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 The IMG 2010 Everest Expedition : Climbers Making Their Way Toward Everest

The Hybrid team reached Pheriche today, over 14,000 feet, while the Classic group was spending a rest day at Deboche. Meanwhile, Ang Jangbu went ahead to Base Camp to check on the status of the camp, and he reports that the Icefall doctors are making good progress and will be finished with the route to Camp 1 in a few more days. The climbers report that the weather has been excellent the last few days and that everyone is doing well.

Yesterday the team visited with the Lama in Tengboche and tomorrow they will do a puja with the Lame Geshe in Pangboche, for good luck on the mountain.

Back in Kathmandu the Everest Express, Lhotse, and C2/C3 climbers are all in town and are getting ready to fly to Lukla. So far so good!

—Eric Simonson, IMG Director

Earlier: Last night we had our Welcome Dinner for the team. It was a fun evening to get to know everyone and get the trip off to a good start. So far everything has been going really smoothly here in Nepal. The team members have all arrived to Nepal on time with no missing luggage.

We have now collected from the team members their base camp duffel bags (with the gear not required until reaching the mountain), and our head cook Kaji and his kitchen team have been packing fresh food and vegetables. The last 3300kg of food and gear will go tomorrow on our final helicopter charter to Shyangboche, then direct to EBC on the yaks. This morning (the 31st in Nepal) Mike Hamill and the Hybrid team left at 5am for the airport and the flight to Lukla. The first group is on the way!!

—Eric Simonson, IMG Director

Leaving on the plane for KTM

Our Everest guides are on their way to Kathmandu; we are rolling now! This morning we saw expedition leader Justin Merle, Hybrid team leader Mike Hamill, and Sherpa guided team leader Greg Vernovage off at the airport. They are heading to Kathmandu ahead of the surge to get boots on the ground over there and get ready to receive the group. Eric Simonson and Phil and Sue Ershler leave tomorrow. Most of the climbers will be hitting Kathmandu on the 29th or 30th. The plan is to get everyone together on the night of March 30th at our welcome dinner at the Radisson Hotel, always a festive evening. Then, starting the next day, the group flies to Lukla and starts trekking in three waves... Here we go!

—Eric Simonson, IMG Director

Earlier: It's Everest time again!

Over the next few weeks people from all over the world will converge on Kathmandu, Nepal to join in one of the world's classic human-powered challenges. For some the goal will be the summit, for others it will be Base Camp. Each year at Mt. Everest there is a different mix of teams and countries represented, but we all share personal goals, a love of the mountains, and an adventurous spirit.

IMG's 2010 Everest Expedition is just a few days from officially beginning, but behind the scenes we have been working for many months on this trip. What makes it fun for me is that every year is different, and the outcome is unknown until the very end. We hope that everything goes well, but we plan for the contingencies. This will be the 18th Everest expedition I have organized and I am very proud of our IMG program. Over the years we have seen 209 summits of Everest with our IMG teams. With all that experience, I know that at the end of the day it comes down to the basics: preparation, a good team, solid leadership, the right gear, and some good luck!

We have a fine looking team heading over to Everest this year, broken into several groups. The overall expedition leader is Justin Merle, a 3-time Everest summiter and veteran IMG Senior guide. Heading up our Sherpa guided climbers is IMG's Greg Venovage. Leading our "hybrid" team are Mike Hamill and Eben Reckord. Joining the team for the trip to BC and the month of April will be IMG partner and Everest legend Phil Ershler. I'll be heading over to Kathmandu to meet and greet the team members, and assist as they start the trip to base camp, in three different waves, a few days apart. I will also be helping our IMG Cho Oyu expedition as they head for Tibet, a few days after the Everest climbers depart.

Deputy leader Ang Jangbu and our longtime Sherpa sirdar Ang Pasang already have some of their Sherpa team up at Base Camp working on constructing the tent platforms from the rocky surface of the Khumbu Glacier. All total we will have 42 climbing Sherpas and 10 Sherpa cook staff working for us. Now that is some serious manpower! We have already sent several big MI17 Helicopter loads to Shyangboche with over 7500 kilos of food, fuel, rope, oxygen, and equipment. This gear, along with another heli charter of gear flying in next week, will be transported to the Base Camp on yaks and porters from Shyangboche. A number of our top Sherpas, veterans of many Everest expeditions and formally trained at the Alex Lowe Khumbu Climbing School, will be working as Sherpa guides for our team. Our Sherpa really are the best in the business!

Back at IMG HQ in Ashford, WA near Mt Rainier, we have been at it for many months — organizing our guides, climbing team, and the food and gear. This year I have been working with all the main Everest commercial groups in hopes that we can do a better job of fixing the ropes on the climbing route. To this goal, I have bought and shipped on behalf of the teams over 20,000 feet of high quality PMI static fixed rope, which is now on the way to Base Camp too.

On Everest you do your best to control the variables that you can, and you try to plan for the things you cannot. I am confident that we have done our homework. Now it is up to the climbers, the guides, the mountain, and the gods. Let the games begin!

—Eric Simonson, IMG Director

IMG Expedition Leaders
Justin Merle, Expedition Leader
Ang Jangbu Sherpa, Deputy Expedition Leader

Western Guided Climber
Jeff Gottfurcht, climbing with Justin Merle

Everest Climbers with Sherpa Guides
IMG Team Coach: Greg Vernovage
Robert Kay, climbing with Nima Nuru (Pangboche)
Bryan Chapman, climbing with Dorje Lama (Baganje)
Ryan Dahlem, climbing with Danuru I (Phortse)
John Dahlem, climbing with Danuru II (Phortse)
Karel Masek, climbing with Karma Rita (Phortse)
Chien Min (Davis) Wang, climbing with Phinjo (Phortse)
Peter Ford, climbing with Mingma Tshering (Phortse)
CL Lein, climbing with Jamling Bhote (Makalu)
Anastasia Iliopoulou, climbing with Mingma Dorje (Phortse)
Chris Bergum, climbing with Mingma Tenzing I (Phortse)
Michael Boaz, climbing with Kancha Nuru (Phortse)
Adolphus Hancock, climbing with Pasang Rinji (Phortse)
Wang Lei, climbing with Da Tenji (Phortse)
Mike Chapman, climbing with Samduk Dorje (Pangboche)

Express Everest Climbers
Martin McGarvey, climbing with Phinjo Dorje (Pangboche)
Sylvia Moser, climbing with Nima Karma (Phortse)

Everest Hybrid Team
Team Leader: Mike Hamill
Assistant Leader: Eben Reckord
Louis Carstenz, climbing with Dasonam (Pangboche)
Sandhosh Kumar, climbing with Kalden Phura (Pangboche)
Mayk Schega, climbing with Tseten Dorje (Pangboche)
Steve Barnes, climbing with Pasang (Thamo)
Ted Fairhurst, climbing with Pasang Nuru (Phortse)
Jason Van Dalen, climbing with Pasang Yila (Pangboche)
Tim Igo, climbing with Phu Tshering (Phortse)

Lhotse Climbers
Sumiyo Tsuzuki, climbing with Gyalzen Dorje (Phortse)
Brook Mancinelli, climbing with Chewang Lendu (Phortse)

Everest Camp 2/3 Climbers
Phil Ershler
Larry Johnson

Everest Base Camp Trekkers
Susan Ershler
Paul Kent-Snowsell
David Pinkham
Rob Seely

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