2010 Everest Expedition Nepal  •  29,032'  •  8849m
Expedition Coverage

IMG's 2010 Mt. Everest Expedition Coverage

Led by Eric Simonson, Justin Merle, Mike Hamill & Ang Jangbu Sherpa
Meet the Team (lower on this page) »

Another Safe, Successful Everest Expedition is Over

May 27, 2010

Our IMG sherpas put in a big day yesterday and all the gear is down, and everyone is safe and sound. We still have some packing chores and cleanup to do: burnable rubbish is heading for the incinerator in Namche, bottles and cans to Kathmandu for recycling, empty O2 cylinders back to the USA for refilling, human waste down to Gorak Shep for burial. The climbers have all left, and the first wave has already reached Kathmandu. Our team leaders will do the final briefing with the Ministry back in Kathmandu, and we will file for getting the garbage deposit back.

Thanks to our terrific team of climbers, guides, and sherpas; they all did a great job. I would like to also thank Jangbu, Pasang, and the admin staff back at IMG HQ, for all their hard work behind the scenes preparing over this past year for the expedition. It was a great spring Himalayan season for us with a total of 42 Everest summits plus several more for our Lhotse and Cho Oyu summit climbers.

Mt. Everest will soon be quiet again, and monsoon snows will blanket the Himalayas. Back home we will all go on with our busy lives, but those of you who share my passion for Mt. Everest will continue to think about the world's highest mountain. We are already looking forward to next year!

"Everest behind you, heading for home. Climbers pass the line of chortens on the terminal moraine of the Khumbu Glacier, above Dughla, before dropping down into the land of green. Just looking at this photo sends shivers down my spine. It is one of the most emotional moments of the expedition: now you are released."
—Eric Simonson, IMG Director

—Eric Simonson, IMG Director

Climbers Down to BC; Sherpas Still on the Mountain

May 25, 2010

All IMG members have now returned to Base Camp, and everyone is doing well and in high spirits. Today we have a sherpa team bringing down Camp 2 loads to Camp 1, then bringing much of it back to BC. Tomorrow we have one more sherpa team going up to bring the final loads down from Camp 1. Already a number of the members, including Mike and the hybrid team, have left BC and are heading down the hill to thick air and fresh food. Greg, Justin, and Jangbu will stay till the final sherpa loads come down, then will head out tomorrow afternoon.

Today the BC is starting to come down and tents and gear is getting packed away. Much of the gear will go to our storeroom in Pangboche, while items that need cleaning (like sleeping bags) and repair (like tents) will be taken back to Kathmandu. We are very happy, but won't truly celebrate until the sherpas finish the final down-carries tomorrow. We're close, but not quite there yet!

—Eric Simonson, IMG Director

Teams Moving Down; Sherpas Taking Down Camps

May 25, 2010

Jangbu reports that the weather is good, and Justin's team is doing well with their descent from the Col down to Camp 2. They will descend to BC tomorrow. Meanwhile, we have a team of Sherpas who are this morning headed back up to the Col to carry down the rest of the equipment. Hamill and Greg's team is on its way down to BC, and all members are now below Camp 1 in the Icefall and moving well.

—Eric Simonson, IMG Director

All Summiters Descend to Camp Safely

May 24, 2010 (Nepal Time)

Ang Jangbu reports that today's summiters are all back to the Col in good shape and are being well taken care of by Nima Karma (our South Col cook). Everyone else who was up there is now down to Camp 2. Yesterday's summiters are now all down to Base Camp. Weather is looking decent, and the sherpas had a good down-carry today from the Col and Camp 3. Plans for tomorrow are for the climbers at the Col to descend to Camp 2, and we have another group of sherpas going up to finish bringing down the remaining gear down from the Col.

—Eric Simonson, IMG Director

Second Round of Summits!

May 24, 2010 (Nepal Time)

We are proud to report that John, Ryan, Lei, Mike, Justin and their four sherpas have summited and are now on the way down to the Col. Robert, Chris, and Peter turned back on the ascent from near the Balcony and have already reached back to the Col and are now descending to Camp 2.

The climbers who summitted yesterday and spent the night on the Col are also making their way down to Camp 2. The weather up high on Everest has been light winds with some clouds and a few flakes. Down lower there was more snowfall overnight, but the sun is now starting to burn through. We have a group of Sherpas on their way to the Col from C2 to start carrying down the empty oxygen bottles and equipment. We'll keep you posted on the team's progress.

Here are the names of the summiters:

  1. Mr. Michael Earl Chapman of USA
  2. Mr. John Stephen Dahlem of USA
  3. Mr. Ryan Steven Dahlem of USA
  4. Ms. Lei Wang of USA
  5. Mr. Justin Reese Merle of USA (this is his 4th Everest summit)
  6. Mr. Samduk Dorje Tamaang of Khumjung VDC Pangboche Solukhumbu, Nepal (this is his 5th Everest summit)
  7. Mr. Danuru Sherpa (I) of Khumjung VDC Phortse Solukhumbu, Nepal (this is his 10th Everest summit)
  8. Mr. Danuru Sherpa (II) of Khumjung VDC Phortse Solukhumbu, Nepal (this is his 12th Everest summit)
  9. Mr. Datenji Sherpa of Khumjung VDC Phortse Solukhumbu, Nepal (this is his 6th Everest summit)

Congratulations to everyone and we wish them all a safe trip back down.

—Eric Simonson, IMG Director

IMG's Second Team on Their Summit Bid

May 24, 2010 (12:45am Nepal Time)

Jangbu reports that the IMG second team left the Col at about 8pm this evening (May 23rd, Nepal Time) and is now at the Balcony. Weather is OK with light wind and some clouds. So far so good.

—Eric Simonson, IMG Director

Summiters Safe at the Col; Next Team Preparing

May 23, 2010

Everyone made it down to the South Col safely. Karel, Brian Chapman, CL Lein, Mike Boaz, Mayk Schega and Brook (coming down from Lhotse) are all heading back down to Camp 2. The rest of today's climbers will come down tomorrow. Justin and team are all up on the Col and doing well. They plan to leave tonight for the summit. Other teams headed for summit tonight are AAI, RMI, some of HG members.

—Eric Simonson, IMG Director

Everest and Lhotse Summits!

May 23, 2010 (Nepal Time)

All 15 IMG climbers and guides, and also their 15 sherpas climbing today, have now reached the summit and are on the way down:

