Mt. Everest: Hahn & Team Train and Begin the Mark Tucker Golf Invitational

Posted by: Dave Hahn, JJ Justman | April 10, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest
Elevation: 17,575'

One of the finer days we’ve seen on the trip, weatherwise.  Clear skies and calm as anything in the morning, which made us forget the cold.  We were out in the glacier again, at our jungle gym of ladders and fixed lines and ice walls.  The team practiced safety clips and rappel procedures and did lap after lap, without packs, with packs, with ice axes, without them… All under the watchful eyes of myself, JJ Justman, and Chhering Dorgee Sherpa.
At this point, still, the only climbers to have been through the icefall have been the icefall doctors responsible for building the route.  That will change within a few days… Of course we are all quite curious as to what surprises the “new” route through the glacier holds.
In the afternoon on this fine day, our Basecamp Manager, Mark Tucker, took a foursome out for the first day of a planned four-day golf tournament in the mellow section of glacier close to camp.  Tuck showed his party around the Khumbu Country Club, scoring a hole-in-one in the process (his partners now each owe him 100 rupees).  Newcomer Robbie came away with the low score for the round however, with a nine under par performance.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

The 2015 Everest Icefall Doctors- Stout ladder load. Photo: Dave Hahn RMI Guide and Everest BC Manager, Mark Tucker, crushing the ball. Photo: JJ Justman An RMI team playing golf at Everest BC. Photo: Mark Tucker

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RMI Guide Alex Barber Feeling Better After Bout with Illness

Posted by: Alex Barber | April 10, 2015
Categories: *Guide News
Elevation: 13,550'

It’s been a few days since I’ve posted an update. Mostly - ok entirely - because I’ve been ill. The most likely culprit, in my mind, for this bout of illness was the suspiciously under cooked mutton I had a few nights ago. Today, though, I’m feeling better and my focus is returning to Annapurna.

Mountain news: While I’ve been tent-ridden not too much has happened. Camp 1 was hit by a massive wind gust produced by a large avalanche originating from high up the mountain near Camp 3. It ripped a few tents from their guy lines and the group that was there when it happened lost some gear. All my on-mountain gear is cached at C2, though, so this hasn’t affected me. Progress has been made toward Camp 3 by one team, but nobody has yet reached it. Deep snow on the approach to the crosshairs couloir is the main issue. The team using bottled oxygen are planning their first summit attempt for the 15th or 16th.

My plan is to climb directly to Camp 2 on the 12th and Camp 3 on the 13th. The section between Camp 2 and 3 is the most technically difficult and dangerous area. But time spent above 20,000’ is a most important aspect of acclimatization for a no O’s attempt. Until then I’m working on kicking this illness and recuperating my strength for this next push up the mountain.

RMI Guide Alex Barber

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Mt. Everest: Team Explores the Lower Khumbu Ice Fall

Posted by: Dave Hahn, JJ Justman | April 09, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest
Elevation: 17,575'

It was time to put on mountaineering boots, crampons, harnesses and helmets.  We went out into the Khumbu Glacier and tromped around with ice axes in our hands, exploring… But also brushing up on our climbing moves, our balance and our endurance.  The glacier at the level of Base Camp can be a maze of ice walls and pinnacles and -for now- frozen stream courses.  We danced carefully across ponds of frozen meltwater and found our way to the start of the climbing route into the serious part of the Khumbu Icefall.  The afternoon found us playing in a jungle gym of ladders, fixed ropes, rappel stations and ice walls.  Our Sherpa team had built this great obstacle course for practice and together we tackled each skill station and played/worked out in the glacier for hours.  It was great to come in a little weary from a day out in the sun and satisfying to finally feel like we’d edged into the climbing world from the hiking world.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

The Everest team training in the lower Khumbu. Photo: JJ Justman The Everest team practices with crampons on ladders. Photo: JJ Justman The Everest team training on fixed ropes in the lower Khumbu. Photo: JJ Justman The Everest team's training day on fixed rope. Photo: JJ Justman

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Everest Base Camp Trek & Island Peak Climb: Grom & Team Return to Lukla

Posted by: Casey Grom | April 08, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest BC Trek
Elevation: 9,350'

Hello again

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 Base Camp as always, because much of the needed supplies arrive via plane or from a few days away by mules. We even saw someone carrying a kitchen sink! Which I’m sure is for one of the new tea houses being built that line the trail to Base Camp.
With a little luck we hope to be back in Kathmandu tomorrow morning.
Keep your fingers crossed for us.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

Climbers walking through the streets of Lukla.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. Everest: Team Takes Hike to Pumori Camp One

Posted by: Dave Hahn, JJ Justman | April 08, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest
Elevation: 18,200'

