Entries By adam knoff
September 25, 2016
We’ve certainly settled back in to life at our 18,500’ Base Camp with a second consecutive rest day in the books; all in preparation for our upcoming summit push. Naps were taken. Dining tent discussion came and went throughout the day. The Tootsie Roll jar certainly took a hit. And the sun poked through off and on, giving us our first warming by the sun in a few days. With the sun, a few team members took advantage of some creature comforts with our Base Camp shower setup. (Yes you read that right!) Tomorrow we’ll indulge in much of the same as we wait for our weather window to begin our climb to the summit. Until then, thanks for following along, and thank you for all your blog responses and words of encouragement!
As I wait for the presidential debate to begin, I find myself kind of envying you, 18,500 feet up there, breathing like an emphysema patient and mostly cut off from the stupidity of the outside world. Despite my fear of heights, I may have to consider spending the next election in the Himalayas. 1/2 to 1/3 of the oxygen at sea level in exchange for a month with no Drumpf, Hillary, Kardashians or other oxygen thieves? I’d take that deal right about now.
Seriously, though, good luck on the summit push. Remember to wear your crampons on the midnight wee trip at the higher camps, observe your turnaround time and maybe by the time you get home, I’ll have taught Mom and Dad how to pronounce the name of the mountain you climbed. I tried it the other night with Dad after the anniversary party. Big mistake.
See you soon,
Posted by: Jayme on 9/26/2016 at 5:34 pm
Always in my thoughts and prayers. Climb strong.
Posted by: Jane Knoff on 9/26/2016 at 12:59 pm
September 24, 2016
A well earned day of rest. We have come to the point now in this expedition where things are now earned instead of deserved. Granted we all worked hard on our last rotation. A storm came in and bullied us into coming down a day early. The wind beat us like a naughty pet and kept camp two, our primary objective out of reach. Despite the storm, everyone did great handling themselves and proved they are ready for the final push. Now we must really focus on staying positive and healthy. Our bodies are wearing down even here at Base Camp. The mountain, letting us touch and feel a little bit is hiding no secrets and will demand our strongest effort yet to gain her summit slopes even though our physical selves aren’t as tip top as they were two weeks ago.
So now we earn it. Nothing will come easy. From here until the end we must become more adept and graceful at dealing with the hardships. The want to come home and hug our loved ones and eat fresh food and enjoy a warm shower is growing stronger everyday. All of us must embrace the spirit of climbing this mountain and believe that working hard, suffering well and giving everything we have both physically and emotionally will earn us a chance to stand on top.
These next few rest days will all blend together. Sleep, eat, drink, sleep, cards, read and so on. I personally spiced things up today when I crawled into the Gamov bag just to see what it was like and 15 minutes later had a claustrophobic panic attack and had to be let out before hyperventilating. This provided a touch of humor but all in all we now must rest and wait. We all understand what these next two weeks will bring. We came here to climb Shishapangma and we will give her our finest effort. Even during days of rest.
More on that tomorrow.
RMI Adam Knoff
I hope you are having a nice time resting at base camp for a few days…but really, isn’t every day a rest day for you? It must be nice always being carried up the mountains! You better be keeping everyone in good spirits, but if you need some help, tell Mark that Jack got a B on his chemistry test yahoo!! He must really be scared of what is going to happen when you get home. Remind Mark to take some good pictures, the frames in the living room need an update : )
Be safe and make good choices!
Posted by: Elizabeth Wilkins on 9/25/2016 at 6:22 pm
Nice work up there boys. Stay safe
Posted by: Geoff on 9/25/2016 at 5:16 pm
September 23, 2016
And… the winds brought us back to Shishapangma Base Camp. We had an incredibly rough night at Camp 1. The storm that unleashed upon finishing our well accomplished tasks above Camp 1 the previous day, was so fierce, that continued this morning with even more determination to make us cut our rotation one day short. After fighting the winds securing our camp, and managing to make breakfast, it was clear we weren’t going to get a break. We descended towards Base Camp fully bundled in our warm equipment, knowing though that our well spent time up there is going to pay dividends soon. Now we go to enjoy some more rest in anticipation of our next move. Spirits are high and we look forward to good weather soon!
Best regards from Base Camp,
Sorry we missed your call to us this morning with the happy anniversary wishes, but we really appreciated your message and expression of affection. The diner and after party last night was a smash success (or so I’m told). As you might have expected, in keeping with my careful allocation of excess consumption occasions, I duly allocated last night’s affair as my one such occasion for 2016. And as I’d expected, today was a total loss, dedicated exclusively to aspirin, antacids, rehydration and horizontal recovery! Hopefully your retreat to Base camp was uneventful and the rest there today fulfilling and complete - and even better than mine!. Wishing you and the team nothing but fair skies and calm air from here on!
