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Everest & Lhakpa Ri 2006 Expedition News.

By April 2, 2006Current Trips
p3-stu_james_rob_summit

Everest Summit Team Leader : Stu Peacock
Read full Everest trip details and book online

Team: Patricia McGuirk, Conan Harrod, Paul Beacall, Scott McNaughton, Rob Gauntlett, James Hooper

Everest North Col & Lhakpa Ri Team

Carl Morgan, Steve Ryan, Duncan Macdonald

Jim Parsons

Stu Peacock, Rob Gauntlett & James Hooper On Everest Summit

Everest Update Friday 5.00pm (GMT) 1st June: The team have all now returned safely back to the UK & Ireland.

Everest Update Friday 10.15am (GMT) 19th May: The team are resting at Advanced Base Camp 6400m

There is a lot of equipment to sort out at Advanced Base Camp and Stuart and the rest of the team are working hard.  They will also make sure they rest, ready for the descent to Base Camp starting on Sunday.  We have now received summit pictures via email (see above, with Stuart, Rob and James) and below:

Everest Update Thursday 12.30pm (GMT) 18th May: All the team have arrived back at Advanced Base Camp 6400m. Expedition Leader Stuart Peacock made contact with the news that all the team are back down at Advanced Base Camp.  They will rest here and sort their equipment out before carrying on with their descent.  More news to follow as we receive it.

Everest Update Wednesday 3.25pm (GMT) 17th May: All the team have arrived back down at 7800m. The team have successfully made it back to their camp at 7800m.  They are all understandably tired, but jubilant.  The weather has deteriorated slightly, but they have all coped extremely well with the conditions.  Now back at camp, the stoves are on to make a well deserved brew.  After rehydrating and a good sleep they plan to move down to Advance Base Camp tomorrow.  We wish them a good night’s sleep and more news tomorrow…

More Success

Conna Harrod and Scott McNaughton made the summit along with Sonnum Sherpa, Mingma Sherpa also summited along with Stu, Rob and James. Patricia reached the base of the second step at around 8600m before turning round, feeling she was moving too slowly to make the summit and return safely, good decison and very well done.

Stu, Rob, James, Patricia, Mingma Sherpa and Nuru Sherpa are all back at top camp. Conan, Scott and Sonum Sherpa are now below the first step and will soon reach top camp. It is the groups intention to drop down to 7800m today from where they will give us another call. WELL DONE EVERYONE 7 SUMMIT!!!!

Everest Update Wednesday 3.00am (GMT) 17th May

Summit Success!

Rob Gauntlet and James Hooper become the youngest British Climbers to summit Everest at the age of 19 yrs 7 days and 19yrs & 21 days, both are close friends

Stu Peacock becomes the first British Climber to summit Everest twice by the North ridge

News Flash – Stu Peacock summits with James Hooper and Rob Gauntlett at around 3am GMT time on the 17th May. The rest of the team are still on their way up but things are slow moving due to number of climbers. We will post updates as and when we recieve them. Well done to these three and we wish them a safe descent.

TEENAGERS ROB GAUNTLETT AND JAMES HOOPER HAVE BECOME THE YOUNGEST BRITONS

TO CLIMB MOUNT EVEREST, AFTER REACHING THE SUMMIT AT 3:15AM GMT THIS MORNING.

The gap year students left school at Christ’s Hospital, West Sussex last year, and they have taken the title from Jake Meyer, who was 21 when he climbed the 8849m mountain last year.  Both Rob and James celebrated their 19th birthdays at base camp under a month ago.  All three have climbed with expedition leaders Adventure Peaks

They say the climb was motivated by the fight of both cancer sufferers close to them, as well as adults who have devoted their time to giving opportunities to youngsters such as themselves.  They are raising money for Cancer Research UK, and hope to inspire other youngsters to follow their dreams, whilst encouraging the dedicated individuals who continue to provide them with those opportunities.

Their climb from the North side of the mountain in Tibet has already seen them fight illness, weight loss and storms above 7000m, as well as the knowledge of the sad deaths of a number of climbers already this year. Rob’s parents admit ‘We are very excited and proud of how hard they have worked, and of the message of their climb, but there is no champagne until they are back down safely.’

Best friends at school, they first conceived the idea three years ago and have since climbed in the Alps, Pakistan and Nepal as well as all over the UK. They both climbed over 6000m before they could drive, and they funded all their expeditions through holiday work as builder’s labourers and waiters.

The Everest trip however is funded by a number of generous corporate sponsors, although three weeks before the expedition they had almost no funding, and only a few days before they were due to go they were contemplating the impossible decision of sending only one of them.

