RMI Guides Dave Hahn and Melissa Arnot reached Everest Base Camp a few days ago and the expedition is underway! Keep an eye on the RMI Blog over the coming weeks for updates on their climb. In the meantime, check out this video from Outside Magazine where Dave describes his preparation for climbing Mt. Everest.
April 20, 2012
We are kicking off our Everest climb for Spring 2012.
We’ve already been overseas for a little more than three weeks now and at 17,500 ft Everest Base Camp for about a week. We’ve benefited immensely from the work put into the building of this comfortable and efficient camp by RMI’s Jeff Martin, basecamp manager Mark Tucker and the entire Sherpa staff. The climbing team feels confident that they’ve now shaken off the “trekker germs” collected during our 11 day push up the Khumbu Valley. Everyone seems well acclimated and we’ve successfully stretched our legs and lungs on the hills around camp and the approaches to the Khumbu Icefall. On April 16th, we held a Puja ceremony, seeking the blessing of the gods before putting ourselves in danger on the mountain. The Puja was deemed a great success and our Sherpa team has consequently completed two missions through the Icefall, going as far as the site which will become our Advanced Base Camp (or Camp II) at a little over 21,000 ft. Reaching that camp will be one of the goals of our climbing team in these next few days, but we don’t intend to sleep that high just yet. First things first… if all goes well, we want to get an early start tomorrow morning, say around 5 AM, and then to climb through the Icefall to spend three nights at Camp I (just under 20,000 ft in the Western Cwm). Our Sherpa team tells us they are satisfied with the present state of the ever-changing Icefall Route. As usual, we’ll need to climb steep glacial ice, cross ladder bridges over deep crevasses, pass efficiently under avalanche threats and generally keep moving well when the going gets tough. We figure that this first push should take us around 4 to 4.5 hours. The climbers have spent most of today sorting gear, packing food and getting packs neat and orderly. We even showered and put on semi-fresh clothing. Now we’ll launch our first “rotation” on the mountain toward an eventual summit push. Each rotation should take us higher on the hill, encountering different challenges and hazards… but also progressively bigger and more spectacular views of the world. Descending back down to basecamp for smart rest and recuperation between rotations will take on added importance as we get farther along with the game.
It is a big season on Mount Everest with perhaps 40 other teams encamped around us at the base of the mountain. We’ve each been happy to bump into friends and fellow climbing guides around camp and plans are being laid for communal meals and gaming sessions to fill the downtime. The weather has been “normal” enough with each day starting cold and sparkling clear, but then clouding up by noon and dropping a little snow by late afternoon or early evening. Our views of Everest’s summit pyramid have revealed a dry and increasingly rocky profile to the upper mountain. Either the winter didn’t produce significant volumes of snow up high, or -as is more likely- the jet stream winds have been working overtime to scour the peak.
RMI Guide Dave Hahn
On The Map
I am a union structural ironworker from Detroit MI and admire you all as a team going for the Summit and living life on the edge. Good Luck and be Safe!
Posted by: Art Kazyak on 4/28/2012 at 5:50 pm
Hello from Everest Base Camp,
This is my first chance to take a breath here at Base Camp. If you can call it that. Breathing here is always a challenge. It is crazy to think that with all the hard work Jeff Martin put in here at base camp prior to my arrival, it was still non-stop this whole last week. However, the first big reward came today when RMI Guide Dave Hahn and company called down from Camp 1 reporting that all is well. We have the best of the best when it comes to a team of climbers. And the support we give them to make this climb a bit easier is very much a group effort from Kathmandu to the USA.
We had a wild thunder storm this afternoon with a trace of snow but the clouds have cleared and it is pretty clear now. The RMI team left Everest Base Camp at 5 a.m. this morning and made it to Camp 1 in under four hours. That is a very respectable time for the climb of almost three thousand feet. It looks like all the training paid off.
We had a nice dinner in the cook tent with the Sherpa team and I am looking forward to my favorite hot water bottle and a good night’s rest.
On The Map
Current report from RMI’s Everest team:
Windy and cool with the jet stream right over the region today. Wind usually means not much snow and that is the case today.
