We are all excited and preparing for next year's expedition to Mt Everest!
Join us.... on one of the true challenges on our planet!
Bill Allen and Scott Woolums
We all wanted to say thank you again to our Sherpa team, one of the hardest working teams on the hill! Without them, this really would not be nearly as successful. These guys are some of the most stellar people on this planet! You simply could not ask for a better team for climbing Mt Everest with. I can say over many expeditions climbing with this team, I would not up high without everyone of our Sherpas!
From all of us at Mt. Trip, Thank You!
A quick update from Kathmandu. It has been a very busy couple days as we flew out from Base Camp in helicopters down to Lukla. We spent a night there and from and then connected onto Kathmandu. It feels really good to be down low and to begin celebrating one of our best trips ever!
We are waiting for our bags to show up before catching our flights home. There is certainly a lot to do in order to wrap everything up. Mostly, we are just enjoying being with the team and taking advantage of going out for meals in good restaurants. Kathmandu definitely has a festive atmosphere right now as there are a lot of teams in town at this time, with many more still hiking out from Base Camp.
The helicopter option was a great team decision, as it saved us some precious time and helped enable us to enjoy this time in Kathmandu! We are staying at the Yak and Yeti, which is a nice place to decompress (unacclimitize!) while meeting friends and taking care of last minute business in Kathmandu.
Scott Woolums reporting from Kathmandu!
Scott Woolums - reporting from Everest Base Camp
We will post lots more photos and stories on our way downhill! Yahoo!
Scott Woolums reporting from Everest Base Camp.
Well, it's been an exciting day. We started up to the Lhotse Face in beautiful clear weather, but it then became quite windy this afternoon and tonight. We are planning to leave for Camp 3 tomorrow morning, so hopefully we'll see less winds tomorrow for our trip up the Lhotse Face.
The weather forecasts have not offered a clear window this year. Now we are trying to thread the needle (with several hundred other climbers) between the Jet Stream, which is now very near Everest and an approaching Cyclone in the Bay of Bengal that looks to be heading our way soon. We are now looking at May 22nd as our summit day.
It's looks like it's going to be a windy climb up to the South Col over the next couple days. We are actually in a very good position to wait a day in C3 or C4 if conditions are unreasonable. We have lots of oxygen for any delays up high and we definitely have one of the strongest Sherpa Teams on the hill! We are all looking forward starting our summit push! Yahoo!
Scott Woolums reporting from Camp 2, Mt. Everest.
Photos from below the Lhotse Face this morning.
Scott Woolums reporting from Camp 2, 21,500ft., Everest.
We have been playing a game of cat and mouse with the weather over the last few days. The forecast high winds yesterday and today really did not happen. Yesterday saw a number of teams reach the summit in what looked like a short window in between a wandering jet stream. Today was quite a bit better than forecast. Still predictions show more wind on the way for the next several days. We are carefully watching all information available. We are still confident that the decrease in winds forecast over the 22, 23, 24 will hold a good summit day for us. But we also have our Quiji board, tarot cards and our lucky dice!
We are not being elusive with exactly when we are going, it's just as the date gets closer, the forecasts become much more accurate. To say we are going on the 24th would be reckless as things are changing rapidly by the day. One factor that will play a big role over the next week is a large tropical depression that's formed in the Bay of Bengal and basically is heading our way. We may see precip and clouds from this as early as the 21st. This is the same type of storm that shut the mountain down last year with a lot of snow! It is way to early to predict what will happen with this, but we are watching closely.
The team is doing well, everyone made good time up to C2 today. Our plan is to rest here tomorrow as it's a big jump up from Base Camp. We will carefully evaluate the weather tomorrow and try to see a clearer picture of what will happen over the next week.
Life here at Camp 2 is good. We have 2 Sherpa cook staff, a very nice Mountain Hardware Stronghold tent for dining, solar power, email, internet, and all of us have our own tents. It is about as comfortable as possible considering the temps will be around -10c tonight and we are sitting at over 21,500 ft!
Sunday was Ania's birthday!
We had another beautiful day here at base camp. We went for a good hike after breakfast and finished the day with a great dinner and birthday cake. Our Sherpa cook team once again amazed us with a beautiful cake complete with frosting and "Happy Birthday Ania" written in Strawberry Jelly. We also had a guest over from the Colombian team, the rest of her team was at the S. Col last night and heading for the summit early this morning. She was monitoring her team on our big base camp radio and sharing some Colombian music with us (we're all wearing out our music
libraries at this point). Ania led everyone in a dance around camp to some Latin Dance music including a lap thru the kitchen tent where all the Sherpas were finishing their dinner. This made for lots of laughs and smiles! It was another entertaining night.
