Hi again! Philip Ling here. One
thing I learned today is that a good leader does not necessarily always lead
the group from the front. In fact, under certain circumstances, a good leader
may more often than not spend more time at the back of the group or within the
group than they do at the front. (An exception, for example, would be while
travelling through avalanche prone terrain). A good leader realises and
understands that by occassionally being at the back of the group he/she is
able to focus more on the slower/weaker members, and get a better perspective
of what is happenning within the group as a whole. The leader has to
continuously monitor the progress of all members. How are they moving? Are
they feeling well? Do they have a headache? Are they experiencing any signs
and symptoms of AMS, HAPE or HACE?
Only by observing the members
closely and talking with them personally can the leader make the correct
decisions regarding the members health and well being.
The leader has to put his own
ambitions aside to ensure that the number one priority is the health and
welfare of all members. After all, the role of the leader is not to get
himself/herself to the summit, but to get the expedition members to the
summit, and most importantly of all, to bring them safely back down
afterwards. Till next time, regards, Philip Ling.
Hey Mark Merwin here. Today
was huge. I had my first views of Everest, Nupste, Lhotse, and Ama Dablam.
It was so awesome. It's hard to believe that I'm here --right at the core of
it all. It's kind of like stepping onto the field of Yankee Stadium or
something. I'm quickly learning just how much effort is involved in being a
leader. In addition to looking after yourself, you need to make sure that
expedition members are staying healthy and having a good time. We've also
been going to meetings with various government agencies to secure permits and
such. These meetings are actually quite boring, but it is cool to see how
some of the "behind the scenes" parts of an expedition work. Also we had some
great tea at our SPCC meeting in Namche Bazaar while getting our trash permit.
Hello Everybody, This is
Elselien writing from the little town of Phakding in the Khumbu Valley.
The last few days have been
really busy for all the leaders (in training) to prepare for this morning, the
take off from Tribhuvan domestic airport to Lukla airport in the foothills of
Since the members started
arriving since last Sunday, the leaders in training have mostly been busy
looking after them, their equipment (or lack of), show them around Kathmandu
and answer all their questions. We started by taking a good look at
everybody's gear. On Pumori, which is a 7000m and very cold mountain, it is
essential that members have sufficient equipment.
First Jay showed us what good
gear for Pumori is and then we ( Kirk, Mark, Tunch, Philip and myself) went
through it all with the 22 members. We especially looked at their boots, down
clothing, glacier sunglasses, high altitude sleeping bag and warm mitts. Some
or almost all members needed some additional gear and so the next day was
spent on shopping, shopping and more shopping. In the end everybody got what
By that time the medication
that we ordered after going through the medical boxes arrived and we
distributed these over 2 large expedition kits and one trekking kit, while Jay
tested our knowledge of all the different medications, uses and dosages. Very
This morning we were lucky
enough to depart for Lukla as scheduled. The 36 member duffelbags, the
hundreds of kilo's of food, the medical box, the medical oxygen and the gamov
bag all had to go through the xray, then had to be weighed piece by piece and
loaded on trolleys to go to the three Twin Otters we would be flying with.
After an exiting and bumpy flight with great few of the mountains Numbur and
Gauri Shankar we all went to the Namaste lodge in Lukla, where we had to make
sure all the bags had arrived before anybody would take of to Phakding. Around
noon eveybody had enjoyed a treehouse lunch, seen their bags arriving and thus
able to hit the trail for a three hour downhill walk to the Sunrise Lodge.
Here we just had a lovely
dinner made by the expeditions, Nepali kitchen staff and feel tired after our
first Kumbhu hike, but above all happy to be on the trail to Everest Basecamp
This leader in training
course seems to work well so far and certainly is very educational and fun to
be part of. We'll keep you informed. Elselien te Hennepe.
Dear Everest News Readers, Hi
to all from leaders in training! We are constantly very busy with many tasks
and training these days.. What we did was an introduction to Nepalese culture
and way of life in the form of talking to our Nepalese friends. This was a
very interesting session. Our Trekking Agent, Murari has a cousin called Deha.
We were able to talk to him and ask him many questions about Nepali way of
life. Things like the social structure, tribes, behaviour, dating.... all
manner of topics! This was a great time for us to learn about the dos and
don'ts and how to treat the Nepalese with respect. Also we dwelled on the
general safety procedures for the group on the trek and on the mountain.
