Lhotse Second Rotation


Posted on Tuesday 16th May, 2017

It is the 16th of May and I am writing from Dingboche. I didn’t expect to still be here and should be at Base Camp or on my way to the summit by now but I have been really sick with gastro intestinal problems. It’s not been easy the last week or so because of this. It actually started at Camp 2 on the last rotation 9 days ago now. It seems like so long ago now we were up on the mountain! I realise I have not written since after Island Peak so I will need to catch up later because I did not get a chance to update at Base Camp. Since Island Peak we have been to Lobuche Peak and also completed our first rotation on Lhotse. Please check my Facebook page for photos and updates.

The summit of Lobuche East Peak

We had plans to go to Camp 2, then onto Camp 3 the next day, spend the night and hike higher to the yellow band and descend to Camp 2 then back to Base Camp. Our rotation didn’t quite end up that way however. Mariano, Vibe and I all started through the icefall at 3:30am but Mariano went ahead as he wanted to take a load to Camp 3. My new friend from Norway Vibe decided to come with me to Camp 2 so she could also do her second rotation. We had a great time through the icefall and took an hour longer than the first time I went through it. I didn’t mind as I wanted to still have energy to climb the next day in any case. We met up with our friend from Iran Azim who is very strong and hoping to complete his 14th 8000er without oxygen Lhotse, this season. Vibe planned to share the tent with him and his climbing partner Saeed in Camp 3. It was really hot in the Western Cwm on the way to Camp 2 and I slowed down. I began to feel very tired, I now think this was the beginning of my sickness. Eventually we made it to 6400m and Mariano was already in the tent after dropping a load to Camp 3. He was super tired as well of course! Vibe continued to the Seven Summits campsite. Both Mariano and I had real trouble trying to eat dinner. This is not like us and especially for me as I am always hungry and can eat a lot at that height. Not going to go into details here but I had the worst night ever. Thankfully Mariano is a very deep sleeper as I was up maybe 8 times in the night using wag bags with terrible diarrhoea.

Climbing in the Khumbu icefall photo by Vibeke Sefland

 

Vibe and I at Camp 2

So that put a stop to our plan to continue to Camp 3 the next day. I was so worried to interrupt the rotation but I had no antibiotics on me. Fortunately I popped over to see Rob at Adventure Consultants and got some off him. Unfortunately the ones I got off him were not the right ones but I had a rest day and actually started to feel a little better. So the next day once again Mariano set off at his own pace towards Camp 3 so that he could make a tent platform and set up the tent. Typically I take twice as long as him! Considering though that I am climbing with one of the fastest climbers in the world, I am pretty happy with that and I can sometimes keep up with the climbing Sherpas. I didn’t have too much energy though from being sick so it took me 6 hours to reach our tent at 7200m, a step higher than the main campsite. I stopped at the lower camp to see Vibe and the Iranians and they gave me some water which was awesome as I was almost out and super thirsty. I also got some Cipro antibiotics off Vibe, which I thought were the best ones for diarrhoea. I was so lucky to have the tent set up when I arrived and Mariano was already resting in his sleeping bag. I was also very happy to stop moving as it is hard work going up the fixed lines with a pack.

Looking down the fixed ropes on the Lhotse Face

 

The view from our tent at 7200m looking into the Western Cwm and down at Camp 2

We slept pretty well at that altitude; I slept in my down suit inside my Main Range sleeping bag. The next morning it was cloudy and starting to snow. I attempted to keep to our plan and began ascending the fixed ropes. I was so tired and out of energy however I only got around 100m higher than the tent before I was exhausted. It was starting to snow a lot at that point so we turned back. Instead we decided to spend one more night at 7200m to aid our acclimatisation. I definitely slept a lot better the second night and managed to eat well up there. We packed up the tent and left it there because there was a lot of snow in the forecast and we didn’t want to come back to a broken tent. We rappelled down the Lhotse face on the rappel lines. They were great with two ropes all the way down with some sections over ice but not a problem with crampons on. Most of the Sherpa do not use these lines that are located separate to the up ropes. It drives us crazy because as you go up the Sherpas and their clients all come down the up ropes because they think it is easier. They mostly don’t rappel and just grab the rope. One actually fell above me and I was waiting for him to take me out but he regained himself thankfully. It is so dangerous and I don’t understand why they don’t like the rappel lines… They can’t rappel?? I asked one of the clients why they were coming down the up ropes and they told me the Sherpa said the down ropes were dangerous?! Crazy!! The rappel ropes are a great idea and stop congestion. It would be a lot safer if people just had the appropriate skills to climb and rappel and use the ropes the way they are designed.

 

Anyhow we got down very quickly as we had all the ropes to ourselves of course as everyone else was going down the up ropes. At Camp 2 we left our gear in the tent and repacked to head down to Base. It took me longer than usual as I was so tired from being sick but we got back to Base around 3pm and we left Camp 3 around 9am with a big break at Camp 2. As we were going down the weather was getting worse and we got back to snow in Base Camp. It was great to get back though and have a delicious dinner. Everyone was at Base now and our dining tent was full.

Looking back towards the Lhotse Face with Everest on the left

 

Some of the ladders in the ice fall

The next day I was feeling ok and I washed all my clothes. It then started to snow very early so I had to hang them inside. At dinner I felt pretty good but perhaps I ate too much because I had a terrible night again! It is not fun in a tent at night with stomach problems. Anyhow I got through the night but it was very long. The next morning I slowly made it to Everest ER and a lovely Doctor from Australia Megan saw me. She said that Nepali bacteria are now resistant to Cipro and finally gave me the proper antibiotics. I knew had to go down in altitude if I was going to get better so went back and started packing. Mariano and I left Base just before lunchtime. It was fine walking downhill but I struggled on all the uphill sections of the track. We stopped for over an hour at Lobuche village for lunch and still managed to get into DIngboche just before 6pm. I was so happy to have the same room I shared with Nathan when he was here with me. I took the antibiotics for three days starting the day I left Base. I thought I was getting better and started to eat normal food again. Unfortunately I think it was too soon as once again I had a horrendous night but this time I was also vomiting. I somehow even managed to vomit food I had eaten 2 days ago. It wasn’t good. I thought I was better but now back to square one. So yesterday I only ate toast and rice and drank a lot of electrolyte. Today I am starting to feel a bit better but still tired.

