News and photos from 7 Summits Club expedition.
It is a rest day at the Base Camp after going to Camp 2 - Advanced Base Camp
(ABC). Our ABC is located right at the foot of Mt. Everest's Western wall and
overlooks other camps at the location. From ABC one looks straight at Western
Cwm - a giant amphitheater made up by the Everest, Lhotse and Nuptse wall.
From ABC we could also see our future route climbing Lhotse face, crossing the
site of Camp 3 (7300m) and continuing accross the Yelow band (a distinct layer
of light rock crossing the black wall from left to right). The route then
crosses Geneva Spur (7600m) and leads onto South Col - a saddle between
Everest and Lhotse at roughly 8000m, and the site of our future Camp 4, the
summit camp. It was windy at times during the trip, but overall everybody
made it fine through this acclimatization trip and through spending a night at
Camp 1 and another at ABC. Our time of crossing Khumbu Ice Fall was
significantly better - about half of the time it took us the first tme
around. Today we learned that high winds raked Western Cwm and some of the
tents at ABC got flattened by it, so the camp has to be partially
reconstructed in the coming days. We plan our next climb after several days'
rest, probably towards the second half of the week of April 27.
April, 22. As the days
are getting longer and the Sun is becoming warmer we are
getting ready to head up for our second acclimatization
trip tomorrow. Given earlier sunrise we are planning for
a 5 am start up the Icefall. We will spend next two
nights in Camp 1 (6000m)and Camp 2 (6400m) before
heading back to Base Camp on Saturday.
Today is the rest day.
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile
We convened for lunch
Noel in BC
Noel Hanna, Everest Summitter (summitted in 2006 with
our 7 Summits Club team from the North)
Dmitry Nikitin | 23.04.2009 - 11:30
The entire team returned to the base camp today after successful
acclimatization trip to Camp 1 at 6000m. Crossing Khumbu Icefall was the
first serious exercise of the trip. The Icefall is constantly moving, so we
had to leave early before the sun started to melt the ice formations, some of
which reach the height of a 5-6 storey building. The reward at the end of the
trip was an awesome view of Mt Everest (which can't be seen from the Base
Camp), the Western Cwm, which we will have to cross during the climb, and the
peaks of Lhotse, Cho-Oyu, Pumori and Nuptse.
We stayed overnight at Camp 1. Just prior to heading back down the Icefall at
5:30 am we learned that there was an ice avalanche overnight, so half of our
trip down the Fall took place across the terrain that was changed beyond
recognition from the previous day. Here near Mt Everest one is truly
confronted face to face with the nature's awesome might.
Buddhist puja ceremony this morning officially opened our camp and the
blessing was given to the climb, the climbers and climbing gear. Now buddhist
prayer flags criss-cross the camp.
In the afternoon the climbing team made its first incursion to Khumbu Ice
Fall. The roundtrip took 3 hours during which the equipment was checked, and
tested. We crossed crevasses, two of them with the help of aluminum ladders.
Today's short climb offered spectacular panorama of the basecamp and
EVEREST EXPEDITION ARRIVED TO THE BASE CAMP
Today all the participants of the Everest expedition led by
Alexander Abramov arrived to the Base Camp. They had a holiday dinner on this
subject. During the lunch Alex Abramov announced the in the following days. In
the next two days, participants will have a rest, check the equipment and
training on the ice. And then they will go to the ABC (6400m).
The expedition arrived in the camp
Sherpas meet with members of the expedition
7 Summits Club: 1. "Himalayan Women to Seven Summits" will
go with Alex Abramov.
Alexander Abramov (Leader of the "7 Summits Club") from Kathmandu:
Today we met with the Nepalese women's team, which realizing a 7 Summits
project. We have signed a formal agreement to organize the climb expedition to
Elbrus (the highest mountain in Europe) for Himalayan Women's Seven Summits
team. The agreement has one indispensable condition - participation of
Alexander Abramov in Elbrus expedition as a guide.
