Entries from Expedition Dispatches
April 27, 2017
An attempt at the summit was not to be had given the avalanche conditions up high. So, instead we learned how to evaluate these conditions and deal with an avalanche rescue.
In the afternoon we worked on some ice climbing skills, lowering folks into a large crevasse so they could claw and fight their way out. Everyone did great, and nobody was left in the hole.
When we got back to Camp Muir, the team was still excited to do more, so we worked on advanced cramponing technique and belaying. I think everyone was psyched with how the weather has finally settled out and granted us some blue sky and mild winds.
Tomorrow we address a few more skills, then head down to Basecamp in Ashford, and perhaps a beer and burger to celebrate a great week, and a fantastic crew.
April 25, 2017
After learning the fundamentals of glacier travel and snow and ice climbing, we put our newly honed skills to good use as we climbed to 11,000’ to check out the upper mountain.
Unfortunately, the weather came in fast and we had to beat a hasty retreat back to Camp Muir. What a fun day!
April 25, 2017
Our seminar started out on Sunday with some rainy weather, but that sure didn’t get in the way of a great day of technical training at our facilities in Ashford. We got all prepared to make our way to Camp Muir the following day.
On Monday we had to wait for the road to be plowed up to Paradise, but once we donned snowshoes at the trailhead it was all systems ‘go’. Breaking trail through the new snow slowed our ascent some, but a windless day made the seven-hour hike bearable. The clouds even parted for the last half hour offering us a gorgeous view of the summit.
Folks were all pretty happy when we finally got horizontal, and were still in that position when I woke them up eleven hours later.
This morning we’ve been gifted a beautiful, sunny day with no wind. A rare thing at 10,000’ on Mt. Rainier in April. Everyone is psyched and doing well, ready for an exciting day of training.
This afternoon we plan on climbing to Ingraham Flats to explore the mountain some and get our feet wet on the lower flanks on our climbing route.
All for now from Camp Muir.
March 31, 2017
It was a nice warm day here on our final hike to Lukla. We started early to beat the traffic and made good time, yet taking time to enjoy this peaceful and majestic place.
There were still dozens of loads headed for basecamp as always, because much of the needed supplies arrive via plane or from a few days further down hill via mules.
We ran into a few friends including one of RMI’s finest guides Mike Haugen, headed up for his second summit.
The entire team is doing well and relieved to be off of our feet for a bit. With a little luck we hope to be back in Kathmandu tomorrow morning.
Keep your fingers crossed for us.
RMI Guide Casey Grom and a happy crew
On The Map
Way to go guys!! So excited for your climb and praying for your safety!
Posted by: Jillian on 4/3/2017 at 2:07 pm
March 30, 2017
Hello again everyone!
All is still well here in the Khumbu as the team members made our way back into Namche. It was a super busy day on the trail with climbers, trekkers, yaks, and porters all bound uphill to basecamp. We slowly made our way through the maze of traffic and enjoyed one last good view of Everest.
Along the way we ran into several old friends from my past trips and stopped to wish everyone good luck.
Tomorrow we’ll be moving out early on our final leg of the journey back to Lukla. So please keep you fingers crossed we have good weather and can make our flight back to Kathmandu the following morning.
RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew
On The Map
March 29, 2017
We left Everest Base Camp today after a very comfortable and enjoyable stay. The team has enjoyed the trek through the Khumbu Valley, but without a doubt, our Base Camp set up had the nicest dining room, cleanest bathroom, and most enjoyable shower we’ve experienced.
The team enjoyed a few last views of the glacier and surrounding mountains as we retraced our way back down valley, pausing occasionally to allow the Yak trains to pass with their important cargo that will help the Mt. Everest Expeditions succeed.
We hiked for seven hours today and descended more than 3,000’ back to Pheriche. Needless to say the team is feeling good and enjoying the thicker air.
On The Map
March 28, 2017
Monday, March 27th, 10:00 pm PST
Hey, everybody this is Casey Grom checking in from Everest Base Camp. Just wanted to let you know that the Base Camp Trek team finally made it into camp yesterday afternoon. We had a nice climb or hike of Kala Patar, which is the high point of our trip, a little over 18,000 feet and then dropped back down and made a three-hour hike into Base Camp behind a long line of about 150 yaks bringing in all the gear and food and things necessary for the expeditions over here this season. Last night the phone was really cold so it didn’t hold a charge. I had to get it fired up this morning so we could reach out to you guys and let you know we’re doing great. A beautiful sunny day, a little bit windy here today as you can probably hear. The team’s doing great, and we just wrapped up a big breakfast of pancakes, bacon, and plenty of coffee. Thankfully our base camp crew just got the nice hot shower operational, and so we’re going to take our take our time and let everybody get washed up, cleaned up. If we can we’re going to do a short little walk here around camp, and then if all goes well our plan is to have dinner here tonight, spend one more night, and then head back down hill tomorrow.
