Posts for Expedition Dispatches

Everest Base Camp Trek: Team Visits Lama Geshi in Pangboche

Posted by: Casey Grom | March 27, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest BC Trek
Elevation: 13,950'

Namaste everyone

We certainly feel blessed with the weather we’ve been having, as today was another beautiful day.

Our daily routine has been breakfast at 7:30 or 8 and hitting the trail generally no later than 9. Then we hike 30-40 minute intervals until lunch, then head back out until we reach camp. Today was a little different as we stopped off to visit Lama Geshe who lives in Pangboche. He is a very high ranking Lama and generally gives blessing to the climbers and Sherpas headed to Everest, most of whom won’t climb without his blessing.

After our visit with the Lama we finished up our hike pulling into another village that sits along this ever winding path to Everest. Pheriche is where we are and where we will spend a few days to acclimatize as we have finally reached the 14,000 ft mark.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

The RMI Everest Base Camp Trek Team en route to Pheriche.  Photo: Casey Grom The RMI Everest Base Camp Team on the trail to Pheriche.  Photo: Casey Grom

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RMI Guide Alex Barber Begins His Personal Expedition to Annapurna

Posted by: Alex Barber | March 26, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches
Elevation: 4,383'

RMI Guide Alex Barber begins his solo / nO’s attempt on Annapurna:

The 24th of March around mid-day I made a turbulent landing into Kathmandu for my fourth 8000m expedition. The forecast for the next five days is showing two meters of snow… That combined with a large snowfall in late February has me nervous.  I worry that I will arrive to a dangerously loaded mountain, a mountain known for its frequent avalanches. But as of now I am sending my bags ahead to Tatopani. Tomorrow morning (27th) I’ll be taking a helicopter from Kathmandu to Tatopani and if weather permits I’ll be in base camp tomorrow afternoon.

For now, the focus will be to survive the congested streets of Kathmandu, as I make last minute purchases like fuel, food, lighters, etc.

RMI Guide Alex Barber riding a rickshaw in Kathmandu, Nepal. Photo: Alex Barber Annapurna in Nepal stands 26,545ft.

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Mt. Everest: Hahn & Team Trek into Namche Bazaar

Posted by: Dave Hahn, JJ Justman | March 26, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest
Elevation: 11,300'

One and all were singing the praises of Jo’s Garden in Phak Ding this morning.  After confusing days of travel and hustle and bustle and jet lag, it was wonderful to sleep deeply with the sound of whitewater from the nearby rushing river masking everything.  As is typical, it was a clear and crisp morning with plenty of blue sky when we started walking at 8:30 AM.  The first hour of our six-hour journey was spent either in forest or in the gardens that pass for farms along the river.  Magnolia and rhododendron were in bloom, but then so were the apple trees.  Before long we were looking up at the glaciers and impossibly steep ridges of Thamserku, perched several vertical miles in the sky.  Within a few hours we’d reached the National Park entrance at Jorsalle.  Then it was time for a relaxing lunch at the last of the teahouses before we crossed the river and got busy with the Namche Hill.  We crossed the ultra-high cable bridges near the start of the hill and then plugged away in the heat for several thousand feet of vertical gain through the pine forests.  At one point we heard the thunderous crashing of tons of ice cascading down the steep gullies on the opposite wall of the canyon.  Finally, we eased into the magical village of Namche Bazaar.  The town is built as a series of concentric half circles, facing the giant peak of Kwangde, across the valley.  We strolled through the tight “streets” (there are no cars and probably never will be) until we reached our hotel for the next three nights, Camp De Base.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Jo's Garden in Phakding, village before Namche Bazaar. Photo: Dave Hahn The Everest team trekking up Namche Hill. Photo: Dave Hahn View from Namche across the Valley to Kwangde. Photo: Dave Hahn

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Everest Base Camp Trek: Team Hikes from Namche to Deboche

Posted by: Casey Grom | March 25, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest BC Trek
Elevation: 12,325'

It was another beautiful day here in the Khumbu Valley, and finally we had our first views of Mt. Everest. Just above Namche you can see Everest far off in the distance, but still about 20-30 miles away. We hiked for about 5 hours today and made a quick stop at the Tengboche Monastery where we sat in on another prayer session.  Everyone is doing well

Keeping it short tonight as there’s not much wifi or cell service. Everything is running off of a generator that’s about to a shut off. Apparently a big snow storm this winter knocked out the hydroelectric power source. 

