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New Photos From Everest

By Peter Potterfield - April 18th, 2009 4:12 pm GMT -0700

Here is a sample of recent photographs taken on Mount Everest in the past week by photographer Jake Norton and other team members as Ed Viesturs and the First Ascent climbers climbed to Camp I and returned to base camp.


Preparing to Climb Higher - Part III

By Ed Viesturs - April 17th, 2009 9:48 am GMT -0700

Via Satellite Phone - LISTEN IN!

So just to finish off, three other members of our six member climbing team tomorrow will be Jake Norton, still photographer, also Everest climber – twice. And Gerry Moffat, who’s also climbed Everest before, he’s one of the videographers. And John Griber, who will also be joining us. He’s also shooting video and he has also climbed Everest and is a very competent mountaineer. So we have a very strong six member team going up the mountain tomorrow.

Dave Hahn and his client are going to hang back for a few days.

They’re not quite ready to head up, so this is where we start to separate slightly, as far as our schedules are concerned. So I’ll give you a call tomorrow night from Camp I and thanks again for checking in to Greatoutdoors.com.


Preparing to Climb Higher - Part II

By Ed Viesturs - April 17th, 2009 9:25 am GMT -0700

Via Satellite Phone - LISTEN IN!

Just finishing that dispatch. So as a community we all worked on the helicopter pad today which was a great event. And tomorrow six of us are going to move up the mountain; myself, Peter Whittaker, Melissa Arnot and our three cameramen. And I’ll mention their names as well. Jake Norton, long time RMI guide and still photographer.

He has a history with the north side of Everest and was one of the people who helped find Mallory’s body in 1999. And our two videographers, Gerry Moffat, husband of Melissa Arnot…(satellite transmission failure)


Preparing to Climb Higher - Part I

By Ed Viesturs - April 17th, 2009 8:56 am GMT -0700

Via Satellite Phone - LISTEN IN!

Hi Everyone. Ed Viesturs reporting here for Greatoutdoors.com. Here at Everest base camp, the evening of April 17th.  

Tomorrow the majority of our team will head up to Camp I. Myself, Peter Whittaker, Melissa Arnot, some camera people and we are planning to be leaving here in the morning around 4:00 o’clock in the morning to climb up through the Icefall and then get to Camp I where we will spend the day and spend the night. If I feel good enough tonight I will also make the journey all the way back up to Camp II and back to Camp I.

This is the second of our acclimatization trips.

The first was our up and back to Camp I. This trip will be a little longer. We’ll spend at least one night at Camp I. And then I hope also to spend at least two or three nights at our advanced base camp, Camp II, at just over 21,000 feet.

The weather’s been good. Today we had a good day here at base camp organizing our gear. We also had another community event. There’s a Himalayan Rescue Association Clinic that is stationed here at base camp. And about 150 of us spent a couple of hours today throwing rocks in the effort to help build a helicopter platform here at base camp in the event that someone needs a rescue, a helicopter can fly in and the pilot will have a flat and safe…(satellite transmission failure)


Town Hall Meeting at Base Camp

By Ed Viesturs - April 16th, 2009 8:14 am GMT -0700

Via Satellite Phone - LISTEN IN!

Hi Everyone. It’s Ed Viesturs. The evening of, April 16th; still here at Everest base camp.

We have changed our plans slightly. We were hoping to go and move to Camp I tomorrow on the 17th, but in consulting with our sherpa team we have delayed a day and decided that we will move instead to Camp I on the 18th and from there we will go to Camp II on the day after and stay there for two or three days for acclimatization.

A lot of our decisions are based not only what we want to do but what our sherpa team asks us to do as well. They are integral to what we’re doing here. They are highly experienced and many times we have to defer to them as far as what is in place up high on the mountain and what we’re able to do. And they didn’t feel comfortable yet with us moving to Camp I or Camp II and also felt that the route between Camp I and Camp II wasn’t quite yet established. So we’re going to wait another day here tomorrow at base camp and then move up to Camp I on the 18th.

Everything’s going well. This will be our acclimatization round high on the mountain. When we move up for this foray we’ll sleep at Camp I for a night and then move to Camp II for a few nights and then come down back to base camp.


Successful Trip to Camp I

By Ed Viesturs - April 14th, 2009 9:03 pm GMT -0700

Via Satellite Phone - LISTEN IN!

Hi Everyone. It’s Ed Viesturs. Wednesday morning, April 15.

Yesterday Dave Hahn and myself, made the round trip from base camp to Camp I. We left here at 3:00am and climbed through the Icefall to Camp I. Base camp is at about 17,500 feet and our Camp I is 19,750 feet, so we have about a 2200 vertical foot climb through the Icefall.

The Icefall is kind of a gateway to the upper part of the mountain.

It starts literally about 100 yards right out of base camp. And then we enter into this massive jumble of slowly moving ice blocks, crevasses that are 200 or 300 feet deep and it’s constantly shifting and moving. It’s very dynamic. It’s almost this living place.

There’s 25 ladder sections that are used within the Icefall to span these crevasses and bridges. Some of the steeper walls are climbed using these ladders that are roped together in sections of two or three to get up these vertical sections. And the key to getting through the Icefall is to be very quick and very efficient. So speed is safety.

