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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Mt. Everest: Easter Bunny Stops By Base Camp

Posted by: Dave Hahn, JJ Justman | April 05, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest
Elevation: 17,575'

Happy Easter!  The Everest Base Camp bunny somehow found his way through falling snow last night and left chocolate for each climber and trekker to find this morning.  In the night, we couldn’t hear the the rabbit over the noise of storm winds aloft and a handful of thunderous ice avalanches off the mountains around us.  Morning wasn’t so bad though, the sun eventually made it through the clouds and Kumar’s great breakfast had us all feeling comfortable and content.  This was a holiday for our team… 17,500 feet takes a little bit of getting used to and so we hadn’t planned anything more strenuous than a series of naps and a walk out to “Icy Cyber” -the spot out in the Khumbu Glacier where we dependably get 3G cell service.  A few helicopters came through on flight seeing tours and we watched the Icefall Doctors working their way up and down this year’s route through the jumbled glacier.  Our Sherpa team labored at building the stone altar for our Puja, which ought to take place in several days.

Tonight’s dinner will be special as it will be our last chance to hang with Erin and Bonny.  They’ll start working back toward Kathmandu tomorrow morning, as planned, and we’ll begin to focus on the mountain.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

RMI communications tent at Everest BC. Photo: Dave Hahn

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Mt. Everest: Hahn & Team Arrive at Everest Base Camp

Posted by: Dave Hahn, JJ Justman | April 04, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest
Elevation: 17,575'

This is Dave Hahn calling from Everest Base Camp, 17,500 feet on the Khumbu Glacier. Well, we made it. We came up from Lobuche today, the entire team- six climbers, two trekkers, and two guides. Tschering Dorjay Sherpa, our Sirdar, leading the way, brought us up to Base Camp. I think we are about the first climbing team to make it into Base Camp this year. And at our base camp, incredible progress has been made. Our Sherpa team has done great work setting our camp up and Mark Tucker, our base camp manager, has been here the last couple of days and got things buffed out just perfectly for us to move in.

We started up from Lobuche at 8:15. We got to Base Camp at 1:15, so we made great progress. It was a beautiful day with just a little cloud cover, and it was just about perfect for walking. Tomorrow we’ll get squared away and get internet capabilities again, and get back into written distractions, but just wanted to bring you up to date for this evening. Bye now.

RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Yaks moving supplies in Everest Base Camp. Photo: Dave Hahn


RMI Guide Dave Hahn calling after arriving to Everest Base Camp.

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Mt. Rainier: Seth & Solveig Waterfall Led the First 2015 Ski Program

Posted by: Solveig Waterfall, Seth Waterfall | April 03, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 6,400'

Hi this is Seth. Solveig Waterfall and I just wrapped up the first RMI ski trip of the Spring season here on Rainier. We had a great five-day trip with a really fun group. We based out of the Paradise area for our days on the mountain and were treated to some of the best ski conditions of the season. this was our ‘Intro to Ski Touring’ course and as the name implies we spent the majority of the time focusing on the necessary skills to plan and execute several days of backcountry skiing.

We had a clear day to establish our camp followed by two days of precipitation with steadily cooling temperatures. This resulted in fantastic powder-skiing conditions with really good snow stability. The final day was cool but the skies were mostly clear and we were able to get break our camp and some more good skiing. The team was great, the laughs and smiles were non-stop and the days flew by.

RMI Guide Seth Waterfall

Rainier Intro to Ski course- Beautiful day heading up hill. Photo: Seth Waterfall Great conditions for the Mt. Rainier Intro to Ski course. Photo: Seth Waterfall
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Mt. Everest: Hahn & Team Laying Low in Lobuche

Posted by: Dave Hahn, JJ Justman | April 03, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest
Elevation: 16,175'

A quiet day for us at 16,000 ft in Lobuche.  Things are certainly colder up at this end of the valley, but the sun was good and strong this morning and so we ventured out for a short walk along the lateral moraine of the Khumbu Glacier to stretch legs and catch views.  Nuptse is front and center and ridiculously steep when viewed from Lobuche (and from any other angle as well, come to think of it) but our eyes kept straying toward Everest Base Camp and the peaks that surround it- Pumori, Lingtren and Khumbutse.  It isn’t very far away now… We’ll be there tomorrow with any luck.  But first things first, we made the most of this rest day with a short visit to the Italian research “pyramid” a few minutes away and up a side valley.  One of the staff gave us a fine tour of the facilities and described the atmospheric and glacial science being conducted.  Then it was back to our tea house as the sky clouded up yet again.  Snow started falling after lunch, which made it just that much easier to kick back and rest away the afternoon.  We’ve got cards, chess and scrabble… Books and naps worked pretty good as well.

Last night in a tea house… Tent life begins tomorrow.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Nuptse from Lobuche, Nepal. Photo: Dave Hahn Italian Pyramid and Pumori at Lobuche. Photo: Dave Hahn

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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'

Recent Images

  • 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
  • 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