Mt. Everest: Dress Rehearsal through the Khumbu Icefall

Posted by: J.J. Justman, Dave Hahn, Billy Nugent, Mark Tucker | April 17, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest
Elevation: 17,575'

Today was an exciting day! The entire team did a “live” rehearsal. What does that mean? Well…the team awoke at 3AM and slid on stiff boots and warm clothing, had a quick but nutritious breakfast and then began climbing the icefall with our headlamps lighting the way.

Climbing in the Khumbu Icefall is impossible to describe. It is impossible to relay what it’s like through photos and videos. However, the best I can say is it is simply spectacular! Giant blocks of ice tower above as you bob and weave, slice and dice your way through the giant maze.

The entire team did absolutely great! This “dry run” of going through half of the icefall inspires confidence so the next time we get up at 3AM we will all be ready and rearing to go through the entire icefall and occupy Camp One at 20,000 feet.

For now however, we are all happy and content after another great lunch with culinary masterpieces allowing us to fully recover. Next, a little tent time to rest these weary bones.

RMI Guide JJ Justman

Night exposure of the Khumbu Icefall. Photo: RMI Collection

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James,
Missed your call.  Signed up for Everest email alert. Following blog. Praying for all climbers on the mountain. Be safe. Love, SC

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Posted by: Soonja Choo on 4/17/2014 at 11:19 pm

Spencer hope all is well, I know your probably vibing so hard. Photos look amazing, can’t wait to hear all your crazy stories. Always thinking about you, be safe! I… read more

Posted by: Gio on 4/17/2014 at 10:11 pm


Mt. Rainier: The Winter Seminar Tries for the Summit

Posted by: Brent Okita, Zeb Blais, Ben Liken, Robby Young | April 16, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 10,060'

We left Camp Muir this morning at 4: There was a cap over the summit from the outset of our climb but we were thankful the winds from yesterday evening had abated and hoped the cap would follow suit.45 a.m. in reasonable winds.  The team took to heart the lessons learned at yesterday’s climbing school and climbed strong on the upper mountain in deteriorating conditions.
 
I began the route finding effort up the Ingraham Direct but gave way to RMI Guide Zeb Blais as he led the team up to a break at 12,800’.  As we switchbacked our way up the mountain, we encountered increasing wind speeds and steadily decreasing visibility.  We made the smart and safe choice to call 13,400’ our high point for the day.  On our descent to Camp Muir, clouds would billow up from below causing white out conditions followed by periods of visibility.  This process repeated continually until we returned to Camp Muir.

We’re back at Camp Muir safe and sound.  We are looking forward to a low-key afternoon at camp with a siesta and some easy training on the schedule.

Signing off for now,
RMI Guide Brent Okita

The Mt. Rainier winter seminar's high point today. Photo: Robby Young Winter seminar training with avalanche transceivers. Photo: Brent Okita The winter seminar traversing the Cowlitz Glacier. Photo: Brent Okita
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Mt. Everest: The Team Prepares for the Next Phase of the Expedition

Posted by: Billy Nugent, Dave Hahn, J.J. Justman, Mark Tucker | April 16, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest
Elevation: 17,575'

Hello out there. Billy here checking in for the rest of the gang after another day deep in the Khumbu. Not much to report on another rest day here, other than the fact that the NCell tower began sporadically working today after nearly a ten-day outage. Our team was starting to go crazy… I mean it was like camping back in the 90’s where you were in a deep black hole.

Anyway, clear skies this morning meant more helicopters buzzing basecamp as a film production crew has been ferrying tons of equipment up valley. The rumor is that they’ll need more than fifty flights to get all of their gear in, we’re all looking forward to it! Regardless, we’re rested and ready for the next phase of our climb which involves an early wakeup dress rehearsal for tomorrow. It’s the last step before we begin our first true rotation up the mountain.

All for now, will check in again tomorrow after another romp through the icefall…

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

B3 Helicopter Leaving Everest BC Helipad. Photo: Dave Hahn

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Nicole, Thinking about you. Making sure your ok. Things are all good here toys and cabanas on the beach. One nice day and two cold ones. Stay safe, talk to… read more

Posted by: Pete Cruz on 4/16/2014 at 10:37 am

I hope that film crew is lining up for Nicole Lobiondo! It’s fun keeping tabs on this wild adventure! Good luck everyone.

