Today's News
   8000 Meters Facts
Banners Ads
   Classified Ads
   Climb for Peace


   Mailing List

News (current)
   News Archives
   Sat Phones
   Seven Summits
   Readers Guide

   Trip Reports
   Visitor Agreement






 Irish Everest Expedition 2008: Irish Everest the plans

Over the past week there have been a number of Irish people passing through our camp, notably Stuart and Padraig Halligan. They came in on a trekking group. Stuart enjoyed a birthday cake made by our Sherpas and then we brought them to the edge of the icefall and showed them the start of the route. Hopefully they enjoyed their time here in base camp.  

We had the Khumbu Ryder cup in the ice fall the other day - America v Ireland & UK. We won by one stroke and the History channel film crew filmed the event. I also have some footage so I will put it up on you tube at the end of the month.

My Eye is back to full strength and I thank God for that.

We would like to thank everyone who is supporting us in this challenge and if you have not donated to the school project I would like to encourage you to do so. We still have a long way to go in making sure the village has a well for drinking water. The school still needs Books, seats and walls. A lot of Euro's are still needed to make this challenge complete.

Going for the top - the plans

We had a summit briefing for two hours this morning where we coveraged oxygen flow rate plans, communications and base camp strategy. This very clinical overview of what lies ahead took a lot of the nervous energy out of the week ahead, which will hopefully stand to us.

We Leave this evening at 2am for the top. First we stop off at camp 2 (6,500m); the day after we have a rest day. Then we head for one night at camp 3 (7,150m) Early the following morning we head for camp 4 at (8,000m) and ten hours later on the evening of the 22nd May we leave for the top and aim to be on the summit at 8am the following morning (between 3am - 5am Irish time)  

All being well it should take two days to decend and we will be in touch then.


Earlier: On Monday (19th) two young Irishmen – Graham Kinch (29) from Dunlaoghaire and Ian Taylor (29) from Leixlip – will launch their assault on the summit of Everest.

For the past 5 weeks or so they have been acclimatising on the mountain, undertaking a series of climbs progressively higher towards the summit. They have just returned this week from spending a night (on a thin ledge of ice) at Camp 3, situated at 7,150 m.

During that recent acclimatisation climb they encountered a blizzard and very cold conditions – resulting in some frost nip on fingers for both. Undaunted, they are reported to be really “up for the challenge”.

Their attempt to scale Everest is to raise funds to build a school in the Ugandan village of Kitandwe, in partnership with the Irish charity Fields of Life. 

Weather permitting and all going according to plan the pair hope to summit next Friday. 

Figure The climbers en route to Camp 3

Update: I'm writing this while the wind blows the dining tent about this afternoon.

- having just watched "Rendition"! We descended back to base camp from camp 2 yesterday afternoon. That, as you know, was our third acclimitisation climb and it went well. We've been relaxing here in base camp for the past 24 hours.

For the time being, we plan to take two more (or so) rest days here. Then we hope for a final acclimatization push all the way up to camp three on the Lhotse face. This season the view with binoculars suggests an icy climb up to camp 3 as there's less snow on the face than has been seen in years.

For now the skies remain clear, the winds continue to howl up high, and we're just relaxing! Thank you for 'dropping by' to check on our progress.

Earlier: Heading up to overnight at Camp 2

Earlier: Tomorrow is Sat 26th April, pretty much the 1/2 way mark.

Today (Fri) is a rest day and a chance to wash clothes and bodies as well as eat lots and watch a movie or two, we'll also have another quiz night tonight (each person comes up with 10 Q's for rest of team - good craic). This afternoon after a visit to the B.C. bakery (for some proper coffee and apple pie) we hung up a big Irish flag on the side of the mess tent and already two sets of Irish trekkers visited us. I also met a guy I used to work with in VF a couple of days ago here as a trekker and me and Ian met Prakesh who was our Everest B.C trek guide in 2006 the other day (he knew we were due back, he was here with another group so it was great fun to meet him).

On Tuesday (22nd) we went up to Camp 1 as you knew (shaved 2 hours off our previous time), had an overnight there, then trekked up to Camp 2 (only 3 hours) then back to Camp 1 for lunch (lovely trek back through the Western Cwm), another overnight there and back to B.C. on Thursday morning (shaved 1hr 15 mins off our previous descent).

We have another rest day tomorrow (Sat) and then on Sunday (27th.) we'll go back up to camp 1, overnight, then up to camp 2, overnight, trek to the base of the Lhotse face at 6,700m. We will return to camp 2 for the night and then all the way back to B.C. We will let you all know when the final six day stint will be at camp2 - 6,400m and up to camp 3 at 7,400m will be. After that we're not really sure but we might have one more trip up and back before our final summit push.

