NEWSLETTERS - Everest 2014

The Daily Moraine - Everest 2014 #813 June 2014

EVEREST 2014 - REPORT PART 6

I have said enough about Everest, we still have not heard anything from the Ministry but we also know that some of these matters must go to Parliament to be discussed there before a final decision can be made, but it is at least reassuring that something is happening... Watch this space!!!

In the meanwhile I have been asked what of next year. I dare say all I can mention at this stage is that we as Himalayan Experience must show our solidarity and faith in our Sherpa team and push forward with our Manaslu, Ama Dablam, Everest and Lhotse Expeditions. Without our expedition members joining us, we cannot provide work and income for our loyal staff. We will continue to try and make their working conditions as good as we can, and we will continue to try and have changes made to the rules that will improve safety. Safety has always been our paramount issue, we all know that mountains are dangerous, so of course we try hard.

Having said that I am now pleased to say that all of the Sherpa staff who worked so hard on Makalu have at long last returned to Kathmandu. Even though the members flew out from BC, it took the Sherpa's considerable time to dismantle camp in the deep snow, and then the low land porters could not collect loads because of the snow. But eventually all the loads have been returned and at long last I can say that the Makalu Expedition was safe and successful, thanks to the guides, doctor, Sherpa's and base camp staff. This was our second time on Makalu, the first was actually operated by my sister company and agent in Nepal Mountain Experience where Jing Wang reached the summit. So really this year was the first Himalayan Experience trip which was just for past Himex members. However, by demand it appears that there is pressure for us to operate another trip there, but probably only once every two years. I will post details in the coming weeks.

Of course Jing Wang has created many headlines in the International Press with her controversial ascent of Everest. As most of you know Himalayan Experience has been organising Jing's 7 + 2 Project, which is now in its final stages as she has just climbed Mont Blanc. Jing started this project on 01 January this year and reached the South Pole on 15 Jan. In fact it has been a 9 + 2 Project which has taken Jing across the globe.

15 Jan South Pole 2,835m
19 Jan Vinson 5,140m
31 Jan Aconcagua 6,960m
08 Feb Kosciusko 2,228m
15 Feb Kilimanjaro 5,892m
26 Feb Carstensz 5,030m
13 Mar Elbrus 5,642m
08 Apr North Pole 1m
23 May Everest 8,848m
07 Jun Denali 6,168m
14 Jun Blanc 4,810m

This has been an incredible journey for Jing and all those around her who have had to make so many last minute changes, work around the weather and various politics. I have to say a big thank you to all those who were concerned and helped so much. My own big disappointment is that the one project that Himalayan Experience was going to be directly involved with turned out to be so political, that in fact we were not involved what so ever. And in fact this has turned out to be an embarrassing situation for me as this has come back to hurt my company and personal reputation.

 

However, I still admire Jing for finding a solution to the Everest problem this year, I fully understand her position having spent so much time, money and effort on this ambitious project, to be stopped from climbing by some rascals at BC is not appreciated. How she did this I am not sure and this is beyond my capabilities, however she managed. Her flight to C2 was the only option open to her, whether she will be credited with an ascent of Everest will be for everyone to decide themselves and I do not want to become part of this argument. All I can comment is that there are many similar situations:

  • If you fly by helicopter to Plateau Hut and then climb Mt Cook, is this a full ascent ?
  • If you take a lift to the Midi and then climb Mont Blanc, is this a full ascent ?
  • If you fly to BC from Talkeetna and then climb Denali, is this a full ascent ?
  • And so it goes on.

Of course this has not been the normal situation on Everest, to fly to Camp 2, but I am suspecting that in the future it just might become more normal ….but sorry I am not one to know what might happen in the future. I suspect that Liz Hawley probably has it correct, that Jing has an Everest ascent – with aviation assistance. Can't be more true than that.

In any case, this whole project has been a great show of desire, strength and determination, this cannot be taken away from Jing, but at considerable cost for which most cannot afford. I want to thank all concerned:

Those behind the scenes.

