Monday, April 15, 2013

Climber introductions and mountain conditions

April 15, 2013 - 
The last of the trekkers were forced to take a helicopter out to Kathmandu today due to high wind. This is the first time we've had a trek group stranded here. Climbers at the end of the season with the onset of the monsoon is common but I don't think we've had trekkers before, first for everything I guess. Most are on their way home.

The climbers were sleeping at 5545m last night This is an important step we like to use for visualization, a wicked tool we believe in to prepare the Everest climber mentally. On top Kala Pattar they can see the route and see yourself on it. Once you reach base camp you lose all views of Everest, you are so close and tight up in the glacier and that's all you see: the scary part - the gaping ice-fall - the constant crashing of the avalanches- the groaning of the glacier under your tent. It's good to get back and up high where you can have a good look and see what you're hearing to clearly understand what you need to do to stay safe and realize that the summit isn't really that far away and that good speed of ascent is critical in certain sections. 
Here they can gain some altitude, do an exercise in how everything works up there after you've tired and have been climbing all day, settling in for a night, how the stove works, how water boils at altitude, how food is working for you and more than anything, get inspired to begin this climb. 

It's great having a climber like Kevin Farebrother, a firefighter from Perth is on the team again. Kevin (aka- Wolverine) offers mentorship to this years team. He's one strong climber who has proven himself up here with us previously in 2011 with a speed ascent from the South Col to the summit, it wasn't a race and he wasn't even timing himself, that's just how fast he moves at altitude. He was on top so fast that it was still dark and alone and was able to sit up there and take it all in and watch the sunrise. If my house ever caught on fire this is the kind of guy I'd want busting me out with an axe. 

He's back again this year to attempt the summit without the use of oxygen and plan to climb Lhotse on his way directly afterwards. We have great faith in his ability to pull it off, if all the stars line up for him and of course good weather and health. 

 Photo adjacent: Kevin Farebrother on the summit of Everest in 2011.

Everyone had a good night out and now back at base camp in their personal tents.

THE PLAN: We had a skiff of snow today, nothing much but expecting a few more centimeters tomorrow backing off on Wednesday night according to weather reports.  I'm liking this report for the team heading up day after tomorrow up to Camp 1, it's certainly not a lot of snow to be concerned about in the ice-fall and in fact it will a blessing making it not so hot as it would be with sun beating down on us. 

MOUNTAIN CONDITIONS: Tashi Sherpa, our team sardar has been up and down the mountain several times to Camp 2. He reports that the ice-fall is so far in good condition, no extended double ladders and nothing significant looming overhead and so far no towering chunks have developed that can collapse, so that's all good news. However it can change as things start to warm up, that's all typical stuff we watch while climbing here.

The Lhotse Face, hmm.. it looks like we may have to consider the traverse away from the section prone to rock fall again this season. We really don't see the snow here that we were hoping for. There was a good dump just days before the climbing season kicked off here that sounded promising when we heard about it in Kathmandu, but it appears to be gone now. It's actually quite dry looking up there again. We could use some more for sure to glue things together better. 
 Over and out...Tim 

April 13, 2013: Trekkers delayed by high wind... Lukla airport, six of ten managed to fly by helicopter to Kathmandu today. Hopefully tomorrow is not a repeat and the other four get out without issue. Safety first!   

Climbers had a rest day today and were watching a moving this evening when Tim checked in.

Over and out... Becky

April 12, 2013: Time for an introduction of one our climbers this year, meet Sean and learn of his excellent cause to climb:

Sean Mooney, an Associate in the commodities division at Goldman Sachs in London, England, will attempt to summit Mount Everest this spring to raise awareness and funds for Right To Play.

Sean grew up in Winnipeg, Canada and spent most of his childhood on the soccer field. He was first introduced to Right To Play as a teenager when his parents made a donation to the organization in his name for his birthday.

“I was impressed by the philosophy of this charity which uses sports to teach, empower and enrich the lives of children in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the world," he says. "Given the integral role sports played in my personal development, I recognized the transformative potential of Right To Play’s goal.”

Sean played soccer as an undergraduate at Cornell University before starting his career in finance. Since graduating, he has participated in various charity endurance races and sporting events. Highlights include the Enduro Challenge ultra distance triathlon from London to Paris, the Fight For Independence boxing event, and becoming the inaugural ‘Battle of the Bankers’ Chessboxing Champion (watch highlights on BBC here).

Lets battle out together a challenge to help Sean with his donations and awareness for Right To Play. For more information and donate.  

We wish Sean good luck on his climb and may he reach the summit and the donation goals. Great feelings about both. 
We got on the ladders today in the ice-fall and put our skills to work and for some like Sean they linked to 3G and got on Twitter. Tomorrow we rest and then we will be heading out for an acclimatization night out.  

Have a good weekend, Tim and Becky

No comments:

Post a Comment