma, as well as our Everest Nepal leader Samuli Mansikka and special thanks to Morten Lindholm for all of his fantastic help.

Another important news item today is our Everest Tibet expedition flew to Lukla. They are going to take some extra days to acclimatize because there has been an unfortunate delay in issuing the permits for the Tibet expedition. We don’t think they’ll be issued until the 5th of April, so they decided to come up to the Khumbu and do some acclimatizing.

Thanks for following our expedition and we look forward to tomorrow’s dispatch. Bye, bye. back to top

31 March, 2009

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hi, this is Dan Mazur calling from SummitClimb.com & SummitTrek.com with a dispatch for 31 March.

I’m reporting in for the Everest Basecamp Trek, Island Peak Climb, Everest View Glacier School, and Everest and Lhotse climbs.

Today our team woke up early and we went to the airport in Kathmandu. Then we flew out to Lukla in good weather and had a beautiful flight. We walked to the village Phakding, along with our porters carrying our equipment. It started to rain and we had a slight hail storm. When we reached the village of Phakding the weather cleared up, we had a rest and a delicious meal, then went to bed for a well deserved sleep.

Thanks very much for following our expedition and we look forward to making tomorrow’s dispatch. Bye, bye. back to top

30 March, 2009

Team reports in live (click here to listen)

Hi, this is Dan Mazur calling from SummitClimb.com & SummitTrek.com with a dispatch for 30 March, 2009.

Today we had a really busy day. The weather was gorgeous and we’ve been having some rain in the evenings, which is nice because it freshens up the air. Kathmandu is really beautiful right now and very peaceful. The people here are so friendly and welcoming.

We had our orientation meetings today. Everyone is fully informed about how the trips are going to go. We enjoyed meeting each other and it looks like we’re going to have some great climbs and treks this year.

We’re just preparing now to get our Everest Nepal expedition into the field. They are going to fly tomorrow to Lukla, as well as our Everest View Glacier School, Everest Basecamp Trek and Island Peak climb.

It seems the Everest Tibet climb is going to have to wait a couple of days for the permits to be issued, but we’re feeling very positive about how that is progressing and we’ll be travelling to Tibet in a few days.

Thanks for following our expeditions and we’re wishing you all of the best. Thank you very much. Bye, bye. back to top

A view of the Bouddhanath Stupa, the biggest stupa in Nepal, which lies about 7 km east of the capital. The Bouddhanath stupa, also called by many as Khasti Chitya, is one of the oldest stupas in the country. After 1959, many Tibetans arrived and settled in Bouddhanath area. The stupa, a well-known Buddhist pilgrimage site, is included in World Heritage Cultural site list by UNESCO (Samuli Mansikka).

29 March, 2009

Hi. This is Dan Mazur writing to you. All members of our treks and climbs have been arriving and we are looking forward to our team briefings on 30 March. The weather has been very nice. Warm and sunny during the day with a bit of light rain in the evenings. We have been enjoying early morning team walks to the Monkey Temple. Our staff of sherpas have been busy packing and our office staff have been getting all of the permits, flights, and transport arranged. Thanks for watching our SummitClimb and SummitTrek news!!! back to top

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 (Dave Dogruel).

Team Roster


  • Samuli Mansikka - Finland (leader) 
  • Richard Pattison - UK
  • Vik Sahney - USA
  • Jason Maehl - USA
  • Dale Wagner - USA
  • David Fairweather - UK


  • Ms. Josette Valloton - Switzerland
  • Morten Lindholm - Denmark 
  • Roger Danks - UK
  • Domhnall O Dochartaigh - Ireland 

Everest Basecamp Trek:

  • Gisela Maehl


  • Tenji Sherpa - climbing sherpa
  • Lakpa Nuru Sherpa - climbing sherpa
  • Phurba Sherpa - climbing sherpa
  • Thile Nuru Sherpa - climbing sherpa
  • Sangay Sherpa -ice-fall sherpa
  • Jay Bahadur - basecamp cook
  • Lakpa Kormu Sherpa - camp 2 cook
  • Temba Sherpa - basecamp kitchen boy back to top