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Everest News - From Everest Tibet Expedition, Training Climb & ABC Trek

  • everestnews Everest Seen from Basecamp. Photo Franz
  • everestnews The Famous second step. Photo David O'Brien
  • everestnews Our tents at the North Col at 7000 metres-23,000 feet, also known as camp 1. Photo David O Brien and Summit seen from ABC. Ry Fable
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Everest News of our recent expedition: Everest Tibet/North Col & ABC Trek 8 April to 6 June

Blog posts and Photos: Please click one of the links below to go directly to that blog post and the accompanying photos or just scroll down.

Peter Whitfield at the summit of Everest. Photo Peter Whitfield Hubert Klaus at the summit of Everest from North side. Photo Hubert Klaus

Peter Whitfield at the summit of Everest. Photo Peter Whitfield. Hubert Klaus at the summit of Everest from North side. Photo Hubert Klaus.

Climbers are at the Famous second step. Photo Hubert Klaus Ang Dorjee Sherpa at the summit of Everest from Northside. Photo Hubert Klaus

Climbers are at the Famous second step. Photo Hubert Klaus. Ang Dorjee Sherpa at the summit of Everest from Northside. Photo Hubert Klaus.

David at the Summit of Everest from Northside Ian Summit Photo

David at the Summit of Everest from Northside. Photo David O'Brien. Ian at the summit of Everest. Photo Ian.

Climbers above camp 2 with the help of fixed line. Photo Hubert Klaus Climbers at 7.9 .  Photo Hubert Klaus

Climbers above camp 2 with the help of fixed line. Photo Hubert Klaus. Climbers at 7.9 . Photo Hubert Klaus.

Going for Summit day. Photo Hubert Klaus Peter just below Northcol. Photo Peter Whitfield

Going for Summit day. Photo Hubert Klaus. Peter just below Northcol. Photo Peter Whitfield.

Ian near Northcol. Photo David the Famous second step

Ian near Northcol. Photo David. The Famous second step. Photo David O'Brien

Tenji Sherpa checking oxygen bottles at Northcol. Photo Hubert Klaus Tent at Camp 2 looking at Summit of Everest. Photo Hubert Klaus

Tenji Sherpa checking oxygen bottles at Northcol. Photo Hubert Klaus. Tent at Camp 2 looking at Summit of Everest. Photo Hubert Klaus

Summit seen from Camp 2. Photo David Sunny day at camp side
Summit seen from Camp 2. Sunny day at camp side. Photo David O'Brien.

NEWS UPDATE : When Ian Toothill was told his bowel cancer was terminal and that he had months to live, he set out on a mission - to achieve his childhood dream. For him that meant aiming high. Very high.

Ian joined our Everest Tibet 2017 climb and successfully reached the summit whilst raising money for cancer charity. Well done Ian. Here are some of the press coverage that Ian has had since his return to the UK. For more story please Click  Here: 1) Even cancer didn't stop this man climbing Everest, 2) Ian Toothill on BBC Breakfast, 3) Itv News 

2 June - We've left the dusty Base Camp behind for the delights of Lhasa and then onto Kathmandu tomorrow. KFC, a therapeutic massage and last nights leg of lamb are the main minibus chats.

The end of another season, a season made difficult by constantly shifting weather windows, dominated by high winds.

Twenty two of us started with varying mountain goals, ABC, the North Col , Lakpa Ri and of course, the summit. Six of us were in the final summit push. All made it to the summit. Holly had summited some days before. It's a great effort in a difficult year. I'm hugely proud to have been part of this team and will remember the real fun and laughter sitting in our Tibetan dining tent at base camp.

Six sherpas summited and without their superhuman efforts our summit attempts simply wouldn't happen. Tenji our sirdar is one of the strongest, best organised people I have had the pleasure to work with, built from the same rock as Everest.

Tonight is the awards ceremony and a time to celebrate achievements. In a few months the memories will start to fade. I hope that the drive that pushes us to attempt these adventures remains alive in everything we do, back home with our families and friends and in our jobs.

