Thursday, April 29, 2010

Just back from Camp 2!


We had good rotation up high (to 22,500 ft.) and are now back in Base Camp enjoying the sun, thick air (at 18,000 ft.!) and socializing with friends in the second trekking team that has just arrived. There are 23 trekkers in the Everybody to Everest trekking team.They proved to be a super fun bunch and we had quite a night packed into our Base Camp dome tent here. All together, we had 58 people in camp tonight, which was quite a spectacle!

The Everybody to Everest team is raising money for the CAF, or Challenged Athletes Foundation, which helps to support disabled athletes. It is a great cause and we invite you to please help if you can. Their web site, for more information and to make donations is:

We are having a Puja/Blessing ceremony here at Base Camp for the whole team before the trekkers start on their hike out. We are a having a highly animated evening with over 30 enjoying dinner and music in the dome right now.

Wahoo! Thanks to everyone who made this possible!

So, for the climbing team, we are down here at EBC for a few days relaxing and enjoying all the comforts and amenities. We will then head back up for our second rotation up high. After that we will be ready to go for the top. It is getting closer....

Scott Woolums reporting from Everest Base Camp!

Back in Base Camp

Bill called and left a message that the team is all back in Base Camp. They descended in windy conditions from Camp 2, but made their way back through the icefall and back to Base Camp today. A large group trekked in to BC in support of Paul and Denise Fejtek's charity, the Challenged Athlete Foundation. Everyone participated in a puja ceremony today before the trekkers head back down valley.

Enjoy the podcast!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Up to Camp 2!

The whole team is now here in Camp 2 after a windy trip up through the Western Cwm.

It was a beautiful day, but with a cold wind as we moved up to 21,500 ft. Our Camp 2 is located just below the SW Face of Everest, and is just about the highest camp in this area. Everyone rallied today and are all doing well. Now we will wait for a few days to help our bodies acclimatize. We are planning to be back at BC on the 28th.

So far the weather has been outstanding, with more good weather on the horizon. High winds are forecast for a few days, followed by some clouds, but overall everything looks good. I've attached some photos through the icefall and just below Camp 1.

Scott Woolums reporting from Camp 2 on Mt. Everest.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

At Camp 2

Bill called today from Camp 2 at 21,000 feet. They had a beautiful day today, with clear skies and brilliant views!

Everyone is doing great, and they will head back to Base Camp in the next day or so. I received this report second-hand, so I'm afraid I don't have any more detail.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

At Camp 1

Scott called in this morning to report that they are nestled in at Camp 1. Everyone is doing great and they had a good day traveling up through the Khumbu Icefall.

The team will spend three more nights at Camp 1 and might make a run up to Camp 2 before descending back to Base Camp. This technique is called "climbing high and sleeping low" and enables our climbers to more gradually ease into the rarefied air of the upper mountain.

Listen to the podcast of Scott's call below!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Into the Icefall!

We're just back today from our first foray into the Khumbu Icefall. It is always an interesting experience confronting ladders across large crevasses and steep ice sections. The team did super well today moving up to the famous "popcorn" section of the icefall that is full of huge, multi-ton blocks of ice that can resemble enormous popcorn chunks! Our goal today was to gain some more acclimatization and to experience what it feels like to move quickly through the icefall.

Everything went well, so we are ready to move up to Camp 1 early tomorrow morning, and then up to Camp 2 a couple of nights later. Everyone is feeling good, moving well and ready to go! Today the Sherpas moved 14 loads up and were back in Base Camp around 10 a.m., which was amazing to observe. So far, we are almost exactly on our planned schedule, which is really great.

We will have a little less ability for communications while in Camp 1 and should have better access to phone and emails when we are in Camp 2. Don't fret if you don't see a report for a couple of days, but we'll definitely post when we move into Camp 2. We will equip Camp 2 to be a fairly comfortable place, with many amenities, and it functions as out Advanced Base Camp. We'll spend a lot of time up there, and are eager to visit it for our first time this year!

The route is still not fixed above Camp 2 so our foray up higher will position us to be right on schedule for when that happens. After visiting Camp 2, we'll descend back to Base Camp for showers, sunshine and great food by one of the best cooks in the Khumbu- Serki Sherpa!

Yesterday we shared a very nice "Puja," or blessing ceremony, with our Sherpa Team. This was a very powerful and necessary event that is a time honored traditions for Sherpas and climbers to partake in before venturing onto Sagarmatha, the Sherpa name for Mt. Everest. It is also quite a fun time that takes about half a day. Several Lamas blessed the Sherpas, us and our equipment in preparation for the actual start our climb.

Scott Woolums reporting from Everest Base Camp

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Greetings from Everest Base Camp!

We've settled into base camp for the past few days and are now moving into climbing gear. Everest base camp sits on a glacier, which would give civil engineers gray hair as it's constantly moving - last night we heard loud roars as the ice shifted. Still, the real action is right above us with the Khumbu ice fall, which we will have to climb through to reach Camp 1.

