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  Summitclimb Everest Tibet Expedition 2011: April 23 Update

22 April, 2011:

This is Biff Palmer providing the Everest Tibet update for today (April 22, 1448 local time). Yesterday the group descended 4000 (21000 to 17000) feet from ABC to the lower base camp covering a distance of approximately 13 miles. The descent is part of the acclimatization process in that a lower altitude is clearly associated with an improvement in appetite, better sleep hygiene, and an opportunity to watch movies. With regard to the latter I thought I would summarize the groups rating of the movies viewed to date: Layer cake 5.5, Salt (Angelina Joli movie) 6.1, Centurion 4.9, and last night, Iron Man 2, 6.6. There has been a clamoring by the group for Brokeback Mountain but this may not be available. On the way down several groups have been moving up based on the number of Yak caravans. These animals are clearly the main source of transport for the massive amount of gear required to keep an expedition functional. On a medical note I would note that virtually everyone in the group is taking acetazolamide (diamox). This drug works through several mechanisms but clearly seems to accelerate the acclimatization process. The single most important adaptive process in ascent is an involuntary increase in ventilation. Normally the drop in carbon dioxide that occurs would suppress this process but at altitude increase ventilation persists in part due to exit of bicarbonate from the central nervous system. Diamox enhances the bicarbonate excretion from the kidney and therefore contributes to the ongoing stimulatory effect on respiration. In addition diamox has a dramatic effect in limiting Cheyne-Stokes respiration and allows sleep to be improved. One interesting fact is the outcome of my cokes and sprite sent to the ABC at 21000. Due to the extreme drop in barometric pressure combined with the severe cold, approximately 5 sodas exploded. I am happy to say there have been a few survivors. Lastly, everyone in the group is well and very strong and anxious to continue in our summit attempt. Today we will take showers and wash clothes. Let me conclude my sending my love to Robert and Kelly, my children whom I am very proud.

21 April, 2011:
Yesterday most of the team reached the North Col at 7010m. It was a bit of a gamble, as the last couple of days the wind has been very fierce. On the way to the col the team encountered strong gusts of wind up to 60km/h and snow sweeping down from all directions.... Never the less we made it up there in good health and good time! Our Sherpa's did great giving us a helping hand. Today we all went down to Base camp to have a couple of days rest, so time to shower and wash some clothing.

Greetings, Arnold Coster exp. leader

19 April, 2011:
This is Scott Patch reporting for our Everest Tibet Dispatch this 19th ofApril 2011. We are currently still at Advanced Base Camp (6409 meters) were today we enjoyed a beautiful Puja Ceremony. The Puja Ceremony is a important piece of our climb. During the ceremony we ask the Goddess of the mountain Chomolungma to guide us and grant us safe passage for our brief visit.  We offer the goddess gifts of food, drink and candy for her blessing. We also place our climbing gear (crampons, ice axes, etc.) on the stupa and ask them to be blessed for our upcoming climb. The Puja was a beautiful and festive occasion despite the strong winds and snow that have hit us over the past 24 hours. All tents are holding up fine except our toilet tent which we might lose at any minute ... it will get real interesting if this occurs!!!  Frostbite in those regions won't be fun!!! Tomorrow, if the wind and snow subside, we plan to climb to the North Col (7000 meters) and come back to ABC. Much depends on the weather for us over the next few days. Everyone is in great spirits.

17 April, 2011:

Ed Buckingham Tibet Member, aiming to become the first Cornishman too climb Everest. I was fortunate too climb with Arnold Coster in 2005 on Cho oyu. This is our third day at ABC. Today we got too wear our high altitude boots, crampons, ice-axe and harnesses. We went down onto some nearby ice-fall. The point of the exercises was too learn some techniques that could be used higher up the mountain. We practiced climbing up with the jumar and ice-axe. Once getting to the top we rappelled down on a nearby line. Once we had all done that an obstacle in the form of a knot was put halfway up the rope. This time we climbed up and after putting safety and jumar above the knot, put a figure of eight in and rappelled back down the line. We are all doing reasonably well though coughing a bit from this mornings exercise. ABC camp is beautiful with a good view of the North Col and the top of Everest. A few groups are moving in today but it is not over crowded. On a personal note I am enjoying moving up the mountain slowly, slowly and am looking forward too climbing up to the North Col and higher. The group seems well mixed and get along pretty well. I would just like too say a big hello to Dad, Mum, Chris, Becs ,Mia  and Jessica. Much Love, Everest Ed

16 April, 2011:

This is Biff Palmer providing the update for the Everest Tibet climb. Yesterday the team climbed from the interim camp at 19000 feet to the advanced base camp at 21000 feet.  Today is a rest day so as to continue the acclimatization process. In this regard our bodies have been challenged with a progressive reduction in the amount of inspired Oxygen. Some of the changes that have occurred include a reduction in plasma volume resulting in concentration of circulating hemoglobin. This hemoconcentrating affect along with increased hemoglobin production result in an increase oxygen carrying capacity. In addition our red blood cells have an increased affinity for oxygen. In future updates I can continue to comment on the physiologic changes that occur with sojourn to altitude. At the current time all members are healthy and strong. The team has been playing a card game each night called UNO. I have held my own in this intense competition. I am anxiously awaiting some cokes and sprite to thaw to so as to enjoy some flavors of home. I wish to conclude by sending my love to my daughter Kelly and my son Robert. I love and miss them both very much.

