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 Marty Schmidt Everest 2008 : Final update for MSIG. Marty Schmidt Everest 2008

Hello everyone and greetings from Kathmandu. Today is the 7th of June. Giannina and I walked out from base camp a few days ago, got stuck in Lukla for a few days of bad weather, pulled together all our equipment and today sorting out this gear for what stays in Nepal and what comes with us to Europe to guide Elbrus in Russia and then Kilimanjaro in Africa before heading home to New Zealand some time in Oct. this year.

What I need to talk about now is Tim's amazing ability to conform to the new heights that he experienced while on Everest. As everyone can read, there were many summits of Everest this year. Just need to point out that Tim and I were climbing in a pure style, just him and I, no sherpas, no support, only back up O2 in place for medical reasons. On the 25th of May we made our attempt without O2 for camp IV, the south col. Along the way, Tim tried his best to feel the altitude and work with it to get to a height that he never experienced before without any help from O2. There was only one person who summited Everest this year without O2, unfortunately he passed away on his return to the South Col. Tim and I were doing well without O2, until the yellow band, at around the 7,600 meter mark. I decided to see if Tim's speed work would be helped by a bit of O2. Even with this boost, Tim's pace was not working for us. The goal was to pick up the pace for the south col or turn around for safety reasons. What we did was for the greater good. Tim's future goals were confirmed with this Everest attempt. We have made plans for Cho Oyu in 2009, Gash 2 in 2010 and back to Everest in 2011. This is the path that will help him reach 8000 meters and above without O2, this takes courage and commitment, our beliefs in simplicity and our morals in climbing the 8000 meter summits with pure ways, no O2 or sherpas, just him and I and the goal of the 8000 meter summits, is possible because we believe in them. This is the pure mountaineering experiences that we wish for and that is calling us to act upon. What we saw on the south side of Everest this year was a zoo. I could not believe how many sherpas were hired to haul all the clients gear to the higher camps, how much O2 cylinders were put in place by the sherpas in each camp so that the clients did not have to carry this gear, or set up their tents, or do...........the normal mountaineering skills that one would expect a climber who summits Everest should be doing. Ah well, I come from the climbing era of the 70, 80 and 90ies, where we did everything ourselves. This is the philosophy that I want my clients to know about and to experience. They come with me to be mountaineers and my climbing partner. I'll keep living this life style because it feels good to me to do so, also my clients feel so much better about their expedition doing it this way.

When we turned for BC, everything felt right to do so. Tim pushed gear through the Khumbu Ice Fall 6 times, he was satisfied with his experiences and ready to trek out to Lukla, take the flight to KTM and head home to Dallas to family and friends. He will let them all know what an incredible experience he had on Everest.

Giannina and I then decided to try for a one day ascent of Everest. Having everyone clear out of Base camp, leaving just Giannina, Ningma, Sonam and myself, I felt ready to try for the summit in under 24 hours. Mark Batard made a 22 hour ascent many years ago and the record is now around the 12 hour mark by sherpas. But for us white folk to do it under 20 hours would be good enough for me. With just the 4 of us at BC, our food was the best during these 5 days then all the other days combined. Always make sure that BC food is the best in the world or get another BC organizer right away. Tim, Giannina and I suffered this year with bad food, hence we will organized our own trip to the Himalayas from now on. So, on the 28th of May, I left BC at 1800 hours. Making it to camp 1 in 2.5 hours, then camp 2 in 45 minutes. Arriving in camp 2 at 2115 hours. I rest and changed clothes for .5 hours, leaving for the Lhutse head wall at 2145. I climbed well to camp 3 in 2 hours arriving at 0015 hours. I pitched my tent, brewed hot drinks, filled my thermos and left for the south col at 0115. I pushed gear to the col back on the 16th and new this area well. Arriving at the Col at 0345, I took 15 minutes to look for the back up O2 cylinders that Tim and I planned to use for our ascent. We paid extra money for these cylinders to be in placed at the Col. I looked and looked and they were not there. To me and Tim, this was a crime and we will look more into it in the near future. I promised my wife Giannina that we would have back up O2 in place, but it was not there, heads should roll for this. My next step was to check if i was feeling well enough to keep going for the summit. I left the south col at 0400, arriving at 8,200 meters at 0530, my lungs needed to be looked at. I contracted a lung infection at some point and i started to heave green and yellow oysters, this was not a good sign to continue. I felt OK, a bit stretched with my air intake, feeling like I needed 3 good breathes for every good one. Yes 8,200 meters is high but I really felt like the infection was robbing me of good breaths. I made the decision to turn, I had the strength to do it right then. Plus climbing to the summit without the back up O2 would not be good in chase I needed to rescue myself, since no one else was up there on the 29th May. Happy 55 year anniversary Sir Ed.