The ice fall is a gnarly sea of moving glacier ice with huge seracs, ice walls and crevasses, all being forced through a steep and narrow gorge. It moves about a meter a day and in early summer it comes alive and becomes one of the trickiest parts of the climb with significant avalanche/crevasse danger. We've been training hard these past few days - climbing some ice walls near base camp. The key is to get through the ice fall as quickly as possible, so rope, rappel and crampon management is taking over our dreams these days!

Part of the team went for a training hike up towards Pumori and got some outstanding photos of Everest from just across the glacier. Fantastic day! Interesting photography exhibit in Base Camp. Dave Breshears has setup a very nice exhibit showing the glaciers around Everest comparing photos from 1921 and present. Interesting visual of just how much the glaciers have
receded in the last 80 years!

That's all for now folks.

Vivian reporting (our guest reporter for tonight) from Everest Base Camp!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

-15 another Freezing night at Base Camp!!

We woke up to another glorious morning here at Base Camp, with the team having turned in around 8.30pm the previous night....the norm! Supper was amazing which finished with an iced butter cake for desert, we all struggled to eat it of course!! and wondered how on earth did they produce it in the first place? Bill, Ania, Linda and Scott played cards (again), which has been an ongoing team building exercise the entire trip Jona and Vivian who usually play stood down this time!

Our esteemed leader gave us a lie in and suggested we stay in our sleeping bags till the sun came up at around 7.30am so the tents could warm up before getting dressed - who were we to argue with that!

The 'A' Team - the climbers of our group did some practicing on the glacier with ladders, boots and crampons today, as did the Sherpa's who will be going up with them, it has been a great day watching all the activity and preparation for the days to come....they have to do something as you have no idea how much these guys eat, eat and eat at every opportunity!!

After lunch The 'B' Team went out with Scott onto the glacier for a walk. OMG it was amazing, and to cap it all we were lucky enough to see, photograph and video a huge avalanche right in front of us - the noise was incredible. After a short photo shoot we carried on and seemed to be surrounded by rock falls everywhere.

Having arrived back at camp after our walk it has been snowing ever since. We are not wearing much you understand....just 5 layers on top and 2/3 on the bottom, this too has become the norm and we somewhat resemble the Michelin man!!!

As I sit and close out on today's update, Scott our Expedition Leader has now given us some entertainment by putting on his summit down suit - he resembles Little Red Riding Hood, but don't tell him I said that!!!

Over and out from Everest Base Camp before fingers get frost bite...and for those who love the stars you have to see them here to believe it, and some of us get to see them more than others!!

Lots of love,
Linda reporting from Everest Base Camp

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Base Camp!

Hello from Base Camp!

Everyone is comfortably tucked in here now. We had a very fun trek up yesterday, and part of the team came in this morning. We are having perfect weather, with just a few afternoon clouds. It's been busy setting up our whole solar power/lighting/communications system, but we are now able to send our first report out from Base Camp!

We'll be regularly updating our dispatches from now on, so thanks for your patience. The trekking team is here also tonight- Linda, Julia, Izabella, Robin and Jona. They will remain here a couple more nights before heading back down to the lowlands (and warmer temps!). Jona plans to stay a little while longer to climb Lobouche on her way out.

The climbing team is jazzed to be here and all are feeling super good. We had a meeting today with our Sherpa team, who will be a major part of our expedition. This is the same Sherpa team that have been with me on many expeditions now. We could not ask for a better team!

Hope all is good at home for everyone.

Scott Woolums reporting from Everest Base Camp!

Friday, April 16, 2010

In Gorak Shep

We're moving right along on our trek to Everest base camp. We stayed a night in the village of Lobuche (last night) and part of the team is in Gorak Shep tonight, while the rest moved on up to base camp. Ania, Vivian, Izabella, Robin, Linda, Julia, and myself (Bill) are spending one more night in a comfortable lodge in Gorak Shep, and we'll hike the last few hours to base camp tomorrow. We are all excited to get settled in to our home for the rest of the expedition. Our Sherpa team has been working hard getting base camp stocked and ready and we are actually going to reach base camp a day ahead of schedule.

We've had a beautiful trek up so here, with great weather and an entertaining crew. Everybody is doing great, we've battled the typical stomach problems travelling in Nepal, but we're all healthy and enjoying ourselves.
The rocky Khumbu Glacier, just below Gorak Shep with base camp barely visible in the distance.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Leaving Dingboche

This is Drew in the Mountain Trip office checking in for the Everest team. I had the pleasure of excusing myself from a dinner in Tacoma, WA with fellow Mountain Trip guide, Chris Kerrick, to answer a satellite phone call from Bill. There is nothing cooler than saying "sorry I have to take this, I think it might be the Mountain Trip team on Everest." It was great to hear Bill's voice and he wanted me to let everyone know the trip is going well.

