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Trek to Everest Base Camp, April 2010

 
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simonov
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PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 3:46 pm    Post subject: Trek to Everest Base Camp, April 2010  Reply with quote

Fritz is holding out on us.
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PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I saw a video of him on the summit of Kala Pataar (~18,500 feet).  I think he has forgotten about the San Gabriels . . .
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PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sam Page wrote:
I saw a video of him on the summit of Kala Pataar (~18,500 feet).  I think he has forgotten about the San Gabriels . . .


I think he is catching up with all the work he missed, but am disappointed he has forgotten where his real priorities ought to lie.
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PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you know which outfitter Fritz went with?
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PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mve wrote:
Do you know which outfitter Fritz went with?


His friends he was meeting there are with Mountain Trip.

This is their blog: http://mteverest2010.blogspot.com/

Cindy Abbott (frequent Baldy climber) is with them too: http://reachingbeyondtheclouds.com/category/mt-everest/
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PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very cool, I am interested to read Fritz's TR and I wish Cindy "Happy Trails".
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PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, everybody!

Just want to report that my friends Denise, Paul & Cindy reached the summit of Mount Everest a few hours ago (Wohoo!) and are at Camp 4 resting before making their way down to Camp 2 tonight ..
Mountain Trip Report

Didn't mean to keep y'all hanging without a report, but I wanted to wait until they made it.
We were all there at base camp to support our friends after-all ...

Uploading photos for you now!
Very Happy


Last edited by He219 on Sun May 23, 2010 12:44 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We started off on April 15th with a 13.5 hour direct flight to Hong Kong ...



Fritzilla in the streets of HK

The city has grown a lot since my last visit, when it was still a British colony.


Partial ETE group shot in HK - 23 of us went up to Everest Base Camp

We arrive in Kathmandu, Nepal, 34.5 grueling hours after leaving LAX - along with a stop-over in Dhaka, Bangladesh! We lost contact with the Kathmandu Control Tower a couple of times during a thunderstorm. After multiple aborted landing attempts and after circling for almost 2 hours we finally arrive around midnight!



^ This Sadhu was 103 years old!


Hindus, Muslims and Buddhists all live together in relative harmony ..

Symbols of good fortune


Back of Durbar Palace

After a stay at the Yak & Yeti hotel we head to Lukla in two small planes and a turbulent flight to the base of the Himalaya Mountains.






Tenzing-Hillary Airport in Lukla. There are only two airports in the world higher in elevation.



to be continued ..
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PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesome, brotha!
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PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's awesome -- keep it coming man!  How did you like staying at the Yak & Yeti hotel?
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PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mve wrote:
That's awesome -- keep it coming man!  How did you like staying at the Yak & Yeti hotel?

The Yak & Yeti is a pretty sweet joint. Used to be one of the Royal Palaces.
You never know who you're going to run into there.  It was especially sweet after almost 3 weeks on the trail.  
The shower, food, clean bed, rooms and real flushing toilets were regarded with great appreciation upon our return ..

The Yak & Yeti was an oasis in a town overwhelmed by Maoists staging a general strike by shutting down the city and local transportation upon our return.  I think it's still going on. Luckily the people are non-violent and the riot police gave some measured sense of protection.
Good thing we saw the city in a different light when we arrived.
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PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Arriving in Lukla we made our way on the trail and the 10 day hike to Everest Base-camp.



Guides & Porters looking for work


Just above the runway. No room for touch & go's ..

Lukla


Typical Prayer wall. You always pass clockwise. It felt great to finally start trekking ..

One of dozens of suspension and other types of bridges


Our porters. What a luxury not having to hump the additional weight.





The Thulo Gumela Monastery at Phakding, 2670m

End of day 1



Anybody know how to rotate pix on imageshack?
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He219
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PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Day 2




Sagarmatha National Park entrance



The food from the various Tea Houses we visited exceeded my expectations.


Man and beast share the path up and down. You constantly have to watch what you step into.


