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 Everest 2009:  Summitclimb North side Everest : Arnold is back


Hello SummitClimb news. This is Arnold Coster, the leader of the Everest Tibet expedition calling from basecamp on the 9th of May.

This is our second night in basecamp and we are all resting, enjoying the showers, and having a good sleep. 4 of our members; Gordon, Aref, Elizabeth, and Allen went down to the village of Shegar to sleep even lower to make sure to get a good rest for the summit. All members are relaxing and doing fine.

It’s still very cold here in basecamp and very windy. It’s not normal for this time of year. We’re waiting to see what the weather is going to do, but our plan is to go back up to ABC around the 12th of May. Everything is looking good. All we need is a good weather period so we can summit. I will call in when I have some more news. Until then, bye, bye.

Hello SummitClimb news. This is Arnold Coster, the leader of the Everest Tibet expedition calling from the North Col at 7000 metres/23,000 feet on the 5th of May.

Tonight, all members are spending their second night on the North Col. Everybody climbed up here yesterday. Everybody did really well.

Today we tried to gain some more altitude, but it was kind of hard because of the serious wind we experienced. Some members reached as high as 7,600 members/24,000 metres, so no worries. We’re now just hanging out here in the altitude to get more acclimatization before we go down for our final rest. Also, today our sherpas took up most of what we will need in camp 2, so they did a very good job in such strong winds.

Tomorrow we will all descend to ABC, sleep in ABC, and the day after will go to basecamp for our final rest. Until tomorrow, this is Arnold Coster signing off from the North Col. Bye, bye

Earlier: This is Gordon Hopper reporting for the SummitClimb Everest Tibet 2009 expedition. It is my pleasure to give this report on the 26th of April on our first day of real mountaineering.

Up to this point, we had only really been trekking, but today we ascended the glacier wall to camp 1 at 7000 metres/23,000 feet. The morning started with a hike to crampon point at 6500 metres/21,300 feet. This was followed by a 100 metre ascent on the glacier to the base of the North Col. After this it was a 45 degree ascent on a mixture of blue ice and compacted snow on fixed lines.

All of the members either reached the Col or were within 100 metres of it. At this altitude the ascent was extremely strenuous because our bodies are not meant to function in such oxygen deprived air. Further more, we only reached advanced basecamp at 6400 metres/21,000 feet 4 days ago.

Tomorrow we are going to descend to basecamp at 5200 metres/17,000 feet to let our bodies recover, rest, have a shower, wash clothes, and regain our appetites. Best wishes to my family. Bye.

Greetings news readers. This is Edwin Ludlow calling from advanced basecamp at 6400 metres/21,000 feet for the SummitClimb Everest Tibet expedition on 25 April.

Today was day 28 of our expedition. Last night was a little colder than usual at about -20 C. Most people arose at about 9:00 a.m. This might seem a little late, but we’re operating on Beijing time, which is a few thousand miles away.

A delicious breakfast was served in our comfortable dining tent at 10:00 by our awesome cooks. After breakfast we packed our rucksacks with ice-axe and crampons, put on our climbing boots, and departed upwards towards the North Col on an acclimatization hike.

It’s amazing how much the camps have expanded in the last few days in all directions with 60 or 70 yaks arriving and departing daily. They cannot stay at this altitude for more than a few hours. It took us a full 10 minutes to clear the campsite. Some of the tents seem large enough to house a small helicopter.

The air is getting thinner and we are all gasping to get the last few molecules of oxygen available. The trail is a bit rough with occasional snow and ice patches. To the left (the east) are ice blue seracs and on the right (the west) are towering cliffs of rock, which are sometimes unstable. On the snow and ice face ahead of us, we can see the line of our sherpas climbing steadily towards the North Col camp.

When we arrived at the crampon point, where we attach crampons to go higher, the fuel we had for climbing higher waned, so we lazed in the sun and had a few snacks before returning to ABC.

After yesterday’s puja, it was amazing how colourful the campsite looked, with bands of prayer flags strewn from one side to the other. Following lunch, most people laid in their tents.

Tomorrow we intend to climb up to the North Col and then return to advanced basecamp. The day after we will return to basecamp for a few days, where there will be a fight over the shower tents no doubt.

As a footnote, I would like to send my love and best regards to my dear wife Joyce. Over and out.

Hi, this is Aref Geranmayeh reporting in for the SummitClimb Everest Tibet expedition on April 24th from ABC.

We had a great puja ceremony today with the sherpas to bless our safe passage on the mountain. Hopefully the celebration will bring luck to our expedition. Now that we’ve had the puja, our sherpas will begin setting up the higher camps and working their way up the mountain.