The day normally begins for
our compact group with a short walk to Kathmandu's important cultural places,
followed by breakfast and coffee break. We explored the back alleys and
streets around the local district of Asan today. We were very impressed at our
ability to navigate the dark alleys and even discovered a new way into Durbar
Square....without having to pay!! The mid morning and mid afternoon would
involve training sessions of various subjects like ropework, moving on fixed
lines. Two of our Sherpas - Shera and Tenzing - fixed ropes for us to practice
on. They went up a ladder, along a balcony, down a doorway, along the roof,
down some stairs, up some stairs and finally down another doorway! Good fun!!
We then checked medical
equipment and it's usage. There's a lot to learn, as there are many drugs we
haven't used before. We've made a list of more medicines we need to buy to
restock the kits. One of our jobs tomorrow.
And, finally, as some of the members have already arrived,
our next job is to make sure they have the right gear for the trek and the
So, until tomorrow all the best from the leaders in
training. Tunc Findik, Kirk Morley, Philip Ling, Mark Merwin, and Elselien Te
Summitclimb.com has started a
new Leader in Training Program. This program is the first of it's type in the
world and is designed to give existing Outdoor Leaders and Mountain Guides an
opportunity to be trained in the elite world of High Altitude Mountain
Guiding. The training program lasts for the duration of the expedition. For
more information, please visit
We have 5 Trainee Leaders on
Summitclimb's Pumori Expedition this season.
Please follow these dispatches as the Trainees give their views and
information on their training, themselves, and the expedition overall. It
should make interesting reading! Sort of like a high altitude "Big Brother!"
Leader in Training - Dispatch
My name is Philip Ling, from
Sydney Australia and St. Anton am Arlberg, Austria. For the past 13 years I
have worked as a ski instructor and guide in the Kitzbuheler Alps and St.
Anton am Arlberg, Austria. Having successfully guided guests down some of the
most challenging off-piste ski terrain in Europe, I have decided to see how
the knowledge and skills of ice, snow and the alpine environment I have gained
can be put to good use taking climbing expedition members to some of the
highest places on earth.
During this unique
high-altitude expedition mountaineering training program I will be learning
many things that can help me achieve this goal. Through the Summitclimb
'Leader in training' Program under the leadership of Dan Mazur and Jay Reilly
I am learning all the important techniques that lead to a successful and safe
expedition, from pre-expedition logistics and planning to a successful summit
and most importantly, a safe return home.
Regards, Philip Ling.
Hi there, my name is Tunc
Findik and I am from Turkey! I have climbed extensively all over the world
and now I am here for Daniel's leaders in training program. I think this is an
important opportunity to enter the arena of international high altitude
guiding. This is not only about climbing abilities or technical grades but of
moving together with other people, getting to know them, motivate them and
help reach them their targets. In my opinion success lies in getting the most
enjoyment out of mountains and cultures, and in sharing this with other
people. We, as the members of this program, are here to ensure this for all.
G'day every one , I'm Kirk
Morley, I'm also from Australia, Cairns to be exact. I've just recently
completed a course in Outdoor recreation certificate IV with the intentions of
starting a new career (I'm a Chef by trade) and can think of no better way of
doing this then becoming a guide in training and getting the experience with
people of different cultures and experiences on an expedition of this
magnitude. all the best. Kirk
Hi! My name is Mark Merwin.
I'm an American from Olympia, Washington. I've climbed rock, snow, and ice in
United States, Alaska, and the Andes. In the past I have worked various jobs,
such as a biologist in rainforests of Central America, a construction worker
in Hawaii, and ski tech in the Sierras. Like Kirk, I'm ready for a career
change and I'd like to work as a mountaineering guide too. I'm stoked to have
the opportunity to join a Himalayan expedition and experience Nepalese
Hello Everybody, this is
Elselien te Hennepe writing. I'm a 30 year old social worker from the
Netherlands an have been going to Nepal with Daniel Mazur for three years
now. I've really enjoyed those trips and started to lead the Everest Basecamp
trek last October. Now I'm back again and this time not only to lead the
Everest trek, but also to be a leader in training on Pumori! Last October Isaw
the leaders in training in action on Ama Dablam (which I was lucky to summit)
and am really excited to be one on Pumori now.
I think Daniel, Jay and the
leaders in training program provide an unique opportunity in the high altitude
climbing world and I feel privileged to be part of that.
We've been doing a lot of
preparations the last few days and things are only starting today when Murari
is going to pick up the first few members from the airport.
Loads of things to do the
next few days, so we'll keep you informed!
Cheers for now from Elselien.
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