All said now, it feels good to be back in KTM, eating well and looking forward to Elbrus and Kilimanjaro.   All the best from Nepal and we'll be in touch soon. Cheers, Marty and Giannina 

Earlier: Update from MSIG, Everest, SE Ridge, 2008.

Hello to everyone from Everest Base Camp. The last update was a few days ago while Giannina and I were traveling down to Dingboche from BC for a few days to rest, stock up on good food and get more O2 into our souls. The Solokhumbu is a wonderful place to live for a few months, one gets to know the local Sherpa people, we get invited into their homes, get to know their children and families, eat local foods and feel with them the seasons that change right in front of us.

During our time away from BC, Tim was busy taking day walks to the near by mountains, mainly Pumori BC, a beautiful mountain that controls this upper valley. He is in shape, happy, great attitude surrounds his energy and well acclimatized, having slept at camp 3 now for 2 nights solid. He is excited about traveling to the Col in a few days times, all without O2 or Sherpa support. We are climbing this mountain on our own and this makes us feel so good within.

We have our camp 2 and 3 established. We leave for camp 2 tomorrow morning at 3 am. This will get us there in around 5-6 hours. Our next journey will take us to camp 3 on the 23rd of May. We'll leave by 6 am and take around 4-5 hours to our little perched 2 person tent waiting for us to rest in.

With the weather holding, we'll get some sleep and leave at 5 am for the South Col. Like I mentioned in my last update, I took off for the South Col a few days back to get some gear up there, I left at 12 am, on the 16th May, in the freezing temps and made it to the Col in 3 hours, in the dark. Being to cold and dark to go beyond the 8000 meter mark I turned back to camp 3, feeling warmer with each step downwards. If the weather was better I would have kept climbing onto the SE Ridge to see how far I would have climbed without anyone summiting from this side this year. I am really happy to have turned back in the dark and to have warmed my toes. This is all part of the over all picture to prepare for our summit day. Tim and I are in good harmony together and we both feel ready to move for the summit in the morning. I like to mention that Tim ended up taking some time to climb to the Yellow Band the day before, around 7500 meters, to get the feeling of the Upper part of the Lhotse Face. He is now a confirmed, confident big ice wall climber on fixed lines, having this experience to help him up to the South Col with the days to come.

So, for right now, the three of us are content and happy and ready to move upward tomorrow. This update will not be sent to you all for several more days since the server is down. With good thoughts to everyone, we'll be thinking of you as we take one step at a time towards the roof of the world.

Talk again soon upon our return, much love and light, Marty, Giannina and Tim, Everest, south side base camp

Earlier: MSIG Update from Everest, SE Ridge, 18 May 2008.

Hello to everyone who is following us along this magical journey of climbing Everest from the south this year.

I am right now down in Dingboche, resting up after pushing hard for 5 days to the South Col. Tim and I left base camp with the goal of sleeping at camp 3 for 2 nights and for me to push gear to the Col at 7,900 meters. It was a very cold night when I left camp 3 for the col, I left at 12 midnight with the intent to get to the col by sunrise to see the upper section of the SE Ridge, with the hopes to attempt the summit solo. No one has been higher then the col at this time. But the winds and cold were not helping me, I turned around at 8000 meters. Getting back to camp 3 to warm my feet felt great, rested and headed back to BC taking 6 hours. 

