Posts for Everest

Mt. Everest Expedition: Dave Hahn Checks in From Base Camp

Posted by: Dave Hahn, JJ Justman | April 15, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest
Elevation: 17,575'

Hello this is Dave Hahn with RMI’s Everest Expeditions calling in.  I promise I wrote a nice dispatch but lost connectivity before sending it to you, so we’ll have to do a voice dispatch. It’s all good here. It’s snowing lightly, it’s been snowing since about mid-day but just lightly.  We are still holding on to the hope that the Sherpas and one or two of the guides might get up in the morning for a scouting trip through the Ice Fall.  Of course that is weather dependent as always.  Today the team went over their gear, trying to streamline their systems for climbing fixed ropes. They checked out their down suits trying to get a little bit more familiar with that gear.  Our Sherpa team did the same.  Fairly quiet day, nobody else is going through the Ice Fall either a few people nibble at the base of the route today just stretching their legs and working their technique.

RMI Guide Dave Hahn

RMI Climbers testing out their down suits while at Everest Base Camp.  Photo: Dave Hahn The RMI Sherpa team in their down suits at Everest Base Camp.  Photo: Dave Hahn


RMI Guide Dave Hahn calls in from Everest Base Camp.

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Mt. Everest: Hahn & Team Wait Another Day Due to Snow

Posted by: Dave Hahn, JJ Justman | April 14, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest
Elevation: 17,575'

Dave Hahn with the RMI Everest Expedition. We are without internet this evening, due to forces beyond our control. We are doing fine. It was another waiting day. There was still all of that snow on the ground from the bigger storm and the threat of more falling, but in the end we didn’t get that much more today. It was pretty cloudy. Our team went for a climb to the face of the the steep part in the icefall, so we went about an hour to an hour and a half breaking trail to the start of the technical sections in the icefall. We made a good morning of it, and taking it easy this afternoon mostly at camp as we wait and see.  Nobody wants to push up through the icefall right now with that possibility for more snow coming. We may have to do a similar program tomorrow- hiking, exercise, training, and then will hope to hit the icefall the following day. At least Sherpas and guides going up to preview it, but that that doesn’t seem worthwhile at the moment, but another day or two, we’ll see. Everybody is doing well. We’ll let you know what happens. Thanks.

RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Khumbu Icefall seen with the new snow from yesterday's storm. Photo: Dave Hahn Dave Hahn leading the RMI Everest team in a training session into the lower section of the Icefall. Photo: JJ Justman Everest BC - Mark Tucker choosing to go with his air game. Photo: Dave Hahn


RMI Guide Dave Hahn checks in from Everest Base Camp.

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Mt. Everest: Hahn & Team Have a Snow Day

Posted by: Dave Hahn, JJ Justman | April 13, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest
Elevation: 17,575'

The snow began falling about the time we got into our sleeping bags last night.  It didn’t quit.  When we poked heads out for a look-see around 3:30 AM, it was still piling up pretty good, and so there wasn’t any consideration given for going ahead with the icefall plan for the day.  Back to bed and wait and see, was the plan.  It had snowed about a foot by breakfast.  The gang assembled and we spent the day biding our time.  We didn’t have great conditions for walking with powder snow over uneven rock and ice.  The clouds and flurries hung in all day.  We could hear and occasionally see puja ceremonies going on at the camps around us.  All-in-all it was a quiet day of waiting.  We’ll see what tomorrow brings. 

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Overnight snow covers Everest Base Camp. Photo: JJ Justman Hanging out in the EBC cook tent on a snowy day. Photo: JJ Justman The RMI Everest team gather for a meal in the cook tent. Photo: JJ Justman

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Mt. Everest: Team Takes a Day Off

Posted by: Dave Hahn, JJ Justman | April 12, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest
Elevation: 17,575'

It was shower day for the climbing team.  This was our designated “day off” so that all could get a good night’s sleep without any nervousness about what might be demanded of another training/climbing day.  It seemed to do the trick… we all showed up late for the pre-breakfast coffee and tea session.  There was a pretty good procession of old friends and fellow guides coming to say hello and exchange radio frequencies today.  Climbing teams are now pouring in, the Puja flags are going up everywhere and brightly colored tents are blossoming in every direction.

We’ll make our first push through the icefall tomorrow… Sherpas and guides, at least.  Our goal will be to check out the route and to establish Camp 1 at close to 20,000 ft.

