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 Everest 2010: SummitClimb Mt Everest Tibet Expedition Heading up to ABC

15 April, 2010

Hi this is Dan calling for SummitClimb and SummitTrek. Today's date is the 15th of April and the time is 20 minutes past 11:00 a.m. Tibet time.

I'm calling you from interim basecamp at 5800 metres/19,000 feet. The weather is very sunny, there is no wind and the temperature is around freezing.

Right now I'm sitting on top of a high rock moraine looking down at our camp about 50 metres below me. I can see a lot of ice pilgrims, glacier all around me and as I look out to the left, I can see some other interim camps and herds of yaks working their way up towards advanced basecamp.

First of all, I wanted to mention that everyone in our team is okay. We heard there was an earthquake about 250 kilometres to the northwest of us, perhaps over on the Qinghai/Tibet border. We'd like to send our condolences to everyone who was affected by the earthquake. We did not feel the effects of the earthquake here. Everyone on our team is okay.

I'd like to just mention what we did on previous days as well.
On the 12th of April Alex Welles, our ABC trekking member left the team and went back to Kathmandu and we miss him very much. It was great to have him around. What an interesting person and he will be missed. We wish him all the best in his journey back home.

On the 12th of April we walked up to interim basecamp. It took 4 hours for some, but everyone arrived safely. We came to our comfortable camp among the ice pilgrims at 5800 metres/19,000 feet and had a delicious dinner.

On the 13th we rested in interim basecamp. Some of us took some
acclimatization hikes around on the local ridges and explored the terrain. It's gorgeous up here, especially with the dusting of new snow. We saw many birds swarming around and watched herds of yaks walking by. It's quite a picturesque area being high in these mountains on this amazing East Rongbuk Glacier.

On the 14th, we took another rest day to get used to the high 5800
metres/19,000 feet elevation. Some of us wandered around amongst the moraine. We explored a little bit towards the Far East Rongbuk. Our interim basecamp was located right at the junction of the Far East Rongbuk Glacier and the East Rongbuk Glacier.

This morning on the 15th, as I'm calling you, we're heading up towards advanced basecamp. Most of our team is going. 1 or 2 of our members aren't feeling quite so well, so are going to stay and rest in interim camp. The rest of us are walking up towards advanced basecamp. It's a big day hiking along the moraines of the East Rongbuk Glacier. We'll be taking our time. It probably takes about 4-8 hours to walk up there, depending. The elevation up there is quite high at 6400 metres/21,000 feet. We're looking forward to reconnecting with one of our members, Tom Javrin and his 2 sherpas, Thile Sherpa and Sano Jangbu Sherpa, and hearing how their progress is going trying to reach the North Col.

Our team will be resting up in advanced basecamp for another 3-5 days. We'll be practicing ice climbing and we may try to make an ascent on to the North Col.

So wish us well and thanks for following our expedition at SummitClimb and SummitTrek. This is Dan Mazur signing off. All of the best for now. Cheers. Bye, bye.

Earlier: Today we awoke early and after breakfast drove from Nyalam to Tingri. The road is in very good condition and the visibility was clear so we could see a lot. We crossed the 5000 metre/16,400 foot Yakri Shong La pass and saw lovely unobstructed views of mount Shishapangma, 14th highest in the world and the only 8000 metre peak located entirely in Tibet. Finally we have reached the mighty Tibetan plateau and it showed all of its dry high elevation.

Surprisingly there is almost no road traffic, proving the point that Tibet is still nearly closed. So we feel very fortunate to be here. Along the highway, we saw two groups of native wild asses, and a pair of huge Tibetan cranes wading in a pool near the road. This is such a rare siting of a bird that is rapidly approaching extinction. As we zoomed along the smooth ribbon of tarmac in our comfortable bus and land cruisers, donkey carts and Himalayan snow pheasants scooted out of our way. Rounding a corner near Gutsuo town the plateau spread her arms wide and luckily we saw mounts Cho
Oyu and Everest in all their glory. Everest stood proud over the highway and we couldn't help but notice an enormous 5-10 kilometre wind plume screaming from the summit. Finally we arrived in dusty and frontier like Tingri town at noon, and we were assigned our rooms at the local inn. While awaiting lunch, the members broke out a football (soccer ball) kindly purchased by David O'Brien and challenged our sherpas to a football match. By the time the lunch bell rang, the members had scored 1 goal and the sherpas 6!! At
lunch, we celebrated Gavin Vickers 40th birthday and Shri Lakshmi presented him a pair of tiger embroidered cotton briefs and Gavin went back to his room and much to everyone's dismay, modeled the briefs around the dining room. Shocking!!