Congratulations to the summiteers :-

  • Holly Budge
  • Hubert Klaus
  • George Kashouh
  • Ian Toothill
  • Peter Whitfield
  • Adam Torrens
  • David O'Brien
  • Tenji Sherpa
  • Galze Sherpa
  • Ang Dawa Sherpa
  • Ang Dorji Sherpa
  • Dawa Jangbu Sherpa
  • Tendu Sherpa

Thank you to everyone who was part of our extended team, members and staff, there are many people involved. Thank you to Sue at organisation HQ.

Thank you for reading this blog, I hope that it provided enough information and some entertainment.

Good bye for now

David

team at basecamp

Team at Basecamp. Photo David O'Brien

31 May - Hi this is David O'Brien with a late round up of our summit day.

Our camp 2 high on the rocky ridge of spread out teams meant that our climb to camp 3 would be shorter than usual. Snow fell as we approached camp 3 with tents precariously positioned on makeshift platforms on the 40 degree snow slope.

Tents we're allocated and we got going with boiling water to drink and make up the dehydrated meals.
We delayed our start till there were signs of other groups heading up. Fresh snow is often difficult to climb , better that steps are already made.

From 12.30 Progress was fast , the weather relatively warm.

Hubert and his Sherpa arrived to the summit at 06.45, fast and almost the first of the 40 or so climbers and Sherpas making the attempt that night. George , myself, Pete, Ian and Adam and 4 Sherpas all then reached the summit within the the following 3 hours.

On the descent light snow fall covered the exact foot placements for Pete , Ian , Adam and their Sherpas. The going was slow and they only arrived back to camp 3 as the warmth from the sun was disappearing. Adams pink down suite had a few bottom tears from his unusual Australian glissade descent style and his pace had slowed to the old man shuffle.

The next morning I was woken with a shout from Ian announcing that he couldn't see; in the previous days cloudy light he had taken off his sun glasses and had damaged his eyes.

My weather report advised 50 cm of snow and strong winds so we needed to get down fast. Fast at 8200m is really pretty slow but Ang Dowa did an outstanding job of leading Ian down and after some hours he was able to see enough to continue with little help.

We pressed on " slowly slowly " as the Sherpas say till we got to a dark ABC,dhal bhat, and a comfortable sleep.


29 May - Everyone is enroute to Basecamp today. Everyone is well.

27 May -

EVEREST TEAM ON SUMMIT NOW

Update from Dan Mazur - Radio call from Tibet Everest high camp: Winds have dropped. 5 Sherpas and 6 members will attempt summit tonight.

22 May - Hi this is David O'Brien. We moved up to camp 2 yesterday. There's an adverse forecast for the 23rd so have stayed here before moving onto camp 3 . We are now aiming for the summit on the 24th. Amazingly I can get a phone signal here at 7900m.

Tibet Everest team summited today at 11am. More summit attempts coming in a few days.

View from Camp 2 Tents at camp 2

View from Camp 2. Tents at camp 2. Photo George Kashouch.


19 May - Here is what Holly Budge says  - ITS ON!!! My trusty Sherpa, Jangbu & I are heading up the North Col today. We are hoping to Summit early on May 22nd! We are feeling good, strong & positive BRING IT ON!!!!!!

17 May - Hi This is David O'Brien. We're moving today, heading to interim camp and then onto ABC. There is a weather window opportunity for us so we'll head up to ABC and get more reports there .  There was a fair bit of snow around after the Russian party two nights ago and Austrian Hubert kindly climbed on our dining tent to clear it off. Clearly health and safety has different interpretations in different countries.

Mount Everest cover with cloud seen from basecamp the North Col of Everest at 7,045m. The north ridge route can be seen through the clouds behind.

Mount Everest cover with cloud seen from basecamp.  the North Col of Everest at 7,045m. The north ridge route can be seen through the clouds behind. Photo Ricky Munday.


16 May - Hi this is David O'Brien. Yesterday we piled into a minibus for the one hour supply ride to Tashi som, a nearby Tibetan village. It was a slow careful drive on the way down with snow on the road, the driver was extra cautious. The local kids asked for money as we hopped out onto the muddy roads in the low altitude rain. We had a late lunch and then into the shop for a real buying spree. Pringles, coke, chocolate, yoghurt and any other local delicacies were carefully chosen , bought , eaten and re bought. Our last snack supply binge before the summit.

