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  SummitClimb Mt. Everest 2006 Tibet: Several New Updates


Hi EverestNews.com, As this photo shows, ours was the first tent on the north col on 16 April. Thanks to Ozark tents. Mon Tindale took this photo looking up toward camp 2 at 7500 metres. Looks like part of Neil Wells appears in this photo also. It was a great day on the Col!

Dear EverestNews.com, Andrew Brash from Calgary, in his inimicable (sp?) brash Scottish style, has written  an Irvine Welsh like dispatch. Thanks very much to everyone at EverestNews for telling the challenging stories of the Himalaya and the colorful people who strive to test themselves there:

Here goes Andrew:

"A big hello from the hypoxic delirium of ABC. Sure, yaks and dogs are wandering around up here, Sherpas and Tibetan staff are building hundreds of chortens, pick-axing ice out of the glacier for water and leveling apartment-block sized flat areas out of the ice to set up casino tents; but many of us 'hard-core' westerners are simply lying around camp, in a slack-jawed apathy, too lazy even to close our mouths to avoid sunburn of the tongue. To be fair, some of us manage to show up for meals on time - not an easy task at 6400m...Thankfully, climbing this mountain is a lengthy task, and apparently some climbers feel a little bit better as expeditions roll along. Dan has done an admirable job of keeping the group together, frightening all of us with tales of various high altitude illnesses, including intestinal worms, which apparently require one to carry a cleaver to the outhouse...I'll leave the rest to your imagination...

On with the business of the climb: we plan to attempt a trip to camp 1 on the North Col on Sunday, and then we will descend on Monday to Base Camp and the thick, rich air of 5200m and at least a 5 day break before heading back up here.

Lots of love to Jen and Anna, all of my family and to the staff and students at Terry Fox Jr. High in Calgary!!

Best wishes, Andrew Brash Summitclimb Everest North 2006"

Summitclimb Everest-Tibet Basecamp 18 April, 2006

Dear EverestNews.com, Thanks for telling our story about climbing Everest. Neil Wells has written the following dispatch and we would hope you would post it on your excellent EverestNews website:

Dear Readers, Having had a few fun-filled, oxygen deprived days in the freezing cold and windy conditions at ABC and above, we are safely back down luxuriating in the comforts of Everest Basecamp.

So let's all catch up a bit since the last update.  ABC as described by Andrew in the last dispatch was right on the money.  Most of us were in a perpetual zombie state doing what was needed and nothing more.  For some probably very good reason we were herded out of the relative comfort of the mess tent (if sitting on plastic barrels perched on rocks supping at lukewarm cups of tea is comfort) for some fixed line practice.  This was a time to fiddle with ice cold metalwork, strapping crampons to huge boots and then struggling about 20m down from camp to the ice pinnacles on the glacier.  Having got the breath back, we then hauled ourselves up a line on blue ice, teetered across the top of the glacier, then rappelled back to down to the start point.  Rinse and repeat. We stopped when exhausted and headed back to the mess for a nice cup of tea and a sit down.

Emboldened by our practice, we had a rest day again. The following day saw some real action and we headed for the North Col.  This was our first real test and the team all did great with most reaching the camp at the North Col at 7000m.  Some 400m of fixed lines have been fixed to the Col and nobody managed to miss a clip!  Not only might that hurt, it's a bit of a grind to have to do it all again.

After such a fun day out, it was time to head back to Everest Basecamp and the thicker air at 5200m.  But first another quick Puja Ceremony.

Mercifully short this time in a biting wind we were fortfied by a shot of Royal Stag whiskey (that well known and much sought after brand).  Which was a great boost to starting the 24km walk to basecamp [often referred to as the: "Miracle Highway"].  That sounds a breeze, dear reader, but it actually requires a miserable tramp down the glacier on moraine, scree, ice, loose blocks and all interspersed with yak hazards Horns, big bodies, wide loads and copious and copious amounts of slippery dung). Everyone arrived back before dark safely in various states of exhaustion, some in fast times and some slow - but let's remember that this is not a race and there are no medals for speed!  Having been told it would only be a simple supper, the cooks turned out a belting 3 course dinner of which there were second or thirds for anyone who wanted it!

