Dear EverestNews.com ,
Namaste from Nepal.
The 2009 Spring Mountaineering season has been very eventful
as well as filled with tragedy and sorrow.
I am saddened to report that there were eleven fatalities on
various peaks this season. Among them was our Lhakpa Nuru Sherpa climbing
with Eco Everest Expedition 2009.
Please join me in praying for eternal peace for the departed
and for strength to the bereaved families.
My son, Dawa Steven, Leader of Eco Everest Expedition 2009
and his Team Members returned to Kathmandu on 28 May - safe and in good
As you know Apa Sherpa, climbing leader of Eco Everest
Expedition 2009 reached the summit of Mt. Everest for the 19th time - a new
world record. He joined Eco Everest for his 18th summit of Mt. Everest in
2008. Apa said he is committed to support the efforts of Dawa Steven to bring
awareness to the world community about Climate Change and to help remove old
garbage from the slopes of Mt. Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) - our sacred mountain.
This year Apa Sherpa joined Eco Everest Expedition 2009 to
carry a “wake up call” to the world about the negative effects of Climate
Change on the Himalaya. He carried the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) banner with
the slogan “Stop Climate Change – Let the Himalayas Live” to the summit of Mt.
Everest to draw international attention to Global Warming and Climate Change.
Eco Everest Expedition 2009 led by Dawa Steven brought down
to base camp 6000 kilos of garbage for proper disposal. In addition wreckage
parts of the Italian Army helicopter were also recovered from the edge of the
Khumbu Icefall. The helicopter crashed at Camp 1 (6100m) on Mt. Everest during
the Italian Everest Expedition in 1973. This probably demonstrates the
movement of the Khumbu Icefall over the past 36 years.
Apa also installed a Bumpa (sacred vase) blessed by the
Venerable Rinpoche of Tengboche Monastery containing 400 different sacred
ingredients. The offering is to seek to reduce the negative impacts of
environmental changes and restore the sanctity of the Himalayan beyul (sacred
Before leaving for the USA, Apa Sherpa said he was committed
to return as Climbing Leader of Eco Everest Expedition every year to continue
to support efforts to deal with Climate Change.
The other summits achieved by members and sherpas on expeditions
handled by Asian Trekking in the Spring 2009 season are:
Eco Everest Expedition
2009 : 17 on the summit.
Atumas Taiwanese 7 Summit and
Everest Expedition 2009 : 6 on the summit.
International Adventure Alternative
Everest Expedition 2009 : 13 on the summit.
7 Summit Club Everest Expedition
2009 : 21 on the summit.
Kazak Lhotse-Everest Expedition
2009 : One on the summit (Lhotse)
Indo Bangladesh Mt. Makalu
Expedition : 10 on the summit.
The Second International Everest Day
Celebrations was observed on the 29th of May this year amidst
various functions and felicitations to climbers.
We are busy preparing for the
Autumn 2009 mountaineering season and finalizing
details for expeditions to Mt. Everest and other peaks.
The Imja Tsho Action Event 2009 is taking
place in the Khumbu on 18 and 19 June 2009. The event, organized by the
Sherwi Yondhen Tshokpa, a group formed to create a network between all the
Sherpa students, is supported by iDEAS, an NGO set up by my son Dawa Steven.
As part of the event, the Beat the GLOF Action Run is being held on 18 June.
It starts at IMJA Lake, at the source of the biggest threat to the people of
the Khumbu. The run route follows the possible path of the Outburst Flood. The
runners will run on the paths and bridges that will one day be washed away.
Asian Trekking is sponsoring two nights
(16/17 June) full camping services at Imja Tsho Base Camp for the participants
On the following day, 19 June, the Khumbu
Festival will take place in Khumjung village. The theme of this Festival is to
focus on the Mountain Communities Culture, heritage, and their crucial role in
maintaining and protecting their mountain environment. This will be an
occasion for the communities to show their solidarity in taking action to
tackle the impacts of Climate Change. National and International experts will
be invited to share their studies with the communities, and together to
formulate plans of action that are realistic.
As part of this event students from schools
in the Khumbu have participated in Letter Writing and Art Competitions on the
impact of climate change on our mountains.
As always - please do not hesitate to let me
know if there is any way in which Asian Trekking and I can be of help.
With very best wishes,
Ang Tshering Sherpa
Earlier: From Mt.Everest Base Camp: Author: Dawa Steven Sherpa -
Leader of Eco Everest Exp.2009
Mt.Everest Garbage Count: 4368.5 Kg(Not including the 1973
crashed at Camp I (6100m) Helicopter wreckage parts)
Sometimes, the routine of living at base camp makes you think that things are
just pretty…well… routine. By the time I wake up the radiant sun is already
heating my tent up like a warm cocoon. But unlike a buttergly I unzip my
sleeping bag, roll out of the tent and stumble to breakfast.
Some days, our mornings are exciting with the return of the members come back
down to base camp after a few days on the mountain, bearing more stories of
what is up there. Today, Henry and Krushnaa returned from their stay in Camp 2
and 3. Though this is the first rotation of both members, we were all very
impressed to learn that Henry had managed to sleep a night at camp three and
our little Krushnaa had gone all the way up and tagged camp 3 for
acclimatization before returning to camp2 the same day.
