Team flies back to Kathmandu

Posted: November 18, 2011 in Uncategorized
Climbing team with cook, porters and sherpa, at Ama Dablam base camp.
Amazingly, we woke to blue sky today, and by 9am we had filled a 12 seater airplane, with our smelly selves and heaps of gear.  Two hours after landing in Kathmandu, we had the government / ministry debrief of the expedition.  I kept my answers short, when they asked if our Liaison Officer had been at base camp (she hadn’t).  
The photo shows, from top left, Edward, Fred, Assaf, Pasang, Mingma, ahem, James…
and kneeling, me, Amy, Joe (manjoe), Pasang Lama, Tandoche and Ras-Kumar.
There is now a small photo gallery you can see via the Photo tab at the top left of your screen.

Our porters have now reached Lukla with our equipment.  Thursday the seven of us and Pasang will walk to Lukla and get organised for a complicated contingency plan, that aims to get us back to Kathmandu on time.  If the fixed-wing plane can get off the ground (for visibility) then we are in luck.  If this is not possible we will take an A-Star or M14 helicopter to Kathmandu.  We are not presently considering a walk back to the road head at Shivalaya or Jiri.

Namche market

Posted: November 16, 2011 in Uncategorized

Luxurious basecamp

Posted: November 16, 2011 in Uncategorized

Namche transport

Posted: November 15, 2011 in Uncategorized

This man passed us Tuesday afternoon, on descent to Namche. The load he was carrying would crush my Fiat Punto.

I don’t actually have a fiat punto.

The cold mist was freezing onto our beards. Yes, aside from Amy we all have beards, not least Manjoe whose luxuriant beard makes him look like a firefighter, or somebody’s dad.

Looking down to our tents

Posted: November 15, 2011 in Uncategorized

I took this photo after 14 hours continuous climbing, when our tents came into view. It was great to untie, crawl inside and begin melting snow for a soup. The ridge and then the upper face above this bivouac were in themselves of the biggest climbing days I’ve ever done. -25c high winds and relentless “blue” ice. Was a good thing Joe got us all sharpening our tools and crampons.

We left base camp this morning with two porters, Pasang and Mingma. Ras will now pack up our base camp tents and follow behind us more slowly using yaks for carriage to bring down the heavy equipment and food.

Ras was hired cook, but also helped handle radio communication while we were on the mountain.  News came down the mountain by radio, shortly after our return to base camp,: a fatality had occurred while we were on the mountain.  We met or passed three other teams on the mountain, and had little interaction with the Russian / mixed team.  We understand that this man summited the mountain around 1730 during the  second day of our descent (13 November).  Although we were nearby, we were unaware that this pair was unable to descend even to the ledge at camp three (where an abandoned tent stood).  They were benighted on the steep, exposed upper face of the mountain.  Having been in that location less than a day earlier, we were  concerned and interested in the circumstance of this incident, and spent much of the following day inquiring and puzzling over the factors leading to the fatality.