Tunc on Summit
Dear Everest News readers,
Here is an update what happened on the mountain:
The 20th, Mor left Basecamp to sleep in C1, the rest of the
team went to C2 direct the next day.
So the whole team slept in C2 together on the 21st. To our
surprise all the other expedition teams where also still there and didn't go
anywhere higher on the mountain!
To avoid a traffic jam on the Makalu La and the summit, I
decided to split the team in two groups. A slow group who summits from C4
7750m and a fast group who could summit from C3 7450.
The 22nd, Haris, Mor, Kancha, Wongchu, and Pemba left C2 to
climb to C3. Everybody arrived there in good health. Mor and Haris took a
long time to reach there though and both used oxygen. The 23rd the rest of
the team reached C3 and the same day Haris an Mor climbed to C4 7750m. Our
plan was to leave our camp at 21:00 and try to summit on the 24th. When we
woke up around 20:00 it was snowing! We waited a couple hours, but the
snowing never stopped, we decided to delay our summit attempt to the next
day in hope the weather will be better.
Mor didn't feel comfortable anymore and didn't want to wait
an other day. He decided to abandon his summit attempt and descended to C2
together with Wongchu Sherpa.
A very difficult decision, much more difficult to make than
just keep on going, but a very wise one!
Makalu French Couloir
Later in the day the weather cleared and we decided to leave
our camp at 20:00 for our summit attempt. The night was clear and cold -40C,
but no wind!
After 1.5 hour we reached C4 and Haris joined the rest of the
group on the summit attempt. From here we climbed between seracs until about
8000m after that there is a snow ramp with many crevasses until about 8200m
where the French Couloir starts. The couloir is steep with " Mixed" rock and
ice, our Sherpa's did a very good job here replacing a lot of the old ropes
there. After the couloir you reach the summit shoulder 8400m which gradually
gave way to the summit towers, necessitating climbing on sharp ridges with
unreliable snow and ice, resulting in a just very sharp and small summit
enough for 3 persons!
The summit is a magnificent exposed place, with superb views
to Tibet and Nepal.
Makalu Near Summit
Tunc was the first on the summit followed by Arnold, Lakpha
and Dawa. Two hours later also Guntis, Haris and Kancha Sherpa summited.
The weather was great and no wind at all! but we could see in
the sky it was not going to stay like this and sure enough it was stormy in
Arnold on Summit
When I descended I found to my surprise Adele still in the
French Couloir, according to the last Sherpa in line she would have given up
her summit attempt and descended 2 hours before? She was very confused and
cold! Luckily I still had a full bottle of oxy in my pack and decided to
give her this. I increased her oxy consumption to 4l/min, but her condition
didn't improve much. We had to give her medice and guide her down to C4.
This was very hard work for me and Dawa Sherpa, she couldn't stand up and we
had her drag her down to lower altitude! luckily she became a little better
close to C4 and she could walk herself again. It was 20:00 by now and we
where 24hr on the mountain!
The whole team was spread out on the mountain. Tunc and
Lakpha where already in C3. Guntis, Adele, Dawa and me in C4. but the was
still no sign of Haris and Kancha Sherpa.
Later I got a radio call from Haris, that he was lost and
didn't know where he was. Kancha waited for him for hours, but couldn't
locate him. For his own safety he decided to go to C4 and look for him the
next morning again. We spoke Haris on the radio again the next morning and
also had radio contact today. He is very exhausted and is seemingly coming
down the mountain, but weather and visibility are very bad. From C4 we can't
see anything at all, but our Sherpa's are there and doing their best to
locate him! Everything to help him is in place!
This the end of this dispatch, until I have more news about
Arnold Coster, expedition leader
20 may 2010
We have been hanging around ABC now for 13 days, reading
books, listening to music, doing Laundry and just talking away in our dinning
tent about nothing and celebrate my birthday. Some teams couldn't wait and did
some summit attempt, but they all came down with no result. Other teams
decided this is enough and went home.