Right now resting at Dingboche, where there is a computer to send this dispatch to you all, before heading back to BC and our summit push starting on the 20th of May. We are looking at our summit attempt being on the 24-25th of May. 

So, this will be a quick one to everyone. Thinking of you and looking forward to sending you great thoughts from around the summit of Everest in a weeks time. 

Much love and light from the Khumu, Nepal land of Everest. Cheers, Marty, Giannina and Tim.

Update from MSIG, Marty Schmidt Int. Guiding, Everest, 10 May, 2008.

Tim, Giannina and I made it through another week on Everest. Still looking at another 3 weeks or so for us to complete what we need to do here. Giannina is wonderful, enjoying her day to day living above 5,300 meters and soaking in the sights of this magical mountain range. Not easy going to live at BC for over 1.5 months, but she is doing it with grace and style. The weather is still stable but we are having more afternoon storms with a good dusting of snow, it is not hampering our climb at all to camp 2. For the past few days Tim and I climbed back up to camp 2 and another load including our gear for the higher camps. Doing it all on our own makes this climb very special for us. We can see some teams supplying all their camps with their 45 Sherpas and we just smile. Our way is just a different way of climbing an 8000 meter mountain and this way feels good to us.

Now that the political situation has ended for this season on the south side of Everest, we are able to be mountaineers again. It was strange to have the military presence at the higher camps, controlling any movement above camp 2 and doing this by way of a large rifle with a powerful scope. This has all ended now that the Chinese have summited Everest from the North side. We are all back on track for our summit attempts to happen in the next few weeks.

Tim and I leave tomorrow morning at 3 am, to beat the heat of the Khumbu Ice Fall. Each day the route through to camp 1 change, the sections with ladders spanning across the large crevasses need to be adjusted to keep up with the movements. Some of the ropes get so tight you could tight rope them if the skills are in place. Our job tomorrow is to get to camp 2 in one go. Then rest a night and start heading up to camp 3, The Lhotse Face head wall consists of a straight climb up a 45 degree slope for 700 or so meters, then chopping out a small tent platform for us to make camp. Our goal will be to rest at camp 3 and head to camp 4 to touch the South Col before heading down to Base Camp. With all this preparing for the past month we will be ready for our summit attempt to happen. The key is to feel good and strong at each of these camps and for most people on the earth, making this goal happen without O2 is not very possible. Tim and I are doing the correct things at each camp and it's in this frame of mind and body that we head upward with. We are climbing well together and having a lot of fun seeing new sights daily. There is a lot of history in the upper Western Cwm since 1952 and it is so nice to be apart of our own little slice of it now. Tim and I are enjoying every morning waking up to the surrounding mountains of Everest, with having a solid plan ahead of us. But we will be prepared with a back up plan in case we need it, which will consist of 4 bottles of O2 and two masks. This is what it's all about, to figure out the issues as they come to us and we are ready for these next steps.

So, we are hoping this update will bring you all up to where we are at the moment. I know these updates don't get sent right away so please try to piece together between the lines. We are safe, sound and happy and this is what we want to send to everyone who is following us along this journey.

Thinking of you all and sending all our best from South Side of Everest.

Cheers, Marty, Giannina and Tim.

Earlier: MSIG, Marty Schmidt Int Guiding, update, 3 May 2008, Everest Base Camp.

Greetings to all our followers, family, friends, clients, etc. It has been a while since we were able to communicate from this amazing place on earth. At this moment, the Everest region from the south, Nepal side, is under a weather change. For the past 3 weeks we had every morning being clear, beautiful blue skies, with a bit of cloud base coming in the afternoon. The winds above 8,000 meters were intense during this time. But now, our weather has changed to snowing around BC all day leaving a good dusting of snow and hopefully changing the high winds near the summit.