Back in my tent at Base Camp

We have to leave tomorrow to head back to Base if we are going to have any chance of making the last weather window. I am exhausted and have no energy from being so sick and feel like I have lost a lot of weight. It is going to be tough! I will just have to take one day at a time. It looks like we will attempt the summit on either the 22nd, 23rd or 24th depending on which day has the least wind and snow forecast. I hope I can feel better soon and have a good chance at the summit. I can’t even imagine climbing the Lhotse face in my current condition but I still have a few days to improve. I wish I was feeling 100% but that’s just the nature of the game I guess, no matter how careful you are anything can happen. Thankfully it looks like many people will summit before us, which is good because there are so many people with Everest permits this year as well as around 100 with Lhotse permits. So hopefully many teams will already have made their summit attempts by the time we head up the mountain. So that is my news for the moment. While we have been resting in Dingboche at Hotel Countryside, we have watched movies! It has been amazing on the flat screen satellite TV here. So that has been a treat!

 

Thank you to everyone for your support of my expedition so far and lovely comments of support on my Facebook page. Big thanks to Mont Adventure Equipment, The North Face Australia and New Zealand, Cousin Trestec ropes and Ablaze Print Race Bibs for supporting my trip with awesome gear and clothing. My life literally depends on it!

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Island Peak Summit


Posted on Sunday 23rd April, 2017

Hi folks, I hope you all had a great Easter and had some fun long weekend adventures! Well Sonia, Nathan and I have been on the go since we arrived in Kathmandu. We were greeted by Babu Sherpa who has helped organise all my expeditions here since 2007 and it was so great to see him again as he is more of a friend than a business associate. We stayed at a beautiful hotel in Thamel called the Dalai La which is centrally located for shopping and has a great courtyard restaurant and a good vibe. We had a day to buy the extra bits and pieces we needed for the expedition and also the high food I needed for Mariano and I on Lhotse. Kathmandu is always hectic but we managed to catch up with some friends for a night before we flew into Lukla with a lot of expedition bags! After sorting out our porters, which took some time as there were not many in Lukla, we started on the busy trail towards Everest. Our first night we stayed at the Yeti Mountain Home in Monjo. The rooms were amazing, very big and great mattresses, hot shower, the works. Obviously you need to pay for this luxury so it is one of the most expensive lodges on the trail but we treated ourselves while we could. We were not super impressed with the service at the lodge however so we felt because of that we would not go back there again. When we headed to the Yeti Mountain Home in Namche it was with some nervousness as we thought it might be the same. However it wasn’t, it was awesome! Most lodges are run by Sherpa families and that is one of the reasons they are so homely. You can’t expect the same type of vibe in a chain of lodges but Shiva the manager made our stay really enjoyable. It is a beautiful hotel with views over Namche and an amazing lounge room, the walls lined with photos from the 1953 Everest expedition with Hillary and Tenzing.

The chortens and mani stones on the way to Phakding

Both Sonia and Nathan have trekked the trail before in fact Sonia has done three treks into Everest Base Camp already. It was still interesting for us all to see how much Namche has grown in the past few years. We had an acclimatisation day in Namche and Nathan was feeling sick with the flu. So while he rested I took Sonia up Kunde Ri which is a ridge high above Kunde village. From Namche it is 900m up in elevation so it is a great acclimatisation trek with an awesome view from the top, well when it isn’t clouded over. We have a lot of cloud and haze but we could still see down the other side of the ridge to Thamo, Thame and Mende. Great way to fill in a few hours before heading to one of the local cafes for lunch.

Top of Kunde Ri 4400m

The next day we headed off to my friend Ang Jangmu’s lodge, Rivendell in Deboche. I carried 20kg in my pack during the trekking days to train for Lhotse so it was a tough slog up the hill to Tengoboche from the river. It was awesome to see Ang Jangmu again and the lodge was so busy! She is Dawa’s wife’s sister so when Dawa and I have been climbing together we stayed many nights there. Nathan and I also stayed there on our Winter Khumbu honeymoon. It was good to see she was fully booked and slowly regaining the lost income from the earthquake and the damage to the lodge. It snowed overnight so we woke up to a world of white which was really beautiful. We continued on to Dingboche via old Pengboche to visit the Lama Geshi. It was a small detour off the busy trail but it was so nice to not have many trekkers around as we kept getting stuck behind slow, large groups that were hard to overtake. We went to the Lama’s house with our Kharta scarves wrapped around our donations and asked for blessings for safe climbs. He tied knotted strings around our necks, prayed for us in Tibetan and threw rice at us and we were one our way. Even though I am not Buddhist I would always get the Lama’s blessing before heading onto the mountain, as all the climbing Sherpa do. We continued through the snow to arrive at a relatively new lodge in Dingboche called Hotel Countryside run by Dawa Sherpa. Dawa and her husband built the lodge in 2014 and then had to fix it again after the earthquake and have just been open for business for a year. It is not a huge lodge and super homely, clean and nice rooms with great food. I highly recommend it. Dawa is heavily pregnant and manages to run a tight ship. To help acclimatise before heading from Dingboche to Chukkung, we had a rest day. It was great to not carry a heavy pack for the day. In the afternoon we hiked up the hill behind the village to get some great views towards Makalu.

Blessed by the Lama Geshi in Pengboche

We had met Lobsang in 2014 when Nathan and I came to attempt Island Peak in Winter but didn’t summit due to high wind and a bunch of other reasons. His lodge in Chukkung is called Khangri Resort and it is really nice with an awesome sunny courtyard that has views to Island Peak and also Ama Dablam. It is a short 2 hour hike to Chukkung from Dingboche and we spent the next day at Lobsang’s lodge as well. We planned to head straight to Island Peak high camp which is 5450m and skip the Base Camp so we hiked up Chukkung Ri on our acclimatisation day. Sonia had never been there before and we were lucky to have clear skies and awesome views from 5500m. It is really worth the effort to get to the top of the ridge as many trekkers don’t actually hike up the last rocky part of the ridge and prefer to stop lower down. I would almost go so far as to say it is one of the better view points in the Khumbu. We stopped up there for a chapati lunch before heading back down to get our gear ready for the next day.

Chukkung Ri 5500m

A leisurely start, like everyday except summit day, saw us heading off towards high camp on Island Peak. There is no water or snow or ice to melt up there so we took our water with us thanks to the porters. We left at 9:30am and arrived at 2pm to start setting up the tent and then eating. Soups, noodles, Chai tea for afternoon tea and of our Backcountry Cuisine spaghetti bolognese dinner fuelled us up for the next morning’s early start. As per usual I took way too much stuff as I had everything I needed in the event that there were no fixed ropes. Ice hammer and axe, rope (which we did need for the glacier), snow stakes, ice screws, emergency gear etc. We left the tent at 4:20am and kept leap frogging a group from Norway on the trail and rocky scramble to the glacier. I had a huge pack and was surprised to see that their two Sherpa climbing guides had almost nothing. One had no back pack at all and the other just had a small daypack. Not sure how that would help anyone in the group if they fell in a crevasse??