Best Regards,

RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Common Tent at Base Camp. RMI Photo Collection Fun and Games at Base Camp on a Rest Day. RMI Photo Collection

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Mt. Everest: Team Explores Pumori Base Camp and Kalapathar

Posted by: Dave Hahn, JJ Justman | April 11, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest
Elevation: 18,300'

It was time for a big day of hiking.  We’ve been ramping up the activity level, day by day as acclimatization has kicked in.  The goal today was to hike back down valley to get busy on Kalapathar, an 18,300 ft “summit” with big views of Everest and pretty much everything else in our valley.  In classic terms, it isn’t really a summit, just a convenient bump on a ridge which then gets quite technical on its way to the summit of Pumori, a vertical mile overhead.  But Kalapathar is accessible and popular.  And for us, it would involve some good distance and vertical gain and loss… Otherwise known as training.  We went off the main trail soon after leaving Basecamp to avoid the heavy traffic (trekkers, yaks, climbers, porters) and snuck along a quiet and slightly more rugged back path which goes through the abandoned basecamp for Pumori.  We clomped through a few snowfields before rejoining the popular route on Kalapathar that comes up from Gorak Shep.  And then it was just an easy plod upward to the mass of prayer flags at the top.  It is a real treat to be up top without clouds obscuring the surrounding great peaks and today we took advantage of the opportunity, snapping a few hundred digital images in every direction.  Eventually, the wind and cold caused us to beat a hasty retreat back down to Gorak Shep and then we started up the normal track to basecamp.  As expected, the trail was quite busy, but we were still able to make good time… experiencing the cheap thrill of walking at normal (acclimatized) speed past a hundred panting and gasping (unacclimatized) trekkers.
It was fine to relax away what remained of the afternoon in camp after five and a half good hours of walking and scrambling.

Best Regards
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Views along the trail to Kalapathar- hike from Everest BC.  Photo: JJ Justman Dave Hahn leading the way to Kalapathar. Photo: JJ Justman The 2015 RMI Everest team at Kalapathar. Photo: JJ Justman

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Mt. Everest: Hahn & Team Train and Begin the Mark Tucker Golf Invitational

Posted by: Dave Hahn, JJ Justman | April 10, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest
Elevation: 17,575'

One of the finer days we’ve seen on the trip, weatherwise.  Clear skies and calm as anything in the morning, which made us forget the cold.  We were out in the glacier again, at our jungle gym of ladders and fixed lines and ice walls.  The team practiced safety clips and rappel procedures and did lap after lap, without packs, with packs, with ice axes, without them… All under the watchful eyes of myself, JJ Justman, and Chhering Dorgee Sherpa.
At this point, still, the only climbers to have been through the icefall have been the icefall doctors responsible for building the route.  That will change within a few days… Of course we are all quite curious as to what surprises the “new” route through the glacier holds.
In the afternoon on this fine day, our Basecamp Manager, Mark Tucker, took a foursome out for the first day of a planned four-day golf tournament in the mellow section of glacier close to camp.  Tuck showed his party around the Khumbu Country Club, scoring a hole-in-one in the process (his partners now each owe him 100 rupees).  Newcomer Robbie came away with the low score for the round however, with a nine under par performance.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

The 2015 Everest Icefall Doctors- Stout ladder load. Photo: Dave Hahn RMI Guide and Everest BC Manager, Mark Tucker, crushing the ball. Photo: JJ Justman An RMI team playing golf at Everest BC. Photo: Mark Tucker

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Mt. Everest: Team Explores the Lower Khumbu Ice Fall

Posted by: Dave Hahn, JJ Justman | April 09, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest
Elevation: 17,575'

It was time to put on mountaineering boots, crampons, harnesses and helmets.  We went out into the Khumbu Glacier and tromped around with ice axes in our hands, exploring… But also brushing up on our climbing moves, our balance and our endurance.  The glacier at the level of Base Camp can be a maze of ice walls and pinnacles and -for now- frozen stream courses.  We danced carefully across ponds of frozen meltwater and found our way to the start of the climbing route into the serious part of the Khumbu Icefall.  The afternoon found us playing in a jungle gym of ladders, fixed ropes, rappel stations and ice walls.  Our Sherpa team had built this great obstacle course for practice and together we tackled each skill station and played/worked out in the glacier for hours.  It was great to come in a little weary from a day out in the sun and satisfying to finally feel like we’d edged into the climbing world from the hiking world.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

