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  SummitClimb Ama Dablam Expedition, Autumn 2011--Training and Preparing

17 October, 2011
Hi, this is Max Kausch writing a dispatch for the Ama Dablam Autumn Expedition 2011.
Today we had a rope fixing training in a nearby hill. Our sherpas and I fixed some ropes on rocky terrain so our members could practice fix rope climbing and review their rock climbing and vertical techniques. We all had a lot of fun and learned a lot with the training. We also had great views from up there and could see the whole basecamp. Even from up there we could see SummitClimb basecamp which is actually huge!

Tomorrow is our puja day, then some yaks are carrying equipment to ABC at 5100m. Our members will go for an acclimatization walk towards ABC but everyone will sleep right here at BC.

16 October, 2011
Hi, this is Max Kausch writing a dispatch for the Ama Dablam Autumn 2011 Expedition.
All our member arrived to BC today. It's beautiful here! Camp is actually a massive grassy field with 2 water streams cutting it. We can see 8 or 9 impressive mountains from here and of course, Ama Dablam.
Our camp is well organized and each member has a tent. We also have a toilet, shower, dinning tent, storage tent and kitchen tent. The trail to ABC starts 20m away from camp. There are also 5 other teams here and some of our members went there today to meet them.
The weather is great in the mornings and early afternoons but might be a little cloudy late afternoons.
Everyone is feeling great and no one had any symptoms of high altitude diseases at all, not even headaches! We are very proud of our members and staff for arriving here safely and with no problems. All the cargo arrived carried by 31 yaks and 8 porters. We all get the feeling that our expedition started really well.
Tomorrow we’ll climb some hills nearby and revise the rock climbing techniques of our members. Although our team is very experienced, we all need to revise some skills so we all can be very sharp by the time we touch rock at camp 1.

15 October, 2011
Hi, this is Grace McDonald writing a dispatch to the Ama Dablam Expedition Autumn 2011.
The team spent the last couple of days in Namche, relaxing and enjoying the scenery. Some splurged on lodge rooms (with shower!) closer to town centre while most slept up top overlooking Namche in tents. Great view but it was a nice punishment for the lodge takers to have to hike up to the top of town for meals. Left us breathless every time!
Most of the group took acclimatization hikes on our rest day up to Kumjung and the Everest View Hotel while others who were already acclimatized hung around town. We found a new restaurant in town (8848) and discovered it had the perfect balcony for sunning yourself, eating and people watching virtually everyone who arrived in Namche. It also provided a nice perch from which to aim projectiles at other team members.
Various team members came and went over the course of about 4 hours and we tried close to half the menu - great food!! By the time we left we were stuffed and knew everyone in Namche at least by face.
Some of us figured it would be our last chance for the pub before the mountain and it was nice to socialize with the local trekkers. We were joined by a cool group of Norwegians who we had of course spotted earlier in town. They had a 16 and 17 year old with them who were on their way back down from a big trek and got up to just over 6,000 m - very cool. We eventually called it a night after lots of laughs and good conversation and everyone headed off to bed.
Today we all enjoyed breakfast and headed out at our own pace towards Pangboche with a plan - lunch by the river, apple pie in Tengboche. The weather was fantastic until about Tengboche, with great views and Ama Dablam and we all moved quick.
Right now I'm sitting on a rock in the mist in Pangboche. The sun is gone and it's a bit chilly. Everyone is safely in the dining room resting from the long walk. I think we'll sleep well tonight. Most of us splurged for rooms tonight but a few are staying in tents. We'll rest up and head to base camp tomorrow. Everyone is doing really well. We've actually got a really experienced team and we're looking forward to getting settled into basecamp.
Thanks for following our posts. We'll try to get others to take a stab at writing and hopefully have more fun to share with you in the coming days.
Grace McDonald

13 October, 2011
Hi, this is Max Kausch writing a dispatch for the Ama Dablam expedition Autumn 2011.
We are in Namche Bazar, the sherpa capital at 3450m. Everyone is doing very well and we all look forward to see Ama Dablam for the first time tomorrow. We arrived here after a 5 hour trek, followed by 25 sturdy and friendly yaks with our equipment.
Today we met the Everest View Glacier School team and the Everest Basecamp team. They will leave Namche tomorrow morning and we'll stay another night to acclimatize.
The weather is great and skies are blue pretty much the whole day. We had no problems with flights, porters or yaks.
Tonight at dinner our members started a oxygen saturation competition using a small device called pulse-oxymeter. And guess who won the competition? Mr Frank Sarnquist who is 69 years old! Detail, in our team we have members who just climbed an 8000m peak and 2 sherpas who just climbed a 8200m peak! Congrats Frank!
We'll enjoy our rest/acclimatization day here in Namche. We have restaurant, bakeries, pubs and equipment shops so don't worry about us!


12 October, 2011
Hi, this is Max Kausch writing the first dispatch for the Ama Dablam
Expedition Autumn 2011.
We left Kathmandu today and made it to Phakding, at 2300m. All members
finally arrived in Kathmandu on October 10th and we had a briefing meeting
on the 11th.
Everyone is feeling well and healthy and we look forward to seeing Ama
Dablam for the first time tomorrow.

Team Roster:
. Max Kausch - UK (leader)
. William Dwyer - USA (assistant leader)
. Ms. Grace McDonald - Canada
. Peter Hamel - USA
. John Shelton-Smith - UK
. Ms. Violetta Pontinen - Poland
. Jean-Michel Meunier - France
. Ms. Barbara Gorska - Poland
. Frank Sarnquist - USA
. Richard Pattison - Australia
. Ms. Marion Joncheres - France
. Liam Suckling - Australia
. Romain Hoffmann - Luxembourg
. Tile Sherpa - Climbing Sherpa
. Palden Sherpa - Climbing Sherpa
. Tenji Sherpa - Climbing Sherpa
. Pasang Sherpa - Climbing Sherpa
. Sange Sherpa - Climbing Sherpa
. Sange Sherpa - Cook
. Temba Sherpa - Kitchen Assistant


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