What has happened during the past 10 days with Tim and I was mainly working hard to establish our camp 1, 6,000 meters and our camp 2 at 6,500 meters. This involved moving through the Khumbu Ice fall 3 times, getting up at 3 AM and out the door by 4 AM, hauling our 35 kg loads through the jungle gym of ice blocks and across ladders spanning 5-10 meters crevasses. Moving quickly and soundly through this arena is important, building confidence with each step.

Our camp 1 is in a safe zone, our little assault extreme tent was home for 2 nights. This tent will be moved to our camp three and then to our South Col camp. It is small, light weight and needs to get use to living in and for these nights at camp 1 prepared Tim for the higher camps. For me, I am small and flexible and have been living in these tents for many years. I am glad for Tim to have already adjusted to this little home environment.  

Our camp 2 is made up of a large 2 person tent, one that gives the feeling of living in a palace compared to our assault tent. We stayed at camp 2 for 3 nights, living off of our delicious food of pastas, bacon, miso soups, New Zealand crackers, ginger nut biscuits, Dick Hubbard's granola, hot ciders,

teas, etc..... We ended up staying at 6,500 meters for these 4 days building rock walls around our home, taking in the beautiful scenery of the Western Cwm, having Nuptse, Lhotse and Everest's southwest face peering down upon us daily, giving us an overwhelming feeling of it's greatness and size, taking walks around the area, eating and resting, getting us to the thinner air every moment. We are not allowed to move any higher till the 10th of May or so. This year is a bit trickier because of the politics, but mainly, we are mountaineers in a foreign country, having to deal with what ever happens in the hills as well as off of them. This brings character to each of us and will ultimately help each of us to understand each other better as well as ourselves. Why else do we come to these amazing mountains, but to learn everyday day about life and ourselves.  

For the past 3 days we have been in Base Camp, resting, eating, preparing our gear for camp 3 and camp 4 and then visualizing our summit day. It is snowing in BC now and our solar panels are still doing their jobs, helping us send some words to the outside world.

Letting you all know that we are safe and sound, storing up our energy for another load carrying push to camp 2, leaving on the 5th and coming back to BC on the 6th, since we are only able to be on the mountain for no more then 2 days. We'll rest for 2 days and then head back to camp 2 in one push and then up to chisel our platform for our little tent at camp 3 by the 10th or the 11th May. I want to get Tim to the South Col during this time so that our acclimation will be complete for us to move to the Col for our summit bid the next time up. 

It is so good to be in touch with you all during time of our climb. We are hoping that you are enjoying to hear from us and we look forward to letting you all know how our climb goes for the next month. I can get to a computer only a few times during our BC rest time, so please be patient with us if you don't hear from us so much. Life is wonderful beyond the internet but it sure is nice to be in touch. I'll probably have hundreds of emails waiting for me when I get back to KTM in June and I look forward to being in touch with each of you when we are back.

So for now, Tim and I are right in the middle of our climb, waiting and preparing to move higher towards to the summit. 

I'll write again soon, sending all our love and light from Everest BC, south side.

PS, Giannina says hello to everyone.

All the best from Marty, Giannina and Tim.

Earlier: MSIG, April 22nd, update from Everest.

Tim, Giannina and I arrived into Everest Base camp on the 18th April after trekking up the Khumbu Valleys for the past 11 days. This trek in one of the most beautiful ways to get into the heart of any mountain range, this one just ended up being at the base of the highest mountain in the world. All went well for us, making our own way through the famous villages, meeting the local people, sharing our lives with them each day and being blessed by the main Lama at Thangboche monastery was a special high light. Being a small team of three we went places, saw things and experienced life that only small groups are allowed, which we are very thankful for. We did really well for Westerners not to get sick during this trek in. But our last night before heading into BC Tim and I had something that rocked our guts, we think it was the strong smelling Yak cheese on top of the fried potatoes. So for the past few days we were battling the foreign bacteria inside our bodies, making adapting to life at 5,350 meters a bit more challenging. We are still fortunate since we are almost past this sickness where others all around this base camp are sick with bugs and coughing through out the night with the Khumbu high altitude cough. It is a hard one to shake, we know since Giannina has a bit of it and we are finding ways to deal with it. She is strong in the gut area since her diet is very simple. She is happy up in this thin air arena, overwhelmed by its beauty every morning and evening, keeping busy with the simple chores of day to day living, getting to know the Sherpas that help around the kitchen, starting to paint and draw, just enjoying her surroundings and being content. Ahhhh, what a place to be in life. 

