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Four of the Team at Camp III Today

By Ed Viesturs - April 27th, 2009 8:37 am GMT -0700

Via Satellite Phone - LISTEN IN!

Hi Everyone. Ed Viesturs calling for Greatoutdoors.com. The evening of April 27th. Another night here at Camp II. Had a really great day today.

Four of our team climbed up to Camp III today. It was a great workout, a great acclimatization run. Half of our Sherpa were up there as well carrying loads. I personally carried up two bottles of oxygen to Camp III. Not that I plan on using it but I felt I wanted to contribute something for the team so that’s what I did, and I like to push it a little bit.

Took me about three and a half hours to climb the Lhotse Face. Camp III is at about 23,750 feet roughly. It’s quite steep and icy this year. But the Sherpa did a great job with the two fixed lines up the face so if you’re trying to pass somebody that’s going slow it’s very easy with two ropes on the face to jump from rope to rope. Coming down it make’s it a lot easier and more efficient as well. There’s not a lot of bottlenecks.

I felt very strong today, very fit, very happy with my performance. We’re going to take a rest day tomorrow and do a little bit of production filming. And the day after tomorrow we’ll go to go back up again to Camp III. Carry a load. Come back down. And on the following day I plan to sleep for a couple nights at Camp III.

The wind storm that we had yesterday abated finally around 9:00 and that allowed us to have a really nice day today climbing up to Camp III. So everything is going great. I’m really excited to be up there again in some altitude and actually climbing something steep is really a lot of fun today. A little bit of hard work but a lot of fun as well. So I’ll give you a ring again tomorrow. Thanks for checking in. Ed Viesturs signing out.


Big Winds at Camp II

By Ed Viesturs - April 26th, 2009 8:42 am GMT -0700

Via Satellite Phone - LISTEN IN!

Hi everyone, Ed Viesturs calling, April 26 at about 12:30 in the afternoon. I’m at Camp II, you can probably hear the wind blowing, slapping the tent, I got here about 8:30, it took me about four and half hours to climb  here from Base Camp. I’m here joined by Peter Whittaker, Jake Norton and John Griber, so there’s four of us and we’ve got a whole slew of Sherpa here as well.

It is very windy here, picked up right after I got here, we had to collapse one of our larger tents in fear that it would get destroyed. So we’ll make  do without for the next 24 or 48 hours. Word has it that it may  get even windier, so it could be a wild ride up here for a day or two, we’ll see what happens. We’ve got everything pretty well anchored out, and we’re just going to hang on, you know, see how it goes, but I think we’ll be fine.
 
It’s okay to be up here, we’d rather hang out here than at base camp, it’s better for acclimatization, and if we take a day off tomorrow that’s fine. If the wind and the weather decides to cooperate and decrease tomorrow instead of increase, we’ll take a little walk up to Camp III. So good to be here again, be up in this area, up high, for the next six or seven nights, and this will be our third and final acclimatization rotation up here. So thanks for checking in, I’ll call again  . . . and hopefully my tents will survive the night.
 

 


Ed Viesturs Prepares to Go Above Camp III

By Ed Viesturs - April 25th, 2009 9:24 am GMT -0700

Via Satellite Phone - LISTEN IN!

Hi everyone, Ed Viesturs calling Saturday morning April 25 still here at Everest base camp, tomorrow we plan, four of us to go back up to Camp II. We’ll be leaving here about 3:30 in the morning, It will be myself, Peter Whittaker photographer Jake Norton and cameraman John Griber. Both Jake and John are very experienced climbers, they both climbed Everest so as a  foursome we make a pretty good team We will climb directly to Camp II tomorrow, bypassing Camp I, it should take anywhere from five to seven hours to get from here to Camp II. The following day, on the 27, Peter and I hope to climb and carry a load of equipment to Camp III, descend back to Camp II, and I hope also to repeat that again, and then during our six night stay up there, hoping to spend at least a couple of nights at Camp III, and during one of those I want to climb higher to maybe 25 or 26,000 feet. . . . . Yeah, Peter, I think I got cut off. . . . So during the two night stay at Camp III, the day in between I do plan to climb higher, to 25,000, perhaps 26000 feet. This will complete what I hope to be my acclimatization for further down the road when I attempt to climb without oxygen again. So we will be up there about six nights and we’ll descend here, assuming the weather holds and there’s no delays, we’ll be back at base camp around May 2 and that’s when we’ll prepare for our final summit assault. So that’s our plan, and as we all know in the mountains  it’s good to have plans but  plans need to be flexible everything dependent on weather and health but right now, knock on wood both  health and weather  are great. And I’m excited to get out of base camp and get higher on the mountain. I’ll give a call tomorrow from Camp II. Ed Viesturs signing out for GreatOutdoors.com. Thanks for checking in.

