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Entries By j.j. justman

April 2, 2014

Mt. Everest Southside

Mt. Everest: Hahn & Team Greeted by Specatular Views on Pheriche Rest Day

A great day at 14,000 ft and above.  In the pattern we’ve come to expect, it was all blue sky and sunshine to start the day and then cloudy and even a bit snowy to end the day.  But we made excellent use of the sunny and calm morning to go for a hike about 1,200 ft up on the hills behind Pheriche.  Right off the bat, we enjoyed views of the sixth, fifth and fourth highest mountains in the world.  Everest is now hidden from our view by Nuptse, and that will continue until we are above our final tea house in Lobuche, but Cho Oyu, Makalu and Lhotse were trying their utmost to make us forget our central goal of the trip.  They had to fight it out with closer giants like Ama Dablam, Towoche, and Cholatse.  Giant eagle/vultures cruised overhead as we climbed, hoping we’d leave one or two climbers behind, but everybody kept up just fine and the birds went hungry.  We took a bunch of hero shots at our high point and beat feet back down to our luxurious digs in Pheriche.  In the afternoon, the team strolled next door to receive an excellent lecture on altitude illness given by one of the docs of the Himalayan Rescue Association.  The dining room was not nearly as busy as it had been yesterday and the team enjoyed slightly better internet connectivity through the late afternoon and evening.  And that is good, since we don’t expect much web surfing in Lobuche for the next couple of nights.  We’ll try to get our progress out if possible, but of course -no news from us is good news.

Mark Tucker, our soon-to-be basecamp manager, brought his basecamp trekking team back down to Pheriche as planned today.  Nice to see him and his gang.  We’ll say goodbye to him in the morning as he continues guiding his folks back down to Lukla before sprinting back up to be with us.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

Nicole and team,

You guys are an inspiration.  Stay safe! GoGEEdi!

Words of encouragement:  YEAH BITCH!! - Jesse Pinkman

Posted by: Paulie on 4/14/2014 at 5:53 am

Your trusty admin team has all the lab billing up to date.  Stay safe.  Darla

Posted by: Darla Sorah on 4/4/2014 at 11:08 am

April 1, 2014

Mt. Everest Southside

Mt. Everest: Hahn & Team Reach Pheriche

The RMI Everest climbing team reached Pheriche today.  Our last evening and morning down in the trees of Deboche went well enough and everybody was feeling strong and in good spirits this morning.  We set out in bright sunshine with a big blue sky at 8:30 AM.  Yesterday, in traveling the same trail to reach Pangboche we ended up in a huge yak traffic jam where a steel truss bridge had recently collapsed into the river and a detour needed to be negotiated.  Today, the yaks were elsewhere and the trail was blissfully quiet.  We made pretty good time, cruising along above the North bank of the Imja Khosi while steadily gaining altitude.  The trees were pretty much played out a little above Pangboche at perhaps 13,500 ft and the character of the terrain changed.  We took several short breaks alongside the trail and arrived by noon at Pheriche at 14,000 ft.  Our tea house for the night (and tomorrow night as well) is quite popular, “modern” and spacious… a bit of a contrast from the more low key and traditional place we stayed in at Deboche.  There are at least 75 other people sharing the dining hall and lodge, some are climbers and guides that we know from other mountains, some are trekkers, many are climbing sherpas.  We were all happy to be sitting around a warm stove, indoors, as the clouds rolled in and it got nasty and cold in the late afternoon.  It is far too many people for the capacity of the WiFi system, but we are plenty happy to be connected again at any speed.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

Hi Nicole LoBiondo and team
Thank Dave for the great Blogs,  We wait each day for his exciting update.  You are very special.  Love you Mimi

Posted by: Marianne Rhodes on 4/2/2014 at 12:35 pm

Nicole, this is so exciting to read everyday. Everyone is thinking about you, your dad, brothers, cousins and Alexa has been following the blog too. GM

Posted by: Ginny Marasco on 4/2/2014 at 10:37 am

March 31, 2014

Mt. Everest Southside

Mt. Everest: Dave Hahn and Team visit Lama Geyshe

This is Dave Hahn Calling in from the Mt. Everest Climb. We are spending our second night here Deboche tonight. We weren’t able to send out email from here, that’s why you haven’t heard from us, but all is well. Today was our rest day here.  What did was we hiked over to Tengboche and got our blessing from Lama Geshi, a blessing for attempting the mountain.  That was a great time; we went out lunch in Tengboche afterward and came back here in the afternoon. Everybody is going really well.