Tim and I are now able to head off to camp one, now that our Base Camp support had the Puja ritual, a ceremony that asks the Gods for permission to climb upon this sacred mountain. Our goal for the next few days is to push a few loads of supplies to camp one and two. Getting through the Khumbu ice fall will be the tricky bit for the start of the climb. Moving between ice boulders, over crevasses and up vertical blocks will gain us 700 meters to camp one. First time doing this will take around 6-7 hours and then afterwards we will be able to do this in less time because we will know the crux sections and will be better acclimatized. 

By the end of April we want to be established at camp two, feeling good with all our supplies in place to push for camp three. We still have to wait for permission to climb above camp three after the 10th of May. Everybody is in this same situation and so all of us need to keep staying in shape and ready to move when the time is set to go higher.

Today is a very warm one with temperatures ranging from below freezing in the morning to over 30 degree C. Inside the tents feels like if pushes over 40 C. Our minds and bodies are adapting every day to this extreme, which ultimately prepares us for our summit day. A day like today we treasure the winds, cooling us a bit, but we wish for the almost never heard of "No Wind Summit Day" to happen for us all. 

This email is a bit longer then the others, I can write off line now using another computer since my does not work at this high altitude. I thought buying a new computer would have given me a solid state hard drive, I found out later that I could have added this feature. I am just glad to get some of these updates out to everyone who is following Giannina, Tim and I. I won't be able to answer any emails till we are back in Kathmandu. I just keep sending out updates to you all this way.  

Thinking of you all and keeping in touch always, see you soon again from

Everest Base Camp. Cheers, Marty, Giannina and Tim.

Earlier: MSIG signing in from Dingboche.  

All is well with our team, acclimatizing, getting use to the thinner air, working through the beginnings of an expedition and being surrounded by some of the most beautiful mountains in the world. Right in front of us now is Ama Dablam, taking our breath away. Since our last dispatch, we have been trekking up the Khumbu Valley taking in the sights and people. Tangboche was a magical monastery, letting us experience the monks life style from within their lives. We had a blessing ceremony from the head Lama. Today we are off to Loboche at 4,900 meters. We will sleep there and then head for Everest BC in a couple days following. 

This will be a quick dispatch, once we get BC set up we can write more.  

It's a fantastic morning to trek, clear, no wind and just beautiful land to walk upon.  

Will write again in 3-4 days. 

All the very best from our little three person team, just below Nuptse, Lhotse and Everest.

Much love and light, cheers, Marty, Giannina and Tim.
Marty Schmidt Int Guiding, MSIG
New Zealand

Earlier: MSIG, Marty Schmidt International Guiding signing in from Namche.

This is our 3rd day of the trek into BC. We walked all around this magical Khumbu region today, soaking up the energy that Sir Ed brought to this land back in the 50's with helping to build schools and medical clinics. The Sherpa people are such a proud culture, spanning many generations, still living the simple and true life style that most western cities are lacking or have never found and yet they are connected to the outside world with modern items and communication. The duality of living here is so amazing for most western people that we want to be with these people longer and longer. There is a warm welcoming for outside people to experience.

We leave tomorrow for Pangboche and then award to the 5,360 meter Base Camp, so that we can get established before we start pushing the route up the Khumbu Ice Fall. 

So to let you all know, we are doing well and happy. We are on schedule everyday now and looking forward to our next trek up the Khumbu Valley.

Sending our love and light everyday, cheers, Marty, Giannina and Tim

Earlier: 07/04/08 MSIG, Marty Schmidt International Guiding signing in for another day in Kathmandu.