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Posted by: Nicole Pizzuti on 4/16/2014 at 10:35 am


Mt. Everest: Mark Tucker and the Climbing Team Summit Kalapathar

Posted by: Mark Tucker, Dave Hahn, J.J. Justman, Billy Nugent | April 15, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest
Elevation: 17,575'

Summit… of Kalapathar!  The team took on Kalapathar, and had a great payday of views galore.  Nice weather for most of the day.  The Sherpa team also benefited from weather as they are nearly done with all the makings of Camp 2.  One comment from a Sherpa that it was very hot in the Khumbu Icefall. Seems ironic.

The climbing team is gearing up for a possible early morning test run in the Icefall.  We’ll keep you posted.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

Mt. Everest from the Kalapathar summit. Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. Rainier: RMI Guide Brent Okita Checks In as the Seminar Ascends to Camp Muir

Posted by: Brent Okita, Zeb Blais, Ben Liken, Robby Young | April 15, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 10,060'

We had a great day for making our way to Camp Muir yesterday. Blue skies and just enough wind to keep us from over heating. Everyone did well! 

Camp Muir will be home through Friday.  The next few days we’ll be training around Camp Muir.  It’s going to be a fantastic week!

RMI Guide Brent Okita

Taking a break on our way up the Muir Snowfield. Photo: Brent Okita Mt. Rainier seminar ascending to Camp Muir. Photo: Brent Okita Beautiful vast views on Mt. Rainier seminar. Photo: Brent Okita
1

RMI Guide Geoff Schellens Looks Back On AMGA Ice Instructor Course

Posted by: Geoff Schellens | April 15, 2014
Categories: *Guide News

With support from the Eddie Bauer - RMI Guide Grant, RMI Guide Geoff Schellens took part in an American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) Ice Instructor Course this winter near Ouray, Colorado. Afterward, Geoff sat down and shared some stories from the course.

Ice climbing is a unique discipline of climbing, which poses specific challenges for the climber: ice fall, rock fall, specific equipment needs, over heating, becoming too cold, and avalanche hazards, just to name a few.  Guiding ice climbing requires quite a bit of preparation, awareness, and technique to mitigate these challenges. 

Ice Climbing on Dexter Falls (Geoff Schellens)

On the third day of my five-day AMGA Ice Instructor Course, we had planned to take two groups to Eureka, Colorado, to climb long multi-pitch ice routes.  Avalanches from large snow bowls above threaten many of these routes, like the classic Stairway to Heaven.  On this cold, crisp morning we encountered six inches of new snow, and after driving up to Red Mountain Pass we decided that the avalanche risk was too high and opted to go with our back up plan: climbing at Dexter Falls. 

Dexter is just north of Ouray, Colorado, and offers excellent multi-pitch ice routes that are exposed to less avalanche hazard.  Climbing Dexter Falls with two teams of three climbers posed new guiding challenges.  Namely, avoiding knocking ice onto the climbers below.  We chose to climb with both teams parallel to each other to protect against this.  Parallel rope technique requires that the lead climber is thoughtful about where both following climbers will be ascending.  The goal to keep them on slightly separate routes, allowing any loose ice to fall without risking injury to either climber. 

Ice Climbing (Geoff Schellens)

The climbing was fun and we topped out having done it in a safe manner. Climbing ice in Ouray, Colorado, or anywhere for that matter, is easy and enjoyable after acquiring a relatively straightforward skill set.

I hope you enjoy the photos!
____
Geoff Schellens is a senior guide for RMI Expeditions, leading trips in Argentina, the North Cascades, Alaska, and Colorado. Geoff is currently climbing Dhaulagiri, an 8,000 meter peak in the Himalayas. See more of Geoff’s mountain photography on his website The Exposed Edge.