Debbie and Pete at Trail Finders who have tirelessly changed numerous flights at short notice as Jing flaps around the world. I can fully recommend then for anyone who is wanting just regular or adventure travel. www.trailfinders.com

For all the staff at Meteotest who have constantly provided us with reliable weather forecasts which have played such an important role in the various successes. www.meteotest.com

Mark Whetu who started out as cameraman but was unceremoniously dropped from the team. www.markwhetu.com

And those who dealt with operations directly.

South Pole and Vinson. www.antartic-logistics.com
Aconcagua. www.patagonicas.com
Kilimanjaro. www.earthtoursandtravel.com
Carstensz. www.hiro-kuraoka.com
Elbrus. www.slope.com
North Pole. www.icetrek.com
Denali. www.climbalaska.org
Blanc. www.chamex.com

Do not hesitate to contact me if you want direct introductions to these companies.

So almost the closure of another of Himalayan Experiences successful projects (even if it is surrounded by controversy) but the logistics seemed to go well for Jing to be on 9 summits and at 2 pole in 5 months.

Many people have been asking me how to make contributions to a fund that might support Sherpa families in the event of death in the future. After considerable research looking at many funds I believe the best and most reliable will be a new trust that has been set up by the Nepal Mountaineering Association. This will concentrate on looking after families and the education of children. It will also receive funds from some of the new trekking peaks that have recently become open for mountaineers. And I am also pleased to say that a small percentage of film sales from the Sherpa Film that we were involved with this last season will also go to tis fund.

Please find relevant information below.

Regards Russell Brice


All the Nepalese climbers died and missing in the avalanche are equal for Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA) and we don't want any climber to be ignored in the course of receiving financial assistance. It is also worthwhile to mention that Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) had already decided to give us the responsibility to look after the management of education of the children of the deceased mountaineers. That is why we are in the process of creating basket fund for the support of surviving members. Hence we have created an account named Mountaineering Disaster Relief and Educational Support Fund, briefly called MDRES Fund, in which donations received from all the around the world will be deposited. The fund will be used for the support of children of mountaineers died not only on 18 April, but also for the children of deceased mountaineers, who may lose lives in future incident.

A committee is formed with following members:
1. Chairman : Mr. Ang Tshering Sherpa - President NMA
Members:
2. Mr. Santabir Lama - 1st VP NMA
3. Mr. Deebas Bikram Shah - 2nd VP NMA
4. Mr.Thakur Raj Pande - GS NMA
5. Mr. Rajendra Shrestha - Secretary NMA
6. Mr. Tika Ram Gurung - Treasurer NMA
7. Chief of Mountaneering Section, Government of Nepal
8. Miss. Churim Sherpa - Central Executive Member NMA
9. Mr. Pertemba Sherpa - Reknowned Mountaineer and Advisor NMA
10. Dr. Nima Namgyal Sherpa - Convenor- Medical and Rescue Committee, NMA
11. Mr. Dawa Gyalgen Sherpa - Convenor - Welfare Committee, NMA
12. Mr. J.P. Lama - Member of NMA
13. Mr. Pasang Dawa Sherpa - Member of NMA
Associate Members:
14. President, Trekking Agents Association of Nepal
15. President, Expedition Operators Association of Nepal
16. President, Himalayan Rescue Association
17. Director, Nepal Tourism Board
18. President, Nepal National Mountain Guide Association
19. President, Nepal Mountaineering Instructor Association

The detail of the fund account number is mentioned below.
Bank name: Nabil Bank Ltd
Address: Maharajgung, Kathmandu, Nepal
Swift: NARBNPKA
Account name: NMA-MDRES FUND
A/c no: 1501017500227

Similarly, the ministry is also planning to handover NMA the management of few more peaks and from the income generated, certain amount of the fund will be used for MDRES FUND.

I hope you are clear and let me know if you need more information. I appreciate your kind iniciative at all time. With best regards,

Ang Tshering Sherpa
President
Nepal Mountaineering Association
P O Box 1435, Nagpokhari, Naxal, Kathmandu
Phone: 977-1-4434525 / 4435442
Fax: 977-1-4434578
W: www.nepalmountaineering.org
E: president@nepalmountaineering.org