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Apr 222015
Everest 2015: First Steps in the Icefall

Long Expeditions are often filled with a lot of down time, sometimes by design to let your body adjust to the altitude and other times due to unforeseen events. Well we have had a bit of both thus far. I have been gone from home for 3 weeks so I’m ready to do some climbing. A combination of poor weather and the new route through the Khumbu Icefall has put everyone on the South side about a week behind schedule. But we have about 6 weeks to go, so there is no need for great concern at this point. Wednesday, continue reading

Apr 192015
Everest 2015: Weekend Update - April 19

I will try to do a weekend update each Sunday while on Everest/Lhotse. This update is all about the weather. We arrived at Everest Base Camp on Monday, store April 13 to heavy snow, and overcast skies – and that is the story of the week. Each day brought cold temps and culminated with a very gusty night last night, April 18th. But today, Sunday, the 19th, we are enjoying mild temps, a gentle breeze and clear blue skies. The impact of all this weather is that no teams have been able to establish camps in the Western Cwm – continue reading

Everest 2015: April 18, A Black Day with Lessons for all

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Apr 172015
Everest 2015: April 18, A Black Day with Lessons for all

It was one year ago today that a hanging wall of ice fell onto the Khumbu Icefall, the gateway to the south side of Mt. Everest, killing 16 mountain workers waiting for a ladder to be repaired that crossed a deep crevasse. Today, I’m at Everest Base Camp attempting to use almost the same route to climb Lhotse, the world’s fourth highest peak. After several days of harsh cold and snow, today is warm and sunny. Throughout today, there will be small memorial services at each camp to honor the dead on what is called a Black Day, April 18th, continue reading

Apr 162015
Everest 2015: New Icefall Route Proving Fickle

Today, Friday, April 17, a collapse of a four ladder traverse across a huge crevasse in the middle of the Icefall, caused 80 Sherpas to turn back. There were no injuries. The Icefall Doctors will go back up to inspect the situation and either reinstall the ladders, or find a new route around the crevasse. So all teams remain at Base Camp. This is not unusual but everyone in getting a bit anxious to get into the Western Cwm. The attached photo taken by Garrett Madison show the area. You need to zoom in to see the actual ladder and continue reading

Apr 162015
Everest 2015: Blessings on the Mountain

Before climbing in the Himalaya with Sherpas, a Puja ceremony must be held. There can be multiple Pujas, help or blessing. For example we had one with Lama Geshi a few days ago in his home in Pangyboche. Yesterday, Wednesday April 15, we held our Puja at our Base Camp for our Everest and Lhotse climbs. It is a very special ceremony where “members” and Sherpas come together to ask the mountain Gods permission to climb, forgiveness for any damage to the mountain and safety for all the climbers. It was a drawn out ceremony with a Lama coming from continue reading

Apr 142015
Everest 2015: "Safer and Shorter" from Head of the Icefall Doctors

“Safer and shorter”, that is what the leader of the Icefall Doctors told me this morning on camera in an “exclusive interview” at Everest Base Camp. Looking at the Icefall, I am still in awe that is climbed each year. From my perspective it looks more broken and jumbled but I will have a better feeling once we start climbing it later this week This will be my fifth time to go through the multiple rotations to attempt Everest or this year, > Lhotse, in the Khumbu Icefall. It has been snowing heavily off and on all day and most continue reading

Apr 122015
Everest 2015: Updates and Impressions

We are now at Gorak Shep and will arrive at Everest Base Camp tomorrow, Monday April 13. While the route has been fixed through the Icefall to Camp 1, there have been no reports of teams starting their climbs. Most are either still trekking in or doing acclimatization exercises on Lobuche Peak, or to Pumori Camp 1 near Everest Base Camp. As I have previously mentioned the route through the Khumbu Icefall takes a more right hand variation near Nuptse to avoid the potential serac danger off Everest’s West Shoulder that killed 16 last year. The route is reported to continue reading