RMI Guide Casey Grom calls in from Everest Base Camp.
Congrats, Linda! Sounds like an amazing trip. We just watched a video on YouTube of a full basecamp trek to get an idea of the experience. Have a safe trip back. -Ben and Jamie.
Posted by: Ben Beckley on 3/29/2017 at 3:14 am
Congratulations to the group on getting to Base Camp. Sounds like a great adventure. Can’t wait to hear all the details and see the photos. Safe travels back down.
Posted by: Neal White Bernie Mahan on 3/28/2017 at 8:19 pm
March 26, 2017
All is well here in the Khumbu.
It’s incredibly beautiful, peaceful, and the mountains are grandiose. We’ve been very comfortable hiking each day in the sunny weather, then bundling up in our warm sleeping bags each night as the temperature drops.
Our normal schedule goes generally like this,
We wake up around 7am start getting packed up, then the team meets for breakfast at 8am, with eggs, toast, potatoes, and plenty of fresh coffee we bought along.
We hit the trail as close to 9am as we can, then hike anywhere between 3 and 7 hrs to our next stop. We break at least once an hour to hydrate and eat snacks, and on the longer days we stop at one of the many tea houses and have lunch.
Once we’ve arrived at our new village for the night we check in to our rooms and take a small nap/break. We then often meet around 5pm for a little tea, popcorn, and card playing.
Dinner is often at 6:30-7 and the menu is pretty much the same at every tea house with plenty of soups, simple pasta, potatoes, and typical Nepalese Dal Bat.
After dinner we relax and have a brief review of the day ahead and then it’s off to bed.
The group moved up to Gorak Shep today under the towering peaks of Nuptse, Pumori, and Everest. Today started cold and clear with stunning views all around. We were all reluctant to leave the warmth of our cozy down sleeping bags but the smell of French press coffee enticed us out. For breakfast was a mix of cinnamon rolls, eggs, Tibetan bread, and rossti (potato pancakes). After our duffels are loaded on the Zoopkios we head off at a slow pace (given the 16,000 foot elevation). Along the trail every language can be overhead and porters are seen carrying 100 pounds across their foreheads. We stop for pictures and to share sweet snacks about ever hour and continue towards the Khumbu Glacier. Tomorrow we’ll be in Everest Base Camp with hopes of peering into the popcorn field of the notorious ice fall.
That’s all for now
RMI Guides Casey Grom & Christina Dale
On The Map
Riley and Eryn, congratulations on making the trek to base camp. We are following your progress with the lovely commentary from your guides (a few misspellings are in order at 16,000 feet) and we love the pictures. We were so disappointed our fear of weird phone numbers caused us not to answer your call tonight our time. We love you and we are glad you are safe. Stay that way—safe—and we hope your trek continues to be as great back down. Love from us.
Posted by: Hal and Ann on 3/27/2017 at 9:08 pm
March 24, 2017
All is well here at Pheriche.
Today was a scheduled rest day, which doesn’t mean we lay around, it usually means we have a little exercise to help our bodies continue to acclimatize. So today we climbed up the local hill, outside of Pheriche, that rises over 16,000ft, higher than Mt. Rainier, and set a few altitude records for some of the team.
We’ve been spending our time relaxing in the dining room of this tea house where it’s the warmest. We are more than a thousand feet above tree line, so burning wood isn’t much of an option. As per Tibetan tradition, the local Sherpa people collect the dung from Yaks and dry it.
Although this may seem like it could lead to an odiferous situation, the stove actually burns very clean and keeps us quite warm.
Everyone is in good spirits and looking forward to making our way slightly further uphill.
RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew
March 23, 2017
Today our group had an audience with Lama Geshe, one of the highest ranking Lamas in the Khumbu Valley. We all felt a little nervous going into his small dark house because we didn’t know what to expect. As we ducked low to enter the old wooden Sherpa house we had our Katas (silk scarves) in hand as well as something to be blessed by the Lama. Being in the presence of greatness made us all fall silent with smiles fixed on our faces. Lama Geshe led us through mantras that would remind us to send love and peace out to all sentient beings. Then he blessed our small possessions such as gifts for loved ones back home or something special to us. He finished by blessing our Katas and tying a protective string around our necks. After a head butt and a warm smile he sent us our our way. We all feel fortunate to have met this spiritual figure. Now we just ate a great dinner in Pheriche and are preparing for some cards before tucking in for the night.