Love from us both.
Posted by: Rick Deerwester on 9/24/2016 at 4:32 pm
Go go go! Enjoy and good luck :)
Posted by: Carlos on 9/24/2016 at 2:38 pm
September 22, 2016
Good evening from Camp 1. Gnarly day we had today folks, as we’re currently waiting out a nasty wind storm. The morning went well, with our Sherpa team plus guides Robby and Elías making it to Camp 2, in the vicinity of 7,000m, breaking trail with more than a one foot of soft snow. Meanwhile the climbing team, under the directions of guide Knoff, made an acclimating stroll around Camp 1. Everyone is doing well, and the effects of the altitude at this elevation are barely noticeable now. We’ll keep you posted on our upcoming plan.
Time to go rest now!
RMI Guide Elías de Martos and team.
Sounds like a great day of progress! I can only imagine what the wind is like up at that altitude. Stay safe and best of luck tomorrow!
Posted by: Trish on 9/23/2016 at 6:03 am
Glad all is going well. Love seeing photos!
Posted by: Betty (Art's sister) on 9/23/2016 at 5:29 am
September 21, 2016
Good evening from the entire team at Camp 1!
We woke up to a dust of new snow and clouds this morning at Depot Camp (ABC). Soon after breakfast, we could tell the cloud layer was thin, the winds non existent, and the precipitation receding. Executing our plan of moving upwards was unquestionable. Covering known ground now to Camp 1 posed less of a challenge than the first time last week, and the team moved efficiently uphill. We reached our now well established camp shortly after 2 pm, followed by our Sherpa team, who was coming directly from Base Camp. We’re all now in our tents, with full bellies, tired legs and great spirits. Tomorrow we’ll start setting eyes towards Camp 2, we’ll keep you posted, as we’ll be dependent on the evolution of the snow that is starting to come down, as the sun set over the ridge.
Good night everyone!
RMI Guides Elias de Andres Martos, Adam Knoff & Robby Young
You guys look like you all forgot your razors :). Seriously, it sounds as though all of you are doing really well. Stay strong!
Posted by: Rick Deerwester on 9/22/2016 at 6:08 am
Cheering to Galina, team and all the support crew!
You guys are awesome! GO FORWARD, STAY SAFE!
Lots of hugs, Galina.
Posted by: Zhanar on 9/21/2016 at 8:05 pm
September 20, 2016
Rotation 2… ready, set, go!
We’re at Depot Camp (aka Advanced Base Camp), starting our dinner. We left Base Camp this afternoon after lunch, and after a small snow storm that made us initially question our departure. The weather cleared, and in a mere three hours we were already in our tents at the edge of the glacier. The team is feeling quite well and strong, as it is proved by the fact that we ditched one hour from our time last week. Tomorrow we’ll be ascending to Camp 1, and then, the intentions are to reach Camp 2 and spend some time there afterwards. But we’ll keep you posted as we go. That’s it for now, we’ll check in tomorrow after our move to Camp 1.
RMI Guide Elías de Andres Martos and team
It has been great reading your blog and hearing about your progress. Would like to give a special shout out to my big brother, Arthur Muir. He is such an inspiration: his hard work, drive and determination are amazing! He gives new meaning to retirement! Way to go, Art, sending best wishes and much love to you and all the team! Bonnie
Posted by: Bonnie Bair on 9/21/2016 at 9:19 am
You have to be feeling a bit like a yo yo with the ups and downs! I have to think it takes real resol e to retrace those difficult steps. You guys inspire me!
Posted by: Rick Deerwester on 9/21/2016 at 6:29 am
September 19, 2016
Comedian Mitch Hedberg once said during a comedy skit, “I just want to be a mountain climber so I can wear brightly colored clothes, hang out at Base Camp, and drink hot cocoa.” Today, for the second day in a row, we harnessed our inner Hedberg, and did just that. Our last rest day before the start of our second rotation onto the upper slopes of Shishapangma was filled with nourishment of all forms, and plenty of rest. Some of us practiced our favorite base camp activity, “sport eating.” Others took competitive napping to the next level. While another team member continued his rein as supreme cribbage champion of Shishapangma 2016. Regardless of our chosen rest day activities, we all did the best we could to prepare our bodies and our minds for what lies ahead. Our second rotation begins tomorrow with a move to Depot Camp, followed by a return to Camp 1 at 20,000’, and finally up to Camp 2 near 22,000’ by the end of the work week. We’re all feeling great, looking good, and ready for the upcoming challenge here on the 14th highest mountain in the world. We’ll check in tomorrow from Depot Camp.
