Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Tonight Kevin Farebrother is alone at Camp 3 sleeping there without oxygen and reports a calm night, no wind and comfortable.
WHAT'S NEXT? The team will retreat down the valley for a much needed rest before its time for their summit push, their final steps to the summit push- they are ready.
THE ROUTE: The fixing has stopped for the time being to Camp 4 and the summit due high winds and more in the forecast.
Congratulations out to our team who exercised patience and good judgement in the path of the recent high drama.
Peak Freaks Sherpas were oblivious to the recent chaos, they were at EBC resting after carrying supplies for the route including a emergency rescue kit we've supplied for all expeditions at Camp 3. They were playing Texas-Hold'em with Tim at EBC.
Everything is going well here for Peak Freaks. See for yourself as the team shakes it off:
Over - Becky
Monday, April 29, 2013
What has gone on up on the mountain yesterday has lowered moral here at EBC. Mountains have no place for egos, you see it time and time again, eventually a price is paid.
The short of the story is that three Western climbers from another organization disregarded the timing and efforts of the Sherpa fixing team who were appointed to place the ropes to Camp 3, they got in the way and conflict arose when both groups returned to C2. Marty and a couple other Western Mountain Guides helped to defuse the situation and no one was hurt.
A mediator was flown into EBC today by helicopter for a meeting, it ended with some hand shaking. The Sherpas continued with their work and the three foreigners involved cancelled their climb and have left the mountain.
I'm sure all the nitty gritty details will get revealed once the press starts doing interviews but this is all I have to say.
THE ROUTE: Was completed today today to Camp 3 and above to just above the yellow band. This is a location between Camp 3 and Camp 4. Big thank you's for that- we can get on with this climb.
OUR MOVE: Peak Freaks will move up to Camp 3, hang out, get used to the altitude, have lunch the retreat to Camp 2 for the night.
Kevin Farebrother who is attempting without oxygen will sleep at C3 tomorrow then go a bit higher, hang out there for the day before descending back to C2 and then joining everyone back in EBC day after tomorrow.
Over and out.... Tim
Sunday, April 28, 2013
Tim checks in: The fixing of the route to C3 had a little set-back which has been sorted out so the fixing should be completed by tomorrow. While the Sherpa climbers are working on that Peak Freak members will continue to rest, wait and watch from Camp 2 and take a trip up to the lower Lhotse face for a close look.
April 30: Our team will all climb together to Camp 3, hand out for the day and retreat to C2 to sleep. Everyone except for Kevin Farebrother who will be attempting Everest this spring without oxygen, he'll be sleeping up there allowing his body time to adjust to the new gain in altitude gain.
Everything seems to moving along, pretty good weather, just a normal season with variables that pop up time to time. We must remember that nothing in mountaineering is absolute and especially here where there are so many people to share the experience with.
Over and out... Tim
Photo: Camp 2 after the storm
Saturday, April 27, 2013
Peak Freak members will just hang tight resting at Camp 2 till things gets sorted out.
Other than that, not much more to say, we wait, we watch and stay out of the way of our Sherpa teams that work hard for us.
Friday, April 26, 2013
Thursday, April 25, 2013
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Monday, April 22, 2013
- EBC- (17700ft / 5395m)
- Camp 1 (19900ft / 6065m)
- Camp 2 (21300ft / 6492m)
- Camp 3 (24500 ft / 7467m)
- Camp 4 (26000 ft / 7924m)
- Summit (29028 ft / 8847m)
Thursday, April 18, 2013
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Monday, April 15, 2013
The last of the trekkers were forced to take a helicopter out to Kathmandu today due to high wind. This is the first time we've had a trek group stranded here. Climbers at the end of the season with the onset of the monsoon is common but I don't think we've had trekkers before, first for everything I guess. Most are on their way home.
The climbers were sleeping at 5545m last night This is an important step we like to use for visualization, a wicked tool we believe in to prepare the Everest climber mentally. On top Kala Pattar they can see the route and see yourself on it. Once you reach base camp you lose all views of Everest, you are so close and tight up in the glacier and that's all you see: the scary part - the gaping ice-fall - the constant crashing of the avalanches- the groaning of the glacier under your tent. It's good to get back and up high where you can have a good look and see what you're hearing to clearly understand what you need to do to stay safe and realize that the summit isn't really that far away and that good speed of ascent is critical in certain sections.
April 13, 2013: Trekkers delayed by high wind... Lukla airport, six of ten managed to fly by helicopter to Kathmandu today. Hopefully tomorrow is not a repeat and the other four get out without issue. Safety first!
Climbers had a rest day today and were watching a moving this evening when Tim checked in.
Over and out... Becky
April 12, 2013: Time for an introduction of one our climbers this year, meet Sean and learn of his excellent cause to climb:
Sean Mooney, an Associate in the commodities division at Goldman Sachs in London, England, will attempt to summit Mount Everest this spring to raise awareness and funds for Right To Play.
