12th May Well phase 2 of our trip is over. The team were
given a good beasting back up to ABC but snow and winds couldn't stop them!
After a rest day and a Surrendra dalbhat we were off to N. Col. We stayed for
2 nights at North Col and visited as high as possible, mostly in the 7300 mts to
7500 mts band. It was cold and windy, perfect for down suits and a gear sort
out. The weather has been a bit rough over the last few days, sunny starts
followed by a windy and snowy afternoon seems to be the pattern. Currently the
ropes are fixed to 8300 metres with little chance of going further in the
current conditions. Our Sherpas are waiting to set up our camp at 8300
metres and have cancelled going up 3 days in a row because of the
weather. Sherpas have done good with the N. Col camp, unlike some groups our
tents are still in place, I noticed some teams tents parked in a very deep
crevasse due to the wind. There are a lot of people heading up today so I'm
guessing it'll be for finishing the ropes.
Most members had left camp this morning when the crags next
to ABC threw a spectacular rock fall. Again, our well placed camp is well out
the way but some rocks got close to some other camps. No one hurt, no tents
damaged but some repositioning was taking place when I left.
So now some rest time. Washing, showers, eating and DVD's
are likely to be the order of the day. Expect some emails folks, everyone here
is always looking to hear about home.
Earlier: After a good rest at Base
Camp the team are returning up the 22km of moraine to ABC. Despite a few snow
flurries this afternoon the plan is to move up to spend a couple of nights at
the North Col and climb to 7500m to complete the acclimatisation phase.
Meanwhile the Sherpas have pushed the fixed line out to 8300m and could
potentially complete the route to the summit in the next couple of days.
Earlier: Everyone is now safely back at Base Camp after their first
climb to the North Col at 7000m. Andy E, Paul, Jack, Allan & Paul all
successfully reached the col on the 30th April while Andrew W, Lianne & Troy
all turned around just 100m shy of the ridge. Chris had an easier day towards
Crampon Corner to aid his acclimatisation. In a few days the team will climb
back to the North Col to spend the night at 7000m for the first time. Shelagn
has now left on her journey back to Kathmandu leaving the team in good
spirits. It seems Chris has some stories to tell and Paul's beard is no more!
29th April The team arrived at ABC yesterday and have spent
their time resting and acclimatizing on the slopes around the camp. They will
walk to the bottom of the headwall today before they head up to the North Col
in a couple of days time.
23rd April The group have now been up to 6000m and are
awaiting for the arrival of the yaks ready for their departure to Advance Base
Camp on Saturday or Sunday. Everyone is well and in high spirits.
18th April The full group have arrived safely in Base Camp
and are now taking further acclimatisation walks. Jack managed to sample the
local dentist en route, but it sounds like he survived and is in good spirit.
14th April Paul emailed in today. The team have now got the
permit and are heading towards the border today. All being well they will
cross over into Tibet tomorrow.
11th April Paul's just reported in from Kathmandu where the
team are eating - again! The plan is to head north to Tibet first thing on
Tuesday morning. With there prior acclimatisation it should only be a couple
of days before they are settling in to Base Camp
9th April Hello from Namche, again! : Well a lot has
happened in the last while, difficult to know where to start. The team still
going strong and eating.......alot. I had always believed altitude put people
off food, not this lot. Guest houses are desperately sending porters out to
find more chocolate cake for Lianne and there will be a national tea shortage
soon! Several members are now trying to find bigger down suits.
Yesterday we visited Ama Dablam base camp with members moving up to just under
5000 metres. Back at the Namaste Lodge we were greeted with the news that the
Tibetan border has been opened. A few phone calls were made, then a big ( and
probably first serious) discussion took place. We've decided to head down and
will drive to the border early next week.
We will be in Lukla tomorrow and will fly as soon as possible to KTM.
As I sat eating breakfast this morning, who did I spy walking up the trail?
(guess at this point......no you're wrong) Sir Chris Bonnington! Alan (chief
blagger) was sent to offer tea. Sir Chris spent an hour with the team which
was very enjoyable. He very much liked our plan to head North. I think he will
probably like it more when he sees the tents on South side base camp. There is
a lot of equipment and members heading up that way.
Everyone is well- we are very excited about stage 2 of our trip, I personally
suspect they are only interested in eating breakfast in a KTM hotel. Paul
8th April The team have now reached Pangboche, the hometown
of many of our High Altitude Sherpas, where they are staying at the tea house
owned by Nuru & Sonam's family
6th April Andy Edwards emailed in today. The team went for a
walk up to Khunde & Khumjung Monastery today, the highlight was a 30 second
clearing in the cloud and a view of Everest, Lhotse & Nuptse. The group then
went to visit Ang Temba Sherpa, the first sherpa to summit Kanchenjunga. Allan
had climbed with his Grandson on Baruntse last year. They finished off the day
with a visit to their favourite German bakery in Namche.
5th April Paul has emailed in from Namche. All the team are
in good spirits and have enjoyed a bit of a rest after their long flight and
early morning departure form Kathmandu. Although the only complaint from the
team is that they are getting fat from all the food they are eating. Life has
been tough for the team with only enough chocolate cake to go around the group
at the bakery. They will rest at Namche tomorrow, before heading on further up
Earlier: 2nd April The team have all arrived in Kathmandu and are all
really excited about the Adventure that is about to begin. They had lunch at
Northfields cafe and have had time for bit of shopping in Thamel. Due to the
border not being open yet to Tibet they will fly to Lukla tomorrow and begin
their acclimatization in the Khumbu. Once the border is open they will head
back to Kathmandu and cross over into Tibet.
Earlier: Adventure Peaks is returning to Everest again in Spring
2009! Adventure Peaks has run several succesful Everest expeditions over the
The Team: Leader : Paul Noble
Climbers: Troy Aupperle, Andrew Edwards, Paul James, Lianne
Noble, Chris Rudge, Jack Sutcliffe, Allan Thomas and Andrew Williams
Lhakpa Ri & North Col : Kevin Burt, Shelagh Duncan, Kerrie McMartin
They are expected to go North side...
Everest from the South Side
Base Camp - 17,500 feet (5350
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).
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.
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 -
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.
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 -
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.
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.
29,028 feet (8848 meters)
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.
readers of this page know, the return trip can be even more dangerous than the
climb to the summit.
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