Eric Simonson's 2001 Expeditions
I'd like to start by taking a quick look forward to my 2002 climbs. We kick off the year with our great winter Kilimanjaro programs, with 3 trips slated for the January-February season, another climb in June and a private, non-profit fundraising expedition in September for the Webb-Waring Institute of Boulder, CO. While the winter Kilimanjaro climbs are in full swing, I personally will head down to Antarctica to lead a private geological research expedition that will probably include a quick attempt on Mt. Vinson during our days off. In March I will return to Mt. Everest to lead an expedition on the South Col route in Nepal. Our program will include Base Camp treks with an option to climb Island Peak. A few climbers will also join the team setting the Khumbu Icefall as their goal.
While we are on Everest, I will field another team on Shishapangma on both a guided and non-guided basis, joined by trekkers who will tour Tibet and go to the mountain with the climbers (trekking up to ABC or Camp 1) before heading off on their own adventure to Everest Rongbuk Base Camp. In June I will send another team south to Bolivia. We have changed our Bolivia itinerary for 2002 to replace Alpamayo Chico with Huayna Potosi (17,618'), where intermediate climbing conditions can be good, before tackling Illimani. We will also offer a 6-day extension for those interested in climbing Bolivia's highest peak, Sajama (21,486'), located well off the beaten path. After a summer on Mt. Rainier I'll be sending another team to Cho Oyu in August, marking IMG's 11th consecutive expedition there. Once they are safely back I'll spend the rest of my year at home planning the 2003 programs!
Kilimanjaro Climb & Safari
2001 was a fine year for the five Africa expeditions I organized. Thanks to guides Craig John, Alex Van Steen, Tap Richards, Paul Maier and Greg Wilson for a terrific job keeping everyone safe and leading most of the climbers all the way to the top.
Congrats to all of our 2001 Kili team members:
- January 2: Michael Bleiman, Marcia Chan, Thomas Chan, Susan Fong, Betsy Gosselin, Michael Gosselin, Mauricio Jaramillo, John Kulin, Shirley Lau, Cheryl McVey, Michelle McVey, Amy Meredith, Mark Meredith, Sharon Vaillancourt.
- January 15: Paul Coffeen, Dale Gentle, Meredith Hennessey, Jay Petersen, Katharine Petersen, Martin Rothberg, Allen Sansano.
- February 3: Denver Collins, Matthew Davis, Belinda Eichel, Steven Eichel, Marc Faucher, Peggy Faucher, Patrick Filyk, Susan Filyk, Ken Gomez, Rodney Hahn, Laura Kosbar, David Lindsey, Nancy Norris, Jon Opper, Adair Prall, David Triplett, John Widly.
- June 24: Tereza Baumann, Jodi Meunier, James Powers, Jason Vaughan, Joan Vaughan, Mark Winter.
- August 11 private climb: Ro Fallon, Joanne Fallon, Alexandra Fallon, Lindsay Fallon, Timothy Fallon, Rebecca Bowen, Lawrence Fish, Atsuko Fish, Leah Fish, Edward Fish, Emily Fish.
We had very successful programs on the North Side of Everest in Tibet in conjunction with our 2001 Mallory & Irvine Research Expedition. Heather Macdonald led two treks all the way from Tingri up to the 21,300' Advanced Base Camp, truly a memorable and unique trip. Himalayan veterans Craig John, Heidi Eichner and Jason Tanguay led our North Col / 8000 meter programs (Heidi and Jason stayed around after everyone left to join the search/summit climbers). Thanks for the great job, guides! Super congrats go to Mike Otis from Phoenix, AZ and Terry LaFrance from Albany, NY along with terrific climbing Sherpas Kami, Danuru, Lhapka Nuru, and Mingma Ongel. These guys reached the top of the world on May 19, the first Everest ascent of 2001 by any route!
Thanks to all our Everest climbers and trekkers:
- ABC trekkers: Lawrence Welk, Roger Scoville, Peter Scoville, Ken Sageser, Edward Ryan, Rick Richards, John Proulx, Carlos Porto, Ed Norton, Nancy Norris, Robert Nordhaus, Greg Milliken, Steven McClung, Laura Howat, Aaron Hamilton, John Hall, Maggie Gross, William Goss, Jonathan Gilstrom, Sally Gilpin, Thomas Gibbons, Peter Gargiulo, Karen Balaban, Dick Dickerson.
- North Col climbers: David Smith, Lanta Olito, Nancy Houdeshell.
