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Anne's Aerogel dispatches 2006

Here is what Anne Parmenter posted for Aerogel, her main sponsor.
Anne summitted 25 May.
I (Jamie) have copied it over in case they delete it later.

Anne Parmenter

June 3 - Final Leg

We're back in Katmandu now and many of the group has changed flights and heading home. One member is back in Sweden preparing for his seven summits in seven months bid. He has one week in Sweden before heading to Alaska to climbing Denali. Some of the team headed off to the beaches in Thailand.

My flight via Delhi has been difficult to change, but I am out of here on Monday and back to the US on Tuesday. Once I am home I will provide some more photographs, but there should be pictures and video up on Project Himalaya's web site which people can access.

Final leg, and then home cooking.

Anne

 

Summit

May 25th 7:30 our group of six and eight sherpa reached the Summit of Mount Everest. I must say it's the hardest thing I have ever done. Two months of suffering and four days a sheer bloody misery, to sit on the summit of the earth. The most amazing experience of my life. Something that will take a long time to sink in. Right now my body is trying to recover. It's very hard to eat right now and I am spending the day trying to hydrate.
I want to thank everyone who has followed this blog, and the Project Himalaya web site. Everyone who has supported me with prayers and good wishes. Also Trader Joe's of West Hartford for providing so much food I am still eating it.

Signing off, a very tired Everest Climber,

Anne

 

May 25

Explorers Web (http://www.humanedgetech.com/expedition/dcxp4/) is reporting that Anne reached the summit today at 7:19 am local time, and the team is now safely below 8220m. We will post further updates when we receive them from Anne.

Dawa (centre) and a happy team on top.
L-R: Chewang Palden, Pasang Gomba, Kami Dorje, behind standing Anne Parmenter, Dawa Gelje, Mindu Tsheri, Tarke, five out of the eight sherpas that summitted

Anne's panorama of Kanchenjunga in the distance and Makalu on the right (stitched by Jamie)

The Third Step just on dawn on the way up; the PH team frontrunners are the two in red,
in orange are probably Harry Kikstra, Thomas Weber and Pemba and Pasang. That team turned around perhaps half an hour after this picture

May 21 - Moving up

Well it looks like we have a plan as the weather is changing with the monsoon. We have our bags packed and I think we will move up to the North Col tomorrow and then continue, camp II, camp III and summit. The team is looking at the 26th as the winds will shift and swing to the south and also drop in intensity. If all goes to plan I will email with the progress of the team.

Today we are checking our O2 and regulators, and all last minute items of clothing that we will need high on the mountain.

Jamie's team is all resting now, one member went down on a yak yesterday to BC the others will join them tomorrow. Jamie is hoping to go to the North Col to support our climb, if he feels good he may even summit again.

Anne from ABC

Laurie and Scott by Anne at Camp 3 before heading to the summit

May 20

Well it's been a very active few days here at ABC. Our sister expedition "The Peace Project," summited on the 18th but have had an almost 36 hour rescue effort for one of the members. Yesterday at 8pm with the support of 10 of our Sherpa's and at least 8 sherpas from the Peace Project, the member was carried in a litter all the way from the North Col. If it hadn't have been for the efforts of Jamie McInnes the expedition leader and two sherpas who managed to walk the member all the way from the summit for Mount Everest this member would not have survived.

Once the litter arrived at our camp, members of our trip cleaned and put the member in clean dry clothing, got him situated in his sleeping bag and got him to drink warm drinks. After a night on O2 he is hydrating eating a little and looking to head back to BC maybe tomorrow. The remaining two members of the Peace Project expedition came down from the North Co this morning under there own stream.

It has been a very difficult few days on the Mountain. There are reports of people missing, some feared dead. There has been a number of people going back to BC on Yaks because of frost bite, and HAPE.

On a brighter note the weather forecast has shown an improvement in the next few days, so we are looking towards a move up on the 22nd.

We have also had a couple more people from our group go down to BC today, so our group is now 7 members strong.

Will let you know of the date we leave for the North Col.