RMI Guide Dave Hahn and crew went on a hike toward Camp 2 and are now back at Camp 1 for another night in their great First Ascent tents. Sherpa team is planning to carry more gear up to Camp 2 tomorrow. We are just stock piling Camp 2 for now, leaving gear in duffel bags and not putting tents up since it will still be about a week before the team stays overnight. Without a staff at Camp 2 to keep track of tents, there is no sense in subjecting them to tough weather conditions. The whole team is in great shape and the game plan is right on schedule. It is just a matter of time and next thing you know it, it will be summit push time. Big mountains take a while but they are sure worth it.
RMI Guide Dave Hahn checks in from Camp 1.
On The Map
Yo Mark -
Kim and John reporting in from the deck of the Tides Tavern in Gig Harbor! It’s been spectacular here the last couple of days - but we miss hanging out with you; well, maybe except for those two days in Gorek Shep.
Looks like you’ve settled in for the long haul - but hopefully you’re finding time for some golf!
Be safe, we’ll be following the team the next few weeks. Namaste.
Posted by: John Gilman on 4/23/2012 at 9:43 pm
Conrad and Dave H. you guys rock. if i had never seen the video of you guys climbing the Pacific Ocean wall in Yosemite, i never would have began to climb. Climbing has changed my life and i owe it all to you guys (along with Jimmy) Keep charging on, and be safe.
Posted by: Samuel Short on 4/23/2012 at 12:29 pm
April 23, 2012
RMI invested with a local solar outfitter a few years back, and as you can see by the picture we are charged up! At the start of this season we used a generator to jump start the batteries, but since then its been all sun. On cloudy days we have to be a bit careful on how much power we use from the bank of six good-sized car-type batteries but usually plenty of juice. Without it, tough to send out this dispatch and even the best generators are too loud.
The other photo is of one of our star players here at Base Camp, Raju, who is at the watering hole of choice for now. The staff makes lots of trips to this spot daily with five-gallon plastic jugs to keep us full of that most important beverage. As the glacier moves throughout the season, so will we and the watering hole. With all of the human impact over the years we will boil all of the drinking water. Not yet there with the solar so we do use kerosene for cooking here at Base Camp. We have a most wonderful on-demand gas-powered shower tent that we try and not overuse, which you can imagine on a warm day is so fantastic it is hard to convey. A bit different nowadays since my first trip to Everest in 1990. It was 72 days between showers. Hey, we did what we could, but that first shower was a good one!
Dave Hahn is at Camp 1 and a link to his audio dispatch is below.
That’s all for today from RMI’s Everest Expedition.
Dave Hahn checks in from Camp 1
Be following this blog Dave. Me Knee’s doing better than the other one now. My heart a bit better as well, at a big conference with lots of loving friends. And with you on your hill. Be safe & warm Bro. See you when you get home.
Posted by: Carl Gilmore on 4/26/2012 at 2:52 am
April 24, 2012
Posted by: Melissa Arnot
After three nights spent at Camp I, the time to descend came early this morning. The lively winds helped to motivate us out of camp when the sun hit our tents. Walking down through the icefall after being up for a few days is always interesting, and amazing how fast things have changed. Everyone made their way through the ever-changing river of ice efficiently. Base Camp always feels so much sweeter after a few nights up high. We arrived under clear skies and unpacked into the solitude of our own tents; our home away from home. Everyone is doing really well, and after a few days of rest at Base Camp, we will all certainly be feeling even better as we prepare for our second rotation onto the upper slopes of the mountain.
On The Map
We’ll have those fresh squeezed margies waiting for you on your return!!
xo, Jean and Lily
Posted by: Jean Richards on 4/25/2012 at 4:43 pm
Gearing up for the Camp 2 move. I took some time with Kumar and Lam to check electrical equipment including a base-type radio communication station. All is in good order now, we will see how it goes over the next while. Cold and altitude are always tough on that equipment let alone the moving from camp to camp always has takes some toll. Our Sherpa team is hard at work at Camp 2 and a couple will stay the night to get it ready for Dave and crew to move up soon.