Early morning, heading up to the glacier on Island Peak

The plateau before the final climb to the summit

We arrived at the glacier at around 7am and got our harnesses on and roped up for glacier travel. I short roped the first section of icy up hill and then continued with the rope in glacier travel mode through the crevasse field. We had to jump a few crevasses, cross snow bridges and climb a ladder before arriving on the plateau before the final head wall to the summit. Some people just walked through all this on their own unroped even though there were no fixed ropes which I thought was interesting. There were other groups already climbing the fixed ropes to the summit and coming down them as well. We ended up being in front of the group from Norway. We had to cross ladders to reach the actual head wall as there is a big crevasse that separates it from the glacier underneath. It was lucky Sonia practised this in our backyard as it wasn’t such a shock, even still she didn’t look down! Nathan unfortunately got stuck behind of the guys in the other group, behind Sonia and I. It was crazy, the guy didn’t even know how to put his ascender on the rope or how to use it, so Nathan had to help him. There were two guides for 7 people and some of them had no idea what they were doing. This was the worst part of the day, just being around these guys because they had no awareness of safety, one of the guides didn’t even have a helmet. There were lots of loose rocks on the route and it was easy enough to avoid them if you know what you are doing but sadly many people there didn’t even try to avoid knocking them down which was super frustrating. Anyhow after avoiding the abseilers coming down and the rocks getting knocked down we finally made it onto the summit ridge which was a relief. Sonia was pretty mentally exhausted by this time and Nathan was having a great time apart from having to help the guy that had no idea how to change over on the fixed lines. We made the summit at 12pm, super happy. Nathan was especially happy as this was the second time he had been there and he had not made it the first time. Sonia was probably more in shock that she did it than anything else!

Just after the first ladder, exiting the crevasse field

Crossing the crevasse to access the face that leads to the summit ridge

Island Peak summit 6189m

We abseiled back down under the large group that kept dropping rocks and ice on us. We went as fast as we could to get away from them and I abseiled next to Sonia, clipped into her to make sure she made it down safely. Someone dislodged a massive chunk of ice which hit me on the shoulder. I was lucky to not have been seriously injured, I just felt like it bruised the bone, more of a shock than anything and I was glad it didn’t hit Sonia. We were super happy to be off the face and away from everyone. The group came down and the guides packed away their rope which they used in the morning through the crevasse field. Apparently it was safe in the afternoon to just let everyone walk through the crevasses on their own. Very interesting guiding techniques were demonstrated that day. One guide was walking down an icy snow slope with a rope to his client. He was downhill from her and pulling her down the hill. She was very tired as he had apparently been doing this all day and she kept falling over. I told her it would be better for him to be behind her so if she fell he could actually do something about it. It was crazy up there and super stressful to see what other people were doing. On two occasions as Nathan was on the fixed ropes the Nepali guide just unclipped his safety so he wasn’t attached to anything. He was just trying to hurry everyone along and Nathan was really angry and told him not to touch his safety leash again. I just couldn’t believe there was no accident and that people were paying these guides to look after them. It was really sad and disappointing. I know for a fact there are awesome guides in Nepal but they weren’t on the mountain that day. So moral of the story people is be careful who you climb with!

Sonia weaving her way through the icefall

Our porters had been waiting for us at the tent for a couple of hours. We were pretty surprised they were still there when we got down at 4pm and would’ve just stayed another night at high camp if they were not waiting. We were so dehydrated as it was really hot on the glacier. We had to pack everything up so the porters could run back to Chukkung before it got dark. In the rush Nathan hardly gave them any of his gear and was stuck with a huge pack. My shoulder was pretty sore so I was keen to not carry 20kg again and made sure I shoved my climbing gear in the bags before they left. We stayed to organise our packs and headed off again downhill to Chukkung. We arrived back at Lobsang’s lodge in the mist at 8pm, I managed to navigate us back on the trail which I was stoked about as it was pitch black and a whiteout. We were super tired, hungry and dehydrated and smashed out dinner before passing out in bed. The next day we all felt a lot better and started to recover from the massive summit day. We re-sorted all our gear and headed back to Dingboche to the Hotel Countryside again. We love this lodge, in fact I am writing from the lodge now. Mariano arrived in Dingboche at the same time, having left his group in Lukla and had walked back up the valley again. We made a plan to meet in Lobuche tomorrow and we will head up Lobuche East Peak with Sonia. The weather now is really cloudy and we have had some snow. It should start to clear up tomorrow and be good for when we move to high camp and then the summit. Nathan left yesterday morning in a helicopter back to Lukla as he has to head back to work. He was lucky enough to share it with another guy in the lodge which made it quite cheap. He had to wait 5 hours in Lukla for the plane but he is now safe back at the Dalai La in Kathmandu enjoying all the delicious food Thamel has to offer….no not jealous!

I have been fighting off the flu the last week or so because Nathan has been sick almost the entire trip. It has been great to have 2 rest days at 4400m to recover and get strong again before moving up. From here, after Lobuche Peak, I continue to Base Camp with Mariano and Sonia heads back down the valley. Mariano and I will set up camp and start climbing so I want to feel healthy before getting there. I am not sure how much internet I am going have from here on to post another blog but I will be updating my Facebook page more regularly. If you are interested to follow along on our journey please also check my Facebook page here. Thanks folks!

Beautiful afternoon view from the glacier

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Lhotse…..again!


Posted on Monday 3rd April, 2017

So it has been a long time since I have posted on this website! I have been busy with my adventure business and mostly focussing on that over the last year and a half. I have been guiding lots of expedition training weekends here in the Blue Mountains, Winter mountaineering courses in the Snowy Mountains and two expeditions on Aconcagua in Argentina this last Summer. You can see my pics from the Aconcagua trips on my adventures website as well as all the info on my upcoming Winter courses.

Aconcagua Summit 6962m, February 11th 2017

I returned home from Argentina near the end of February and organised an expedition to Nepal commencing April 8th. This trip involves heading back to attempt to climb Lhotse 8516m for the third time, so I am super excited. For those who have not followed my 8000m mountain journey up until now here is a run down of my story so far.