After load yak taking rest background Everest Climbing action during our northcol trip

After load yak taking rest background Everest.  Climbing action during our northcol trip. Photo David and Chris.

David at Northcol Massive Big tent for us at basecamp

David at Northcol.  Massive Big tent for us at basecamp. Photo David and Chris.

14 May - Hi this is David O'Brien .  It's another day at base camp waiting for a suitable weather window. Waiting at base camp involves three full meals each day , which is good to gain some of the weight already lost. We sit in our Tibetan tent amusing each other with stories and banter and the occasional intellectual chat. Adam has a good line in conspiracy theories .

Maybe once a day a local Tibetan will wander in with a hopeful smile and a decorated bag of beads or daggers or hats to sell. So far only one has managed some sales and despite some furious haggling he was happy with his profits.

In the tent at the moment George is editing photos on his lap top. Pete is on level 744 on Candy Crush, Ian is sprawled on one of the relaxing bed seats listening to music and Les is checking his face book likes from the Indian Sub Continent. Our other team members are either snoozing in their tents or perhaps they've gone for a power walk down the hill towards the monastery.


The kitchen staff are busy with preparations for dinner. After dinner we'll have a quick discussion on which movie to watch from the library and probably end up with an action thriller in the style of Jason Bourne.

The week out forecast is looking promising, we might not have too many more days here until we head up.

Photo David O' Brien base camp with the wind blowing off Everest everest team at basecamp.

Photo David O' Brien base camp with the wind blowing off Everest. everest team at basecamp.  Photo George Kashouch. 

13 May - Hi this is David O'Brien from base camp. We're waiting here at base camp for a suitable weather window. It's good we have the comfortable tea house tent to chill in. It's movie night every night , last nights big screen production of Hurt Locker produced some intellectual debate particularly from the military contingent. Tonight it's romantic comedy evening , we'll see how the apres movie debate goes.

smarten up with the electric shaver chinese basecamp

Photo David O'Brien - Ricky looking to smarten up with the electric shaver. Basecamp. Photo David and Chris.

11 May - The second North Col and ABC group departed to an emotional farewell this morning. They're off too Lhasa and then back to Kathmandu. The summit group is waiting at Base Camp for confirmation by the Sherpas that all oxygen and other equipment has been moved to camp 3. We'll then study the weather for a good summit window.

happy birthday from summitclimb everest summit team

Picture David O'Brien - Lil's birthday surprise

9 May - Another day in the delights of Sigar, hot baths, hot buns, soft beds. Back to base camp and reality tomorrow .

Climbing above northcol Heavy snow in Northcol

Climbing above northcol.  Heavy snow in Northcol. Photo Ricky Munday.

Bad weather hit at Northcol Using fixed line

Bad weather hit at Northcol.  Using fixed line. Photo Ricky Munday.

Heading upto Northcol Jimmy serving up a giant club sandwich with fries - mmm tasty

Heading upto Northcol. Jimmy serving up a giant club sandwich with fries - mmm tasty. Photo David O'Brien


Friendly Sherpa giving smile at 7000-21000ft High wind while climbing up to Northcol

Friendly Sherpa giving smile at 7000-21000ft.  High wind while climbing up to Northcol. Photo Ricky Munday.

Hiking up to Northcol with team Member and sherpa climbing up for next camp in bit windy day

Hiking up to Northcol with team. Member and sherpa climbing up for next camp in bit windy day.  Photo Ricky Munday.


8 May - Hello this is David O'Brien. With todays' update on the Everest Tibet expeditions. Seven of us have now come down to a lower altitude and the relative comforts of the Qomolangma View hotel in Sigar.

You'd need a big periscope to catch a view of Everest but it's a good place to breath some slightly oxygen richer air and to get a few days rest and relaxation before the summit push.

Please wish us luck and keep following our updates.