 


New Video from the Lower Lhotse Face

By Peter Potterfield - April 25th, 2009 8:56 am GMT -0700

Video Via Satellite - WATCH!

See video of Ed Viesturs and Peter Whittaker as they climb above Camp II toward the Lhotse face, taken by camerman John Griber of the First Ascent Everest Expedition.


Ropes Fixed to Camp III and Above

By Ed Viesturs - April 23rd, 2009 7:57 am GMT -0700

Via Satellite Phone - LISTEN IN!

Hi everyone, it’s Ed Viesturs calling from Everest base camp, evening of April 23rd.

This is our first full rest day here at base camp. I personally plan to take one more tomorrow. And then on the 25th very early in the morning I plan to climb back up through the icefall land go all the way back up to Camp II.

Good news today. The coordinated effort by all the serpa, they were able to fix ropes all the way to Camp III and above, somewhere in the vicinity of the Geneva Spur which is well farther then half way between Camp III and Camp IV, and they did a tremendous job. Apparently they were able to put two parallel ropes in. With the amount of people on the mountain this year and in previous years, they’ve fixed two parallel ropes allowing one rope for an up rope and one rope for people going down. So it prevents a lot of traffic jams on the Lhotse Face.

Things are going well. The weather has still been phenomenally good. We haven’t had a single major storm. We did have some wind high on the mountain the last couple days. Some of the tents in some of the camps were buffeted. But other then that the weather has been phenomenal. So knock on wood the weather will continue to be good.

I’m looking forward to go back up again to do my third rotation of acclimatization. I want to go back up to Camp II and then from there carry a load or two for a couple of days up to Camp III and then also send a couple nights at Camp III at 23,500 feet. I believe that’s going to help my acclimatization as well. And in between those two nights at Camp III I’d like to climb as high as possible somewhere in the vicinity of the South Col at 26,000 feet.


New Photos from Camp II and the Lhotse Face

By Peter Potterfield - April 22nd, 2009 12:37 pm GMT -0700

Ed Viesturs is safely back at Base Camp, but new photos from the First Ascent Everest Expedition have been transmitted by satellite that show the newly constructed Camp II, or Advance Basecamp, and the foray Ed Viesturs and Peter Whittaker made to the base of the Lhotse Face on an acclimatization outing. Stay tuned to GreatOutdoors.com for more photos from Everest.


Sherpa Join Forces to Fix Ropes on Lhotse Face

By Ed Viesturs - April 21st, 2009 11:54 pm GMT -0700

Via Satellite Phone - LISTEN IN!

Morning everyone. It’s Wednesday morning here in Nepal, around 9:00am, April 22nd. And happy that we are back at base camp. We spent yesterday at Camp II again and we actually climbed to the foot of the Lhotse Face to find the route through the crevasses and made it to about 22,000 feet. And then we came back down and spent last night again at Camp II ; our third night.

This morning we left early, and we left Camp II at about 5:30 and I kind of hooked up with Peter Whittaker and we were back here at base camp within about 2-1/2 hours. We came down very quickly. Again speed is the key to getting through the icefall, which starts just below Camp I. There was a lot of people going up.

It’s kind of a cool thing that’s happening. The sherpa have joined up, joined forces, and they’re going to make a community concerted effort to fix the rope and the anchors up the Lhotse Face to Camp III and to Camp IV. They like doing it. They’re very proud about their skills. Many of them have learned technical climbing (satellite reception failed) climbing school, so all the sherpa from all the teams are contributing. We’re all contributing hardware and rope and over the next three or four days these guys are going to climb the Lhotse Face and they’re going to start fixing rope, which they are very good at. They do it year after year. They’re very quick. They’re very efficient. And, as I said, they’re very proud about their work.

Now for a few days Melissa Arnot and Gerry Moffat are still at Camp II for another night. Dave Hahn is climbing though the icefall right now with his client on his way to Camp I but it’s nice to be here at base camp, personally, for a few days.

