Entries By robby young
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
September 9, 2016
We have arrived at the mountain! Wow! Is all any of us could muster when we rolled into “Driver’s Camp” situated in a beautiful prairie at 16,500 feet. Shishapangma is rising 10,000 feet straight in front of me like a fortress not meant to be breached. I don’t think any writer in the world could look out his window and see a vista so impressive as he puts his pen down in a stupor of amazement.
This morning we all had to get our final emails and texts out to our loved ones. As we drove we were graced with stunning views of Everest and Cho Oyu 60 miles across the moonscape of the Tibetan Plateau. Fifty miles down the road should lead to nowhere but actually leads to somewhere, some of us still had cell service. We will learn to unplug soon enough. This place to all of us is beyond expectations. No place could be better.
Art, you’re crazy as a bedbug, but climb safe and enjoy the view. We’ll send good vibes your way every day until you’re back down. Cheers!
Posted by: Bob on 9/10/2016 at 10:30 pm
Shout out to A-Knoff and the rest of the team! Following along from the flatlands and loving the pics and posts. Best wishes to all! Leininger
Posted by: Mark on 9/10/2016 at 6:47 am
September 8, 2016
Good evening from Tingri.
We had a long day of driving on the road through the Tibetan Plateau… but it all was done in great spirits, as the grassy plains started to become rolling hills, and finally, snow capped mountains. We left Shigatse in the morning with rain, and the day became sunnier as we were devouring the kilometers that were also bringing us high. Entering the Chomolougma National Park (Everest) or reaching 17,000ft were only some of the exciting occurrences, alongside spotting the Turquoise Goddess (Cho Oyu) sneak from the clouds. A hike around the town of Tingri, where we’re spending the night at an elevation similar to the one of Mt. Rainier, culminated the day. Tomorrow we’ll be covering the last three-car hours of our Shishapangma approach, and we’ll be at driver’s camp, reuniting with our Sherpa team and cooks. Game is on!!!
RMI Guide Elías de Andres Martos and team
Thank you for your stories and pictures - los seguimos de cerca con mente y corazón from Argentina & Germany.
Good Luck to all of you!
Posted by: Bettina ( Wolf's sister) on 9/9/2016 at 11:03 am
Love reading about your adventure so far. Keep the pictures and stories coming. Shout out to Adam Knoff from Aunt Ginni.
Posted by: Virginia Fennema on 9/8/2016 at 11:00 am
September 8, 2016
September 7, 2016
This morning we woke up in Lhasa, the spiritual and political capital of Tibet. This city sits over 12,000 feet so it is fair to say there were a couple restless nights and throbbing heads as we adjusted to our new altitude and instant coffee downgrade. After breakfast we took an incredible tour of the Potala Palace. This is without question the most famous landmark in all of Tibet. Built in 1645 as a winter home for the Dali Lama, the sheer size, engineering and magnificence of this palace inspires anyone lucky enough just to lay eyes on it. So we felt privileged to have a three hour tour arranged for us beginning right after breakfast.
Once on the streets of Lhasa, this preconceived idea of a beautiful, traditional Buddhist city got zapped straight out of our brains with blaring horns, massive buildings and what one person called the Times Square of Tibet directly in front of the palace’s gate. Neon lights, swanky fashion shops, fancy cars, Lhasa has it all.
After our brief culture shock we found ourselves deep in the heart of the Potala Palace, sanctuary to over a dozen Dali Lamas in the past 375 years. It is difficult to describe how spectacular this place is. From Dali Lama tombs to prayer rooms to sculptures cast in gold. This place is truly remarkable.
After the Palace tour our next excursion began. The 180 mile drive from Lhasa to Shigatse. With both cities holding populations greater than a half million, we simply could not believe the infrastructure projects connecting these two metropolises. Paved highways, massive tunnels through giant mountains, apartment buildings ready to house thousands more Chinese coming to this high mountain desert.
Beyond all of the cultural collisions, we made it to Shigatse in just over 7 hours. If you do the math that is an average speed of 26 miles per hour. We drove so slow at times the team thought we would get rear ended by a cow pulling a cart. Ounce finally settled we had a fantastic dinner and can hardly contain our excitement for tomorrow’s repeat of snail crawling our way closer to Shishapangma. We are all in great spirits and will touch base tomorrow.
Wonderfully written commentary. Keep them coming along with photos.
Posted by: Betty (Art's sister) on 9/8/2016 at 2:23 pm