Mt. Everest: Rest Day for the Team at Everest Base Camp

Posted by: Dave Hahn, J.J. Justman, Billy Nugent, Mark Tucker | April 14, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest
Elevation: 17,575'

Today was a well-timed rest day.  Following our recent daily pattern, it was sunny and calm in the morning and snowing and socked in by noon.  The team took the chance to wash up and get clean during the sunny hours, and then hunkered down within the tents for the afternoon.  The much talked about Everest Basecamp WiFi hotspots and 3G cell coverage have both been dysfunctional in the extreme of late, bringing the teams back virtually to the 1990’s in terms of connectivity… roughing it.  Yesterday was a very popular day for Puja ceremonies and so the drab moraine rubble we call home was transformed by a vast spiderweb of interconnected colorful prayer flags streaming from the numerous chortens.  Tomorrow, our Sherpa team is geared up for a carry to Camp II while the climbers have a conditioning hike to Kalapathar in mind.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

View from above Everest Basecamp. Photo: Jake Norton

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Mt. Everest:  Team Continues Training

Posted by: Dave Hahn, Billy Nugent, J.J. Justman, Mark Tucker | April 13, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest
Elevation: 17,575'

Today the team went uphill in a few big ways.  The Sherpa team carried loads all the way to Camp II (ABC) at 21,300 ft before returning to base while the climbing guides and climbers geared up and traveled to the first ladders in the icefall route.  It takes about 90 minutes or so to reach those lowest ladders, but we figure it was pretty good practice.  The “trail” involves a lot of crampon work up and down endless ice ridges before the actual fixed ropes begin.  The fixed lines take a little getting used to when it comes to passing intermediate anchors in steep and awkward spots.  Then we started encountering the much anticipated ladders, the first few this season being short and simple.  But we continued on until we hit a slightly longer set of ladder sections tied together and bridging a pretty deep and dark crevasse.  The team took turns tip-toeing across the rungs and from time to time just standing back to watch Sherpa climbers dance effortlessly across in their descent from a hard day of work.  Descent from that big and worthy crevasse a little over 18,000 ft was pretty good training all in itself.  The team moved better and better as climbers got accustomed to the routines of “arm-rappels” and clipping past snow and ice anchors.  We reached the crampons-off point just as the daily afternoon snowstorm began, but that meant we were only ten minutes from camp.  Once back in our home away from home it was an easy afternoon of lunch, games, naps and good conversation.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Everest Base Camp and the Lower Khumbu Icefall.  Photo: RMI Collection


RMI Guide and Base Camp Manager Mark Tucker checks in with an update on the Mt. Everest Expedition.

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Dhaulagiri: RMI Guides Spend a Night at Camp 1 and are Back in Basecamp

Posted by: Elias de Andres Martos, Jake Beren, Geoff Schellens, Garrett Stevens | April 12, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Guide News
Elevation: 15,584'

Hello, this is Dhaulagiri climbing team on Saturday, April 12th. We have come back to base camp. We had made a move to Camp 1 and spent last night up there. We were forced to move down because of the bad weather. However that was pretty much the plan after moving up there and caching some gear and spend at least a night for acclimatization. We have about a foot of snow at base camp and we got about 1 1/2 feet at Camp 1 last night. Looks like the trend is going to be like that for the next couple of days and we are going to wait it out down here. We’ll keep you posted on the move. So far the “mountain of storms.” We will see what happens. Hope everyone is doing well and we’ll check in later.

RMI Guide Elias de Andres Martos


Elias de Andres Martos calls in from Dhaulagiri Basecamp.

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Mt. Everest: Sherpa & Guide Teams Check Out Camp 1 as Climbing Team Acclimatizes on Pumori

Posted by: Dave Hahn, J.J. Justman, Billy Nugent | April 12, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest
Elevation: 17,575'

Hey, this is Dave Hahn calling from Mount Everest. We’re still doing voice dispatches. We don’t have internet connectivity yet. There is hope that we’ll have it in the next couple of days if they fix the cell tower down valley.

