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 Mount Everest 2010: SummitClimb South Side Update


Hi, this is Manoj Vora with the SummitClimb Everest Nepal 2010 expedition. Today is Sunday the 25th of April.

On Friday the 23rd all climbers ascended the ice-fall to camp 1. Two
climbers spent Friday night at camp 1 while the rest of us ascended to camp 2, located at 6400 metres/21,000 feet and higher than the summit of Denali. Acclimatizing to this altitude is essential to ascending higher on Mount Everest.

On Saturday the 24th the two climbers from camp 1 joined us in camp 2. The team leader went up to camp 3 on the Lhotse Face to inspect the site for its safety. Two of the climbers went to the base of the Lhotse Face for an acclimatization walk. The rest of us rested in our tents at camp 2.

As we ascend higher the views continue to be more and more incredible. The days have been a mix of sun, clouds and gusts of wind. Nighttime temperatures have been very cold. The variety of sounds on the mountain never fails to send a tingle up our spines. The loud snaps of tumbling seracs, roar of avalanches, deep grumble of the glacier in motion beneath us, and rock falls all remind us of nature that is constantly in transition and how for this short period of time we are trying to reside in harmony with nature.

Today on Sunday all but 1 climber descended from camp 2 to basecamp. We will be looking forward to a few days of rest before we venture out into the ice-fall again on our way higher to camp 3.

All of the staff here are wonderful. They are taking excellent care of us. None of us have had any major health concerns. We all send our love and high altitude regards to our loved ones, family, friends, well-wishers, and followers. Until then, this is Manoj Vora. Bye.

Everest Nepal: 20 April, 2010

Hi, this is Wiktor Mazur reporting in for the SummitClimb Everest
Nepal/Lhotse expedition for Tuesday, April 20th.

In the last couple of the days we have had several members leave our expedition for various reasons and we will miss them very much. Those of us remaining are Josette Valloton, Adam Dixon, Karsten Holstad, Wiktor Mazur, Charles Nuzum and Manoj Vora on the Everest team. Mikko Vallanne remains on the Lhotse team.

Yesterday was a busy one for everyone here. Half the group went up to camp 1 to spend the night there. Everyone is back safely in basecamp today. The other half of the group did an acclimatization hike to Kala Pattar, which has good views of Everest.

Everyone is taking a rest day today in basecamp. We're drinking and eating well, reading, relaxing, and thinking of the members who have decided to go back to their families.

For those of us still here, all of our thoughts go out to everyone back home, all of our families, friends and loved ones. We hope everyone is doing all right and thank you for following along with our expedition.

 

Earlier: Everest Nepal: 16 April, 2010

This assistant leader Adam Dixon sending in a dispatch for the SummitClimb Everest Nepal expedition on Friday, the 16th of April.

Today we made our first go to camp 1 at 6000 metres/19,700 feet. We left basecamp at 4:00 a.m. to make best use of the cold night. The route climbs through the Khumbu ice-fall. This is the glacier that pulls from the valley between Everest, Lhotse, and Nuptse. Above basecamp the glacier is squeezed between Nuptse and lower and drops 600 metres, creating house-sized blocks of ice thrown together in one of nature’s best examples of chaos theory. When the sun comes up the reflective qualities of 10’s of millions of tons
of ice create a golden heap that can bring both serac and mountaineer to the point of collapse, spoiling an otherwise interesting day out.

All members climbed at a fast pace to get to camp 1 before the sun. Some made it and some turned around at the agreed safety cutoff time. We’re all safely back in camp now hydrating and resting, ready to go again in 2 days, sleep at camp 1 and make progress towards camp 2.

The members would like to send their love to all of their friends and family currently residing all over the world. Thank you. Good night.

Earlier: 11 April, 2010: Hi, this is Manoj Vora for the SummitClimb Everest Nepal 2010 expedition reporting the events of the last few days. This is the dispatch for April 11th.

On Thursday the 8th we walked up from Pheriche to Lobuche, which was an easy hike.

On Friday the 9th all of us hiked from Lobuche to Everest basecamp via Gorak Shep. We did not spend the night at Gorak Shep. At the end of this arduous day all of us we’re looking forward to the upcoming rest days at basecamp.

Since starting our hike from Lukla we have covered a total distance of 51 kilometres and a vertical gain of 3.5 kilometres.