Sean grew up in Winnipeg, Canada and spent most of his childhood on the soccer field. He was first introduced to Right To Play as a teenager when his parents made a donation to the organization in his name for his birthday.
“I was impressed by the philosophy of this charity which uses sports to teach, empower and enrich the lives of children in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the world," he says. "Given the integral role sports played in my personal development, I recognized the transformative potential of Right To Play’s goal.”
Sean played soccer as an undergraduate at Cornell University before starting his career in finance. Since graduating, he has participated in various charity endurance races and sporting events. Highlights include the Enduro Challenge ultra distance triathlon from London to Paris, the Fight For Independence boxing event, and becoming the inaugural ‘Battle of the Bankers’ Chessboxing Champion (watch highlights on BBC here).
Lets battle out together a challenge to help Sean with his donations and awareness for Right To Play. For more information and donate.
Have a good weekend, Tim and Becky
Thursday, April 11, 2013
The good is the ability to quickly evacuate someone by helicopter to Kathmandu compared to the way it used to be done. There is more education on mountain sickness today but there is also the option of helicopters which may be taken for granted, it's only an option if the weather permits and that should be taken into serious consideration when playing in the mountains. If weather fails you'll have to be prepared to do it the old way. The quiet way.
Before helicopters a climber or trekker with injury or AMS would be walked out, and in the night if it was life-threatening by a porter. The patient would be stuffed into a basket and carried on the porters back suspended by a trump line (woven sash) around his forehead. It would take a
1964: Tenzing-Hilary Airport opened in Lukla for fixed wings. It was a dirt airstrip up until 2004 when it was paved. Only small fixed wing and helicopters can land here.
1997: A helicopter crashed at EBC, however, no one was killed. The pilot was Colonel Madan, who had piloted the world’s highest helicopter rescue a year earlier. In 1996 he had flown above the icefall to rescue American Beck Weathers, famed by the book "Into Thin Air". Madan said of the 1997 crash that he had just lost complete control of the helicopter and this would have to do with the thin air.
2003: A team of 9 climbers were looking for a quick way out after their Everest climb and hailed a Russian Helicopter to camp. It got just a short distance from camp and fell, killing two of the nine passengers.
2005: Another crash! MI-17...No one hurt, video link below: There was a brief quiet time here after these incidents up until the new high tech helicopter AS350 B3 owned by Fishtail Air made it's high altitude test flight to the summit of Everest. This was when everything changed here. The Russian helicopters weren't working out here so the new technology was impressive, or so we thought.
2010: Fishtail Helicopter crashes on a rescue mission on Ama Dablam (near Everest) the pilot and technician were returning to collect the last climber when they crashed killing both of them.
YouTube Link: Everest Base Camp Crash I like how the pilot just walks off the craft like it was all planned and the soothing music. Lucky for him. These helicopters became the way to transport groups to Lukla for a few years. We used them often ourselves. We could move all our climbers, trekkers and gear in one haul. Those were the days.
|Group with gear piled in the middle 1996||The new high altitude AS350 B3|
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Everyone did well with equipment briefing today and tomorrow we have more work to do on the ladders, ropes, jumars and so forth. Not much to say so I'll turn this over to Becky now. Over and out .. Tim"
LOOKING HAPE IN THE FACE "High Altitude Pulmonary Edema" The adjacent photo is of a good friend of ours, John Dyck from British Columbia. His wife Trish, my friend of over 30 years made contact with me last night via Skype. The two of them were headed up to base camp. John is a highly regarded climber back home, he was headed to climb Lobuche after base camp. They were not on a Peak Freak trip, they were doing this independently with the help of Ngima, our Ang Nima's son, their guide.
I'm telling this story to show just how quickly someone can get into trouble up here. So far there have been two deaths of trekkers not known to us, John could have very well been a third. He reached Namche Bazaar and fell ill and was running a fever, nothing new here with GI bugs, colds and so on being passed around - so you just go to bed and hope for improvements come morning.
Morning came and things quickly spiraled into a desperate situation of survival. This is when Trish Skyped me. I know this stuff, I've had HACE myself and I've seen HAPE. HACE effects the brain and HAPE the lungs. HAPE is by far the worst one to get in a remote location. You need oxygen, dex and to get down and out quickly. All of which we were able to organize within one hour of when she told me he was making a funny sound, like a cracking in chest, like a cold.
"Oh hell, we have a problem". Ngima summoned the doctor in Namche, Tsedam grabbed the oxygen and the helicopter was fired up in Kathmandu within minutes. John's oxygen saturation dipped to 46%. He was losing consciousness and as Tim later puts it, "it sounds like he was definitely checking out".
