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Everest Team Tags North Col

How many steps does it take to get to the top of Everest? …Better not to think about it

Continuing to acclimatize for their summit push, the Everest team completed a rotation to North Col/C1 (23,000’/7,000m) and returned to ABC (21,300’/6,400m).

The North Col is a severe sharp-edged pass that was formed by glaciers- it forms the head of the East Rongbuk Glacier. The glacier marks the first point in the route where crampons become necessary for climbers.

The route to North Col/Camp 1 gets STEEP. Rope up and crampons on!

In anticipation of summiting, the whole team…

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Everest Team Prepares for Summit Push

The team departing Advanced Base Camp (21,300’ / 6400m) for an acclimatization climb to North Col Camp (23,000’ / 7000m).

Weather

The Everest team is planning their summit push around an upcoming window of calm weather. Current intense winds are expected to drop by May 10, making way for a massive stretch of high pressure with low winds through May 16.

ABC to North Col Camp

The team, currently based out of Advanced Base Camp (21,300’/6400m), will complete acclimatization climb to North Col Camp (23,000’/7000m) and then return to ABC for a couple more days of rest before their…

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Sweet Summit Success on Cho Oyu

   

On Top of the 6th Tallest Mountain in the World (26,906’)

Starting their 16-hour summit push in the wee hours of the morning.

Congratulations to Adrain Ballinger and the Cho+Everest Team for their successful summit of Cho Oyu this weekend! After a heroic 16-hour summit push, a mere 9 days after leaving home, The Cho+Everest team stood atop the 6th tallest mountain in the world (26,906’).

Despite ominous weather forecasts (projected temps were -49°F) the team was lucky to sneak through a closing window of calm winds and mild temps. The team even went so far…

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The Puja Ceremony – Everest Commencement!

A successful Everest journey begins with Puja.

Before leaving Everest Base Camp and beginning their arduous journey to its summit, Climbers and Sherpa take part in the Puja ceremony. A literal “right of passage”, the Puja ceremony is performed to make contact with divine Sagamartha, Mount Everest, and pray for a safe expedition.

In preparation for the ceremony, a large cairn is constructed with long strands of prayer flags. The team makes an offering of special foods and drinks and brings their climbing gear to be blessed for the journey.

Tsampa flour, a staple of the Tibetan diet, is spread on the faces of…

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Cho Oyu & Everest Team Update

Monday, April 30:

In preparation for a Cho/Everest push, guides Adrian and Topo tested their team of climbers with an acclimatization climb up

Lhotse (27,940′). 

Conditions were good with “real low wind and not much snow, just a little cloudy.” The team had a successful summit push and returned to base camp to organize gear and prepare for puja the next day.

After some well-deserved sleep, they reported, “All sherpa down and resting after big effort! Sunny and beautiful this morning after a bit more snow last night”

 

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Aconcagua Update: February 1, 2018

Cumbre!!

We’ll go with the most exciting news first – this morning at 10am local time we had 4 members of our climbing team summit Aconcagua. Conditions were breezy up there but winds were noticeably less than forecasted. Our teams are psyched they stuck it out and pushed up the mountain looking for that coveted summit window, and they sure did find it!

The Final Push

Prior to the successful summit push this morning, the climbing team made solid moves from camp 1 to camp 2 on January 29th, with everyone feeling pretty good as the altitude progressed. They spent two nights at…

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Aconcagua Update: January 27, 2018

We last left off with the team heading to Camp 1 on Aconcagua. That day Adrian’s team made it up in a peppy 3.5 hours. The next team followed up with a nice time themselves, 5 hours to camp 1 and everyone feeling good. Our porter team keeps treating us well, and the climbers were super happy to see a spread of charcuterie for lunch upon arrival. Weather for the climbing that day was perfect – sunny and calm in the morning while they made their move. The wind decided to pick up in the afternoon though and was at…

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Aconcagua Update: January 24, 2018

Just a few short days ago, our team of 6 coalesced in Mendoza from various parts of the U.S. and South America. The lead guides for this group are the one and only Adrian Ballinger who is working alongside the man the myth the legend, Jaime Avila. Dinner of course was delicious as it always is in Mendoza accompanied by world class Malbec wines. The easy going atmosphere wouldn’t last long though as the next day the team was in a shuttle heading towards the town of Penitentes where the plan was to hitch a ride with the local helicopter to base…

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Glacier Day on Cotopaxi

Our Ecuador climbing team is chugging along and making great progress on both acclimatization as well as learning the necessary glacier travel and climbing skills. Our lead guide in Ecuador, Jaime Avila reports that the mountain has recently been covered in clouds in the morning, and is clearing by mid morning.

Jaime will be evaluating conditions starting tomorrow morning (December 7) and may make the call to begin climbing right away so the team can climb and summit with stunning and clear views. If the weather and conditions are not looking favorable, they will wait until tomorrow night and make their ascent…

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Off to a Great Start in Quito, Ecuador

Photos: Jaime Avila
Our Ecuador Climbing School expedition team arrived safely in Quito yesterday and enjoyed a city tour. Not only is Quito at high altitude (9,350′ / 2850m) it is a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site.

Today the team acclimatized on Rucu Pichincha. Instead of heading straight to the mountain like our Cotopaxi Rapid Ascent expedition team, they will spend a few days in and above Quito acclimatizing before heading to Cotopaxi National Park. Rucu Pichincha stands at 15,413′ / 4698m’ and is an incredible day of hiking with a little bit of rock scrambling to get the…

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