We’ll send more tomorrow.

RMI Guide Casey Grom

Views of Everest and Lhotse as the team treks from Namche to Deboche. Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. Everest: Team flies to Lukla and begins trek

Posted by: Dave Hahn, JJ Justman | March 25, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest
Elevation: 8,700'

This is Dave Hahn with the RMI Everest team and we are calling you tonight from Phakding. We made the flight in this morning from Kathmandu into Lukla. Conditions were pretty clear once we got out of the smoke and smog of Kathmandu.  And we got a great view of the mountain. A beautiful day when we landed in Lukla and we got on the trail and were walking by about 9:30 this morning.  We reached Phakding and Joe’s Garden, our tea house by the river, at about 1 o’clock.  Quiet after noon, resting and relaxing down along the river among the pine trees.  Looking forward to tomorrow and a climb up the Namche Hill and our goal for tomorrow is to get to Namche.  We will keep you informed.

RMI Guide Dave Hahn

The Dudh Kosi River which flows along Phakding.  Photo: RMI Collection


RMI Guide Dave Hahn checks in from Phakding en route to Everest Base Camp.

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Mt. Everest: Hahn & Team Spend the Day in Kathmandu

Posted by: Dave Hahn, JJ Justman | March 24, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest
Elevation: 4,383'

The team got together several times today to eat, drink and discuss the trek and climb to come.  We enjoyed the comfortable calm, immaculately cared-for gardens but at other times, got out into the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu streets to run errands.  We were pleased that our bascamp manager, Mark Tucker, was able to fly into Lukla to begin working his way toward base, some 35 to 40 miles distant.  Most worked to get bags properly packed and organized for an early start in the morning.  As team leader, I was asked to stop by the legendary Elizabeth Hawley’s home office for my yearly interview as to the makeup of our team.  Miss Hawley has kept track of climbing in Nepal and Tibet for more than fifty years and has known every famous and want-to-be-famous climber along the way.
Jet lag remains a big challenge for the team, but our hope is that walking out in the fresh air of the Khumbu Valley will begin to work magic on us.
Fingers crossed for clear weather and smooth flying in the morning.

RMI Guide Dave Hahn

The busy streets of Kathmandu, Nepal. Photo: Billy Nugent The streets of Kathmandu, Nepal. Photo: Casey Grom

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Everest Base Camp Trek: Grom & Team Visit the Tamo Monastery

Posted by: Casey Grom | March 24, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest BC Trek
Elevation: 11,300'

Hello again everyone back home.

It was another great day here in the Khumbu Valley, with the team waking up to bright beautiful clear skies, and mountains in every direction. We had a casual breakfast and decided to make the most of our scheduled rest day by hiking a little way to visit a Monastery in Tamo that is home to wonderful group of female Tibetan refugees. They apparently escaped over the border which is only a few miles away and have made this home like the Sherpa community did some 500+ years ago. When we arrived the nuns were in the monastery reading their Tibetan prayers and happily invited us in to listen. It was surreal to say the least and we all felt lucky to have been able to share the moment with them. After the prayer session we purchased a few prayer flags and prayer beads to help support them and then made our way back to Namche for lunch.

Then evening was spent exploring Namche and doing a little bargaining for a few gifts and we wrapped up the night with another great meal and the start of the Cribbage championships.

