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Everest Nepal Team Reflects on Mountain

7 May 2014 -

Geological History of Everest, by David Maidment:

For the more nerdy of us in the group, the trek into Base Camp has also provided a fascinating geological cross section through the High Himalaya.

It has been amazing to see vertical faces of rock up to 1.5 km high in places, and the trek itself has revealed successive layers and structures as we walked northwards to Base Camp from Lukla across the tilted rock sequence. The section we see records the effects of the collision of the Indian Plate with the Asian Plate about 50 million years ago, which eventually formed the Himalayas and Mt Everest itself. Another plus of this already exciting trip.

From Lukla, we moved through the squeezed and folded granite rocks that formed part of the Indian Plate, thrust up from the depths on a huge fault zone as a result of the main collision to the north of Everest. From there we moved through rocks at Namche that were once partially melted during the collision, and then into rocks that originally were deposited at the bottom of an ancient ocean some 500 million years ago. These rocks, too, have suffered (enjoyed?) the effects of the collision, being buried up to 25 km deep, metamorphosed into different minerals and folded, before being thrust upwards again to the surface as the Himalayas continued to develop and grow.

The area around Everest Base Camp shows some of the most spectacular geology. The huge mountains in the area are held up to their amazing heights by a thick layer of white granite (called leucogranite by geologists).
Everest, Nuptse and Pumori all have large amounts of this rock in their heart, remnants of which scatter the glacier floor. The zone of leucogranite represents a zone where hot rocks from deep in the crust have been squeezed to the surface like toothpaste, as India and Asia continued to collide 20 million years ago. The sedimentary rocks above this zone near the summit of Mt Everest (the Yellow Band and summit limestone), alas only seen from a distance in our trip, are the highest rocks in this sequence. The fact that they formed on an ancient sea floor, and now sit as the highest rocks on Earth, bears testament to the massive forces that shape our planet (starting to sound like a National Geographic documentary now, but the Himalayas does that to you). As mere humans in this landscape, we can only be humbled and amazed.

5 May 2014 -

Everest Nepal Training Climb Blog: Here is what Elmo Francis from Colombo, Sri Lanka has to say:

From 23c to 0 within minutes and from blue to gray while you stand with the sound of yak caravan moving the final bits of expedition gear from EBC has been the life. The sounds of the bells on yaks now remind you of another group leaving and not entering EBC.

Despite the vast landscape, both horizontal and vertical, our Everest training team has found a lot in common in addition to climbing Everest. It is also great to discover the photography skills that each one inherited but doubted before arrival, or is it the landscape that we shoot is so glorious and exciting that you have no need to worry about your photography skills.

The days have been interesting for us, talking about life, films, food, culture, Barak Obama, Alexander the Great, Belgian waffles, Sherpa's getting into forex trading. We have even been talking about the Malaysian flight and drawing our own theories for its disappearance.

The food has been great, especially the noodles with tomato sauce. We heard that the official basecamp hospital has now been taken down. The past few days have been exhilarating with some fantastic practice climbs. This place is too big to get bored, which means we will be exploring more. The above paragraphs are by Elmo Francis

The following is written by David Maidment from Perth, Australia: The glacier around Base Camp has proven to be a treasure trove of ice peaks on which we have been developing and practicing our climbing and abseiling skills, during the last three days. Safely roped to the mountain, it has been great to maneuver our way to the top of these spires under the guidance of the ever-encouraging Dan, and the able assistance of Tenji, Jangbu and Tile Sherpa. It is fantastic to feel the crunch of the crampons and the bite of the ice axe, as we finally get to use the equipment that has been lugged to this remote part of the world. This training is setting us in good stead for our further exploration of the Base Camp area, and an attempt on Mount Lobuche, which we hope to climb later on.

A large avalanche falls from Mount Lingtren. Photo by David Maidment

A large avalanche falls from Mount Lingtren. Photo by David Maidment.

Elmo Francis abseiling on Mount Jangbu in the Khumbu Glacier near Everest Basecamp. Photo by Gary Murray

Abseiling on Mount Jangbu in the Khumbu Glacier near Everest Basecamp. Photo by Gary Murray.


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