This morning we woke to news that several climbers were approaching the summit, including 2 members of the Colombian team! It was a beautiful calm morning up high, but the winds are picking up as the day wears on. We are all wishing the best of luck to everyone high on the mountain today, and hope they get back to high camp safely this afternoon. It's exciting to hear of the first summits in several weeks. As forecasted, this window of lower winds was quite short, but a few small teams are trying to take advantage of it. The winds are expected to continue to pick up today and continue for a few more days after this.
We are excited to be packing up and organizing today in order to head up to Camp 2 early tomorrow morning! This is the beginning of our 5-6 day push towards the summit. We are looking at a couple of possible decent summit days coming up, and so we are going to start up the mountain so that we will be in position to take advantage of the hopefully diminishing winds. It is still a bit of a guessing game, but we've been pouring over our forecasts and it looks like we'll get a shot towards the end of the week. We've all put a lot of time and energy into getting to the point where we are acclimated, healthy, and fit enough to be heading off for a summit bid.
So it looks as if all the hard work, training and acclimating will all come together over the next few days. We're looking forward to being up high and in position for the summit... of Mt. Everest, only a few short days away!
Scott and Bill reporting from Everest Base Camp!
7am- Bill gets up with the sun for a cup of coffee and a bit of quiet time before everyone is awake.
8am- Breakfast (prefaced with hot towels for faces and hands). Today we ate apple pancakes with scrambled eggs and, as always, fresh ground coffee!
9am- Morning emails. We all are sharing one computer for emails, so we pass around the laptop in the dining tent and all check and answer emails throughout the day. Then, usually morning and night, we hook up to our satellite modem and do a "send and receive." This can create a time lag between when we respond to emails by up to a day. I think every team member has their own individual blog in addition to the Mountain Trip blog, so there's no shortage of stories flowing out of here every day.
9.30am- Hot sunshine, shorts- time for showers and laundry! We have a very nice shower tent with a battery operated pump that works very well. Ask someone in the kitchen for a 5 gallon bucket of hot water, and a base camp shower is a little bit of heaven.
10 am to 1 pm- Time to visit, go for a hike, or catch up with personal tasks. Yesterday (Friday the 14th), we went for a hike up to Camp 1 on Pumori, a mountain that looms above base camp to the west of us (the Khumbu Icefall is to the east side of our camp). It is a great hike up to over 19,000 ft, which doesn't really feel all that high to us anymore. It's a great way to get some exercise, remind our bodies that there will be higher altitudes in our future, and the views of Everest from up there is hard to beat.
1pm- Lunch time, usually announced with a big stick on an empty Oxygen Bottle! Every meal here is all you can eat! Today's lunch was veggie spring rolls and potato salad.
Mid afternoon- If it's cloudy (or not) we'll gather in the dining tent for a movie. We probably have over 100 movies to choose from, and the selection process amongst the group is half the fun. If you pick a bad movie, you'll hear about it for days. We watched Pink Panther and Pink Panther 2 in the last couple of days, to many groans and eye rolls, but it's entertainment.
7.30pm- Dinner. Last night we had Momo's filled with either buffalo or vegetables followed by the best chocolate cake ever! Serki, our cook, has a small oven in the kitchen and he makes fresh rolls, cakes, cookies- something outstanding every day!
Apres Dinner- Another movie perhaps?? Or cards, but we seem to be stuck with the 2 games we know how to play, Hearts or Rummy. If anyone knows the rules to another great card game email them to us!!
Food, Emails, and Weather Forecasts...
These are the things that dominate our day's now.
Everyone wants to know when we are "going to the summit". There is no answer to that until more or less 5 days before as that's about how far out we can project for a forecast we like and then make a commitment to move to Camp 2. Once, we get to Camp 2, the whole schedule can change when we are there, as we reassess the most current forecasts and make the next commitment to move to Camp 3. We download new forecasts daily, which provides us plenty to think and talk about. With all the weather information we are looking at, there seems to be favorable weather starting perhaps as early as the 22nd and probably lasting through the 27th.
We are watching that window closely to see how it all comes together. It's the talk around camp these days, and even though we are paying for the weather forecasting services of experts, but it can all seem like guesswork at times, and it seems to be forever changing. At the end of the day, we try to get the best information we can, and we are carefully watching what's going on in the mountains around us.
Tonight we are actually planning on having some guests over for dinner! The two doctors from the Base Camp Clinic are coming over this evening. Dr. Peter Hackett is a friend from Telluride, it will be good to have some new faces around the dinner table.
That's a bit of what Base Camp life is like. There are plenty of distractions to keep us entertained, but we are all ready to climb the mountain!!
So this is one of the tougher parts of the trip, waiting and watching as the season gets closer to the end. There is a lot of anxiety tied to watching and waiting. It's a fine needle to thread between the start of the Monsoon and the end of the high winds of May. We are looking for the big fluffy pre-monsoon cumulus clouds to start floating around Everest as the jet stream pulls back. Then off we go! Stay tuned!
Scott Reporting from Everest Base Camp!