NEWSLETTERS - 2014 Expeditions

Everest, Lhotse and Makalu31 March 2014

Off to one of the most beautiful stage settings in the world

This year marks the 20th anniversary for Russell Brice running commercial expeditions to Mount Everest and there will certainly be a lot going on this season. Himalayan Experience has gathered more than 30 people from all over the world and all walks of life to come and climb some of the tallest mountains in the world. This season, Russell will be running trips to Mount Everest, Lhotse (4th highest in the world) as well as Makalu (5th highest) and will look after trekkers to Everest Base Camp as well as two film teams.

Mount Everest
Mount Everest

The majority of this year's members are repeat clients and have already climbed a mountain with Himalayan Experience; and some of them were on Russell's 2012 expedition, when he decided that the conditions on the mountain were too dangerous to climb. "I am very happy to be back and the best thing is that my good friend, Annie Doyle, who was also here in 2012, will be with me again," said Amanda Jones from Australia.


Seventeen members (see name list below), four guides and 17 Sherpas will be making their way up Mount Everest while three members, one guide and four Sherpas will be climbing the neighbouring peak, Lhotse. Two guides and seven Sherpas will be leading seven long-time members of Himalayan Experience up Makalu, which lies East of Everest.


Twenty-one times Everest summiteer Phurba Tashi will be the Sirdar (head Sherpa) on Everest and Lhotse while Loppsang, who has worked with Russell since the very beginning, will be the Sirdar on Makalu.

Film Projects

Like every season Russell, who will manage Everest Base Camp and take care of all the logistics, will have his hands full making sure that everything runs smoothly; however, this year he will have an extra challenge given that he has two film crews on his team.

One of the films is an Australian production and will be a feature film about the Sherpas and their families. The director, Jen Peedom, worked with Himalayan Experience several years ago, and together with Russell has been looking for ways to realise this project for quite a while. "I am very happy that this is finally happening as it has been something close to my heart for a long time," said Russell during the briefing on Saturday evening while Jen expressed her appreciation for the fact that she was doing this particular film with Himalayan Experience. "I am very excited to work on this with Russell as I know how much he cares for the Sherpas - they are his extended family," she commented. Ken Sauls and Renan Ozturk are the cameramen for this project.

Tim Medvetz, who has been to the summit of Everest with Himalayan Experience seven years ago and runs a trust fund to help wounded US soldiers to return to their work place, has instigated the second film project. Cameraman Kazuya Hiraide, who was on Ama Dablam with Himalayan Experience last autumn, will be filming leg amputee Thomas Linville on his way to the summit of Mount Everest.

Off to the Khumbu

Over the last two days, most Everest and Lhotse members have been trickling into the Hyatt Hotel, where Russell and the guides have been checking their gear and make sure that everyone is well prepared for their expedition, which will take them away from home and civilisation for the best part of two months. "The last few days before our departure are usually very busy for all of us as we have to make sure that everyone has the right gear and knows what they will expect over the next 7 to 8 weeks," Russell said.

On Monday, 31st March, New Zealand pilot Jason Laing helicoptered the Everest and Lhotse teams to Lukla from where they will embark on their journey towards the highest mountains in the world. Russell and the Makalu team will fly on 3rd April and follow the others up the valley. In case you are wondering why the Makalu team is following the same trek, it is one of Russell's special acclimatisation tactics.

"As climbing Lobuje East peak has proved very successful for my Everest members, I have decided to make the most of my logistics and have the Makalu team also acclimatise on this 6,119m-peak," Russell explained. After the Makalu team will have trekked to Everest Base Camp and stayed there for a few days, they will – just as the Everest and Lhotse members – go back down the valley, climb Lobuje East and stay on the summit for a couple of nights for acclimatisation. Afterwards Jason will pick them up in Pheriche and drop them off directly at Makalu base camp.

I will be following both teams up the valley and will update you on their progress. In the meantime, I hope you will enjoy reading our newsletters and watching the progress of our teams.

Billi Bierling, Kathmandu


BC Staff:
Russell BRICE, New Zealand, Base Camp manager
Anne BRANTS, Dutch, Doctor

Richie HUNTER, New Zealand
Michael MADDEN, New Zealand
Shinji TAMURA, Japan
Mark WOODWARD, New Zealand


Jeffrey BROWN, USA
Annie DOYLE, New Zealand
Simen HAARE, Norway
Kazuya HIRAIDE, Japan
Yanping JIANG, China
Amanda JONES, Australia
Peter KING, New Zealand
Jeffery SMITH, UK
Runar VATNE, Norway
Jing WANG, China
Mark WHETU, New Zealand
Susumu MOTOIKI, Japan

Climbing Sherpas:

Phurba Tashi
Phur Temba
Ang Pasang
Nima Sona
Nawang Tenjing
Son Dorjee
Sonam Tashi
Ang Karma
Urken Lundup
Pasang Nima
Tenjing Sona
Rita Dorjee
Nima Nuru

BC Sherpa Staff:

Ang Tshering
Kul Bahadur
Lachhu Bahadur Basnet
Phuru Gelgen
Chhunti Geaju


Dave McKinley, New Zealand

Glenn JOHNSON, Australia
Shohichi SAITO, Japan

Climbing Sherpas:

Lhakpa Nuru
Galzen Dorjee
Fura Chheten
Phura Namgyal


BC Staff:
Joseph Schneider, USA

Suzanne HUESSER, Switzerland


Sergey BARANOV, Russia
Rene BERGSMA, Holland
Billi BIERLING, Germany
Julien CASAGRANDE, France
Naoki ISHIKAWA, Japan
Heidi SAND, Germany

Climbing Sherpas:

Loppsang Temba
Tashi Chhiring
Lakpa Nuru
Pasang Kami
Pasang Tshering

BC Sherpa Staff:
Gyan Bahadur Lama
Phurba Gharti Bhote