Had the weather not been good or the helicopter not been available, its quite possible we could have lost a good friend.
I Just wanted to share that with everyone. John is super fit and an avid climber and for some reason his body said, "not today John". This can happen to anyone, accomplished climbers and high end athletes alike. Fitness doesn't clear the way for people coming here. You still have to be on your toes and listen to your body, if you can. John didn't have a chance to listen to his, that was left for other people at this stage to do it for him. John had good resources to help and support him and we can't stress enough how important it is to make sure when you visit here that you know who you are associated with and that can you trust their actions should things go wrong.
More.... HAPE (High Altitude Pulmonary Edema) HACE (High Altitude Cerbral Edema).
Monday, April 8, 2013
Tomorrow I'll take the trekkers out to touch the ice-fall so they can say "they could go no further" and get that photo. Then early afternoon Ang Nima will take them down to Gorak Shep. They are going to climb Kala Pattar to get the most sought after photo of Everest with the Khumbu glacier, Lhotse and Nuptse from the summit of Kala Pattar at 5545m.
We have our old location back that we had a few years ago here at EBC. It's tucked up into a cave feature very close to the ice-fall, no wind and quiet. I was super tickled to see what the Sherpas did for me. I have my own island. They built my personal tent camp in the middle of a lake with a stone walk way to the middle of it. They placed rocks to put my tent up high on it for great views, I love these guys! They are best team one could ever have, I feel so honored to have them in my life all these years, truly my family away from family.
Tashi went up to Camp 2 today to organize our camp location. Tomorrow the climbers will start organizing their equipment while the Sherpas will begin carrying loads to build Camp 1. This is a temporary camp used in the early stages of the climb for a layover place if needed. We'll need to take the dinning tent, toilet tent, sleeping tents, kitchen equipment and food supplies. The next work load will be carrying supplies and equipment to Camp 2.
Before any work begins on the mountain we'll have a Puja ceremony, this ceremony is believed to make contact with divine Sagamartha (Mount Everest) and ask her for clear the passage for everyone, the Sherpa climbers will not climb before they are blessed, this will take place tomorrow morning so the trekkers can be part of it too. This is the most important blessing for our team; Western climbers, Sherpa climbers, foodand equipment. Climbing boots and axes and crampons will be piled around the Stupa, it's a moving experience for anyone who has had the opportunity to be part of one, the burning of juniper and the chant from Lama Mingma, the tossing of rice and drinking of chang (or beer) all adding to this magical and spiritual event. Of course there is also a monetary part to help support the local monasteries.
Climber Lee den Hond is here with a TV crew, Kate Barry and Jonathan Crawford of "Carte Blanche", we are happy that the timing has worked out for them to capture this part of the expedition to share with everyone back in South Africa.
Good news on the communications front. 3G seems to working well from EBC. Over and out..... Tim
Photos: Camerman- Jonathan Crawford at work.... Mountain Guides- Joshua and Marty sporting their styl'in white glasses and their fat guide packs.
Sunday, April 7, 2013
The deal here is in order to get a good signal on the satellite phone, Tim needs to be outside the building where it's pretty chilly this year.
The food part is the teams great appreciation for our camp crew coming down from Base Camp to Lobuche today. Bringing with them our kitchen equipment, pots, pans, eating utensils, food supplies and so on. We do this because Lobuche is not a regular habitat for the Sherpa people, it's a seasonal village for the climbing and trekking season facilitating everyone with meals and lodging while here.
Lobuche is at critical altitude where one could get AMS- Altitude Mountain Sickness if they do not layover here for at least one night before going any higher. It's not a home based lodge, it's instead staffed by contract workers who do the best they can in providing meals with limited water resources. It lacks a sense of pride like you'd find in a lodge that is someone's home like the ones we use throughout the valley. It also gets overcrowded as all trekkers/climbers must layover here for a night, or for some two nights, before heading high up to Everest base camp. The risky part in staying here is that illness tends to circulated around through the kitchens in Lobuche. Because of this we have our kitchen brought down and our staff do the cooking to keep our team quarantined in an effort to keep them healthy for the days ahead. An intestinal infection at this stage is not something a climber who invested so much money, and time, and training into wants to have to deal with.
At the end of the day their bellies are full with good food and they are more than excited to get to base camp tomorrow and check into the comforts we provide for them there.
The one good thing about reaching Lobuche for me (also spelled Lobuje) at an altitude of 4931m is I get reminded of my favorite Youtube of all time of this area. The team has been here the last couple of season's at full moon, not this time but equally just as beautiful and I could not resist showing this again. Enjoy! Make sure your screen is clean, that is not dust you see in the sky.... Becky
Friday, April 5, 2013
April 5, 2013'- Cold and clear at 4412m - Dingboche.. It's chilling cold this year. Some of the trekkers were having
Everyone is doing awesome!.. Tomorrow we will be hiking above Dingboche to boost our haemoglobin to kick in and allow out bodies to adjust to the new heights we will move to the day after. We will sleep two nights here to help make that happen before moving up to Lobuche for one night, then that's it, we will be at Everest Base Camp on April 8th as planned.