Our friends from the German team had to leave, because they run out of time
and had to go back to their jobs home. Three of their team members could
extent their stay, Luis, Alix and Joe. We adopted them in our team, so we have
another nationality added in our team. For us it's nice to have new ideas and
have fresh conversations at the dinning table!
The weather is a little unpredictable and the good stable
weather, like in normal seasons, is not here yet.
Some say a late moeson is the reason, but actually nobody knows why.
We can see a little light in the darkness though, today the wind changed from
direction and it looks like the high winds on the summit are going to slow
down a little the next couple of day, although it's not perfect yet.
We decided to go with most of the team to C2 tommorow and give it a shot. If
we are lucky winds die down on the 22nd and we can pitch our tents in C3 on
the Makalu la. This will give us a good position for a summit attempt on the
23th or 24th.
So wish us luck and stay tuned for more news
Arnold Coster, expedition leader
The jet stream winds are howling on the mountain and at ABC
the prayer flags are fluttering furiously. As we have plenty of time it is
time to sit and wait for our weather window to arrive. Maintaining mental
sanity is so important, base camp life neither stimulates or enhances
fitness. At 5700m motivation is difficult but the Coster team maintains
their spirits by throwing a party for the other climbers at base camp and to
repay Tjering Dorje's team for their hospitality. Daily walks and evening
movies also help to pass the time as we wait for the winds to die down.
Our so far quite exact weather forecast provided by Fugro
geos does not look too promising for the next few days and it does not look
like the winds will die down until at least the 20th May for a summit push.
A small lapse in the wind tommorow will however enable or Sherpa team to
deposit the oxygen at the Makalu La. Our Sirdar in the meantime is hunting
for fresh meat and toilet paper down in the valley whilst the black market
price of any toilet tissue is rising rapidly at ABC. So for the time being
we are occupying our time in our local bar which has been opened by our
kitchen staff and enjoying the banter between the different camps.
Climbing 8000m peaks is not just a physical challenge but a
mental one as well. Sometimes you wonder why we climb these Himylayan giants
but the rewards of success are unmeasureable. Lets just hope our patience
As soon as we get a more definate picture about the weather
we shall let you know our plans.
This is Adele Penington writing from Team Coster.
Dear Everest News readers,
Just a short message from me Arnold, the expedition leader.
All members are strong and healthy and doing fine. So far our
acclimatisation is going well and our camps 1,2 and 3 are installed on the
mountain. Our weather forecast provided by Fugro Geos tells us there is a
strong wind period coming, up to 100 km/h at 8000m! This gives us a good
chance to rest in ABC before we will go high on the mountain again. So it's
laundry, shower and movie time and wait until the good weather is coming
again. Read the experiences of Tunc Findik and Guntis Brands below and stay
tuned for more news as soon as we know what the weather is doing
Namaste from Makalu Advanced Base Camp! This is Turkish
Climber Tunc Findik reporting.
All went well for our team and we have finished our
acclimatisation schedule by almost touching camp 3 at Makalu North Saddle,
7440 metres altitude. The team is healthy and generally doing well. The
weather was strange here for the last week, as usual for the beginning of
may in Nepal- Himalaya. Clouds, mist and some precipitation of snow and
normal temperatures around 7000 metres, and fortunately not strong winds,
enabled us to go high on Makalu.
Previously we all had slept up high at camp 2, 6700 metres.
This time we again slept at camp 2 and climbed mixed terrain to Makalu- La.
The climb from camp 2 to camp 3 is quite interesting, the first half being
on snow slopes up to 45 degrees and including crossing some big and hidden
crevasses. The second half of the ascent is on rocky terrain interspersed
with some blue ice. Up after 7150 metres, one reaches a snowy, wide terrace
and beyond that, easy climbing on rocks gets you to Makalu La, where our
camp 3 will be temporarily put for the coming summit assault.