After years of climbing and guiding in the Andes, I finally felt ready to attempt my first Himalayan expedition to Cho Oyu, 8201m in 2007. During the expedition my climbing partner suffered severe frost nip to eight of his toes and was unable to attempt the summit. I reached the summit alone and without the use of oxygen. From that moment on I was hooked on 8000m climbing. I felt very strong on the mountain and had plans to climb as many 8000ers as I could with no plans to use oxygen on them. I had hoped to climb Shishapangma the year after but the Chinese government closed the mountain that season so I ended up guiding two expeditions in the Khumbu region of Nepal. I once again passed by Everest Base Camp and saw my friends working on the mountain. I had never been interested to climb Everest before but I realised I felt a bit jealous of them. I spent a lot of time over those two months looking at Everest from various sides and that is when I decided I wanted to climb it. At the time I thought if I could summit Everest, the tallest mountain in the world, I wouldn’t need to climb any other 8000m mountains as I would be satisfied with that achievement alone. I believed I would actually save money in the long term that way….. Well that is what I thought at the time anyway.

Selfie on Cho Oyu May 2007

I was working as an outdoor instructor in Australia and it took me 3 years, a personal loan, an Australian Geographic grant and a last minute financial sponsorship for me to be on my way. I wasn’t planning on using oxygen and my dream was to summit without it. I went with just one climbing Sherpa, Dawa Tenzing. I didn’t want to be in a team because I wanted to make all my own decisions on the mountain. Mid expedition I realised I was too slow up high on the mountain from not climbing at altitude since 2008, which meant I was going to get too cold on summit day. In fact I had not even done any mountaineering during those 3 years, only rock climbing, skiing and hiking hills with a pack. I was physically and mentally fit but my altitude fitness was not there. I decided to use oxygen because I had spent so much money, I wanted a chance to at least summit the mountain. I didn’t actually have any bottles though so I had to buy them at Base Camp and borrow a mask and regulator there. The mask didn’t fit me and I couldn’t see properly with it on as it obstructed my view. Despite that and the fact we got the forecast wrong, Dawa and I summited in horrendous weather on May 12, 2011. We had no view, we didn’t eat all day as temps were around -60°C and froze our food inside our down suits.  We had 60km/hr wind on the summit ridge, a climber died in front of us, we ran out of oxygen at high camp, I lost my hearing for a few hours coming down the mountain and we didn’t sleep for four days. It was so tough that I swore I would never climb another 8000m mountain again. If you are interested to read more stories about that expedition, you can on my Everest blog here.

With Dawa on the Western Cwm of Everest 2011

Six months after returning home to Australia, somehow I forgot the bad times and suffering from Everest and started planning my next expedition. I suppose I hungered for something difficult so I decided to attempt to climb two 8000m mountains in a row. I picked Manaslu 8156m and Lhotse 8516m because they were logistically possible to achieve back to back and in fact Andrew Lock had done it before. With Everest under my belt, raising funds for that trip was infinitely easier. Dawa and I headed off to Manaslu in the Nepalese Spring of 2012. You can read more on this blog from that trip but to sum it up we summited Manaslu quite late in the season because the weather was so bad. We had to go from the camp at 6800m all the way to the summit because that was our only day we had a good weather window. I had one bottle of oxygen incase of an emergency and I decided to use it for summit day as it was just too far for me to go up in altitude in a day without it. I still feel dissapointed that I needed to use it to be honest.  Dawa and I then headed to attempt Lhotse which shares the same route as Everest until just above Camp 3 on the Lhotse Face. Conditions weren’t great there that season and the gully to the summit hardly had any ice in it which is not ideal climbing conditions. That meant there was a lot of rock fall in the bottleneck and it was way more dangerous than normal. At 7300m we decided to turn around, so close but so far.

Manaslu Base Camp 2012

I went back to attempt Lhotse again with Dawa in 2014 but there was a horrendous avalanche in the icefall which killed 16 Nepalis, consequently the government closed the mountain for the season. I was unable to go back in 2015, although I wanted to, when the earthquake struck and it was a disaster zone. I had a valid permit for Lhotse since 2014 as the government decided to honour them for 5 years since they closed the season. Last year I decided to have a break from my own climbing ambitions and focus my energy on building my adventure business.

Dawa at our high camp on Kyojo Ri in 2014 acclimatising for Lhotse

Since mid last year I had been planning a trip back to Lhotse after I confirmed two Aconcagua expeditions in the Summer. It is good timing as Aconcagua 6962m, is a great mountain for me to get strong and spend time at altitude during the expeditions to prepare for an 8000m expedition. Unfortunately Dawa was unable to join me as he had booked work on the north side of Everest. I didn’t really want to climb with someone I didn’t know and trust. I contacted other Sherpa friends but they were already working on Everest. So I just gave up on trying to organise the expedition in the end and was unsure if I could go.

While I was guiding on Aconcagua I caught up with my friend Mariano Galvan who was also working on the mountain. I have been meaning to climb an 8000m mountain with him for a few years now but our plans have never come together. Many years ago he worked for me as a porter on Aconcagua and at the time he was carrying 50kg loads to 6000m. When I climbed Everest he went to Lhotse the same season and summited it without oxygen and on his own. He has since climbed seven 8000m mountains without oxygen and mostly solo, including Everest. He told me he was planning on climbing on Nanga Parbat in Pakistan this year. He was able to come to Lhotse with me as he had a month spare in Nepal after guiding an Everest Base Camp trek and before going to Pakistan. He could use the Lhotse expedition as a way to train and acclimatise for his Nanga Parbat expedition in June. So now I had a climbing partner I began to organise the logistics.

My husband Nathan came on the first Aconcagua expedition this season with us and he made the summit. He would climb lots of mountains with me if his business was not so successful and he could have more time away! He prints race bibs and there are so many events that he prints for every week in Australia, it is very hard for him to have time off. However as there are a few days of public holidays over Easter he managed to sort a couple of weeks to join me on the expedition. We attempted Island Peak (which I had climbed before in 2008) in the Winter season on our honeymoon in 2014 but had strong winds up high so did not make the summit. We decided to head back and climb it together which will also help me to acclimatise for Lhotse. Sonia summited Aconcagua with me in February and was interested to climb with me in Nepal as well. So very last minute, as in just a few weeks ago, the whole trip finally came together! Firstly Nathan, Sonia and I fly out next Saturday to Kathmandu. We head into Lukla after a day of expedition preparation in town and hike towards Island Peak Base Camp up the Everest valley. Nathan only has time to attempt Island Peak and will then have to come home and back to work which is sad. Then Sonia and I continue towards Everest Base Camp to Lobuche where we will attempt Lobuche Peak. Once Mariano finishes guiding his trekking group he will head to Lobuche and meet me there and we will continue on to Everest Base Camp to start our acclimatisation on the mountain.