Yesterday was Saturday the 10th and our first full day of rest at Everest basecamp. We took advantage by catching up on activities like reading, playing cards, chess, listening to music, doing laundry, etcetera.

The days have been sunny and windy. We haven’t had any rain or snow so far.

Today is Sunday the 11th of April. We performed an elaborate puja ceremony with the sherpas. It was very interesting. This was followed by a lot of festivities amongst the climbers and the sherpas. We have asked for blessings for our expedition to succeed.

To all of our family, friends and supporters we say a big hello and thank you. Over and out from Manoj Vora and the SummitClimb Everest Nepal expedition 2010. Bye

Earlier: This is Adam Dixon, assistant leader for the SummitClimb Everest Nepal 2010 expedition sending a dispatch for Monday the 5th of April. Greetings to all of our friends and family around the world.

Today we headed from Namche Bazaar for Pangboche after 2 days of rest and acclimatization. All members trekked at their own pace reaching our campsite from lunchtime onwards after a height gain of 500 metres/1640 feet. Some members seemed to like thin air, dust and yak dung more than others, but everyone is well and looking forward to getting to basecamp.

The summit of Everest has been in view all day with her characteristic plumes of clouds streaming south. Thanks for following our expedition. Bye.

2 April, 2010 

This is Wiktor Mazur reporting in for the Summitclimb Everest Nepal expedition on Friday April 2. We flew to Lukla yesterday and walked 3 hours to Phakding (the D is not silent). Today we walked to Namche Bazaar at 3400m, where we will take a rest day tomorrow. Everybody is performing well and walking at their own pace. Unfortunately our base camp duffels have not arrived with us due to flight cancellations to Lukla, hopefully we will see them tomorrow. Our international team says hi to everybody around the world following us as we go up. Take care

1 April, 2010

Today all of our Nepal side expeditions and treks went to the Ktm airport. The climbers were successful and arrived in Lukla and trekked to Phakding.

The trekkers were turned back due to technical problems with their plane. So they spent another night in ktm. We had the briefing for our Tibet side expeditions and treks. Everyone is very excited for the departure. We heard a rumour that we will receive the permit and get our visas for Tibet on 2 April and be able to enter on 3 April. We hope it is true. We spent the day packing, preparing, checking equipment, etcetera. The weather is unusually hot and sunny at the moment.

 

Dan Mazur returns to Everest again in 2010 with expeditions to both sides. Dan himself will led the north side expedition.

Everest Tibet Programme Description:

  • Introduction: Mount Everest at 8,848 metres / 29,035 feet is perhaps the most coveted mountain in the world. The north (Tibetan) side is the least expensive way to climb it, and the dates we have chosen feature the best weather of the year.
    • Our proposed schedule allows for a careful and safe ascent, as well as multiple full descents to Chinese basecamp and/or a lower village.
       