While our strong Sherpa team made a deposit of tents and gear
on Makalu La, our team followed different schedules that were fitted
personally. Most of our team went to camp 1 and 2, and then went up to camp
3, some went to camp 2 and ascended almost camp 3, and i used the ascent
direct to almost Makalu La from base camp. During our ascent, the weather
was mercifully calm with some fine weather cumulus clouds, and you could
almost climb in thinner clothing. Climbing in the mixed terrain of yellow
spotted granite and shiny blue ice was fascinating- and knowing that next
time we will be there is for the summit attempt is even more exciting!
Nowadays we are resting in the relative comfort of our
Advanced Base Camp at 5750 metres and we will be waiting until the high
winds of 8000 metres to subside. This may take a while and the biggest
virtue here is to be patient. It is obvious everybody is longing for home,
loved ones and the comfortable realms of lower altitudes- but now the
critical time of summit is near. We all hope we will be getting a beautiful
summit day, with good views of Himalaya from 8463 metres.....
All the best to our friends, supporters and followers!
Another Namaste from Guntis Brands.
Some of us climbed up to camp 2 directly from ABC a couple of
days ago. It snowed in the morning but it was not really bad weather. We
set out after breakfast and the weather started to improve some. At
"Crampon Point", a plastic barrel dumped at the glacier border, we changed
to high altitude boots and put on our climbing gear. The weather was
shifting every five minutes from snow to fog or sunshine. The walk across
the glacier was becoming increasingly hot and tiring. Even if we started
late the line at the fixed rope from the glacier to camp 1 was present.
Sometimes it is like the expressway into Paris a Moday morning at 07:30 and
there is no difference if you're in our outbound. Then finally it was our
turn. At this time the rope was completey iced and our jumars didn't bite
on the rope so we had to climb up using the rope just holding on to it with
a wet glove.
Happily arrived in camp 2 we had drinks and food according to
standard schedule. Our agglomeration at home no. 2 had been vastly
increased by new population of French, American and Australian immigrants.
The night fell softly over the camp at 19:00 as usual. As softly as evening
falls the morning is brutal. One hears people snoaring and coughing,
burners are melting snow, preparing scarce breakfasts, people moving around
and the worst; the ice inside the tent starts melting and the raindrops fall
on you and you previously dry clothing. The we discovered the surprise: we
had forgotten to put on sunscreen on our faces yesterday. The stiff
face confirmed the mistake. The Makalu tomato club held its first meeting
Then: up and go! Breakfast, mount the crampons and
off direction camp 3 using the same principal of the day before, i.e. go
late because of the Paris syndrom. This principal worked out as badly as
the day before. Finally we got on the way and turned at approx. 7150 m
rappelling down. Tunc tells that story above.
We are confident and feel ready to go for the summit in some
More news will follow.
Route to Camp 2
Namaste to our followers and friends from the Advanced Base
camp of Makalu! This is Turkish climber Tunc Findik reporting.
These last days, we have climbed up to camp 2 at an altitude
of 6700 metres, had a good night sleeping there and completed one more step
on acclimatising to higher altitudes. As a team we are doing well and
everybody seems to cope with altitude safely- this you could understand from
our generally cheerful attitude. We are just back to our Advanced Base Camp
and recovering- eating and sleeping well, as well as watching some movies on
Arnold's superior home theatre system in our mess tent! As in unison, the
weather for these few days are snowy and it is a good time to be resting
back in base camp. Another good activity in base camp is drinking chang
and rakshi (local home made alcohol!!) and making plans for future
climbs, our favorite pastime :-)
Our Sherpa team is doing a great work- without them we would
be handicapped for sure. Dawa Sherpa of Loding is our Sirdar and Wongchu,
Lhakpa, Temba and Kancha help him in his mission to organise things. Also
our kitchen crew is performing miracles in creating different and delicious
foods every time. We have a very fine team!
Repeating shortly we have written in dispatches beforehand,
the route up to camp 1 is pretty straightforward and the first quarter is
just walking on the rocky moraine until the flat glacier begins. After that,
with a rise in the glacier, we negotiated some small but hidden crevasses
and climbed a 120 m. high ice wall to reach the great plateau where the camp
1 is situated at 6350 metres. This climb takes around 2 to 6 hours.
