Entries By mark tucker

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

Posted by: Mark Tucker, Dave Hahn, JJ 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. Everest: Rest Day for the Team at Everest Base Camp

Posted by: Dave Hahn, JJ 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, JJ 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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Mt. Everest: Mark Tucker Checking in after the Puja Ceremony

Posted by: Mark Tucker, Dave Hahn, JJ Justman, Billy Nugent | April 10, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches
Elevation: 17,575'

Hello! Mark Tucker checking in from Everest Base Camp. We had a wonderful ceremony today. The puja altar was just as beautiful as it gets. A wonderful day. Just a real, pretty ceremony. Everybody in attendance and we all had a good time. So we packed up a lot a loads. We have our whole Sherpa staff heading up the hill to carry all the necessary provisions to get a great Camp 1 established. And our three super guides, Dave, Billy and JJ, are going to go get their feet wet and check on the route and check on the camp and get things looking up-to-snuff for the rest of the western team. We will do some maintenance down here- a little bit of hiking, maybe a shower day. We have plenty to do to prep ourselves for the near future. We are going to be up real early and get these boys off to work on their commute to Camp 1 tomorrow. So all is well and like I said, we had a really nice day.  We’ll check in tomorrow.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

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 Guide Mark Tucker calls in after the puja ceremony.

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Everest Base Camp Trek: Tucker Bids Farewell to His Team in Lukla

Posted by: Mark Tucker | April 04, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest BC Trek
Elevation: 9,350'

BIG is done!  Here in Lukla and enjoying the thick air and relatively warm temperatures. Long day from Namche to here, all is well. Good day weather wise and lots to view. Beautiful blooming fruit trees that were not at that stage on the way in. Amazing what new sites you see from the opposite direction. We took our time, tried to take in as much of the region as we could and still get us to our home for the night before dark. It was nice to stop and see the children, out and about having fun and a joy to observe the everyday live of the Sherpa people. They have always been such a friendly folk and it held true on this trip as well. Two of our favorite people of the Khumbu, Karma and Mingma part of our local staff that helped make this such a successful trip, left us after dinner. Safe journey to them and thanks so much. Pemba will stay with us till the early flight tomorrow morning. It’s been a blast. Till next time. Get out while you can.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

Team shopping in Namche at the end of the trek. Photo: Mark Tucker Team posing in front of a blossoming tree near Namche. Photo: Mark Tucker Namaste. Photo: Mark Tucker

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Everest Base Camp Trek: Tucker & Team Have a Couple of Big Days on Their Trek Out

Posted by: Mark Tucker | April 03, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest BC Trek
Elevation: 11,300'

BIG, BIG days in a row.  What a whirl wind tour this has been. Since leaving Pheriche at 14,000 ft and going up to 17,000-foot Everest Base Camp it has been all business.

The team has linked together so many tough days and been rewarded with so many memories, I sure hope the lack of oxygen to the brain doesn’t effect the retention of them. We were up early to a blue-sky day.  Quick breakfast and off we go.  The word descend is a bit misleading when traveling in the Khumbu region.  The dramatic relief in topography combined with all the weathering and rivers makes for a lot of ups and downs from start to finish of the day. Midway on our trek today, it started to snow pretty heavy.  The team has been fine tuning what basic equipment to have in our packs at all times.  Needless to say most of our clothing went on as we traveled through a winter wonderland.  The downhill becomes a big challenge with wet and slippery condition.  An impressive demonstration by my group of climbers today with no misstep under trying conditions. All tired but happy with one more BIG day tomorrow, which will get us back to the Lukla airstrip.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

Everest BC Trek Team take a break to pose on trek back to Namche. Photo: Mark Tucker Trekking out over the Dudh Kosi River. Photo: Mark Tucker Clouds rolling in brought a snowstorm over the trekking team. Photo: Mark Tucker

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Everest Base Camp Trek: Tucker & Team on their Descent to Namche Bazaar

Posted by: Mark Tucker | April 02, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest BC Trek
Elevation: 14,000'