After lunch, all of the members went to the East Rongbuk Glacier to do a bit of training and practice ice climbing techniques with the leader.

We’re excited to begin our climb of Everest. Thanks for following along our expedition and we’ll keep you updated. Bye.

Hi, this is Nima Yazdipour reporting in for the SummitClimb Everest Tibet expedition on April 23rd.

All members left intermediate basecamp at 11:00 a.m. in perfect weather and we started climbing to ABC. The route was surrounded by amazing icy towers on one side and high mountains on the other side.

The team’s proper acclimatization is our main goal each day, so we made a decision to hike very slowly and continue the process of acclimatizing as easily as possible.

All team members reached ABC at 6400 metres/21,000 metres after 5-7 hours of trekking. The weather was a bit windy in ABC after we arrived.

The sherpas who left intermediate basecamp yesterday had already set up our advanced basecamp by the time we arrived.

ABC is located between the East Rongbuk Glacier on the left side and Changtse Mountain on the right side.

Last, but not least, all members are healthy and well acclimatized. We are all planning to reach the upper camps in the coming days. Thank you. Bye

Hello SummitClimb news. This is Arnold Coster, the leader of the Everest Tibet expedition calling in a dispatch for 21 April from interim camp at 5750 metres/19,000 feet.

All members spent their first night here. Everybody is healthy and fine. Yesterday the members and all of our equipment left basecamp. 3000 kilograms of equipment were loaded on more than 70 yaks. Early in the morning our staff left interim camp together with the yaks and set up ABC at about 6400 metres/21,000 feet.

We will spend a second night here at interim camp because it gives our bodies more time to get used to the altitude. Also, the staff will be able to set up ABC before we arrive.

Tomorrow we all have a long day of fun hiking ahead of us. I will call in again once we've reached ABC. Until tomorrow, this is Arnold. Bye, bye

Earlier: Hi, this is Dr. Biff Palmer reporting in for the SummitClimb Everest Tibet expedition on April 19th.

This is our 3rd day in Chinese Basecamp at 5200 metres/17,000 feet. Members have used this day to continue the acclimatization process. Activities have ranged from short hikes in the neighbouring hills, washing clothes, reading, and playing chess. Many also used the day to take showers in our rudimentary, but functional shower tents.

The camp is situated in a valley in which the North Face of Everest towers above one end. The beauty of the mountain is particularly noteworthy at sunset, at which time the face takes on a bright orange hue. Equally as impressive are the nighttime skies. Without city lights, one can easily see the brightly lit Milky Way extend from one horizon to the other.

Health wise, the team is in good shape. Several members have had minor respiratory colds, but nothing serious. For my professional colleagues, renal function is stable. We anxiously await the arrival tomorrow of 56 yaks to carry equipment to what is called ABC (advanced basecamp).at 6400 metres/21,000 feet.

The team will move tomorrow towards ABC, but spend two nights at an interim camp at 5800 metres/19,000 feet to continue the acclimatization process.

As I sign off, I send my love to my two precious children, Robert and Kelly Palmer.

Hi, this is a dispatch for the SummitClimb Everest Tibet expedition on April 18th from Everest Basecamp at 5200 metres/17,000 feet.

Yesterday after breakfast we left Tingri and drove very anxiously through the Tibetan Himalayan foothills, with spectacular views of the mountains and numerous yak herding families towards basecamp.

After arriving at basecamp around noon, we helped set up tents and unpacked our gear. The rest of the day we spent exploring our immediate surroundings and enjoying the view of Everest towering over us.

After a mild night of -5 degrees centigrade, half of our group explored the way up to IBC (Intermediate Basecamp), while the others walked down the valley to the Rongbuk Monastery for a puja ceremony, blessings for a safe and successful climb.

After a tasty lunch, we relaxed in basecamp and continued our acclimatization to the rising altitude. Bye for now.

April 16: Hi, this is Richard Little calling in for the SummitClimb Everest Tibet expedition on April 16th from Tingri in Tibet.

We’re at about 4400 metres/14,000 feet spending a rest day here before going on to basecamp tomorrow. We left Kathmandu at about 4:30 a.m. on the 14th and arrived at the Friendship Bridge on the border at about 9:30 a.m. that morning. It took us about 5 hours to clear the processing at the border, which was kind of tough for us because most of us got very little sleep the night before, as it was New Year’s Eve on the Hindu calendar. There was lots of activity going on in the hotels and streets of Kathmandu with lots of noise, but we were anxious to get started.

After crossing through the border we spent the night in Zhangmu, which is a border town. Then the next morning we spent what can only be described as 6 teeth-jarring hours on dirt roads to get here to Tingri. It’s an extraordinary place located up on the Tibetan plateau.

