Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Next Year!

We are all excited and preparing for next year's expedition to Mt Everest!

Join us.... on one of the true challenges on our planet!


Bill Allen and Scott Woolums

Thanks to Our Sherpa Team!

We all wanted to say thank you again to our Sherpa team, one of the hardest working teams on the hill! Without them, this really would not be nearly as successful. These guys are some of the most stellar people on this planet! You simply could not ask for a better team for climbing Mt Everest with. I can say over many expeditions climbing with this team, I would not up high without everyone of our Sherpas!


From all of us at Mt. Trip, Thank You!


Scott Woolums

Celebrations and Congratulations!

Thanks and Congratulations come in many forms!


Monday, May 31, 2010

Enjoying Kathmandu!

A quick update from Kathmandu. It has been a very busy couple days as we flew out from Base Camp in helicopters down to Lukla. We spent a night there and from and then connected onto Kathmandu. It feels really good to be down low and to begin celebrating one of our best trips ever!

We are waiting for our bags to show up before catching our flights home. There is certainly a lot to do in order to wrap everything up. Mostly, we are just enjoying being with the team and taking advantage of going out for meals in good restaurants. Kathmandu definitely has a festive atmosphere right now as there are a lot of teams in town at this time, with many more still hiking out from Base Camp.

The helicopter option was a great team decision, as it saved us some precious time and helped enable us to enjoy this time in Kathmandu! We are staying at the Yak and Yeti, which is a nice place to decompress (unacclimitize!) while meeting friends and taking care of last minute business in Kathmandu.

Scott Woolums reporting from Kathmandu!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The team is in Kathmandu

Sorry for the delay in posting. I have been out of town and I just received word that the team is in Kathmandu. Bill and Scott have tried to post, but the infamous Nepali internet service is apparently at an all-time low for reliability...

In any case, the team members are waiting for equipment to be flown back to Kathmandu from the dirt airstrip at Lukla, but poor weather has delayed flights. Everyone is very thankful that we organized a helicopter for them, as they would otherwise be waiting at the airstrip with all the gear!

Scott and Bill will post more photos and a recap of the trip in the coming days, so check back, but this will be the last "regular" update for our very successful 2010 Everest expedition.

Thanks for reading and thanks to everyone who posted comments in support of this great team of climbers. We'll back on Everest in 2011!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

More Photos from Up High!

Wahoo! Everyone is very excited (and exhausted) right now in Base Camp. It's hard to believe that all of us really made it, but reality is slowly sinking in. Up til now we have been just too tired to really appreciate what just happened! Everyone worked very hard for this goal. It's just simply amazing.

We have attached some more photos from our summit push and would like to pass along a few more details of how the day transpired.

As we had been watching the weather forecasts very closely, we made a decision to go up to Camp 3 on the 21st of May. It ended up being a simply perfect day, with no wind and everyone moved well to a small, chopped out perch at 24,000 ft. on the Lhotse Face. We were treated to a beautiful sunset that evening, but after the rays of light waned, it became very cold. The next morning looked perfect so off we went to Camp 4 at 26,000ft., starting very early in the morning.

Along the way we climbed through the distinctive Yellow Band and the rocky Geneva Spur. These two sections are quite challenging at this altitude. About 80 other climbers moved up to high camp on the same schedule as us, however; it's a big mountain and people tend to get scattered quickly.

Once again, our team had a very good day to move up and we were tucked in to Camp 4 by around noon, providing us with some time to rest, rehydrate and recover. As we prepared for our evening summit bid, the wind kicked in quite strong. Over the next few hours we were on the fence as to whether we should wait until the 24th to go, as there were huge streamers of wind and blowing snow coming off the top and through the South Col. Bill and I were seriously worried about conditions... and then the about an hour before we had planned to leave for the summit, the wind just stopped. It was really remarkable and very lucky!

With better conditions at hand, we continued to prepare for our summit bid and departed The South Col at 8.30pm on the 22nd to head for the top. Yep, that's 8.30pm the day before! It made for a long hard, cold night of climbing across the South Col, up the Triangle Face towards the Balcony. During the night, each of us faced individual battles of staving off personal fears, freezing cold and the claustrophobic myopia of following the small circle of headlight beam in front of you.

It seems to take forever to climb up to the Balcony at close to 28,000ft. This is really our first good place to stop in the dark in order to change out our first oxygen bottle. We had a total of 11 Sherpas climbing with us, carrying extra oxygen which makes life up here safer, warmer and for most of us...even possible!

From the Balcony we started up the difficult rock climbing/scrambling towards the South Summit. This was the point when daylight began to taunt us with an agonizingly slow appearance, and then treated us to one of the most amazing sunrises of our lives as it spread across Tibet. At sunrise, we had been climbing for almost eight hours and those first rays of sun felt simply amazing!

Above the difficult climbing, we felt now were in a good position to continue to the summit, as winds were still light and everyone was moving really well. At the South Summit we again changed out our oxygen so we would have plenty for the climb over from the South Summit to the Main Summit of Everest. This next section is where the famous "Hillary Step" is located. This iconic feature is actually a very narrow, exposed ridge with quite interesting climbing at well over 28,500 ft. After negotiating the Hillary Step, we made a slow climbing traverse up and over to the main summit.

We were thrilled that our entire team of five climbers, two Mountain Trip guides and eleven Climbing Sherpas had all made it to the summit! That made for a very happy group of 18 of us in total, taking in the views from the top of our planet!

The winds were now beginning to blow at maybe 20 mph and it was fairly cold, but it was still more or less perfect weather on the summit. The weather was so good that we spent almost an hour taking pictures and enjoying the outstanding views all around us.

While we enjoyed our time on the top, we remained very conscious of the fact that we were really only halfway through our day, and so we began our long descent. As we reached the Balcony, quite a lot of clouds and wind moved in making for some challenging conditions. A climber from another team was having difficulties with possible Cerebral Edema and we loaned one of our Sherpas, Gombu, to assist him and his guide with their descent (their climb down to the South Col went well and he was evacuated from Camp 2).

All in all, it was quite a sporty descent and a rough night as the winds and snow continued until the next morning. We were very fortunate to have found that small window in which to summit. Not all teams were so lucky.

We are now in Base Camp, packing everything, as tomorrow there will not even be a camp here! Everything is getting loaded into barrels and then onto yaks for the three day descent back to Lukla where our equipment will be transferred to Kathmandu. We have scheduled two chartered helicopters for the flight out and are planning to leave tomorrow morning. It will be a bit of a shock to go from Base Camp directly to Kathmandu in one day! But I know that I can safely say that everyone is very much looking forward to being back in "civilization" and everything that entails! At least Kathmandu will provide us with a bit more of a transition back to our Western version of civilization and all its creature comforts.
We hope you enjoy the photos. We'll post more stories soon from our 2010 expedition.

And then there will be more stories from Everest 2011.....

Scott Woolums - reporting from Everest Base Camp

Oh yes and some photos from the descent!

You're only halfway through your day when you're on the summit!

Sometimes the descent can be quite challenging. We had some high winds and snow as we left Camp 4, but then things continued to improve.