NEWSLETTERS - Everest Spring 2010

Newsletter 58 April 2010

Almost home

The team has now arrived at the camp near Lobuje village, which is the penultimate stop before they reach Everest Base Camp, the place they will call home for the next seven or eight weeks. Lobuje village, which lies at an altitude of 4,930m, usually gets very crowded as many teams spend a couple of nights there to acclimatise properly for the height of 5,350m, which they will be faced with at base camp.

As Himex will do an acclimatisation climb on the nearby Lobuje Peak (6,119m), Russell’s Sherpas have put up a separate base camp just before the actual village, which nestles on the foot of Lobuje Peak. The camp will have many of the luxuries of a proper base camp and the members will not have to cope with the crowds that are cramped in the few lodges in Lobuje. The village used to be a summer village for herders, however, it now exists solely to service the trekking industry.

The expedition will stay at this extended camp for three days before they carry on to base camp on 10 April. Here they will have the chance to explore the area, go on short acclimatisation walks, have a look at the surroundings or just sit and relax!!

I am pleased to introduce you to Jens Nielsen from Denmark and Stewart Denize from New Zealand today.

Jens Nielsen

Jens Nielsen is a 40-year old engineer from Copenhagen. He is a friend of Stina’s and the two met during an expedition to Aconcagua a few years ago. Like Stina, Jens is also trying for the Seven Summits.

How did you first come across Everest and who inspired you to climb it?

In 2003, I went trekking in the Khumbu and when I saw Mt Everest I really wanted to climb it, but of course, I thought it was impossible for me. After that trip to Nepal, I booked a few guided trips and I ended up climbing Elbrus, Kilimanjaro, Vinson and Denali. So climbing Mount Everest has become a part of my project.

What has been your biggest achievement so far?

Climbing Baruntse was a big achievement for me. I like being outdoors and living in a tent for several weeks, and I am looking forward to doing that on Everest.

What is your biggest challenge on this Everest expedition?

The altitude. I have never had problems at altitude before but then again, I have never been above 8,000m.

How do you think Everest will change your life?

I hope Everest will not change my life. For me this expedition is a great adventure and it is a good excuse to go to new places. If I finish the Seven Summits I will probably want to climb more mountains. Ama Dablam is certainly on my wish list.

How mentally prepared are you for the possibility of not getting to the top?

When I signed up for Everest, I knew that there is the possibility of not making it. I failed on Aconcagua but it was because of the weather and not because of me. I will go back there one day, and if I don’t make it to the summit of Everest, I will probably come back too.

What will you carry to the summit?

I am only taking myself to the summit.

Stewart Denize

Stewart Denize is a dentist from Coromandel in New Zealand. The 36-year-old is in the process of moving to London to do a Master’s Degree. His highest point was 6,962m on the summit of Aconcagua.

How did you first come across Everest and who inspired you to climb it?

I first had the idea to climb Mount Everest about 15 years ago. Wanting to climb Mount Everest is not such a big thing in New Zealand as it is almost part of the culture and has historic value. I did not pursue this dream for a long time, but now I have a lot of time and freedom. I am starting my masters after this and I am feeling pretty fortunate to be here.

What has been your biggest achievement so far?

Eating 19 slices of pizza in one go.

What is your biggest challenge on this Everest expedition?

Acclimatising, as I have never been that high before. I am scared of finding out that I may not be able to acclimatise properly.

How do you think Everest will change your life?

I don’t think it will change my life and I don’t want my life to be changed. I just want to get to the summit and come back down safely.

How mentally prepared are you for the possibility of not getting to the top?

I am pretty poorly prepared for not getting to the summit. If I don’t get to the top it will be difficult but I think I would come back to give it another try.

What will you carry to the summit?

A picture of my seven-year old daughter and Lindt’s ‘Katie the Kitten’ chocolate for friend.