NEWSLETTERS - Everest 2016

Everest Expedition #115 April 2016

Hi All

Despite my best intentions to be more active with newsletters, I continue to fail, as I get to busy with my actual expedition logistics. A poor excuse, but it seems I am better at logistics than writing. But our expedition is well under way and is progressing smoothly.

Everest
Everest

Everest climbers

Richard HUNTER New Zealand Guide
Tracee METCALFE American Doctor
Andreas FRIEDRICH German  
Jacob OTTINK Dutch  
Gregory PAUL American  
Hardeep REHSI Kenyan  
Takayasu SEMBA Japan  

Lhotse climbers:

Richard HUNTER New Zealand Guide
Takayasu SEMBA Japan  

Nuptse climbers: (Those staying at BC)

Russell BRICE New Zealand
John GRIBER American
Joseph FRENCH United Kingdom

Sherpa staff:

Phurba Tashi
Gyalzen Dorji
Ang Karma
Lakpa Nuru
Ngawang Tenjing
Ngima Sona
Son Dorjee
Sonam Tashi
Phura Namgya

Base camp staff:

Gyan Bahadur
Lakpa Wongjuk
Phurba Gharti
Lachhu Bahadur Basnet
Kul Bahadur Magar

Kala Pattar
Kala Pattar

Everyone arrived into Kathmandu on time on 29 Mar with all their equipment so that is always a good start to any expedition. We were lucky with the weather to fly by helicopter on schedule to Lukla on 31 Mar. The normal 45 minute flights were much longer due to the amount of smoke and haze that is currently in Nepal because of so many forest fires. However it was still a wet and rainy walk from Lukla to Monjo so we were not able to see any of the surrounding mountains. The journey up the valley towards Everest was uneventful and everyone acclimatised well, including our first group of trekkers, who also climbed our own local Kala Pattar (Black Rock) mountain 5,555m just behind Base Camp.

Trekkers group 1:

Laurie BARNES American
Gurprett CHUG United Kingdom
Madanraj MARIAPPAN India
Craig HASTINGS Australia
Peter CAMPION United Kingdom

This group of trekkers left BC on 13 Apr and will meet up with our second group of trekkers in Namche this evening.

Trekkers group 2:

Caroline CUIF France Kevin AKARD American
Donald McKENZIE American
Kira McKENZIE American
Kyle REED American
Karla THOMAS American
Karl WORSTELL American

Lobuche Peak
Lobuche Peak

In the meanwhile all the climbers also left EBC on the 13th and returned to our Lobuche Base Camp, and as I write this they are just reaching the summit of Lobuche Peak 6,119m as the first stage of their acclimatisation process, in clear calm conditions.

During the past days we have also had 4 Sherpas climb through the Icefall to C2 where we left a lot of equipment last year. They spent the night there and returned early the following morning so as to be back through the Icefall before temperatures began to rise for the day. The really good news is that all of our equipment is in good condition, so this is a great relief for me, but will mean that we do not need to take very much equipment up through the Ice fall this year.

Dry Ama Dablam
Dry Ama Dablam

Conditions in general are very dry, in fact I have never seen the mountains this dry before, and even Ama Dablam looked rather sad without much snow cover on her flanks. From photos I see that the Lhotse face is also quite dry, so we will need to discuss the best route up this before rope fixing starts. However the route through the Icefall does not seem to be too bad. There are about 25 ladders in the lower section through the Popcorn and then a 4 section horizontal ladder and then a 5 section vertical ladder above the Football Field, which hardly exists any more. The route above C1 in the Western Cwm involves zig zagging around many crevasses so will be a bit slower to travel through this year.

BC Office
BC Office

We are hoping for fine weather in the coming days and for fast progress on the mountain as well with our acclimatisation process.

Russ