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Everest South Side 2008 Expedition News

By April 1, 2008Current Trips


The Team Leader : Stu Peacock
View Everest South Side details and book online

Team: Peter Brittleton, Mark Brown, Heong Chong, Ed Maxwell, Mark Procter, Peter White, Matt Williams
Sherpas: Nuru Wangchhu, Dorjee Khatri, Dowa Dorjee, Gyan Lama, Mangale Nerwa

5th June All the team have now returned home.

2nd June Phone call from Stu to report that he and Heong have now reached Kathmandu where they will relax for a few days before flying home.

27th May Everyone except Heong and Stu are now heading back to Lukla and Kathmandu aiming to arrive around the 30th May and fly home soon after.  Heong and Stu hope to be back at Base Camp around 30th May and will spend a couple of nights there with the plan of arriving back in Kathmandu around 4th or 5th June.

24th May 2.45pm After the teams success, the group are now progressing down towards base camp. Peter White and Mark Brown have reached base camp, Peter Brittleton, Ed, Mark and Matt have descended to Camp 2 and will finally return to base in the morning. Heong obviously enjoys the thin air and is taking a more leisurely approach to his decent and is staying at camp 3 on the Lhotse Face at 7000m with Stu.

23rd May 2.45pm. Heong, Dorjee & Nuru have just arrived safely back at Camp IV before dark. All are well but understandably tired after a very long day. The teams are settling in for the night with plenty of oxygen and tea and will continue their descent tomorrow. Our Sherpa team have once again put in an almost super human effort and we are all hugely grateful to them. At the end of summit day we have had 5 successful summits and more importantly everyone is safely back at camp.

23rd May 2.00pm. As summit day’s drawing to a close here’s the latest update from Stu. Mark B, Ed and Peter W have descended to Camp 3 and are settling in for the night. Peter B, Mark P, Matt W, Dowa and Stu are all at Camp 4 brewing up and waiting for the final group. Heong, Nuru & Dorjee are in sight and moving steadily across the col towards the tents. Stu climbed back to 8300m to offer assistance with spare food, water and oxygen but is now safely back at camp. Heong & Dorjee gave it their all but sensibly turned back just above the South Summit.

23rd May 9:15am. The latest call from Stu has Peter Brittleton and Mark Procter safely back at the South Col (Camp IV) after their successful ascent. Climbing with the incredibly strong Dorjee, Heong Chong is currently just below the Hillary Step.

23rd May 4:34am. SUMMIT SUCCESS ongoing. The following news was received at 4.30am GMT. Mark Procter & Peter Brittleton summited around 2.00am GMT and are reported to be at the balcony on their way to high camp. Matt Williams summited along with Nuru and Dowaat 4.00am GMT. Heong & Dorjee are reported to be ok and still progressing towards the summit. Stu & Ed Maxwell turned round at the balcony due to very cold feet and are now safely back at High Camp. Peter White & Mark Brown are also back at high camp. It is unconfirmed how far they got. Congratulations to all so far and we wish them all a safe descent. A further report will be made as soon as we have information, but not before 7am GMT…sleep well all you supporters.

22nd May  News from Stu, the team are well, spending the day resting on oxygen and hydrating before setting off on their summit bid around 8pm local time (3.15pm our time).  The conditions are good, the route is open and the fixed lines are in place.  The plan is to reach the Balcony at around 2.30am (9.45pm), the South Summit around 6.30am (1.45am) and the Summit around 10.00am (5.15am). There have been 59 summits on the south side so far this year and we wish all 11 members (12 including Ted) of our team the very best of luck. We plan to update this page with news of the teams progress throughout the night so watch this space…

21st May  Stu called to say the team are now arriving at Camp 4 (7900m) after a very long, hot day with the local time around 6pm.  They have made a group decision to rest at Camp 4 for one day and make their summit bid tomorrow evening one day later than anticipated.

20th May  Stu called the office to report the team are now safely ensconsed at Camp 3, half way up the Lhotse Face.  Everyone is well and looking for an early start tomorrow to head up to top camp (Camp 4) on the South Col.  From here, if the weather is good, they will begin their summit bid around 11pm (local time) tomorrow evening.

18th May  Stu phoned today to report that the team have now reached Camp 2.  They will spend a rest day here tomorrow before heading to Camp 3 on Tuesday where they will sleep with the aid of oxygen.  From here they will continue up to the South Col.  The weather report is still favourable for a possible summit day on 22 May.