The team just finished up three acclimatization nights in Dingboche. It is ten in the morning in Nepal at this very moment, so the team is on the move towards their next stop, Lobuje. They will spend two nights at this location before heading towards the Gorak Shep and then on to Everest Base Camp.

I hear the view of Nuptse from their camp this evening is something to remember? This is all I have for now as the satellite phone cut off my conversation with Bill prematurely and it isn't every night I get to enjoy a meal with Chris. I am sending the Everest Team my best as I imagine anyone reading this is doing the same.

Drew Ludwig

PS If anyone is curious what the itinerary for an Everest Trip looks like, check out this link and scroll ahead to page 23 of our Everest information booklet. Enjoy.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

On Our Way!

We're in Namche Bazaar now. The whole team is now here after a great hike today up to Khumjung Village just above Namche. To re-cap, we flew in on schedule, sort of. On time over here means we only had a 6 hour wait in the airport on the 8th trying to fly in. That's Nepal, hurry up and wait!

We actually have two teams trekking in together right now. The climbing team consists of Cindy Abbott, Vivian Rigney, Ania Lichota, Paul and Denise Fejtek, Bill Allen and myself, Scott Woolums.

Additionally, we have the trekking team, comprised of Linda Unwin, Julia Bell, Izabela Spero, Jona Price and Robin McGregor.

All together we make up a completely fun group! We are definitely having a blast on the first couple days of our trek into Everest Base Camp. All our equipment and supplies are now in Base Camp with our Sherpa team. We are enjoying this afternoon in the Everest Bakery, taking advantage of their internet, lattes and enjoying good friends! We will now be posting regular reports along the way.

Scott Woolums reporting from Namche, Nepal.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Off to Lukla!

Tomorrow morning we are scheduled to fly into Lukla. Everyone is excited to
get out on the trek at this point after months of preparation and training.
We enjoyed a huge dinner out at the Roadhouse, a local favorite. Today we were
issued with our Everest expedition permit and an Liaison Officer. It is always
interesting to meet the Minister of Tourism for Nepal! So off we go!

reporting from Kathmandu!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Everyone is in Kathmandu!

The whole team is here in Kathmandu at the famous Yak and Yeti Hotel. The last of the team arrived this afternoon and we are all a bit exhausted from traveling half way around the world. The time change from my home in Colorado is 12 hrs and 15 min.(Nepal has it's own time zone 15 minutes off of India, just to be difficult). It has been a long journey just to get to this point for everyone. Last minute packing and getting life together to be gone for 2 months takes a lot of energy and I think we all started this journey a bit tired. Just arriving in Kathmandu with all of the equipment is an accomplishment.

Bags were sorted this evening, and most of the climbing gear was sent on to base camp. We are left with the relatively small bags of trekking gear that we will need for the next 10 days or so on the way to base camp.

Kathmandu is an interesting, and unfortunately pretty dirty town. The traffic is crazy and the streets are narrow, so just walking through town is an adventure. We'll spend one more day here before catching our flights up to Lukla and beginning the trek. Most of our crew is going to go on a tour of the city tomorrow, visiting some of the famous temples around town. Although on a clear day you can see the Himalaya's from Kathmandu, the haze and pollution typically prevent these views this time of year. I was able to see the mountains, and Everest towering above them all on the flight in so we know they are up there waiting for us.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Enjoying Kathmandu...

Namaste from Kathmandu!

Scott here, starting our live Everest reports. We will be posting reports as often as possible so please check back for the most up-to-date news following our team's progress. Life is dusty, exotic and busy right now. It takes some focus to adjust to an 11 hour time change, sort lots of gear and bags, double check all of our electronics, and pack innumerable barrels for the trek in to Base Camp. It never seems to stop over here!

There are lots of friends to catch up with and we are busy going over hundreds of details before we all head into Everest. It's all fun but quite busy.

Thanks for following the Mountain Trip Everest 2010 Expedition Reports!

Scott reporting from Kathmandu, Nepal

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The 2010 Mountain Trip Everest Expedition

Welcome to the dispatch page for the Mountain Trip 2010 Everest Expedition!

We are excited to be heading to Nepal soon for the climbing season. We will be posting dispatches from Nepal during the trip. While we have several systems for satellite email, and telephones please remember that these systems can be fickle, and we may not be able to reliably post updates every day. Don't worry if we miss a day.

This season we will have an Everest climbing team, as well as a trekking group that will join us for the beautiful trek through the Khumbu region to Everest base camp.

The climbing team:
1. Vivian Rigney
2. Ania Lichota
3. Cindy Abbott
4. Denise Fejtek
5. Paul Fejtek
Scott Woolums
Bill Allen

The trekking group:
1. Linda Unwin
2. Julia Bell
3. Robin McGregor
4. Izabela Spero
5. Jona Marie Price