Leader: Sean James. Departed 1st April
The team have been celebrating their SUMMIT SUCCESS in Kathmandu and are now preparing to head home.
SUMMIT SUCCESS. At 7pm Nepali time last night the team set off from top camp. They had a full moon to light their way and the winds remained low all the way to the top. At 2:25am Nepali time the team reached the highest point on earth. It would still have been dark at the summit when they arrived and would only have been a brief stay at the summit before starting their descent back down the mountain in order to keep ahead of the weather. Sean Called at 7:30am UK time to say they all got back down to Camp 3 at 6am Nepali time and are now at the North Col, so a really good effort by all to get off the mountain before the weather turns. The weather was still clear and hot when Sean called. They planned to have a couple of hours rest before clearing back down to ABC today.
Today en-route to Camp 3 Tony has decided to call it a day and head back down. The rest of the team have made all made it up to the top camp, where they will rest before making their summit bid. There are 5 teams including Adventure Peaks up at the high camp. The weather window is very tight, but the team are planning a very early start to reach the summit and be down before the winds start to pick up.
The team have decided to head up to ABC in order to try and grab a narrow summit window on the 16th May.
The team had descended to New Tingri for a a couple of days rest (although they knew they would miss Kami’s Cooking). Sean sent to say that two nights in New Tingri is now coming to an end and we return to base camp. The ropes should be fixed to the summit soon and we will make our way back up Everest for hopefully the last time. Everyone is healthy, strong and in good spirits.
We’ve had an update in from Sean and the team, they are back down at base camp after their latest rotation on Everest. This time the team have been up to tag nearly 7500m, everyone is feeling strong, but are glad to be back down for a rest, and to recover for the next time up! This time up the team have went to the highest they will go before their summit attempt. They have spent 2 nights now sleeping at the North Col and will have seen quite clearly now the task that lies ahead of them. A few reports of weird dreams at altitude, (mainly steak and wine) that will intermittently distract them from their dreams of standing on the summit. Not long now, as the team will rest at base camp, and the luxuries it provides and they will wait for the winds to lift, that will allow a summit attempt.
Everyone is at ABC for the second time and feeling good. Tomorrow the team will head to camp 1, the north col and spend 2 nights there. Whilst they are there they will try to reach the heights between 7500 -7800m. The Sherpas are busy carrying loads to high camps and the fixed lines have been established to 8300m.
Mark on the team describes his adventure so far…
We are now into the 4th week of our long and exciting expedition to climb to the summit of Everest. Thoughts of home always on the teams minds as we get ever closer to our summit attempt week commencing the 15th May 2017.
Today the Team of 4 Lhakpa Ri members departed for the long journey home leaving the Everest Team to focus on the summit. Our Everest team led by Sean James is made up of Tomas, Tony, Martin and myself who are all now safely at Base Camp relaxing after a successful attempt on the North Col at 7100 metres.
In reflection of the past 4 weeks we have gelled as a team, the first team week acclimatising in Manang trekking in the Annapurna range was an excellent addition to the trip, the jeep ride in was exhilarating and spectacular. Time in Kathmandu was full of shopping, eating and a few beers really getting to know each other. The flight to Lhasa and the site seeing of the Potala Palace was a cultural experience the group never expected, absolutely amazing. Then the long drive to Base Camp through Shigatse and Tingri along the newly built road winding road which was a Top Gear road trip all in itself.
Arriving at Base Camp (BC) meeting our Sherpas Phurba, Ang Daws and a Team of Nepalese support team really gave us confidence that we had every chance to get prepared for our long time on the hill. Base Camp is an absolute prime location with magnificent views of the North side of Everest, out of the world and takes your breath away, we can’t stop staring up!
Life in a tent is not so bad, we all have enough private time as well as life in our huge communal dome tent where we come together for the freshly prepared food made by our Nepalese Cook An Kami who last night served us Apple Pie and Custard to a big round of applause, these cooks are so resourceful and humble, we are blessed.
Before our ascent to Interim Camp and Advanced Base Camp (ABC) we all took part in the local ceremony know as a Puja conducted by our local Lama who is Tibetan priest as a blessing and to give us good karma for our Climb.