Great day for hiking.  Now that most of the team are feeling more or less adjusted to the 17,500 feet of Basecamp, today seemed like the day for walking higher.  Our choices are limited in this dead-end valley since going up through the Khumbu Icefall for exercise is too spicy a proposition for most reasonable folks.  Our solution is to backtrack a bit, following the trail partway back down toward Gorak Shep and then branching off to gain some elevation.  The goal today was Pumori Camp One at about 18,200 ft of elevation.  We like this particular stair master of a hike because the boulder-hopping is pretty similar to the ice-chunk hopping we’ll do in the Icefall.  As a bonus, we gained stupendous views of Everest (from North Col to South Col), Lhotse, Nuptse and those distant peaks like Ama Dablam and Thamserku that we used to see so regularly while trekking.  We could also see the sprawl of tents down on the Khumbu, growing by the minute.  Sure enough, when we reached the main trail during our descent, it was like getting on the interstate highway back home.  Hundreds of trekkers, climbers, porters and yaks are now flowing in and out of Base.  Tents are going up everywhere, helicopters are buzzing around like flies… The climbing season is cranking up quickly.  We walked the half hour or so from downtown Everest Basecamp to our exit in the upper midsection and sat down for one of Kumar’s great lunches.  Afternoon is for resting, relaxing and rehydrating.  We’ve got plans for cranking things up another notch tomorrow.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

The views while hiking to Pumori Camp One.  Photo: Dave Hahn Enjoying the views from Pumori Camp One.  Photo: Dave Hahn

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Everest Base Camp Trek: Island Peak Team Descends to Namche Bazaar

Posted by: Casey Grom | April 07, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest BC Trek
Elevation: 11,300'

Hello again everyone.

All is still well here in the Khumbu as the remaining 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 Everest Base Camp. We slowly made our way through the trail 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 and finished the day off with a nice reunion with one of RMI’s finest Billy Nugent. Godspeed my friend!

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 Casey Grom and crew

Looking over Namche Bazaar.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. Everest: Climbers Listen to the Prayers and Chants of Sherpa During Puja Ceremony

Posted by: Dave Hahn, JJ Justman | April 07, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest
Elevation: 17,575'

It was cloudy overhead this morning, threatening another pulse of snow.  We’d enjoyed yesterday’s calm sunshine and hoped for one more day of the same, but that didn’t seem likely.  The snow held off nicely for our Puja ceremony though and we even got a couple hours of sunshine.  The climbing Lama had made his way up from Pangboche for the event… Ours was the first in camp other than the one for the Icefall Doctors (who have been hard at work building the climbing route for the past two weeks already).  We sat and listened to the prayers and chants as our Sherpa team attended to all of the mechanics of the ceremony, distributing offerings and building the prayer mast with colorful flags radiating out in five directions.  The idea is that we want the blessing of the gods before we put any of our team at risk on the mountain.  Having watched a gargantuan avalanche come down over the icefall around seven this morning, we all hoped the gods were paying attention to our pleading.  The Puja finishes with everybody throwing tsampa (barley flour) up to the heavens and then in a gesture of friendship and camaraderie, spreading the remaining tsampa on the cheeks and noses of one’s fellow climbers.  We all wished each other good luck and careful climbing and then toasted with beer, coca cola, whiskey, rakshi and chang (it wasn’t a requirement that any individual have each and every one of those… we are at 17,500 ft and it really doesn’t take much sipping to feel an amplified effect).
After lunch, we walked out onto the lower section of the Khumbu Glacier to stretch our legs and explore as the storm moved in.  We were able to walk on frozen streams and watercourses beneath great towers of gleaming ice.  It was snowing good and hard by the time we got back to camp, but now -in early evening- that snow has quit although cloud still hangs low and plentiful around us.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

The Puja Ceremony for the 2015 RMI Everest Climbing team.  Photo: Dave Hahn The Puja Ceremony at Everest Base Camp.  Photo: Dave Hahn Enjoying the friendship and camaraderie at Everest Base Camp.  Photo: Dave Hahn The 2015 RMI Everest Expedition post Puja ceremony. Photo: JJ Justman

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Mt. Everest: Team Gets to Work at Everest Base Camp

Posted by: JJ Justman, Dave Hahn | April 06, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest
Elevation: 17,575'

Hello RMI Blog Enthusiasts!
It’s another sunny day here in Everest Base Camp. Of course, our team is doing great. However, all of us are a little sad. This morning our two trekkers that followed along with us parted ways and started their return journey back to Kathmandu.
I have to tell you that it was a lot of fun having Bonnie and Erin along giving our climbing team support. I am sure they are already trying to figure out what kind and how many pizzas they will order at Fire and Ice Pizza.
As for the rest of us we got down to some business today. The team went over and rigged their climbing equipment. Now, crampons are fitting snug, ice axe leashes are set and ascenders are set to the perfect length. There’s no doubt, we are ready to do some practicing to work out any kinks before we actually get busy with the real deal.
It’s now time to relax, drink a few more cups of tea and put on our dinner attire.