Nathan and I on Island Peak December 2014

I am not taking any oxygen this expedition so I don’t plan on using it. If I don’t feel well I will just turn around as it is my goal to see how high I can go without it. I am super psyched for this trip in so many ways, not just that I am able to go back to Lhotse again. I get to begin my expedition with Nathan and Sonia and we can share an awesome adventure together. I am really looking forward to heading back to Island Peak and also to Lobuche as they both have fantastic views over the Himalayas and offer interesting climbing including ladders across crevasses similar the Khumbu Icefall. I feel strong from guiding Aconcagua twice to the summit this season and I have been training pretty hard since I have been home as well. Andrea Hah from the Move Clinic has given me a training plan with some extra exercises apart from all the trail running and load carrying up hills that I do, to strengthen my arms for ascending the fixed ropes on the Lhotse face. This is what I found really hard with a heavy pack on my Everest expedition.

Sonia and I ladder crossing training in the backyard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have been very fortunate to have some gear sponsored for my expedition, especially as I have no financial sponsors this time. A big thank you to The North Face as I will be using their summit series tents at Base Camp and also on the mountain. This expedition I am using a North Face Fovero 85lt pack and a Himalayan down suit. Mont Adventure Equipment have generously supported my expeditions over the years and I am very grateful. I will be using the Expedition 8000 sleeping bag and the Main Range sleeping bag (one at Base, one on the mountain) as well as the Icicle down jacket. I would also like to thank other brands and distributors that have supported me with pro deal or have sponsored equipment and clothing recently that I will be using on this expedition. Sea to Summit, Black Diamond, Spelean (Petzl, Thermarest, MSR) and BJR Climbing Equipment (Cousin Trestec ropes). I am super stoked to have this support and I only use gear and clothing that I know works and that I can trust especially when my life depends on it.

So let the adventure begin!

You can follow my journey here on my blog or through my Facebook and Instagram pages.

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Allie Pepper Adventures Expedition Training and Mountaineering Courses


Posted on Thursday 11th February, 2016

Well it has taken some time but I have finally built my new website for my adventure business, Allie Pepper Adventures. Please go to www.alliepepperadventures.com for information, dates and prices of upcoming Expedition Training Weekends, Basic Mountaineering Courses, overseas expeditions and all the other private guided adventures I offer. In the warmer months I offer expedition training here in the Blue Mountains where I live, taking advantage of the awesome cliffs and rugged terrain we have here. In Winter I offer two types of Basic Mountaineering Courses in the Snowy Mountains. Both are 4 days longs but are held in different areas of the Kosciuszco National Park. One course is run at Blue Lake which offers ice climbing as part of the course. The other is held up near Mt Kosciuszco so we can make a Winter ascent of the summit during the course. All courses I have run so far through my business have been very successful with almost everyone of the folks on the course coming back for another adventure or keen to join an overseas expedition. I am really looking forward to meeting lots of new people this year through my business and sharing adventures with them.  I also look forward to helping them to achieve their own goals in the outdoors so bring it on!

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A New Year, New Courses and Expeditions!


Posted on Saturday 19th December, 2015

ATTENTION: CURRENT EXPEDITION INFORMATION AND COURSE DATES CAN NOW BE FOUND ON MY NEW BUSINESS PAGE: alliepepperadventures.com.au

Well it’s been a long time since I have written a blog post and I would like to reflect on 2015 and update everyone on plans for courses and expeditions in 2016. Firstly, when I look back on 2015 and my biggest achievements, I would have to say that starting my own business and getting through the Everest sized mountain of paperwork to do so, was my greatest accomplishment. It took months of work, not just to set my business up but to write all my procedures and risk management strategies etc to gain my insurance and the licenses needed to work in the National Parks and Council lands here in the Blue Mountains and in the Snowy Mountains. I never thought I would get there but just kept plugging away at it while working as a trainer at TAFE, my main source of income for the last 10 years. Fortunately, coming from a background of employment in the Outdoor Recreation department, I am accustomed to writing these sorts of documents, so thankfully I eventually got through it. Not that it actually ever ends! Of course as you would imagine, I am way more in my comfort zone in the outdoors hanging out on a cliff face and instructing people than I am behind a computer. However, like so many big goals in life sometimes you just have to suck it up and get on with it. No one has ever said starting your own business was easy!

The highlights since beginning Allie Pepper Adventures have not been the times spent at the lap top but finally getting out and spending time in amazing places with enthusiastic and motivated people. This is what makes all the paperwork worthwhile. I love working in my ‘outdoor office’ and teaching what I am passionate about to people that are keen to learn new skills. Here are a few snaps (in case you don’t follow my Facebook page) from some of the 2015 expedition training weekends in the Blue Mountains and mountaineering courses in the Snowy Mountains, so many great times were had!

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Practising using crampons and axes on a steep snow climb above Thredbo.

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Our North Face expedition tent and snow camp in the Ramsheads.

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Abseiling training on the basic training weekend at the Narrow Neck, Katoomba.

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Ice climbing at Blue Lake in the Snowy Mountains.

The summit of North Ramshead

The summit of North Ramshead after a short snow climb.

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Top rope climbing at Mt York in Mt Victoria on the basic training weekend.

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Completing the multi pitch abseil Malatia Wall in Katoomba, Jenna belaying Sharon.

Half way up the two pitch climb Sweet Irish Mt Boyce, Blackheath on the advanced training weekend.

Half way up the two pitch climb Sweet Irish Mt Boyce, Blackheath on the advanced training weekend.

At the end of the year my husband and I had a month holiday in Canada in the Rocky Mountains and we have just got back. It was super cold but also amazing. The mountains were so beautiful and I got some great skiing in at Lake Louise including a fantastic ski tour. We spent the whole month mostly climbing ice in lots of different locations. I have done a lot of rock climbing and alpine climbing but not so much pure waterfall ice climbing and it was one of the hardest things I have done. Well ok, climbing 8000m mountains isn’t easy but ice climbing was way harder than I expected it to be! It took me quite a long time to get into the swing of it, literally as it helps to be able to swing your tools properly! At first my left tool just bounced off the ice over and over and I couldn’t even hit it in! Anyway I persisted and as it was early season it was often tough conditions. We had around two weeks where temperatures were around -20 everyday. It hurts climbing ice when its that cold and the screaming barfies are a common occurrence. This is when your hands hurt so much you want to scream and vomit at the same time, or cry.