To celebrate (well it was a small victory!) a small group of the team representing the USA, UK, Canada and Colombia headed for the tea houses nearby.  Now, this is a slight misnomer to be sure.  Last night it was definitely a case of not so much tea house but full-on lager tent.  By the time we left, we were getting strong looks from the bouncer (if that is what a man in a heavily embroided tibetan jacket and with a bad attitude is) and tired looks from the serving ladies.

Which brings us to today, and the first real snowfall of the expedition.  It has been blowing hard and snowing all day here.  There is nothing to see across camp and we have all been busy snowproofing the tents and the like. To keep the generator running we spent some time designing and building a shelter for it from some spare tentpoles, string, wire, canvas and of course duct tape!

Now for all our British readers, think of a car designed and built by British Leyland in the early 1970s.  It looks ugly, it is built like a brick outhouse, it vaguely works and no-one else would want it!  But it is doing the job keeping the spindrift out of vital parts and keeping this ancient laptop operating at its painfilly slow best!

So that's about it for now - we remain well fed, we are finding ways to keep us amused and out of the lager tent (until the evening at least) and, most of all, we are remaining healthy and fit and keen for the challenges ahead. So until the next time, thanks for reading!  Love to all friends and family - we do miss you a bit.  Promise.

Neil Wells (UK) for SummitClimb.com Everest-Tibet 2006

Updates

 

 

 

Foreign Climbers:

 

Mr. JOHN BAGNULO, climbing member, New Vineyard, Maine;

Mr. ANDREW BRASH, climbing member, Calgary, Canada;

Mr. PHIL CRAMPTON. expedition manager, Nottingham, England, and Texas;

Mr. HECTOR GARCIA, climbing member, Cali, Columbia, and London, England;

Mr. DENO HEWSON, climbing member, New Zealand and Japan;

Mr. MARTIN LETZTER, climbing member; Taby, Sweden;

Mr. DAN MAZUR, Everest leader, Bristol, England, and Seattle, Washington;

Mr. JUAN PABLO MILANA, climbing member, San Juan, Argentina;

Mr. MYLES OSBORNE, climbing member, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Southampton, England;

Mr. COLIN PACEY, climbing member, Sydney, Australia;

Mr. KEN STALTER, climbing member, Franklin, New York;

Mr. OLOF SUNDSTROM, climbing member, Stockholm, Sweden;

Mr. MON TINDALE, climbing member, Workington, Cumbria, England

Mr. NEIL WELLS, climbing member, Maidenhead, Berkshire, England;

Mr. BILL YEO, climbing member, Durham, Maine;

 

Climbing Staff:

 

Mr. ADEN, climber, Tibet;

Mr. DEECHEN NARJUP, climber, Pasum Zom, Tibet;

Mr. LORCHUN, climber, Tibet;

Mr. NORBU ZHANDU, climbing leader, Tibet;

Mr. DAWA SHERPA, climbing sherpa, Kari Khola, Nepal;

Mr. JANGBU SHERPA, climbing leader, Okhaldunga, Nepal;

Mr. YANDAN, climber, Tibet;

 

 

Cooking Staff:

 

Mr. CHAMPA, assistant cook, Tibet;

Mr. DANZIG, assistant cook, Tibet;

Mr. GORU, assistant cook, Tibet;

Mr. DORJE LAMA, assistant cook, Nepal:

Mr. KIPA SHERPA, chief cook, Nepal.

 

Thanks again for all of your help in telling the story of Himalayan

climbing.

 

-Yours Sincerely, from all of us at SummitClimb.com

-Dan

Updates

Background: Everest and K2 summiter Dan Mazur leads the SummitClimb 2006 Everest Expedition on the Tibet side of the Mountain...