Dave and I made it in about two and a half hours. Some people spend anywhere from five to eight hours to climb up through the Icefall. But we were lucky enough to be fast enough to get through the Icefall very quickly. Once we popped out of the Icefall in two and a half hours it was another ½ hour or so of casual glacier climbing to the site of our Camp I.

Today the rest of the team is going up and down to Camp I. Tomorrow will be a rest day and on Friday we will be making the trip to go to Camp I and to spend a few nights there to keep our acclimatization going, and eventually move to Camp II.

So I’ll let you know tomorrow what’s shaking. Thanks again for checking in on Greatoutdoors.com


Icefall Route Now Open

By Ed Viesturs - April 13th, 2009 8:50 am GMT -0700

Via Satellite Phone - LISTEN IN!

Hi It’s Ed Viesturs calling, Monday, April 13th in the evening.  We had some pretty good news today, late yesterday we found out the route to Camp I through the icefall was completed so 15 of our Sherpa went to Camp I today with loads and two of those continued on as well all the way to establish our Camp II.  So the gates are open as you might say. Tomorrow morning at 3 in the morning Dave Hahn and myself will be leaving here at base camp to carry light loads and to climb to Camp I as well and then make the round trip as quickly as possible. So that’s the plan for tomorrow. The Sherpas will take a rest day, it is an actual holiday for them tomorrow, so they won’t be working and the day after, on Tuesday, I’m sure we’ll have a full Sherpa team going again to Camp I and our First Ascent team of climbers we will be going to camp I again as well on Wednesday, but for  tomorrow on Tuesday Dave Hahn and I will be making the round trip to Camp I starting very early at 3 o’clock in the morning. Thanks for checking in.

 


Push to Camp I Delayed

By Ed Viesturs - April 12th, 2009 9:37 am GMT -0700

Via Satellite Phone - LISTEN IN!

Hi everyone, Ed Viesturs calling, April 12, Sunday, Happy Easter everyone . . . it’s (satellite transmission fails). . . start climbing the mountain. There is one small glitch though, the Icefall route isn’t quite fixed all the way to Camp I, we hope that will happen . . . (satellite transmissions fails) . . . the job of doing that . . . the ice fall doctors are working to put the route through the ice fall . . .  so that alters my plans going to Camp I on the 13th. . . (satellite transmission fails) . . . members from the team and just practice on some of the lower sections of ladders that are crossing crevasses  make sure everybody is crossing ladders and doing it safely and efficiently. So I’ll check in again tomorrow night and let you know what the progress of the icefall is and hopefully on Tuesday the 14th well be able to go up and touch Camp I. Thanks a lot.

 


Preparing for the Icefall

By Ed Viesturs - April 11th, 2009 11:25 am GMT -0700

Via Satellite Phone - LISTEN IN!

Hi Everyone. Ed Viesturs calling. Saturday evening April 11. We’re still here at base camp today. Tomorrow is the day where we will have our puja, our blessing ceremony. And once that’s done we’re safe, or blessed, to go climb the mountain.

Turns out the Icefall Doctors didn’t quite get to Camp I today. Hopefully they’ll do so tomorrow. And if that occurs then on Monday the 13 we’ll stick with the plan of having three of us go all the way up to Camp I and back and the rest of the team going in the lower part of the Icefall to get familiar with walking across the ladders and that type of thing.

We did spend a couple hours this morning practicing ladder crossings. There’s 25 ladder sections, that we know of, in the Icefall. A lot of people are unfamiliar with crossing these ladders, especially wearing crampons. Some of these ladders are used to bridge crevasses and they’re placed horizontally and sometimes these ladders are used to climb vertical ice walls. Sometimes three or four or five sections of ladders tied together end on end to span either these crevasses or climb up and over ice walls with in the Icefall.

So we did a little practicing today for those that hadn’t done it before. And it’s also good for people like me that have used the ladders before to refresh ourselves so that when we go through the Icefall we can be quick and efficient.

So I’ll give a ring tomorrow again. Thanks for listening. Ed Viesturs signing out.


Getting Base Camp Established

By Ed Viesturs - April 10th, 2009 11:24 am GMT -0700

Via Satellite Phone - LISTEN IN!

Hi everyone it’s Ed Viesturs calling, Friday evening April 10, still here at Everest base camp, this will be my third night here. Our entire team is here. We are spending the next day or so getting our base camp all buffed out, even though the Sherpa were here a number of days a head of us getting the tent platforms in place and the tents up, there are a lot of other things we need to do as a team to get the camp established. We’ve got a number of  electronics here, laptops, satellite phones that are powered by solar panels and we’ve got those all set up. The last loads of our group equipment have finally arrived as they were stuck down lower in Kathmandu due to weather. But everything is now here. Looks like we’re about one day away from having the route through the icefall fixed with ropes and ladders. The Icefall Doctors, as we call them, do an amazing job, they are a group of Sherpa that have been hired by all the teams to fix a route through the ice fall. It looks like by the end of tomorrow there will be a route in to Camp I.

 
On Easter Sunday, which is also a very auspicious day here in Nepal, we will have our puja, which is a blessing ceremony, which safeguards us and allows us and the Sherpa to climb above base camp. And on the 13th then a few of us along with a group of Sherpa plane to climb all the way to Camp I, myself included, and to carry some loads to get Camp I established on the 13th, assuming the weather holds and everything stays good. So that’s an update for now, thanks for checking in and I’ll call back tomorrow.

 


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