The route up to camp 2 is quite short and it involves some
short steep steps of climbing in blue ice, and generally speaking, it is a
gentle angle to reach camp 2, which is well hidden and protected at the base
of some very stable ice cliffs. The climb up to camp 2 takes around 2 to 4
hours. The view to the west is really breathtaking- you could see the
fabled summits of Lhotse, Everest, Baruntse, Ama Dablam, Gauri Shankar and
many more stretching along the horizon, as well as the dry brown, ice clad
hills of Tibet to the north.
Next time, our plan is to sleep again at camp 2 and touch
Makalu La (the north saddle of Makalu at 7440 metres) and this will make us
ready for our summit attempt, which we plan around mid may, when the wind
speeds at altitude are mostly lowest.
The weather in Makalu generally is very dry (as we are so
near Tibet!) and the mornings are crystal clear, midday mostly brings clouds
and wind with little snow sometimes, and nights are mostly calm and cold.
These fist days of may, the temperatures seem to get warmer and this brings
along some snow.
Earlier :Dear Everestnews readers,
We all came back down to ABC yesterday after spending our
first night higher on the mountain.
The climb to C1 at 6350m was easier for everybody,
acclimatisation is a very slow process.
It´s all about spending time high on the mountain en going
down again to the comforts of ABC to recover.
Everybody climbed to C1 before, so the 2nd time is easier,
this process will continue for all our camps.
First time is hard, 2nd time is easy. The whole process to
get a good acclimatistaion will take about one month.
During this time we will install our camps, C1 6350m, C2
6800m, C3 7450, C4 7800m and supply them with food, fuel, climbing gear etc.
If all this is in place and the weather is good, we can think
about an summit attempt, but this is still a long time from now.
So far we only have a C1 and C2 and high on the mountain
strong winds are still rageing, this makes it impossible to go much higher
than 7000m at the moment.
Our first night in C1 was good and comfortable, actualy the
was a lot less wind in the night as in ABC. What made sleeping easy, it was
cold though -25 celcius.
After a good breakfast our Sherpa's whent up and secured some
of the crevasses on the way to C2.
There are three teams of our size here, The German exp. from
the DAV, Tjering Dorje Sherpa' s group French/American and our International
So far the Germans are one week ahead of us on schedule and
they are doing a great job fixing ropes to the Makalu La a very steep
rock/ice climb to C3 the crux of the climb.
We try to back them up by carrying ropes up etc.
Our team will rest in ABC for two days now to recover, Tunc
and me will put some ropes on the lower part of the glacie tommorow to
secure some opening grevasses there1
So everything is fine and going according to plan, stay tuned
for the next dispatch,
Arnold Coster, expedition leader
Namaste! This is Turkish climber Tunc Findik
reporting from Makalu advanced base camp.
All is good here at 5700 metres, and after
our puja ceremony of 22nd april, we have climbed to camp 1, situated on a
glacier saddle 6350 metres high. Our team does well apart from occasional
small health problems and everybody seems to acclimatise really well to
The climb to camp 1 is quite straightforward.
We began by a scree gully, bypassing the lower seracs of the Chago glacier
and took to the flat, dry glacier slope reaching a small ice wall, approx
100 metres high at around 6200 metres. There are some crevasses to
negotiate around and be careful, but it is surprising that the mountain is
very dry- all blue ice and yellow- black rocks!
We made a storage tent at camp 1 and
tomorrow, by 25th april, we will be climbing back up to camp 1 and explore
camp 2 and beyond to 7000 metres.
The base camp is really comfortable for us-
good food, good rest and superb views of Chamlang and other peaks around
Makalu, not mentioning the majestic west wall of Makalu. The ABC is a very
windy spot, which can border at annoying at times.
So- all the best to you our followers and
supporters from Makalu- the black pyramid!
