Mt. Everest Expedition: Dave Hahn Checks in from EBC

Posted by: Dave Hahn, Melissa Arnot | April 20, 2012
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest
Elevation: 17,575'

We are kicking off our Everest climb for Spring 2012. 

We’ve already been overseas for a little more than three weeks now and at 17,500 ft Everest Base Camp for about a week.  We’ve benefited immensely from the work put into the building of this comfortable and efficient camp by RMI’s Jeff Martin, basecamp manager Mark Tucker and the entire Sherpa staff.  The climbing team feels confident that they’ve now shaken off the “trekker germs” collected during our 11 day push up the Khumbu Valley.  Everyone seems well acclimated and we’ve successfully stretched our legs and lungs on the hills around camp and the approaches to the Khumbu Icefall.  On April 16th, we held a Puja ceremony, seeking the blessing of the gods before putting ourselves in danger on the mountain.  The Puja was deemed a great success and our Sherpa team has consequently completed two missions through the Icefall, going as far as the site which will become our Advanced Base Camp (or Camp II) at a little over 21,000 ft.  Reaching that camp will be one of the goals of our climbing team in these next few days, but we don’t intend to sleep that high just yet.  First things first… if all goes well, we want to get an early start tomorrow morning, say around 5 AM, and then to climb through the Icefall to spend three nights at Camp I (just under 20,000 ft in the Western Cwm).  Our Sherpa team tells us they are satisfied with the present state of the ever-changing Icefall Route.  As usual, we’ll need to climb steep glacial ice, cross ladder bridges over deep crevasses, pass efficiently under avalanche threats and generally keep moving well when the going gets tough.  We figure that this first push should take us around 4 to 4.5 hours.  The climbers have spent most of today sorting gear, packing food and getting packs neat and orderly.  We even showered and put on semi-fresh clothing.  Now we’ll launch our first “rotation” on the mountain toward an eventual summit push.  Each rotation should take us higher on the hill, encountering different challenges and hazards… but also progressively bigger and more spectacular views of the world.  Descending back down to basecamp for smart rest and recuperation between rotations will take on added importance as we get farther along with the game.

It is a big season on Mount Everest with perhaps 40 other teams encamped around us at the base of the mountain.  We’ve each been happy to bump into friends and fellow climbing guides around camp and plans are being laid for communal meals and gaming sessions to fill the downtime.  The weather has been “normal” enough with each day starting cold and sparkling clear, but then clouding up by noon and dropping a little snow by late afternoon or early evening.  Our views of Everest’s summit pyramid have revealed a dry and increasingly rocky profile to the upper mountain.  Either the winter didn’t produce significant volumes of snow up high, or -as is more likely- the jet stream winds have been working overtime to scour the peak.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Prayer flags hang below the summit of Pumori.  As seen from the summit of Kala Patar.  Photo: Jeff Martin RMI Tents at Everest Base Camp 2012.  Photo: Jeff Martin

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Comments

I am a union structural ironworker from Detroit MI and admire you all as a team going for the Summit and living life on the edge.  Good Luck and be Safe!

Posted by: Art Kazyak on 4/28/2012 at 4:50 pm

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