16th May  Final preparations for the summit bid are now being put in place.  Depending on weather conditions, this is most likely to be around 22-23 May.  The team will monitor the weather over the next couple of days to see if anything changes.  In the meantime some more stunning photos to whet our appetite!

14th May  The team are now safely back at Base Camp with the acclimatisation phase completed.  Everyone’s well and will enjoy a few rest days before beginning their summit attempt. We anticipate they will make a summit attempt around the 22 May, early indications show the weather forecast to be reasonable until after this date, but it is still very early days…watch this space! It is our intention as normal to provide on going information throughout the night once they start a summit bid.

12th May  Everyone has now successfully visited Camp 3 at 7100m and are safely back at Camp 2 for a rest day. The Lhotse Face was very icy but the fixed lines now extend to the South Col opening the way to the summit. Tomorrow they will make the climb to Camp 3 again with the intention of climbing higher and spending a night above 7000m.

9th May  The Nepalese Army and Tourism Ministry called a meeting at Base Camp yesterday and thanked all the teams for their support of the restrictions imposed this year. These have now been lifted and the route is opening to the summit. The fixed line now extends to Camp 3 and Nuru is heavily involved in completing the route to the South Col.The whole team have now arrived back at Camp 2 at the end of the Western Cwm and are all going well. The plan is to have a rest day tomorrow, touch Camp 3 on the 11th, rest on the 12th and hopefully spend a night at Camp 3 on the 13th. This slightly unusual acclimatisation program should put us out of synch with the majority of other teams and give us a clear shot at the summit around the 21st or 22nd, weather permitting.

8th May  This morning at 0920 local time (GMT 0120) the Olympic torch reached the summit of Mount Everest.  The team, made up of Tibetans and Han Chinese, set off several hours earlier from their camp at 8,300m.  Low winds and a clear sky provided perfect climbing conditions.  The first and last of the torch bearers were Tibetan women and one of the mountaineers commented that they had ‘lit this flame on the top of the world for harmony and peace’.  We should now see a lifting of the restrictions on summit teams who can begin their Everest bid in earnest.

5th May  Stu emailed to say the team will be heading back up to camp 2 on 8 May and onwards to camp 3 on the 10 May providing the rope fixing is finished.  There will be an option for people to spend the night at camp 3.  At this early stage and weather depending, they are looking at a possible summit day around the 20 May.

4th May  And still we wait for the Olympic torch to reach the summit…some estimate it will be after the 5th May.  It snowed yesterday although the weather is still quite warm.  Stu and the team have decided to sit it out at Base Camp with plans for the next time up to reach Camp 3 and spend some time there before heading back down.

2nd May  The luxuries of Base Camp are becoming too much for our grizzled expedition leader! The thriving DVD market among the teams on the mountain has left Stu bemoaning the lack of a good old game of cards! However everyone is doing well and getting nicely rested before the next acclimatisation climb to Camp 3 in a couple of days.

1st May  Yesterday Stu and the team welcomed Adam and the Adventure Peaks’ Ultimate Everest trek members as they reached base camp.  Luxury items including jelly beans and chocolate biscuits went down a storm and the group settled down to watch a film being premiered at Adventure Peaks base camp!  They left this morning on their journey to Gokyo Lakes.

29th April Stu phoned today to report everyone is well.  The plan is to wait at Base Camp for the Chinese to summit from the North with the Olympic Flame (hopefully in the first few days of May) before heading back up to Camp 2 around the 3 May.  The weather remains good with little snow.

28th April We’ve just had the latest update from Stu and things are progressing extremely nicely. Everyone has just returned from a night at Camp 2 at the very head of the Western Cwm.  Despite some very hot temperatures in the Cwm everyone’s in good spirits and ready for a well deserved rest at Base Camp. After a few day recovery, during which the Chinese are planning to summit from the North with the Olympic flame, our team are hoping to head back and visit Camp 3 for their final acclimatisation climb.

21st April Everyone is safely back at Base Camp after their first foray into the Western Cwm and looking forward to a couple of days rest. The whole team has now spent at least one night at Camp 1. Our Sherpas are now in the process of establishing Camp 2, at the foot of the Lhotse Face, which will be the next target for the team. Everyone’s going well and things should feel a lot easier the next time they head up. On his second climb through the icefall Stu was up in 5.5 hours and down in 2.