In our last week the temperature rose to a balmy -5 to -10 degrees and it was bliss. I finally got it and starting leading steep ice as something clicked and it all came together. A combination of the temperature rising, my arms getting stronger, my swing getting better but mostly my head being able to cope with the fact that you can’t fall. So once again it was a really hard process, just like my paperwork, but I knew I wanted to do it so I persisted even though it was way out of my comfort zone. In the end I felt such a sense of achievement. As I have always said the greatest rewards come with the biggest challenges and I felt so good at the end of our trip to achieve a good base for ice climbing now. Alpine climbing will hopefully now seem so much easier!! You mean the ice isn’t running with water or so hard you can’t swing your pick in or so brittle it just falls off in one big dinner plate? Awesome!

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Start of our holiday and practising some technique on a steep pillar of ice.

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Having a go at climbing up some ice that doesn’t reach the ground at Cline River, WI5.

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Finally getting the confidence to take on the sharp end of the rope at the Waterworks.

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Haffner Creek.

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Belaying Nathan who is high up on Isaacs Wet Dream near Nordegg.

Skiing Lake Louise

Looking down the 800m long slope to Lake Louise from Surprise Pass, feeling nervous!

 

As physical training for that trip I completed an 8 week training program by Mountain Athletics. It’s an app that can be downloaded onto a smart phone and is made by The North Face. I completed the alpine training program which was a great base for the ski touring and climbing we did. I now realise though I needed to add chin ups specifically for the ice climbing.

I would like to take this opportunity to the thank The North Face as they have been so supportive of my adventures over the years and also of my business now. I used the North Face Shadow 40 pack when I was ice climbing and the Leonidas Gore Tex and Quince down jackets. All of these performed really well and both the jackets worked perfectly together and as they are designed for climbing. The gore tex has a hood that fits over a helmet and is super stretchy so you can wear it under a harness and still lift your arms up high. The Quince jacket doesn’t ride up when your arms are above your head either making it also able to tuck in to a harness. Both are really good, well made products that you would expect for their summit series garments. Nathan climbed in different layers to me and wore the DNP synthetic hoody everyday and loved it. He actually used it as his outer layer when climbing.

So whats next!? Now that I am getting used to the change in temperature from the Rocky Mountains in Winter to the Blue Mountains in Summer I have started to book folks in to my Summer courses. The courses offer a chance to experience abseiling and rock climbing in the Blue Mountains as well as learning many essential skills needed to complete climbs, expeditions or technical courses in the worlds greater ranges. It’s a New Year and a chance to try something different or work towards an expedition goal. Here are more details and dates for my training weekends coming up:

Allie Pepper Adventures_Expedition Training Course Blue Mountains_01_01_16 Allie Pepper Adventures_Expedition Training Course Blue Mountains_14_01_162What else? Well I still have places left on my Mera Peak expedition in April which is a fantastic first Himalayan and/or first high altitude peak situated in a remote region of Nepal. It is accessed via the Hinku Valley which offers an awesome trek through Sherpa villages and ancient Rhododendron forests to reach snow capped peaks and then finally the mountain. Once on the mountain you are spoiled with views to Everest, Makalu and Baruntse, one of the best views in the Himalaya. If you are interested in this expedition it commences on April 11 in Kathmandu. Please email me ASAP for a full brochure with expedition details and price.

I am currently working on my Winter programs starting in August in the Snowy Mountains and will post the dates and information on these shortly. I am also setting the date for the Aconcagua expedition at the end of the year and will post that info soon. Lots of adventures are on the horizon for 2016 and I hope you can join me on them! I really look forward to helping others achieve their dreams and goals in the mountains this year. Happy New Year everyone!

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Aconcagua and Mera Peak Expeditions 2016


Posted on Monday 28th September, 2015

ATTENTION: CURRENT EXPEDITION INFORMATION AND DATES CAN NOW BE FOUND ON MY BUSINESS PAGE: alliepepperadventures.com.au

In February 2016 I am leading an expedition to Aconcagua 6962m, in Argentina. This expedition will be my 11th trip guiding on the mountain and I am super excited to head back there. I actually used to live in Mendoza which is the city closest to the mountain and I have spend three years living, climbing and guiding in South America. I speak Spanish and have lots of friends and connections on the mountain and have chosen a route that takes in all sides of the mountain. This is a non technical expedition to high altitude.

Dates ex Mendoza: 1st-23rd February 2016 Group size: 4 to 7 team members

If you are interested in an expedition brochure please email me allie@alliepepper.com.

Looking down at Guanacos camp on our way down from load carrying to high camp on Aconcagua.

Looking down at Guanacos camp on our way down from load carrying to high camp on Aconcagua.

The shadow of the mountain on summit day February 2014.

The shadow of the mountain on summit day February 2014.

The team taking the final steps along the summit ridge. The whole team were su

The team taking the final steps along the summit ridge. The whole team were successful in reaching the summit.

 

In April 2016 I am leading an expedition back to Nepal to Mera Peak 6476m. Mera incorporates climbing on a glacier at moderate to high altitude and is away from the busy Everest trail. It offers some of the best views in the Himalaya and is a great introduction to high Himalayan climbing.

Heading to the summit offers an amazing view to Everest, Nupse, Lhotse and even to Makalu.

Heading to the summit offers an amazing view to Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse and even to Makalu.

Mera peak summit.

Mera peak summit.

Dates ex Kathmandu: 11th April- 3rd May 2016 Group size: 4 to 8 team members

For a detailed information brochure on the Mera Peak expedition please email me allie@alliepepper.com.

Please feel free to email me with any questions about either of these expeditions.

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Blue Mountains Expedition Training


Posted on Monday 28th September, 2015

ATTENTION: CURRENT EXPEDITION TRAINING COURSE INFORMATION AND DATES CAN NOW BE FOUND ON MY BUSINESS PAGE: alliepepperadventures.com.au

Now that the snow is disappearing and the weather is getting warmer, I am starting to run expedition training courses here in the beautiful Blue Mountains. I have been training outdoor leaders and guiding people on adventures here since 1999 so I am very excited to be running these courses for my own business and sharing the skills I am passionate about. Whether you are just interested in gaining more technical skills before you head off on an overseas adventure or want some basic rescue training for your vertical adventures, these courses are for you! The more time you have working with ropes and exposure on cliff edges, the more confident you will feel on a high mountain expedition or adventure. I believe it is important to train these technical skills in a more comfortable and controlled environment prior to heading to a cold, unpredictable and perhaps high altitude environment. The better prepared, not just physically but mentally and technically, you are for your adventure, the greater the chance of success.

