Home
   Today's News
   8000 Meters Facts
  
Banners Ads
   Bookstore
   Classified Ads
   Climb for Peace
  
Contact

   Downloads
  
Educational
  
Expeditions
  
Facts
  
Games
  
Gear
  
History
  
Interviews

   Mailing List
   Media

   Medical
  
News (current)
   News Archives
   Sat Phones
   Search
   Seven Summits
   Snowboard
   Speakers
   Students
   Readers Guide
   Risks

   Trip Reports
   Visitor Agreement

   Volunteer/help

 

    
  

 

  




  Everest 2007: Dirk Stephan returns to Everest: Dirk Stephan with what he sees...


sbrr2.jpg (46375 bytes)

 

09.04.07 Everest base camp 5300m

After breakfast Dawa and I stroll around the base camp. We saw a first Puja ceremony for the British expedition. They carry lots of equipment and devices. Among it an ergometer which shall be positioned on 8000m. On the summit arterial blood shall be extracted from a leg and immediately brought to the lab by a Sherpa. Legend said more than one million dollar expedition costs. No resources left for other emergency cases that huge is the expedition team, despite 40 doctors on board! All big commercial teams are present: IMG, Mountain Madness, Alpine ascents, to name only a few. The teams slowly gather together the next days. Groups of base camp trekers frequently appear in order to get the spirit of the base camp for a few days. The icefall will not be part of their journey.

Later we level a platform for Dawa's bakery. While we swing spades and pickaxe we are met by the trekers with disbelief. Ravi from Malaysia drops in, followed by the others the next days.

10.04.07 Everest base camp 5300m

Slightly cloudy with snowfalls. When it stops I ascend half way to Gorak Shep to an altitude of 5.500m. Among huge clouds I see the everest summit pyramid, the Lhotse wall and the south col. More than 3000m in altitude to conquer. Later it again snows. We try to get Dawa's projector running, but it fails, too much energy needed. Neither the gene rator nor batteries could provide the necessary performance, thus no cinema in the bakery.

11.04.07 Everest base camp 5300m

We see that the nepal military flies in some Koreans with a huge Russian helicopter. They want to be part of the Puja fotoshooting of one of the expeditions. One hour later when the pilot returns no Koreans are left for pickup. The pilot has to take some extra round. The tourists suffer from lack of oxygen and do not manage to walk upright. No further comment needed.

It snows the whole day. The wind comes and leaves. We are busy with the failing electronic equipment.

The icefall supposed to be in a desolate conditions I will try not to pass him to often.

So long, Dirk.

Earlier: Base Camp: I have reached the base camp on Saturday. Like last year the cooking tent is the first established. I helped establishing my tent. The ice has to be leveled in order to get a straight platform. At first the ice needed to be cleared to spread stones thereon.

Weather conditions are firstly beautiful, then it is thuderstorming with snow.

The night was cold but I slept well. I stay in my sleeping back until the sun warms up the tent. For breakfast I have omelets and toast. I then keep on helping leveling the platforms for the tents. We expect next Ravi Chant from Malaysia. Not until all climbers reach the base camp there will be no Puja ceremony. Without the Puja ceremony no climber will get through the Khumbu Icefall.
All the best Dirk

April 1, 2007 Tengbouche
The audience at Rimpoche is impressing. He is 73 years old and one of the most important Buddhistic authority. He has to send its monks abroad and is not always content with the schools here. Thus repatriates' discipline suffers from cities' influence. The familarization with the life in Khumbu is getting more and more difficult. He thinks that loss of discipline is responsible for anew fire in the monastery. Thanks to the strong snowfall the monastery was not destroyed a second time.
I ask him what he thinks of us climbers who risk their and their Sherpa's lifes. He thinks of the classical dilemma: On one hand this is a job maker for Sherpas and on the other hand they have no choice in contrast to the climber. That is why it is important to get them altern atives to provide them a fair choice. In principle Sherpas live from the tourism. I get my Kata back, a blessed line and sanctified spices. Ingest daily the blessings renew.

April 2 ,2007
Today it is my doughter Lara's birthday. I wake up early to get her before school. A quarter to seven I can start. The soil is hardly frozen. The descent is getting more a slalom thru the mug, left by hundreds of Yaks.
A unpleasant cold wind soughs thru the valley. A tightrope walk between shivering and sweating. It takes me 3 hours to the Lodge in Pheriche. I am at the altitude of 4.200 m. After all the same than Base camp of Aconcagua.
I meet a compatant of my team. He is from Malaysia, summited the Everest last year from Tibet and lost one finger. This does not stop him from ascending again from Nepal.
Later I listen out of boredom a speech of the Periche Clinic regarding altitude sickness. New doctor, old speech, nothing new. The scouts join. They will accomodate base camp in two weeks.

April 3, 2007
Unfortunately I got a nasty cold. No wonder the Lodges are full of sick persons. I change accommodation to the other side of the hill to Dingboche. The owner of the Lodge in Pheriche also owns the Lodge in Dingboche and gets me there fast. Here it is much more sunny and the wind does not sough that much. I plan to ascent a bit more and it seems to work. Above me there are ascending climbers. I close on at the summit of 5050 m. It's Dave Hahn and his clients on acclimazation. I descent again to Dingboche.

