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Words on 2014 Everest Tragedy

In the aftermath of the April 18, 2014 avalanche on Everest, thoughts of the families of the lost and injured Sherpa will strongly stay in our hearts.

The Alpenglow 2014 team left home for Nepal this weekend, with heavy hearts, but also with a strong resolve to help in any way we can. While our Sherpa team is safe and accounted for, there are other families who are suffering – not only the tragic loss of family members – but the fear of not being able to support themselves after the loss of their loved one.

We believe the Sherpa…

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Nepal *Raises* Permit Fees to Climb Mt. Everest

Lots of confusion seems to have occurred from Nepal’s announcement that fees to climb Everest are changing. In fact, many maninstream news outlets have gotten in on the story, and in this case, gotten it wrong. With headlines like “Nepal Slashes Mountaineering Fees for Everest” (http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/nepal-slashes-mountaineering-fees-everest-22511494), social media is rampant today with people commenting on how this will lead to bigger crowds and countless problems on the mountain this spring.

While the mountain certainly has many issues, and in my opinion is in desperate need of oversight, either by climbers, ethical operators, an operator’s association, or the Nepali and Chines…

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Ama Season Wrap-Up

One last update from the Ama Dablam 2013 team…to add a little detail to the fantastic effort put in by Adrian and the Sherpa to open the route to the summit, and by the climbing team in achieving a 100% summit success.

As mentioned before, this season, the route to the summit presented a number of technical difficulties that other years have been less significant or not there at all. Many teams early in the season had worked hard to fix the ropes between camp one and camp two – which includes the technical “Yellow Tower”- and then between camp…

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Ama Dablam 2013 is in Full Swing

There’s been no down time for the Alpenglow crew since we arrived back in Nepal for our Ama Dablam season. I’ve probably written before that Ama is my favorite mountain in the world, and even after 11 times on the summit, I can’t wait to get back on the amazing ridges, fluted faces, and hopefully summit this incredible mountain. Alpenglow has 2 groups on the mountain this season. The first began their trek on Oct 23, and in perfect weather flew into Lukla and did a quick (thanks to Hypoxico pre-acclimatization) trek up the Khumbu Valley to base camp.…

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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,…

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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……

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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,……

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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……

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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…

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