Entries By mark tucker

Mt. Everest: Mark Tucker Checks in

Posted by: JJ Justman, Billy Nugent, Dave Hahn, Mark Tucker | April 21, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest
Elevation: 17,575'

The skies were sunny with warm temperatures today at Everest Base Camp.  Our climbers took a few short hikes around the lower glacier and then a bit of cards and board games to keep our minds busy.  There is community gathering for a remembrance scheduled for tomorrow.

RMI Guide & Base Camp Manager Mark Tucker

The view from Everest Base Camp, 17,575 ft. Photo: Dave Hahn

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Mt. Everest: Meetings Attended by Hahn & Tucker While the Climbing Team Hikes to Pumori Camp 1

Posted by: Dave Hahn, JJ Justman, Billy Nugent, Mark Tucker | April 20, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest
Elevation: 17,575'

Still at Everest Base.  Still a very difficult situation for all involved.

JJ and Billy led the climbing team on a hike to Pumori Camp One today, where they enjoyed awesome views of Mount Everest (during our hike to the same point last week we had no views due to an ill-timed and swirling snowstorm).  Mark Tucker and I attended a series of somewhat tense and serious meetings between team leaders, Sherpas, and the few government representatives present in camp.  It is very difficult to say what will happen going forward but one cannot under emphasize the enormity of the tragedy to the Sherpa community.  Each team, if it has not suffered death and loss directly, has lost relatives, close friends and neighbors to the icefall avalanche of April 18.  In too many cases, survivors saw the friends perish before their eyes or else they dealt with the difficult aftermath of body recovery personally.

Our Sherpa partners love their jobs and love to climb, but nobody is climbing now and all are struggling to come to terms with how to proceed in a way that honors those lost and protects those left alive.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Mt. Everest with a wind-swept plume. Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. Everest: Update 4-18-14

Posted by: Mark Tucker | April 17, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest
Elevation: 17,575'

April 17th - 11:20 pm Pacific Time

RMI Guide and Everest Base Camp Manager Mark Tucker reports that RMI climbers, Sherpa and guides are safe at Everest Base Camp.  Around 7 am local time on April 18th an avalanche occured below the West Shoulder continuing down into the Khumbu Ice Fall.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the teams on Mt. Everest.

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Jeff (JJ) praying you are safe and continue to stay safe. Will feel better when I hear from you. All this tv crews.. Constantly advertising some guy is jumping off… read more

Posted by: Jodi Justman on 4/18/2014 at 4:04 am

Billy, so happy to hear you and your team are safe. We all look forward to the day you return to US soil an we can hear about your adventure.… read more

Posted by: Laura on 4/18/2014 at 3:56 am


Mt. Everest: Dress Rehearsal through the Khumbu Icefall

Posted by: JJ Justman, Dave Hahn, Billy Nugent, Mark Tucker | April 17, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest
Elevation: 17,575'

Today was an exciting day! The entire team did a “live” rehearsal. What does that mean? Well…the team awoke at 3AM and slid on stiff boots and warm clothing, had a quick but nutritious breakfast and then began climbing the icefall with our headlamps lighting the way.

Climbing in the Khumbu Icefall is impossible to describe. It is impossible to relay what it’s like through photos and videos. However, the best I can say is it is simply spectacular! Giant blocks of ice tower above as you bob and weave, slice and dice your way through the giant maze.

The entire team did absolutely great! This “dry run” of going through half of the icefall inspires confidence so the next time we get up at 3AM we will all be ready and rearing to go through the entire icefall and occupy Camp One at 20,000 feet.

For now however, we are all happy and content after another great lunch with culinary masterpieces allowing us to fully recover. Next, a little tent time to rest these weary bones.

RMI Guide JJ Justman

Night exposure of the Khumbu Icefall. Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. Everest: The Team Prepares for the Next Phase of the Expedition

Posted by: Billy Nugent, Dave Hahn, JJ Justman, Mark Tucker | April 16, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest
Elevation: 17,575'

Hello out there. Billy here checking in for the rest of the gang after another day deep in the Khumbu. Not much to report on another rest day here, other than the fact that the NCell tower began sporadically working today after nearly a ten-day outage. Our team was starting to go crazy… I mean it was like camping back in the 90’s where you were in a deep black hole.

Anyway, clear skies this morning meant more helicopters buzzing basecamp as a film production crew has been ferrying tons of equipment up valley. The rumor is that they’ll need more than fifty flights to get all of their gear in, we’re all looking forward to it! Regardless, we’re rested and ready for the next phase of our climb which involves an early wakeup dress rehearsal for tomorrow. It’s the last step before we begin our first true rotation up the mountain.

All for now, will check in again tomorrow after another romp through the icefall…

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

B3 Helicopter Leaving Everest BC Helipad. Photo: Dave Hahn

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Mt. Everest: Mark Tucker and the Climbing Team Summit Kalapathar

Posted by: Mark Tucker, Dave Hahn, JJ Justman, Billy Nugent | April 15, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest
Elevation: 17,575'

Summit… of Kalapathar!  The team took on Kalapathar, and had a great payday of views galore.  Nice weather for most of the day.  The Sherpa team also benefited from weather as they are nearly done with all the makings of Camp 2.  One comment from a Sherpa that it was very hot in the Khumbu Icefall. Seems ironic.

