NEWSLETTERS - Everest South 2013

Newsletter #11 April 2013

Himex team heading off to the Everest region

Surely but slowly trekkers and climbers are arriving in Kathmandu, hotel lobbies are filling up with expedition leaders sorting their gear before they head off into the mountains and climbers are rushing around in the Nepalese capital to do their last minute shopping. It’s obviously Everest season and like every spring, ‘Sagarmatha’ (the Nepali name for Everest) will certainly be the most frequented peak this spring.

Most of the team members for the Himalayan Experience expeditions to Mount Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and Lobuje East as well as the trekking trips have arrived at the Hyatt Hotel in Kathmandu, where expedition leader, Russell Brice and his Kathmandu-based trekking agents Tamding and Chuldim were receiving them with a warm welcome.

On a balmy Saturday evening, the group met on the terrace of the hotel to get to know each other and find out how what will be happening in the next few days. Russell, who has run commercial expeditions for 19 years, did a brief introduction, talking about the itinerary as well as the current conditions on the mountain: “I am really happy to inform you that it has been snowing at base camp and it is a lot colder than last year. It looks as if the conditions were back to normal,” said Russell. “This bodes very well for a better season and I am pleased that some of last year’s clients have come back for another and hopefully safer chance to reach the summit.” In spring 2012, Russell pulled the plug on his expedition as he had deemed the climbing conditions too dangerous for his team. “Last year, it just did not feel right and even though many people summited in May, it was a matter of luck that nothing happened. I am happy to be back and I hope we will have a good season.” His speech was cut short by a sudden onslaught of noise coming from the garden, where a big gala function was just about to start, so everyone picked up their complimentary toilet roll and hand sanitiser, and went for an early dinner as their adventure was starting early the next day.

At the crack of dawn on Easter Sunday, the members, some of them being accompanied by their families, took a helicopter to Lukla, the gateway to the Everest region from where they will embark on a 10-day-trek to base camp. “The locals will probably ask me whether I have finally found what I have left at base camp when they see me walk up the Khumbu again,” said Woody, one of Russell’s guides, who has stood on the summit of Mount Everest eight times.

In total, Russell and his team of six mountain guides, 20 climbing Sherpas, 10 cooks, a doctor and a blogger will be looking after 10 Everest climbers, six Lhotse aspirants, four Nuptse contenders and almost one dozen of trekkers over the coming two months. New this year is our chef Robert Thornton, who has come all the way from Chamonix to help our head cook Lacchu and the kitchen crew spoil the culinary taste buds of the team. Once again it will be an interesting mix of nationalities with many different backgrounds, which should add some spice to this expedition. Russell is also looking forward to finally putting a team on Nuptse, which after Everest and Lhotse is the third mountain forming the horseshoe around the Western Cwm.

Like previously, Russell will be supported by his Sirdar, Phurba Tashi, who has stood on top of the world 19 times as well as the rest of his Sherpas, many of whom have been working with Himalayan Experience for many years. The Sherpas are already at base camp, where they have been setting up our temporary home for the past two weeks. And once again, the Chinese outdoor company Toread will be outfitting the team, making sure Sherpas, cooks, base camp staff and guides are well equipped and fit for the cold on the mountain.

Let’s see how this season pans out but if all goes well, we will certainly see some ‘Firsts’ on our expedition. So, watch the space and regularly check the updates on our website for the latest expedition news. In order to get to know our members, we will post short profiles on them over the next two weeks before we get into more expedition details once we are at base camp.

But for now we hope that you will enjoy reading our newsletters and would like to wish everyone a great 2013 spring climbing season. I will do my best to make the newsletters as enjoyable and interesting to read as possible and whenever time allows, Russell is also willing to hit the keyboard every once in a while to give you his perspective of the expedition.

Billi Bierling in Kathmandu

Mark WOOWARD - New Zealand
Bruce HASLER - New Zealand
Shinji TAMURA - Japan but living in Zermatt, Switzerland

Eveline BINSACK - Switzerland
Quan FANG - China
Herbert HELLMUTH - Germany
Javier PEREZ - Mexico
Rochelle RAFFERTY - New Zealand
Voldemars SPRUZS - Latvia
David TAIT - United Kingdom
Jing WANG - China
Wei WANG - China
Jiangang WU - China

Suzanne HUESSER - Switzerland
Francois MARSIGNY - France

Renee BERGSMA - Holland
Naoki ISHIKAWA - Japan
Martine MARSIGNY - France
Chieko SHIMADA - Japan
Voldemars SPRUZS - Latvia
David TAIT - United Kingdom

Francois MARSIGNY - France

Billi BIERLING - Germany, living in Nepal
Martin MARSIGNY - France
Jing WANG - China

Maya DODHIA - Kenya

Tomoko ITABASHI - Japan
Natsuko HATTA - Japan
Francis DAVIE - United Kingdom

Francisco PEREZ - Mexico
Ethan TAIT - United Kingdom
Seth TAIT - United Kingdom
Vanessa TAIT - United Kingdom
Marcel GUINAND - Switzerland
Christian ZIMMERMANN - Switzerland
Maxwell BESSER - USA
Gunnell EDENIOS - Sweden
Jussi KOIRANEN - Finland
Maria METSA-KETELA - Finland

Russell BRICE - New Zealand - BC Manager
Jennifer LAUGHTON - United Kingdom - Doctor
Robert THORNTON - United Kingdom - Chef
Billi BIERLING - Germany - Blogger

Phurba Tashi - Sirdar
Loppsang Temba - Second Sirdar
Ang Karma
Nima Tenjing
Narwang Tenjing
Nima Rita
Nima Sona
Pasang Nima
Phura Namgyl
Son Dorjee
Sonam Tashi
Urken Lundup
Lhakpa Nuru
Gyalzen Dorjee
Tashi Chhiring
Lakpa Nuru
Tashi Tshering
Nigma Tsheri
Rita Dorjee
Sonam Phinjo

Ang Nuru
Chuldim Gaycho
Kancha Rai
Jetha Rai
Kul Bhadur
Dawa Tamang
Lhakpa Wangchu