From the top of the world Rob said ‘James and I are really keen on getting the message out to young people to follow your dreams.  This has been our dream for three years. Get out there, follow it up and make sure you make it happen.’

More about the project can be found at www.everest-2006.com , or by emailing news@everest-2006.com.

Everest Team 2006

In 2005 Adventure Peaks led Jake Meyer to the summit of Everest to become the youngest Brit to summit at the age of 21years, he also became the youngester male climber to complete the Seven Summits (Highest Peak on each Continent). In 2006 our team led by Stu Peacock (Stu previously made his first summit visit in 2002), has two members (Rob and James) who at the age of 19, if successful will take the record from Jake, we wish them both a safe and enjoyable journey. Both are good friends and made the summit of Ama Dablam together. Conan has already previous made the Headlines in 2004 when he so famously broke his leg at 8600m and survived to return again this this year to complete unfinished business, no doubt his mind will be active as he reches his previous high point. Patricia is also returning in an attempt to complete her summit, she has been twice before and is getting higher each time. Patricia and Conan shared the horrors of 2004, so it would be fitting to see them on the summit together. For Paul and Scott this is their first time and hopefully they will get it in one.

Everest Update Tuesday 1.00pm 16th May – All have now reached 8300m (top camp)

Fantastic News just in, all six members have now reached the top camp after a good mornings climb. Stu has said everyone is feeling good and are now resting and brewing up to re hydrate for the task ahead. Thdey hope to set off in about 5-6 hours time. Stu will hopefully ring me in the early hours from the summit at which point I will place the news on the web somewhere between 2 – 5am our time.

Latest Weather for summit day Summary -updated Tue 16th at 4.00pm

Forecast models continue the trend of relatively low wind speeds from now through Friday May 19. Thus summit average wind speed should be into the 20 to 40 knots range (10 to 20 m/s) and will probably be closer to the lower end of these speeds.

Everest Update Monday 3.00pm 15th May – Reached 7800m

The team have reached 7800m and are all doing really well.  Patricia streamed ahead after taking oxygen at 7500m. It was a hot climb today and so the team are now busy boling water to rehydrate after a very long day.  It has cooled down now, with cloud coming over from 3pm.  Tomorrow’s ascent will not be as long as today’s and Stuart’s positive everyone is in a really strong frame of mind to keep up the good pace.  More news to follow as soon as we receive it.

Everest Update Sunday 1.30pm 14th May – Reached North Col

With the exception of Paul who has returned to ABC, the team have all arrived on the North Col. Unfortunately Paul has found it hard to acclimatise, he’s now got the hard decison to make; call it a day or give it another couple of days before trying to head up again.

In many ways tomorrow as the team head up to 7800m is one of the hardest days psychologically, its a long way up on a slope of the same angle, quite steep and at times it will appear to be never ending. It takes a lot of mental determination to keep going and only a few split seconds of weakness to turn around when things are very hard going. Get this over and the mind games get easier as you are thinking “tomorrow top camp, then summit day….yes”. So tomorrow appears along way from the summit, fingers crossed they can all stay with it.  The weather remains stable for the 17th through to the 19th April.(Dave Pritt)

It is our intention to place reports on the web ASAP, and on summit day in the middle of the night…so watch this space!

Everest Update Saturday 4.00pm 13th May – Final thoughts before the summit push!

Stu: Now that all the camps are in place and the weather is looking good for the 17th, I hope we have successful summit day and that the next few days pass without incident. I wish everyone in the team the best of luck.

Rob: After 3 years of dreaming about getting to the top of this beast, I’m looking forward to grabbing it by the horns! www.everest-2006.com!

James: It’s great to finally be getting the chance to complete a driving ambition. Everything is looking good and the team is feeling strong so I’m hoping for a thoroughly successful expedition.

Scott: It’s been a great experience getting to this point. With so much support behind us, I hope the team have the opportunity to give the Summit the best shot it can! Whatever happens, the next few days will be an exciting culmination of much effort and enthusiasm from all.

Conan: It’s been 3 years in the waiting since that near tragic day on 21st May 2003. I’m feeling very strong and my confidence is building by the day. We have a strong team so if the weather comes right for us then the 17th will be a great day.

Patricia: I feel ready to make a good attempt on the summit, quite nervous too, going into the unknown above 7,300m. I feel I have the strength and confidence to really try for the summit but my main aim is to return safely and wish all the team a safe climb.