The Everest team training in the lower Khumbu. Photo: JJ Justman The Everest team practices with crampons on ladders. Photo: JJ Justman The Everest team training on fixed ropes in the lower Khumbu. Photo: JJ Justman The Everest team's training day on fixed rope. Photo: JJ Justman

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Mt. Everest: Team Takes Hike to Pumori Camp One

Posted by: Dave Hahn, JJ Justman | April 08, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest
Elevation: 18,200'

Great day for hiking.  Now that most of the team are feeling more or less adjusted to the 17,500 feet of Basecamp, today seemed like the day for walking higher.  Our choices are limited in this dead-end valley since going up through the Khumbu Icefall for exercise is too spicy a proposition for most reasonable folks.  Our solution is to backtrack a bit, following the trail partway back down toward Gorak Shep and then branching off to gain some elevation.  The goal today was Pumori Camp One at about 18,200 ft of elevation.  We like this particular stair master of a hike because the boulder-hopping is pretty similar to the ice-chunk hopping we’ll do in the Icefall.  As a bonus, we gained stupendous views of Everest (from North Col to South Col), Lhotse, Nuptse and those distant peaks like Ama Dablam and Thamserku that we used to see so regularly while trekking.  We could also see the sprawl of tents down on the Khumbu, growing by the minute.  Sure enough, when we reached the main trail during our descent, it was like getting on the interstate highway back home.  Hundreds of trekkers, climbers, porters and yaks are now flowing in and out of Base.  Tents are going up everywhere, helicopters are buzzing around like flies… The climbing season is cranking up quickly.  We walked the half hour or so from downtown Everest Basecamp to our exit in the upper midsection and sat down for one of Kumar’s great lunches.  Afternoon is for resting, relaxing and rehydrating.  We’ve got plans for cranking things up another notch tomorrow.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

The views while hiking to Pumori Camp One.  Photo: Dave Hahn Enjoying the views from Pumori Camp One.  Photo: Dave Hahn

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Mt. Everest: Climbers Listen to the Prayers and Chants of Sherpa During Puja Ceremony

Posted by: Dave Hahn, JJ Justman | April 07, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest
Elevation: 17,575'

It was cloudy overhead this morning, threatening another pulse of snow.  We’d enjoyed yesterday’s calm sunshine and hoped for one more day of the same, but that didn’t seem likely.  The snow held off nicely for our Puja ceremony though and we even got a couple hours of sunshine.  The climbing Lama had made his way up from Pangboche for the event… Ours was the first in camp other than the one for the Icefall Doctors (who have been hard at work building the climbing route for the past two weeks already).  We sat and listened to the prayers and chants as our Sherpa team attended to all of the mechanics of the ceremony, distributing offerings and building the prayer mast with colorful flags radiating out in five directions.  The idea is that we want the blessing of the gods before we put any of our team at risk on the mountain.  Having watched a gargantuan avalanche come down over the icefall around seven this morning, we all hoped the gods were paying attention to our pleading.  The Puja finishes with everybody throwing tsampa (barley flour) up to the heavens and then in a gesture of friendship and camaraderie, spreading the remaining tsampa on the cheeks and noses of one’s fellow climbers.  We all wished each other good luck and careful climbing and then toasted with beer, coca cola, whiskey, rakshi and chang (it wasn’t a requirement that any individual have each and every one of those… we are at 17,500 ft and it really doesn’t take much sipping to feel an amplified effect).
After lunch, we walked out onto the lower section of the Khumbu Glacier to stretch our legs and explore as the storm moved in.  We were able to walk on frozen streams and watercourses beneath great towers of gleaming ice.  It was snowing good and hard by the time we got back to camp, but now -in early evening- that snow has quit although cloud still hangs low and plentiful around us.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

The Puja Ceremony for the 2015 RMI Everest Climbing team.  Photo: Dave Hahn The Puja Ceremony at Everest Base Camp.  Photo: Dave Hahn Enjoying the friendship and camaraderie at Everest Base Camp.  Photo: Dave Hahn The 2015 RMI Everest Expedition post Puja ceremony. Photo: JJ Justman

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Mt. Everest: Team Gets to Work at Everest Base Camp

Posted by: JJ Justman, Dave Hahn | April 06, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest
Elevation: 17,575'

Hello RMI Blog Enthusiasts!
It’s another sunny day here in Everest Base Camp. Of course, our team is doing great. However, all of us are a little sad. This morning our two trekkers that followed along with us parted ways and started their return journey back to Kathmandu.
I have to tell you that it was a lot of fun having Bonnie and Erin along giving our climbing team support. I am sure they are already trying to figure out what kind and how many pizzas they will order at Fire and Ice Pizza.
As for the rest of us we got down to some business today. The team went over and rigged their climbing equipment. Now, crampons are fitting snug, ice axe leashes are set and ascenders are set to the perfect length. There’s no doubt, we are ready to do some practicing to work out any kinks before we actually get busy with the real deal.
It’s now time to relax, drink a few more cups of tea and put on our dinner attire.