Where is the mocha? Photos from my Internet location out in the middle of the glacier. It’s not Starbucks but the view can’t be beat. A bit of a hassle to get there but compared to what we had as cell service in the past, this is great. We still use the satellite communication for many things, but the price is a lot more. Back in 1990 the sat phone was a good size suite case. The price per minute was 20 to 30 dollars. At least some things have gotten cheaper. The cell towers in Gorak Shep have been pretty reliable as of late and it is so nice to be able to stay in touch with all of you on a consistent basis. With that in mind, fret not if we miss a dispatch here and there, just blame it on tough circumstances that prevail now and again.
April 28, 2012
It is a beautiful day at Everest Base Camp. The climbing team and I did a nice glacier walk out from Base Camp. Just enough to stretch the legs and stop at the internet cafe en-route. There has been lots of packing and loads distributed to the Sherpa team who will help carry gear up to Camp 2 tomorrow. The rest days here at Base Camp have been good for the climbing team members and it looks like tomorrow they will begin their next rotation up high. We had two members of our Sherpa Team, Lam Babu and Yubaraju, that spent last night at Camp 2. They reported that everything is ready for the climbing team to inhabit this upper camp.
So, our plan is a 3:30 am breakfast, with requests of eggs, rice porridge, cold cereal and some hot drinks. The team should then be walking out of camp at 4:00 am headed for Camp 2.
We are hoping for good weather and for everyone in the team to feel strong as they climb higher tomorrow.
We will keep you posted.
On The Map
Hey, this is Dave Hahn calling in from Advanced Base Camp on Mt. Everest 21,300’.
The climbing team came up here in good style today, all the way from Base Camp, this morning. We started out about 4:15 in the morning, still dark, climbing by head light. The climbing route is ok but kind of spooky. We walked thru some very large debris fields from avalanches that have come down in the last couple of days from both the West Shoulder of Mt. Everest and from Nuptse. Both mountains have thrown down debris that is across the climbing route. We didn’t have a bad day, we were pretty lucky with our conditions. It was kind of a breezy day and they say the jet stream is right over Mt. Everest right now. The weather we are experiencing certainly seems to bear that out. It was sunny, cold and gusty and windy most of the day but that saved us from being too hot coming up into camp, this big reflector oven of the Western Cwm. Thing are really dry up here. Our camp is great, our Sherpa team did a wonderful job building up our Advanced Base Camp ahead of our arrival.
We are going to spend our first night here tonight. We will see how we are doing in the morning. Tomorrow will probably be a rest day, but we might get in a hike or two. That’s all for now.
RMI Guide Dave Hahn checks in from Advanced Base Camp.
On The Map
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Posted by: qOmPYSjmZy on 2/17/2013 at 11:01 pm
This is Dave Hahn calling in from Advanced Base Camp again. Another windy day up here at the head of the Western Cwm. Apparently the jet stream winds are still on the mountain and it’s sure sounding like it. All day long big roaring noise as the air was hitting the south west face of Mt. Everest and the north face of Lhotse. And just ripping over the tops of the mountains. Didn’t make sense to do any hard climbing in those conditions, for us. That wouldn’t have worked for us anyway today we were into light exercise activities and trying to gain acclimatization. We all had a good night last night and we are try build on that.
We just went for a short, couple hour long hike to gain a little elevation but didn’t get on to any technical ground. We returned back to camp and took it easy the rest of the afternoon. We are looking forward to some change in the wind and still surprised at how icy and dry the upper mountains are. I wouldn’t mind that changing a little bit and getting a little snow cover on the hills. But, everybody is doing well and we will keep you up to date.
RMI Guide Dave Hahn checks in after the team's first night at ABC.
On The Map
Thanks for sharing the adventure of a lifetime with all of us. I wish you all safe travels & good weather. Or at least the best weather that one can expect from the Mother of all Mountains. Looking forward to each & every update. Peace…
Posted by: Sherry Jennette on 5/3/2012 at 2:48 pm
Wish you great spirit and protection on the Mt. Following closely! God Speed…Judy ( Mt Rainier July 25-29 2011) Go Melissa!
Posted by: JUDY DAHL on 5/2/2012 at 8:56 pm