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Incredibly Dry in the Western Cwm

By Dave Hahn - April 29th, 2010 9:12 am GMT -0700

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This is Dave calling from Advanced Base Camp - 21,300 feet on Mt. Everest. Today, an easy day for us since it was just our, we’d just completed our first night up here so we took it easy today. We walked up to about 22,000, just short of the bergschrund, the big crack in the bottom of the Lhotse face.

Our Sherpa team, they did the real work today, seven of them, lead by Tendi carried everything up for Camp III, everything that will be needed for Camp III so they established that really well. Otherwise we just had our easy stroll.

It’s incredibly dry up here at the top of the Western Cwm. Looking up the SW face of Everest it’s just pure rocks and you can see there’s no snow accumulation on the glacier where normally all the avalanches would run down and fill things up pretty thick in the Cwm, but there hasn’t been any snow, there haven’t been any avalanches, it’s just bare. It’s really something.

But the climbing looks like it’s going pretty well. We saw a number of Sherpas from other teams going to the South Col today. And the other half of our team; Chad Peele and Casey Grom, and Rob and Scott, they came up for a visit from Camp I. They’re going to move up tomorrow. So we’ll all be here at Advanced Base Camp tomorrow.

Our big plan, the four of us; myself, Michael, Seth Waterfall, and Leif Whittaker, is to get up early tomorrow and go on to the Lhotse face, get on the fixed ropes and get up as high as we can, assuming that’s Camp III. We’ll see. Bye for now.

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This is Dave. I’m calling from Advanced Base Camp. We’re up here, we’re camping tonight at 21,300 feet, head of the Western Cwm, up under the SW face of Everest and north face of Lhotse, looking up at Nuptse.

It snowed this afternoon, it steadily clouded up. Didn’t seem to affect us coming up this morning in the Cwm in bright sunshine. But in the afternoon it clouded up and then snowed a little this afternoon and this evening. It’s still cloudy, you can’t quite see the mountaintops, but not much of a storm so far. Not much wind with it.

And during the good part of the day sherpa’s from several teams managed to put the route in up all the way to the South Col, 26,000 feet, so that’s great. The door is getting opened for getting people up to summit here. Not us, we’re still weeks away from it. But there are some people in a hurry and we're sure hoping they take advantage to get up and get out. But that was the big news today. Myself, Seth Waterfall, Leif Whittaker and Michael Brown are spending the night at ABC along with our sherpa team. Bye for now.

Successful Trip to Camp I, Ready to Go Higher

By Dave Hahn - April 27th, 2010 9:08 am GMT -0700

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This is Dave calling from Camp I up through the Western Cwm. It’s about, just under 20,000 feet here. We came up this morning; myself and Michael Brown and Leif Whittaker along with Galgen Sherpa, who was helping Michael with the camera gear. And we made pretty good time of it. But the Icefall is on the move and, boy there are some parts of it that are getting kinda scary. Some cracks that are getting pretty big to step over and some walls that are leaning to one side. But it wasn’t very crowded in there this morning so we did make pretty good time. We were up here at Camp I by about 8:30 in the morning and that turned out to be just in time. A series of squalls came through today so we mostly just stayed in the tents and took it easy.

Seth Waterfall was already up here. He had done a walk up to Camp II and he’s back here for tonight and we’re all going to go to Camp II tomorrow. And yeah, we’re kinda excited to finally move into Advanced Base Camp and get a little bit higher - 21,300 and start getting ready for the Lhotse face. All for now.

Moving Back Up

By Dave Hahn - April 26th, 2010 8:34 am GMT -0700

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This is Dave at Mt. Everest. Our finish of our last rest day. It’s just after sunset. I’m watching Leif Whittaker and Mark Tucker play horse shoes. They’re tied and it’s sudden death overtime.

We are just passing the time. Last night …..mouse key on my laptop in our dining tent before going to bed. Pretty much today just took it easy. Our Sherpa’s team had it a little rougher. They did a carry up to Camp II and back, and they’re looking at moving to II tomorrow. Myself, Leif and Michael Brown are gonna move up to I tomorrow morning. So we’ll get up early for that. Michael will film a little bit along the way again. He’s been getting great stuff. So our goal, we’re going to sleep at I tomorrow night. Seth Waterfall is already up there. He’s trying to catch up on his acclimatization so he’s spending the night there tonight. We’ll catch up to him and then we’re going to move to II the following night.

So everything is going pretty well here. Passing the time in late April on Mt. Everest. Getting ready for the month. These next couple acclimatization climbs are going to get harder; progressively harder. We’re getting into them.

A Rest Day at Base Camp

By Dave Hahn - April 25th, 2010 8:25 am GMT -0700

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This is Dave calling from Mt Everest, at Base Camp again. Another rest day. An all around rest day today. Our Sherpa team rested. Everybody on the team took it easy. Leif Whittaker and I went for a hike down on the lower part of the Khumbu Glacier, just exploring for an hour or two, stretching our legs and then back up to Camp. An easy afternoon up here.

It did start snowing this evening. It hadn’t snowed for awhile but we got an inch or two in the evening. But at the moment I’m standing under clear skies and a big moon throwing out lots of light. All the mountains are standing out. It’s pretty quiet right now. The winds not moving anything around. Conditions are pretty good.

There’s still negotiations going on to figure out the fixing of the last part of the Lhotse face up to the South Col and then a plan in place for getting that summit terrain fixed in the first week in May, I think is the plan but pretty early for us, we’re still going to be working on our acclimatization rounds at that point. So far everything is going well. Everybody is resting easy at Base Camp right now. Bye for now.