After lunch our sherpa team rang from basecamp to say that they and the two trucks had arrived, but where was the truck with our Tibetan and Chinese staff and all of the food and kitchen equipment being brought down from Lhasa? Our sherpas were hungry! In the meantime us members back in Tingri met to work out the schedule of the North Col members and ABC trekkers, then we met with the basecamp translator in order to place our yak order.

Apparently we have been assigned 168 yaks. Our equipment is up in basecamp, so lets get a few of those yaks moving towards advanced basecamp (ABC)! A bit later in the day, our Tibetan convoy rang from Shegar to say that someone had smashed their truck's windscreen during the night and they had to get a new one sent over from Shigatse. Finally the Tibet convoy did reach basecamp at 9pm, so our Nepali sherpas and Tibetan and Chinese staff were at last united and all is well. In the evening, after dinner, we walked up the hill above Tingri town and enjoyed the view across the Tibetan plateau toward Everest and Cho Oyu (now in cloud) from the impressive granite monument built to honour Chomolungma Mount Everest. On the way down we strolled through Tingri's one dusty street, and dodged barking dog packs to head for the Lhasa hotel and a delicious cup of tea beside a warm sheep-dung
fired stove. Just another "normal" day in Tibet I guess!


Everest Tibet:

  • Dan Mazur (leader) - US/UK
  • David O'Brien (assistant leader) - UK
  • Asu (assistant leader) - China
  • Gavin Vickers (leader-in-training) - Australia
  • Ms. Elizabeth Tertil - Canada
  • Ms. Janet Bull - USA
  • Mark Delstanche - UK 
  • Carl Lindstrom - USA
  • Thorbjørn Lundsgaard - Norway
  • Laval St Germain - Canada
  • John Kazanas - Australia
  • Peter Kinloch - UK
  • Dan Marino - Australia
  • Fiko Karacic - Australia
  • Gordon Hopper - UK
  • Nick Crosland - USA
  • Enriquez Rodriguez - USA
  • Frank Irnich - Germany
  • Jesse Hall (basic member) - USA
  • Eli Hall (basic member) - USA

North Col Mar-Apr:

  • Ms. Srilakshmi Sharma - UK
  • Roland Svensson - Sweden
  • Thomas Javrin - UK 

ABC Trek Mar-Apr:

  • Alex Welles - USA

Everest Tibet Staff:

  • Lhakpa Sherpa Lama
  • Phurba Sherpa 
  • Ang Babu Sherpa
  • Jangbu Sherpa
  • Gyalje Sherpa
  • Jangbu Sherpa (2)
  • Dawa Jangbu Sherpa
  • Kipa Sherpa - cook
  • Samdien - cook

27 March, 2010

Several of us, Dan and Enrique, met on the Cathay Pacific flight. We had an 8 hour layover in Hong Kong. It was a beautiful cool day and we explored the peak tram, escalators, zoo, and botanical garden.Then on the Dragon Air flight to Kathmandu, we ran into Amer, so that was fun. We arrived in Kathmandu very late at night (11:30 pm).

29 March, 2010 
Today we met with all of the leaders of Everest Glacier School, Everest Basecamp trek, Everest Nepal climb, Everest Tibet climb, Lhotse climb, Cho Oyu climb, North Col climb. We reviewed the medical equipment and supplies, and all of the packing lists, we met the members as they arrived and have begun to check their equipment. We had dinner together with the team. A very busy and productive day.

30 March, 2010

Today we worked hard on sat phones, walkie-talkies, med kits, high altitude food, and meeting with the teams and leaders. Josette went to the ministry for the permit briefing. They gave her a standing ovation, as she is the only woman leading an Everest expedition this year. It rained hard before dinner. Nepal needs the rain. Hope it does not interfere with our expedition's departure. Thanks for following our news.

