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  SummitClimb Baruntse expedition: Team Summits


Hi, this is Dan Mazur, one of the leaders of the SummitClimb Baruntse expedition calling in a dispatch for the 30th of October. I’m calling from the summit of Baruntse!

We have 18 people up here with 11 team members and 7 sherpas. There are extraordinary views of Mera Peak, Makalu, and Kangchenjunga. It was pretty tough getting up here today. We left camp 2 at about 5:00 a.m.

It’s very windy and the sun is shining with a few clouds, but not many to speak of. We’re taking lots of pictures.

Unfortunately, Hanne, John, and Charles couldn’t be with us. They’re down in basecamp.

Everybody is okay, tried really hard and did a great job. We have some firsts to mention. We have the first Nepali woman, the first Dutchman from Holland, the first person from Greece and the first person from Hong Kong all on top of Baruntse.

Oh my gosh. I can’t think of anything else to say, but it’s really cold up here so I’m going to have to go. We just want to send out all of our love and thoughts to our loved ones at home. Thanks for all of your support. Okay, bye.

Hi everyone, this is Matt Graham from Australia calling in for the SummitClimb Baruntse expedition.

It’s about 10:00 a.m. and we’ve just reached camp 2. We’re now at 6430 metres/21,100 feet above sea level. We’re going for the summit tomorrow. The weather is not too bad, although it may get a lot windier when we go up and down from the summit. At the moment, the sunny weather is giving us a lot of hope, so everything is looking good. We’d like to say hi to everyone back home and we’ll be seeing you soon.

28 October, 2009

Well. Our team is up here in camp 1 at 6120 metres/20,100 feet.

Charles has decided to remain in basecamp where our cook Mingma Sherpa is looking after him. Charles is doing very well and it seems he has chosen to make that his bailiwick.

Everyone seems to be doing well and today we are taking a rest day before heading to camp 2 tomorrow and possibly making our summit attempt the following day. Yesterday, the 27th, we climbed up the West Col to reach camp 1. Our top-notch professional sherpas replaced all of the rope on the route to ensure the highest possible level of safety for our team. It was an enjoyable and beautiful climb involving rock scrambling and moderate snow climbing. It could not have been that bad, as Dan carried all of the heavy computer and satellite equipment up to the top of the col as we weren’t able to reach the satellite from basecamp because it was blocked by massive Mount Chamlang, laying exactly between basecamp and the satellite, rendering our email and internet connection inoperable. However, it seems to be working brilliantly again from here atop the West Col. Mother Nature still is the boss, lest we might think otherwise.

We estimate the climb up the West Col to be graded at French 1-2 and North American 3rd-4th class. The steepest section was 45 degrees wit most of the climb 40 degrees. I would characterize it as an easy rock scramble for the first 10 metres and the remaining 190 metres moderate snow with plenty of
rock ledges and boulders for easy footing and sure handholds.

Well, camp 1 is located on a vast plateau and from here we can see hundreds of mountains, including the impressive Mount Makalu, 5th highest in the world. It’s very sunny with light winds, sometimes increasing during the night. Generally it’s very warm and sunny and the team is enjoying some well earned relaxation in their sturdy tents while our expert sherpa and cook team prepare delicious meals of soup and biscuits and cheese and sausages, and bring them to our tents with piping hot tea, coffee, and fruit juice. Our staff is really pampering us and we can’t think of anywhere more scenic, comfortable and luxurious we might be at the moment.

So far we can say that in comparison to Ama Dablam and Pumori: Baruntse is more of a snow climb than Ama Dablam, however, the West Col did provide some beautiful views and safe excitement, and that the terrain is more varied than Pumori, which is primarily a snow climb. Baruntse has astounding views of so many different mountains and this area is truly fraught with lakes, rivers, and streams, which make this a majestic snow, ice and rock peak jutting up from so many rivulets and lakes and ponds, providing a rather surprising alpine and riverine contrast for us to travel, trek and climb through.

Thanks for following our expedition and please wish our 2009 Baruntse team well as we go for the summit tomorrow night!!!!

Hi, this is Dan Mazur, one of the leaders of the SummitClimb Baruntse expedition calling in a dispatch for the 24th, 25th and 26th of October.

On the night of the 23rd a group came down from the Makalu trek over the West Col, passing through Baruntse basecamp to Seto Pokhari and camped there. The members of that team came to our tents early in the morning and said one of their porters was sick. Our doctor examined him and found he had an enflamed or burst appendix, so he had an acute appendicitis. We assisted that team in calling for a helicopter evacuation of the porter. The porter was successfully evacuated around the middle of that day and taken back to Kathmandu to the hospital. We haven’t heard about his condition since he arrived in Kathmandu.

The afternoon of the 24th we walked up to Baruntse basecamp. It’s located at about 5300 metres/17,400 feet. It’s a beautiful basecamp nestled among some very high peaks, surrounded by Chamlang, Baruntse, and the mountains that extend over into the Amphu Labtsa region. There are many lakes around here. In fact, the basecamp is located on a gorgeous lake.

On the 25th we got up in the morning and walked up to the base of the West Col to check out the route and see how we were feeling. Then we came back down and had a delicious lunch and relaxed in our tents.

Today I’m calling you on October 26th. It is 10:15 a.m. local time and we’re having a rest day today. Our sherpas are building a large pedestal in the middle of basecamp from which they’re going to suspend prayer flags and have a ceremony. Two of our staff members are also Tibetan Buddhist lamas who studied in the monastery, one of them for apparently 10 years and the other for about 4 years. They’re going to conduct a blessing ceremony hopefully bringing good luck to our expedition.