All the best - Graham & Ian

Earlier: At camp one: We are established in camp 1 at 6,100m. We aim to spend the night here tonight, before a very early morning descent tomorrow back down to base camp. Hope to give a fuller report later.

Earlier: This week two young Irishmen – Graham Kinch (29, from Dunlaoghaire) and Ian Taylor (29, from Leixlip) – have reached base camp on Mt. Everest (at 5,300 m.). This now will be their home for the next 6 weeks or so as they bid to reach ‘the top of the world’ by the south face. 

This is the first Irish Everest attempt in aid of charity and if either of them summit they will be the youngest Irish males to do so. Their chosen Irish charity is Fields of Life which is engaged in community development, mainly in East Africa.  

Chinese plans to bring the Olympic touch to Everest have closed the north (Tibetan) side to climbers and until recently it looked like the south side would also be closed. But Kinch and Taylor have obtained their official climbing permit from the Nepalese authorities so their two and a half years of training and preparation won’t now be thwarted by events on the other side of the peak.

Background: A small Irish team made up of Graham Kinch (a 29 year old telecoms strategist) and Ian Taylor (a 29 year old leisure centre assistant general manager), will attempt Everest via the South East ridge in the spring of 2008. If either Kinch or Taylor are successful they will become the youngest Irish male to summit.

In preparation for their Everest Expedition, Kinch and Taylor are climbing 3 other mountains on 3 continents between June 2007 and their April 4th departure for Kathmandu. They have already completed Mt Blanc and Kilimanjaro and shall head off to Argentina on December 27th to attempt Aconcagua via the Polish glacier. The year long project is in aid of the Kitandwe school project. A school they have chosen to build in their sponsored village in Uganda in partnership with the Irish charity Fields of Life.

Due to the small size of the Everest team they have far greater flexibility in their approach. They will be deviating from convention by using Gorak Shep (the original Hillary 1953 base camp) as their base camp and will carry out their acclimatisation on neighbouring peaks such as Pokalde, Island Peak and Lobuje.

Everest from the South Side in Nepal

sbrr2.jpg (46375 bytes)

Full size picture

Base Camp - 17,500 feet (5350 meters)

This is a picture of the popular South Col Route up Mt. Everest.  Base camp is located at 17,500 feet.   This is where climbers begin their true trip up the mountain.  This is also where support staff often remain to monitor the expeditions and provide medical assistance when necessary.  Many organizations offer hiking trips which just go to base camp as the trip is not technically challenging (though you must be very fit). 

From base camp, climbers typically train and acclimate (permitting the body to adjust to the decreased oxygen in the air) by traveling and bringing supplies back and forth through the often treacherous Khumbu Icefall.    This training and recuperation continues throughout the climb, with the final summit push often being the only time to climbers do not go back and forth between camps to train, bring supplies, and recuperate for the next push. 

The Icefall is in constant motion.  It contains enormous ice seracs, often larger than houses, which dangle precariously over the climbers heads, threatening to fall at any moment without warning, as the climbers cross endless crevasses and listen to continuous ice creaking below.  This often acts as a testing ground to judge if less experienced climbers will be capable of continuing.   The Icefall is located between 17,500 and 19,500 feet.

Camp I - 5900 meters

After the Icefall, the climbers arrive at Camp I, which is located at 19,500 feet.  Depending on the type of expedition, Camp I will either be stocked by the climbers as they ascend and descend the Icefall, or by Sherpas in advance.

The area between Camp I and Camp II is known as the Western Cwm.  As the climbers reach Camp II at 21,000 feet, they may be temporarily out of sight of their support at Base camp.  Nonetheless, modern communication devises permit the parties to stay in contact.

Camp II - 6500 meters

As the climbers leave Camp II, they travel towards the Lhotse face (Lhotse is a 27,920 foot mountain bordering Everest).  The Lhotse face is a steep, shiny icy wall.  Though not technically extremely difficult, one misstep or slip could mean a climber's life.  Indeed, many climbers have lost their lives through such mishaps. 

Camp III - 23,700 feet (7200 meters)

To reach Camp III, climbers must negotiate the Lhotse Face. Climbing a sheer wall of ice demands skill, strength and stamina. It is so steep and treacherous that many  Sherpas move directly from Camp II to Camp IV on the South Col, refusing to stay on the Lhotse Face.