  1. Mr. Karel Masek of Czech Republic
  2. Mr. Bryan Keith Chapman of USA
  3. Mr. Lien Choong Luen of Singapore
  4. Mr. Mayk Ulrich Schega of Germany
  5. Mr. Sandhosh Kumar Sankaran of Singapore
  6. Mr. Theodore Fairhurst of Canada
  7. Mr. Timothy Brian Igo of USA
  8. Mr. Chien Min Wang of Taiwan
  9. Mr. Michael Allen Boaz of USA
  10. Mr. Gregory Vernovage of USA
  11. Mr. Adolphus Gordon Hancock of Canada
  12. Mr. Louis Carstens of South Africa
  13. Mr. Michael Aaron Hamill of USA (this is his 4th Everest summit)
  14. Mr. Jason Van Dalen of USA
  15. Mr. Eben Fleming Reckord of USA
  16. Mr. Karma Rita Sherpa of Khunjung VDC, Phortse, Solukhumbu Nepal (this is his 5th Everest summit)
  17. Mr. Dorje Lama of Baganje Solu Khumbu (this is his 4th Everest summit)
  18. Mr. Jamling Bhote of Sankhuwasava, Nepal (this is his 5th Everest summit)
  19. Mr. Mr. Phinjo Dorje Sherpa of Khumjung VDC Pangboche, Solukhumbu, Nepal (this is his 4th Everest summit)
  20. Mr. Kalden Phura Sherpa of Khumjung VDC Pangboche, Solukhumbu, Nepal
  21. Mr. Mingma Dorje Sherpa of Khumjung VDC Phortse, Solukhumbu, Nepal (this is his 7th Everest summit)
  22. Mr. Kancha Nuru Sherpa of Khumjung VDC Pangboche Solukhumbu, Nepal (this is his 2nd Everest summit)
  23. Mr. Phinjo Sherpa of Khumjung VDC Phortse Solukhumbu, Nepal (this is his 6th Everest summit)
  24. Mr. Kancha Nuru Sherpa of Khumjung VDC Phortse Solukhumbu, Nepal (this is his 3rd Everest summit)
  25. Mr. Pasang Rinji Sherpa of Khumjung VDC phortse Solukhumbum Nepal (this is his 4th Everest summit)
  26. Mr. Da Sonam Sherpa of Khumjung VDC Pangboche Solukhumbu, Nepal (this is his 10th Everest summit)
  27. Mr. Tseten Dorje Sherpa of Khumjung VDC Pangboche Solukhumbu, Nepal
  28. Mr. Pasang Nuru Sherpa of Khumjung VDC Phortse Solukhumbu, Nepal (this is his 2nd Everest summit)
  29. Mr. Karma Gyalzen Sherpa of Khumjung VDC Phortse Solukhumbu, Nepal
  30. Mr. Pasang Sherpa of Salleri Solukhumbu, Nepal (this is his 2nd Everest summit)

In addition, the following members have reached the summit of Lhotse:

  1. Mr. Brook Adam Mancinelli of USA
  2. Mr. Chewang Lendu Sherpa of Khumjung VDC Phortse Solukhumbu, Nepal (this is his 4th Lhotse summit)
  3. Mr. Gyalzen Dorje Sherpa of Khumjung VDC Phorste Solukhumbu, Nepal (this is his 2nd Lhoste summit)

See video from the Summit of Lhotse »

All that patience has paid off with a gorgeous summit day and not too much wind up high. We are super proud of all these climbers and wish them a safe trip down. The second IMG team is making good progress up to the Col from Camp 3 in preparation for their summit attempt tomorrow.

—Eric Simonson, IMG Director

Climbers on the South Summit (28,700')

May 23, 2010 (5:30am Nepal Time)

It is getting light. Weather is good. Two IMG team members and their sherpas are already above the South Summit, and the rest of the team is not far below the South Summit.

—Eric Simonson, IMG Director

First Summit Bid Begins

May 22, 2010 (9pm Nepal Time)

All the IMG climbers have now left the South Col and are starting up. Weather is reported to be calm.

—Eric Simonson, IMG Director

IMG Climbers Resting at the South Col

May 22, 2010 (5pm Nepal Time)

Ang Jangbu reports that everyone on Hamill and Greg's teams did very well today pulling into South Col, with even the slowest climbers arriving before 1pm, so plenty of time for a good rest this afternoon. Justin and his group also made Camp 3 today in good time. Brook and Chewang also pulled into Lhotse Camp 4 in under 4 hours from Camp 3 and are getting ready to head up in the morning.

—Eric Simonson, IMG Director

Climbers Moving Up

May 22, 2010 (9am Nepal Time)

Ang Jangbu reports the weather is good this morning and Greg and Hamill's teams are on their way to the Col. They had an early start and are currently on or above the Yellow Band. Merle's team is making good progress as well going to Camp 3. Himex, AC and Asian Trek summitted this morning. Brook, Chewang, and Gyalzen are also on their way to Lhotse high camp.

—Ang Jangbu, Deputy Expedition Leader

Decreasing Winds Put Climbing Plans Back on Track

May 21, 2010

Ang Jangbu reports that the winds started to die down this afternoon. AC, Himex and Asian Trek group continued and made it to the Col today, so they will be climbing for the summit tonight. Greg and Mike, with their respective IMG climbers up at Camp 3, decided it was better to wait and not get so trashed in the wind going to the Col, so they have spent the day hanging out and will aim for the South Col tomorrow morning. Justin and the IMG climbers at C2 will go to C3 in the morning. That means for tomorrow night (the 22nd in the US and the 23rd in Nepal) it will probably be our first team, along with Willie Benegas' team, and possibly Mountain Trip attempting the summit with our second IMG team the following night (the 24th in Nepal) along with RMI, AAI, and some of Henry Todd's group.

We have the new weather forecast that shows the cyclone weakening and moving to the east over the next few days. We may still get hit by some of the moisture from this system, so we'll keep our fingers crossed!

—Eric Simonson, IMG Director

Climbers Waiting Out High Winds

May 20, 2010

I talked to Ang Jangbu, and he reports that the team has elected to stall for 24 hours. Jangbu was on the radio at 2am with Greg/Mike at C3 and Justin/Ang Pasang at C2. Both reported high winds overnight. The sherpas and climbers stayed on standby until about 7am, and the winds stayed strong, so they decided to hold. We have several sherpas climbing up to Camp 3 now to bring additional food and supplies to the climbers so they can stay another night here. We'll keep you posted!

—Eric Simonson, IMG Director

Two Days from Everest and Lhotse Summit Bids

May 20, 2010

Ang Jangbu reports that it was windy day all day, but it slowed down quite a bit this evening:

Our IMG team did very well pulling into Camp 3 this morning. Everyone who started from Camp 2 made it to Camp 3 in good time. It sounds like some teams turned around part way up the face. Other teams sleeping at Camp 3 tonight include Himex, AC, and Asian Trek. Greg's team (Boaz, Hancock, Lein, Davis, B. Chapman and Karel) and Hamill's team plan to leave Camp 3 for the South Col by 7am. We have 16 regular sherpas including Ang Pasang leaving Camp 2 at 3am for the South Col to carry more gear and set up tents.

For Lhotse, we have Chewang Lendu along with one Asian Trek Sherpa who will leave Camp 2 early tomorrow morning and try to fix as high as they can and meet Brook and Gyalzen Dorje at Lhotse Camp 4 tomorrow night. They will then leave for the summit early the next morning. We also have Tshering Ongchu carrying food and gear from Camp 2 to Lhotse Camp 4 tomorrow.

Justin's team (Lei Wang, the Dahlems, M. Chapman, Robert Kay and Bergum) plans to depart Camp 2 between 3 and 4 in the morning. Tomorrow, 2 of the 4 sherpas down here at Base Camp will go to Camp 2 to make a down-carry, and the other 2 will make a down-carry from Camp 1.

—Ang Jangbu, Deputy Expedition Leader

Orchestrating Multi-team Summit Bids

May 19, 2010

IMG deputy leader Ang Jangbu reports from Base Camp that everyone did very well today pulling into Camps 1 and 2:

Karel, Al and Lei went from Camp 1 to 2. Bergum, Ford, Mike Chapman and Merle went from BC to Camp 2 directly. John and Ryan Dahlem and Robert Kay stayed at Camp 1 for the night and will move to Camp 2 tomorrow. Ten sherpas carried to South Col, three carried Camp 3 and two carried to Lhotse Camp 4 today. Three more sherpas moved to Camp 2 today. It was windy all day today above Camp 1.

