Entries By jj justman

Mt. Rainier: Four Day Summit Climb Teams Reach the Summit!

Posted by: Walter Hailes, JJ Justman | July 04, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 14,410'

Our Four Day Summit Climb teams reached the summit of Mt. Rainier early today.  Both teams were beginning their descent from the crater rim around 6:30 am.  RMI Guide JJ Justman reported clear skies and warm temperatures. They will make a short stop at Camp Muir before continuing down to Paradise.  We look forward to seeing them at Rainier BaseCamp this afternoon.

Congratulations to today’s Summit Climbs teams!  Happy Independence Day!

Climbers approaching the summit of Mt. Rainier.  Photo: Seth Waterfall

Mt. Rainier: Four & Five Day Teams Unable to Summit

Posted by: JJ Justman, Tyler Jones | June 29, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 10,060'

The lightning storm prevented the Four and Five Day Summit Climb teams from reaching the summit of Mt. Rainier this morning.  RMI Guide JJ Justman reported that the teams turned at 11,400’ to seek shelter at Camp Muir.
Their plan is to descend from Camp Muir around 8:30 am PST.  We look forward to seeing the teams at Rainier BaseCamp later this morning.

 

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I was watching the blinking light up on the mountain hoping every one would make it back to climb another day.  I had gone to the mountain in hopes to… read more

Posted by: Brian on 6/29/2015 at 7:42 pm

Hey guys, I woke up about 12:30 to the sound of thunder at the Bunkhouse. I sat on the picnic table and watched the light show while hoping you would… read more

Posted by: kelly gaddis on 6/29/2015 at 12:26 pm


Mt. Rainier: June 22nd Summit

Posted by: JJ Justman | June 22, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 14,410'

RMI Guide JJ Justman and the Four Day Summit Climb team reached Columbia Crest, the highest point on Mt. Rainier around 7 am this morning. The team is enjoying beautiful weather with 10mph winds. They will spend some time on the summit before beginning their descent to Camp Muir. The team will return to Ashford this afternoon.

Congratulations climbers!

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Go Miki!!!!  I can’t wait to see your pictures.  You got this girl!!!  Love you!

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Posted by: Christine on 6/22/2015 at 9:28 am

Matthew, Aaron, & Stephen—Congratulations take many pictures and have a safe trip down.  Love Dad

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Posted by: Michael Brown on 6/22/2015 at 6:46 am


Mt. Rainier: Climbing Teams on the Summit!

Posted by: JJ Justman, Leon Davis | June 15, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 14,410'

The Five Day Summit Climb led by RMI Guide JJ Justman along with the Four Day Summit Climb led by Leon Davis reached the summit of Mt. Rainier this morning.  After spending some time on top enjoying the views both teams began their descent from the crater rim shortly after 7 AM. JJ reported that it was “an absolutely beautiful day”.
Once the teams return to Camp Muir they will have a brief stop and then continue their descent to Paradise.  We look forward to seeing them at Rainier BaseCamp later today.

Congratulations to today’s Summit Climb Teams!

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What an awesome experience to climb with you guys.  Special thanks to Leon, our amazing guide, for keeping us encouraged and safe!

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Posted by: Yasha on 6/18/2015 at 7:42 am

Congratulations Rick, so happy you made it.

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Posted by: Sharon on 6/16/2015 at 5:20 am


Mt. Rainier: June 6th Update

Posted by: Brent Okita, JJ Justman | June 06, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 14,410'

The Mount Rainier Summit Climb teams, led by Brent Okita and JJ Justman, both reached the summit this morning!  The teams reported a beautiful day in the Pacific Northwest.  After both teams spent some time on the summit, they began their descent at 7:20 a.m.

Congratulations summit teams!

Sunrise on Mount Rainier, Washington. Photo: JJ Justman
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Knew you three could do it! Wendy Adam and Jen !!! Love Ossie

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Posted by: Ossie brewer on 6/7/2015 at 7:15 am

Congrats, Daniel, Will, Matt & Matt!  Quite a feat! 
-Cousin Ben + Julie

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Posted by: Ben & Julie on 6/6/2015 at 12:11 pm


Mt. Rainier: May 30th Summit!

Posted by: JJ Justman, Sean Collon, Lance Colley, Katrina Bloemsma | May 30, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 14,410'

The Mount Rainier Summit Climb team led by JJ Justman topped out on Columbia Crest at about 7:30 this morning. JJ reported great weather and light winds of about 15 – 20 mph.  After spending some time on the summit, the team began their descent about 8:20 a.m.

Congratulations summit team!

