Entries By adam knoff
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
September 15, 2016
We’re on the move to Camp 1, spending the night at Depot Camp at the moment. It is hard to describe how small we feel, at the feet of this colossal peak, within a stone throw of its northwest glacier, flanked by huge penitentes of disproportionate dimensions, which we’ll have to cross tomorrow. The winds stopped shortly after dinner, and the plumes from the summit disappeared, allowing us to get a glimpse of the top, right before we crawled into our sleeping bags.
Two of our Sherpa just came by, descending from setting up Camp 1 and reporting good snow conditions, while the other three will remain there for the night, hoping to reach Camp 2 tomorrow while we climb to Camp 1. The plan is to all sleep together at 1, and descend to Base Camp the following day. As you can imagine, with this first rotation, we’re all in “game on” mode, and the anticipation is getting us semi-ecstatic.
More tomorrow from Camp 1,
RMI Guide Elías de Andres Martos and the Shishapangma crew
Okay, I love the updates, but I had to look up penitentes on-line :). Good luck to the team!
Posted by: Rick Deerwester on 9/16/2016 at 10:30 am
I can only imagine the butterflies in the stomach are beginning! Can’t wait to read more.
Posted by: Betty (Art's sister) on 9/16/2016 at 5:24 am
September 13, 2016
And the progress uphill has started! We made a carry today to Depot Camp, right at the edge of the glacier, where we deposited some hardware, gas, tents, boots…Our goal is to have our kit in position where we need it, without having to carry it every time. As expected, the first venture into the 6000m vicinity was exhausting, and the “morrainy” terrain contributes to it. However making progress, laying eyes on the route, and continuing with the acclimating process is all a great payback.
Our strong Sherpa team continued until close to Camp 1 (they are the first ones to set foot on Shishapangma this season) and had success finding a good passage through the massive penitentes field that we have to cross just after Depot Camp. Imagine a moon-like area that presents some of the most intricate climbing of our route, that is what we will have to cross shortly after leaving Depot Camp.
We’re now enjoying a rest while our cooks Purna and Aital finish preparing our dinner. With our yak drivers gone until our departure in a month, only another small team of 3 French and 1 Australian (with their couple Sherpa and cooks) are issued to climb here this season here. It’s definitely an off the beaten path mountain!
Wishing you all well,
RMI Guide Elias de Andres Martos and team
Art, this must surely be the climb of all climbs for you. I am practically holding my breath reading this and looking forward to the team’s daily progress. Go team!
Posted by: Betty (Art's sister) on 9/14/2016 at 5:07 am
Excited to hear of your progress to the glacier. Can’t wait to hear more! The “assault” on Bonneville was mixed. We beat the old G/CPRO record but the car’s ignition system broke up at 7500 in fifth gear on the return run. Better luck on your attempt
Posted by: Rick Deerwester on 9/14/2016 at 3:37 am
September 12, 2016
Good evening from Shishapangma Base Camp! What a day… beautiful blue skies, no winds and a bright sun seemed like the prize we were awarded for yesterday’s journey on not-such-fun conditions. A somewhat restless night (it was our first of many nights at 5,600m) gave way to excitement building up as our Sherpa team started to get our puja altar together for a nice morning ceremony. Climbing in the Himalaya without an offering or asking permission to the divine, is considered a sacrilege. The rest of the day was dedicated to getting acquainted at Base Camp, organizing gear, and receiving the second yak load (we have so much gear, that some of our kit had to wait yesterday.) We’re heading to dinner as we speak. Tomorrow we’re taking a walk to the so called “crampon point” or Depot Camp, in order to cache some gear and continue to build on our acclimatization process. Everyone is doing well, and eager to start climbing!
Can’t wait to hear about the ceremony. Well, for sure, you “aren’t in Kansas anymore”!!
Posted by: Betty (Art's sister) on 9/13/2016 at 5:07 am
Go, Galina, go!
Happy Acclimatization to all of the team members!
Posted by: Zhanar on 9/13/2016 at 2:27 am
September 11, 2016
And we’re at base camp!
Long day we had today through the plains of Tibet, but it was worth it. After two days acclimating at Driver’s Camp, and the preceding three days driving across this vast land, being finally at Shishapangma Base Camp seems like an accomplishment already… And we haven’t even started!!! At any rate, the 12 miles over 17,000ft we covered provided incredible views of rustic terrain, but also some headaches and a fight against grapple at mid day. An inch of snow coveted camp upon our arrival, and the light of the moon reflecting on the now cloud free slopes of Shishapangma, seems to also light our desire to climb.
Everyone is in bed now, enjoying a well deserved rest. We’re having our puja tomorrow, and we’ll dedicate to rest and get used to the new elevation.
RMI Guide Elías and team
Go team!! Capucchino from Better Day yesterday in Wolf’s honor!
Posted by: meme on 9/12/2016 at 7:42 am
Thank you for the vivid descriptions of life climbing. Much love and strength. Jane
Posted by: Jane Knoff on 9/12/2016 at 5:43 am
September 10, 2016
The expansive extent of the Tibetan Plateau dominated our conversation during our approach drive from Lhasa. Today, we put boots on the ground and had the pleasure of experiencing this beautiful wide open space first-hand. An active ‘rest’ day here at Base Camp started with a 2-hour hike up to the top of a neighboring 17,400’ “hill” in order to stimulate our muscles and help coax our acclimatization process along. We spent the afternoon sharing life lessons and enjoying each other’s company in the dining tent over an unending supply of coffee, tea, and grilled Nepalese meat snacks. On an expedition of this length and this altitude, our rest days prove just as important as the climbing itself. Tomorrow, we plan to load another 1000 kilos of gear onto yaks and make our way to Advanced Base Camp at 19,400’. ‘Progress’ as we say. The crew is pumped, and enjoying the beginnings of true expedition life. Until tomorrow.
RMI Guides Robby, Adam, Elias, and your Shishapangma team.
PS- Go Blue, beat UCF.
Sounds amazing already. I can’t wait to read more…good luck to all of you and to Jarrett, xo
Posted by: Trish on 9/11/2016 at 4:10 pm
Hail to the victors valiant!
Posted by: vanessa on 9/11/2016 at 1:13 pm