Most importantly though!! How bout them Wisconsin Badgers! This Wisconsin native cannot remember the last time The Badgers were in the finals. So with no further hesitation…
WISCONSIN!!!
RMI Guide JJ Justman

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Everest BC Trek & Island Peak Climb: Casey Grom Calls in After Island Peak Summit

Posted by: Casey Grom | April 05, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest BC Trek
Elevation: 15,514'

Hey everybody. This is Casey Grom checking in from the Everest Base Camp Trek and Island Peak Climb. Wanted to let you know we are all down, safe and sound. Two of us were able to reach the summit yesterday. Tried to give a call last night, but could not get reception in this little valley that we are in. As well as there is still no cell service or wifi up here. Apparently they have been having technical difficulties down valley. But everyone’s doing great after our climb, which was a cold one, we descended back down to Chukung and spent the night in a tea house and everyone is feeling fantastic this morning. Beautiful day again here in the Khumbu. Our plan is to hike down to Pangboche today. All of the trekkers should be catching their flights today from Kathmandu and headed home. We certainly miss those guys and I’m sure you guys back home do too. They should be there very soon. The team is great here and looking forward to getting down to some thicker air and before too long, Kathmandu. So that’s all for now. We’ll check in again hopefully with some pictures when we get into some service or wifi. Thanks you guys. Good bye.

RMI Guide Casey Grom

Island Peak from Pheriche, Nepal. Photo: RMI Collection Island Peak's Headwall, Nepal. Photo: Casey Grom


RMI Guide Casey Grom calls in after Island Peak Climb.

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RMI Guide Alex Barber Back to Annapurna Base Camp

Posted by: Alex Barber | April 05, 2015
Categories: *Guide News

Yesterday, April 4th, I descended back to Annapurna Base Camp from Camp 2. In total I spent one night at C1 and two nights at C2. The route into C2 was, at times, waist deep powder snow and it’s even deeper above. So for now Camp 3 is inaccessible. Less afternoon snow storms and more sunny days to consolidate the sugar snow will be required before I can push higher. Unfortunately, the forecast for the next couple of days is for heavy falls (20-30”) of snow above 18,000 ft. After that, it looks like we might have a clearing trend.

I’ve attached four pictures. The first shows the route from BC to Camp 1 (note the two climbers at the base of the route). The second photo shows the route from C1 to C2 and then the route continuing from C2 to C3, the third is my tent and equipment at C2, and the fourth is a view up the mountain from C2. This is a awe inspiring and beautiful mountain!

Today in Base camp a herd of wild sheep stopped by and there are rumors of some type of bobcat roaming around as well. For now I’m sitting out stormy weather and looking for my next window to get back onto the mountain.

RMI Guide Alex Barber

Annapurna Base Camp to Camp 1. Photo: Alex Barber Annapurna Camp 1 to Camp 2. Photo: Alex Barber Annapurna Camp 2 views. Photo: Alex Barber Alex Barber at Annapurna Camp 2. Photo: Alex Barber

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Previous Page More Entries

Expedition Stats

Aconcagua Expedition
12/20/2014 - 1/12/2015
Aconcagua - Summit
Aconcagua Expedition
12/27/2014 - 1/19/2015
Aconcagua - Summit
Kilimanjaro Climb & Safari
1/10 - 1/24/2015
Kilimanjaro - Summit
Aconcagua Expedition
1/4 - 1/27/2015
Aconcagua - Summit
Expedition Skills Seminar - Ecuador
1/6 - 1/19/2015
Cayambe - 17,000' / Antisana - Summit / Cotopaxi - Summit
Ecuador's Volcanoes
1/20 - 1/30/2015
Cayambe - Summit / Cotopaxi - Summit
Aconcagua Expedition
1/11 - 2/3/2015
Aconcagua - Summit
Kilimanjaro Climb & Safari
1/24 - 2/7/2015
Kilimanjaro - Summit
Aconcagua Expedition
1/18 - 2/10/2015
Aconcagua - Summit
Expedition Skills Seminar - Ecuador
2/3 - 2/16/2015
Cayambe - 16,500' / Antisana - Summit / Cotopaxi - Summit
Aconcagua Expedition
1/26 - 2/18/2015
Aconcagua - Summit
Mexico's Volcanoes
2/14 - 2/22/2015
Ixtaccihuatl - Summit / Pico de Orizaba - Summit
Expedition Skills Seminar - Winter
3/8 - 3/13/2015
Mt. Rainier - 11,200'
Mexico's Volcanoes
3/7 - 3/15/2015
Ixtaccihuatl - 15,300' / Pico de Orizaba - Summit
Expedition Skills Seminar - Winter
3/22 - 3/27/2015
Mt. Rainier - 10,080'
Expedition Skills Seminar - Winter
4/12 - 4/17/2015
Mt. Rainier - 12,400'