Paul: After two years hard training, it’s going to be good to finally get going. I feel strong and fit, although a bit slower than the rest of the team. I have to stop more frequently for breathing. So it will be a slow steady plod for me.

Everest Update Friday 6.00pm 12th May – all arrived at ABC ok. We’ve had a quick call from Stu to say the group have all arrived safely at ABC. Our latest weather forecast has also improved for the 17th, showing the winds predicted to drop with less precipitation, so we continue to think the 17th will be the day.

Everest Update Friday 12th May – on the move. No news this morning which means the team have left base camp for ABC, the first stage of their six day summit bid. Our latest weather still shows ok weather for the 17th and slightly lower winds than current summit teams will be needing to cope with. More on the weather on Sunday, once we get within 5 days. The team plan to ring the office in the morning from ABC with the next update.

Everest Update Thursday 11th May – they are off! The full team are currently preparing to leave Base Camp in the morning (fri) and if the weather stays stable this lead will onto their move for the summit on the 17th May.

Fri 12th Move to ABC

Sat 13th Rest Day

Sun 14th North Col

Mon 15th 7800m

Tue 16th 8300m

Wed 17th Summit Day returning to 8300m or 7800m

Thu 18th Back to ABC. We aim to now update the site on a daily basis, a final decision will be made on Saturday

Carl and Steve returned to BC after getting to around 6700m, they hope to return for a second attempt on the North Col in a couple of days time.

Everest Update Sun 7th May: Final acclimatisation for the team is almost complete. News has just come in that Stuart has reached 7500m and Patricia has reached 7300m on the North Ridge after spending a night on the North Col. They will descend to ABC today after spending a further night on the North Col. Four of the team have already descended to Base Camp after completing their acclimatisation a couple of days earlier. So how are the team doing so far?

Rob – Despite initials problems with acclimatisation at ABC, he is now very strong and moving well at altitude. He ascended to the North Col with his full pack of summit gear, with remarkable speed and managed to get to an altitude of 7300m on the North Ridge on Thursday only being stopped by a sudden change in weather forcing a descent back to the North Col. He has the benefit of now weighing just 3 stone and he is shocked by the size of his legs which have been mistaken as matchsticks!

James – Struggled slightly at ABC on the initial acclimatisation phase but recovered well this last week and reached 7300m with Rob on the North Ridge before the bad weather came in. Has managed to keep up his strange sense of humour throughout the trip. Had to finally give in to the razor after a month and shave his very patchy beard off!. He is spending a lot of time rehearsing for the Boy Band he wants to join when he gets back despite several recommendations from the other members of the team!

Conan – After initial success early in the trip with ascents of the North Col and the local 7000m peak of Lhakpa Ri, Conan contracted a chest infection which has resulted in a slight back injury from all the coughing. The infection has now gone and the injury is on the mend. He remains strong and managed to climb to 7500m in very strong winds on the North Ridge on Wednesday. His leg is holding out well to all the hard exercise and he feels as strong as during his 2003 attempt.

Scott – He has always remained strong and ascended to the North Col early in the trip and during this last week ascended to 7300m and then 7500m on the North Ridge. He has kept his appetite eating most of the supplies on the North Col during his recent 3 day stay.

These 4 team members descended to Base Camp on Friday to rest and wait for the summit window which will hopefully arrive soon. They are enjoying the fantastic cooking by the Base Camp Cook, Gannu. Most likely the best cook in the Himalayas ! He has just discovered how to make fresh bread rolls in a cooking pot!

Meanwhile still further up the mountain.

Patricia – After initial problems acclimatising at ABC, Patricia has gone from strength to strength. On Saturday, Patricia ascended the North Ridge to an altitude of 7300m. This is the highest she has ever reached during acclimatisation and looks promising for the immanent summit attempt. As this is her 3 rd attempt, everyone is crossing their fingers for her. She is as determined as I have seen her so this could be the year!

Stuart – Stuart has remained strong throughout the expedition and has the added burden of being the group leader. He had early success by reaching the North Col and summiting the peak of Lhakpa Ri with Conan. Like Conan, he contracted a chest infection resulting in pulled muscles in his back from all the coughing. He has now recovered from the infection and the injury is improving. He has just reached 7500m on Saturday on the North Ridge with Patricia turning back at 7300m so they both can now return to Base Camp to rest and wait for the summit attempt.