The route up to Namche Bazar. This is where we gained some altitude.





Entering Namche Bazar, 3,440m




And a nice dinner of Yak Steak, Fries & Wine. Yak only survive above 11,000 feet.  This one didn't make it ;]
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PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great pictorial -- keep it coming  Very Happy

Where did you stay in Phakding?  How was it?
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simonov
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PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 6:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great pics.  What kind of distance is it from Lukla to Namche and Base Camp?
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PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 7:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow! Amazing picts!  Now I'm hungry.
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PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

simonov wrote:
Great pics.  What kind of distance is it from Lukla to Namche and Base Camp?

Not quite sure, but it's about a 75 mile round-trip from Lukla to Base Camp climbing from 9,000 to 18,500 feet in 10 days, 3 of those being rest days to acclimate.  The medivac helo flew multiple times a day up along the route rescuing climbers and trekkers suffering from AMS. Without travel insurance that flight would cost you 8-10k for service to a hospital in Khatmandu!

You lose about a half a day flying into Lukla and hike for 4-5 hours up to Phakding and then 6-9 hours a day including breaks. We stayed at nice lodges, all compartmentalized into 6'x8' sleeping quarters constructed of thin 1/4" plywood with two berths each. You'd hear people snoring in the rooms around and you would shake when they move. Still a lot better than sleeping in a tent. The bathrooms were to be desired, a hole in the ground and a bucket of water to flush.  The stench is overpowering, especially with an exotic diet of curry, lentils and garlic. I almost lost it a couple of times and retreated whenever possible.

Our lead guide, Natang, is a bit of a local celebrity. He came out of retirement to help out Mountain Trip when our original guide, Heidi Kloos (RiP), was killed in an avalanche at her home in Colorado just two weeks before our trip.  Natang was a top Nepali climber but his wife forced him into retirement and into managing a lodge after 4 members of his joint Nepali-Indian Army climbing team perished 200 meters below the summit of Everest many years ago.  Natang runs the Moonlite Lodge high on Namche. That's where we stayed.  We had 6 or 7 porters, 5 Sherpa guides and Natang for the 23 of us.

Things really start to get interesting from Namche up. We took an acclimation day at Namche and hiked up to Syangboche and the Everest View Hotel to get our first views of Mount Everest.

April 20th, 2010 (Day 3):

View from the Moonlite Lodge overlooking Namche Bazar

First views of Everest and Lhotse from Syangboche. Ama Dablam on right hand side

Everest with the plume and Lhotse South Face.

Ama Dablam West Face


Everest View Hotel

And back down to Namche.

Namche Bazar

A short visit to the Sherpa Museum and some shopping in Namche

Loads of mountaineering clothes and equipment, mostly inexpensive knock-offs.

Bought a traditional Nepali-Tibetian fox fur hat ..
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Location: Stuntin in the trap son

PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2010 1:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gonna hafta sport that hat on climbs!!!
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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2010 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TacoDelRio wrote:
Gonna hafta sport that hat on climbs!!!


It needs horns.
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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2010 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TacoDelRio wrote:
Gonna hafta sport that hat on climbs!!!

It's a formal hat, not constructed for climbing ..
Wink

Day 4, Namche Bazar to Tengboche (top of middle ridge, rhs). Everest is the distant peak behind the Lhotse ridgeline


This is where we approach the Rhododendron Forest that surrounds Tengboche

Crossing the Dudh Kosi and the Imja Khola rivers, then some nice gain


Looking back towards Namche (beyond the ridge that's below the snow) from Tengboche, 3,867 metres (12,687 ft)

Tengboche Monastery, one of the most important religious centers for the Sherpa culture. The area is surrounded by the Rhododendron forest.

Everest, Lhotse and Ama Dablam from Tengboche



The Monks loved Frisbee. There's always downtime before settling in for the night ..
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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2010 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This picture of Namche that you took is incredible -- it looks as if the whole town is about to slide off the cliff (knocked on wood):

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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2010 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your pictures bring back some of the best memories I have.
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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sam Page wrote:
Your pictures bring back some of the best memories I have.