Things are going well up here. Our Sherpa team and our guide team went through the Icefall yesterday. Some of the first to go through the Khumbu Icefall for this season. We went to Camp 1 and came back down yesterday morning. All was well. Today the climbing team, went to Pumori Camp 1.  Pumori is one of the beautiful mountains around base camp. Of course we didn’t go for the summit of that; it would be pretty technical. But going up to Camp 1 was good exercise and got us up to some altitude. It wasn’t the best day for being out in the hills. It was kind of snowy and gray but we made a good outing out of it. And then had an easy afternoon back here at base camp, so everything’s going well. The base camp is filling up. Lots of teams coming in now. So it’s getting a little bit more like regular Everest season by now. All for today. We’ll keep in touch.

RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Prayer flags below Pumori. Photo: Jeff Martin View from Pumori C1. Photo: Dave Hahn Dave Hahn descending the Khumbu Icefall. Photo: Dave Hahn


Dave Hahn calls in after first time this season through the Khumbu Icefall.

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Previous Page More Entries

Expedition Stats

Vinson Massif
11/19 - 12/11/2013
Summit
Four Day Summit Climb
8/21 - 8/24/2013
Summit
Kilimanjaro
8/17 - 8/31/2013
Summit
Four Day Summit Climb
8/22 - 8/25/2013
Summit
Four Day Summit Climb
8/23 - 8/26/2013
Summit
Four Day Summit Climb
8/24 - 8/27/2013
10,080'
Four Day Summit Climb
8/25 - 8/28/2013
10,800'
Four Day Summit Climb
8/26 - 8/29/13
10,200'
Four Day Summit Climb
8/27 - 8/30/2013
11,200'
Four Day Summit Climb
8/28 - 8/31/2013
11,800'
Mt. Shuksan
8/25 - 8/30/2013
7,200'
Four Day Summit Climb
8/29 - 9/1/2013
11,200'
Mt. Shuksan Fisher Chimneys
8/30 - 9/2/2013
Summit
Mt. Shuksan Fisher Chimneys
8/30 - 9/1/13
Summit
Four Day Summit Climb
8/30 - 9/2/2013
12,700'
Four Day Summit Climb
8/31 - 9/3/2013
12,300'
Four Day Summit Climb
9/1 - 9/4/2013
12,300'
Four Day Summit Climb
9/2 - 9/5/2013
10,080'
Four Day Summit Climb
9/3 - 9/6/2013
10,080'
Mt. Shuksan Sulphide Glacier
9/2 - 9/6/2013
Summit
Everest Base Camp Trek
10/28 - 11/21/2013
Reached Base Camp
Four Day Summit Climb
9/4 - 9/7/13
11,600'
Four Day Summit Climb
9/5 - 9/8/2013
12,900'
Mt. Elbrus - Northside
8/22 - 9/7/13
14,000'
Four Day Summit Climb
9/6 - 9/9/2013
12,300'
Kilimanjaro
9/2 - 9/16/2013
Summit
Expedition Skills Seminar - Muir
9/8 - 9/13/2013
Summit
Four Day Summit Climb
9/11 - 9/14/2013
Summit
Four Day Summit Climb
9/12 - 9/15/2013
Summit
Five Day Summit Climb
9/11 - 9/15/2013
Summit
Four Day Summit Climb
9/13 - 9/16/2013
Summit
Expedition Skills Seminar - Muir
9/15 - 9/20/2013
Summit
Four Day Summit Climb
9/18 - 9/21/2013
Summit
Kilimanjaro
9/14 - 9/28/2013
Summit
Four Day Summit Climb
9/19 - 9/22/2013
12,300'
Five Day Summit Climb
9/18 - 9/22/2013
12,300'
Four Day Summit Climb
9/20 - 9/23/2013
8,000'
Fisher Chimneys
9/16 - 9/18/2013
Summit
Expedition Skills Seminar - Muir
9/22 - 9/27/2013
Summit
Five Day Summit Climb
9/25 - 9/29/2013
7,600'
Kilimanjaro
10/5 - 10/19/2013
Summit
Mexico's Volcanoes
10/19 - 10/27/2013
14,700' Ixtaccihuatl / 16,500' Orizaba
Ecuador Volcanoes
12/10 - 12/20/2013
Cayambe - Summit / Cotopaxi - Summit
Vinson Massif
12/1 - 12/23/2013
Summit
Aconcagua
12/9 - 12/29/2013
21,700'
Aconcagua
12/14 - 1/6/2014
Summit
Aconcagua
12/20 - 1/12/2014
Summit
Expedition Skills Seminar - Winter
1/5 - 1/10/2014
10,080'
Aconcagua
12/27 - 1/19/2014
Summit
Expedition Skills Seminar - Ecuador
1/7 - 1/20/2014
Cayambe - Summit / Antisana - 18,500' / Cotopaxi - Summit
Mexico's Volcanoes
1/18 - 1/26/2014
Ixtaccihuatl - Summit / Orizaba - Summit
Aconcagua
1/10 - 2/2/2014
Summit
Aconcagua
1/3 - 1/26/2014
21,500'
Kilimanjaro
1/25 - 2/8/2014
Summit
Expedition Skills Seminar - Winter
2/9 - 2/14/2014
7,100'
Kilimanjaro
2/8 - 2/22/2014
Summit
Ecuador Volcanoes
2/11 - 2/21/2014
Cayambe - Summit / Cotopaxi - Summit
Aconcagua
2/2 - 2/25/2014
Summit
Mexico's Volcanoes
2/15 - 2/23/2014
Ixtaccihuatl - Summit / Orizaba - Summit
Kilimanjaro
2/10 - 2/21/2014
Summit
Expedition Skills Seminar - Ecuador
2/14 - 2/26/2014
Illiniza Sur - Summit / Cotopaxi - Summit
Mexico's Volcanoes
3/1 - 3/9/2014
Ixtaccihuatl - Summit / Orizaba - Summit
Expedition Skills Seminar - Winter
3/9 - 3/14/2014
Summit
Everest Base Camp Trek - Island Peak
3/16 - 4/10/2014
Summit
Expedition Skills Seminar - Winter
4/13 - 4/18/2014
Mt. Rainier - 13,400'
Everest Base Camp Trek
3/19 - 4/8/2014
Base Camp