An RMI team on their Mount Rainier summit bid. Photo: JJ Justman

Mt. Everest: Kathmandu & Beyond

Posted by: Dave Hahn, JJ Justman, Mark Tucker | May 03, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest
Elevation: 4,383'

Rain, thunder and lightning continued late into the Lukla night, but we all felt pretty confident that the dawn would bring perfect flying weather… Which it did.  We were up at 5 AM and over to the craziness of Lukla International Airport by 6 AM.  At around 7 or so, a twin engine prop plane came in with the right letters and numbers on its tail and we pushed our way through the crowd to catch our flight.  That flight was blissfully uneventful and by 7:30 we were just another batch of tourists in Kathmandu... Rubbernecking from our van to catch whatever signs of quake damage we could see on the way to our comfortable hotel.  A casual observer could easily go unaware of the tragedy unfolding in the country around us… things are quickly returning to “normal” for those with means in the capital.  The hotel was jam-packed with correspondents, camera crews, diplomats and a few grubby climbers.  We met a number of our guide friends -some of whom had ambitious and worthy plans to go out to remote villages to do what they could to save lives, and some of whom, just like ourselves, intended to get out of the country as soon as possible so as not to require care and feeding from an already over-stressed society.  Our team passed the afternoon resting, cleaning up, exploring and reconnecting.  I was lucky enough to connect with the legendary Miss Elizabeth Hawley for the team’s all important post-climb interview.  As expected, there wasn’t much to relate in terms of climbing goals achieved… none-the-less, we chatted for a delightful -and perhaps a bit melancholy- hour over the continuing challenges of these contemporary Everest seasons.
Back at the hotel, our team assembled for one final evening together, with a couple of toasts and a fine rooftop dinner.  We were not even remotely cold or uncomfortable, we weren’t in danger and we had a rising and beautiful full moon to entertain us.
Tomorrow we’ll scatter to ride a number of bigger and faster aircraft toward our own homes.  Thank you for following along in this challenging season.  We each feel extremely fortunate to have come unscathed through extraordinary circumstances.  To this point, we’ve had the convenience and satisfaction of placing cash directly into the hands of those who’ve suffered… from this point onward, we’ll try to match the generosity of those at home… Making considered contributions to responsible aid organizations benefiting all Nepalis.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

The Everest team back in Kathmandu. Photo courtesy of Chhering Dorjee Sherpa

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Dear Dave, your post have been a blessing to me. I have been praying for all of you, and for the sherpa and their family, also for the people of… read more

Posted by: Pastor Sylvia Joplin on 5/4/2015 at 3:12 pm

Hi,Dave:
Glad you and your team are safe and finally on your way home. Your blog has been extremely informative and I’ve looked forward to reading them and of… read more

Posted by: greg faulkner on 5/4/2015 at 10:27 am


Mt. Everest: Hahn & Team Arrive in Lukla

Posted by: Dave Hahn, JJ Justman, Mark Tucker | May 02, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest
Elevation: 4,383'

Another surreal day of spectacular hiking and beautiful mountain vistas… mixed with up-close and sad recognition for the cost of lost homes and disrupted lives in the Khumbu Valley.  I suppose it is surreal because we would never have chosen to be “tourists” in a disaster area… But here we are.  We left Namche at around 8 this morning under perfectly blue skies… And fervently hoping that this meant that the fixed wing planes were coming and going freely from Lukla… Dispersing the crowd we’d heard so much about.  The first part of the day was spent in the forests… Where there was little sign of the earthquake.  But the bigger portion of the day was spent in the succession of farms and small villages in the valley bottom outside the National Park boundaries.  Of course, many houses and buildings were untouched… but a significant number were cracked and damaged beyond reasonable repair.  Very few had collapsed… And we were told that there had been few injuries and few deaths in these areas… Probably because Sherpas would have been outside and working hard at midday when the quake struck.  And sure enough, the phenomenally strong work ethic in the area had men out moving rocks, plastering and repairing damage wherever possible when we strolled by.  People without any form of insurance stood in front of ruined structures, in this fabulously beautiful setting, and smiled and bid us “Namaste” as we passed.  Those that we knew, asked us first if we were all ok before acknowledging that they themselves would need to start over completely.  We walked until about 2:30 PM to reach Lukla just as the raindrops began to fall.  The town and the airstrip appear largely intact… And thankfully, the crowds (mobs…as we’d heard them described a few days ago) seem absent.  So far, so good with our plan for coming down the valley slowly so as to allow things to normalize in front of us.
One of our Sherpa team startled me today as we took tea in his sister’s place in Monjo… He thanked me for saving his life.  I was baffled and embarrassed until he explained that my decision (which had actually been made in consultation with Jeff Justman and Chhering Dorjee) to have the Sherpas drop the loads they were carrying for Camp II at Camp I on the day of the big shake had meant they weren’t in the Icefall later in the day at the exact wrong time.  As I say… I was startled… Hadn’t done the math myself.  We’d asked them not to carry on to CII because of the threat of snow and avalanches off Nuptse… Not because of imminent earthquakes.  But I’m now so incredibly glad that they were well down the icefall and safe for whatever reason.  I deserve no credit whatsoever for getting lucky… But our team can take generic credit for having put safety first, once again, and having reaped unexpected benefits.
We are “scheduled” for the first wave of flights to Kathmandu tomorrow.  Perhaps luck will still be with us.