All is well, Tim Burns arrived on time on the 6th April, had a good rest and up early to get some work completed around KTM. Our permits are in hand and the flights booked for early on the 8th April to Lukla. Our time spent in this magical  city is always a delight to the senses. But it is time to move on for greener hills and clearer air.  Off to experience the temples of the dedicated souls of this earth. Nothing but respect for these true believers.  

If all goes well, tomorrow morning we are up at 0500, eat some breakfast, catch a ride to the airport and load up for our flight to Lukla, 2866 meters, by 0700. We’ll start our trek within the same day towards Namche, 3,446 meters, along the way working with the village of Phakding. We’ll be taking 10 days of trekking time to get to Everest BC. Along this trek we’ll try to send in more dispatches and let you know how all is going with our small and dedicated team. 

Namaste from KTM. Marty

Earlier: Hello everyone and greetings from New Zealand, Giannina and I are all packed and ready to fly in the morning for Kathmandu, Nepal.

The journey has be changed from the North side of Everest to the South side within the past few weeks do to the Tibetan/Chinese situation in Lhasa and over the Olympic torch being taken to the summit or near it by just the Chinese climbers. No one else is allowed to be on the North side or even near the summit of Everest between the 1st of April to the 10th of May, while the torch is being taken up to it's highest point. Then after this time we are allowed to summit. All will be in place for Tim Burns, from Dallas, Texas, and I to push our camp to the 8000 meter Col for us to make our summit climb, most likely around the 20-25th of May.

We are flexible and focused with this goal. Not using any Sherpas or 02 will be the main goal for us and we are ready to make this happen.

Please join us while we climb Everest, you can log into www.everestnews.com at anytime and read about our ascent and others. I will write short blogs to Everestnews.com from time to time. It will not be everyday since we will be doing a lot of climbing and acclimatizing to prepare ourselves for the summit. Giannina will be around Base Camp and she will also write a few blogs from time to time.

Sending you all our very best energy, filled with adventure, light and happiness. Next time we'll send in some words from Kathmandu.

All the best, cheers, Marty, Giannina and Tim.

Earlier Update: Marty Schmidt is off to Everest again... "I have a 1 to 1 ratio, we are heading for the North ridge, no Sherpas and no 02. Making a higher mark to reach for I see a growing problem with too many people sucking 02 to low, up to 12 bottles now....." Marty, tell EverestNews.com

"Working hard is the only way to summit 8000 meter summits. People are forgetting how to work up high...", Marty

MSIG's Awards and Achievements

Awards and Achievements:

  • SUS Air Force Air Medal 1984, for rescuing 9 people from a burning hotel fire in the Philippines.
  • Guided 71 year old client to the summit of Denali in 1988 (the oldest person to have summitted Denali to date).
  • Climbed a new route on the northeast face of Everest, from the Tibetan side, in 1994.
  • Selected as a member of an International climbing team to climb K2 in 1992.
  • Rescued members of other teams while on Denali, Alaska, USA; Aconcagua, Argentina; Mt. Everest, Tibet.
  • K2 expedition in 2000 with International team to within meters of the top of K2.
  • First American to summit the southwest face on Kangchenjunga.
  • Second New Zealander to have ever summited Kangchenjunga (the first Kiwi was Norman Hardie in 1955).
  • World speed record on Cho Oyu on 28 September 2001 in 10 hours, 45 minutes from ABC to summit.
  • On 24 September, 2004 on Cho Oyu, Tibet, summited a client with no O2 being used and no Sherpa support. Then helped rescue a man in his 50's from Camp II to Camp I who was having a very hard time at the 7000 meter mark. After 20 hours rest at ABC, I headed back up for a 13 hour ascent, using no fixed lines, no O2, no support, carrying all my own ski gear. Then skied from the summit to the end of the snow at Camp I in 3 hours. The snow conditions were the worst, breakable 30mm wind slab crust, that boil plated with most turns. The 10 meter rock band and vertical ice serac were the most technical parts to ski off of. Only a few people in the world have skied from the summit of an 8000 meter mountain.
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.




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