6 May -

Hello this is David O'Brien
, we walked the long ABC to base camp rocky trek yesterday and we're all looking foreword to some well earned rest. Our acclimatisation is now complete and the next time we head up will be on our summit push. There was a big meeting this morning to decide who will fix the section of rope above 8300m. One team with extra Sherpas has agreed to provide the fixing service with input from other teams to get ropes etc to the high camp.
The rope fixing is expected to be completed by the 10th May earlier than usual for the North side.

northcol

Photo David O'Brien - the ice headwall leading to the North Col


Update from George Kashouh
- I'm back in Base Camp after a long night in the North Col. From here you can see the entire route to the summit. It looks so close, but there are actually two additional camps here, plus the summit attempt. The distance from the final camp located at 27,000 feet to the summit is only a mile. At sea level, someone in decent shape can easily run a mile in less than seven minutes. At 27,000 feet, because of the low pressure and thin air it takes the average climber an incredible 10 hours to move that distance. I went up to about 24,000 feet the next morning towards Camp II to further acclimatize. The views of Nepal, Camp I, and ABC were amazing and I felt strong. Reaching 24,000 feet without oxygen marks the end of my acclimatization. We're all fully ready for the summit attempt. I estimate our summit day will be within two weeks from now. We'll rest at least one week and the next time we go up will be for the final push!


The final part of the climb up the North Col. Our tents at the North Col 23000 feet - 7000 meters

The final part of the climb up the North Col.  Our tents at the North Col 23000 feet / 7000 meters. Photo George Kashouch.

High wind near summit From the North Col you can see the rest of the route.

High wind near summit. From the North Col you can see the rest of the route. Photo George Kashouch.

End of the hike from ABC and the beginning of the climb up the North Col Bad weather hit while going up Northcol

End of the hike from ABC and the beginning of the climb up the North Col.  Bad weather hit while going up Northcol. Photo George Kashouch. 

30 April - Hi this is David O'Brien from base camp.  Kipa Sherpa our ever smiley head cook rustled up a huge apple pie last night which was enjoyed after herb spiced chicken.  The cinema screen then went up at the end of our tea house tent for a showing of the British classic The Long Good Friday.  The North Col team have headed up a local hill for some acclimatisation practice.  The Summit team will head up to IBC tomorrow.

The Everest summit route seen from Northcol Rope Training day at ABC

The Everest summit route seen from Northcol.  Rope Training day at ABC. Photo George Kashouch.

Wild animal at ABC Yak drinking water from Ice

Wild animal at ABC. Yak drinking water from Ice. Photo George Kashouch.

at abc lots of snow at abc

At ABC. Lots of Snow at ABC. Photo George Kashouch.

rope practice at ABC birthday cake presenting by Galze Sherpa

Rope practice at ABC. birthday cake presenting by Galze Sherpa. Photo David O'Brien.

27 April - Hi this is David O'Brien, we're all back  at base camp after the long rocky walk down yesterday. It's good to rest at the relative low altitude of 5200m with good food and the delights of our Tibetan Tea tent. The second North Col team have arrived and introductions were made over lunch today.

25 April - All back at Advance Basecamp from the North col very very windy day. 

24 April - All good at ABC. Did some rope practice this morning. Heading to Northcol at 7000 meters/ 22950 feet and will back tomorrow. 

22 April - All team are at Advance basecamp resting after the altitude gain to 6400 meters / 20997 Foot.

Sherpa trying to put player flag during puja Everest Team members are going to ABC

Sherpa trying to put player flag during puja. Everest Team members are going to ABC.  Photo Ricky Munday.

Loads are transfering to ABC Player flag and the everest

Loads are transfering to ABC.  Player flag and the everest. Photo Ricky Munday.

Puja at Everest Basecamp Rong Pu Monastery

Puja at Everest Basecamp.  Rong Pu Monastery. Photo Ricky Munday.

Here’s a pic of me outside my new home-for-now. The mountain had been covered by clouds for a while, but finally got a good shot of our camp, and the Everest in the background

Here’s a pic of me outside my new home-for-now. The mountain had been covered by clouds for a while, but finally got a good shot of our camp, and the Everest in the background.  Photo Ian Toothill 

19 April - Hi this is David O'Brien, from our delightful dining tent. It's a beautiful,sunny, calm morning and we're heading up to Interim Camp to start our higher acclimatisation .

 60 yaks jangled their way into base camp summitclimb-dining-tent

60 yaks jangled their way into base camp. SummitClimb Dining.  Photo- David O'Brien

18 April - The first group of 60 yaks jangled their way into base camp this morning to take our gear to ABC. We'll stay here for another two days and then move up to interim camp for two days and then onto ABC. Everyone is healthy, in good spirits and looking forward to moving higher up the mountain.