So I’ll call in again tomorrow and let you know the plan for the next several days and what we plan to do when we go back up to Camp II and Camp III. Ed Viesturs signing out for Greatoutdoors.com


Filming Above Camp II

By Ed Viesturs - April 20th, 2009 8:05 am GMT -0700

Via Satellite Phone - LISTEN IN!

Hi Everyone. Ed Viesturs calling for Greatoutdoors.com. It’s the evening of April 20th. 5:30 in the evening here. We’re about to have dinner.

We got up this morning and had some filming to do and some photography. Jake Norton and I climbed up about 1000 feet to the west shoulder. This was of course, in 1963, the same launching point where Hornbein and Unsoeld climbed to the west shoulder and then from there made their phenomenal accent via the West Ridge.

We climbed up there not only to get some acclimatization but just to get a different view and a different perspective of Camp II. Nobody slept great last night. That’s quite typical the first night at a new altitude. We’ll probably do a lot better tonight.

The plan for tomorrow is for us to climb uphill toward the Lhotse Face and establish the route to going to the Lhotse Face. There’s glacier of course and there’s crevasses. So we thought we’d take a climb uphill and maybe do a few rope lengths up the Lhotse Face before coming back down. We don’t have a lot of equipment up here yet. That’s all coming up in the next day or two.

And then tomorrow afternoon we’ll relax again. Spend another night and then the day after tomorrow we plan to all descend back to base camp for a couple days rest and then a few days after that we’ll be back here to Camp II.

So thanks for checking in. I’ll call again tomorrow night. Let you know how our day went but the weather’s been phenomenal. Everybody is happy and healthy up here. The rest of our team is slowly working their way up the mountain on different schedules as well, but that’s quite normal also. Thanks for checking in.


Camp II for the First Time this Year

By Ed Viesturs - April 18th, 2009 10:26 pm GMT -0700

Via Satellite Phone - LISTEN IN!

Hi everyone, Ed Viesturs again, still April 19, just before 10 a.m. here in Nepal. Just arrived at camp II, a hair under 21,000 feet. That was a good workout. Some of the tents are up here. Still some work to do, throwing rocks,  building tent platforms.  But it is nice to be here. I got here pretty quickly under a decent load, 45 pounds or so.

My plan is for the rest of the day to help the Sherpa build some more tent sites, and then probably tomorrow rather than resting and acclimatizing, I’ll  probably drop back  down to Camp I  early in the morning and grab another load and bring it up here.  I look at these acclimatization days more as training days, I like to push myself  every day if I can, carry a decent load, and climb fast enough that I’m breathing hard and that my heart is pounding. I don’t like to go too slow or carry too light of a load because I think I still need to tax myself in preparation for summit day, which will by far the hardest day of the whole  trip.   So these day for me are still training,.

We’ve got a lot of time to kill before  we get to the summit day. So I want to keep pushing  myself hard in those days before that. So here I am at Camp II,  it’s a beautiful beautiful day, you can still hear the jet stream blowing off the summit, it’s still like a bunch of 747s  up there, but it is clear and calm down here. Glad to be at Camp II, 21,00 feet or so  and I’ll call you again tomorrow, thanks for checking in.

 


At Camp I, Headed for Camp II

By Ed Viesturs - April 18th, 2009 7:43 pm GMT -0700

Via Satellite Phone - LISTEN IN!

Hi everyone, it’s Ed Viesutrs calling for GreatOutdoors.com, it’s 8 a.m. April 19 . . .  spent . . . . I was here yesterday morning, I got here a little before seven, I was able to go through the icefall in about two and half hours, which was a half hour faster than last time, and that for me is a good indication of my acclimatization, every time you do one of these trips up and down, if you can go faster and feel just as good, that’s a good  that’s an indication  that you are acclimatizing. . . . .Melissa Arnot is coming up behind us,  and  . . . right now are packed up and headed up to Camp II. It’s a relatively simple glacial walk for about two hours to get to Camp II, there are crevasses of course that we need to be aware of, but no huge objective dangers as we have experienced in the Icefall.  Packed up now ready to take the stroll up to Camp II where we plan to spend at least two and   hopefully three  . . .nights to acclimatize. It’s a beautiful morning. There’s lots of activity here, lots of Sherpa going up and down, carrying loads, lots of climbers going up and down, it’s a very very busy place, it’s fun to see all this activity.  And it’s a beautiful beautiful day, not a breath of wind, clear skies, and really looking forward to getting up to Camp II So I’ll call when we get up there later today and thanks for checking in. Ed Viesturs out.

 


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