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


   Mailing List

News (current)
   News Archives
   Sat Phones
   Seven Summits
   Readers Guide

   Trip Reports
   Visitor Agreement






 Everest  2009:  tragedy and sorrow with eleven fatalities on various peaks this season


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 health. 

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 valleys).  

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: 

1.      Eco Everest Expedition 2009 : 17 on the summit.

2.      Atumas Taiwanese 7 Summit and Everest Expedition 2009 : 6 on the summit.

3.      International Adventure Alternative Everest Expedition 2009 : 13 on the summit.

4.      7 Summit Club Everest Expedition 2009 : 21 on the summit.

5.      Kazak Lhotse-Everest Expedition 2009 : One on the summit (Lhotse)

6.      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 and volunteers.

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.


Earlier: Dear EverestNews.com, Namaste and Warm Greetings from Nepal!  I am pleased to share with you many interesting and positive news from Nepal.

Apa Sherpa, 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.

Eco Everest 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.

Apa Sherpa (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 Himalaya clean.

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.

This year 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. 

There are 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.” 

The North 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. 

Forty persons 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. 

Venerable 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. 

At the 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.

Venerable 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. 

The vases 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.

iDEAS 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.

Best Wishes,

Ang Tshering Sherpa

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) -
Expedition Manager
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 in Nepal

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 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.

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.


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 • 1130 g LAST: Olympus Mons CONSTRUCTION: Inner: Slip lasted Outer: Board Lasted OUTER BOOT: Cordura® upper lined with dual-density PE micro-cellular thermal insulating closed cell foam and thermo-reflective aluminium facing/ Insulated removable footbed/ Vibram® rubber rand See more here.




   Atlas snowshoes


   Big Agnes

   Black Diamond







   Edelweiss ropes
Eureka Tents






   Granite Gear



   Helly Hansen


Ice Axes


   Kavu Eyewear





   Life is Good


   Lowe Alpine




   Mountain Hardwear




   New England Ropes




   Outdoor Research




   Princeton Tec


   Rope Bags

   Royal Robbins




   Seattle Sports

Sleeping Bags

   Sterling Rope







   Tool Logic

   Trekking Poles
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