It’s been great because we’ve now switched our diets from Nepalese to Chinese food for a change. All of the food has been really great with lots of it.

Everyone is doing fine here and looking forward to being in basecamp tomorrow. With that, I will say bye for now. This is Richard Little signing off.


Earlier: 15 April, 2009: Hello SummitClimb news. This is Arnold Coster, the leader of the Everest Tibet expedition calling in a dispatch for 15 April from Tingri in Tibet.  Yesterday we had a hard day crossing the border in Zhangmu, but eventually we managed to get into Tibet. It was a bit hard for me to call, so that's why I'm reporting in now.

This morning we left Zhangmu early at 7:00 a.m. Chinese time and drove to Tingri. The whole team is in Tingri now at 4300 metres/14,200 feet. Tomorrow we will also stay in Tingri so that the truck with all of our equipment can catch up and go ahead to basecamp. When we show up our basecamp will be ready. 

All members are doing fine and healthy. Everybody was a little bit irritated from the long wait for the visa and also the long wait at the border crossing, but everything is good now. Our expedition is finally getting started.

The weather is perfect. I'm sitting on top of a hill right now looking at Everest and Cho Oyu and they just look gorgeous. There are very few foreign teams here, so I think we may have a big mountain for ourselves.

I will send the next dispatch in once we reach basecamp. Bye, bye.

Earlier: Hi SummitClimb news readers, Yesterday we finally got the got news from Lhasa that our Everest permit is approved. Now we only have to see how fast they can wrap up the paperwork.

We had a very good trek up to Kala Patar. All members reached above 5300 metres/17,400 feet and some even went up to 5500 metres/18,000 feet. Because we are all used to the altitude now, we can drive straight to basecamp and be able to make up for lost time.

Actually, we are very lucky to see both sides of the mountain and the trek in the Khumbu Valley is so nice.

Today we will trek for about 8 hours back to Lukla and if everything goes well weather wise, we will fly back to Kathmandu Friday morning.

This is it for now and I hope the next message will be from Tibet in a couple of days. -Arnold Coster 

Earlier: Hi SummitClimb news readers. This is Arnold Coster, the leader of the Everest Tibet and Lhakpa Ri/North Col expedition reporting in.

The whole Everest Tibet group is in Namche now, except for Herve.

It is still not sure when we will receive the Tibet permit, so instead of waiting in noisy, dusty Kathmandu, we decided to go into the mountains to start our acclimatisation.

We will climb as high as possible, so we can skip days on the drive into Tibet. This way we will not loose a lot of time. We are having contact with Tibet every day and they are positive we will get a permit and visa. It's just a little bit delayed.

Today everybody walked to the 'Everest View Hotel' and got some very good views of Everest. Tomorrow we will probably go to Pangboche at about 4000 metres/13,000 feet to gain some more altitude. The whole team is very happy to be here and thinks this little side trip is like a bonus.

As soon as I have more news about the opening of Tibet, I will report it to you. This is it for now.

Arnold Coster

Earlier: Dan and his company is planning to return to Everest again in 2009 with several expeditions. Some of the highlights...

A. Mount Everest. In May of 2008, we put 14 members on the summit with 14 sherpas. We have very strong and experienced leaders with some of the most helpful and accomplished sherpas you will ever meet. Our equipment is superb and the meals are delicious. Leaders: Dan Mazur, Arnold Coster, Sam Mansikka, Max Kausch. Our 10th Everest expedition!

A. The original first ascent route made famous by Tenzing and Hillary in 1953. 29 March to 5 June 2009,

B. The exotic and less-expensive side of Everest, made famous by Mallory and Irvine in 1928. 29 March to 5 June 2009

C. Now offering (for those who need to do-it-all) the 'Everest-Traverse' over the summit from Nepal to Tibet AND Tibet to Nepal.

D. Mount Lhotse (fourth highest in the world and climbed from the same route as Everest) In May of 2008, we placed 5 members on the top including 4 Sherpas. Leaders: Dan Mazur, Arnold Coster, Sam Mansikka. Our 5th Lhotse expedition! 29 March to 5 June 2009

E. Cho Oyu (6th highest in the world located beside Everest, most-accessible of the world's fourteen 26,000 foot peaks) In October of 2008, 13 members made the summit including the first woman to ski from the summit along with 5 sherpas. High-fun snow-climb. We teach you everything you need to know.  Our 8th Cho Oyu expedition!  23 April to 30 May or 1 September to 8 October

Etc etc... Looks like Dan and Summitclimb will be busy again in 2009..

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