We had a huge scare today when at nine-thirty we saw the biggest avalanche
this season, thundering down the West shoulder and completely covering the
entire icefall and then base camp. Instantly, Pertemba was on the Radio while
the rest of us were looking for signs of movement. We instantly got in touch
with the Tenzing Dorje who told us that everyone was safe at camp 1, having a
rest, and that they hadn’t even heard the avalanche. Later, we learned that
miraculously no-one had been injured in the avalanche. Phew!
So it is that another wave of our climbers are heading up. Tomorrow, Nic, Yury,
Jesse and Walter’s group are going to camp 2 on their second rotation. Apa
will be leading the troops and at he will be performing a small puja and
installing the camp 2 Bhumpa.
At the same time, Mogens is heading down to Pheriche where he will be joining
Bud, Bill and Will. Our weather forecast told us that there are heavy winds
this weekend so Bud and Bill decided to wait it out rather than take the
chance of a miserable climb. Will and Mogens on the other hand- veterans of
Himalayan climbing- are going down for their final rest before summit push.
They feel that they are ready and acclimatized to go for the goal.
EverestNews.com, Namaste and Warm Greetings from Nepal! I am pleased to share
with you many interesting and positive news from Nepal.
World Record Climb of Mt. Everest 18th time has begun his journey
to participate in the Eco Everest Expedition 2009 as climbing leader, 19th
time for summit bid.
Expedition departed from Kathmandu on 7th April under the
leadership of my son, Dawa Steven Sherpa. The Eco Everest Expedition 2009 is
based on the Eco Everest 2008 Model in terms of management and proper disposal
of human waste and other garbage generated by the expedition.. Organized by
Asian Trekking (P) Ltd., the expedition will also try to bring down as much
garbage as possible from other previous expeditions.
(18 times Everest Summiteer) is the Climbing Leader of Eco Everest Expedition
2009. While climbing for his 19th summit on Mt. Everest, Apa also
wants to show his support for efforts of Dawa Steven's initiatives to keep the
In order to
provide better own communications on the mountain as well as with lower Khumbu
and Kathmandu, the Eco Everest Expedition 2009 will have one base station at
Camp 2 on Mt. Everest, one at Base Camp and one in Khumjung where the Asian
Trekking field office is located. There will be telephone and internet
connectivity. I would recommend that all climbers please make a note of
this. In case of emergencies on the mountain, we can transfer messages down to
Kathmandu rapidly should this be required.
there will be two routes in the Khumbu Icefall: one route for climbers going
up the mountain and the other for those coming down. It is expected that this
will avoid "traffic jams" in the notorious Khumbu ice fall. There will be
seven climbing Sherpas in the "Ice Fall Doctors" team this year. I want to
commend the SPCC's efforts and in recognizing the need for a stronger team
during this busier-than-usual climbing season.
many climbing teams attempting different peaks on the south side of the
Himalaya this season.
As in the
past, Dawa Steven will be setting up his Everest Base Camp Bakery which will
also be a Climate Change Information Centre. ICIMOD and the World Wildlife
Fund are participating in providing information.
Dawa Steven will also be
available most of the time at Base Camp to provide information on the efforts
of his NGO,
iDEAS (Initiatives for
Development and Eco Action Support), a non-profit organization formed by Dawa
Steven to act as a catalyst and facilitator to encourage initiatives against
the broad spectrum of risks faced by mountain communities.
As his first project, Dawa
Steven and his
iDEAS team have organized the
Imja Tsho Action Event 2009 - Beat the GLOF Action Run. The two days program
includes the one-day Action Run scheduled for 18 June 2009 to start from Imja
Lake and the following day (19 June 2009) a Festival is being organised in
Khumjung Village to focus on the Mountain Communities culture, heritage, and
their crucial role in maintaining and protecting their mountain environment.
This event is
expected to promote and attract a greater number of eco-responsible tourists
to the area by encouraging entrepreneurs and visitors to lengthen the
traditionally accepted trekking “season.”
Face, ICIMOD. World Wildlife Fund, and the Nepal Tourism Board are partners in
this initiative. Many other environmental organizations have shown keen
interest to participate in the Imja Tsho Action Event. 2009.
representing the national and international media are being invited to cover
the event and to give it maximum publicity. We feel that this would be an
excellent opportunity for the Nepal Tourism Board to have a stall at the
Festival in Khumjung to display its commitment to responsible and
environmentally sensitive tourism.
Before leaving for the
Khumbu, my son Dawa Steven and his
iDEAS team also organized an
Art Exhibition titled “Garbage Out of Thin Air” at the Imago Dei Café Gallery
in Naxal, Kathmandu on 03 April 2009. The garbage brought down from Mt.
Everest by the Eco Everest Expedition 2008 Team, has been used to create works
of art with a message rather than just being disposed of randomly.
