May 20, 2010
May 18, 2010
I just spoke with IMG Guide Mark Allen who’s team kicked off our “summer” season on Mt. Rainier today in some harsh conditions. The good news is that even with the less than ideal conditions (low visibility, snowing, and windy) the team pulled into Camp Muir this afternoon in good form with big smiles. On tap tonight: hot drinks and pulled pork tacos and rest!
Tomorrow they’ll have a training session in the morning before heading up to the Ingraham Flats should conditions allow…
NOTE: It’s summit season on Everest – check for daily updates here.
May 17, 2010
IMG leader Eric Remza called on the sat phone from Camp 1 with some more information on their Cho Oyu summit climb today. The climbers left Camp 3 at 2am and reached the summit 26899 ft (8201m) at 8am. For our head sherpa, Panuru, it was his 12th ascent of Cho Oyu and he said it was the most difficult Cho Oyu climb he had done. It sounds like there was a lot of exposed rock above the Yellow Band which made for added difficulty.
Remza said the wind was not too bad for their ascent, but it was very cold. He said that shortly after their summit the weather started to close in again and it deteriorated during the day as they descended. On the way down the Sherpas pulled Camp 3 and then after a good rest at Camp 2, they were able to pull Camp 2 and descend to Camp 1 where they are now resting comfortably. So, all’s well and the team should be back to ABC tomorrow. Congrats to the climbers and Sherpas on a safe and successful summit day!
May 13, 2010
Our IMG Sherpa Trek team, led by Phu Tashi, has now reached Lobuche and everyone is doing well. Jangbu hiked down to Lobuche today to meet the group. They have had a good trek up the Khumbu, including several days staying in Phu Tashi’s lodge with his family in Dingboche. Their current plan is to see how they feel tomorrow, and then maybe stay another night at Lobuche if there are headaches. Otherwise, they will go up to Gorak Shep. The plan is for them to spend a couple days with the team at Base Camp before they head back down the valley. So far everything is going well on the mountain. Justin reports that several other groups moved up to Camp 2 today, in hopes of taking advantage of a small weather window forecasted for the 16th and 17th.
Over in Tibet, our IMG Cho Oyu team is also preparing to move up to Camp 1 tomorrow for their summit bid, also hoping to hit this projected window. The IMG Everest climbers went for a good hike today to Pumori Camp 1, however, they are going to hold tight a bit longer, waiting for a better long term forecast before launching their summit bids.
May 11, 2010
Hello to everyone following along IMG’s 2010 Spring Cho Oyu Expedition. We are all back in Advanced Base Camp (ABC) and everyone is doing well. We had a nice field trip down to the lower thick air elevations but overall it feels great to be home here at ABC. We had a nice couple days visiting the town of Shegar, plenty of hot showers, internet, and Chinese food for everyone. The highlight of the trip was visiting the Crystal Fort Monastery, which is built into the rocky ridgelines overlooking the town. We were able to hike to the very top of the Fort which made for a nice 1000ft jaunt, and a couple of the local kids accompanied us as our “guides.”
The following day we left Shegar early in the morning for our 108km drive to Everest Base Camp, and we had some stellar views along the way of Cho Oyu and Mount Everest. (Full Dispatch Here).
May 7, 2010
After several days of some pretty miserable weather here in Ashford the clouds finally parted long enough for guides Tyler Gimenez and Austin Shannon along with myself and apprentice guide Dan Zokaites to grab some skis and head into Mt. Rainier National Park for a quick “after work ski tour”.
At Paradise with skins and skis on by 7:00pm we made our way to the base of Panorama Point and called it our “high point” for the evening. Several reasons led to this decision – snow stability, darkness and general competence on skis – for me and Tyler anyways.
After a quick snack and some much needed pointers from Austin and Dan, we made our way down to the parking lot, some quicker and more graceful than others… Nevertheless we all had fun and got a dose of some much needed Vitamin D!
May 6, 2010
The long answer is: if you have a good hat system (wool hat, balaclava, and a buff) you can get by without it on Mt. Rainier. But go anywhere else outside of Mt. Rainier (Aconcagua, Ecuador, Kili, Bona, Denali, etc.) and you’ll absolutely need a hood. My advice: buy it once and buy it right.
Over the years we’ve had a couple different guide issue “parkas” a.k.a.”puffys” and they’ve been great:
Outdoor Resarch Chaos: This is our rental parka and it’s been bombproof for us 3 years running now! Waterproof and synthetic fill = great for the Pacific Northwest climate. Check out the fancy IMG Custom Embroidery.
Outdoor Research Virtuoso – A great summer Rainier jacket. 650-fill down = light and warm! The fully insulated hood is a great touch. Our guides lived in this jacket last summer.
That’s all for now.
May 4, 2010
1) Nima Karma Sherpa (Phortse)
2) Phu Tshering (Phortse)
3) Phinjo Dorje (Pangboche)
They fixed rope from South Col to Balcony yesterday and finished fixing all the way to the summit today along with three sherpas from two other teams: HIMEX and AAI. Congrats to all nine of these guys, great work.
The door is now OPEN for other teams!
May 4, 2010
It’s Work Week around IMG Headquarters this week… IMG Guides Austin Shannon and Tyler Gimenez are here helping us get this place in summer shape. The problem: some of the items on the “To Do List” are going to be a little tough with the 2 straight days of snow, sleet, hail and freezing rain here in Ashford!
Such is life in the mountains.
Next climb: Liberty Ridge on May 16th. Then the 3-day climbs begin on May 17th. It’s time to start climbing!
May 3, 2010
Denali Prep Seminar – The team wrapped up the 6.5 day seminar on Saturday by walking down the Muir Snowfield in near white out conditions. Winds gusting to 60mph knocked them around a bit but nothing they couldn’t handle. They pulled into the parking lot at Paradise around 11am… An hour down to Ashford and at the Copper Creek having lunch by 1:00pm. They didn’t tag the top but learned a ton along the way! Nice work everybody.
Everest - We had 14 sherpas carry to camp 3 today to finish building that camp and support the move up there by the Hybrid team today, for their overnight. The rest of the team has split into three groups and is also moving up towards C3. Greg moved to C2 today with the lead group, we have more climbers at C1 tonight going to C2 tomorrow, and Justin moves up to C1 tomorrow with the last group. (Full dispatch available on the Everest Expedition Coverage Page).
Cho Oyu – IMG leader Eric Remza reports that after several rest days back at ABC after their last rotation, and several days of snow and wind, the weather is now looking better and the plan for the team now is to head back up to Camp 1. From there the plan is to try to go to Camp 2 the next day, and see how the weather looks at that point before making a decision to stay up and make a summit bid or come back down and wait. We’ll keep you posted! (Full Expedition Coverage Here).