Camp IV - 26,300 feet (8000 meters)

As you’re leaving C4…it’s a little bit of a down slope, with the uphill side to the left. There are typically snow on the ledges to walk down on, interspersed with rock, along with some fixed rope. The problem with the rope is that the anchors are bad, and there’s not much holding the rope and a fall could be serious. Fortunately it’s not too steep, but there is a ton of exposure and people are usually tired when walking down from camp. The rock is a little down sloping to the right as well, and with crampons on, it can be bit tricky with any kind of wind. There’s a little short slope on reliable snow which leads to the top of the Geneva Spur, and the wind pressure gradient across the spur can increase there as you’re getting set up for the rappel. Wearing an oxygen mask here can create some footing issues during the rappel, because it’s impossible to see over the mask and down to the feet. For that reason, some people choose to leave Camp 4 without gas, as it’s easier to keep moving down the Spur when it’s important to see all the small rock steps and where the old feet are going. Navigating down through all of the spaghetti of fixed ropes is a bit of a challenge, especially with mush for brains at that point. One lands on some lower ledges which aren’t so steep, where fixed ropes through here are solid. At this point, it’s just a matter of staying upright, and usually, the wind has died significantly after dropping off the Spur. The route turns hard to the left onto the snowfield that leads to the top of the Yellow Bands.

Camp IV, which is at 26,300 on the Lhotse face, is typically the climbers' first overnight stay in the Death Zone.  The Death Zone is above 26,000 feet.  Though there is nothing magical about that altitude, it is at this altitude that most human bodies lose all ability to acclimate. Accordingly, the body slowly begins to deteriorate and die - thus, the name "Death Zone."  The longer a climber stays at this altitude, the more likely illness (HACE - high altitude cerebral edema - or HAPE - high altitude pulmonary edema) or death will occur.  Most climbers will use oxygen to climb and sleep at this altitude and above.  Generally, Sherpas refuse to sleep on the Lhotse face and will travel to either Camp II or Camp IV.

Camp IV is located at 26,300 feet. This is the final major camp for the summit push.  It is at this point that the climbers make their final preparations.  It is also a haven for worn-out climbers on their exhausting descent from summit attempts (both successful and not).  Sherpas or other climbers will often wait here with supplies and hot tea for returning climbers.

From Camp IV, climbers will push through the Balcony, at 27,500 feet, to the Hillary Step at 28,800 feet.  The Hillary Step, an over 70 foot rock step, is named after Sir. Edmond Hillary, who in 1953, along with Tenzing Norgay, became the first people to summit Everest.  The Hillary Step, which is climbed with fixed ropes, often becomes a bottleneck as only one climber can climb at a time.  Though the Hillary Step would not be difficult at sea level for experienced climbers, at Everest's altitude, it is considered the most technically challenging aspect of the climb.

Summit - 29,028 feet (8848 meters)

Once the climbers ascend the Hillary Step, they slowly and laboriously proceed to the summit at 29,028 feet.  The summit sits at the top of the world.  Though not the closest place to the sun due to the earth's curve, it is the highest peak on earth.  Due to the decreased air pressure, the summit contains less than one third the oxygen as at sea level.  If dropped off on the summit directly from sea level (impossible in reality), a person would die within minutes.  Typically, climbers achieving the great summit will take pictures, gain their composure, briefly enjoy the view, then return to Camp IV as quickly as possible.   The risk of staying at the summit and the exhaustion from achieving the summit is too great to permit climbers to fully enjoy the great accomplishment at that moment.  

As most readers of this page know, the return trip can be even more dangerous than the climb to the summit.

Pictures from Enrique Guallart-Furio web site http://ww2.encis.es/avent/

A cold weather, high altitude double boot for extreme conditions The Olympus Mons is the perfect choice for 8000-meter peaks. This super lightweight double boot has a PE thermal insulating inner boot that is coupled with a thermo-reflective outer boot with an integrated gaiter. We used a super insulating lightweight PE outsole to keep the weight down and the TPU midsole is excellent for crampon compatibility and stability on steep terrain. WEIGHT: 39.86 oz • 1130 g LAST: Olympus Mons CONSTRUCTION: Inner: Slip lasted Outer: Board Lasted OUTER BOOT: Cordura® upper lined with dual-density PE micro-cellular thermal insulating closed cell foam and thermo-reflective aluminium facing/ Insulated removable footbed/ Vibram® rubber rand See more here.




   Atlas snowshoes


   Big Agnes

   Black Diamond







   Edelweiss ropes
Eureka Tents






   Granite Gear



   Helly Hansen


Ice Axes


   Kavu Eyewear





   Life is Good


   Lowe Alpine




   Mountain Hardwear




   New England Ropes




   Outdoor Research




   Princeton Tec


   Rope Bags

   Royal Robbins




   Seattle Sports

Sleeping Bags

   Sterling Rope







   Tool Logic

   Trekking Poles
and more here


Send email to     •   Copyright© 1998-2005 EverestNews.com
All rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Disclaimer, Privacy Policy, Visitor Agreement, Legal Notes: Read it