Introduction: Climb Everest (8,848 Metres) by Dan Mazur

Everest is perhaps the most coveted mountain in the world. The north (Tibetan) side is the least expensive way to climb it, and the dates we have chosen feature the best weather of the year. Our proposed schedule allows for two possible summit attempts and two full descents to the Chinese basecamp at 5200 metres. Our style of climbing is cautious and careful, with excellent leadership, organization, Sherpa climbers, cooks and waiters, tasty food, the best equipment, two full kitchens and basecamp plus advanced basecamp, 6 camps on the mountain, 1000s of metres of fixed line, hundreds of rock ice and snow anchors, top-quality high altitude tents and high altitude stoves, expedition mix gas, and full safety equipment: medical oxygen, gamow bag, and extensive medical kit.

This expedition to Everest maximizes many years of accumulated wisdom of the high Himalaya, a strong record of reaching the top of 8,000ers: Everest, K2, Kangchenjunga, Lhotse, Makalu, Cho-Oyu, Shishapangma, and many other 8,000 metre summits, in addition to more than 25 Himalayan expeditions, in all safety, along with an intimate knowledge of the Tibetan and Chinese officials who regulate the permit system. This is our 14th expedition to Tibet since 1986, and we know all of the bureaucratic officials, liason officers, yak drivers, and hoteliers/restaurateurs personally.

   

The monkey temple makes a nice training walk in Kathmandu (. Try to go at dawn when the pollution is not so bad. A local woman leaving an offering at a temple (Ryan Waters).

Detailed Description

The trip begins in the ancient and colorful city of Kathmandu (you could also start in Beijing). You stay in a comfortable, simple, clean, hot-water hotel, at minimal cost (single rooms at: $15, £9.50, €14) (double rooms at $20, £13, €19) and sample some of the very reasonably-priced tasty Nepalese, Tibetan and Western-Style cuisine, available at the hundreds of local restaurants.  During your free days in Kathmandu, while your Chinese visa is being processed, you shall finalize arrangements, purchase and hire the bits of equipment you might be missing at the hundreds of mountain-climbing and trekking equipment shops in the neighborhood (with low prices, as well), and take time out for trinket hunting, with suggested visits to explore the 17th century splendors of the Monkey Temple, the Durbar Square and old Kings Palace, as well as the ancient cities of Patan, and Bakhtapur. We also have several member and training sessions during these days, where our leaders spend time with you reviewing climbing techniques and equipment, going over medical and safety procedures, etcetera. If you are concerned about the altitude and have purchased Diamox (acetylzolamide), which is inexpensively available with no doctor's prescription in Kathmandu, this might be the time to begin taking it.

After the finalization of your Chinese visa, we set out very early in a bus for the 4 hour drive to the last Nepal town of Kodari at 1,770 meters. We clear Nepalese customs and immigration, then hire local porters and vehicles to carry your bags across the Bota Kosi River on the Friendship Bridge, to Zhangmu, the gateway town in Tibet.

On the Friendship Bridge, border Crossing between Nepal and Tibet (Bruce Manning).

Upon entering Tibet, the clocks immediately go forward by 2 ¼ hours.  Our secondary government liason officer will meet us in Zhangmu. After clearing Tibetan customs and immigration, a Chinese bus takes us up the windy road through the rolling hills to Nyalam town at 3,750 meters, and a basic "hotel".  The smaller towns in Tibet are generally simple and rustic places, and this one is no exception.  The topography here is quite interesting in that we are perched in the transitional zone where the Tibetan plateau rams into the Himalaya, then drops into the forested valleys and jungles of Nepal, and finally out into the Gangetic plain of the Terai and India. We stay over one extra night in Nyalam, to help adjust to the altitude, and during our "rest-day" in Nyalam, we take advantage of the interesting surroundings to walk to the top of local hills and savor the first glimpses of the Himalayan Giants.