The plan for tomorrow (5/20) is that the Hybrid team and also Greg, Brook, Boaz, Hancock, B Chapman, Lein, Davis, Karel and their personal sherpas plan to leave Camp 2 at 3am in the morning and head up to Camp 3. Ang Pasang, Tenzing Gyalzen and Phura Ongel will go ahead of the group to Camp 3 and set up three more tents and then they will drop back down to Camp 2. We have two sherpas down here at BC (Phu Tashi and Karma Gyalzen) who will go to Camp 1 and meet two sherpas coming down from Camp 2. These four sherpas will take down the Camp 1. The rest of the sherpas are taking a rest day today. Tomorrow they will go to Camp 2 and will carry personal/group gear to the Col and set up tents the next day.

—Ang Jangbu, Deputy Expedition Leader

Everest Weather Update

May 18, 2010

We are tracking tropical cyclone Laila in the Bay of Bengal. Our longtime IMG weather forecaster Michael Fagin ( forwards us this satellite photo (courtesy of Meteorological Forecasting Division, Government of Nepal).

As this storm moves north, we are hoping it will be pushed east by the jet stream, missing the Everest area!

—Eric Simonson, IMG Director

Climbers Getting Into Position for Summit Bids

May 18, 2010

I'm sitting here in IMG's communications tent the night before heading up the hill for the summit bid. We sent the bulk of the team uphill this morning, and everyone is doing well. The Hybrid group (guides Mike and Eben; Louis, Mayk, Sandosh, Jason, Ted and Tim) along with IMG coach Greg Vernovage, Mike Boaz, Bryan, Lien, Davis and Brook are at Camp 2. Al, Karel and Lei are at Camp 1 (as planned). Those who went up today had a fine day — clear skies and little wind — and they're all feeling strong and excited to finally start climbing again.

We're still watching the weather; if all goes well, we may send people to the summit on the 22nd and 23rd, but we'll adjust that if conditions change. I'll be heading up the hill tomorrow with John, Ryan, and Robert (staying Camp 1), and Mike Chapman, Chris, and Peter heading to Camp 2. We'll look to summit the day after the first crew. Ang Jangbu will be supporting us on the radio down here in base camp, and he and Eric will keep you informed of our progress. Thanks for your support!

Time to go get some sleep; it's an early start tomorrow...

—Justin Merle, Expedition Leader

Sherpa Trek Departs BC; Summit Bids Ready to Start

May 17, 2010

IMG leader Justin Merle reports from Base Camp that the Sherpa Trek group left today after a nice visit, and are heading for Lobuche.

The team reports that there may have been as many as 50 Everest summits today. Congrats to these summiters, the door is open now!

This morning the IMG climbers finished packing high altitude snack food and personal gear for the summit bids and we got the oxygen masks handed out to the Sherpas. The weather report is looking better with the jet stream is forecasted to start tracking over the next week more to the north, away from Mt Everest. Currently it has been very close to Everest, moving away slightly, but then meandering back and forth. Now that it starts to move conclusively to the north, this is really the beginning of the end of the climbing season, since this also signals the beginning of the monsoon formation down in the Indian Ocean.

The tentative plan for the IMG is to split the team into two waves, with the first group of summit climbers starting up tomorrow, and the second group starting up the next day. Leaving at a pre-dawn hour tomorrow morning are the Hybrid team, Greg Vernovage, Boaz, Hancock, Lien, Wang, B Chapman, Masek and their respective personal sherpas. The rest of the climbers and their Sherpas leave Base Camp the following day with Justin.

We'll keep you posted!

—Eric Simonson, IMG Director

The BC Hang: Making the Best of the Weather Delay

May 16, 2010

Well, we're still here in base camp watching the weather and waiting. At this point, the whole team is well rested and getting a bit restless; we're ready to go climb this mountain! That's just where we want to be — champing at the bit and ready to go. The weather forecasts are starting to be more optimistic, but we may still be waiting in base camp for a few more days. The jet stream and its high winds have been over the mountain recently; we're looking for this band of winds to be well away from Everest and Lhotse when we attempt to go to the top. These mountains are difficult enough even if you're climbing in perfect weather.

The team has been staying active with hikes down to Gorak Shep, up onto the flanks of Pumori, and just cruising around base camp seeing friends. We're trying to balance our time lazing around our camp with enough activity to keep us sharp. Base camp is not a bad place to spend time; it's starting to feel like home. We have a great group to hang out with, we're eating good food, having fun, and getting ourselves strong and healthy.

Our Sherpa Trek team of 6 trekkers has been visiting us here in camp for the past couple days. They did great getting up here and had fun today seeing the sights of base camp, looking up into the Khumbu Icefall, and hanging out with our climbing team. Nice to see some new faces around camp! Tomorrow they plan to trek down to Lobuche — heading back to Kathmandu.

During the next few days, we'll be finalizing our preparations for our climb to the summit. We'll each pack meals that we think are tasty and can provide us with enough calories to fuel our climb. This can be tricky: food doesn't always taste the same at altitude, and our appetites aren't always there. I usually take a variety of food and plenty of snacks; if I think it might taste good it makes the cut, junk food or not! Climbers have been practicing with the oxygen systems here in camp, making sure they know the ins and outs of the mask and regulators and how to deal with problems that might arise. We're sorting through the last of our warm summit gear — some is already up at Camps 2 and 3. As we climb above Camp 2, we want to take only what we need, so we're trying to trim out any excess and take just the essentials. We're making sure we have plenty of camera and headlamp batteries — don't want to run out up on the hill. Spirits are great, and we're all psyched for the coming adventure.

Hopefully in the next few days we'll be writing to tell you of a successful climb! Thanks for all the support back home!

—Justin Merle, Expedition Leader

Trekkers Enjoying BC; Climbers Waiting

May 15, 2010

IMG team coach Greg Vernovage reports that the Sherpa Trek group made it to Base Camp today and are doing well. They will spend a couple days soaking in the ambience of the location, including taking a stroll tomorrow up to the base of the Khumbu Icefall for some photos. The climbing team continues to wait for a better long term forecast before launching the summit bids. Patience!!

—Eric Simonson, IMG Director

Sherpas Moving Up to Prepare for Summit Bids

May 14, 2010

IMG leader Justin Merle reports that today 14 IMG sherpas moved up to Camp 2 in preparation for the summit bids. If the weather gives them a break, they are planning a 3am departure in the morning to go from Camp 2 up to the Col with the final loads for establishing Camp 4.

The entire IMG team is at Everest BC doing well. Hopefully we will launch the summit bids in the next few days if we get an improving forecast. The Sherpa Trek team moved up to Gorak Shep today and is doing well. Jangbu hiked with them from Lobuche, then continued on up to Base Camp. After their overnight at Gorak Shep and an ascent of Kala Patthar (the small peak above Gorak Shep, with great Everest views, at about 18,200') they will come up to Base Camp tomorrow.

—Eric Simonson, IMG Director

Sherpa Trek Arrives in Lobuche

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.

—Eric Simonson, IMG Director

Ang Phinjo's Remains Recovered

May 13, 2010

I had a call yesterday from Ang Jangbu up at Everest Base Camp. The remains of Ang Phinjo Sherpa, killed April 21, 2006, had been recovered in the lower icefall near the first ladders. Phinjo, working for IMG, and two sherpas working for Asian Trek, were killed in an icefall collapse that day. Ang Jangbu had been touched by this personally, as his sister was married to Phinjo, and they were from the same village of Phortse. Phinjo was our oldest IMG sherpa (50); he went on his first 8000 meter peak in 1973, and this 2006 trip was his 49th 8000 meter expedition! He was a great guy who was loved by members and sherpas alike.