You've done the trek, Sam?  

Day 5: Tengboche to Dingboche (14,250 feet)
The trail passes trough the Rhododendron Forest, a magical place. The whole time I kept thingking that a Unicorn would cross our path ;]
After decending to Debuche we crossed a truss bridge over the Imja Khola and then climbed up to Pangboche among the mani stones.





Kumar, one of our porters ..

Ama Dablam South Face

Everest beyond the Lhotse Ridgeline, Lhotse on the right

Vegetation diminishes as we enter Alpine territory



Ice.

Day 6 we hiked up to the village of Chukhung to the east, Lhotse Base-camp approach.


Ama Dablam North Face


Island Peak

Lhotse debris field


Cold and windy at 17,125 feet overlooking Ama Dablam and the Lhotse debris field. A small group of us decided to suck air and climbed Chukhung Ri.


Natang during our daily briefings at the Snow Lion Lodge in Dingboche. The ususal Yak-dung fired stove in the middle of the great room ..

Day 7, Dingboche. We did a small hike to another local peak and I used the time to do some badly needed laundry.  Met the climbers of the Kazakh Army Climbing team CSKA (Central Sports Club of Kazakh Army) while staying at the same lodge at Dingboche. These guys are tough as nails. A couple of Latvians in our group translated through the Russian language and we got the lowdown on their expedition. After losing a climber last year descending the Lhotse face, they are attempting to summit Lhotse again this year; no Sherpas, no Porters, no oxygen. They approach using Everest BC and veer right at the South Col in lieu of left to Everest. These guys are rock solid and never crack a smile. All they do is climb 8,000+ meter peaks .. totally self-sufficient.
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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kumar is a tough dude!  No hip belts for these guys ...
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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fritz: Yea, I was in the Khumbu for 45 days in the 90s.  That's by far the longest I've gone without a bath.
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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haha, Sam. I was happy just getting a bucket shower when available ..

mve wrote:
Kumar is a tough dude!  No hip belts for these guys ...

Kumar is a great guy, all smiles.  

All of the porters are tough cats. Check it out: (somewhere around 16k)



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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shocked having done considerable amount of woodwork and construction I am just floored by them carrying all that plywood and beams up there!!!   Shocked  Shocked
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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Day 8: Dingboche to Lobuche, 16,175 feet







Dughla (15,158 feet / 4,620m). Crossing the freezing glacial runoff we head up the Khumbu Glacial moraine

Chortens to those who perished on Everest, a solemn place.


Heading up the lateral moraine of the Khumbu Glacier


.. and arriving in Lobuche


Lou A, Sherpas and Porters. The youngest two porters are 16 years old!

Day 9, Lobuche to Gorak Shep (17,000 feet) then up Kala Patthar!


Even small gains become more of a challenge at altitude ..


The Khumbu Glacier. If you don't believe in climate change then you have to see for yourself how these glaciers have receded.

Nuptse!





The tarn at Gorak Shep with Pumori in the background. After a bowl of soup we head up Kala Patthar, just a little bump we think
... but it's out of view and farther up the Pumori ridgeline

Nuptse West Face  (25,790 feet)

Everest's peak and plume barely visible next to Nuptse ...

It may look easy, but in the thin air at 17.5k your heart starts racing as you struggle to breathe


Finally the last scramble, heart practically beating out of my chest!

And 18,515 feet (5,643m), wohoo - Kala Patthar!

Everest and Nuptse

Everest Basecamp and the Khumbu Icefall below


The next day we head into Basecamp ..
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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

These two pictures are just amazing -- thanks for sharing!