Hey Mark Tucker checking in from Pheriche down here in the lowlands of 14,000’. Well the team got up and had a nice breakfast in beautiful, beautiful weather. We said good-bye to the crew at Base Camp. It was really fun sharing the expedition experience with these guys.  We had a really good time and were well taken care of. We were sad to leave Jeff Martin, our Operations Manager, all alone up there, but he’s going to be fine. We had a big day today though. Went through Gorak Shep and Lobuche so it was quite a trek for the team. They all did well and the mountain at the last bit threw at us a pretty good snow squall. And for this group of Floridians, the preparation and our great training over the last couple of weeks here, we survived. It was not that bad but it was a fun experience and boy we’re going to share these stories. Whatever they say, I’ll agree with them. Those numbers change when they get back home but I will verify it. So we’re all doing well. The other RMI team, the climbing team, is here as well. It’s been great to rub shoulders with them and these guys are getting to know them as well. So we are all hanging tough. More downhill and up tomorrow, where we’ll end up in Namche Bazaar. Thank you for following.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

Himalaya Panorama. Photo: Dave Hahn Hiking with Ama Dablam in the background. Photo: Dave Hahn An RMI team descending past prayer flags. Photo: RMI Collection


RMI Guide Mark Tucker calls in from Pheriche.

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Everest Base Camp Trek: Tucker & Team Check in from Base Camp

Posted by: Mark Tucker | April 01, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest BC Trek
Elevation: 17,575'

Hey Mark Tucker at Everest Base Camp, checking in.  Woke up to clear blue, not a cloud in the sky. Here in the early evening, we’ve got a little light snow- not unusual. The team is doing well. We had a very productive day: some showers, lots of writing, reading… I don’t know about arithmetic, lots of photos, and a venture into the Icefall. We are sharing our camp with Jeff Martin, the RMI Operations Manager. It’s a pleasure he is setting everything up for the team that’s coming in. Actually the bags that went straight from Kathmandu to Base Camp just arrived for the climbing team. I’m sure they are posting on the website. But their gear is all here and that is always a nice thing. A little bit chilly, as you can imagine. My hands are freezing on this phone but we are going to duck into the dining tent where we will have another three to five course meal and have a little heater in there. Play a little bit of cards and relax and we are already gearing up for tomorrow. Our descent will begin back back towards Lukla. So we are keeping that fresh in our mind. Everybody is doing well and thanks for following. We’ll talk later.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

RMI's Base Camp on Everest. Photo: Linden Mallory


RMI Guide Mark Tucker checks in from Everest Base Camp.

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Everest Base Camp Trek: Tucker and Team Arrive in Base Camp

Posted by: Mark Tucker | March 31, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest BC Trek
Elevation: 17,500'

Hi,

It’s Mark Tucker here checking in with Rainier Mountaineering’s Everest Base Camp Trek,  17,500’ feet beautiful Mt. Everest. The Team did a bang’em up job and pulled in here in great shape. We are being treated well.  We’ve got fine tents, and lots of luxuries. We are going to spend two nights here.  Tomorrow will be a great day for investigating and poking around this historic site.  We are just so psyched, this team took on a big challenge to get here and we are very thrilled.

YEE HA! We will be checking in later.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker & Team

Evening Light at RMI Base Camp. RMI Photo Collection


Mark Tucker Checking in from Everest Base Camp.

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Everest Base Camp Trek: Tucker and Team Check in from Gorak Shep

Posted by: Mark Tucker | March 30, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest BC Trek
Elevation: 16,950'

Mark Tucker checking in today from Gorak Shep, at about 17,000’ feet. We had a nice hike today with the wonderful weather holding on for us - feeling lucky! We pushed on after we had lunch and got the summit of Kala Patar just over 18,000’ feet, right around sunset. The big “E” popped it’s top out a couple of times, beautiful colors with an alpine glow, windy, and cold. I am standing outside right now and it is chilly up here!  I am looking at about 500 million stars, just a beautiful night aside from cold.

Everybody is tucked in and we are going to get up and rock-n-roll for Base Camp tomorrow. That’s the plan, hope it all holds true.

All the best to everybody and we will be keeping you posted!

RMI Guide Mark Tucker & Team

Hiking to Kala Patar. RMI Photo Collection


Mark Tucker Checking in from Gorak Shep

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