Mt. Everest: Hahn & Team Have a Snow Day

Posted by: Dave Hahn, JJ Justman | April 13, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest
Elevation: 17,575'

The snow began falling about the time we got into our sleeping bags last night.  It didn’t quit.  When we poked heads out for a look-see around 3:30 AM, it was still piling up pretty good, and so there wasn’t any consideration given for going ahead with the icefall plan for the day.  Back to bed and wait and see, was the plan.  It had snowed about a foot by breakfast.  The gang assembled and we spent the day biding our time.  We didn’t have great conditions for walking with powder snow over uneven rock and ice.  The clouds and flurries hung in all day.  We could hear and occasionally see puja ceremonies going on at the camps around us.  All-in-all it was a quiet day of waiting.  We’ll see what tomorrow brings. 

Best Regards,
RMI Guide 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

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Mt. Everest: Team Takes a Day Off

Posted by: Dave Hahn, JJ Justman | April 12, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest
Elevation: 17,575'

It was shower day for the climbing team.  This was our designated “day off” so that all could get a good night’s sleep without any nervousness about what might be demanded of another training/climbing day.  It seemed to do the trick… we all showed up late for the pre-breakfast coffee and tea session.  There was a pretty good procession of old friends and fellow guides coming to say hello and exchange radio frequencies today.  Climbing teams are now pouring in, the Puja flags are going up everywhere and brightly colored tents are blossoming in every direction.

We’ll make our first push through the icefall tomorrow… Sherpas and guides, at least.  Our goal will be to check out the route and to establish Camp 1 at close to 20,000 ft.

Best Regards,

RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Common Tent at Base Camp. RMI Photo Collection Fun and Games at Base Camp on a Rest Day. RMI Photo Collection

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Mt. Everest: Team Explores Pumori Base Camp and Kalapathar

Posted by: Dave Hahn, JJ Justman | April 11, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest
Elevation: 18,300'

It was time for a big day of hiking.  We’ve been ramping up the activity level, day by day as acclimatization has kicked in.  The goal today was to hike back down valley to get busy on Kalapathar, an 18,300 ft “summit” with big views of Everest and pretty much everything else in our valley.  In classic terms, it isn’t really a summit, just a convenient bump on a ridge which then gets quite technical on its way to the summit of Pumori, a vertical mile overhead.  But Kalapathar is accessible and popular.  And for us, it would involve some good distance and vertical gain and loss… Otherwise known as training.  We went off the main trail soon after leaving Basecamp to avoid the heavy traffic (trekkers, yaks, climbers, porters) and snuck along a quiet and slightly more rugged back path which goes through the abandoned basecamp for Pumori.  We clomped through a few snowfields before rejoining the popular route on Kalapathar that comes up from Gorak Shep.  And then it was just an easy plod upward to the mass of prayer flags at the top.  It is a real treat to be up top without clouds obscuring the surrounding great peaks and today we took advantage of the opportunity, snapping a few hundred digital images in every direction.  Eventually, the wind and cold caused us to beat a hasty retreat back down to Gorak Shep and then we started up the normal track to basecamp.  As expected, the trail was quite busy, but we were still able to make good time… experiencing the cheap thrill of walking at normal (acclimatized) speed past a hundred panting and gasping (unacclimatized) trekkers.
It was fine to relax away what remained of the afternoon in camp after five and a half good hours of walking and scrambling.

Best Regards
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

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

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Everest Base Camp Trek: Grom & Team Finish Their Safe Journey

Posted by: Casey Grom | April 10, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest BC Trek

We are back safe and sound in Kathmandu.

Everyone is enjoying the comforts here at the Yak & Yeti Hotel, a long hot shower, good food, and the warm temperatures.

It’s been one amazing adventure with a great team and it will be sad to say goodbye, but we are all looking forward to getting back home to our loved ones.

Thanks for following.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

Grom & Team celebrate at Baskin Robbins in Kathmandu, Nepal. Photo: Casey Grom

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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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Previous Page More Entries

Expedition Stats

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'
Everest Base Camp - Island Peak
3/18 - 4/12/2015
Everest Base Camp - Summit / Island Peak - Summit
Mount Everest Base Camp Trek
3/18 - 4/7/2015
Everest Base Camp - Summit

Recent Images

  • Climbers moving through the Khumbu Icefall. Photo: RMI Collection
  • New snow on Mt. Everest, Nepal. Photo: RMI Collection
  • Tents aglow at Everest Base Camp on the eve before Camp 1 rotation. Photo: JJ Justman
  • Dave Hahn leads the Everest team on an acclimatization hike to Kala Patar. | JJ Justman
  • Ascending thru the ladders of the Khumbu Icefall.  Photo: Dave Hahn
  • Sherpa teams and guide attempt to navigate through the Khumbu Icefall.  Photo: Dave Hahn
  • Sherpa and guides going through the Khumbu Icefall.  Photo: Dave Hahn
  • Horseshoes at RMI Everest Base Camp. Photo: JJ Justman
  • 2015 Sherpa World Championship Horseshoes. 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