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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am still amazed by the second image -- that's Everest base camp in the left bottom corner -- we are so minuscule!!
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Never did finish, so here it is..  
Approaching Everest Basecamp from Gorak Shep:

Nuptse West Face heading up

View up the lateral moraine towards BC and Tibet on the other side of the distant ridgeline

You can just start to make out Basecamp on the bottom left hand side ..


Mount Everest. You can clearly see the South Summit and Hillary Step.




Entering Base Camp and walking through camps of the various expeditions ..


And finally entering our camp with Mountain Trip, greeted by Scott Woolumns and Bill Allen.

Cindy Abbott, poking out of the Dining Tent

Our friends Paul & Denise who summited just two weeks ago

We got red-carpet treatment!

View up the Khumbu Icefall

My tent, 3rd right




The Khumbu Icefall. I just gazed at it for about an hour. It's awesome.

At night you hear the creaking and popping of the Khumbu glacier moving below you. Rocks falling all day and night.



Cindy had this deep cough, but she made it to the summit!


Just missed one of the many avalanches



Some of the climbing Sherpas getting back

We had a Puja ceremony for the safe climbing of our friends. The head Sherpa was also a Lama (Buddhist Monk).

A full rainbow circle formed directly overhead.

Then the drinking began and continued the entire descent


Mountain Trip's Sherpas and our Sidar, Natang

With Pushkar Shah, Everest Peace Expedition 2010.
He rode his bike through 150 nations and summited Everest two weeks after this photo.
Pushkar Shah planted 150 little flags of the nations he visited on top, including the one I'm holding!
Very Happy
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 9:19 pm    Post subject: Everest Base Camp Reply with quote

Fritz,

Great, great pictures, been waiting to see the rest, nice pictorial, it's been fun seeing all of them, thanks for sharing them with all of us, nice work on making it up there.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Once again jaw dropping pictorial!

I was going down the post hoping to see a good perspective shop of Khumbu Icefall and you just nailed it man!  Here it is showing tiny little "ants/people" sprinkled all over the frame:



WOW just awesome, huge!
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2010 7:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, guys!  
Very Happy

There are something like 30+ ladder crossings on the Khumbu Icefall.
Makes the one on the Ingraham Direct route on Rainier that Simonov & I crossed look like nothing!



Some consisted of three ladders lashed together!
'Saw a bunch of broken ladders at basecamp ..

Here's a video of them crossing an easy one using a Hero helmet cam:


Then another 4 days trekking out again ..
Larger
Larger
Ama Dablam down in the distance

All in all it's one of those epic journeys that difficult to put into words.
The sights, tastes and smells can only be experienced in person.
That's why it's difficult to put in words and pictures all that we experienced.
I'm grateful for having been there and having had a great group to share it with.

Congratulations Denise, Paul & Cindy along with everybody with Mountain Trip!
That is one fantastic operation. Five paying clients and 2 Guides, all made the summit along with 11 Sherpas.
The most Sherpa to client ratio on Everest 2010.

Climbing Team:

Vivian Rigney
Cindy Abbott
Denise Fejtek
Paul Fejtek
Ania Lichota
Bill Allen - Mountain Trip
Scott Woolums - Mountain Trip

Sherpas to reach the summit:

Tarke
Pasang Gombu
Sange
Temba
Da Wang Chhu
Pemba Chhotar
Pem Chiri
Pasang Tendi
Sonam Chhiring
Da Kusang
Karma Geljin


Congratulations also to our group of 23 in the Everybody to Everest Crew.
We raised a combined $104,671 for the Challenged Athletes Foundation with this trek to Everest Base Camp!
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Incredible footage!  Simply amazing!  Did you notice the constant coughing in the background?  Someone was in great pain there.  The crevasses are just mind numbing -- it feels as if the ropes and ladders are just barely hanging on.  I can't even imagine what the "ice doctors/Sherpas" go through rigging all this up and keeping it from failing throughout the season.  My hat goes off to these people.
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Location: Stuntin in the trap son

PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2010 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesome stuff, brotha. Say we go back there someday, do some climbing. Smile

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