31 March, 2010

Today we had our briefing for the Nepal Everest Lhotse expedition, and also for the Everest View Glacier School and Everest Basecamp Trek. It looks like it will be a brilliant team this year. It rained hard and long again this evening. So that is very good for Nepal, cleaning up the air and putting more water in the reservoirs, which have become alarmingly low.

1 April, 2010

Today all of our Nepal side expeditions and treks went to the Ktm airport. The climbers were successful and arrived in Lukla and trekked to Phakding.

The trekkers were turned back due to technical problems with their plane. So they spent another night in ktm. We had the briefing for our Tibet side expeditions and treks. Everyone is very excited for the departure. We heard a rumour that we will receive the permit and get our visas for Tibet on 2 April and be able to enter on 3 April. We hope it is true. We spent the day packing, preparing, checking equipment, etcetera. The weather is unusually hot and sunny at the moment.

2 April, 2010  The Nepal side trekkers flew out to Lukla again this morning. This time they arrived. Yeah! Our Tibet side teams received their permits and visas. Yay! So we will be going to Tibet in the morning. What a relief. Today was an extremely busy day of packing and preparation. We are really relieved to be going to Tibet and with a minimal delay, so we feel very fortunate. Wish us luck! Thank you very much.

3 April, 2010  

Greetings SummitClimbNews readers. Thanks for following us! Today we met in the lobby of the Beijing Hotel at 3am. We packed the trucks and buses carefully for our trip to Tibet on the friendship highway. We swung past the Annapurna Hotel and picked up the rest of our members and finished loading the bus. Then we began the long drive to Kodari, reaching there around 11am. Fortunately the weather was good and the road was in good shape. The countryside looked unusually dry, evidence of Nepal's drought.

Our sherpas unloaded the bus while the rest of us enjoyed a delicious breakfast in the Mount Kailash hotel. Then all of us members, sherpas and local porters crossed the friendship bridge border into Tibet, reloaded our stuff onto Tibetan trucks and ourselves into Tibetan buses, jeeps and taxis and went up to Zhangmu town. The road was under construction in places so this took a while. We had lunch in Hotel Gange and stayed in the comfortable gange hotel in Zhangmu that night.

4 April, 2010 

Today we awoke very early in Tingri and had breakfast at Hotel Gange at 9am Chinese time. Then we boarded our bus and jeeps and all of us members and sherpas and trucks set off for Nyalam town. The weather was stunning and we were treated to amazing views of the Bote Khosi gorge (grand canyon of the friendship highway) with monstrous cliffs, lush hemlock and fur forests and towering giant icy-rocky mountains high above our heads. Finally we reached Nyalam around noon, and settled into the Snowland Hotel.

We had a delicious lunch at Snowland restaurant. Some of the members decided to go for walks on the surrounding hills. Everyone is excited to be in Tibet and we are wandering around the village, enjoying the rugged open slopes and high snowy mountains looming above.

In the afternoon, our expedition leader David O'Brien met with Tashi, the hotel's owner and he suggested we move to a newer and better hotel, so we did. The new hotel is also called Snowland and it's very nice.

In the late afternoon, clouds rolled in and a wind driven snow blizzard ensued and it was quite humbling, reminding all of us how cold and stormy it can be in Tibet. The storm finally abated and we went to Base Camp restaurant for dinner. After dinner, several of us sat around the woodstove in the resaurant reminiscing about our good fortune in being able to come to Tibet.

The expedition leaders met later in the evening with our climbing sherpa leader Jangbu and we discussed plans and progress. The leaders are Gavin, David, and Dan. Also around the dinner hour our Chinese leader Asu called and we had a long discussion on the phone with Asu and our Tibetan cook Samdien. They have loaded one truck with supplies in Lhasa and are driving it down and plan to meet our sherpas in basecamp on the 6th of April, so that when the team members arrive in basecamp on the 8th, everything will be fully setup. So, in its own very differently organised Tibetan way, everything seems to be coming together


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