NEWSLETTERS - Everest South 2012

Newsletter 23 April 2012

Relaxing in Khumjung

The Himalayan Experience team has been resting in Khumjung for the past two days, enjoying the stunning mountain views and the clean air, which is a huge relief after the dust and pollution of Kathmandu. On Monday morning, they climbed up to the Everest View Hotel, which was built by a Japanese businessman in 1968. This famous hotel lies at 3,880m (12,779 ft) and used to be frequented by Japanese tourists, who flew to the nearby airstrip in Syangboche. However, the sudden rise in elevation often made them altitude sick and even though the hotel offers oxygen in every room, it is now mainly frequented by trekkers and climbers, who just want to enjoy a nice cup of tea while taking in the stunning views of Everest. Unfortunately our team was not lucky enough to get a glimpse of ‘Sagarmatha’ (the Nepali name for Everest meaning ‘Mother Goddess of the Sky’) as the skies just would not open for them..

Those who did not join the walk up the hill spent the day with emailing, reading and resting their bodies to acclimatise to the higher elevation. During the acclimatisation process, which generally starts from about 3,000m (9,900 ft), our body’s respiration increases, red blood cells are being produced and the pressure in the pulmonary arteries rises. The rule of thumb is not to ascend more than 300m (900 ft) per day and rest every other day.

It will take another week for the team to arrive at their temporary home, and while they are edging their way up towards Everest Base Camp, I would like to introduce you to the members of our expedition.

 

 

 

There you go – meet the team!

Amanda Jones

Despite being a child of the 50ies and growing up with countless stories about Sir Ed Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, Amanda did not necessarily dream of climbing Everest when she was young. However, the 55-year-old started playing sports at a very early age, which could have been the first step on the road for her drive to climb the seven highest mountains on the seven continents. So far, she has climbed Kilimanjaro, Elbrus and Aconcagua and she is a regular visitor to New Zealand, where she has reached the tops of Mount Cook and Mount Aspiring. The senior executive in the utilities and construction sector is married to Craig with an 18-year-old daughter Coco, who has just started studying Medical Science at Sydney University.

How did you first come across Everest and who inspired you to climb it?
I was born in 1956, so as a child I remember stories about Sir Edmund Hilary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay. The Everest story melted into the many adventure stories that children collect. I would say that my Mum and Dad inspired me to climb Everest. I am the eldest of six children and they encouraged us to be curious and to give things a go. We all played sports and I even played Water polo at an elite level. The emphasis was on being a good team member and being true to yourself, rather than on winning.

What has been your biggest achievement so far?
My daughter Coco Pearl. She is very much her own person - so in this respect she is not my achievement but she is the best thing I have ever done.

What is your biggest challenge on this Everest expedition?
Escaping my normal life!

How do you think Everest will change your life?
Not sure - will see when I get there!

How mentally prepared are you for the possibility of not getting to the top?
I am not good with failure, so this would be a challenge.

What will you carry to the summit?
I will carry a message from my daughter Coco and the best wishes and thoughts of my husband Craig and my family, friends and colleagues - I have been showered with well wishes!!

Annie Doyle

Annie Doyle from Sydney is on her way to becoming the first New Zealand woman to climb the seven highest mountains on the seven continents. The mother of two has already scaled Kilimanjaro, Elbrus, Aconcagua, McKinley and Mount Kosciusko and has also climbed several technical mountains in her home country New Zealand. The 52-year-old former nurse is currently the Chief Financial Officer of Sunnyfield – an association that supports people with intellectual disabilities.

How did you first come across Everest and who inspired you to climb it?
Everest is a special mountain for Kiwis and being partly Maori, it also has special connotations that we have shared its first climb with a Sherpa. Obviously growing up in New Zealand, Everest was well known because of Ed Hilary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay.

What has been your biggest achievement so far?

It is probably my family and my very close friends, who are really part of my family. I would move mountains for those I love.

What is your biggest challenge on this Everest expedition?
My biggest challenge will be eating. I don’t enjoy food at altitude and I will have to keep eating to keep going, as it’s such a long time. I will also miss my family and funnily enough, probably miss my work, which I love. I work in a magical place and it makes me smile just thinking about it.

How do you think Everest will change your life?
I don’t think a mountain can change your life, however, I think you can change your life. We all have choices about how we live our lives and what we want it to look like.

How mentally prepared are you for the possibility of not getting to the top?
I don’t think you can ever be mentally prepared for not getting to the top. Part of your building towards this mountain is preparing for the top, not worrying about not getting there. If it happens, I’ll get my head around it.

What will you carry to the summit?
The company I work for has given me a glass diamond to leave on the top and I will carry photos of my family. I must remember to bring back some Everest rocks – but don’t tell customs in Australia!

If you want to follow Annie’s blog, check it out on http://www.everydayhero.com.au/event/ontopoftheworld - or if you are interested in Sunnyfield http://www.sunnyfield.org.au.

Billi Bierling in Kathmandu