April 14th dispatch from Eric Platenberg:

All is well for the entire team as we spend this day acclimating at 'interim camp' as we make our way to Advanced Base Camp. Our interim camp is located at 19K ft/ 5800 meters. Our camp is much more rustic than base camp, but still quite comfy compared to how we imagine it will be higher on the mountain. We spent last night and much of this afternoon playing Uno and having spirited discussions about music, movies, and places to live. Patch's stories continue to provide non-stop entertainment and shaking heads. No-one slept exceptionally well as we are adjusting to lower levels of available oxygen and chilly temps at night. But spirits are high though-out camp and everyone is remarkably healthy considering our surroundings. As we left base camp there were only two other teams settled into for the climbing season. It is estimated that there will be a total of 20 teams climbing from the North this season, so we anticipate base camp to look considerably different when we return next week.

13 April, 2011:

After a cold windy start this morning in base camp, we reached interim camp at about 5800m The route follows the glacier moraine and is never very steep nor flat. It's a quite sustained 5 hr walk to get here. The camp is located near some big ice pinnacles. If the sun hits them at the right angle they turn into a nice blue colour. This is also the place where most yaks stop on the way up or down from either base camp or ABC. Our tents are surrounded by yaks and we will probably hear their bells all night! Samdien our cook prepared a delicious meal for us. This man keeps impressing me all the time. In the kitchen tent our cookboys prepared a stone bench for us with a table, so we were even able to sit comfortably. After dinner we played a couple games of UNO...always fun! Tomorrow we will rest here, otherwise we will gain altitude to fast, so probably more UNO.....


12 April, 2011:
Today our yaks arrived in base camp to bring our loads to Advanced Base Camp. First all individual loads had to be weight, more than 150 pieces of kitchen equipment, food, climbing gear and personal gear from members and staff. A total weight of 2400kg! Then the argument started of which yak is going to carry which load and so on.... This took a couple hours, but eventually all yaks left base camp together with our climbing Sherpa's and some of our kitchen staff. They will prepare interim camp at 5800m and Advanced Base Camp at 6400m for us. All members and I will move up the mountain to interim tomorrow, where we will stay here two nights. Then we move to Advance Base Camp at 6400m. We have to move slowly to give our bodies time to get used to the high altitude. The early stage of acclimatization is crucial, it's like a foundation of a building...if this is strong and solid you can build whatever you want on top! Last night we watched another movie in Base Camp, my small projector seems to be a big hit!This is it for now, more news from interim camp. Arnold Coster, expedition leader

11 April, 2011:
Tomorrow we expect our yaks to carry our expedition gear to interim camp at about 5800m, then the following day they will move on to advanced basecamp at 6400m. We will be one day behind the yaks and some of our staff, so we will not be in their way preparing the camps for us. We will leave for interim on the 13th, stay there for two nights and then move on to ABC. Below is a dispatch written by Dom, cheers Arnold Coster exp. leader....

Hello from  Everest Base Camp Tibet at 5200 metres. It's Dom here writing the latest report on the teams activities. We have been in Base Camp a couple of days now after our dash across the Tibetan plateau from the town of Tingri. We are all now trying to fall into expedition life at Base Camp, setting up our tents to make them as comfortable as possible with blankets and plenty of snack food from home. The food is great with our head chef putting together some great dishes and even making an effort for the two vegetarians in the group! The group is getting on well and with Everest directly in front of us it focuses the mind of the task that lies ahead. We walked down to the monastery today where a Lama gave us the blessing for the climb, everyone left feeling that it was a positive experience. Arnold has managed to set up a projector from his laptop so last night we were watching movies on the big screen! I did not think that I would be doing that at basecamp, but it's a great way to pass the time and hang out together. We move on up the mountain the day after tomorrow to Interim Camp where it will no doubt be a lot colder, as on Franks thermometer it registered -21
degrees centigrade last night! I'll leave it there for now as I have to pack my things to be sent up to Advanced Base Camp. Just to let you all know that we are having a few issues with sending general emails at the moment so hopefully it will be sorted out soon, something to do with the solar panels. This is Dom signing out from a windy base camp in Tibet.