All is well and everyone is doing great.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

Everest BC team day hike to Tamo Monastery. Photo: Casey Grom The Everest BC team visit the Tamo Monastery. Photo: Casey Grom The trail leading back to Namche Bazaar, Nepal. Photo: Casey Grom

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Mt. Everest: Dave Hahn & Team Gather in Kathmandu and Celebrate a Birthday

Posted by: Dave Hahn, JJ Justman, Mark Tucker | March 23, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest
Elevation: 4,383'

We had climbers circling the thunderclouds, climbers flying back and forth to Delhi, planes delayed back on the Great Plains… But ultimately, we had the entire RMI Mount Everest 2015 climbing team assembled on time and with all gear at the Yak and Yeti Hotel in Katmandu.  Six climbers, two base camp trekkers, two guides, one base camp manager and one Sherpa Sirdar enjoyed a fine dinner together- without so much as one person falling asleep at the table.  Quite a feat considering all the time zones and datelines crossed.  We didn’t discuss intricacies of Everest climbing just yet.  Rather we caught up on each other’s jobs, families, pets and hobbies.  Finally, we sang Happy Birthday to Peter Rogers and devoured the cake commemorating the occasion.
Tomorrow is for packing and prepping and perhaps a few naps.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

RMI Everest Climber, Peter Rogers, celebrates his birthday in Kathmandu. Photo: Dave Hahn The 2015 RMI Everest team meets for dinner in Kathmandu. Photo: Dave Hahn Yak & Yeti Hotel in Kathmandu, Nepal. Photo: RMI Collection

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JJ be following you , Be safe, hope all goes well let me know when your back in Katmandu i’ll give you my friends name Lorne

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Posted by: Lorne Riddell on 3/23/2015 at 9:50 pm

Tom Belt you are finally there! Thr pictures look amazing so I can only imagine how exciting it is in person. Enjoy every moment!
-Eric L.

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Posted by: Eric Lindsey on 3/23/2015 at 4:51 pm


Everest Base Camp Trek: Team Reaches Namche Bazaar

Posted by: Casey Grom | March 23, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest BC Trek
Elevation: 11,300'

Greetings from Namche Bazaar!

Yesterday we left Kathmandu and had a rather enjoyable flight to Lukla. There was little turbulence and the sky was clear which allowed beautiful views on the Himalayas as well as a brief sighting of Everest. After arriving we waited at a tea house for all of the porters to be chosen and then hit the trail. We hiked for about 3 hours to reach our first camp of the trip in a small village called Phakding. The weather was perfect and everyone did great on the hike.

This morning we left the tea house and headed up this beautiful valley to the toward Namche Bazaar, which is the largest village in this famous valley. It was another nice day for hiking with mostly clear skies and just a gentle breeze to keep us cool. Everyone enjoyed the views and no one seemed to mind pausing often for the endless mules and yaks carrying loads. Crossing the the high suspension bridges was another thing, but everyone persevered.

We wrapped up the evening with a wonderful meal and a little lesson on cribbage. All is well and we are looking forward to tomorrow.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

The Everest BC team trekking toward Namche Bazaar. Photo: Casey Grom The Everest BC team stops for a photo along the trail to Namche. Photo: Casey Grom The Everest BC team crossing the Dudh Kosi River. Photo: Casey Grom

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Everest Base Camp Trek: Team Flies to Lukla, Treks to Phakding

Posted by: Casey Grom | March 22, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest BC Trek
Elevation: 8,700'

Hello everybody this is Casey Grom checking in from the Everest Base Camp Trek.  Just want to let everyone know that everything is going great here in the Khumbu Valley.  Today we got up early and checked out of our hotel and headed to the local airport and caught our 7:45 flight, that went relatively well.  It was a smooth flight all the way to the Lukla airport.  It was a clear day and we had beautiful views of the Himalaya as we headed into the valley.  And then we had a brief glimpse of Mt. Everest right before we touched down.  We spent the next couple hours just gradually making our way down the valley.  We ended our day, here in Phakding and we are relaxing in the tea house, having dinner and just enjoying the surroundings.  The team is doing great.  We are looking forward to getting some wi-fi tomorrow where we will be able to send a few pictures to let you know what the trip is looking like so far.  Everyone is doing great and we will check in again tomorrow.

