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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Hey Dave Hahn,
Following your climb - long time no speak. All my best to you and we will catch up in good time.
Best,
Peter Gregory

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Posted by: Peter Gregory on 3/24/2015 at 11:06 am

you are all looking great….. Missy especially..;) ....happy trekking!!!!

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Posted by: Theresa on 3/24/2015 at 8:25 am


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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Everest Base Camp Trek:  Team Arrives in Kathmandu, Nepal

Posted by: Casey Grom | March 21, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest BC Trek

Namaste everyone

The team has arrived after some very long and tiring flights. Everyone is doing well after a well deserved night of rest here at the tranquil Yak & Yeti Hotel.

Today we met for breakfast and a team meeting to discuss all the gear and the adventure that we are about to take. After our meeting we headed out on a tour of Kathmandu were we visited the beautiful Monkey Temple, the Boudhanath Stupa and a quick stop at the famous Durbar Square.
It’s quite the culture shock visiting this busy city packed with nearly 4 million people. The streets are packed with people, motorcycles, and cars that honk endlessly.

I’m sure everyone is looking forward to the peace and quietness of the Khumbu where we head tomorrow.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

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

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Mexico: RMI Guide Jake Beren Recaps The Team’s Orizaba Summit

Posted by: Jake Beren, Christina von Mertens | March 15, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mexico
Elevation: 18,701'

Well it sure has been an action packed few days for our team here in Mexico. After a wonderful rest day (I’ll let everyone share their own tales when they return) where the crew scattered about the city causing mayhem and generally having a ball, we launched for Tlachichuca. We’d all been nervously watching the weather after our trouncing on Ixta and the forecast was unclear, on all fronts. We had seen everything from the apocalypse to passable, but there really is never any substitute for the nowcast. Upon arrival at the base of the mountain, in our old friend Dr. Reyes’ climbers compound, we learned that no one had summited in days and that getting to the hut would require a few hours of walking. Snow had overtaken the road and trucks couldn’t reach the hut. No one had ever seen such a low snow level, let alone heard of a vehicle making through drifts feet thick in spots. We were in for it if we were going to even make it to the hut.

We decided to go see how far we could get anyway and started climbing up the steep, muddy road towards the hut. The higher we drove, the more snow there was on the road. Eventually the trucks couldn’t climb much higher and it looked like the walk was going to be epically long. But then, an ace up our sleeve saved the day and a teammate who probably doubles as a stunt driver for the winter chase scenes in James Bond movies stepped to the plate. Voila, we took hours off our approach, making it much further. In the end we walked for under an hour before laying claim to a deserted hut.

As we walked to the hut, Orizaba loomed over our heads. It sure looked nasty up high, dark clouds whipping over the summit and most of the glacier fully obscured. No one was really mentioning what we all were thinking, but some sure would have to change if we were going to get very high on this one. After a quick review of some climbing techniques, we feasted and turned in for the night. We woke very early and could see a few stars!!  Dios mio!  As we readied ourselves, the wind came out and it began to lightly snow the higher we climbed. Since we were the only climbers in days, the team broke trail through the night and as the storm built turning back was on everyone’s mind.  Each break we reached we reassessed the merits of continuing and we kept reaching the same conclusion, “one more stretch.”  When we reached the top of the Labyrinth (a rocky maze broken by snowy, usually ice, gullies), the wind and snow were peaking. Everyone was dealing so well with the weather that we decided we would climb for a half an hour on the glacier and turn back if it didn’t improve. As we kicked steps up the glacier, the skies lightened slightly in the morning sun and the wind lessened a knot or two.
  “One more stretch?”
  “Por que no?” we concluded and repeated the question for the next few hours, constantly aware of our conditions and strengths. Continually assessing progress and our teammates, eventually it looked like it was going to be a fight, but that we just might stand on the cumbre!  No summit is worth an injury, so the minute things looked like they COULD be sub ideal, we were ready to head back knowing we gave it our best. Orizaba respected the effort and graciously offered our team of intrepid explorers a glimpse of the top and happily we accepted the invitation. What a treat!  Standing on top was a real achievement, and as the only crew on the whole mountain we had the whole hill to ourselves. Amazing day in the mountains.

The weather cleared a bit for the descent and our team did a great job handling the hardest part of the climb, the descent. A truck was even able to make it to the hut and happily saved us an hour of tired walking through the mud at the end of a long day. When we got back to Tlachichuca, hot showers and a marimba band made dinner even that much better.

Quite an adventure down here in Mexico, can’t wait to see everyone back home!

RMI Guide Jake Beren

An RMI Team on the summit of Orizaba, Mexico. Photo: Chris Villar El Pico de Orizaba above Tlachichuca, Mexico. Photo: RMI Collection

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Mexico: Beren & Team Reach the Orizaba Summit!

Posted by: Jake Beren, Christina von Mertens | March 14, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mexico
Elevation: 18,701'

First off a big thanks to everybody and their good weather vibes for us down in Mexico. We were able to sneak one in on Orizaba today as the only climbers to stand on top.  Beautiful day we were climbing in a very volatile weather situation, but we were able to move around and get to where we needed to be at just the right time, and were able to go stand on top.  It was a wonderful day with a great crew.  Thanks so much for sharing everybody with us and we look forward to seeing you all in the next day or two when we get home. Thanks so much.

RMI Guide Jake Beren

View while on the Orizaba summit day. Photo: Zeb Blais Descending from the toe of the Jampa Glacier on Orizaba. Photo: RMI Collection El Pico de Orizaba, stands 18,701' in Mexico. Photo: RMI Collection


RMI Guide Jake Beren calls in after the team's successful Orizaba summit.

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More Entries

Expedition Stats

Aconcagua Expedition
12/13/2014 - 1/5/2015
Aconcagua - Summit
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

Recent Images

  • 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
  • An RMI Team on the summit of Orizaba, Mexico. Photo: Chris Villar
  • El Pico de Orizaba above Tlachichuca, Mexico. Photo: RMI Collection
  • View while on the Orizaba summit day. Photo: Zeb Blais
  • Descending from the toe of the Jampa Glacier on Orizaba. Photo: RMI Collection
  • El Pico de Orizaba, stands 18,701' in Mexico. Photo: RMI Collection
  • Exploring Puelba, Mexico.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • The Mexico team climbing to Ixta High Camp. Photo: Christina Von Mertens
  • The Mexico team all smiles on a rest break climbing Ixtaccihuatl. Photo: Christina Von Mertens
  • Overlooking the historic streets of Puebla. Photo: RMI Collection
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