 

 

Khumjung 3750m

The night was a bit colder, but comfortable with my warm sleeping back. The altitude provides no problems, thus I decide to climb up to Khumjung. I get my obligatory prayer shawl, the kata. Sherab wishes me all the best for the rise. Then I climb down to the village. I miss some magnesium to get rid of muscle cramps. There are none in the pharmacy but I find some in a small grocery. Now I continuously climb up, after 1 hour I see the Everest again. The summit tops everything, unimpressed from all what happened.

I lodge in the Khumjung Hotel. 10 minutes later I am on my way again; last years training up to 4300m. I do well, I am ok so far. Back in the hotel I meet Dawa again. He desires an early summit to dedicate to the Everest-Marathon.....

At 3 pm the sky tightens. The village befogs.  I see 15 yellow tents. British scout group camps here. Scouts do not sleep in hotels. Five of them eye the Everest. They cut themselves bolds to demonstrate the length of their expedition. They discuss acclimatization process for hours.

I sleep well this night, although sleeping back still too thick.

All the best Dirk 

Updates

Everest 2007: Dirk Stephan returns to Everest to attempt the mountain from the Nepal side of the mountain. Dirk will again be joining the the Asian Trekking team. " Last year I made it up to the southcol, where I abandoned the final push because the weather was too tough for me, and I was not willing to take the risk. On this day, the famous Apa Sherpa made his 16th summit, as others who were willing to take more risk or just were stronger than me also did it. This will be my third trip to Everest Ė also a time for reflection and thinking things over. I am looking forward to see friends in the Khumbu and above again.

I do not see many things, which I could have done better last year to succeed, however it is the experience which counts. Last year I descended the upper Lhotse face completely alone, putting my trail into the fresh untouched snow, had a terrific view over to Cho Oyu and back up to the south summit of everest. On this day I left the southcol at 5am, descended down to BC where I arrived at 2 PM. The next day I marched out to Namche and the next day I arrived in Lhukla and two days later I was safe at home. However- never say goodbye to Khumbu.... Dirk 

Base Camp - 17,500 feet (5350 meters)

This is a picture of the popular South Col Route up Mt. Everest.  Base camp is located at 17,500 feet.   This is where climbers begin their true trip up the mountain.  This is also where support staff often remain to monitor the expeditions and provide medical assistance when necessary.  Many organizations offer hiking trips which just go to base camp as the trip is not technically challenging (though you must be very fit). 

From base camp, climbers typically train and acclimate (permitting the body to adjust to the decreased oxygen in the air) by traveling and bringing supplies back and forth through the often treacherous Khumbu Icefall.    This training and recuperation continues throughout the climb, with the final summit push often being the only time to climbers do not go back and forth between camps to train, bring supplies, and recuperate for the next push. 

The Icefall is in constant motion.  It contains enormous ice seracs, often larger than houses, which dangle precariously over the climbers heads, threatening to fall at any moment without warning, as the climbers cross endless crevasses and listen to continuous ice creaking below.  This often acts as a testing ground to judge if less experienced climbers will be capable of continuing.   The Icefall is located between 17,500 and 19,500 feet.

Camp I - 5900 meters

After the Icefall, the climbers arrive at Camp I, which is located at 19,500 feet.  Depending on the type of expedition, Camp I will either be stocked by the climbers as they ascend and descend the Icefall, or by Sherpas in advance.

The area between Camp I and Camp II is known as the Western Cwm.  As the climbers reach Camp II at 21,000 feet, they may be temporarily out of sight of their support at Base camp.  Nonetheless, modern communication devises permit the parties to stay in contact.

Camp II - 6500 meters

As the climbers leave Camp II, they travel towards the Lhotse face (Lhotse is a 27,920 foot mountain bordering Everest).  The Lhotse face is a steep, shiny icy wall.  Though not technically extremely difficult, one misstep or slip could mean a climber's life.  Indeed, many climbers have lost their lives through such mishaps. 

Camp III - 23,700 feet (7200 meters)

To reach Camp III, climbers must negotiate the Lhotse Face. Climbing a sheer wall of ice demands skill, strength and stamina. It is so steep and treacherous that many  Sherpas move directly from Camp II to Camp IV on the South Col, refusing to stay on the Lhotse Face.

Camp IV - 26,300 feet (8000 meters)

As youíre leaving C4Öitís a little bit of a down slope, with the uphill side to the left. There are typically snow on the ledges to walk down on, interspersed with rock, along with some fixed rope. The problem with the rope is that the anchors are bad, and thereís not much holding the rope and a fall could be serious. Fortunately itís not too steep, but there is a ton of exposure and people are usually tired when walking down from camp. The rock is a little down sloping to the right as well, and with crampons on, it can be bit tricky with any kind of wind. Thereís a little short slope on reliable snow which leads to the top of the Geneva Spur, and the wind pressure gradient across the spur can increase there as youíre getting set up for the rappel. Wearing an oxygen mask here can create some footing issues during the rappel, because itís impossible to see over the mask and down to the feet. For that reason, some people choose to leave Camp 4 without gas, as itís easier to keep moving down the Spur when itís important to see all the small rock steps and where the old feet are going. Navigating down through all of the spaghetti of fixed ropes is a bit of a challenge, especially with mush for brains at that point. One lands on some lower ledges which arenít so steep, where fixed ropes through here are solid. At this point, itís just a matter of staying upright, and usually, the wind has died significantly after dropping off the Spur. The route turns hard to the left onto the snowfield that leads to the top of the Yellow Bands.