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Mountaineering Course, The Snowy Mountains


Posted on Saturday 6th June, 2015

ATTENTION: CURRENT BASIC MOUNTAINEERING COURSE INFORMATION AND DATES CAN NOW BE FOUND ON MY BUSINESS PAGE: alliepepperadventures.com.au

Have you ever wondered how to survive in the snow and extreme alpine environments? How you use crampons and ice axes to climb a mountain? What you would do if you or your partner fell in a crevasse, got lost in a whiteout or how you would possibly get back down safely off a mountain once you reached the top?? Well wonder no more, I have the perfect course for you!

The Snowy Mountains are a fantastic playground to gain the basic skills you need to take part in mountaineering adventures in the greater ranges. In fact they are where my mountaineering journey began 16 years ago and has since taken me to the highest places in the world including Mt Everest. I have designed this course for outdoor enthusiasts keen to expand their horizons into the world of alpine mountaineering. It can also be completed as a basic training course for an overseas expedition or an introduction for adventurers keen to undertake a New Zealand technical mountaineering course.

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Basic skills include:

– Snow camping

– Navigation in extreme alpine environments

– Snow and ice anchors

– Crevasse rescue and glacier travel techniques

– Self rescue

– Self arrest

– Crampon techniques

– Ice axe techniques

– Belaying, climbing, abseiling and rope management

“I did a two day basic mountaineering skills weekend with Allie at Thredbo and having a rock climbing background myself I was straight away impressed with her professionalism and organisational skills. It was clear to me that her years of experience and technical knowledge made my learning experience fun… I highly recommend Allie Pepper not only as a guide but as a mentor.”– Alex Araujo

 

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Course dates:

 

Aug 28-30

Sept 5-7

Itinerary:

Day 1– We will meet in Jindabyne at 7:30am for introductions, gear check and equipment distribution. We organise our backpacks then drive to Thredbo (you will be required to pay the park entry fee and you must carry snow chains so we can consider car pooling) and catch the Kosciuszko Express chairlift up to the Main Range*.  From here we hike out to the Ramsheads to establish our Base Camp for the next few days. We begin skills training in the afternoon including basic navigation, emergency snow shelters and self rescue skills.

 

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Day 2– We are up early to gain good cramponing conditions in hard snow. We will head to climb some steep chutes and gullies for ice axe and crampon technique training while learning to safely belay and establish anchors. During the course of the day we will continue with skills instruction including crevasse rescue and glacier travel techniques. You will learn about rope management, ascending and descending ropes safely and retrieving ropes in a multi-pitch context.

Day 3– An early start again to make the most of our last day. We will continue with our skills and learn to lead and establish anchors to safely ascend the mountain while belaying a second climber. We can progress to advance these skills into a multi-pitch scenario which is more than one rope length of climbing. We will learn to safely descend a multi-pitch route by leaving snow anchors in place if we need to or by descending fixed ropes (a technique more common place in the Himalaya). We head to camp to pack up and sort our gear before the hike back to the chairlift and the ride down to the village. We will then make our way to Jindabyne to return any hire equipment and for our final farewell.

*Please be aware that the weather in the alpine environment is very changeable and we may encounter poor weather that can lead to us diverting from the original itinerary. In this instance we will move our Base Camp to somewhere sheltered such as Dead Horse Gap and continue skills instruction there. We will endeavour to gain the Main Range by the Kosciusko Express as the weather improves.

 

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Cost $930 per person ($250 deposit)

Included in the price:

Group camping, technical and emergency equipment.

Personal technical climbing equipment.

Food during the course.

A single Kosciusko Express scenic chairlift pass at Thredbo Resort.

Not included in the price:

Any transport to and from Jindabyne and during the course.

Accommodation either side of the course (starts at 7:30am in Jindabyne Day 1 and finishes at 5:30pm in Jindabyne Day 3).

Park entry fees.

Food and beverages that are purchased in town.

Many personal items on the clothing and equipment list (some items can be hired in Jindabyne such as packs, sleeping bags and mats)

Please feel free to email me for a booking form, the terms and conditions and any further enquiries allie@alliepepper.com

Once the course deposit of $250 is received you will be sent further information including a clothing and equipment list.

 

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Pachermo Adventure and Everest Tragedy


Posted on Thursday 31st July, 2014

It has been a long while since I have written a blog post and I am sure many of you have wondered what has been going on?! My main reason for not posting about the end of our expedition until now is that I did not want to comment at the time of the Everest tragedy as it took a long time to understand the complexity of the event. Many people gave their opinions at the time including some from the Base Camp with some interesting points of view. Supposed experts commented from afar that were not even there. There were lots of things going on politically and lots of people with different agendas. There were so many stories and sides to the story to take into consideration. Some good articles have been written since and the Discovery Channel did well to document the event through film. Anyhow I am not going to post too much on the actual events, just my side of the story which starts at Pachermo……DSC01502

Dawa and I headed past his family home towards the Rowaling region, past Thame and up to Tengbo which is just a collection of houses. We spent one night there before hiking up to our high camp below the pass. There was a lot of snow around so we were not able to go very high up like we wanted to. We camped at around 5300m and it was very high wind. Unfortunately we did not have a great weather window and high wind was forecast for the next few days but we wanted to at least have an attempt on the summit.

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We left early the next morning in very cold temperatures towards the Tashi Lapcha Pass in fact I had more layers on than when I went to the summit of Aconcagua in February. We had a lot of snow below the pass and ended up climbing a mixed pitch of rock and ice to get onto it. Normally later in the season you can just walk up a track to get there!

Roping up for crevasse travel to head to the base of our route.

Roping up for crevasse travel to head to the base of our route.

Looking towards Pachermo summit from the pass.

Looking towards Pachermo summit from the Tashi Lapcha Pass.

As we got onto the pass the wind started to increase and we could see the weather coming in. We got about 4 pitches up the face before the weather turned on us. We stopped just below a large crevasse and turned around before the storm got worse.

Just below the crevasse we turned around..

Just below the crevasse we turned around..

The storm got worse as we headed back down.

The storm got worse as we headed back down.

We headed back to the tent and it was a complete whiteout. Somehow Dawa found it and I didn’t need the GPS which was a miracle as I had no idea which way it was!

Urmmm where is the tent?

Urmmm where is the tent?

As the wind was so strong we didn’t want to spend another miserable cold night up there so we packed up and hiked all the way back down to Tengbo….making a 14 1/2 hour day of climbing and hiking. It was great training for Lhotse!!

We stopped for some lunch at Dawa’s mates Lodge in Thame on our way back to Namche. We were planning to have one rest day then head to Everest/Lhotse Base Camp as we were well acclimatised to head straight up to Camp 2 in the Western Cwm and begin stocking our camps for Lhotse.