Jangbu reports that the police and family have now been notified, the remains have been carried back to Phortse, and this morning they were received by the family and then cremated. The family had already done a big puja for him back in Phortse during the summer of 2006, so this time it was only a small private ceremony.

Jangbu and I have worked together since 1991 and I know this had weighed on him and the family, so it is a big relief for everyone to finally recover Phinjo and close the loop. Phinjo is the only sherpa to die working for IMG; other than this incident, we have had only a few minor injuries over the years. He and the other two sherpas were doing everything right that fateful day, but they were just in the wrong place at the wrong time when their luck ran out. So far this year the Icefall has been very benign, with very few collapses or avalanches. It reminds us to be vigilant, as we prepare for our final rotations and summit bids.

—Eric Simonson, IMG Director

Watching the Spin Cycle Clouds and Trading Candy

May 12, 2010

The team is all at Base Camp, resting, doing hikes, eating a lot of Kaji's good cooking, and staying healthy. Our Lhotse climber Brook sends his wedding anniversary greeting to his wife Alison back in California!!

So, what do you do with a group of strong, healthy, well prepared Everest and Lhotse climbers who are so ready to go you can feel the excitement every time you pass each other? Well, the wind has been bad, so we eat and rest some more.

The picture at Base Camp looks like this: Jangbu and the staff wake up in the morning, and we look at the mountain. We can see Lhotse and the West Shoulder of Everest. These two points are our best check points for the wind. The reason that we look at these areas is because sometimes the wind is not blowing in Base Camp. We have a big distance to take into consideration when climbing this mountain. From Base Camp, we have to go into the air where the Jet Stream likes to play.

So, we look at Lhotse and the West Shoulder of Everest. For the past three days, the clouds have hit Lhotse like the spin cycle of the washing machine, spinning and kicking out straight up into the sky. Fun to watch but not for walking in. As for the West Shoulder, the spindrift screams down from right to left and disappears into Tibet. Again, not conducive for a summit attempt.

Hey, whatever! We are doing great! The team is in great spirits. Plenty of laughing. We are starting to trade iPods for music and movies.

We handed out the summit lunch sacs today which consist of a variety of food and candy that any Halloween bag would love. The rules to the Summit bags are don't take what you won't eat and trade it for what you like. The Dining tent was filled with a group of grownups dumping out their bags and making deals. I heard one grown up trading Famous Amos cookies for M&M's. My summit bag: Swedish Fish, Hot Tamales and Gu's.

When is the weather going to give us our shot? We will let you know. When Everest does give us our shot, the team will be on fire to get up there. We have worked incredibly hard to get in place for the summit bid. This is how we climb mountains. Work hard to get in position and wait for the right time. We are waiting for our opportunity.

We talk about home regularly and appreciate all of the support from the family and friends back home. Thanks!

—Greg Vernovage, IMG Team Coach

Hot Showers, Thick Air, and Good Food

May 8, 2010

Ang Jangbu reports that Justin and the final wave of IMG members have now successfully descended back down to IMG Base Camp after their Camp 3 overnight rotations. All's well with the team, and everyone is enjoying hot showers, thick air, and good food. The plan now is for everyone to take a series of rest days and get ready for the summit bids. So far so good, stay tuned!!

—Eric Simonson, IMG Director

C3 Rotations Done; Now Preparing for Summit Bids

May 7, 2010

I spoke to IMG leader Greg Vernovage on the sat phone and got the update on the recent events on Everest. All the IMG climbers doing Camp 3 rotations are now finished sleeping at Camp 3. Justin's wave are back down to Camp 2 (they are coming back to BC tomorrow), and everyone else is now back down to Base Camp.

Greg said that the recent snowfall has actually improved the conditions on the route to Camp 3, with steps starting to form (where it was very icy last week). Coming down the Western Cwm, Greg said there was a foot of fresh snow at Camp 1 that has fallen recently.

Greg reports that the Russians tried to make an alpine style bid today on Lhotse without fixed ropes, but it is unclear how they did up there, more news to follow. Greg summited Lhotse last year with our team, so we know the route on Lhotse is quite steep, and the recent snowfall has loaded up the Lhotse couloir. In the meantime the IMG Lhotse climbers Brook and Sumiyo have now slept at Camp 3, so they will come down for rest and will wait until the weather improves, and we can finish getting the Lhotse route fixed with rope.

Ang Jangbu has now given some of the sherpas time off, and they have headed down valley for a couple days back home. Some IMG members are also heading down to Pheriche for rest while others are planning to hang out at the luxury IMG Base Camp until summit bids begin. We'll leave a skeleton crew up at Camp 2 to keep an eye on that camp. In the meantime, tents at C3 have been taken down, along with some of the tents at C1 and C2, just in case the winds pick up (the jet stream is forecasted to migrate over the Everest area).

—Eric Simonson, IMG Director

IMG Climbers Doing Well on Camp 3 Rotations

May 6, 2010

Ang Jangbu reports that everyone is doing well on Everest:

Chris, Lein, Kay, and Ford got back down to Camp 2 safe after their Camp 3 run. Justin's team with the Dahlems, Brian, Brook and Lei Wang are making good progress on their way up to Camp 3. Mike B, Karel, Davis, Mike C, Sumiyo are in the ice fall on their way down. We have 3 sherpas carrying to the South Col and 3 sherpas carrying to Camp 2 from BC. The rest of the regular sherpas are coming to BC for couple days rest.

—Ang Jangbu, Deputy Expedition Leader

First Summits of the Season

May 5, 2010

IMG deputy leader Ang Jangbu Sherpa reports that the following IMG sherpas reached the summit of Mount Everest between 11:25 and 11:30 AM on Wednesday, May 5, 2010:

  1. Nima Karma Sherpa (Phortse)
  2. Phu Tshering (Phortse)
  3. Phinjo Dorje (Pangboche)

They fixed rope from the South Col to the 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!

—Ang Jangbu, Deputy Expedition Leader

Climbers on the Move

May 4, 2010 (around 9am of May 5th in Nepal)

The rope-fixing team is between The Balcony and the South Summit on their way up. They reported light wind. Greg's team all descended from Camp 3 this morning. They are all back to Camp 2 now. In-between team on their way to Camp 3. Hamill's team in the Icefall on their way down. Justin's team on their way to Camp 2. Sherpas carrying to South Col are below the Geneva Spur.

—Ang Jangbu, Deputy Expedition Leader

Sherpas Reach South Col; Climbers Heading for C3

May 4, 2010

Ang Jangbu reports that the sherpas had another good day up high today:

All total we had 16 Sherpas carry to the Col, one carried food to Camp 3 for Greg's team, one carried member personal loads to C2 from C1, and two carried to C2 from BC. The IMG sherpas on the fixing team (Nima Karma, Phinjo Dorje and Phu Tshering) are sleeping up on the Col now. Today, the fixing crew left Camp 2 early morning and were able to fix to up to just below the Balcony today. The plan for tomorrow is that the fixing crew will leave the Col at 3am and try to go fix to the summit. For tomorrow we have another 11 IMG sherpas ready to head to the Col in the morning!

For the IMG members, the Camp 3 rotations are going well. So far we have seen Mike, Eben, and the Hybrid climbers have a successful overnight up there, and now they have returned to C2 and will be heading for BC tomorrow morning. Now up at C3 tonight are Greg, Al, Davis, Karel, Mike B, Mike C, and Sumiyo. Now in residence at C2 getting ready to head up to C3 in the next day or two are Lein, Chris, Robert, Brook, and Peter. Justin is at Camp 1 tonight with John, Ryan, Bryan, and Lei and they head to Camp 2 tomorrow. So far so good!

