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The sun was so bright

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May 132008
The sun was so bright

The sun was so bright in my tent that I put my sunglasses on before getting out of my sleeping bag. The rumors of a foot of snow proved false this morning. I awoke to the sound of Lama Thame Sherpa chanting his morning prayers. I was back in base camp. We completed a major milestone in climbing Everest – spending a night at camp 3 on the Lhotse Face. It was everything I remembered and more. As I previously posted, look the climb to C3 was slow and purposeful. I arrived feeling better than my four prior climbs in continue reading

Lhotse Face

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May 112008
Lhotse Face

We are in our tents at 23, s 350′ on the Lhotse Face listening to the snow gently falling. We left camp 2 about 6 AM for our important night at Camp 3. What I found amazing from my last climb here were the crowds. I guess there were over 150 climbers today and as a result it was slow going since we all shared the same fixed rope.. But the good news was that I arrived at C3 feeling the ever and in my fastest time ever. It was hot early then some clouds moved in cooling things off continue reading

The Killer Cwm

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May 092008
The Killer Cwm

Today we are comfortably resting at Camp 2. Everyone is in good health and spirits after a breakfast of toast and omlets. The Cwm lived up to it’s reputation yesterday but first a little on the Icefall. We left BC a little before 6 AM and made good time. in spite of our 9 day layoff we felt strong and made steady progress. Then just below the top, there is one cravesse spanned by four ladders lashed together. The problem is that is sways left to right and up and down so most people take extra time. There were 40 continue reading

Everest 2008 has had more

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May 072008
Everest 2008 has had more

Everest 2008 has had more surprises than a Dick Cheney bird hunt. We have had several successful round trips through the Icefall plus several nights at Camp 1 and 2. Now are ready for the key climb to Camp 3 for a night. Then the summit! I am finding the climbing on Everest quite different than on my previous trips. It is difficult to determine how many climbers are at Base Camp. My estimate is that there are more Sherpas and staff than climbers. I counted about 300 individual sleeping tents and would estimate there are 500 climbers including Sherpas. continue reading

Apr 122008
The Khumbu Icefall: Gatekeeper for Everest

The Khumbu Icefall – 2, 000 feet of moving ice – serves as the gateway to almost all routes on Everest’s south side. It is incredible to think that the early Swiss and British expeditions made this ascent in leather boots with nails for crampons and trees for ladders. Today we made our entry into the ice fall. The weather has been mixed the last few days with clear mornings, cloudy afternoons and some snow squalls. It has been very noisy at Base Camp with snow and rock avalanches on all sides. I don’t remember this much activity before. It continue reading

Pujas: A Mystery

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Apr 102008
Pujas:  A Mystery

The Lama said Thursday the 10th between 7:00 and 10:00 AM is for the Puja. OK – who would argue with that? After a much better night, I dressed in my down pants and jacket – it was 14 degrees inside my tent at 6:45 AM. The Lama was prompt as everyone skulked over to the rock alter. Thin pads did little to mask the rocks and cold of the morning as we took our place in rows behind the Lama and two Sherpas. Our climbing tools leaned against the alter. The Lama began his slow chant. His partners provided continue reading

Apr 102008
Welcome To Base Camp

OK, try left side is . No, on my back. Right side – yes, that is it. Ugg, the crocodile roll begins. The last night in a tea house was supposed to be comfortable – a quasi mattress, walls, a roof. But three hours of sleep was the I could muster. Dawn came none too early. The walk to BC would only take two hours. I settled into a comfortable pace – music keeping me company – and mastered the technique of avoiding rocks and enjoying the view. Ding, ding, ding. The yak bells rang. The summit of Everest played continue reading

Apr 082008

Alan describes the views of Everest from the summit of Kala Patar and his feelings about the upcoming climb. To hear this Everest audio dispatch, just click on the link. Thanks for listening and following Alan on The Road Back to Mt. Everest: Memories are Everything. This is about more than just climbing mountains…. Everest 2008 – The view from Kala Patar Climb On! Alan

A Father's Memory

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Apr 062008
A Father's Memory

The email read in part “can you see if his memorial is still there?” The trek to Base Camp takes you through 30 or more stone memorials built to honor climbers who have died on Everest. This email was from the 80 year-old Father of such a climber. The clouds moved out overnight and we were greeted with stunning views of Ama Dablam, Lhotse and more. The trek to the next village was only a few hours but it was the Father’s request that was on my mind. As I made the hill crest, a row of monuments came into continue reading