Rinpoche of Tengboche, Ngawang Tenzin Zangpo, inaugurated the 10-day
exhibition. The garbage and debris was used by Artists of the Kathmandu
University Centre for Art & Design to create sculptors and art. We hope that
these art works will be valued by people who recognize the importance of Mt.
Everest not only in mountaineering as the highest peak on earth, but also for
the mountain’s cultural importance.
function the Venerable Rinpoche of Tengboche handed over a Tendrel Nyesel
Bumpa to 18 time Mt. Everest summiteer Apa Sherpa. The Bumpa (sacred vase)
will be carried by Apa to the summit of Mt. Everest and installed there during
his climb of Mt. Everest for the 19th time.
Rinpoche of Tengboche also handed over three other sacred Bumpas to Asian
Trekking to be taken by Asian Trekking Sherpa Climbers and installed on the
summits of Mt. Manaslu, Mt. Makalu and Mt. Lhotse. The installation of these
scared vases on these mountains is intended to restore the sanctity of the
Himalayan beyul (sacred valleys) and spiritually empower the people to cope
with negative impacts of rapid environmental and social changes.
contain over 400 different precious ingredients including samples of holy
relics, texts, medicinal plants, valuable substances of the five elements and
many more blessed components. A long and elaborate ceremony has been carried
out by Venerable Rinpoche of Tengboche and the monks of Thupten Choeling at
Kyabje Trulshik Rinpoche’s monastery to bless the sacred vases.
As a part of
Eco Everest Expedition 2009, Dawa Steven Sherpa will continue this initiative
to create awareness among the local people and among climbers to help keep Mt.
Everest and the Khumbu clean.
has joined hands with The World Wildlife Fund Nepal (WWF Nepal) in a year long
campaign to bring world attention to the plight of the Himalayas in the wake
of climate change. The overall objective of the campaign is to raise awareness
on climate change in the Himalayas at national and international level through
a series of events as part of WWF’s year long Awareness Campaign on Climate
Change in the Himalayas.
Earlier: Eco Everest Expedition 2009 (Mt. Everest (8848m) - 2009
[Spring]) 1. Dawa
Steven Sherpa - Leader and Organizer
2. Apa Sherpa (Record 18 times Everest Climbed) - Climbing Leader
3. Pertemba Sherpa (Everest Summiteer from three different routes) -
4. William Bill Burke -USA - Member
5. Bud Allen -USA - Member
6. Yuri Pritzker -USA -Member
7. Jesse Easterling -USA-Member
8. Henry Voigt - Germany - Member
9. Nicholas Cunningham- USA -Member
10. Will Cross -USA -Member
11. Walter Lasserer - Austria - Member
12. Dagmar Wabnig -Austria - Member
13. Bernice Notenboom -Austria - Member
14. Thomas Arnold -Austria - Member
15. Felix Stockenhuber -Austria -Member
16. Morgens jensen -Denmark - Member
16. Naga Dorjee Sherpa -Nepal - Sirdar
17. pemba Tenzing Sherpa - Nepal- Climbing Sherpa
18. Lhakpa Nuru Sherpa - Nepal - Climbing Sherpa
19. Tenjing Dorje Sherpa - Nepal - Climbing Sherpa
20. Phurba Sherpa - Nepal -Climbing Sherpa
21. Phu Tashi Sherpa - Nepal - Climbing Sherpa
22. Mingma Sherpa - Nepal Climbing Sherpa
23. puchhanga Bhotia - Nepal - Climbing Sherpa
24. Pemba Tshering Sherpa - Nepal - Climbing Sherpa
25. Nima Tshering Sherpa - Nepal - Climbing Sherpa
26. Samden Bhote - Nepal - Climbing Sherpa
27. Nawang Tenzing Sherpa - Nepal - Climbing Sherpa
28. Thukten Dorjee Sherpa - nepal - Climbing Sherpa
29. Phurba Jangbu Sherpa - Nepal - Climbing Sherpa
30 Lhakpa Nuru (B) Sherpa - Nepal - Climbing Sherpa
31. Ang Mingma Sherpa - Nepal - Climbing Sherpa
32. Ang Pemba Sherpa - Nepal - High Altitude Cook
33. Tenjing Tsheten Sherpa - Nepal - HA Cook
34. Nima Sherpa - Nepal - HA Cook
35. Birbal Tamang - Nepal - BC Cook
36. Gyalgen Sherpa - Nepal - BC Cook
37. Bhuwan Singh Limbu - Nepal - BC K.Boy
38. Narayan Rai - Nepal - BC K.Boy
39. Bir Kaji Tamang - BC K.Boy
40. Krisna Bahadur Sunuwar - Nepal - BC K.Boy
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 you’re leaving C4…it’s 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 there’s not much holding the rope and a fall could be serious. Fortunately
it’s 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. There’s 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 you’re getting set up for the rappel. Wearing an oxygen mask here can
create some footing issues during the rappel, because it’s impossible to see
over the mask and down to the feet. For that reason, some people choose to
leave Camp 4 without gas, as it’s easier to keep moving down the Spur when
it’s 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 aren’t so steep, where fixed ropes through here are solid.
At this point, it’s 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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