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  Aspen Ski Cho Oyu / Everest 2007 Dispatch One


Greeting from Aspen.  We are in final preparations for an upcoming trip back to Tibet for some climbing and skiing.  This trip was supposed to happen a year ago, but life can get in the way of these things, and while climbing and skiing big mountains is a way of life, there is much more to life than climbing and skiing.  Kids, wives, dogs, you get the picture.  But all is in place this year, and with a small team, we are ready to do what we love; to climb and ski in the highest mountains on earth. 

This expedition is will be taking a few large steps back in time for this group, getting to the core group, Jim Gile, my brother Steve, and myself.  The three of us have literally been friends growing up in Aspen, and in the mountains all our lives.  We have included other great friends from time to time, but the core is always the three amigos.  So we are excited to be keeping it simple, to be going back to the Himalaya with a small very efficient team. We can communicate without speaking to each other, and have little to no boundaries to push each other over.   

We will take the experience we have gained from the past 20 years and some 30 expeditions to the greater ranges together, to attempt a second expedition to Mt. Everest.  We made our first attempt in 2003, where after skiing from the Central Peak of Shishapangma in 2000, we proceeded to make ski tracks from 25,000 feet on Everest’s north ridge. On that attempt, we learned that climbing and skiing Everest from the north side is a difficult proposition; just getting from base camp to advance base camp proved to be an extremely difficult mental and physical proposition before even setting foot on the mountain; this terrain is about 14 miles from 17,000 feet to 21,000 feet, and after a few trips back and fourth on the dry glacier, it takes most of the fun out of skiing, and throws the balance off for any joy found in earning your turns. Add to this that north Everest is not the greatest ski slope even with ideal conditions, and it all adds up for a need to avoid as much of it as possible. 

The plan is thus to head to Cho Oyu for a ski trip and to acclimate there.  If all goes as planned, then make the few hour drive to Everest BC to do our best second attempt.  So while two 8000 meter peaks including Everest sounds overpowering,,,,,it is.   But we really believe that after battling north Everest for almost 2 months in 03, that this will be a better way to acclimate, and definitely a significantly better way to find some skiing in the process. 

Over the next few weeks or so, I will be posting pre trip reports covering our history, how we have come to plan these trips, how we train for these trips, and try to  touch on why we do these trips.  Then, once we are on the road, will be making daily dispatch reports to help people follow our progress. 

Stay tuned, and talk to you soon!  Mike

Mike Marolt lives in Aspen and is a KPMG Peat Marwick alumni.

Dispatches 2007

To see there reports from earlier Everest Expedition see here. We are currently building there pages for Cho Oyu 2007/ Everest 2007

 
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