The weather has been really fine with light breezes. Temperatures have been as high as 10 to 15 degrees C. during the day, dropping down to -5 to -10 degrees C. at night. There has been no appreciable cloud cover. In fact, every day has been extremely sunny. We’re using up all of our suntan cream.

I will keep you posted. Thanks for following our expedition. Wish us luck as we climb Baruntse. Thank you very much. Bye, bye.

Hello, this is Michael Tomordy calling in for the SummitClimb Baruntse expedition for the 23rd of October.

We are now in the settlement of Pokhari and the altitude is 5003 metres/16,409 feet. The weather today was absolutely beautiful with clear blue skies. It’s a bit chilly now at about 3:30 p.m., as the sun is going down.

We woke up this morning to the sound of helicopters going up and down the valley transporting people and equipment. Then we started walking up the valley after breakfast for about 4 hours to the destination we’re at now, which is a stone tea house and inside it resembles a stable with nice straw. We had a great lunch of omelets, lovely dips and bread, eggs, and varieties of cheese.

Everything is great and tomorrow we’re going to Baruntse basecamp. Everyone is doing well and we’re excited about our next objective. Thanks for following along. Bye.

Hi, this is Dan Mazur, one of the leaders of the SummitClimb Mera Peak & Baruntse expedition calling in a dispatch for the 22nd of October. The time is 5:34 p.m.

We are settled at 4683 metres/15,360 feet, according to our Thuraya GPS. We’re camped at a village called Rato Oral on the Hongku Khola, which is the main river that flows from Baruntse. The temperature here during the day has been about 10 to 15 degrees Celsius. In the evening it’s been about 5 to -5 degrees Celsius.

It was incredibly beautiful today. We took a half rest day up at the Mera Peak basecamp. After we had a delicious lunch we packed up and walked about 3-4 hours down to this valley, so lost quite a bit of elevation and it feels good to be breathing that thick air again. We’ve got our camp set up down here right next to the river. We’re in a grassy meadow surrounded by really high stunning peaks, such as Chamlang and Peak 43. We got a little glimpse of Baruntse today ahead of us. We think it will take us about 4 days to reach there.

So far everyone is really enjoying this trek in the Baruntse Valley. It’s a really beautiful place away from civilization. We didn’t see any other groups or foreigners today, just mainly porters. We feel really lucky to be here. What a magical place!

Thanks again for following our expedition. We’ll update you again with another dispatch soon. Take care. Bye, bye

21-Oct-09: Hi, this is Dan Mazur, one of the leaders of the SummitClimb Mera Peak & Baruntse expedition calling in a dispatch for the 21st of October.

It’s 8:40 a.m. and we’re on the summit of Mera Peak. We have 17 people up here. It’s sunny, there are no clouds, light wind and we can see everything. Kangchenjunga, Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Makalu and Cho Oyu are all visible.

Everybody is doing well and now we have to get down this thing. We’ll call you back later. Thanks. Bye

20-Oct-09: Hi, this is Lyngve Skrede with a dispatch for the SummitClimb Mera Peak & Baruntse expedition for Tuesday, the 20th of October.

We started this morning from basecamp at 5100 metres/16,700 feet and climbed back to the Mera La at 5400 metres/17,700 feet and all the way to high camp at 5768 metres/18,978 feet. The weather was clear, but very windy and cold. The high camp is on fixed ropes. Behind us are some rock outcroppings that will protect us from the wind. Everybody is in good spirits, although some of us have been experiencing minor headaches.

We are having good food and rest right now. At 2:00 a.m. we’ll start a 6 hour walk to the summit. I hope that the wind stops blowing so heavily so we can all make it to the summit. Now I’m going to say a few words in my native language . Cheers!

19-Oct-09           

Hi, this is Dan Mazur, one of the leaders of the SummitClimb Mera Peak & Baruntse expedition calling in a dispatch for the 18th and 19th of October.

Everybody is doing well. On the 18th we crossed the Mera La, which is at about 5300 metres/17,400 feet. It was strenuous, but there were really good views up there. Then we came down to Mera Peak basecamp, which is located at 5100 metres/16,700 feet on the other side of the Mera La. We reached basecamp on the 18th in the evening.

On the 19th we took a rest day. We also did some training on the Mera Peak Glacier above the lake in the morning. We came down to our comfortable basecamp and had a relaxing afternoon. We’re just resting up and getting ready to go up to the high camp tomorrow and the summit the next day.

The weather has been pretty good with especially sunny mornings. It’s really cold here with some winds, especially in the afternoon, but overall we haven’t had any bad weather. So we’re really hoping the weather holds and looking forward to a good crack at the summit.

Thanks for following the expedition. We’ll send in some more news tomorrow. Okay, bye.

17-Oct-09

Hello SummitClimb news, this is Thorsten Bargfrede calling in a dispatch for the Mera Peak & Baruntse expedition on the 17th of October at 5:17 p.m. local time.

We are at an altitude of 4900 metres/16,100 feet. The weather was great today with blue skies all day. Just like yesterday we had a few clouds in the afternoon, but that’s okay.

Yesterday we had a beautiful walk coming up from Tagnag, which took around 4 hours. There was a few hundred metres of altitude difference crossing some meadows and coming up to what will be the last station and green environment.

Today we are having a rest day and all enjoying a bit of relaxation. We also had an equipment check and some exercises on the ropes using an ascender and rappelling down since a lot of us still need a little bit more technical training for what is to come.

We are all looking forward to getting closer to this beautiful mountain tomorrow, going up over the snow line. We’ve been having discussions on how we are going to tackle some of the problems we might encounter there. Cheers!

 

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