Recent Images

  • Mt. Everest, Nepal. Photo: Jake Norton
  • The view from Everest Base Camp, 17,575 ft. Photo: Dave Hahn
  • Mt. Everest, 29,035'.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • An RMI Team takes a break at Ingraham Flats (11,200') while descending Mt. Rainier (Jon Mancuso).
  • Mt. Everest with a wind-swept plume. Photo: RMI Collection
  • Khumbu Icefall after the April 18th avalanche. Photo: Dave Hahn
  • Last rest break on the mountain. Photo: Brent Okita
  • Group photo near Paradise. Photo: Brent Okita
  • The winter seminar training in tough conditions at Camp Muir. Photo: Brent Okita
  • Night exposure of the Khumbu Icefall. Photo: RMI Collection
  • The Mt. Rainier winter seminar's high point today. Photo: Robby Young
  • Winter seminar training with avalanche transceivers. Photo: Brent Okita
  • The winter seminar traversing the Cowlitz Glacier. Photo: Brent Okita
  • B3 Helicopter Leaving Everest BC Helipad. Photo: Dave Hahn
  • Mt. Everest from the Kalapathar summit. Photo: RMI Collection
  • Taking a break on our way up the Muir Snowfield. Photo: Brent Okita
  • Mt. Rainier seminar ascending to Camp Muir. Photo: Brent Okita
  • Beautiful vast views on Mt. Rainier seminar. Photo: Brent Okita
  • View from above Everest Basecamp. Photo: Jake Norton
  • Everest Base Camp and the Lower Khumbu Icefall.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • Prayer flags below Pumori. Photo: Jeff Martin
  • View from Pumori C1. Photo: Dave Hahn
  • Dave Hahn descending the Khumbu Icefall. Photo: Dave Hahn
  • Join RMI for classes on how to prepare for Mt. Rainier at your local REI store!
  • Everest BC - Puja ceremony. Photo: RMI Collection
  • Raising the mast at a puja ceremony. Photo: RMI Collection
  • Puja lamas and drum. Photo: RMI Collection
  • RMI's Everest Base Camp at night. Photo: RMI Collection
  • The sun setting on the peaks surrounding Everest Base Camp.  Photo: RMI Collection