Blog

Avalanche Education and the Big Mountains

On Cho Oyu last month I helped with the rescue of two badly injured Sherpa caught in an avalanche fixing rope between Camps 1 and  2. Last week three Sherpa were killed by an avalanche while rope-fixing on the relatively easy 7000-meter peak, Himlung, in Nepal. And this past summer I assisted in the body recovery of two Peruvian high altitude workers killed in an avalanche on Alpamayo while rope-fixing.

These are the latest in a series of accidents and near misses involving high altitude workers while rope-fixing on heavily guided peaks. Of course there has always been a history of accidents,…

Keep Reading...


The Big Mountain Game

Apologies for the slightly confusing sequence of blogs, but between late night/early morning check-ins and time differences, and emails that come through the Chinese system with severe delays, it’s been a little confusing to keep up! This one is from, let’s call it, 36 hours ago: It’s been an eventful week on Cho Oyu, and hard to believe we have only been here for 10 days! After a few days acclimatizing around Advanced Base Camp (already high at 19,000 feet / 5700 meters) we moved up the hill for a 5-day rotation. During those five days we slept as high……

Keep Reading...

Cho Oyu ABC, Puja, and Snow

Sergey and I might be the only ones excited about the snow the past 2 days in Advanced Base Camp on Cho Oyu! For us who are hoping to ski, the fresh snow combined with what looks like a good base from a wet monsoon is the perfect way to start the season. And our Meteotest forecasts look even better, with the wet flow winding down tomorrow, and what looks like a long period of stable high pressure weather beginning. This good weather should allow us and our Sherpa to begin working on the mountain, acclimatizing, carrying loads, setting camps,……

Keep Reading...

Rest Days

Rest Days on 8000 meter peaks, like in all of climbing, can be fun or frustrating. When wind or storms force us to spend endless days in Base Camp the days can feel unendurable and it feels like our bodies are weakening every minute. But today is the other type of rest day. We worked hard yesterday, climbing to over 21,000 feet (6400 meters), Camp 1 on Cho Oyu, with a full load of ski and climbing gear. Last night, back in ABC (Advanced Base Camp) we enjoyed red wine with dinner, and an amazing apricot crumble for dessert. That……

Keep Reading...

On the Road to the Mountains

Alpenglow’s 2013 expedition to Cho Oyu is off and running. As usual our Himalayan expeditions meet up in Kathmandu, and the time is hectic. In less than 48 hours we packed countless bags of equipment and food, jumped through hoops at embassies and ministries, and saw loads of friends that we only get to see in the climbing season in Nepal. The logistics went smoothly enough, and yesterday morning we hopped on a plane to Lhasa. I haven’t been to Lhasa since 2007, and the city continues to expand and change. This change is certainly lessening the Tibetan Buddhist feel…

Keep Reading...

Everest Guiding and International Standards

Over the past 2 months, and really over the past 2 years, I have read numerous blogs about how to “fix” Everest. I’ve even written a couple of my own. I just read a great piece (unpublished) by accomplished mountaineer Brad Johnson (author of Classic Climbs of the Cordillera Blanca – http://peaksandplaces.com/purchase_book.htm), who just summited Everest for the first time. He accurately wrote that this year, with perfect weather, many teams got away with what could be fatal mistakes up high. These mistakes were mostly caused by oversized teams and inexperienced guides, sherpa, and clients. Brad’s email reminded…

Keep Reading...

Rope Fixing Team Summits Mt. Everest! 11:30 AM, May 10, 2013

We just got news from our phenom rope fixing sherpa team that they have reached the summit of Mt. Everest. It is a good day, with sun and moderate winds. This means the team has not only been able to summit and string ropes, but has also been improving anchors, and looking at ways to lessen traffic jams on the difficult sections of the route. It’s a great day! 

 

I remember rope-fixing to the summit with the rope-fixing Sherpa in 2010 and 2011, and it is incredible fun, as well as work. To be on the…

Keep Reading...

Lhotse Face, Helis, and Progress

It’s 6:30 pm here in Camp 2, at 21,500 feet. Temperatures have been a bit cold for this time of season. That makes mornings and evenings a bit hard to leave the comforts of either a sleeping bag or our heated C2 hangout dome. And it means this will be a short blog post before we turn the heat and wifi off!

More importantly the cold temps are keeping icefall and Lhotse Face anchors and fixed ropes in excellent condition. Sherpa from many different teams keep remarking on the route’s great, and fast, condition. All the way from Base Camp…

Keep Reading...


Explore our Blog