19th April The whole team, apart from Pete B, went to Camp 1 yesterday. The first time through the icefall was a lot further than people imagined and took around 6.5 to 8 hours. Stu has now returned to Base Camp and will head back up with Pete tomorrow. Everyone else is spending a second night at Camp 1 to aid their aclimatisation.

17th April The team have had their Puja today and are planning to head up to Camp 1 tomorrow for one or two nights.  If everyone is feeling ok they will then take a walk out towards Camp 2, otherwise they’ll head back to Base Camp.  Meanwhile, they are enjoying their acclimatisation and rest time amid the bustle of camp life.

15th April Base camp is getting pretty busy and folk are getting a feel for the restrictions imposed this year by the Nepalese with respect to the Olympic flame relay. Yesterday Stu and the other team leaders had a very productive meeting with the Army Major who’s overseeing the basecamp. We’ll still have very good communication with the team but it’ll be a little more involved for individuals to pick up their messages so please don’t worry if you don’t hear from folk for a couple of days.Everyone’s heading back up into the icefall tomorrow morning hoping to get as high as possible. They’ll now hold the Puja during a rest day on Thursday before planning to spend their first night at Camp 1 on the Friday.

14th April Stu emailed today to let us know the team are now well established at base camp and getting used to their new surroundings.  All except Matt and Mark P (rest day) went up into the Icefall and reached a height of 5700m before heading back down.  Stu plans to take Matt and Mark P up tomorrow.  They are hopeful that the last part of the route to camp 1 is fixed today or tomorrow.  The team plan to have their Puja (religious blessing) tomorrow afternoon.  Meanwhile, the TV is working a treat and the group have watched a couple of DVDs.  The luxury barrels arrived today, bringing smiles to everyone’s faces.  The first pack of pringles has been opened ….

12th April An email arrived from Stu today.  The team have arrived safely at Base Camp this morning.  They have set up the lighting, generator, TV and laptop.  Everyone is well and soaking up the atmosphere and buzz as the different summit teams prepare for the task ahead; Stu estimates there are somewhere in the region of 270 climbers this year.  The weather has been cloudy with a little snow in the early afternoon but generally fairly good.  The team are itching to put on their crampons and begin acclimatisation walks.  The Sherpas are still in the process of securing the fixed lines on the Khumbu Icefall, a task which should be completed in the next few days.  A slight technical hitch meant that although they managed to download emails they have not been able to read them.  Please can friends and family resend these emails which they should now be able to receive.

7th April The team have now reached the monastery at Tengboche and had their first views of Everest hidden away behind Nuptse & Lhotse. They’ve just been overtaken by the 3.5 tons of base camp equipment which will be in place by the time they get there.  Yesterday was spent resting and acclimatising around Namche Bazaar with visits to the Sherpa Museum and a sighting of a yeti (skull)! There’s been a reasonable dump of snow today but they’ve made good time with some amazing views of Ama Dablam, Lhotse & Everest through the clouds.

5th April After an enjoyable flight and a couple of days trekking the team have now arrived in Namche Bazaar. Everyone’s doing fine and not even a hint of a headache after the infamous Namche hill. It rained briefly this afternoon and it’s been too cloudy for their first view of Everest but everyone’s settling into the Hotel Norling and looking forward to the rest/acclimatisation day tomorrow. For those folk at home it’s just worth noting the team won’t have access to the base camp email address until they reach base camp in about one week. However a number of internet cafes have sprung up along the walk in and you should be able to contact them on their regular email addresses.

3rd April Our permit has now been issued and we’re all good to go. After all the uncertainty and logistical challenge of moving the expedition to the South side of Everest, Stu has now got his hands on the permit. Early tomorrow morning the team will fly to Lukla and begin the trek towards the mountain exactly on schedule. The Khumbu Ice Fall team have started work and the route should be established by the time they get to Base Camp. Early reports are that the mountain received very little snow last winter and temperatures are pretty cold for this time of the year which means the ice fall should be in a pretty stable condition.

1st April It always somehow seems inappropriate to start an Everest expedition on April Fools Day but everything is going according to plan. The whole team are now together in Kathmandu and taking it easy before the serious business starts. Stu & the Sherpas have more than 2 tons of equipment and supplies to check off before it can be flown by helicopter up to Lukla.

31st March After a busy final few days Stu has left us to it in the office and headed to Nepal. Good luck to the whole team.

19th March The team will depart from the UK on the 31st March to begin their journey to the South Side of Everest. They’ll have a few days to enjoy Kathmandu and complete their final preparations before flying into Lukla on the 4th 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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