Tomorrow it is our intention is to move up to Pheriche. We hope we will have email communication then.

Take care for now, Bye.

RMI Guides Dave Hahn, JJ Justman, Billy Nugent & Team

Dave Hahn Checking in from Debouche

Spencer: It all looks so awesome. The nature, mountains, people, culture. I’m jealous of the sights and other rewards, but grateful that I’m not facing the work you’ll be putting in. We’re all thinking of you and pulling for you. We head to Tahoe tomorrow. Baby hill hikes compared to your little trek. Think about you many times every day. Positive energy and love being sent to you and the team in abundance. Love, dad

Posted by: Chet Pipkin on 4/1/2014 at 6:21 pm

James and team

Thanks for the great blog and video.  It was great getting an “action scene”.  Glad things are going so well.

Fred K

Posted by: Fred Klingbeil on 4/1/2014 at 2:31 pm

March 30, 2014

Mt. Everest Southside

Mt. Everest: Hahn & Team Stroll Into Deboche

We moved up-valley to Deboche today.  Morning in Namche was pleasant but we had places to go and things to see.  We hit the trail by 8:30 and walked easily along the traverse trail leaving town.  At first we were mixed in with a few trekking groups and strings of pack animals, but after a little while we had the trail to ourselves.  We’d have loved to have been able to hang on to our hard-won altitude, but it was necessary to give plenty of it back as we needed to drop all the way down to the river to get across and take on the Thyangboche Hill.  We worked slow-and-steady up the hillside trail, gaining about fifteen hundred vertical feet in an hour and a half.  Along the way, we got great views of Kangtega with its giant walls of rock topped by hanging glaciers, but these views were surpassed when we reached the hilltop and saw Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse and Ama Dablam spread out before us and doing battle with the wind and clouds.  Thyangboche Monastery sat like a palace at the ridge crest behind elaborate and ornate gates.  We took our packs off for a few minutes and tried to take it all in, but we were only twenty minutes walk from Deboche at this point and lunch had taken on great importance to the team, so we shouldered packs once more and set off down through the rhododendron forests to our lodge at 12,200 ft above sea level.

The afternoon passed with food and naps and a break from the distractions of the internet, since WiFi was not readily available.  We are not quite in the wilderness yet, but we can see it from here.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

March 29, 2014

Mt. Everest Southside

Mt. Everest: Dave Hahn and Team Rest Day in Namche Bazaar

This was our easy day in Namche.  No big hikes, no packing, no training… this one was for resting, for catching up on personal business and for exploring the Sherpa capital at one’s leisure.  Above this point in the trek/climb, we won’t have such ease of communication and certainly not the opportunity to shop for good climbing gear.  There was some important business to attend to though as Chhering Dorje, Lam Babu and I went to the Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee office to review procedures and policies for getting garbage down the mountain.  We signed our sincere intention to play by the rules.

Some of the team traveled several hundred feet up in altitude to the Namche suburbs in order to visit the fine Sherpa Culture Museum with its fascinating Everest history exhibit.  Some went for massages and cheeseburgers downtown.

As the gang assembled for dinner in the early evening, we were pleased to find that Apa Sherpa was sharing our Tea House for the night.  Apa, the all-time leader in Everest summits -with 21- is bringing a trek in to explore the Khumbu. 

All of the RMI climbers and guides are healthy and well-rested.  Tomorrow we’ll hit the trail and go higher once again.

Best Regards,

RMI Guide Dave Hahn & Team

On The Map

Nicole, greetings from beautiful NJ.(Im lying weather sucks) I am very proud of what you have done so far and you are about to do. we all miss you and love you. be careful and safe. Take pictures when you can

See you soon

Posted by: Elpidio Cruz on 3/31/2014 at 6:07 am

Faitma, I know you’re enjoying all that hiking and beautiful scenery. Looks spectacular. You and the team are so lucky! Wish I was there with you all.