—Ang Jangbu, Deputy Expedition Leader

Climbers on the Move in Better Weather

May 3, 2010

Ang Jangbu reports from Everest BC that the weather improved today and everyone moved on schedule:

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. The sherpa plan for tomorrow is another big push to the South Col. We have Nima Karma, Phinjo Dorje and Phu Tshering along with 6 other sherpas from Himex and AAI that will try to fix up to the Balcony and then sleep on Col. They will then fix to the summit the next day (weather permitting).

—Ang Jangbu, Deputy Expedition Leader

Everyone Waiting Out the Weather

May 2, 2010

I talked to Phil Ershler on the sat phone, and he reports that nobody moved on the mountain today after a healthy overnight snowfall of at least 6 inches.

—Eric Simonson, IMG Director

Resting Up in BC Before Tough C3 Rotation

May 1, 2010

Justin Merle here... Today was a fine rest day for me and some of the team in base camp. Over the past couple days some of our climbers have started to move up the hill to acclimatize at Camp 3, so there are fewer of us down low here. Having a smaller group in BC has its benefits: the cooks have more time to spend cooking up tasty food, so we eat pretty well — things like pizza, chocolate cake, BLT sandwiches and steaks. It's pretty amazing what comes out of our cook Kaji's kitchen here at 17,500'. I was up on the hill when he baked the reputedly verrrry tasty brownies, but I have been around to sample the sourdough bread he recently learned how to bake. It's quite tasty with cream cheese spread on top.

The weather today was nicer. The past few days clouds have come in by the late morning and we've had a little snow down here. Today it stayed sunny and warm all day — good for washing up without freezing, and for drying the laundry. Ang Jangbu and I took a walk up to the main base camp to see some friends and even managed to partake in a couple friendly games of horseshoes — one win, one loss. As you might gather, rest days in base camp are about relaxing and recovering both physically and mentally: staying healthy, eating lots of good food, cleaning up, taking naps in the afternoon, and playing the occasional game of hearts or poker. All in the name of being ready to go back up the hill.

We have an array of climbers up climbing right now, all heading toward spending a night at Camp 3. The Hybrid team left yesterday for Camp 1, and moved up to Camp 2 today. Guides Mike Hamill and Eben Reckord report that their team is feeling strong, and are planning to sleep at Camp 3 tomorrow before descending to rest up for their summit bid. They'll have an early morning start — they'll walk a couple hours to the base of Lhotse Face. From here the route steepens, climbing up 40-50 degree slopes to Camp 3, and this year the slopes look a little icier. It'll take several hours to climb up these steep slopes to C3, which is perched right in the middle of the face at 24,500'. This is the highest we sleep without oxygen, and it'll be a good kick in the pants. What I mean to say is that it'll probably be an unpleasant night, and we'll all likely feel the malaise of Acute Mountain Sickness when we sleep there — headaches, nausea, etc... But this will be great acclimatization and give us some good confidence to take up the hill on our summit bids.

Today our Lhotse team climbed up toward Camp 3 and back to Camp 2, and they'll take a couple rest days in preparation for a similar climb to and sleep at Camp 3 prior to their summit bid.

A crew of Sherpa guided climbers, and IMG guide Greg Vernovage climbed up through the Khumbu Icefall today to Camp 1 where they'll sleep tonight en route to Camp 3. More climbers will head up the hill tomorrow morning, and I'll climb up with another group of climbers on the 4th, all with the goal to get a night in at Camp 3.

After this rotation up high, we'll all come back to base camp to rest up, eat good food, and look for good weather to go to the top!

—Justin Merle, Expedition Leader

Waiting Out the Weather in Lower Camps

April 30, 2010

IMG leader Justin Merle reports that the weather up high remains nasty, and the sherpas that were trying to carry to the South Col turned back low on the Lhotse Face due to wind and snow. They will try again tomorrow. Brook, Sumiyo, Larry, and Peter are all up at C2 and doing well. The Hybrid team had a good climb up to C1 and will be going up to C2 tomorrow. Also tomorrow, Greg, Davis, Karel, Mike, and Al head up to C1 with the rest of the climbers planning to head up over the next couple days.

—Eric Simonson, IMG Director

Climbers Resting and Preparing to Move Up Again

April 29, 2010

IMG leader Justin Merle reports from BC that the climbers from C2 descended today to the thick air and good food at Base Camp. Over the next few days, after their rest days, the climbers will start heading back up on their second acclimatization rotations. First to leave will be the Hybrid team; Mike Hamill reports that his crew is rested and ready to go to C1 tomorrow if the weather looks OK.

We now have 22 Sherpas up at C2 and tomorrow 20 of them plan to go to the Col with loads, while two will go to C3 to start putting in that camp. If all goes according to plan, it might be possible to send the summit rope-fixing Sherpas to the Col as early as the 4th or 5th.

—Eric Simonson, IMG Director

Route Now Open to South Col

April 28, 2010

We woke up to a great day at Base Camp. Everyone who is at Base Camp enjoyed the morning sun, showers and some laundry. The group is looking great. We are all getting stronger and excited for the next rotation. After breakfast, we did the oxygen clinic in the giant communal tent, and the team paid close attention on how to use the cylinders, regulator and mask. All the do's and don'ts. This team is not only strong, they are smart. A very good team all around, looking after each other on the mountain and laughing in the dining tent after long rotations.

We just got word that the fixing team has reached the South Col. Ang Jangbu relayed the word to us and as he spoke, we heard the Sherpas give a shout. Nice job, guys!

The Hybrid group is preparing for the next rotation, heading up Friday. Mike, Eben, Justin, Jangbu and I had some of Kaji's fresh sourdough bread this afternoon and talked about schedules and where we would all be over the next week. This is a team, not only my section, but the entire IMG Base Camp. We walk around camp and everyone is positive. It is busy on Everest for IMG, busy and good. We have sherpas fixing on the Lhotse Face, Phil and a team at C2, a team at C1 and a bunch of strong climbers on deck to go up. The rotation coming up will include a night at C3 up on the Lhotse Face. The IMG team is doing great. Everest is going to challenge you. It is a bonus to have teammates around that support you when Everest gives you a curve ball. As always, I am fortunate to be surrounded by Great Teammates.

We enjoy hearing from home. Thanks to all you,

—Greg Vernovage, IMG Team Coach

Resting, Acclimating, and Hoping the Weather Holds

April 27, 2010

The Hybrid team is taking their second of four rest days in base camp before heading up for their second rotation. On the next rotation they plan to spend a night at Camp 3 on the Lhotse Face at roughly 24,500ft to prepare for the summit bid. They are currently enjoying some R+R at base camp, Kaji's excellent base camp cuisine, a hot shower, and a chance to do some laundry. The entire team is fit, healthy, and did remarkably well on the first rotation.

The first wave of the Sherpa guided team arrived back at base camp yesterday. They, too, are enjoying the amenities of base camp and are all doing well. They are planing 4 or 5 rest days before heading up through the icefall again for their second rotatation. Guide Justin Merle and Jeffrey Gottfurcht had a successful trip up to Camp 2 and just returned to base camp today. IMG owner and two time Everest summiter Phil Ershler is currently leading the second wave of Sherpa guided climbers up to the base of the Lhotse Face above Camp 2 for an acclimatization hike. They plan to spend another two nights at Camp 2 with a climb on the Lhotse Face planned for tomorrow, before descending to base camp on the 29th.