Paul – Unfortunately Paul has struggled to acclimatise since the start of the trip but has recently made big improvements and reached the North Colon Wednesday. He said he was feeling strong and felt more confident about the task ahead. He attempted to reach the North Col again on Friday with the intention to sleep there for 2 nights and ascend the North Ridge with Stuart and Patricia. Unfortunately he struggled a little and turned back to ABC. After some thought, he is now returning to Base Camp today and will consider his options over the next couple of weeks. He still has time to acclimatise so he still has a chance of success. The whole team’s thoughts are with him at the moment.

By Monday evening, the whole Everest team will again be at Base Camp. We are all hoping that a good weather forecast will arrive in the next week allowing an early summit attempt. Forecasts are now being received daily so we will keep you up to date with any news as we receive it.

Recently we have seen the arrival of Carl and Steve who are here to climb to the North Col. They are acclimatising exceptionally well and are attempting to climb the North Col within the next couple of days. They are currently at ABC and today they are ascending to the headwall at 6600m to improve their acclimatisation. We are expecting early success from this determined pair!

The Sherpas (Mingma, Nuru, Sonum and Anil) are supporting the team well and have already been up to high camp in preparation for the summit attempt. Working hard also at ABC is our other master chef Surrendra who produces excellent food in such harsh conditions. Our thanks go to them all, what a team!

Everest Update 1st May

Stu telephoned from ABC with the following information and confirmed everyone is doing well at their various stages of acclimatisation:

Scott and Patricia are on the North Col and will sleep there tonight (Monday) with the hope of going up the North Ridge to 7500m in the morning.

James and Rob have just returned from an acclimatisation walk to the North Col.

Conan, James and Rob will go upto the North Col to sleep on Wednesday and hope to continue upto 7500m on Thursday

Paul has returned from base camp to ABC and is now feeling much stronger, Paul and Stu aim to go to the North Col in the next couple of days.

Carl and Steve arrived safely into base camp and have been on their first acclimatisation walk to help prepare themselves for their move upto ABC in a few days time.

Everest Update 28th April: Stuart, Conan and one of our Sherpa’s Sonam climbed Lhakpa Ri on 24th April. Conditions were good and they topped out in 4.5hrs and were back in camp in under 7 hours. Photos below.

Everyone was back at Everest Base Camp on the 25th, all feeling good except Conan and Stu who were coughing well from the previous day’s activity.

Jim and Duncan left for Lhasa this morning, both enjoyed their experience at are looking forward to new adventures en-route to the Tibetan capital. The team will miss their company.

Rob, James and Patricia will be heading back up to ABc today (Friday) and after a rest day will head up to the North Col for the first time. Stu, Conan and Scott will head back up to ABC on Sunday and we hope the whole team will sleep on the North Col on Tuesday/Wednesday from where they hope to push up to 7500m. If this period goes well the team would then return to Base Camp for at least six or seven days to prepare for their summit bids. It is at this point careful monitoring of the weather and jet stream will start in an attempt to pick a good weather window. It is during this period that the team needs to show patience, it will evolve over a number of days, they are looking for a six or Seven day lead in, giving time to move through the various camp (BC, ABC, Rest Day, North Col, 7800m, 8300m, Summit day, Descent day). Occasionally they need to move up in less stable weather in order to capitalise on the best weather days later and higher up. (Dave Pritt). Earliest summit day is likely to be 16/17th May, but all this is speculation and not based on any weather forecast, but have been previous Adventure Peaks summit days. In 2005 the team summited on 4th June, a long and patient waiting game.

Carl and Steve are expected to arrive at Base Camp on Saturday or Sunday ready for their acclimatisation period

Everest Update 22nd April (Report by Connan Harrod): It hasn’t been a mixed start here on Everest with extreme weather conditions and a degree of minor ailments going through the group hampering progress.Everyone managed to walk the 22km up to ABC arriving on Monday 17th and it was that night that the snow arrived and continued for two days. There was also strong winds so living conditions were difficult.

From the Everest team, Rob and Paul suffered from lack of acclimatisation and were unable to eat so returned to Base Camp on Friday 21st April after their condition had not improved, not a great problem at this early stage, at this lower altitude they can rebuild their strength and return to ABC after a few days feeling stronger.

From the LhakPa Ri team, Duncan decided that ABC was as far as he could manage and was very pleased that he got this far. He returned to Base Camp on Friday with Paul and Rob.

After a days rest at ABC, all other members not mentioned above, walked the 200m up the moraine to the start of the Glacier to the North Col. It was still snowing so we had to break trail all the way in deep snow conditions. Everyone returned to ABC feeling pleased with the days walk.