The TV was on in the Lodge so I sat outside but I heard news of an avalanche on Everest that morning. Details were not yet available however it was certain that around 6 people were lost. We were both wondering the whole story at this point. Dawa stayed there with his friend and I continued on to Namche. Over the next day more details were gathered and Dawa got news that his friend and neighbour was killed in the avalanche and that 16 people in total died. This news affected anyone in the community as most people new of someone or had someone in their extended family that had died. Dawa had responsibilities in his village to attend to the funeral ceremony and help his family and community with this. Meanwhile I stayed in Namche with Tsedam and the family and waited. Dawa came to visit after a few days and had decided he did not want to climb on the mountain this season. I respected his decision and I could understand at the time why he made it. Personally I had not yet made a decision about continuing our expedition prior to him telling me this. I wanted to wait to see how things went at Base and if the icefall could be rerouted more safely etc.

 

I no longer had a climbing partner and didn’t really want to join a group so I slowly came to terms with the fact my expedition was over. It was very sad what happened on the mountain and emotional for everybody including me. It was a tragedy for those who passed away and also for their families. Of course it made me question my reasons for being there and how it affects my family and the people I love. Many thoughts went through my head including disappointment at not being able to have a chance to get on the mountain and realise my goal and dream after so much preparation.

 

Instead of just heading straight home I decided to stay and help in the Home Away From Home and also visit some of my Sherpa friends. The boarding house was slowly filling with all the kids as school was starting up again for the year. Tsedam, Kami and the staff had worked very hard to get the home ready for the 60 children that were arriving so it was very exciting to see the new sponsored children coming with their parents and their belongings and settling in.

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Pasang, our sponsor child, getting ready for his first day at school.

All the Home Away From Home children ready to head to Namche School.

All the Home Away From Home children ready to head to Namche School.

After about a week I hiked back to Lukla and flew out to Kathmandu to enjoy my  few last days with Michelle and Pujan at the Courtyard Hotel. It was a sad end to my trip in many ways but I was also very excited to head home to the people I love. To sum up my trip there were a few things that stood out as very rewarding to me and emotional like standing on a summit. Helping raise money for the AHF through my adventure and raising awareness of the need for funding education in the poverty stricken regions of Nepal. Personally helping 4 children to go to school from poor families that would never have had the opportunity otherwise. Seeing Tsedam run the boarding house and helping him and the family with their projects in Namche. It feels good to give back to the community that has given me so much.

It was very rewarding taking Andrew my sponsor from Northcote Pottery to see Everest first hand. It was a life long dream for him and I am so proud of him for breaking his comfort zones, training seriously and making it to the Base Camp. Him and the boys did a great job on the hike and were lots of fun to hang out with. They also delivered jackets to the kids at Home Away From Home and sponsored three children to have an education.

I was fortunate enough to be given some awesome gear for this expedition that worked really well. Mont supplied my sleeping bag which was an Exped 8000. The best bag I have ever owned and I cannot say anything bad about it. I have never been warmer and it is so light and does not go flat when it gets wet. Its a miracle bag for expeditioneers to extreme cold climates. None of their gear let me down. Of course we were fuelled once again by Back Country Cuisine which always works well and gives us the energy we need to climb. Voltaic supplied my solar gear and it was fantastic. The battery easily charged my laptop and all my devices and it was super easy to recharge with the panel and very fast. Also super lightweight.

 

I want to thank all my financial sponsors for their support of my expedition as without them I would never even have had the chance to try realise my dream. Northcote Pottery, Lateral Events Management, Ablaze Print Race Bibs and The Australian Geographic Society. As a special mention I want to thank my fiancee Nathan for his constant support before, during and after the expedition as I am sure it wasn’t easy for him! He deserves fiancee of the year award. Of course I feel disappointed that I did not get to climb on Lhotse this last season after so much training and preparation however the mountain will always be there.

 

Thanks so much for following my adventures! I am currently at Thredbo village skiing and about to head out for the weekend teaching basic mountaineering skills and snow survival techniques. Loving the mountains and the adventure they bring!

 

 

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Kyajo Ri


Posted on Sunday 13th April, 2014

Back in Namche now after our adventure to Kyajo Ri. How to sum it up!? Well it was a lot further to get to than we thought. There was a lot more boulder hiking, snow and glacier to get to the mountain than we thought. There was a lot more blue ice on the mountain than we thought! So basically we did around 7 pitches on the mountain itself of rock, snow and ice. We turned around about 4 or 5 pitches from the summit due to the fact we either had to climb them all on blue ice which was very hard and slow going or we had about grade 18 rock to climb with no rock gear! It was getting late so we headed back down. I think that basically the whole trip would be a lot easier and faster later in this season when the snow has melted lower down and there would be more snow higher up on the top of the blue ice, forming alpine ice. Or perhaps in Autumn, that is when most folks seem to climb it. So Kyajo Ri will have to wait for another day! It was however a fantastic training mission!! Carrying the pack for hours over loose scree and boulders at altitude gave me a great workout and warm up for Lhotse!! My knees are still sore! So here is our adventure in photos.

Tomorrow Dawa and I are off to attempt Pachermo 6187m, close to Rowaling. We should be back in around 5 days so lets hope we have some better conditions on that one.

Thanks for following 🙂

Catching up with Margaret Watroba in Namche who is a two time Everest Summiteer from Perth AND a grandma. She is off to Lhotse too :)

Catching up with Margaret Watroba in Namche who is a two time Everest Summiteer from Perth AND a grandma. She is off to Lhotse too 🙂

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Dawas mum hanging out the window of their house in Thamo. Our first stop for tea before heading up to stay at Mende Monastery for the night.

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We got to the Monastery in thick cloud and the next day I woke up to this view!

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The custodian of the Monastery.

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Phura Nuru helping carry our loads up the hill. Mende is below us.

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We hiked up through one valley system and up a scree, snow, ice and boulder headwall to the next valley.

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The porter left us at our first camp of 4948m.

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Dawa points to Kyajo Ri in the distance. We have to hike through the snow then up more loose boulders for 6 hours to get to the next campsite.

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With heavy packs…

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Finally we arrive to the glacier below the mountain.

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And set up camp at 5350m.

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The next morning we weave our way through the glacier and up towards the col.

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We head up a few pitches of rock and snow….

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We were super lucky with the weather!

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We started to have to climb some very hard blue ice…

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We got to the top of this rock band before turning around and doing six abseils to get back down again.

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We got back to the tent in a snowstorm as it was getting dark after 12 and a half hours of adventuring.

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Until next time!

 

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