2. The first rock climbing competition in Kathmandu.
March, 25 today the first rock climbing competition took place in Kathmandu.
The whole staff of Seven Summits Club and all the Sherpas took part in this
The competition was held in the Asian Trekking office.
In the competition participated not only 9 Sherpas (2 had already left for
Namche Bazar), 3 teams cooks, and the leader of the Everest expedition
Alexander Abramov participated in the competitions. He opened the competition,
explained the rules and participated in competition in the category "Cooks".
The arbiter was Mr Ang Tshering Sherpa - President of Nepal Mountaineering
Referees: Nikolay Cherny and Maxim Bogatirev - guides of our expedition and
Expedition's Sirdar Mingma Gelu Sherpa.
Photo - Elena Abramova.
In the category "Cooks" the prize pool was $ 20. Cook Dorji Sherpa took the
first place and the prize. Abramov was second.
In the class "Climbing Sherpas" there was hard struggle with real
qualification, and the semi-finals. Dzang Bu Sherpa was the first and received
$ 100.Second place and $ 50 was taken by Pemba Sherpa.
Then was the holiday breakfast after which there was announced the official
start of the Everest expedition.
On March 27 all Sherpas, cooks and guides will take off to Lukla.
Earlier: March 20, the advance team for Seven Summits Club Everest
Expedition start off for Katmandu. The team consisting of: Abramov Alexander
(leader), Nikolay Cherny (guide), Maxim Bogatiryov (guide). They arrived in
Nepal before the whole group, to prepare everything necessary for the
expedition. Then Nicholay Cherny and Maxim Bogatyryov will go to the Everest
Base Camp for arrangement to the arrival of participants.
The expedition will take place from 20 March to 10 June 2009.
For Alexander Abramov (Captain Seven Summits Club and permanent Leader of
Seven Summits Club Everest expeditions) it is seventh expedition to Everest.
But this expedition is unique in many ways. It is the first time when Seven
Summits Club conduct the expedition to the south of Everest from Nepal.
Secondly, usually composed of members of the expedition was a majority of
Russians. This year a large part of the group consist of the citizens of other
The list of participants of expedition:
KHUTOROVSKY Vladimir (Russia)
CARPENCO Andrey (Russia)
NIKITIN Dmitry (Russia)
Mr Philippe Burlet (France)
RAVENSTIJN Erik (Germany)
MARIN Michael James (USA)
CRELLIN John Anthony (Great Britain)
SINGH Patrick Rajnaraine (Canada)
HANNA Lynne (Great Britain)
HANNA Noel Richmond (Great Britain)
The head: Abramov Alexander (Alex)
Nikolay Cherny (Russia)
Maksim Bogatirev (Russia)
Viktor Bobok (Russia)
Doctor and base camp manager:
Alex Abramov, 7 Summits Club Everest expedition has now added a South side
expedition in 2009 to go with his North side expedition. Alex
on the Tibet Side of Everest plans has 16 members, 17 Sherpas, 5 guides, a
Doctor and 5 cooks for the expedition. It is assumed Alex and his large team
of Sherpas will do most the route fixing this year on Everest North side.
Unclear the numbers for the South side, but demand is high for expedition
permits and places on expeditions.
More coming soon!
Everest from the South Side
Base Camp - 17,500 feet (5350
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).
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.
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 -
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.
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 -
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 youíre leaving C4Öitís 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 thereís not much holding the rope and a fall could be serious. Fortunately
itís 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. Thereís 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 youíre getting set up for the rappel. Wearing an oxygen mask here can
create some footing issues during the rappel, because itís impossible to see
over the mask and down to the feet. For that reason, some people choose to
leave Camp 4 without gas, as itís easier to keep moving down the Spur when
itís 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 arenít so steep, where fixed ropes through here are solid.
At this point, itís 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.
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.
29,028 feet (8848 meters)
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.
readers of this page know, the return trip can be even more dangerous than the
climb to the summit.
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