    • The style of climbing is cautious and careful, with excellent leadership, organization, Sherpa climbers, 'walkie-talkie' radios, satellite telephones, the best oxygen bottles and apparatus available, cooks and waiters, tasty food, the best equipment, individual tents for each member in basecamp, two full kitchens in basecamp plus advanced basecamp (ABC), 3 camps on the mountain, 1000s of metres of fixed line, hundreds of rock, ice and snow anchors, top-quality high altitude tents and high altitude stoves, expedition mix gas, and full safety equipment: medical oxygen, gamow bag, and extensive medical kit (photo right by Ryan Waters: The second step at 8500 metres/27,900 feet. We fixed 300 metres/1000 feet of rope here).
    • This expedition maximizes experience gained over 11 prior Everest expeditions with a strong record of reaching the top of our world's highest peaks. In addition to more than 25 Himalayan expeditions we have an intimate knowledge of the Tibetan officials who regulate the permit system, liaison officers, sherpas, cooks, yak drivers, and hoteliers/restaurateurs.
  • Leader and staff: During the drive, trek, in Chinese Base, ABC and on the climb, our experienced staff is with you all of the way. Our helpful climbing sherpas are some of the best. They are real high-altitude star-performers and very friendly. Our western leader is a highly experienced, friendly, and well-organized professional with multiple ascents of Everest. Our skillful basecamp and advanced basecamp cooks prepare delicious, fresh, tasty food and hot drinks at least 3 times a day.
    • On trek: Our western leader, together with friendly and helpful sherpas, cooks and local people leading yak caravans carry all of your personal equipment, group equipment, and set up camp each day, prepare and serve delicious meals, so you can relax and enjoy the trek. You do not need to carry a heavy rucksack during the trek.
    • Our comfortable basecamp and ABC: Our cooks and waiters will serve you delicious meals in our heated dining tent
    • On the mountain: Our western leader and group sherpas will fix the route, set up the high camps and carry the group equipment, such as tents, stoves, etc. If you wish to help out, we welcome you to do so, otherwise just relax and focus on getting well acclimated and achieving your goals. You do not need to carry a heavy rucksack during the climb.
    • Sherpas: We have many group sherpas to help the team. For an additional expense, we can also provide personal sherpas and climbing-guides to individual members who wish to have their own private sherpa. We now encourage members who wish to have a lighter rucksack to hire a 1/4 of a sherpa to help with high altitude equipment transport, carrying your extra weight both up and down the mountain.
  • Drive to basecamp: Our drive from Kathmandu, into Tibet and finally to basecamp is a relaxing and interesting adventure. We stop in medieval looking towns with dirt streets, experience Tibetan culture, while stopping to walk each day or so in the beautiful surrounding hills to acclimate to the rising altitude. It offers a great chance to encounter the vast Tibetan plateau and the surrounding Himalayan Giants. We end at Chinese base camp at 5200 metres/17,000 feet, which is located just near the ancient and active Rongbuk Monastery. Along the way we stay and eat at rustic hotels at the organizer's expense (Photo right by Ryan Waters: Preparing our yak loads at Chinese basecamp at 5,200 meters/17,000 feet. Chinese base camp is located just near the medieval and active Rongbuk Monastery. Our camp is comfortable for the few days we spend there, with a full kitchen and dining tent, where our cooks prepare 3 hot delicious meals a day. There is plenty to explore in the surrounding hills, as well as many international climbing teams to meet).
  • Trek to advanced basecamp: A beautiful trek to the base of the highest peak in the world. This trek is very accomplishable by the average person who enjoys walking. Normally, you never step on snow and there is no climbing, only walking on moraine trails. From basecamp we trek up the amazing Rongbuk glacier, also known as the "Golden Highway", where there are gorgeous views of stunning peaks in the area, including Lakpa-Ri and all of its "Little Sisters", as well as Changtse and of course Everest. At 6,400 meters/21,000 feet, Advanced Basecamp (ABC) must be the highest basecamp in the world (Photo right by Tunc Findik: Slightly above ABC, one of our Everest climbing expedition members is heading up to ascend the North Col, where camp 1 is located at 7000 metres/23,000 feet).
  • Climbing to the high camps:
    • After ABC, Clip in to the fixed lines for a sloping glacier walk up to the North Col (camp 1) at 7000 metres/24,900 feet. There is one steep section of 50-80 degrees. North Col is a pass between the Everest North East Ridge and Changtse. There are incredible views here, looking towards Pumori in Nepal, as well as Lhakpa Ri.
    • From the North Col, we ascend the glacier and eventually the rocky north ridge to set up Camp 2 at around 7500-7800 metres/24,600 feet.
    • After camp 2 the trail traverses to the west and up the north face around and through a series of 30 degree gullies and slopes before reaching the site of Camp 3 at 8,300 metres/27,200 feet.
  • Rest Days: We will be taking a lot of them throughout the expedition. In fact, we might even descend to a low village for three-four days to soak up the sunshine and thicker air before our final summit push. During your rest days we encourage you to concentrate on recovering, eating and drinking, to read, relax, listen to music and stroll around visiting other teams (photo right by Tunc Findik: Cloud plumes roll off the north face of Everest. You can see the daunting west ridge on the right hand skyline leading up to the face. ABC is in the center and just over the gravel moraine from where this picture was taken).
  • Summit attempt: From Camp 3, we will make our final summit push. Climbers must first make their way through three rock bands known as the first, second, and third steps. Step 2 in particular, is an exciting rock-buttress to ascend with the presence of an aluminum ladder placed by a Chinese team in 1975 and since repaired by a five-star commercial team. After surmounting the 3rd Step, the summit is ahead. Once above these steps, the final summit slopes (35 to 58 degrees) to the top

More from Dan soon!

 
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