Posted by: Peter Williamson on 3/31/2014 at 3:42 am

March 28, 2014

Mt. Everest Southside

Mt. Everest: Dave Hahn and Team Rest and Enjoy the Views

As planned, today was our hiking and acclimatizing day at Namche.  Since we are now well and truly “at altitude” it pays to go slowly.  We’ll actually spend three nights here at 11,200 feet before ratcheting up the sleeping altitude again.  Light exercise on such days can enhance acclimatization, and so we went for a fine hike.  First, we climbed straight up and out of Namche to reach Syangboche, at close to 12,000 ft, then we moved East to gain ridiculously good views of Ama Dablam, Lhotse and Everest.  Combined with the already insane vistas to our South and West of Thamserku and Quangde, respectively, it was nearly overwhelming… too much to fully take in.  So we walked to the Everest View Hotel, sat on an open terrace and sipped hot lemon juice while pondering the view.  It looked quite windy and nasty up high on Lhotse and Everest (Nobody tries to summit in March for good reason) but where we sat it was sunny and calm.  We then walked over for lunch in the village of Khumjung and finally up to Khunde before crossing the forested ridge line once again for Namche.

It was a great stretch of the legs and lungs on uncrowded and garden-like trails.  The afternoon back down in Namche then seemed just perfectly made for napping.

Best Regards,

RMI Guide Dave Hahn & Team

Nicole and Team,“The Lord is your shepherd”  and He will lead you on your journey. We will follow you each day with our joy, energy, excitement and love. Mimi

Posted by: marianne rhodes on 3/30/2014 at 5:09 pm

Nicole, I am glad your team is rested and ready to go forward together. From now on is the exciting experience that we have spoken about so many times. You are an inspiration to your friends and family. I know you will accomplish with the entire team with you. You know your mom is proudly supporting you as well and with you in spirit. Love you much A.Ginny

Posted by: Ginny Marasco on 3/30/2014 at 7:35 am

March 27, 2014

Mt. Everest Southside

Mt. Everest: Dave Hahn & Team arrive in Namache Bazaar

Yesterday’s clouds drifted away in the night.  We woke to crystal clear skies over Phakding and unimpeded views of giant snow-covered mountains.  After a fine breakfast, the gang was on the trail just after 8:30 AM.  Although I’d warned over and over that the trail would be busy with trekkers, porters and pack animals, we had it pretty much to ourselves.  The trail wound up and down along the constant whitewater of the Dudh Khosi.  We strolled through pine forests and picturesque farmland at the bottom of a deep gorge.  We entered Sagarmatha National Park and stopped for lunch in the small village of Jorsalle, sitting outside in the sunshine.  Then it was all business, up through the big trees and the big hills leading to Namche Bazaar.  A new suspension bridge had been built at the foot of the big hill, taking us hundreds of feet in the air across the gorge.  The team went at the final hill with gusto, taking a break partway up to enjoy the first distant glimpses of Mount Everest.

We rolled into Namche and our home for the next three nights at about 2:30 PM, leaving plenty of time for naps, shopping and internet.

Best Regards,

RMI Guide Dave Hahn & Team

Lee, Travis, and Norm . . . we are fascinated by the posts, information, and photos.  Enjoy the experience!

Posted by: Kevin on 3/28/2014 at 10:58 am

Nicole, This looks to be an amazing journey so far, and it is only the beginning. I am so happy for you that you are fulfilling your dream. Be safe every day and enjoy every minute. I miss you very much.
Love your #1 fan, forever. Mike.

Posted by: Mike Maruka on 3/28/2014 at 7:08 am

March 26, 2014

Mt. Everest Southside

Mount Everest: Dave Hahn & Team Safely Land in Lukla and Trek to Phakding

Yesterday was a whirlwind marathon of packing and prepping in the chaos of Kathmandu.  This morning was the staccato hurry up and wait of getting up and out to the airport and hanging to see if the weather would permit flying.  Flying conditions weren’t perfect when we got through security at the domestic terminal in Kathmandu.  We ended up waiting several hours -swilling coffee, listening to music and people watching- until the pilots felt good about taking off for Lukla.  Once up and out of the smog layers of the Kathmandu Valley, we were treated to stupendous views of the Himalaya.  Those with port-side window seats could pick out Mt. Everest as the flight progressed.  But we were only up about 45 minutes before the pilots put the Twin Otter into a dive.  They had Lukla’s crazy-angled airstrip in their sites and it was clear from the steep mountain walls all around that this was our one shot at parking the plane.  Heart rates shot up, cameras were clicked on and the wheels touched down perfectly.