Sherpa Team Establishes Site of Camp III on Lhotse Face

By Dave Hahn - April 24th, 2010 4:25 pm GMT -0700

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This is Dave Hahn calling from Everest Base camp. Today was another rest day for the climbing team. Our Sherpa team put in a good hard day of work, they did a carry up to Camp II with Oxygen today, or carrying oxygen. Yesterday our Sherpa team established our Camp III location on the Lhotse Face, 24,000 feet, they were part of a rope fixing effort made up of a number of teams, and they put that up, that’s our expedition high point so far but of course none of the members have made it up quite that high, we sure hope to make it up that high on our next rotation.. But that wasn’t today, today was rest. And most of the other teams seem to be on about that same schedule, we had a pretty good stream of visitors most of the day coming by to say hi, folks that are also down for a rest. So things are quiet here at the moment. Bye for now.

Icefall Changes

By Dave Hahn - April 22nd, 2010 9:38 am GMT -0700

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Dave Hahn calling from Everest Base Camp. Base Camp feels pretty easy and comfortable after being up in the Western Cwm for three days. We got up, not too early this morning. We wanted to let most of the people that were going up, the Sherpa’s carrying loads, go ahead and get through the Icefall before we came down but we started down around 7:30 this morning while it was still cool and in shadow. And yeah, the Icefall is on the move. It’s kind of startling to see the changes in just three days. The crevasses that are getting bigger. Places were you were stepping across easier a couple days ago and now have to jump across but we got down in good time, we were down just after 10:00 this morning walking into Base Camp. And again, life is pretty easy down here, good meals and nice places to sit and the air feels thick which is kinda why we went up; to improve our acclimatization and get our climbing practice in.

We were meeting lots of western climbers moving up through the Icefall, moving up on their rotations. It’s always something of a social thing being out on the trail, running into Sherpa’s that we know and other climbing teams that we know, other climbers that we’ve bumped into on mountains around the world in the last couple years, so we were seeing lots of folks like that today. But also we were trying to keep moving down through the dangerous part of the Icefall, checking out the collapse from yesterday but checking it out while we moved pretty quickly. All for now. We’ll be at Base Camp tomorrow as well, of course, getting a couple days rest down here before we go back up. Bye now.

Collapse in the Icefall

By Dave Hahn - April 21st, 2010 9:19 am GMT -0700

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Great Outdoors, this is Dave up in the Western Cwm at Camp I on Mt. Everest. And a pretty nice day today. It was windy through the night last night, moving the tents around a little bit but no crisis out of it. It was all clear and nice when we got up this morning.

The day started out with something of a scare though. There was a collapse in the Icefall and just narrowly missed some of our Sherpa team and some good friends from a different Sherpa team, but then they were able to negotiate through the collapsed ice and found a new route through, so it all ended up OK.

We went on up to Camp II again today as a hike, along myself, Michael and Leif, along with Chad Peele and Scott Jones. And we had a nice cruise on up there, had lunch at Camp II and then walked back down for the afternoon at Camp I. So our plan, my plan, along with Leif and Michael is to head down to Base Camp early in the morning and get some easier rest down there. All right, all for now.

Ice Avalanche Debris in the Western Cwm

By Dave Hahn - April 20th, 2010 8:21 am GMT -0700

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This is Dave calling from Camp I on Mt Everest. And today Leif Whittaker, Michael Brown and myself, we just took a kind of leisurely hike up the Western Cwm, up to Camp II, 21,300 feet. It was kind of an interesting walk. There was an incredible amount of avalanche debris out in the Cwm from ice avalanches, the biggest of which were off of Nuptse that crossed all the way across to the western shoulder of Everest, so completely covering the valley. So we were walking in that for some time. No telling when that came down but pretty sobering to see how much came down.

We had a nice time at Camp II. Our Sherpa’s had established ABC, Advanced Base Camp, up there yesterday. And we took advantage of it by, Leif and Michael had nice big plates of dalbat up there for lunch. We laid out in the sun enjoying the place and then came down after a couple hours and took it easy here again at Camp I. And that’s how we do it; we climb high and sleep low and work up our acclimatization. Hopefully we’ll sleep better for that good exercise and altitude today. All for now. Bye.

The Team Reaches Camp I

By Dave Hahn - April 19th, 2010 8:46 am GMT -0700

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This is Dave calling from Camp I - 19,840 feet in the Western Cwm. We made it up here this morning, no trouble. Michael Brown shot lots of good video of Leif and myself coming through the Icefall. We didn’t have much for traffic problems. There were a bunch of other teams out but we didn’t get held up. We seemed to flow right through and around and we were up here nice and early, just after 8:00 in the morning.

And then it gets so hot in the Western Cwm with the sun reflecting off these straight up and down walls and this big white glacier that we pretty much hunkered down in the tents. Our Sherpa team, under Pende, had done a great job of popping up a camp for us and saved us a whole lot of work when we got here. And so we spent the day finishing off camp, digging latrines, and so forth and hydrating, melting snow for water.

And so this evening it’s 7:30, it’s pitch dark right now and it’s snowing lightly. And myself, Michael and Leif are up here. We’ve got plenty of neighbors. Willy Benegas is right next door with his team. Mike Roberts and Ang Dorje are right next door on the other side with the Adventure Consultants Team. There are a few other teams around but it’s not crowded here right now. We’re looking forward to a quiet night, hoping the wind doesn’t blow and then we’re going to see about walking up the Western Cwn tomorrow and getting an acclimatization hike in. Bye for now.

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