I uploaded a bunch of photos but same as last autumn there seems to be some issues with the Internet here in Dingboche. Not much say other than everyone gives a big shout out to all the followers of this blog. Over and out till tomorrow... Tim
Great shot from Kuntal Joisher taken from Dingboche while on our Pumori Expedition in 2011. This is what we see tonight.
Thursday, April 4, 2013
This is Joshua's 2nd season on Everest and he's already gained elite private guide status. Marty is off to climb K2 immediately after Everest. These guys love what they do and are better than good at it. Tim's next altitude adventure will be training aspiring Everest and other climbers on three 6000m peaks in Nepal during our Everest Boot Camp - "Triple Crown" expedition.
Day 4 on the trail: Brrr... Climbers are in Pangboche (3901m), the team is somewhat protected here from the extreme winds up high. Only the climbers are sleeping here tonight so they will be ready to rise and shine early for their puja with Lama Geshi who resides here, this is a spiritual highlight of this journey. They will be blessed with prayers, chants and given the "protection and blessing cord", Lama Geshi will tie a knot in the cord, then prays over it and blows the power of this mantra into it. Then he places it around the climbers neck as a blessing to keep them safe throughout this journey. Tim has a drawer full of them at home as he never takes it off till 2 weeks after he returns. He gets pretty attached. Lama Geshi tells Tim that because he is a leader and has great responsibility and he needs added protection. He's given a little hand made silk stash pouch stuffed with juniper, a prayer note, and other spiritual herbs of the region. It is then strung onto the red cord and hung from his neck.
The trekkers are spending the night at Deboche (3734m) by the river. Lower elevation and ambient in the rhododendron forest by the river. Tomorrow morning they will hike back up the trail for a morning chant with the monks at the Tengboche (3867m) monastery. The next blessing will be the big one at base camp with all the equipment, food and Sherpas that must be blessed before they begin to start working on the mountain.
Destination tomorrow for both trekkers and climbers is Dingboche (4412m), at this elevation everyone will really start to feel the effects of the thin air. They will also start to feel the wind and chill here. It's certainly colder than it has been the past couple of years this time of year. Winter came in like lion which has been good for healing the glaciers with lots of snow and cold temperatures.
TIDBIT: What's "boche" ? In Nepal it defines a village.
Over and out... Becky
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Tim would know the difference having been the first to ski on the north side of Everest in 1991 from the North Col during a Canadian expedition. Pat Morrow filmed his ascent but the footage was given to a film company who had the rights to it and we've never seen it. I think it was Yale Productions out of Vancouver. We've never asked for it but should one day.
Tim was excited to meet Yuichiro today and remembers when he came to our home before his 2008 ascent on Everest with his leader of his ski ascent - Don Kato. All eyes will be watching Yuichiro this year because of his age, experiences here and the fact he's had heart surgery four times. Crazy! love these guys who wear their man pants. Peak Freak members are enjoying the opportunity to meet some of the characters that are lured to this region each year. There's a certain kind of addiction to this place for anyone who has been here. I'm sure a lot of our past climbers and trekkers who are following the blog would agree. Today the team went to Ang Nima and Kamrita's house up in Khunde for lunch, took a walk around and visited the Sir Edmond Hillary school and captured some great shots. Photos will be posted on Tim's Facebook. If you aren't already following his FB click on the FOLLOW button up top and have a look. MOUNTAIN WEATHER: Typical high winds Over and out.... Becky
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
|April 2, 2013'- Everest 2013' team arrives in Namche Bazaar (3445m)
Full bellies and ready for bed. Most of the team have already hit the pillow, just a few of us burning the candle for a little longer. |
The enthusiasm is building after everyone caught a glimpse of Everest today from the little hidden trail on the way to Namche today. This is the first time trekkers will see Everest, we'll see it again till tomorrow when we hike to Khunde and Khumjung to acclimatize higher for the next days rise in elevation and enjoy it in the comforts of Ang Nima's home.
Slowly we go... climb high sleep low rule of thumb for staying healthy here.
It's great to be back in our second home and with a great bunch. Everyone is doing really well and having a great time. Over and out.... Tim
|April 1, 2013' - 07:00 hrs - (NPT) PERFECT.. perfect day, perfect weather, perfect landing in Lukla... Time for some breakfast then we'll pack up and head'er to Monjo (2804m). The team is stoked to be out of the city and looking forward to sleeping by the river tonight. No barking dogs, no honking horns and clean air. ..Tim|