Most importantly though!! How bout them Wisconsin Badgers! This Wisconsin native cannot remember the last time The Badgers were in the finals. So with no further hesitation…
WISCONSIN!!!
RMI Guide JJ Justman

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Recent Images From Everest

  • Prayer flags fly at Everest Base Camp with Pumori summit behind.  Photo: Jeff Martin
  • The Everest team back in Kathmandu. Photo courtesy of Chhering Dorjee Sherpa
  • 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
  • Climbers moving through the Khumbu Icefall. Photo: RMI Collection
  • New snow on Mt. Everest, Nepal. Photo: RMI Collection
  • Tents aglow at Everest Base Camp on the eve before Camp 1 rotation. Photo: JJ Justman
  • Ascending thru the ladders of the Khumbu Icefall.  Photo: Dave Hahn
  • Sherpa teams and guide attempt to navigate through the Khumbu Icefall.  Photo: Dave Hahn
  • Sherpa and guides going through the Khumbu Icefall.  Photo: Dave Hahn
  • Horseshoes at RMI Everest Base Camp. Photo: JJ Justman
  • 2015 Sherpa World Championship Horseshoes. Photo: JJ Justman
  • RMI Guide Dave Hahn joins the Sherpa in some Icefall exploration. Photo: Dave Hahn
  • A looksee at the Icefall confirms continued storm and busted ladders as they are turned around. Photo: Dave Hahn
  • A looksee at the Icefall confirms continued storm and busted ladders as they are turned around. Photo: Dave Hahn
  • RMI Climbers testing out their down suits while at Everest Base Camp.  Photo: Dave Hahn
  • The RMI Sherpa team in their down suits at Everest Base Camp.  Photo: Dave Hahn
  • Khumbu Icefall seen with the new snow from yesterday's storm. Photo: Dave Hahn
  • Dave Hahn leading the RMI Everest team in a training session into the lower section of the Icefall. Photo: JJ Justman
  • Everest BC - Mark Tucker choosing to go with his air game. Photo: Dave Hahn
  • Overnight snow covers Everest Base Camp. Photo: JJ Justman
  • Hanging out in the EBC cook tent on a snowy day. Photo: JJ Justman
  • The RMI Everest team gather for a meal in the cook tent. Photo: JJ Justman
  • Common Tent at Base Camp. RMI Photo Collection
  • Fun and Games at Base Camp on a Rest Day. RMI Photo Collection
  • Views along the trail to Kalapathar- hike from Everest BC.  Photo: JJ Justman
  • Dave Hahn leading the way to Kalapathar. Photo: JJ Justman
  • The 2015 RMI Everest team at Kalapathar. Photo: JJ Justman
  • The 2015 Everest Icefall Doctors- Stout ladder load. Photo: Dave Hahn
  • RMI Guide and Everest BC Manager, Mark Tucker, crushing the ball. Photo: JJ Justman
  • An RMI team playing golf at Everest BC. Photo: Mark Tucker
  • The Everest team training in the lower Khumbu. Photo: JJ Justman
  • The Everest team practices with crampons on ladders. Photo: JJ Justman
  • The Everest team training on fixed ropes in the lower Khumbu. Photo: JJ Justman
  • The Everest team's training day on fixed rope. Photo: JJ Justman
  • The views while hiking to Pumori Camp One.  Photo: Dave Hahn
  • Enjoying the views from Pumori Camp One.  Photo: Dave Hahn
  • The Puja Ceremony for the 2015 RMI Everest Climbing team.  Photo: Dave Hahn
  • The Puja Ceremony at Everest Base Camp.  Photo: Dave Hahn
  • Enjoying the friendship and camaraderie at Everest Base Camp.  Photo: Dave Hahn
  • The 2015 RMI Everest Expedition post Puja ceremony. Photo: JJ Justman
  • RMI communications tent at Everest BC. Photo: Dave Hahn
  • Yaks moving supplies in Everest Base Camp. Photo: Dave Hahn