Camp IV, which is at 26,300 on the Lhotse face, is typically the climbers' first overnight stay in the Death Zone.  The Death Zone is above 26,000 feet.  Though there is nothing magical about that altitude, it is at this altitude that most human bodies lose all ability to acclimate. Accordingly, the body slowly begins to deteriorate and die - thus, the name "Death Zone."  The longer a climber stays at this altitude, the more likely illness (HACE - high altitude cerebral edema - or HAPE - high altitude pulmonary edema) or death will occur.  Most climbers will use oxygen to climb and sleep at this altitude and above.  Generally, Sherpas refuse to sleep on the Lhotse face and will travel to either Camp II or Camp IV.

Camp IV is located at 26,300 feet. This is the final major camp for the summit push.  It is at this point that the climbers make their final preparations.  It is also a haven for worn-out climbers on their exhausting descent from summit attempts (both successful and not).  Sherpas or other climbers will often wait here with supplies and hot tea for returning climbers.

From Camp IV, climbers will push through the Balcony, at 27,500 feet, to the Hillary Step at 28,800 feet.  The Hillary Step, an over 70 foot rock step, is named after Sir. Edmond Hillary, who in 1953, along with Tenzing Norgay, became the first people to summit Everest.  The Hillary Step, which is climbed with fixed ropes, often becomes a bottleneck as only one climber can climb at a time.  Though the Hillary Step would not be difficult at sea level for experienced climbers, at Everest's altitude, it is considered the most technically challenging aspect of the climb.

Summit - 29,028 feet (8848 meters)

Once the climbers ascend the Hillary Step, they slowly and laboriously proceed to the summit at 29,028 feet.  The summit sits at the top of the world.  Though not the closest place to the sun due to the earth's curve, it is the highest peak on earth.  Due to the decreased air pressure, the summit contains less than one third the oxygen as at sea level.  If dropped off on the summit directly from sea level (impossible in reality), a person would die within minutes.  Typically, climbers achieving the great summit will take pictures, gain their composure, briefly enjoy the view, then return to Camp IV as quickly as possible.   The risk of staying at the summit and the exhaustion from achieving the summit is too great to permit climbers to fully enjoy the great accomplishment at that moment.  

As most readers of this page know, the return trip can be even more dangerous than the climb to the summit.

Pictures from Enrique Guallart-Furio web site http://ww2.encis.es/avent/

 

A cold weather, high altitude double boot for extreme conditions The Olympus Mons is the perfect choice for 8000-meter peaks. This super lightweight double boot has a PE thermal insulating inner boot that is coupled with a thermo-reflective outer boot with an integrated gaiter. We used a super insulating lightweight PE outsole to keep the weight down and the TPU midsole is excellent for crampon compatibility and stability on steep terrain. WEIGHT: 39.86 oz ē 1130 g LAST: Olympus Mons CONSTRUCTION: Inner: Slip lasted Outer: Board Lasted OUTER BOOT: Corduraģ upper lined with dual-density PE micro-cellular thermal insulating closed cell foam and thermo-reflective aluminium facing/ Insulated removable footbed/ Vibramģ rubber rand See more here.

 






 

   Ascenders

   Atlas snowshoes

   Atomic

   Big Agnes

   Black Diamond

   Brunton

   Carabiners

   Chaco

   Cloudveil

   Columbia
  
CMI

   Crampons

   Edelweiss ropes
  
Eureka Tents

   Exofficio

   FiveTen

   Featured

   FoxRiver

   Gregory

   Granite Gear

   Harnesses
  
Headlamps

   Hestra
  
Helmets

   Helly Hansen

   HighGear

   HornyToad
  
Ice Axes

   Julbo

   Kavu Eyewear

   Katadyn

   Kelty

   Kong

   Lekisport

   Life is Good

   Lowa

   Lowe Alpine

   Lowepro

   Millet

   Motorola

   Mountain Hardwear

   Mountainsmith

   MSR

   Nalgene

   New England Ropes

   Nikwax

   Omega

   Osprey

   Outdoor Research
  
Patagonia

   Pelican

   Petzl

   Prana

   Princeton Tec

   Primus

   Rope Bags

   Royal Robbins

   Salomon

   Scarpa

   Scott

   Seattle Sports

   Serius
  
Sleeping Bags

   Sterling Rope

   Stubai

   Suunto

   Tents

   Teva

   Thermarest

   Trango

   Tool Logic

   Trekking Poles
  
Yaktrax
  
and more here

 



Send email to     •   Copyright© 1998-2005 EverestNews.com
All rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Disclaimer, Privacy Policy, Visitor Agreement, Legal Notes: Read it