Anne from ABC

 

May 19 - Move to ABC

The group moved yesterday to ABC. Unfortunately the weather window which has afforded 150 the people the summit seems to have come to an end. We have had some members of our group decide to call it a day, and are heading home. I am still sitting tight here at ABC waiting for the weather to give us a small window. Of the people summiting there has been a number of reported frostbite cases. There has also been reports of a number of fatalities. For more information go to Explores Web as information on the mountain is not always accurate.

As the weather has been reasonably good to watch mountain change so quickly makes you feel very vulnerable. Our group is going to sit tight until we get better weather information.

Will keep everyone posted. Anne from ABC. Still feeling good, getting a little sick of the same food, and sleeping on the ground.

 

May 15

Hi everyone at Aerogel,

Well it's a beautiful day here at BC. There is a lot of movement on the mountain. The weather forecast which we are getting from the States indicates that between now and possibly the 20th could be good for summitting. Two members of our team our up at ABC ready to make a push, and two more left this morning for a one day push up to ABC, (a 12 mile 4000ft gain). I was asked to join these members and was seriously considering "going" for it, but after much deliberation realized that would be five days on the move with no rest day. Two years ago I tried the same program and on the way to camp two after gaining 10,000ft in five days just ran out of steam. So patience right now I am hoping will pay off. Having spent the last six weeks to get to this point a lot of people from many teams are getting anxious to push for the summit. Yesterday we hear that 16 people from the North summitted.
Anyway today has been great to do laundry and catch up with emails. I am trying to eat as much as possible as up higher it's almost impossible. We have the radio on and listen constantly to the other teams on the mountain and the progress to the summit. From BC we have a perfectly clear view to the top, there is very little wind right now and our thoughts are with those people pushing now.

It looks like we may move up to ABC on the 17th to be in position if the weather cooperates and continues this nice spell.

Will let everyone know as plans change with the weather.

Anne from BC

 

May 14

Hi to everyone at Aerogel. We've been down at base camp for three days now. We had a chance to have three nights in a hotel just beyond the Rongbuk Monastery. Hotel is a term that is used loosely, but the beds where clean and sleeping in sheets and not a sleeping bag is really nice. Now were waiting for the weather. There is a small weather window in the next couple of days but it changes so quickly. Two members of our group have gone up to ABC and will see if they feel ready to take advantage of the window. The group down here at BC is in a holding pattern, so we're waiting to see what the next few days will bring. We should be heading back up to ABC so were in position if the weather co-operates in the next little while.

So far a group did summit on the 11th and then other groups were stuck high on the mountain in high winds and snow. Since that time all other groups have been waiting for the 16/17th window.

I'll keep everyone posted as to the movement of our group over the next few days. Check out the video Scott put on the web site yesterday (www.humanedgetech.com/expedition/dcxp4/). I am the second climber heading up to camp two in the video.

Anne at base camp.

 

May 12 - Back to Base Camp

Back to base camp. We arrived at base camp yesterday. It took us about 4 1/2 hours from ABC to BC. Yesterday morning we watched four people coming down from the summit. As the day progressed the winds really picked up.

There have been many people over the last couple of days moving up to camp two to get in possible position for a summit push. As the weather has been reasonably good people having been pushing up the mountain even though this is still early. We are in the position now to recover as much as possible here at base camp and wait for a good weather report in the later part of May. This is giving people a chance to sleep better and eat, and also try to get some strength back before the summit push.

The group is planning to have at least four days here before we think about moving back up to ABC. All will depend on the weather, and peoples health.

It seems at this point that the group will climb as two groups. All of this is to be determined.

Anne at Base Camp.

 

May 10

Just back this afternoon from two nights at the North Col, which sits at 23,000ft. The weather has been great in the morning so yesterday we took a hike up the fixed lines towards camp two. Some in the group actually went all the way to camp two 25,000ft. I went about 3/4 of the way up as I was feeling good and didn't want to push it two days in a row. The views from the ridge were spectacular. The afternoon the snow closed in and we were confined to our tents until this morning. There are many teams moving up to high camp to attempt the summit tonight. Our team is now between ABC and BC.
Tomorrow I am heading down to BC with the rest of the group for some recovery, eat well, and sleep, before we consider our summit options.
Will write another note when I get back to BC.