Hello Everestnews readers,
Today we had a great "Puja", a ceremony to ask
for the mountain favour to climb it. A "lama" buddist priest, prayed for our
safe passage. we put our pray flags in abc, danced with the Sherpa's and met
a lot off old friends from other expeditions we have climbed with on other
Tommorow we will climb to camp 1 approx 6100m,
leave some grear there and come back down to abc. The next couple off weeks
this will be our life. Climb up to a higher altitude and then go down to
For now this is it, Arnold Coster
As we walked around the corner towards Shershong (4600m),
the South East ridge of Makau unravelled itself with the summit rising a
huge 3700m from base camp (BC). Arriving at BC (4700m) after 10 days on
the trail marked the completion of the first stage of the expedition,
which in itself provided some of the best trekking to be encountered in
The journey to base camp started in Tumlingtar at just 400m
above sea level and the gateway to the Arun Valley. Tumlingtar's tiny
grass airstrip provides easy access to the trek in just a 45minute flight
from Kathmandu. From here a two and a half hour jeep drive saves two days
trekking in the heat of the lower altitude and takes us to Chichila
(1850m). Here porters who are more than happy to recieve work in this
remote trekking region of Nepal gather to collect their loads as we set
off on our journey to BC. For the first three days we trek through small
villages as the trail winds its way through dense rhododendrum forests.
Every spare piece of flat land is terraced to support the growth of crops
for the local communities. Each day we loose and gain height and
eventually cross the massive Arun Khola (river) and reach Tashigoan
(2100m), which is home for many porters. Tashigoan is like a
station interchange and seems to be a compulsory stop before progressing
onto the next stage of the trek, where T houses and porter accomodation is
far and few between. After a day purchasing fresh meat and vegetables and
finalising porter loads we set off Northwards on the ridge bounded by the
Kasuwa Khola on the east and the Ipsurwa Khola on the west.
After an overnight stay in Khongma (3515m) we cross four
passes and get the most amazing views of numerous Himylayan peaks
including Kachenjanga and Makalu. The Shipton La (4200m) marks the high
point of the day before we descend to the Barun Nadi (valley) which we
follow for the final two days into base camp. At BC we sit and stare at
the grandeur of Makalu towering directly above us. In three days time we
will move our camp to Advance Base Camp (ABC) 5300m where we begin
Arnold live WAV file ,
mpg file (same dispatch)
Arnold live WAV file ,
mpg file (same dispatch)
Dear Everestnews reader,
7 april we finally flew to Tumlingtar. Our flight was scheduled at noon, but
we had to wait on the waiter in Tumlingtar to improve. There where too much
clouds hanging around the airport. There are no good navigation systems on
the small airports here in Nepal, so if you can't see the runway you can't
land. Luckely after a couple hours the weather cleared and we where able to
go! It's only a 45 min flight, but our staff whent by truck and took them 2
airport is just a grasstrip in the middle of some hills. A quiet warm place,
because it's only 450m high.
After a nice Nepali meal
and some beers we spent our first night in a village again and everybody had
a good quiet sleep. No sound of traffic, planes, music. It's good to be out
the morning we drove by Landcruiser to Chichilla at 1850m, before this was a
2 day walk, but now with the dirtroad only 3 hours. We met all our staff
there and they prepered a nice lunch for us. Tonight we will sleep in tents,
these are going to be our home for the next 60 days!
evreything is fine, tommorow we will walk to Num at 1530m, the first of the
eight days of walking to base camp...........
Coster, expedition leader
Hello Everestnews readers,
Today I went to the ministery of tourism for our expedition
briefing and we received our permit.
So everything is fine and we will be on the way soon.
Saturday all the climbing staff, Tunc Findik and me went to
Lama Gyek Ombila Rimpoche to get our expedition blessed and pray for a safe
passage on the mountain.
Our staff will leave 5am Monday morning by truck to
Tumlingtar. First they will drive Hilli, a 16 hour drive and the next day to
tumlingtar. Here they will arrange transport to Chichila for us. We can
drive there over a small trail by 4x4 and pick up truck. From Chichila we
will start trekking to Makalu base, this will take another eight days.
