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  Canadian Mt. Everest 2005 Expedition Moving up to base camp


©EverestNews.com

Wednesday March 30th 5pm, Phakding

We've climbed to 2,640m.

We had an amazing flight from Kathmandu to Lukla this morning and set about getting our equipment sorted and loaded on to the yaks. This afternoon, after lunch, we started our long hike to base camp with a four hour climb to Phakding which is at 2,640m. Everyone arrived safe and is doing well.

Our expedition party has grown. It is now 17 Canadian hikers and climbers, with a support staff of 48. The support consists of 2 cooks, 8 kitchen helpers, 25 porters, 5 yak drivers, 7 sherpas, 1 manager and 16 yaks! There are further support people along the route.

As we climbed to Phakding we crossed two raging rivers by swinging bridges, safely and had our first glimpse of the spectacular Himalayas with a distant 21,000 ft peak (Everest is 29,028 ft). We walked through several Nepalese villages where the children came running out shouting “bonbon, bonbon”. The children are happy and cute and very pleased to see us. In fact, all the Nepalese people we have met have been tremendously courteous and friendly.

Temperatures are sliding fast tonight as we bundle up to keep warm. Dinner is being prepared. Tomorrow we continue the climb to Namche Bazar, which will be a long arduous climb after today’s relatively short hike.

I’m pleased to say that the satellite communications are working well. There’s always that moment of doubt when you test it in Ottawa and you worry about the lack of an IT help desk support group when you’re on the other side of the world! So far, so good.

More later.
Terry

Tuesday 29th March, 10am Kathmandu.

Is your company profitable?

Diary by Terry Kell

Yesterday we met with the director of the Child Haven orphanage in Kathmandu, Argen, to discuss the needs of the orphanage before we went shopping. We took the money we’d raised at the Data Assault seminars in Ottawa and Toronto and went to a music store and bought a Yamaha keyboard, so that the children can learn to play the piano. Then we went on to a sports store and bought ping pong balls and paddles, tennis balls, soccer balls, skipping ropes, board games, chess sets and lots of other sporting items. Finally we visited a school supplies store and bought pens, paper, pencils, erasers and all manner of things for the children.

To travel to the orphanage we had to go through the poorest part of Kathmandu with unbelievable poverty. I can’t comprehend how people live, in filth and rags, in holes and hovels. This poverty is very hard to describe and a far cry from the comforts of most Canadians.

By contrast, the orphanage was bright and cheerful. They look after 123 orphans, who are well cared for, bright, happy and speak English well. Everyone in the expedition was very touched by our reception. The girls put on a charming welcoming dance for us and then they asked us lots of questions. One of the boys, who was 16, asked if Kanatek is a profitable company and whether it paid taxes! He’ll go far, I’m sure! I wonder if the Canada Revenue Agency knows about him?

Later, when we got back to the hotel, we worked with Sean Egan to sort out his equipment for his ascent, fitting boots and crampons.

More later.

Terry

Monday 28th 11am, Kathmandu. (EST is 11 hours behind Nepal)

The expedition begins!

Diary by Terry Kell

Everyone has arrived safely, on time, with all our equipment. We are rested and in good shape.

We had a very interesting flight over from Bahrain where a Saudi sheik joined the flight, complete with a falcon and the falcon had his own seat to Kathmandu! When we arrived we were met by the head of the Sherpa team, who took all our baggage and made us feel very welcome.

We have been testing the technology for the back up and disaster recovery infrastructure and are taking the satellite communications to the hotel rooftop this afternoon.

The research teams have already started their work. One met with Dr Keith Burgess from the University of Sydney in Australia to start the analysis of sleep patterns. And the Ryerson University team met up with the student team from Kathmandu University to start the tourism research, with surveys already issued.

This morning we are going shopping to buy supplies for the Child Haven orphanage. With the money raised by the expedition so far, we are able to buy equipment, school materials and toys for the orphanage and we will deliver them at 2pm this afternoon. The orphans are apparently going to put on a show so we look forward to seeing that.

After the show we'll have a hockey practice in the parking lot of the hotel. There was some concern when we brought the collapsible, full-size nets to Ottawa International Airport on Friday and found that they were too big to get on the plane. But Air Canada did us proud and the nets arrived, safely!

I am getting Blackberry withdrawal feelings! My thumbs are resting but it feels very strange. The king has shut down all cellular towers and communications are limited.

Kathmandu is absolutely fabulous. It's hard to take everything in and the sights and sounds are beyond my expectations. It's unbelievable to be here.

I expect to be on email later and will talk more.

Terry

Dispatches

Background

On March 25th 2005, a party of Canadian climbers and hikers will set off on an assault on the world's highest mountain, Mount Everest.

The expedition will be led by Dr Sean Egan, an accomplished mountaineer and professor in the School of Human Kinetics at University of Ottawa, and Peter Luk, director, School of Business Management, Ryerson University .

Accompanying the climbing expedition for three weeks is a party of hikers that includes senior IT executives from private and public Canadian organizations and leaders from the Ryerson University Business School . They will trek through Nepal to the Everest Base Camp, starting from the exotic city of Kathmandu.

The expedition is sponsored by Kanatek Technologies, an independent storage systems integrator based in Ottawa , specializing in data availability, email archiving, and back up and recovery solutions. Kanatek has a long tradition of hosting innovative events and Kanatek president, Terry Kell says, “We want to put Canadian IT solutions on top of the world. We will be using the latest in communications technology to demonstrate data recovery in a hostile environment.”

The expedition is co-sponsored by ProCurve Networking by HP, a supplier of enterprise networking solutions, and SkyWave Mobile Communications, a world leader in satellite-based asset tracking, monitoring, and control.

Expedition leader, Dr Egan, says, “Two very well-respected Canadian universities are working together on this expedition to complete some vital research. If we can get to the summit it will be an added bonus.”

University of Ottawa and Ryerson University have prepared research plans on coping with hypoxia (an absence of oxygen reaching living tissues) , the relationships between fitness and ageing, and sport tourism in the context of extreme adventure.

This is Dr Egan's third trip to the mountain, and it will be his first summit attempt. If he his successful in his bid, he will be the oldest Canadian to summit Mount Everest . In preparation for his Everest expedition, Dr Egan is currently conditioning by climbing Mount Aconcagua in Argentina (22,841 feet). Mount Everest is 29,028 feet.

It is also planned to play a game of shinny hockey around the Khumbu glacier on Mount Everest, taking the game to new heights.

 

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