Anne from ABC

 

May 7 - North Col

Made my first trip up to the North Col yesterday. It was a long hot day; the weather has been very hot during the day with very light winds. It so hard to breathe as you climb the fixed ropes up to 23,000ft I actually think I burnt the front of my tongue. Some of the team stayed at the Col, I returned after carrying a load but will return tomorrow with my sleeping bad and aerogel sleeping pad and will spend my first night at 23,000ft. The team is planning on sleeping three nights at the North Col before coming down to ABC, and then all the way back to BC for a rest and recovery. At this altitude it's so hard for your body to heel. I cut my finger at base camp two weeks ago and it's still not held because the lack of O2.

Hope that helps. Will drop a note when I get back from the North Col.. The summit looks so close now, but it's so far...

Anne

Anne was very much a team player, so here is part of the team
L-R top: Scott, Laurie, Inigo, Hugo, Chris and Johan
below: Anne and Fred

May 5 - North Col

Hi everyone,

We've been at the ABC for five days now. This morning we had a puja at our camp to bless all the climbers before we head higher on the mountain. Some of us were going to make a carry up to the camp at the North Col which sits another 2,000ft above ABC 23,000ft. By the time the puja finished it was 11am and the weather looked like it would snow. So two of our strong climbers decided to make the trip, we have just heard from them on the radio to say their on the way down. It's snowing quite hard right now so it was a good decision for the remainder of the team to make the trip tomorrow with an earlier start after breakfast. The trip up the North Col involves climbing up the first of the fixed ropes. The last time I made this trip it took 5 hours. I am hoping that this time around with better acclimatization and general nutrition I am feeling stronger for the trip up. We will drop some of our gear and come back down again, have a rest day and then move the next day up to the North Col camp and spend a couple of nights.

Will touch base after the North Col carry.

Anne at ABC

Nim Chiri, Dawa and Tarke at North Col, all were part of the 25th May summit team

April 29

Busy day today packing bags and barrels for the Yaks that will transport most of our gear up to ABC. The yaks should arrive early and the Tibetan yak man will have a very scientific method of packing and weighing the barrels before heading up the valley to interim camp, where we spend the night. From base camp to ABC is about 14 miles, two 7 mile days but we gain a lot of altitude, 17,000ft-21,000ft over the 2 day period. We will have a couple of days to get used to the new altitude before heading up the North Col. This is now where we climb the mountain many times before we will be ready for our summit push.

Next time I write I will be able to report from higher on the mountain.

Anne at base camp

 

April 28 - Base Camp

Great news today as all our oxygen arrived by truck from Nepal. The 02 had been held up in customs with the general strike. The truck also had much of our gear that we needed before we go high on the mountain. The team has spent the day doing short hikes to aid acclimatization and organizing gear.
We had more snow yesterday afternoon, which meant up high the mountain was getting hammered. I am happy to say that today has been picture perfect, not a cloud in the sky and very little wind. If we could keep our fingers crossed that in a months time we could have summit weather like this I'd be very happy.
The Sherpa all have there Aerogel baseball hats on, so I'll get a photo to send. We head up the mountain on Sunday to our Advanced Base Camp (ABC).

Will post some time after that.

Anne at base camp

 

April 27 - Base Camp

Well the team is finally at base camp. We arrived 4-26 after a 4 hour ride by Landcruiser from Tingri. I have been eating very carefully through the Tibet portion of the trip as last time everyone got some form of food poisoning. When we arrived at camp the cook safe had great food for us in a clean tent and lots of hot water for drinks. The team spent the afternoon organizing tents and equipment, a pattern that we will continue many times before we've finished on the mountain. The program now is to wait until our oxygen arrives a lot with some bags we left in Nepal. Hopefully they will be here tomorrow and then we will move up to ABC (advance base camp) on Sunday.
If all goes well we will spend sometime at ABC before climbing to the North Col.

Feeling good and signing off from Base Camp.

Anne

 

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