Best Regards,
Dave Hahn

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Your team, the thoughtful decisions you make, and your sensitivity to local conditions and customs are all reasons that RMI enjoys such an enviable safety record and remains the gold… read more

Posted by: Everett Moran on 5/3/2015 at 9:08 pm

So grateful that all of you are safe and on your way home even though your goal of the summit was not to be this year.

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Posted by: Susan on 5/2/2015 at 6:19 pm


Mt. Everest: Hahn & Team in Namche Bazaar

Posted by: Dave Hahn, JJ Justman, Mark Tucker | May 01, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest
Elevation: 11,300'

Thankfully, it was another sparkling sun and blue sky day.  We got out of Pheriche by 8:15 AM and got walking out of the alpine zone and down into the land of the living.  Helicopters continued to buzz back and forth overhead, traveling to Everest Base or to Gorak Shep, most likely.  We encountered a few more trekkers and porters still heading up valley today, but drastically fewer than normal, which made for another quiet and easy day on the trails.  We took our time, stopping in Pangboche to check on acquaintances and to pay respects to victims, but then we moved on across the river to Deboche and up to Thyangboche, which was abnormally calm and quiet.  The classic and grand monastery was visibly damaged and seemed abandoned for the moment.  We sat and rested in the quiet for a time before heading down the big hill and into waves of blooming rhododendrons.  Then it was up the next big hill and along the dramatic traverse trail to Namche.  We saw plenty of eagles and lammergeiers, Himalayan Tahr… And lots of evidence of massive rocks having crossed the trail in the quake.  We’ve found our way back to our favorite place in Namche… Camp De Base.  Damage in Namche seems slight, but we have been reminded that the earth isn’t through moving yet.  There have been aftershocks that we apparently haven’t noticed in our tent environments.  But here in town, everybody seems much more aware of them in a place where buildings shake.

We’ll keep our guard up, but we’ll also avail ourselves of some quality 11,000 ft sleep… The kind we haven’t experienced in a month.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Everest team greeted by Nepalese child as they trek back to Namche. Photo: JJ Justman Group of children begin their day in Namche Bazaar. Photo: JJ Justman Hahn & team trekking out. Ama Dablam looming in the background. Photo: JJ Justman

On The Map

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Thanks Dave.  We met at ANI’s Union Glacier in 2011 when I ran the 100k as part of the Antarctica Ice Marathon.  Safe travels and Godspeed.

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Posted by: Brent Weigner on 5/1/2015 at 7:54 am


Mt. Everest Expedition: Team Descends to Pheriche

Posted by: Dave Hahn, JJ Justman | April 30, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest
Elevation: 13,950'

Our last night at Mt. Everest Base Camp was made more pleasant by a visit from Meagan and Rachel, the two doctors from the Himalayan Rescue Association.  We’d lured them to our dining tent with high praise for Kumar’s farewell pizza dinner.  The two were homeless, as the HRA clinic tent was wiped out by the Avalanche air blast.  We are in absolute awe of the performance of these two in managing the medical response to the Base Camp tragedy.  They were hurt themselves in the blast and lost virtually all of their personal property, but went on to care for at least 80 patients over the following day -many with critical injuries.  We all enjoyed the pizza, but felt terrible that the two docs were still prone to violent coughing from having taken in the super cooled, ice laden air of the powder cloud that accompanied the air blast. 
Kumar kept his final night tradition by baking cakes (with and without gluten) for the team.  Alas, these didn’t say “congratulations Everest summiteers” but nobody complained. 
This morning, we enjoyed a little sunshine for a change, which made it a little easier to put final touches on our packing. We were on the trail by 10 AM.  A very different trail than we’d become accustomed to… No Trekkers, no porters, no traffic.  Of course, the reason for the empty trails is sobering, but the effect is wonderful.  Nobody has put the dire national situation out of their minds, but the value of a day spent walking peaceful trails through beautiful mountains can’t be overestimated.  We stopped in both Gorak Shep and Lobuche without seeing too much damage from the quake, but things in Pheriche are obviously worse.  Many of what had seemed to be the more substantial structures in town are badly damaged.  None-the-less, we’ve found comfortable and safe lodging. 

Best Regards
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

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Thank you to your team- not only for feeding us, but also for your endless kindness, support & use of resources during and after the avalanche. I’m glad that the… read more

Posted by: Meg on 5/20/2015 at 2:00 pm

Amazing 2 doctors. The whole thing is so devastating. Thank you for keeping us informed Dave.

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Posted by: Jacqueline Bayless on 5/1/2015 at 12:08 am


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