- 8000m climbers: Ted Wheeler, Jim Waldron, Chris Shiver, Timothy Ramey, Richard Martinez, Timothy Lapham, Jerry Gross.
- Non-guided Summit Climbers: David Lim , Tok Beng Cheong, Wong Ting Sern, Mohd Rozani bin Maarof, Gil Piekarz, Michael Otis, Terry LaFrance.
2001 Mallory and Irvine Research Expedition
Hopefully you followed our expedition coverage online. I really appreciated the chance to study the exploits of the pioneer climbers with historians Jochen Hemmleb and Larry Johnson and watch our research climbers do battle with Chomolungma. The team did a heck of a job finding old camps and artifacts. The final tally included the 1922 ABC, 1924 C6, 1933 C6, 1960 and 1975 Chinese C6, and 1960 Chinese C7.
In addition to spending over 21 man days at over 26,000 feet actively searching, our team also made headlines by performing the highest rescue in mountaineering history. Dave, Tap, Jason, Andy, John and Jake gave up summit bids to instead save the lives of six climbers.
After the expedition, Jochen and I traveled to Beijing to interview some of the old 1960 and 1975 Chinese climbers. Our 2001 expedition story, Detectives on Everest, will be published by Mountaineers Books in 2002. We have some juicy new info for all the Mallory and Irvine buffs out there!
Great job done and thanks again to this awesome group of individuals. Research Expedition Team: Eric Simonson, Dave Hahn, Tapley Richards, John Race, Andy Politz, Brent Okita, Jake Norton, Riley Morton (video technician), Lee Meyers (expedition doctor), Jochen Hemmleb and Larry Johnson (historians.)
The 2001 IMG Bolivia expedition, led by veteran guide Craig Van Hoy, was a very exciting trip. The team's first climb, Alpamayo Chico (17,618'), was turned back due too poor conditions up high. After resting and regrouping, Craig and team successfully summited Illimani (21,200'). This beautiful mountain and interesting route offered sections of steep snow and ice which required fixed rope and solid climbing skills.
Great job, team: Edward Huber, Robert Lowry, Rob Mackay, Jason Van Dalen, Ronald Rose, James Whitbread.
Cho Oyu 2001
Both the Spring and Autumn 2001 Cho Oyu teams were successful and team members returned home better for their experience together. IMG has now conducted ten expeditions to Cho Oyu and we have put climbers on the summit on nine of them, the best batting average in the league!
In the Spring, guides Kurt Wedburg and Ben Marshall reached the top with Tom Romary, Lynn Prebble and Ang Kami on their second try (the first attempt turned the team back at Camp 3 the previous week due to bad weather). Dave Hahn, at 27,500 feet in the Yellow Band above Camp 6 on Everest, spoke to Kurt and the team on the summit of Cho Oyu and relayed to them our best wishes. This was the first time we've been able to talk to one of our Cho Oyu teams from Everest!
Congrats to the Spring Cho Oyu climbers: Alan Agle, Claudia Berryman-Shafer, Stephen Gladbach, Ben Marshall, Garry Porter, Lynn Prebble, Thomas Romary, George Shaw, Kurt Wedberg, and Stuart Young.
The Autumn Oyu climb, led by John Race, saw Olivia Cussen reach the top with Sherpas Phunuru and Danuru. Non-guided climbers Steve House, Reid Carter, Mike Bell, and Sherpa Kami lso also made the summit of the world's sixth highest peak. We conducted a Tibet trek in conjunction with this expedition.
Congrats to the Autumn Cho Oyu team: John Race, Michael Bell, Reid Carter, Olivia Cussen, Steve House, Scott Johnson, Chris Nichols, Slate Stern, Gavin Symonds, and Bruce Turner.
I finally made it to this mountain (one of the Seven Summits, depending on how you figure it) on my third try (the first two expeditions were cancelled due to political unrest in Indonesia). It pays to be persistent, because we were lucky and able to get a permit to go in via the Grasberg Mine (truly a world class wonder in and of itself.) Anyway, what a wild trip! All I can say is that this climb is in the league of Mt. Vinson in terms of uniqueness. It was a privilege to climb to the summit with my friend and fellow guide, Greg Wilson. This was the last of the Seven Summits for both Greg and I (I also climbed Kosciusko in 2000 just to cover all the bases!) We were joined by great teammates Ro Fallon, Anthony Nightingale and Jay Wilson, who were instrumental in helping to arrange this climb. They were the best of travel companions and they successfully made the top, too. Thanks for making it happen, you guys!