A few minutes later, we were out of the plane and sitting in a quiet Tea House in the lower Khumbu Valley.  We ate a leisurely lunch and got walking up valley.  It only took a bit more than three hours to reach Phakding And Joe’s Garden… Our lodge for the night.  By that point, things had clouded over, but our luck held and the rain didn’t fall.

The team ate dinner and bedded down to the soothing sounds of the nearby river churning through endless rapids.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

You are an inspiration! It was hard for you to leave but it will be so worth it.
I admire your discipline, hard work ethic, motivation and determination to succeed.
Enjoy the beauty, peace and serenity of the climb one step at a time.
I found…St. Bernard, patron saint of mountain climbers. A blessing.
Lord, we beg you to bless Nicole and crew, these ropes, staves, mattocks, and these other tools, so that all who will use them in scaling the mountains’ heights and precipices, in ice and snow and raging storms, may be preserved from all accidents and catastrophe, Safely reach the summits, and return unharmed to their homes; through Christ our Lord. Amen.
You are blessed and admired. God bless you on this special journey.
Mary Grace

Posted by: Mary Grace on 3/31/2014 at 1:27 am

Cheering you on from New Jersey! Xo T

Posted by: Tatiana Burgos on 3/27/2014 at 6:27 pm

March 24, 2014

Mt. Everest Southside

Mount Everest: Dave Hahn & Team Getting Going

The 2014 RMI Expeditions Mount Everest climb has begun.  Slowly.  The seven climbers and three RMI guides made their separate ways around the globe- from Canada, from Poland, and from all corners of the United States, to convene in Kathmandu and get the party started.  All made it on schedule and with their luggage… a small miracle.  The team fought off jet lag long enough to accomplish a few important preliminary tasks.  With the help of Sagar -our Nepal agent, and Lam Babu, our Sirdar, we gathered at the Nepal Ministry of Tourism to receive our climbing permit and a short orientation slideshow from the ministers.  They emphasized how important it was to bring trash off the mountain and to treat others with respect.  They wished us luck and shook our hands.

Back at our comfy hotel, the venerable Yak and Yeti, we sat down together for a “welcome dinner” and discussed briefly our plan for getting down to business tomorrow morning when folks have rested and recovered sufficiently.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

Hi Billy and Team,

What an incredible opportunity and experience….I am so excited and proud for all of you….I know you have all trained hard for this one!  Be safe, smart, and thoughtful…

God Bless,  Uncle Michael

Posted by: Michael Nugent on 3/26/2014 at 8:25 am

Hi Kara and Team,
It is so reassuring to be able to follow your progress and know where you are at any given time. Kara has accumulated quite a fan base as she completes her 7th summit. She’s an inspiration to many. Tucker can’t wait to meet his Aunt Kara!
Love, Dixie

Posted by: Dixie Trunko on 3/26/2014 at 3:19 am

February 19, 2014


Aconcagua: Justman & Team Return to Base Camp

We have arrived! Ahhh, it feels so good to be back at Base Camp! Let me tell ya, this team has faced some enormous adversity. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to scare friends and family because this Wisconsin boy has faced worse weather watching the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field in December. The weather on this expedition has flip flopped from beautiful to not so beautiful. And wouldn’t you know it, the weather followed us down to base camp. However, it doesn’t matter now. We’ve enjoyed pizzas, fresh fruit and coca colas. And we all deserve it! Everyone says hello and we are looking forward to our trek out.

This is our last dispatch for this season’s Aconcagua expeditions. Thank you so much for following along and thanks for all the comments!

RMI Guides JJ Justman, Katrina Bloemsma and Team

Jeff…What’s up brother?  You should explain that while in Green Bay the best way to stay warm is to have a couple of drinks!  Kids say hi.  Hope all is well.

Posted by: Bill on 3/23/2014 at 2:09 pm


Posted by: LARI&B0B; on 2/26/2014 at 8:01 am

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