9 April, 2011:
After an early start we arrived in base camp today at around 5200m. We took an off road shortcut from Tingri. This road zig zags through the mountains behind Tingri and finally ends up in Everest Base camp. This is a really remote area with only a few small villages, but to our surprise all of a sudden a couple Tibetan men on horseback showed up! The people look wild; they look like some warriors from the Ghengis Khan era. They wear big yak fur clothing with nice decoration on their heads. After passing the Rongbuk Monastery we got a full view of Everest or Chomolungma as people call her here. Our kitchen staff, which came from Lhasa yesterday, already pitched all the tents and quickly served us a delicious meal. Samdien our cook really knows what we need! In base camp we have a full kitchen setup, a dining/leisure tent, each member has his own personal tent and there is a tent to shower and a toilet tent. The next couple off day we will spend relaxing and making small day hikes to get used to our new elevation. Also we will visit the " Lama" a Buddhist priest in the monastery to get his blessing for our expedition. We probably will move up to in trim camp on the 13th of April, this will be the next step up in our approach of Chomolungma.

8 April, 2011:
After an early start in Kathmandu we crossed the border easy at Zhangmu. The TMA (Tibet Mountaineering Association) arranged three nice Land cruisers and a truck for us. After a delicious meal at their Base camp restaurant they drove us straight to Tingri at around 4400m. The journey through the narrow canyon to Nyalam is very beautiful, doesn't matter how many times I drive this. Then all of a sudden the canyon stops and you are in Nylam where the Tibetan plateau starts. Here it looks like you are on a different planet, there is hardly any vegetation, but still the Tibetans manage to grow potatoes and Barley somehow. The colors in the earth are fascinating and the snow covered peaks in the distance make it even more spectacular! We arrived in Tingri late in the evening, where another nice Chinese meal was waiting for us. Today we are just relaxing wandering into town and enjoying the views. Our cook Samdien should arrive today in Base camp with our supplies from Lhasa and we are all looking forward to meeting him tomorrow afternoon. So tomorrow we will be at the foot of the mountain, the next couple of days we will spend hanging around in camp, making our " new home" as cozy as possible. It's also possible to make small hikes to explore the way to the next camp..This is it for now,

Arnold Coster, Expedition Leader



Everest expeditions commence 29-Mar-11

29 March, 2011

Today is the first day of our spring climbing and walking season. We are in Kathmandu and all of the members are arriving. Tomorrow is the big team briefing at the Kohinoor Hotel. It has been raining here in Kathmandu, which is good as it keeps the dust down and puts water into the reservoirs. If all goes well, we plan to fly to Lukla on 31 March. Please wish us luck. Thanks for following our expedition teams in Nepal and Tibet!

Team Rosters:

Everest Tibet -

    * Arnold Coster - Netherlands (leader)
    * Scott Patch - US (leader-in-training)
    * Eric Platenberg - US (leader-in-training)
    * Edward Buckingham - UK
    * Frank Irnich - Germany
    * Biff Palmer - US
    * Dominique Pickett - UK
    * Mark Quinn - Ireland

North Col: 29 March to 25 April -

    * Stephen Wilson -US

Everest Nepal -

    * Dan Mazur - UK/US (Leader)
    * Ms. Squash Falconer - UK
    * Ms. Paula Leonard - US
    * Stewart Edge - UK
    * Mitch Lewis - US

Lhotse -

    * Gavin Vickers - Australia (Leader)
    * Alex Holt - UK

Everest Basecamp Trek Nepal -

    * Ms. Alyn Caulk - US
    * Ms. Beccy Cresswell - UK
    * Robert Cresswell - UK
    * Ms. Melanie Plant - Australia
    * Ms. Linda Hardwood - Australia
    * Christoper Howard - US
    * Ms. Norissa Howard - US
    * Peter Swan - Australia
    * Daniel Wilde - Australia

Everest Tibet Staff -

    * Ang Babu Sherpa
    * Tenji Sherpa
    * Lhakpa Sherpa
    * Gyalje Sherpa

Everest and Lhotse Staff -

Climbing Sherpas -

    * Jangbu Sherpa
    * Thile Nuru Sherpa
    * Lakpa Nuru Sherpa
    * Sange Sherpa
    * Pasang Sherpa
    * Lakpa Tendu Sherpa

Nepal Trekking Staff -

    * Kaji Tamang - sirdar as well trekking guide
    * Deha Shrestha - assistant trek leader

Nepal Kitchen staff -

    * Jay Bahadur - cook
    * Dorje Sherpa- kitchen boy
    * Sange Sherpa - trekking cook as well kitchen boy


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Expedition footwear for mountaineering in conditions of extreme cold.  NOTE US SIZES LISTED. See more here.



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