The Lhotse climbers headed to C1 today and will spend a few nights there before moving to C2. They are healthy and made good time through the icefall today.

Everything is going very well here on Everest. The rope fixing team has put in the route well above C3 and they hope to reach the South Col (C4) within the next few days. The weather this season overall has been excellent, and it looks to remain that way in the near future. All the expeditions have been working well together to keep the mountain safe and to work on the route.

Regards from Everest base camp!

—Mike Hamill, Hybrid Team Guide

Fixing Ropes to the South Col

April 26, 2010

Ang Jangbu reports from BC that the wind has calmed down a bit and we have Nima Karma and Ang Nima up at C2 now, joining tomorrow with two sherpas from AAI and two from Himex, to finish fixing the rope to the Col.

Greg's team came down to BC today and they are doing well. Justin and Jeff, and Phil, Ryan, John, and Karel are still at C2 doing well, and they will be down in the next day or two. Lhotse climbers Brook and Tsumiyo and C3 climber Larry head up tomorrow to C1. Today we had 19 sherpas carry to C2 and now we have almost all the oxygen and supplies for the upper mountain up to C2. We now have 135 bottles of oxygen at C2 and the last upper mountain loads go up to C2 tomorrow, along with some member personal gear loads. Then, on the 29th we have a big crew of sherpas moving to C2 to start working on C3 and C4. So far, so good!

—Ang Jangbu, Deputy Expedition Leader

Rest Rotations Begin; Sherpas Prepare to go High

April 25, 2010

The Hybrid team descended back to BC and are now enjoying the start of their rest days. Greg's team is coming to down to BC tomorrow leaving C2 at 6am. Justin and Jeff made it to C2 in good time and they are doing well. Phil, John, Ryan and Bryan with their sherpas will move to C2 tomorrow from C1.

We had a mini Puja for the Express, Lhotse, and C3 climbers after they got back from their Icefall practice run this morning. Sumiyo and Tasia are going for a practice run into the Icefall tomorrow morning with their sherpas. We have our regular sherpa team carrying to C2 tomorrow. If everything goes well, we plan to have the sherpas take a rest day on the 27th and then will move most of the sherpas to C2 on the 28th to start making carries to C3 and South Col. However, if the weather up high continues to be cold and windy (the sherpas working on the Lhotse Face were unable to make progress today), then this plan may have to get delayed.

—Ang Jangbu, Deputy Expedition Leader

IMGers Everywhere from Pumori to the Lhotse Face

April 24, 2010

Everything is going well at Everest. Phil and his crew made it to C1 in good time today and tomorrow they plan to do a short hike towards C2 and return to C1. Greg's team have now moved up to Camp 2. Hamill's team went up to the base of the Lhotse Face today and went a little ways up, then back to C2. They will be leaving C2 at 5am to descend to BC tomorrow. Justin and Jeff had a good day today and they plan to go to C2 tomorrow. Martin, Brook and Larry plan to go for a foray in the icefall and come back to BC tomorrow. Gyalzen Dorje, Phinjo Dorje and Ang Pasang are going with them. Sumiyo did a Pumori hike with Chewang Lendu this morning, and she plans to take a rest day tomorrow. We have a mini Puja arranged for the four of them after Brook, Martin and Larry return to camp tomorrow morning. We have rest of the sherpa team carrying to C2. Phu Tshering and Karma Gyalzen will go up with the other fixing sherpas to do more fixing on the Lhotse Face. If it is not too windy, they might be able to fix all the way to the Col or up to the Lhotse Y tomorrow.

—Ang Jangbu, Deputy Expedition Leader

Lhotse Face Rope Fixing Reaches Yellow Band

April 23, 2010

Ang Jangbu reports that it was a good productive day today:

Phu Tshering and Karma Gyalzen went back up with the fixing team, which was able to reach almost to the bottom of the Yellow Band where they turned around because of wind. They also managed to claim our C3 site. The two ladders for the bottom of the Lhotse Face got delivered to C2 this morning, and Eben went up with Damien Benegas and one another climber and fixed the ladders at the bergshrund.

Hamill and his team went for a half hour hike out of C2 and they said had a good day. Most of the members of Greg's team went out from C1 for a hike towards C2 and returned to C1 for the night. Justin and Jeff made pretty good time pulling into C1 and they are doing well. The Express/Lhotse/C3 team arrived at BC today in good time. Russell Brice and I went around camps and collected some more rope-fixing money. We will have to follow up with some of the teams in a couple days time as most teams are at higher camps right now.

For tomorrow, the Lhotse Face fixing sherpas are taking a rest day. Hamill and his team will spend their third night at C2. Greg's team is heading to C2 and Justin/Jeff will spend the night at C1. Phil, Bryan, John and Ryan are moving to C1 tomorrow, and they are leaving at 4am. Express/Lhotse/C3 will take an active rest day tomorrow at base camp. We have sherpas carrying to Camps 1 and 2.

—Ang Jangbu, Deputy Expedition Leader

IMG Climbers at C1 and C2

April 22, 2010

Ang Jangbu reports from IMG Base Camp that Greg Vernovage and many of the sherpa guided climbers went to C1 this morning, and the Hybrid group moved up to C2. We expect the rest of the climbers to be moving up to C1 in the next few days, as the first Everest rotations continue.

Up at C2, IMG Sherpas Phu Tshering and Karma Gyalzen have joined the Lhotse Face fixing team, and they have started working on fixing the ropes to C3 today. Nine IMG sherpas carried from BC today, 4 to C2 and 5 to C1 with member personal gear. The Lobuche team had a good climb today and are back to Lobuche BC. So far everything is going very smoothly, knock on wood!

—Eric Simonson, IMG Director

IMG Climbers Tag C2 on Acclimating Round

April 21, 2010

IMG leader Justin Merle reports everything is going well:

Today the Hybrid team is up at C1. They reported gusty winds to 50mph or so last night, but things were nice this morning, and they went up toward C2 for about an hour before returning to C1.

Yesterday they left crampon point (at the base of the Khumbu Icefall) at about 4am and took between 6 and 8 hours to get up to C1. Tomorrow they go to C2.

Meanwhile the Sherpa guided climbers are getting ready to head to C1 this morning (22nd Nepal time). Yesterday they packed up the food and loads going to C1 and C2 for their upcoming rotation. They are shooting to leave Base Camp about 3:30am.

The second wave of Lobuche climbers (Lhotse, Express, C2/3) are at Lobuche high camp tonight, getting ready to go to the top in the morning. We'll keep you posted!

—Justin Merle, Expedition Leader

Hybrid team at Camp 1

April 20, 2010

Mike Hamil, the Hybrid team, and their sherpas, headed up through the Icefall today and now they are at Camp 1 resting comfortably. Their plan is to spend two nights up there, then move on up to Camp 2. The next wave of IMG climbers will head up to C1 day after tomorrow. The Express/Lhotse/C3 climbers are now down at Lobuche Peak, doing their warm up climb. Everyone is doing well!

—Eric Simonson, IMG Director

Upper Mountain Rope Fixing Meeting at Base Camp

April 18, 2010

Ang Jangbu reports that everything is going well on Everest, with the IMG C3/Express/Lhotse climbers now back at Base Camp. The Sherpas have set up a practice ladder and rope course out on the glacier, and members have been training on this to make sure they have their gear and techniques all fine-tuned for when they hit the Icefall in a couple days.

