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  Marty Schmidt - dispatches from Lhotse & Ama Dablam, Nepal going down

10/22: Hey everyone following us on Lhotse and Ama Dablam,

The situation is I got the weather forecast... from three reliable sources and they're all saying that the jet streams are coming in and I'm actually on it right now... high winds at my Camp 3 on the Lhotse Wall and looking up at Lhotse right now and at Everest South East... South Face... South East Ridge is not all that good. Very high plumes... it's supposed to get to about 140, 150, 160... so with that in mind... and I'm all by myself and it reminds me of, as I mentioned before, K2.

It's an amazing journey to be able to go up these 8,000-ers and be in control... and when you're not in control because of the weather but if you're feeling good inside, your mind and your heart and soul wants to keep going, but the weather is telling you it's not enough, you'd better listen to it... otherwise there's another disaster happening. So I've been good for the last 35 years up here in the mountains and I'm gonna continue doing that. So I'm gonna pack up everything and get on down.

It's heavy rain down by Pangboche and all the way down to Kathmandu. Lee just talked to me and he's got snow at Base Camp... so the weather is not the best right now and we just have to make decisions. So I'll get back down to Lee and make sure that he's doing OK... he said he wasn't eh... you know 5,300 meters... you can only stay in there so long until you actually start moving and going higher and come back to 5,300. What he's doing is he goes to 5,300 and goes back down to Gorak Shep and hikes and trains for Ama Dablam. What we need to do is take him down another 1,000 meters, down to Pangboche and make sure that he's feeling good down there. That's the priority right now, to take care of Lee and get him feeling good.

Lhotse was great, a great alpine ascent. You don't get a chance to do this very often... four days and get up to a high point... and when the winds say no, well... you listen to them. So I'm safe and sound, I pack up right now, I'm brewing. The winds are pretty high, I'm just buckling up and I'll get down to Base Camp tonight. Takes me all day to get down and then I'll see my good buddy Lee and get another game plan going.

OK, thanks Daan for getting this out... let everyone know that I'm safe and sound and the weather forecasts basically are spot on... and that's from Dr. Charly Gabl from Austria and Chris Warner gave me a heads up from his side and Gary Gabler (?) he gave me a heads up as well, so... I've known all these guys for many years and it's juts good to be in contact with them and going for a summit push on an 8000-er.

OK, love you all and talk to you probably in tonight's dispatch to let you know I'm safe through the Khumbu. That's all for now from the Western Cwm.

10/21:Hey Macpac, New Zealand and the world, whoever is following us.

It's Marty up here at the base of the Lhotse Wall. I got up onto it, the ropes all buried with the last snow and the snow condition isn't the best. There were definitely some slides today... I'm letting the snow bake a little bit more before I go up onto it, so safety first. At a nice bivy site right now at the head of the Western Cwm before I get up early and get up onto the Lhotse Face , see how the conditions are up higher.

I got the weather forecast from 3 different people and of course they're all different, but the main theme is around the 22nd, 23rd, 24th it's very high winds... the wind is shifting from the South to the South-West and that prediction is roughly the Jetstream coming in... very high winds 120, 130, 140 kilometers per hour. I climbed on K2 in 2000 in a 100+ miles per hour, that's about 150 kilometers... and it wasn't any fun... and I will not... I did the same thing back then as I'll do now... it was a 50/50 chance and I turned around... it just wasn't worth it.

So letting everybody know the challenge of actually being here... I got into base Camp on the 15th and I've been alpine climbing since the 18th, so for the last three days it's just been alpine... and that's not normally done on an 8000-er. But I'm thinking of the 28th July on G1... but that was three months ago, so I'm learning (?) a little bit, but I'm getting good rest and I'm getting good food, no headaches and I have the strength and I'm just gonna keep punching it.

We might tap into the cyber-cast for Lee's friends and family... there was a couple of times mention of Yeti, all thrills and fun... thoughts about that in the Ice Fall, my first night I definitely saw a few tracks and some ice caves... you have to really come up here yourself to find out if something like that exists. But I'm throwing out that good humour to Lee's way and let all those people be thrilled and give them a challenge to get up here and look for themselves... look for the Yeti himself... or herself. Also I'm up in the Western Cwm and there's no good food up here like in Base Camp, so Lee is a lot more challenged than I am. So I'm much more safe.

OK all the best to Christchurch, hopefully all the people are getting their lives balanced again after the quakes. Good thoughts to everyone and we'll be speaking again tomorrow and whenever I get the chance to do another cyber-cast. Much love.

10/20: Everything’s good.

I’m at 6,000 m at the top of the ice fall. Through the valley of silence to my camp 2, I’m going to get up early and get up the Lhotse wall. I will try for an early summit on the 21st as I'm expecting high jetstream winds after that.

Lee is doing well... feeling really good... ready for Ama Dablam in 5 or 6 days. I’m going to try Lhotse... beautiful sunset.

I just learned a little Dutch... this is for my wife not for you Daan; “Ik hou van jou, ik blijf jou trouw” I don’t know if that’s perfect, but you’ll get a kick out of it.

Will call tomorrow from camp 3.

Earlier below: 10/1/2010: Hello everyone who wants to follow Lee and I on the road to Ama Dablam, Nepal.

