Sunday, October 15

Google Earth - Climbing route analysis

This post shows images from Google Earth (which you must get if you have not already! - of the route. Except for one strip, which I'm hoping they will update soon, its pretty detailed. In fact I have been using it to see if there is an alternative route up the mountain. Imagine if Mallory had had such a view before he climbed!

Where in the world? Drove from Kathmandu via Friendship (not very) bridge to Shisha base camp

Overview of the climbing route - Used yaks to get from Base camp to Advanced BC (approx 17km, 600m height gain) and this is done once - then slog to depot camp, (5km, 200m height gain) did 3 times - then climbing really starts after crossing the penitentes

View from ABC, up to Depot, then CI, CII & CIII

From Depot, accross the penitentes, up to CI

From CI (My high point - 6,400m) to CII, CIII & Summit

In the "valley" from CI, CII then Summit

Proposed CII & CIII

Looking back over summit to ABC & BC

Tuesday, October 3

3rd October - Iñaki Summits!

Iñaki Ochoa de Olza summits true summit!

My Sincere Congratulations to him! Iñaki has now climbed 11 of the worlds 14 8000m peaks

Extract by Jamie from Project Himalaya web site:

"Briefly, 1am Iñaki left our Camp 1 heading up alone. By morning he was at Camp 3 (no tents there) and called down to say that again the ridge looked too dangerous and he was turning back. Half an hour later he radioed saying that he saw a line he liked. He dropped out of Camp 3 and crossed an area of recent serac collapse then climbed near a rock ridge up to the main east-west ridge to the true summit. Iñaki radioed again from a little below the summit saying it would be too windy to call from there, and then battled the last distance in waist deep drifts to the summit. This was just before 2pm Nepal time (yes, the mountain is entirely in Tibet, China, but we work on the more sensible Nepal time...) He had been climbing over 12 hours, from 6400m to 8027m/8046m (depending on which height you believe).
In what looks as though it could be the only summit (true main summit)

Photo, of course by Iñaki
The following is from Iñaki's web site - note that the translation is not correct but I feel that even though it contains errors, the essence of his experience comes fact I think the translation might add a little!
“ Does not give shame you? to your years and opening new routes? ”… To the other side of the world, the telephone voice loaded of irony of my friend Oscar Gogorza gives back abruptly to the reality, nothing else to arrive at the field bases. I am so happy that more than to walk, flight, or I slide a handspan over the ground. I am completely dry, burst and fused after the hardest and dangerous, clean and magical ascent as i myself it had not imagined not even in my better dreams. I finish making the best scaling of my life. When leaving the frozen glacier and arriving at the “mainland” I have not been able to make another thing that to collapse to me exhausted, crying like a boy.
Them story a secret? Only i myself it believed to have a 1 percent of possibilities. Nobody bet nothing by me more, here on the field it bases, and with good reasons. Day 30 i myself had raised until the 7,700 meters and the conditions were infames, with extreme avalanche danger. And in addition the wind did not stop, beating with desire from the southwest. Thus the call “normal route” had defeated or to most of the aspirings, and more than 100 climbers, many accompanied by sherpas and artificial oxygen, they had lined up or towards Katmandú. Well-known clienta of a commercial expedition assured to me categorical before releasing itself that, according to its guides, this year the main top “impossible” era. That yes, had received him 12,000 dollars by such advice…
Therefore, attempt to rest day 1, concentrated in finding the forces and the mental balance necessary for which only I know that she is approached. The old classes come to me at the top from Latin. And to the aim to the end I decide me destalentado that one, Julio Caesar I suppose, that she said the one that “the fortune smiles to the audacious ones”. And audacious and arrogant it is without a doubt to think that it can raise a ochomil, the one that it is, by where nobody has raised before, and in addition to do it in solitaire and without installing height fields, in which ascent is called “express”.
That I have seted out, neither the more nor the less, and I have not trusted it to anybody.
I start up to in the morning, from the 6,350 meters of field 1. I leave like a howitzer. Soon encounter my better rate and I devour the meters with quickness, without needing shutdowns to recover when the snow is not soft. To the dawn I am to 7,400 meters, still in the normal route, that already by my experience of the past day 30 that is not in conditions. Here the wind is unbearable. I pay attention to the northeast face and I see that there it does not make air, so very instinctively I go towards its base. I cannot be thought that it has not been happened to him to anybody before to me. I have to lose 200 meters of height, so hard ascended, and to happen underneath a truely dangerous hanging glacier, but to 8 in the morning I am in its base. The crack that gives to entrance to the route the business with care, that stops that I am only, and immediately my two pioléts find the land in which better they develop, lofty ice and snow.
6 hours later a beautiful trench is opened behind me. I am in the highest edge, the same one which those climb that comes from the South face, the same one that my friend Jorge Egocheaga had defined as “peculiar” after his ascent the last year. The mountain climbers, what race, we called thus to which in fact he is dangerous, jodido and difficult.
To the 14 and 8 minutes nepalí hour I call by radio my girl and him story that I am doing photos to me to the defense of the wind, 5 meters under the top. When I cross the last meters out of breath, I realize without doubts that I have made something special. It lodges an infinite hope to me.
The most violent and terrible wind than I have seen evacuates to me of the own top after passing a pair of seconds in her. But he does not matter to me. He is already behind schedule, and I have to march towards house.
Iñaki Ochoa de Olza.

Sunday, October 1

Photos - Back to Kathmandu

Now is that not civilised

Man alive - and this was just a half portion - Everest Steak House, KTM

Last evening in KTM

Look what a shave does - I shared a jeep with Angela and Carmela from BC to KTM

Got cleaned out by the local ladbrokes - doesn't he looked chuffed - in fact he offerred me my money back

Mud and landslides everywhere, luckily we had no issues on our return journey

En route to Tibetan/Nepal border - an amazing road through amazing steep valleys

Leaving ABC

Photos - those on the mountain

One for Mumsie

Gromit - Navigator

Jamie McGuinness - Project Himalaya

Sherpa Dawa - a very compassionate and considerate man, like Namgyal amazingly strong

Sherpa Namgyal - what a strong guy, good luck with your studies!

Sherpa Sarki - a fantastic cook, wish he was able to provide the food on the mountains

Dorje & Da Nura - both ALWAYS smiling and happy

Corrine, Bob and Inaki (On route to Camp 1)

Hans, Walter, Bob and Clive

Tom, Katharine and Mac - representing Montanta and Wyoming (Katharine treated my bruised ribs with some hot chinese lotion - really helped