 

Bouldering in Nyalam on our rest day (Felix Berg). On the road to Tingri, Himalayan Giants in the background (DL Mazur). Our sturdy Tibetan trucks carry the equipment, here being loaded by our Sherpas (Tim Spear).

In the morning we continue our bus-ascent into the Tibetan plateau, to the town of Tingri at 4,342 meters.  There are superb views of Shishapangma, Cho-Oyu, and Everest as we drive into Tingri. The town itself is a very basic one-street hamlet surrounded by the tents of nomadic Tibetans. About ½ of all ethnic Tibetans living in Tibet are nomadic or semi-nomadic. Our extremely rustic little hotel has an adequate restaurant, and it will be interesting to see if the high altitude has quelled our appetites for tasty fresh food. There are the ruins of an old fortress on a rise above town, and from here we can see the finest views of Everest, Lhotse, Cho-Oyu, and Shishapangma.

A stop along the road near Tingri. There is a simply developed hot springs here. Only the very brave are able to tempt fate by entering the dirty water (Bruce Manning).

The following morning, after what for many is a relatively sleep-free night, we drive the 70 kilometers to Everest base camp at around 5,200 meters.  The drive follows a dirt road along the Rongbuk Valley and has spectacular views of the Himalaya.  Chinese base camp is located just near the medieval and active Rongbuk Monastery.

We will spend another day resting, acclimatising, and organizing equipment into Yak loads at Chinese base.

 

Preparing our yak loads at Chinese basecamp (Bruce Manning). Blue mountain sheep in the cliffs above basecamp (Felix Berg).

We then spend two days moving up to the "interim camp", which is located at 5800 metres and halfway to the "advanced basecamp (ABC)". 

 

Yak train heading up to interim camp (Bruce Manning). Interim Camp at 5800 metres, where we acclimate for a day or two before heading up to ABC (Tim Spear).

Next, we spend two days working our way up to ABC. 6,400 meters, ABC must be the highest  basecamp in the world.  It is located on a rocky moraine next to the Rongbuk Glacier.

   

Franck walking up the Rongbuk to ABC (Tim Spear). Our comfortable ABC at 6400 metres, A view of the mountain at sunset from ABC (Ryan Waters).

Upon reaching ABC, we will take another rest and acclimatization day, this time going over our equipment, safety procedures, climbing techniques, cooking and camping methods, and working to form ourselves into a more cohesive team.

After resting and completing our training, we will begin our climb of Everest.

 

Climbers approaching the North Col at 6800 metres. Lines are fixed here for safety. Our tents at the North Col at 7000 metres, also known as camp 1. Climbers Walking up to the 7500 metre camp, also known as camp 2. You can see the tents in the North Col in the background (Ryan Waters). At the 7500 metre camp (Ken Stalter).

On the way up to camp 3 at 8300 metres, which lies up and to the right in the photo (Ryan Waters). Camp 3. Andre Bredenkamp and Chris Drummond in Camp 3 .

Distant view of the second step at 8500 metres, ladders on right . On the second step at 8500 metres. We fixed 300 metres of rope here. Looking at the summit from 8400 metres. Climbing the second step. (Ryan Waters).

       

 The third and final step onto the summit. Ryan on the Summit. (Ryan Waters).  A sunburned Felix back in ABC after summitting.

Through the following weeks, we will climb up and down the mountain, according to the schedule suggested below, exploring the route, establishing camps, and building our acclimatization and strength levels. We will also descend to the Chinese basecamp several times, in order to rest well. Following the proposed itinerary below should give us the best chance to ascend in safety and maximize our opportunity to reach the summit during the "weather windows" which open in May.