This mountain is the Matterhorn of the Himalayas, and being 6,812 meters in height it stands beautiful and proud as we trek towards it along the Solu Khumbu Valley, the same trek for Everest south side. Just a quick one from the city of Sydney, Aussieland. I keep forgetting how beautiful this city is from the air as well as from the ground. I'll be in Kathmandu on the 1st Oct, pack and plan logistics for our expedition till the 5th Oct when Lee arrives, finalize our gear and fly to Lukla on the 7th Oct to start our trek to Ama Dablam base camp. We are planning on climbing till the 8th of Nov, when we fly back to our homes.

I'll write again in a few days letting you all know what is happening. So exciting to be back in the Himalayas again.

Talk soon, much love and light.

Cheers, Marty

10/07/2010: Namaste from KTM, Nepal. Sending good thoughts to you all from this magical city. For the past 60 years this land and it's people have been catering towards Western folks and their ways into the mountains. There are a lot of individuals and families being taken care of by the wave of foreigners traveling from all over this planet to this land of Nepal. It is such a win/win situation for everyone.

Lee arrived on the 5th of Oct, settled him down in his Yak and Yeti room, not an easy thing since for the past 2 months KTM has been fully booked, no rooms anywhere. We are fortunate, I have been using Iswari now for more then 10 years and he is the best, he was able to get us nice rooms for these 2 nights. The old classic saying... it is not what you know but who you know, I personally feel it is best to have both of these in your quiver.

I just finished up with the packing of food and gear and dealing with the permits. We met Elizabeth Hawley this morning for our normal gathering before an expedition begins. We fly off to Lukla at 0500 in the morning and begin our trek into Everest BC. We have had a bit of a change with our plans. Both Lee and I thought it would be best to acclimatize for Ama Dablam with trekking to Everest BC, at 5,300 meters, this way Lee is getting the best chance with the altitude for Ama Dablam. Then he mentioned to me that while he is resting and training around this height of 5,300 meters, I should run up Lhotse. So this is what the plan is now, my permit is in my hand and I will check out the route through the Khumbu, then the Cwm, onto the Lhotse head wall and see how the conditions are treating me for a climb up the Lhutse coulior to the summit of 8,516 meters.

After this we will head down to Ama Dablam for our climb to this summit of 6,812 meters of technical rock climbing. Looking forward to all this together with Lee. I will be phoning in my dispatches through Daan at Macpac again and letting you know how all is going in the Himalayas.

Good thoughts to you all from this wonderful place on this earth.

Talk soon again, cheers. Marty

10/12/2010: Namaste and greetings from Namche Bazar. This is the place where everyone in the Solu Kumbu comes to sell and buy at the Saturday market place. And today it's Saturday and we experienced this historic gathering place. Lee is going well, for the past 3 days we have been trekking from Lukla, the airy airstrip on the side of a steep ridge where 100s of flights come and go through out the trekking/climbing seasons. This place is buzzing with people from around the world and we just get into our mountain ways, learning to adjust to the altitudes daily, our bodies tell us what is happening, good or bad and our minds are at peace working hard towards our goals. Lee told me he has 4 goals with this journey... 1st, to make it to Everest BC feeling good, 2nd for me to summit Lhotse, 3rd for us to summit Ama Dablam and 4th for Lee to loose 30 pounds. Great to have goals on this earth.

This dispatch is to let you all know that we are doing well and are happy with our day to day living in the Himalayas. We will head off to Panboche and onward towards Dingboche, Loboche, Gorak Shepe and Everest BC for the next 6-7 days. We will try to send more dispatches from computers along the way, but for sure we'll be in touch with our Sat Phone dispatches.

Looking forward to seeing how the Kumbu Ice Fall is feeling and then the Lhotse face, once I get up there to feel it out I'll know where I will be standing. I will keep in touch with you via dispatches. Very exciting days coming up and this same excitement runs deep in my veins as I write to you all right now, living in the now. Life is good...

Good thoughts to you all from the Himalayas, talk again in a few days time. Much love and light, cheers, Marty and Lee.


Hello everyone, (inaudible) at Tengboche the most beautiful monastery... highest monastery in Nepal and it's just powerful and magical. We just saw the Mandala (inaudible) created inside the monastery and (inaudible) the coloured sand and they prey pretty much for 3-4 days (inaudible). So it's really powerful to witness and just be a part of.

We had an early morning, we got up here and saw Ama Dablam and that was very welcoming for us. We trekked up here to the river camp and on into Pangboche, so that's what our goal is the next 2-3 hours, we'll be walking the foothills of the Himalayas. It's a beautiful little town and (inaudible) cellphone coverage... we're on sat phone right now... thereafter will definitely be sat phone.

We see everything up here; we see the crows, the yaks, the buffalos... the monks residing within this monastery year round. Some go down to lower lands to be with their family but they usually come back up and commit themselves for the years on end. Some monks come her at 7 years of age and then leave at 18 and they go off in the world with the education they get in this amazingly powerful place.

So yeah, this is it, this is us. We're getting into the rhythm of the Himalayas and as we walk each day, we're acclimatising and feeling good and Lee is doing great. He charged up this hill, about a 300 meter hill and did it in a couple of hours and that's a really good beginning step for him and our goal is to be able to keep acclimatising him all the way to Everest so he feels good when we go after Ama Dablam.

OK hat's good enough for now. We'll talk to you later. Thanks a lot Daan for making this happen again. OK good bye from Tengboche, Nepal.


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