Interim and ABC walk in was amazing to say the least, the spectacular ice pinnacles rising out of the glacier were like mountains in themselves, some were as tall as small buildings. Our luggage was carried by Yaks, these animals haul our packs and make the acclimation process possible, we could never carry the gear.
Arriving at ABC we had a close up view of what I can only describe a huge and very intimidating mountain, the North Face of Everest is an absolute marvel, the view up at the North Col is perfect, the dark blue sky crown the crystal white slopes where the Sherpas run the ropes to the summit.
My experience of climbing the North Col for the first time was out of this world, guided by Sean I took to the ropes and made my way up the North Col, apprehensive but confident I was in my element, every step was amazing, I was overwhelmed to reach the North Col Camp at 7100 metres, exhausted but at the same time so pleased with myself, the same could be said for the whole team.
The 5 of us returned to Base Camp this Thursday, a long 17 km trek, back safe and well we were meet with a big bowl of soup and homemade bread making the long trek worthwhile, back to the home comforts of Base Camp.
Looking forward to the next couple of weeks, the Everest team have every reason for 100% success, we are well trained, resourced and have the best support team, the weather has been good and the outlook is improving.
A funny quote to end with, Martin said ” I know my body better than anyone else” we all agreed and hope that’s the way it will stay!
Sean, Tomas, Tony, Martin and Mark would like to send their love and best wishes to all at home, thank you all for your support.
After an exhilarating 6 days at ABC, 6400m the team are back at base camp. The winds coming over the North Col were like a freight train but they had an amazing time walking on the glacier, practising rope techniques and on a clear day getting to the North Col at 7100m. Our Sherpas have been busy carrying loads of oxygen and tents and in 4 days the team will return and try to tag 7800m before the final summit push in mid May.
In a couple of days the North Col team will leave us after having shared in the adventure so far to ABC and the North Col and the additional highlights of a week in remote Manang and a “city break” in Lhasa.
Sean has sent us a wee update, they have had a great morning on the glacier beside ABC. The skies were deep blue and the strong winds provided a show over the North Ridge and North Col of Everest. They practised crampon and ice axe techniques and put some fixed ropes in to practise and abseiling again for their attempt on the North Col tomorrow.
After a couple of long days from BC to Intermediate and then to ABC, the whole team are now happy to be now sleeping in the shadow of the North Col. Everyone admits the scenery is stunning and they are all now relaxing for the next 2 days. The camp is 6400m so every step is an effort. Our sherpas are busy setting up the north col and the team hope to touch it in a few days time.
Today the team spent some time practicing ascending and abseiling on the fixed lines that were set up just above base camp. Everyone took the opportunity to renew their skills and test their equipment before setting off for ABC tomorrow.
This was then followed by the “Ask Tomas” medical session which is becoming a regular feature each day.
Our super fit doctor from Slovenia gives the team advice about the changes happening to them at altitude.
The team have had their final acclimatisation hike before they head up to intermediate camp and then Advanced Base Camp (ABC) they topped out at 6100m via the stunning frozen ice river.
Phurba our head Sherpa is super impressed with the strong Everest team we have assembled.
The team are now relaxing at base camp, lots of great sights on the way in to base camp.
The team arrived in Lhasa yesterday on the short flight from Kathmandu. Sean said that even though they has spent a week acclimatisating in Manang at 5000m, walking up the steps of the Potala Palace took our breath away.
Sean has emailed from Manang – We have been in Nepal for only 4 days but have travelled far into the mountains to start our acclimatization. The jeep drive to the high remote village of Manang at 3500m was spectacular and at times hair raising. Those sitting on the right side of the jeep had the “best” view into the gorge below.
We’ve already done a few hikes to stretch the legs and today we had lunch at 4600m overlooking the Annapurna range. A few more days and we will head back to Kathmandu before flying to Lhasa.
All the team arrived safely into Kathmandu on the 2nd April and will spend the first part of the trip acclimatising in Manang, while they are waiting for the border to open into Tibet. They plan to fly to Lhasa on the 12th April and from there drive to base camp. The sherpa staff will bring all the equipment overland from the Langtang border crossing and will meet the team before they drive to base camp.