Everest 2023: First Steps in the Khumbu

As we approach April, activity is picking up in Nepal. Team after team has left Kathmandu, taking helicopters or fixed-wing aircraft to Namche or Lukla. There they will begin the trek to Everest Base Camp, Island Peak, or just in the Khumbu. It’s a special time. As I’ve said since 1997, if you ever get a chance to trek in Nepal, jump on it. It will change your life for the better. Let’s take a look at the first steps in the Khumbu.


Everest 2023: Interview with Lukas Furtenbach – The Evolution of Oxygen Delivery Systems on Everest

Lukas Furtenbach, a major mountaineering expedition guide company and is now a top supplier of supplemental oxygen systems to all teams climbing Everest.  He partnered with Neil Greenwood of Summit Oxygen to create Everest Oxygen focusing on supplying supplemental oxygen to the mountaineering industry.

His Austrian-based Furtenbach Adventures offer global climbs, including most of the 8000-meter mountains, the Seven Summits, the Volcanic Seven Summits, and Ski Mountaineering. However, they have made a name for themselves with their “Flash Expeditions,” which takes only three weeks to climb Everest, compared to the classic style, which takes six to eight weeks.

In this Podcast, we explore the evolution of using supplemental oxygen, Lukas’s approach and several other Everest topics. We cover:

 2:24 – The Chinese closure of Everest for the past four years, and will they open in Autumn for 8000ers?
 4:45  – Will COVID be a factor for Everest 2023?
 5:55 – Furtenbach Adventures Carbon Neutral approach to mountaineering
10:02 – Climbing Everest in three weeks vs. six to eight weeks
11:35 – Pre-acclimatizing at home using altitude tents
22:13 – The history of altitude tents (In France in the late 1970s)
25:52 – Is using supplemental oxygen cheating?
29:54 – Everest Oxygen supplies systems to other teams
30:04 –  Understanding the Oxygen Delivery System
30:37 – Oxygen Cylinders
31:43 – Oxygen Regulators
39:29 – Oxygen Masks
42:15 – System Reliability
45:15 – Sherpas using Oxygen
47:22 – Types of Delivery Systems
47:32 –  Constant Flow
47:41 –  Pulse Dose
49:41 – On Demand
52:14 – Remote Monitoring of a Climber’s Health
56:17 – Everest 2023 Predictions

Everest 2023: Leaving Nothing Unsaid

Leaving home to climb Mt. Everest is no simple task. It’s not a business trip; it’s not a vacation; it’s something entirely different. While it may be your dream, it can be something altogether different for those left behind. As we approach the end of March, scores of climbers are going through this process for Everest 2023.

It’s time for Everest climbers to get focused and serious about the last-minute preparations. Since their dream began, they wondered how this period would feel. They saved money, bought the gear, and trained their bodies for months or even years, but a few crucial steps remain before boarding that plane for Kathmandu.

A longtime reader and climber preparing for Everest sent me this question last week: “How do you keep sleeping and maintain mental focus 20 days before leaving for Everest without stressing yourself out?’ My answer was:

Focus on “leaving nothing unsaid” with those who matter most in your life. Visualize being on the mountain with a positive outcome, review your gear using a mental walk-thru of the climb to ensure you have everything you need and want. Finally, surround yourself with positive people who have fun, laugh, and support you.

For this last step of prep, let’s take a closer look at three areas: Physical, Mental, and Emotional. #everest2022

Everest 2023: Interview with Scott Lehmann and Shayna Unger, Deaf Climbers

Podcast: Scott Lehmann and Shayna Unger, are aiming to be the first American couple and, to their knowledge, the second and third deaf climbers to summit Mount Everest. Also, they are trying to become the first deaf couple to compete the Seven Summits. Both were born, as they say, profoundly deaf, meaning they had no hearing at all. They live in the Washington, D.C., area and are educators and mountaineers. They summited Denali, Aconcagua, Kilimanjaro, Ecuador’s Chimborazo and Cotopaxi, and Mont Blanc, plus Scott has all the US High Point.

A third-generation deaf person, Scott is an educator and a mountaineer. Given the lack of deaf representation in the outdoors and lack of communication access to outdoor education, the outdoors was not a big part of Scott’s life until he was 23 when he climbed a mountain for the first time. Shayna is a deaf woman, an educator and a mountaineer. Growing up, Shayna often went on camping trips with her deaf family in the 1990s, but they never did. They have full access to outdoor sports. It was not until college that Shayna started traveling and fell in love with climbing mountains.

PODCAST: with Jost Kobusch’s Solo, Winter 2023 Denali Summit

PODCAST: German Alpinist Jost Kobusch became only the third person to complete a solo winter Denali Summit successfully. He summited on Sunday, February 19, 2023, around 3:00 am. I caught up with him at his home in Chamonix, France, only a few weeks after his summit. Jost style is to climb alone during a season that few other people would choose. He climbs completely unsupported and often on the most difficult routes. On Denali, he summited via the Messner Couloir.

We cover route, gear, weather, what he learned, and his plans for another Everest West Ridge climb in late 2023. Jost is doing a several-part series on his Facebook page, including his clothing, footwear, handwear and face wear. Visit and follow to learn more about how he pulled this feat off. I think you’ll enjoy meeting this 30-year-old climber.