RMI Guide Casey Grom

The Everest BC team having dinner in Kathmandu. Photo: Casey Grom The Everest BC team boarding the plane in Kathmandu. Photo: Casey Grom Arriving in Lukla, the entry to the Khumbu Valley and start of the trek to Everest Base Camp.  Photo: RMI Collection


RMI Guide Casey Grom checks in from Phakding.

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Recent Images From Expedition Dispatches

  • The Views from Pheriche. Photo: Dave Hahn
  • Casey Grom & team arrive at Everest Base Camp. Photo: Casey Grom
  • Looking down on Everest Base Camp on the side of the Khumbu Glacier. Photo: RMI Collection
  • Rows of Mani Stones between Deboche and Pheriche. Photo: RMI Collection
  • Teahouse in Pheriche, Nepal. Photo: RMI Collection
  • The Tengboche Monastery, Nepal. Photo: RMI Collection
  • Monks in prayer at the Tengboche Monastery. Photo: Linden Mallory
  • On the trail from Namche to Deboche with Ama Dablam looming high above.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • The RMI Team enjoying the views of Everest from the summit of Kala Patar.  Photo: Casey Grom
  • The RMI Everest Base Camp team hitting the trail with a fresh dusting of snow.  Photo: Casey Grom
  • The views from above Namche Bazaar of Everest and the Himalaya.  Photo: Dave Hahn
  • Members of the RMI Everest team with Mt. Everest in the back ground.  Photo: Dave Hahn
  • The RMI Everest Base Camp Team Trekking above Pheriche.  Photo: Casey Grom
  • Pheriche tea house nestled among the hills. Photo: RMI Collection
  • An early wake up to watch the sunrise over Mt. Everest.  Photo: Dave Hahn
  • The RMI Everest Team enjoying some acclimatization days in Namche.  Photo: Dave Hahn
  • The RMI Everest Base Camp Trek Team en route to Pheriche.  Photo: Casey Grom
  • The RMI Everest Base Camp Team on the trail to Pheriche.  Photo: Casey Grom
  • RMI Guide Alex Barber riding a rickshaw in Kathmandu, Nepal. Photo: Alex Barber
  • Annapurna in Nepal stands 26,545ft.
  • Jo's Garden in Phakding, village before Namche Bazaar. Photo: Dave Hahn
  • The Everest team trekking up Namche Hill. Photo: Dave Hahn
  • View from Namche across the Valley to Kwangde. Photo: Dave Hahn
  • Views of Everest and Lhotse as the team treks from Namche to Deboche. Photo: RMI Collection
  • The Dudh Kosi River which flows along Phakding.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • The busy streets of Kathmandu, Nepal. Photo: Billy Nugent
  • The streets of Kathmandu, Nepal. Photo: Casey Grom
  • Everest BC team day hike to Tamo Monastery. Photo: Casey Grom
  • The Everest BC team visit the Tamo Monastery. Photo: Casey Grom
  • The trail leading back to Namche Bazaar, Nepal. Photo: Casey Grom
  • RMI Everest Climber, Peter Rogers, celebrates his birthday in Kathmandu. Photo: Dave Hahn
  • The 2015 RMI Everest team meets for dinner in Kathmandu. Photo: Dave Hahn
  • Yak & Yeti Hotel in Kathmandu, Nepal. Photo: RMI Collection
  • The Everest BC team trekking toward Namche Bazaar. Photo: Casey Grom
  • The Everest BC team stops for a photo along the trail to Namche. Photo: Casey Grom
  • The Everest BC team crossing the Dudh Kosi River. Photo: Casey Grom
  • The Everest BC team having dinner in Kathmandu. Photo: Casey Grom
  • The Everest BC team boarding the plane in Kathmandu. Photo: Casey Grom
  • Arriving in Lukla, the entry to the Khumbu Valley and start of the trek to Everest Base Camp.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • RMI's Everest Base Camp and Island Peak Team site seeing in Kathmandu, Nepal.  Photo: Casey Grom
  • Exploring in Kathmandu, Nepal before starting the trek to Everest Base Camp.  Photo: Casey Grom