SUGGESTED DAY-BY-DAY ITINERARY FOR EVEREST CLIMB

1. 4 April, Arrive Kathmandu (1,300 meters).
2. 5 April In Kathmandu - Bring Passport to Chinese Embassy, for Visa. Logistics, training, purchasing, packing, training, visit temples, city tour, shopping.  Hotel and meals at members minimal cost.
3. 6 April In Kathmandu - while visa is being processed, logistics, training purchasing, packing, training, visit temples, city tour, shopping.  Hotel.
4. 7 April In Kathmandu - Pick up passport from Chinese Embassy. Logistics, training, purchasing, packing, training, visit temples, city tour, shopping.  Hotel. 
5. 8 April Bus to Tibet; drive to Nyalam (3,750 meters).  Hotel and meals at organizer's expense.
6. 9 April Rest in Nyalam (3,750 meters).  Walk around the local hills. Hotel.
7. 10 April Bus to Tingri (4,342 meters).  Hotel.
8. 11 April Rest in Tingri.
9. 12 April Drive to Chinese Basecamp (5200meters).  Camp.
10. 13 April Rest in Chinese base. Organize equipment and supplies. Camp.
11. 14 April Walk gently in the hills surrounding Chinese base.
12. 15 April Rest in Chinese base. Organize equipment and supplies. Camp.
13. 16 April Walk with the yaks halfway to advanced base to interim camp (5,800meters). Camp.
14. 17 April Rest in interim camp.
15. 18 April Rest in interim camp.
16. 19 April Walk with the yaks to advanced base (ABC) at 6400 metres. Camp.
17. 20 April Rest in Advanced base. Extensive training. Organize supplies.
18. 21 April Rest in Advanced base. Extensive training. Organize supplies.
19. 22 April Walk to Camp 1 North Col (7000m). Return to ABC.
20. 23 April Rest in ABC.
21. 24 April Walk to Camp 1. Sleep there.
22. 25 April Explore route to Camp 2 (7500m), return to ABC.
23. 26 April Walk back down to Chinese base.
24. 27 April Rest in Chinese base.
25. 28 April Rest in Chinese base.
26. 29 April Rest in Chinese base.
27. 30 April Walk up to interim camp.
28. 1 May Walk up to ABC.
29. 2 May Walk to Camp 1, sleep there.
30. 3 May Walk to Camp 2, sleep there.
31. 4 May Explore route to Camp 3 (8300 metres), return to camp 2, sleep there.
32. 5 May Walk Down to ABC.
33. 6 May Walk back down to Chinese base.
34. 7 May Rest in Chinese base.
35. 8 May Rest in Chinese base.
36. 9 May Rest in Chinese base.
37. 10 May Walk up to interim camp.
38. 11 May Walk up to ABC.
39. 12 May Walk to Camp 1. Sleep there.
40. 13 May Walk to Camp 2, sleep there.
41. 14 May Walk to Camp 3, sleep there.
42. 15 May Attempt summit if conditions allow.
43. 16 May Attempt summit if conditions allow.
44. 17 May Descend to ABC.
45. 18 May Walk back down to Chinese base.
46. 19 May Rest in Chinese base.
47. 20 May Rest in Chinese base.
48. 21 May Rest in Chinese base.
49. 22 May Walk up to interim camp.
50. 23 May Walk back up to ABC.
51. 24 May Walk to Camp 1. Sleep there.
52. 25 May Walk to Camp 2, sleep there.
53. 26 May Walk to Camp 3, sleep there.
54. 27 May Attempt summit if conditions allow.
55. 28 May Attempt summit if conditions allow.
56. 29 May Descend to Camp 1.
57. 30 May Packing in camp 1, descend to ABC.
58. 31 May Packing in ABC.
59. 1 June Yaks transport equipment, supplies and rubbish to Chinese base. Members walk down.
60. 2 June Packing in Chinese base.
61. 3 June Drive to Tingri.   Hotel and meals at organizers expense.
62. 4 June Drive to Kathmandu.   Hotel and meals at members expense.
63. 5 June In Kathmandu.  Final packing, summit celebration, saying goodbye to new friends.
64. 6 June Fly home. Thank you for joining our Mount Everest Expedition

 

 

 

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