Tomorrow we have 42 Sherpas going to C2; 35 are carrying loads and 7 are staying up there to start setting up tents. Those who are staying up there are: Ang Karma, Mingma Tshering II, Karma Gyalzen, Karma Dorje, Thunang, Passang and Sonam Dorje plus the three cooks who are already there today so we will have 10 sherpas staying up there tomorrow night.

IMG hosted a meeting of the different teams on Everest yesterday. On the South Side of Everest, cooperation between teams has been the norm since 1991. We have 7000m of rope ready to move up, including 4000m of 11mm, for fixing the route above C2. Double ropes (up and down) will be installed in all the key spots. Also, all the old rope will get cleaned from the Yellow Band and Geneva Spur, with new bolts placed on the Geneva Spur (Yellow Band anchors were replaced last year).

Eleven different teams have now agreed to help transport to C2 the 35 loads of rope and hardware for fixing the Lhotse Face and above the Col to the summit. For Lhotse Face fixing we have 14 sherpas from 8 different teams meeting at C2 on the 21st, with fixing scheduled to take place on the 22nd and 23rd (no climbing on the face on those days).

On the 24th the route will be open for teams to go up and select camp sites at C3. For fixing from the South Col to the Summit, we have three different teams lined up to do this. We are now getting permit copies from the Ministry so we can accurately assess all the teams for the $100 per person rope fixing fee that has been levied on climbers this year. We are also working with the handful of climbers scheduled to try Lhotse to come up with a fixing plan for that route as well. Thanks to all the different teams that have agreed to work together to do the rope fixing.

—Eric Simonson, IMG Director

IMG Climbers Heading Back to BC;
SPCC Hosts Base Camp meeting

April 16, 2010

Ang Jangbu reports that the Lobuche climbers are all down to Lobuche Base Camp now, and they are ready to head back to Everest BC tomorrow. Our C2/C3, Express and Lhotse crew are also in Lobuche village now, so they are also getting close to arriving at Everest Base Camp. Up on Everest we have 54 bottles of oxygen (27 sherpa loads) and 4 loads of food getting carried to Camp 2 tomorrow, so a total of 31 Sherpas going up to Camp 2.

There was a big meeting this afternoon hosted by the SPCC with good turnout from the various expedition teams. The SPCC supplies the rope and ladders and hires the Icefall "Doctors" (each team pays $400 per climber to SPCC for using the Icefall route). The new chairman and secretary of SPCC were present and they briefed the teams about the work SPCC has been doing and what they plan to do in the future. Changes they are working on include:

  1. Human waste will be carried further down the valley (currently the EBC human waste is carried to Gorak Shep and buried there).
  2. Teams are encouraged to not bring glass bottles to base camp anymore.
  3. Better management of burnable trash (which is currently carried to Namche for incineration there). SPCC will implement a new coupon system to the porters at BC starting from this season — they will issue a coupon to the porters with the number of bags and weight they are carrying down which needs to match when the porters deliver the trash in Namche.

There will be another meeting tomorrow afternoon at the IMG Base Camp for the teams that are volunteering to fix the rope above Camp 2.

—Eric Simonson, IMG Director

IMG Teams Doing Well; David Breashears' Rivers of Ice Exhibit; Dick Bass to Visit BC

April 15, 2010

Ang Jangbu reports from Everest Base Camp that all's well:

The Hybrid team summitted Lobuche this morning and got back down to Lobuche Base Camp. Their plan is to rest down there tomorrow and come all the way up to EBC next day. The Classic group is now up at Lobuche high camp. I talked to Justin and Phil at 6 pm on the radio. Everyone is doing well. They plan to do breakfast at 3:30 and depart for the summit at 4am.

The Lhotse and Express climbers are in Pheriche today and they are doing well, planning to move up to Lobuche tomorrow.

Ang Pasang and ABC cooks Nima and Tashi sorted out food for C2 today and they will be heading up tomorrow to C2 along with 32 sherpas, so we have a total of 35 sherpas heading up tomorrow.

David Breashears is here at base camp, and he is doing a photo exhibition called Rivers of Ice by the Dick Bass Foundation. I went to the opening at 3:30pm this afternoon and there was a good turnout. Met up with most other team leaders. Sounds like Dick Bass (who is 80 now) is coming to EBC at the end of this month. Some of the SPCC board members came to BC today and they have called for a sirdar and leaders meeting 2pm tomorrow. Ang Pasang and I will attend on behalf of the team.

—Ang Jangbu, Deputy Expedition Leader

First Team Summits Lobuche

April 14, 2010

Ang Jangbu reports at about 9am Nepal time that the Hybrid team left Lobuche high camp at 4am this morning and already several of them are getting very close to the summit. Eben and Dasona radioed from the summit ridge to say it is a nice clear morning in the Khumbu and the conditions are great, with about 500 meters of fixed rope installed on the route.

Greg and the Classic group are planning to have an early lunch at Lobuche Base Camp and then move to high camp later in the day, with the plan being to summit tomorrow.

Back at Base Camp, the Sherpas are taking a rest day today after carrying to C2 two days in a row. We now have almost everything we need at C2 except for one of the big tents and some more food. Ang Pasang and Shyam will be sorting out Camp 2 foods today. Then, C2 will be ready for the climbers when they start heading up the hill!

—Eric Simonson, IMG Director

Everest climbers headed for Lobuche Peak

April 13, 2010

IMG leader Justin Merle reports that the Everest climbers are preparing for their acclimatization trip to Lobuche Peak. This attractive 20,000 foot peak down the valley from Base Camp is a perfect objective for doing a tune up prior to hitting the Icefall!

Earlier today the Hybrid team headed down to the IMG Lobuche Peak Base Camp and tomorrow the Classic team heads down that direction.

The Everest trekkers are also leaving BC tomorrow, heading for Lukla. The Everest Express and Lhotse climbers are now in Pheriche and everyone is doing well.

Meanwhile, today the Sherpas made their first big push up the hill, with 21 Sherpas carrying loads to Camp 1, and 14 Sherpas carrying loads to Camp 2. So far so good!

—Eric Simonson, IMG Director

Base Camp Puja

April 12, 2010

IMG's Ang Jangbu and Mike Hamill report from Base Camp that the Hybrid team and remainder of the Sherpas all arrived yesterday and they are doing well. We have our 2010 climbers and Sherpas at the spacious and clean NEW IMG Base Camp site, which is a 10 minute hike below the traditional campsite in a place with good tent sites and good clean water.

Yesterday we had Mingma Tenzing and Karma Rita take another quick run back up to camp 1 & 2 to make sure that the camps they claimed yesterday are still secure, since there is now increased traffic in the Icefall as other teams start to head up.

Meanwhile, the Classic team, rolled into BC this morning — just in time for the Sherpa puja. This puja event goes on and on for several hours with lots of Buddhist chanting by the lama, who will periodically throw tsampa (roaster barley flour) and rice in the air. The Sherpa and many of the climbers will bring their crampons and ice axes over to the puja alter, smear them with globs of butter for good luck and procure favorable blessings from the lama. The IMG puja culminates in the unfurling of many long strands of colorful prayer flags from the central alter and flag pole, and more tsampa throwing and finally rubbing tsampa into everyone's faces (the idea is that you will have a "grey beard," thus will live to be old). Finally, we get Sherpa dancing and singing, with a big kettle of locally brewed chang beer getting passed around and around and around — it's a party!

—Eric Simonson, IMG Director

Icefall Route Open; Camp 1 and 2 Sites Claimed

April 9, 2010

Ang Jangbu reports from Everest Base Camp that the Icefall Doctors set the last five ladder sections today and that the route is now open. When that happens, it is like dropping the green flag at a Nascar race, with everyone putting peddle to the metal to get good camp sites!