On the Thursday 20th, Conan, Patricia, James, Scott and Jim did a reconnaissance walk towards LhakPa Ri for a few hours. The weather was fine so everyone had a great day navigating through the crevasses. The whole group was roped together for safety and Jim commented that he had a fantastic day. A whole new experience for him with the added safety of being tied to experienced mountaineers. However Jim mentioned that he was struggling with the altitude and did not think that he could summit Lhakpa Ri and so everyone agreed that climbing the North Col of Everest was a more sensible challenge for him.

Friday 21st arrived and although the sky was clear, there was a strong biting wind so most people opted for a rest day. I decided to try to ascend to the North Col and Patricia also decided to head out towards the North Col headwall to stretch her legs. The wind was bitterly cold all the way to the foot of the headwall requiring several changes of clothing especially to the face. The headwall itself was sheltered so the ascent was more pleasant. I was overtaken by the Sherpas load carrying about 100m from the North Col. Conditions on the Col was nice so I spent nearly an hour there before descending back to ABC. I was surprised by the change in the state of the headwall since I was last there in 2003. A couple of ladders are now in place to bridge the crevasses that have opened up. Patricia got half way across the glacier towards the headwall before turning back due to the extremely cold conditions and she had difficulties in seeing the route as the snow was swept across the glacier.

Saturday 22nd dawned and the weather was amazing. Clear blue skies and no wind. James and Patricia decided that they weren’t feeling good so decided to descend to Base Camp. A chesty cough has been going through the group and I had spent the night coughing and keeping everyone awake. Stuart, Scott and Jim decided to make the most of the weather and set off for the North Col and were complaining that it was too warm, a far cry from the day before. Jim struggled badly with stomach cramps and returned to ABC before reaching the glacier. Scott did well and reached 6800m on the headwall before calling it a day due to lack of time. Stuart set a storming pace and reached the North Col before 2pm. He had a bit of excitement descending the big ladder from the North Col when he tried to downclimb it forward and got his ice axe caught in the rungs.

Everyone is now safely at Base Camp or ABC. If the weather stays calm then Stuart and I will attempt to summit LhakPa Ri on Monday 24th April and then descend to Base Camp on the Tuesday. Jim and Scott are still undecided on their next course of action. They are considering a further attempt on the North Col.

After this, everyone will spend a few days at Base Camp to rebuild strength before the next acclimatisation phase begins.

update 15th April 06: The group have now done a variety of acclimatisation walks from base camp and filled out their time learning how to use their oxygen systems and emergency procedures for altitude and the use of the gammo bag. The happy bunch have sent the photo below with Everest in the background. It appears they haven’t yet found their shavers! We expect the group to move up to base camp in the next day or two.

update 11th April 06: The group have arrived safely at base camp and have now started their acclimatisation walks.

update 7th April 06: We’ve had our acclimatisation walk today, everyone did fine, we had nice weather for the walk but no snow on the peak itself, quite a bit on the surrounding peaks. The group will continue to Tingri in the morning, our last village before moving to Everest Base Camp.

update 6th April 06: Just a quick one to let you know we are now in Nylam. Everyone is fine. Currently snowing, but hopefully not too bad for tomorrow.

We had a bit of excitement yesterday. While stopped at a village before Kodri we were caught in crossfire between Mauists and the Army. We all had take cover in the shops while the gun battle commenced for about 30 minutes to 45 minutes. Although nobody was upset by the incident (actually more excited it appears), you can imagine our concern. After the incident, the group continued to the border and entered Tibet. Depending on the situation , the group may return by helicopter to Kathmandu at the end of the expedition. Stu Peacock.

update 29/03/06 – 11am GMT: The team (except Steve & Carl) will be departing on evening of Sunday 2nd April. After making the final preparations in Kathmandu we will travel to the Tibetan border at Kadari, cross the border and stay the night in Zhang Mu. From Zhang Mu we will continue to Nylam where the team will spend a day acclimatising on local peaks. Our final stop before Base Camp will be at Tingri, here we will have another acclimatisation day before travelling to Everest Base Camp. We aim to arrive at Base Camp on the 10th April.

Stu Peacock

About Stu Peacock

Stu Peacock is a very experienced high altitude mountaineer who has been to the Summit of Everest, Broad Peak, Cho Oyu and climbed on K2. His other expeditions include: Manaslu, Ama Dablam, Peak Lenin, Aconcagua, Khan Tengri, Tien Shan Unclimbed, Korzhenevskaya, Baruntse, Mera & Island Peak, Alpamayo, Bolivian Peaks, Spantik, Elbrus, Mt Kenya and Kilimanjaro. He was the first Brit to summit Everest via the North Ridge 3 times.

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