RMI Guides Robby, Elias, Adam, and the Shishapangma Team
Sandra, best efforts there on the mountain.
Posted by: Jim Wilder on 9/20/2016 at 9:20 am
Good to hear everyone is rested, but no doubt when this is read that recuperation will be a dim memory! Be strong on the way to Camp 2 and be well. We’ll eagerly await tomorrow’s update!
Posted by: Rick Deerwester on 9/20/2016 at 5:35 am
September 18, 2016
Last night at 6:30 in the evening, Team Shishapangma was still on the move, descending a barely visible trail etched into the ancient glacial moraine by only a few dozen boots going up and down with hopes of establishing camps on the higher slopes of this snowy mass. Clearly this footpath changes each year after the passing of the monsoon rains so we were again proven how generous and selfless our Sherpa team is when Furba and Pemba Sherpa met us more than two miles from camp with warm drinks and happy smiles. We had been away from base camp for more than three days and they were eager to greet us. The remaining walk was in the dark guessing where the trail led which our Sherpas, with most things mountain related, were better at than us. We devoured dinner and shortly after sleep devoured us.
This morning, Sunday the 18th of September greeted us like most others have. The sun hits us at 7:30, the sounds of Aital and Purna our righteous cooks firing up the kitchen, echoing off the rocky hillside behind us, our neighbor’s camp coming to life. But these common place things are now accompanied by a new set of sounds. A chorus of coughs, hacks, and other phlegm related guttural noises are reminding us constantly how the unforgiving altitude we are living at is tightening its grip. Life at base camp is the best we have but at 18,500 feet it is still a challenge. So we were all grateful that today the most difficult thing we needed to do was drink coffee, clean some clothes, and listen to the Mark Wilkins school of business.
Rest days are quickly becoming a hard earned and well deserved reward. The rotations coming up are only going to get higher, colder and longer so we will enjoy base camp as much as we can. Everyone is dreaming of home and wishing all following along lots of love.
I look forward to these updates every night. It puts a lot of things into perspective. Stella, Thor and I are with you in spirit and wishing you well. XO, Trish
Posted by: Trish on 9/23/2016 at 5:09 pm
Talking to you last night (your morning) and hearing your raspy breath (and challenged breathing) made the elevation you are operating at very real and vivid. Hopefully the day of rest will allow some natural healing to take place in all of your struggling respiratory systems.
Your adventure makes my solo 3,904 mile drive to/from Bonneville seems pretty lame. BTW, I thought of you yesterday when I looked at a partly collapsed bottle of oil that I’d opened and resealed on the 4,200 ft. elevation of the flats. Can’t imagine 18,000+.
Posted by: Rick Deerwester on 9/19/2016 at 6:28 am
September 17, 2016
Good evening from Base Camp!
We just returned from Camp 1, all the way into Shishapangma Base Camp. The day has been mellow by Himalayan standards, as the great distance to cover or the big elevations to save are just a part of the game that this team is facing with style.
We’re heading into bed, looking forward to a couple days of rest while we let our bodies adapt to the new elevation reached.
RMI Guide Elias de Andres Martos
Keep up the great work and progress. I hope everyone is feeling better and acclimating to the altitude. I wish I could see the beauty you wake up to everyday. Enjoy the gorgeous full moon! It must be spectacular from your location!
Posted by: Trish Deerwester on 9/18/2016 at 4:21 am
Continued success, congrats to all. Safe travels and enjoyable rest. Thinking of you each and every day.
Posted by: Jane Knoff Nelson on 9/17/2016 at 6:13 pm
September 16, 2016
Namaste from Camp 1! A gelid evening is already in place here at 6,500m, but the warmth of our bags, the water boiled in the vestibule of the guides’ tent, and camaraderie around, are definitely bringing up the adventure temperature.
We had a long day climbing to here, as crossing the penitentes field is no joke; a super involved section that gains you no elevation but puts your endurance to the test. But we made it and now is time to go to bed, all while contemplating the summit, and in closer proximity, the location of Camp 2. “Suva Rattri”!!!
RMI Guide Elías de Andres Martos and Team
Seeing the Harvest moon last night and again early this morning, I could not help but think what it must like for you all to see the sky at night. I am jealous, for sure. Save travels.
Posted by: Betty (Art's sister) on 9/17/2016 at 5:17 am
Seeing the beautiful Harvest moon last night and again early this morning, I could not help but think of what it must be like for you all to see the sky at night. I am jealous, for sure. Safe travels.
Posted by: Betty (Art's sister) on 9/17/2016 at 5:15 am