Recent Images

  • Horseshoes at RMI Everest Base Camp. Photo: JJ Justman
  • 2015 Sherpa World Championship Horseshoes. Photo: JJ Justman
  • 2015 RMI Everest Sherpa team. Photo: JJ Justman
  • Significant avalanche shown in center bottom of Annapurna photo. Photo: Alex Barber
  • Annapurna route past Camp 2. Photo: Alex Barber
  • RMI Guide Dave Hahn joins the Sherpa in some Icefall exploration. Photo: Dave Hahn
  • A looksee at the Icefall confirms continued storm and busted ladders as they are turned around. Photo: Dave Hahn
  • A looksee at the Icefall confirms continued storm and busted ladders as they are turned around. Photo: Dave Hahn
  • The Winter Seminar team enjoys the sunrise on the upper slopes of Mt. Rainier. Photo: Brent Okita
  • Sunrise on Mt. Rainier with Little Tahoma. Photo: Brent Okita
  • The Winter Seminar Team taking a rest break on Mt. Rainier. Photo: Brent Okita
  • The view of Mt. Rainier after the storm earlier this week. Photo: Brent Okita
  • RMI Climbers testing out their down suits while at Everest Base Camp.  Photo: Dave Hahn
  • The RMI Sherpa team in their down suits at Everest Base Camp.  Photo: Dave Hahn
  • Panorama of Base Camp with Annapurna being the left most peak.  Photo: Alex Barber
  • Khumbu Icefall seen with the new snow from yesterday's storm. Photo: Dave Hahn
  • Dave Hahn leading the RMI Everest team in a training session into the lower section of the Icefall. Photo: JJ Justman
  • Everest BC - Mark Tucker choosing to go with his air game. Photo: Dave Hahn
  • Overnight snow covers Everest Base Camp. Photo: JJ Justman
  • Hanging out in the EBC cook tent on a snowy day. Photo: JJ Justman
  • The RMI Everest team gather for a meal in the cook tent. Photo: JJ Justman
  • Common Tent at Base Camp. RMI Photo Collection
  • Fun and Games at Base Camp on a Rest Day. RMI Photo Collection
  • Views along the trail to Kalapathar- hike from Everest BC.  Photo: JJ Justman
  • Dave Hahn leading the way to Kalapathar. Photo: JJ Justman
  • The 2015 RMI Everest team at Kalapathar. Photo: JJ Justman
  • Grom & Team celebrate at Baskin Robbins in Kathmandu, Nepal. Photo: Casey Grom
  • The 2015 Everest Icefall Doctors- Stout ladder load. Photo: Dave Hahn
  • RMI Guide and Everest BC Manager, Mark Tucker, crushing the ball. Photo: JJ Justman
  • An RMI team playing golf at Everest BC. Photo: Mark Tucker
  • The Everest team training in the lower Khumbu. Photo: JJ Justman
  • The Everest team practices with crampons on ladders. Photo: JJ Justman
  • The Everest team training on fixed ropes in the lower Khumbu. Photo: JJ Justman
  • The Everest team's training day on fixed rope. Photo: JJ Justman
  • Climbers walking through the streets of Lukla.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • The views while hiking to Pumori Camp One.  Photo: Dave Hahn
  • Enjoying the views from Pumori Camp One.  Photo: Dave Hahn
  • Looking over Namche Bazaar.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • The Puja Ceremony for the 2015 RMI Everest Climbing team.  Photo: Dave Hahn
  • The Puja Ceremony at Everest Base Camp.  Photo: Dave Hahn
  • Enjoying the friendship and camaraderie at Everest Base Camp.  Photo: Dave Hahn
  • The 2015 RMI Everest Expedition post Puja ceremony. Photo: JJ Justman
  • Island Peak from Pheriche, Nepal. Photo: RMI Collection
  • Island Peak's Headwall, Nepal. Photo: Casey Grom
  • Annapurna Base Camp to Camp 1. Photo: Alex Barber
  • Annapurna Camp 1 to Camp 2. Photo: Alex Barber
  • Annapurna Camp 2 views. Photo: Alex Barber
  • Alex Barber at Annapurna Camp 2. Photo: Alex Barber