16 April - Hi this is David O'Brien from a very windy base camp. This morning a local Bhudist Lhama celebrated a Puja blessing to bring good fortune to our expedition. A placed some of our kit at the bottom of a small rock cairn with prayer flags on a rocky hill next to our camp.

Yesterday we walked to the Rombok monastery,  now largely unused.  We spent some time in a secret underground cave sitting shoulder to shoulder, much as monks must have done many years ago.

our Puja cairn with our camp and Everest in the distance the underground cave at the monastery

our Puja cairn with our camp and Everest in the distance. the underground cave at the monastery.  Photo- David O'Brien

14 April - Hi this is David O'Brien . The road journey from Shigar to base camp took us past sheep and yak herders on a now fully paved road. It takes less then half the previous 8 hour bone jarring dirt road ride. We climbed up over a high pass and stopped for photos but the top of Everest remained shrouded in clouds.  It was then on down for our first sight of our base camp home from home and our delightful Tibetan tea house style dining tent.

sheep on the road The road journey from Shigar to base camp

Sheep on the road. The road journey from Shigar to base camp. Photo- David O'Brien

12 April - We arrived in Shigatse yesterday our last stop en route to base camp. After some detailed negotiations the better hotel room were secured and some of us even managed a hot bath, a real treat at 4300m. Today saw had a morning shopping excursion for last stop supplies, where everyone bought a thick warm quilt to supplement base camp sleeping bags. All very hard core mountaineer.

Prayer flags on a high pass

 Prayer flags on a high pass. Photo- David O'Brien

11 April - We arrived yesterday in Shigatse a seven your drive from Lhasa and visited the vast monastery complex, a destination for pilgrims and home to over 500 monks.

We had a fine banquet for our evening meal with several new Tibetan dishes and bowls of tasty chill fries. Accompanied by local music and dancing.

Photo David O'Brien -the monastery with Shigatse in the distance Wandering around the monastery. Photo David O'Brien

The monastery with Shigatse in the distance . Wandering around the monastery. Photo David O'Brien

9 April -  Hi this is David, Everest Tibet leader.

The story so far has been a hectic few days in Kathmandu visiting shops, buying last minute supplies, and stocking up on snacks to keep us fuelled when we get walking.

We flew on a fairly turbulent flight over the Himalayas yesterday with great views of Everest and Kanchenjunga.

Our Lhasa hotel is very comfortable and some of us headed out for sightseeing around the lively city today taking in the famous Potala Palace.

Our evening meal was in an authentic friendly local Tibetan restaurant with super tasty dishes, definitely one to return to.


Lhasa Palace. everest summit team from tibet side

Photo David O'Brien.

Team Rosters:

Everest Summit Team Member

  • David O'Brien, UK ( Leader)
  • Holly Budge, UK
  • Alan Barclay, UK
  • Hubert Klaus, Austrian
  • Peter Whitfield, UK
  • Ricky Munday, UK
  • George Kashou, USA
  • Leslie Binns, UK
  • Michael Hopkins, UK
  • Adam Torrens, Australia
  • Ian Toothill, UK
  • Dave Creeden, USA
North col Team Member

  • Kurt Wimmer, USA
  • Klaas Koehne, Germany
  • Damian Lovell, UK
  • Robert Rudolph, USA
  • Nigel Leadbitter, Australia
  • Ann Leadbitter, Australia
  • Chris Bryce, Australia
  • Daniel Peter Gray, Canada
  • David Auricht, Australia
Advance Basecamp Team Member

  • Richard Auricht, Australia
  • Elizabeth Routley, Australia
  • Carol Rudolph, USA
SummitClimb Climbing Sherpas & Staff - 

  • Tenji Sherpa
  • Galze Sherpa
  • Ang Dawa Sherpa
  • Ang Dorji Sherpa
  • Ang Furba Sherpa
  • Ang Shera Sherpa
  • Dawa Jangbu Sherpa
  • Lakpa Sherpa
  • Tendu Sherpa

  • Kipa Sherpa (Cook)