NEWSLETTERS - Off season 2014

Busy making preparations6 January 2014

Hi to all.

Although this time of the year is normally quite between the spring and autumn expedition seasons, Himalayan Experience is still busy making preparations for the next adventures. 2014 will be no exception, and it is looking to be a busy year again with expeditions to Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, Manaslu, Ama Dablam and Lobuche summits as well as treks to Everest Base Camp. But we also have another little project which just got underway on 1 January.

7 + 2 Project

Jing Wang is attempting to climb all of the 7 summits and go to the 2 pole in a record time of less than 6 months and 11 days a record that is currently help by Richard Parks. But in fact Jing is planning to climb 9 summits just to be sure for those who cannot really decide which summits are the high points of a tectonic plate or of a land mass. The plan is totally flexible and will depend on logistics, weather and climbing conditions. But at the moment the plan is to climb in the following order:

South Pole     www.antarctic-logistics.com
Vinson           www.antarctic-logistics.com
Aconcagua    www.patagonicas.com
Kosciusko      himalayanexperience.com
Carstensz
Kilimanjaro    www.earthtoursandtravel.com
North Pole     www.icetrek.com
Everest         himalayanexperience.com
Denali           www.climbalaska.org
Elbrus           www.slope.ru
Blanc            www.chamex.com

Jing Wang

For those of you who have been following the Himalayan Experience newsletters, this is a familiar name, she has now been to the summit of Everest twice, Lhotse, Nuptse, Manaslu, Broad Peak and Lobuche Peak with us. I first met her when she came to visit our Manaslu expedition several years ago. At the time I did not take too much notice of this quite petit Chinese lady, however she seemed to like our operation, and a few months later she contacted us to organise her first Everest expedition. Since then we have been in constant touch and we have formed a very good association together. On her first expedition with us we as guides were concerned about her lack of skill as a climber, but as time and experience has moved on, so has her skill and technique and last year she climbed the steep technical slopes of Nuptse and then 4 days later climbed Everest a feat that few can do. I am also quite amazed at how this lady can achieve so many mountaineering feats and at the same time be a mother to two young daughters, operate a huge business, and also write a book. So I have total confidence that Jing is capable of completing the task in front of her now.

Bejing Toread Outdoor Products

Not only did Jing join our expeditions, but she as one of the 3 owners and directors of Toread has also been the driving force to support all of our Sherpa staff with a stunning uniform as well as provide Himalayan Experience with high quality tents and sleeping bags. We have all been very satisfied with this equipment and wear it with pride, and of course are very happy to be part of the test team that experiments with new fabrics, designs and cuts. Our Sherpas all look smart and feel confident to climb to high altitude knowing that they have the best equipment for the task at hand. And of course Jing will be wearing Toread clothing during the 7 + 2 Project.

Mark Whetu

Such a project cannot go totally undocumented, and so my very long term friend, mountain guide come climbing cameraman has been invited to accompany Jing along all of her journey. If only I was 20 years younger and could actually hold a camera steady I would have loved to have such an opportunity. But Mark from New Zealand who has been to the summit of Everest 7 times and has often been with Himalayan Experience on our expeditions will be tracking Jing along the way. This is not an easy task to be a cameraman in such hostile environments, but with his previous high altitude and Antarctic experience, I also have total confidence that he can complete the task at hand as well as make a great documentary.

Support

Of course Jing has a fantastic team supporting her at home and in the Toread offices, thanks to all who have been so helpful with this organisation.

But this project also involves a huge amount of travel flitting across the world from one continent to another, and for this I have the support of Trailfinders in the UK. I have to say that I have always received friendly and sound advice from Debbie and Peter who I have been working with on the finer details and ever changing program.

Of course the whole projects success or failure will depend on mother nature, if we have the right weather we have the right team. So I am really relying upon my very good friends from Meteotest in Switzerland to provide me with good weather !!! As if it would be that simple, of course they cannot give me the weather, but I do know from past experience that I can trust their forecasting which will help us to know when to book flights, hotels and the like in order to make efficient transition from one summit to the next.

I also want to take this opportunity to all my fellow guiding operators around the world who have a speciality on the various summits. Many of these people are long term friends so I am lucky to have their personal support.

Progress

Whilst most people were still recovering from New Year celebrations, Jing was on a flight from Beijing to Hong Kong and then on to Auckland where she met Mark who had come from Christchurch. From Auckland they travelled together to Santiago and then on down to Punta Arenas where they are currently meeting with the ALE team and I have just heard that although they were scheduled to fly to Union Glacier tomorrow, they will in fact leave at 10 pm tonight. So the adventure begins.

Russell Brice