The climbing team is gearing up for a possible early morning test run in the Icefall.  We’ll keep you posted.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

Mt. Everest from the Kalapathar summit. Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. Everest: Rest Day for the Team at Everest Base Camp

Posted by: Dave Hahn, JJ Justman, Billy Nugent, Mark Tucker | April 14, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest
Elevation: 17,575'

Today was a well-timed rest day.  Following our recent daily pattern, it was sunny and calm in the morning and snowing and socked in by noon.  The team took the chance to wash up and get clean during the sunny hours, and then hunkered down within the tents for the afternoon.  The much talked about Everest Basecamp WiFi hotspots and 3G cell coverage have both been dysfunctional in the extreme of late, bringing the teams back virtually to the 1990’s in terms of connectivity… roughing it.  Yesterday was a very popular day for Puja ceremonies and so the drab moraine rubble we call home was transformed by a vast spiderweb of interconnected colorful prayer flags streaming from the numerous chortens.  Tomorrow, our Sherpa team is geared up for a carry to Camp II while the climbers have a conditioning hike to Kalapathar in mind.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

View from above Everest Basecamp. Photo: Jake Norton

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Mt. Everest:  Team Continues Training

Posted by: Dave Hahn, Billy Nugent, JJ Justman, Mark Tucker | April 13, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest
Elevation: 17,575'

Today the team went uphill in a few big ways.  The Sherpa team carried loads all the way to Camp II (ABC) at 21,300 ft before returning to base while the climbing guides and climbers geared up and traveled to the first ladders in the icefall route.  It takes about 90 minutes or so to reach those lowest ladders, but we figure it was pretty good practice.  The “trail” involves a lot of crampon work up and down endless ice ridges before the actual fixed ropes begin.  The fixed lines take a little getting used to when it comes to passing intermediate anchors in steep and awkward spots.  Then we started encountering the much anticipated ladders, the first few this season being short and simple.  But we continued on until we hit a slightly longer set of ladder sections tied together and bridging a pretty deep and dark crevasse.  The team took turns tip-toeing across the rungs and from time to time just standing back to watch Sherpa climbers dance effortlessly across in their descent from a hard day of work.  Descent from that big and worthy crevasse a little over 18,000 ft was pretty good training all in itself.  The team moved better and better as climbers got accustomed to the routines of “arm-rappels” and clipping past snow and ice anchors.  We reached the crampons-off point just as the daily afternoon snowstorm began, but that meant we were only ten minutes from camp.  Once back in our home away from home it was an easy afternoon of lunch, games, naps and good conversation.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Everest Base Camp and the Lower Khumbu Icefall.  Photo: RMI Collection


RMI Guide and Base Camp Manager Mark Tucker checks in with an update on the Mt. Everest Expedition.

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Mt. Everest: Mark Tucker Checking in after the Puja Ceremony

Posted by: Mark Tucker, Dave Hahn, JJ Justman, Billy Nugent | April 10, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches
Elevation: 17,575'

Hello! Mark Tucker checking in from Everest Base Camp. We had a wonderful ceremony today. The puja altar was just as beautiful as it gets. A wonderful day. Just a real, pretty ceremony. Everybody in attendance and we all had a good time. So we packed up a lot a loads. We have our whole Sherpa staff heading up the hill to carry all the necessary provisions to get a great Camp 1 established. And our three super guides, Dave, Billy and JJ, are going to go get their feet wet and check on the route and check on the camp and get things looking up-to-snuff for the rest of the western team. We will do some maintenance down here- a little bit of hiking, maybe a shower day. We have plenty to do to prep ourselves for the near future. We are going to be up real early and get these boys off to work on their commute to Camp 1 tomorrow. So all is well and like I said, we had a really nice day.  We’ll check in tomorrow.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

Everest BC - Puja ceremony. Photo: RMI Collection Raising the mast at a puja ceremony. Photo: RMI Collection Puja lamas and drum. Photo: RMI Collection


RMI Guide Mark Tucker calls in after the puja ceremony.

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Everest Base Camp Trek: Tucker Bids Farewell to His Team in Lukla

Posted by: Mark Tucker | April 04, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest BC Trek
Elevation: 9,350'

BIG is done!  Here in Lukla and enjoying the thick air and relatively warm temperatures. Long day from Namche to here, all is well. Good day weather wise and lots to view. Beautiful blooming fruit trees that were not at that stage on the way in. Amazing what new sites you see from the opposite direction. We took our time, tried to take in as much of the region as we could and still get us to our home for the night before dark. It was nice to stop and see the children, out and about having fun and a joy to observe the everyday live of the Sherpa people. They have always been such a friendly folk and it held true on this trip as well. Two of our favorite people of the Khumbu, Karma and Mingma part of our local staff that helped make this such a successful trip, left us after dinner. Safe journey to them and thanks so much. Pemba will stay with us till the early flight tomorrow morning. It’s been a blast. Till next time. Get out while you can.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

Team shopping in Namche at the end of the trek. Photo: Mark Tucker Team posing in front of a blossoming tree near Namche. Photo: Mark Tucker Namaste. Photo: Mark Tucker

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