All members will arrive tomorrow, Monday, morning and
afternoon. We will have a group dinner in the evening, but most of us
already met before. Wednesday we will fly to Tumlingtar and catch up with
Arnold Coster, expedition leader
Dear Everest news readers,
I am in Kathmandu for two weeks already
preparing the Makalu expedition.
Already met Miss Hawley and got the
latest information about the mountains condition and the other teams who are
going to be up there.
Things are going well and I am almost
finished packing. We roughly packed 2500 kg of gear meaning: tents, stoves,
food, ropes, tables and chairs. We will have a full base camp setup with a big
heated dinning tent, 2 toilets, shower, kitchen and staff dining. Electricity
from solar power and even a projector to see some movies when we have to hang
out in Base camp in case of bad weather or when we are resting. Everything is
going to be carried up to Base camp by men power. For that we will need about
80 porters who will carry 30kg each for 7 days! These guys are though!
We have a strong international team of
climbers all of us climbed multiple 8000m peaks before and for half the team
climbing is their job.
Arnold Coster, the Netherlands,
Tunc Findic, Turkish
Haris Kiriakakis, Greek
Mor Doron, Israeli
Guntis Brands, Swiss
Adele Pennington, British
Ron Rutland, British
We will be supported by the strongest
Sherpa team I could find.
Dawa Sherpa from Solu Khumbu, Climbing
Wongchu Sherpa from Solu Khumbu, high
Lakpha Sherpa from Makalu, high altitude
Kanchha Sherpa from Solu Khumbu, high
Pemba Chhhiri Sherpa, from Solu Khumbu,
high altitude climber
Sange Sherpa from Makalu, head cook
Phuri Sherpa from Solukhumbu, assistant
Monday all members will arrive in
Kathmandu and the plan is to fly to Tumlingtar on the 7th and start our
Stay tuned for more news,
Background: Outware treks & Expeditions is a
family company run by Dutchmen Arnold Coster and his Nepali wife Maya Sherpa.
Arnold and Maya go married in2003 and since then they lead many successful
expedition and treks together. Both of them are expert climbers with many
ascents on their name. They are friendly relax persons treating their clients
as true guests. Because their country backgrounds they have extensive contacts
in the east and the west, which you will see back in the quality of the treks
and expeditions! Many of the world famous Sherpa’s are their family members
and work together with them.
During our treks 6000m,7000m and 8000m
expeditions, you will benefit from the leadership provided by Arnold Coster,
fluent English and Dutch speaker. He is a relaxed, considerate and thoughtful
person; an expert leader; technical expert and a highly-skilled professional
who specializes in getting people to the summit and back down in 100 percent
safety. He has extensive knowledge in recognizing and treating altitude
sickness and other common health problems during treks & expeditions. He is a
good communicator, a great motivator, and has a positive attitude. Arnold is
at home in any terrain, with any kind of group. He is an expert technical rock
and ice climber. Arnold Coster's first Himalayan climb was on 8,156 meter-high
Manaslu, but he led numerous expeditions. Arnold has led 5 successful summits
on Everest (north and South) and 4 successful expeditions to Cho Oyu, but also
Shishapangma, Lhakpa Ri, Mustag Ata, Khan Tengri, Mt Kenia and Kilimanjaro
Maya is our connection with the Sherpa
people. She is also a well accomplished high altitude climber. She was the
first Nepali woman on numerous peaks as: Ama Dablam 6812m, Pumori 7112m, Cho
Oyu 8211m, Khan Tengri 7010m. She has two accents of Everest also, from the
north and the south. She is a relax person with good communication skills,
which helps us to get the best out of our staff. She is a trained leader from
the Nepalese Mountaineering Association, so she has solid technical skills.
Maya is also trying to do something back for her country; she is active in
many NGO’s and wants to be an example for other woman in Nepal. Maya led
expeditions to Everest, Cho Oyu, Shishapangma, Lothse and Khan Tengri
Outware treks & Expeditions (p)Ltd.
Nepal Mobile: +977 9803689273
Holland Mobile: +31 (0) 620236551
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