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Project Himalaya Everest Expedition 2008 dispatches
Hello! This is our 5th Everest expedition and approximately our 20th 8000m expedition.
If you just want the best pictures then see the Photos & Diaries section.
Originally we planned to climb from the Chinese-Tibet side of the mountain... Yes, well, we slightly miscalculated and so did the Chinese. Combined with restrictions, no climbers allowed on the Chinese side until the torch has been taken to the top, this is too late and unsure for us. Instead from the original team of 11 climbers, six have switched over to the south side with me, and we started a week earlier. The other members will try next year. We are also providing BC support for Marty Schmidt and team.
We have half of our expedition gear in Tibet, the mountain tents, our custom dining tables, new dining and kitchen tents but still the other half in Nepal and it is enough to run our expedition, without buying any new gear, amazingly enough. There will be challenges though, as we made the final decision only at the end of March and so have to move our expedition gear up during the election (10 April) and Nepali New Year (14 April) when the whole country is on holiday. Dawa will be working hard.
The sherpas will set up base camp (5300m) ahead of our arrival, and we will turn up around the 18th of April. After a few days rest we plan a long acclimatization trip on the mountain. Possibly there are restrictions on going above Camp 2 (6400m), lets see, but this will not affect us particularly. We may make one, or two acclimatization trips prior to heading to the summit, perhaps around 14-24 May.
Switching from north to south
To switch or postpone? It must have been a difficult decision for our team members. The south side route is slightly more challenging, a little more random risk in the ice fall, and an additional $7000 - a tough call. For myself it is a great chance to try the south side, compare them, and in the past I have spent many evenings talking over the differences with guides (Scott Woolums especially) and sherpas. Tarke, Dawa, Kami and others have climbed both. In fact Dawa has worked as a Camp 2 cook on the south side perhaps seven times (that is seven years in a row), and has climbed Everest and Lhotse (4th highest) a week apart.
Myself as expedition leader, and our core crew of climbing sherpas have worked together on many, many expeditions, have explored into relatively unknown areas, and so I feel can adapt to this side without problem. We are all looking forward to it.
Communications and dispatches
The Chinese have put economic pressure on the Nepal Government and so there are all sorts of rather strange communications restrictions. The Chinese are trying to protect the Olympic torch, which is due to summit Everest (Chomolungma) sometime from around late April, early May. Therefore we will only send the occasional dispatches. Don't worry if you don't hear anything from us for a while.
L-R: Pasang Gombu, Nawang Geden, Sonam Chiri, Nima Tenzi, Pasang Gelu, Tarki and Sarki - Jamie
Some of the sherpa team passing thru Phakding, all familiar faces except for Sonam, although he has worked trekking with many of them.
Thanks for all your support.
all rights reserved -- frozen in time 2008