23.3.2013 five more days to go
Last preparations are done and gear has left to Kathmandu. sherpa team is already at Base Camp and all is up and running. In some days i will be back in business on Himalayas.
Expediton news are sent to those listed on mailing list, we will not be placing any daily news on internet as it is more or less forbidden nowadays to do so when at BC or on the mountain.
To avoid any hazardous traffic jams like last season, we are climbing with my partner in alpine style, whenever needed. That means we must carry a lot of extra weight, ropes. Our sherpa crew will provide assistance for that. We have also ordered extra oxygen for our very long stay over Death Zone. Jams are the main fear factor above the Balcony, Khumbu is the other main challenge.
I have been warning about traffic jams and speaking a lot about that issue in the past and the worst scenario did happen in 2012.
This season, we will be very alert about the weather window and once climbing - then very fast.
Join our mailing list if you want to be updated where we are and what is happening.
May 23 2012 NBC NEWS
A traffic jam on Mount Everest turned deadly last weekend, with fatalities being blamed on the bottleneck of climbers trying to ascend or descend the summit, reports from the mountain say.
At least four climbers died near the summit over the weekend and three others were said to be missing and feared dead, climbers told NBC News' Miguel Almaguer. But Alan Arnette, a climber who is blogging the 2012 Everest expedition season, reported that seven had died over the week-end.
The bottleneck developed after weeks of bad weather prevented climbers from summit attempts until Saturday. When the weather cleared, an estimated 150 people rushed to reach the peak, according to Almaguer.
"When there’s a bottleneck on Everest, you have a long line of climbers that really can’t pass one another," Arnette told Almaguer on TODAY Wednesday morning. "They’re stuck, they're using up their oxygen. And as a result they get cold and potentially make bad decisions."
This deadly combination of factors has caused fatalities in the past. In 1996, a bottleneck and bad weather led to the deaths of eight climbers in one day, an infamous event that was recounted in the book "Into Thin Air."
Eric Simonson, Himalayan program director of International Mountain Guides, told msnbc.com that his team of 11 climbers and 11 Sherpas reached the summit on Saturday.
The group, he said, were toward the front of the line as they began their attempts at 8 p.m. and started reaching the summit at 4:50 a.m. The team returned safely to their camps.
He said choppers were flying to Camp 2 on Tuesday to pick up injured climbers who successfully descended. "The full story of who was hurt and who wasn’t, who dropped out and who didn’t, won’t be known for weeks," Simonson said.
Often, he said, survival comes down to whether or not climbers are realistic about their oxygen stores. "It’s like watching the needle on your gas tank. And if you know you still have to drive 200 miles and you see the gas tank is getting down to one-quarter, you’ve got to be able to do the mental math and know you’re going to stop and fill up." For Everest climbers, this might mean abandoning a summit attempt altogether if one's oxygen is too low.
The deaths mark a controversial season on Everest. On May 5, Himalayan Experience announced that it was canceling its expedition because of safety concerns. Minimal snowpack and warm temperatures, among other factors, had led to dangerous conditions, including rock fall and avalanches.
Michael Fagin, who provides forecasting services for Everest teams and runs everestweather.com from Redmond, Wash., said the spring had been very dry and windy. In the past week, winds had reached up to 80 mph; climbers on Everest prefer them under 30 mph.
Last week, the National Geographic-North Face expedition, led by accomplished mountaineer Conrad Anker, canceled its plans to summit via the West Ridge because of icy conditions, but will still attempt to reach the peak via a different route.
Another window to summit is forecast for May 26, and Simonson expects another bottleneck as a second wave of climbers try to reach the peak.
"The bottom line is this is how it is on Mount Everest and how it has been for many years," Simonson said. "When the weather gets good, people want to summit."
Reuters contributed to this report
In exactly 4 months from today I will be back at Basecamp, time is running fast now.
We are preparing Christmas and family holidays here in our western world, far away
from Himalayas. Most of us do not even realize how different the world in India, Bhutan, Pakistan and Nepal really is, compared to our everyday commercial hassle here.
I give you a small reminder from today's International Herald Tribune page 7;
In the Purnia District of Bihar, town council Sunderbari has issued on Sunday an rule
prohibiting unmarried women and girls using cellphones. According the council the use of cellphones promote extramarital affairs and unsanctioned marriages and erode the moral fabric of society
- married women will be allowed to use them only indoors and in the presence of a
Girls—defined as all unmarried females, face a fine of 10000 rupees (salary of months)
if they violate the order, married women will face a fine of 2000 rupees.
Is this lawful, you might think. Of cause not, with our standards. But we are not in rural India. In October , a village council of Haryana was reacting to a series of rapes in the state, blaming the influence of television and movies and suggested that the marriage age should be officially lowered to 16 to keep females sexually satisfied!
What the f..?!
We really are worlds away from there.
Anyway, nice Christmas time to you all.
When i said earlier that the training has started, i meant the torture....Body is adjusting the harder and harder excersices slowly but steadily. With running i cannot get myself out of breath, but heavy load carrying on the steep mountain paths is another matter.
So, i keep my daily routines, wherever i am and keep building up. During the training i visualize the summit route whole time as it is very important to create that in your head,
just again and again. Lately i have been kept up on the second step - that seems the hardest at the moment.
I never imagined this any otherway, what i am now heading up to, cannot be accomplished with anything else but 100% concentration.
So finally the basic training for 2013 is in full scale commenced, after 2 weeks now i do not really have any doubts of getting into 100% fit shape for that.
Well the zombie staring me in the bathroom mirror 6 am, looks kind of familiar, somehow.
I keep you updated as we start the technical part on the mountains and i add some photos here then. Gone running...Tsau.