Jangbu had Mingma Tenzing and Karma Rita, two of our fastest Sherpas, lined up to lead the charge for our team up to C1 and C2, and they have now claimed our sites at those camps. The plan now is to hold the team puja on the 12th, and for a big wave of sherpas to carry up on the 13th.

At Base Camp, work continues on building that camp for the arrival of the climbers in the next few days. Jangbu and the sherpas at Base Camp now have our VHF base station and directional beam antenna set up, so they have crystal clear radio comms down the valley between EBC and the climbers in Pheriche and Lobuche.

From Pheriche IMG Sherpa guided team coach Greg Vernovage reports that the Sherpa guided climbers are getting ready to move to Lobuche after a couple acclimatization days in the Pheriche area (the Hamill/Hybrid group moved up to Lobuche on schedule yesterday). Meanwhile, the Ford/Chapman/Seely group that flew in a couple days behind the main team will spend another day at Pheriche before moving up. And finally the Express and Lhotse climbers are in Namche. So far everyone is doing well, and except for an occasional sniffle, seems to be acclimatizing normally.

—Eric Simonson, IMG Director

IMG's Cho Oyu Team Is On The Way

April 7, 2010

Their Chinese visas in hand, the Cho Oyu team is on the way! The sherpas loaded the big container truck this afternoon with all the food and equipment and Tashi Tsering headed out with this load, heading for Lamusangu.

IMG guide Eric Remza and the team members, along with Panuru, Mingma Ongel, Phunuru, Nawang Younden, and Pasang Nuri, leave in the morning in a big bus for Kodari, where they will link up with the truck. At Kodari they will exit Nepal and cross the Friendship Bridge into China, then climb up the big hill to the town of Zhangmu where they will spend the night. Then, it is on to the towns of Nyalam and Tingri over the next few days, as they slowly acclimatize on their trip to Cho Oyu Base  Camp.

Follow updates from the 2010 IMG Cho Oyu Expedition here »

—Eric Simonson, IMG Director

Climbers Making Their Way Toward Everest

April 6, 2010

The Hybrid team reached Pheriche today, over 14,000 feet, while the Classic group was spending a rest day at Deboche. Meanwhile, Ang Jangbu went ahead to Base Camp to check on the status of the camp, and he reports that the Icefall doctors are making good progress and will be finished with the route to Camp 1 in a few more days. The climbers report that the weather has been excellent the last few days and that everyone is doing well.

Yesterday the team visited with the Lama in Tengboche and tomorrow they will do a puja with the Lama Geshe in Pangboche, for good luck on the mountain.

Back in Kathmandu the Everest Express, Lhotse, and C2/C3 climbers are all in town and are getting ready to fly to Lukla. So far so good!

—Eric Simonson, IMG Director

Everest Team on the Trail; Cho Oyu Team Arriving

April 2, 2010

IMG leaders Justin Merle, Greg Vernovage, Phil Ershler and the trekkers and climbers on the "Everest Classic" itinerary made a successful flight to Lukla and are now on the way to Namche Bazaar.

Our sirdar Ang Pasang reports from Pangboche that the SPCC Icefall Doctors have started working on the route in the Khumbu Icefall, so by the time the team gets to base camp, the Icefall route should be ready to go.

Our heli charter also made it in to Syangboche yesterday, and Cho Oyu sherpas Panuru and Tashi Tsering caught a ride back out to Kathmandu, in preparation for going to Cho Oyu next week.

Now, in Kathmandu, the Cho Oyu sherpas, IMG leader Eric Remza, and I are preparing food and gear for Cho Oyu. We received our Cho Oyu permit yesterday from the Chinese Mountaineering Association, so that is good news, now we just need to get the Tibet visa from the Chinese Embassy. The first of our Cho Oyu team members arrive to Kathmandu today so we'll be looking forward to welcoming them to Nepal!

—Eric Simonson, IMG Director

Everest Climbers Ready to Start

March 30, 2010

Last night we had our Welcome Dinner for the team. It was a fun evening to get to know everyone and get the trip off to a good start. So far everything has been going really smoothly here in Nepal. The team members have all arrived to Nepal on time with no missing luggage.

We have now collected from the team members their base camp duffel bags (with the gear not required until reaching the mountain), and our head cook Kaji and his kitchen team have been packing fresh food and vegetables. The last 3300kg of food and gear will go tomorrow on our final helicopter charter to Syangboche, then direct to EBC on the yaks. This morning (the 31st in Nepal) Mike Hamill and the Hybrid team left at 5am for the airport and the flight to Lukla. The first group is on the way!!

—Eric Simonson, IMG Director

Leaving on a Jet Plane... for Kathmandu

March 26, 2010

Our Everest guides are on their way to Kathmandu; we are rolling now! This morning we saw expedition leader Justin Merle, Hybrid team leader Mike Hamill, and Sherpa guided team leader Greg Vernovage off at the airport. They are heading to Kathmandu ahead of the surge to get boots on the ground over there and get ready to receive the group. Eric Simonson and Phil and Sue Ershler leave tomorrow. Most of the climbers will be hitting Kathmandu on the 29th or 30th. The plan is to get everyone together on the night of March 30th at our welcome dinner at the Radisson Hotel, always a festive evening. Then, starting the next day, the group flies to Lukla and starts trekking in three waves... Here we go!

—Eric Simonson, IMG Director

2010 Expedition Introduction

March 20, 2010

It's Everest time again!

Over the next few weeks people from all over the world will converge on Kathmandu, Nepal to join in one of the world's classic human-powered challenges. For some the goal will be the summit, for others it will be Base Camp. Each year at Mt. Everest there is a different mix of teams and countries represented, but we all share personal goals, a love of the mountains, and an adventurous spirit.

IMG's 2010 Everest Expedition is just a few days from officially beginning, but behind the scenes we have been working for many months on this trip. What makes it fun for me is that every year is different, and the outcome is unknown until the very end. We hope that everything goes well, but we plan for the contingencies. This will be the 18th Everest expedition I have organized and I am very proud of our IMG program. Over the years we have seen 209 summits of Everest with our IMG teams. With all that experience, I know that at the end of the day it comes down to the basics: preparation, a good team, solid leadership, the right gear, and some good luck!

We have a fine looking team heading over to Everest this year, broken into several groups. The overall expedition leader is Justin Merle, a 3-time Everest summiter and veteran IMG Senior guide. Heading up our Sherpa guided climbers is IMG's Greg Venovage. Leading our "hybrid" team are Mike Hamill and Eben Reckord. Joining the team for the trip to BC and the month of April will be IMG partner and Everest legend Phil Ershler. I'll be heading over to Kathmandu to meet and greet the team members, and assist as they start the trip to base camp, in three different waves, a few days apart. I will also be helping our IMG Cho Oyu expedition as they head for Tibet, a few days after the Everest climbers depart.

Deputy leader Ang Jangbu and our longtime Sherpa sirdar Ang Pasang already have some of their Sherpa team up at Base Camp working on constructing the tent platforms from the rocky surface of the Khumbu Glacier. All total we will have 42 climbing Sherpas and 10 Sherpa cook staff working for us. Now that is some serious manpower! We have already sent several big MI 17 helicopter loads to Syangboche with over 7500 kilos of food, fuel, rope, oxygen, and equipment. This gear, along with another heli charter of gear flying in next week, will be transported to the Base Camp on yaks and porters from Syangboche. A number of our top Sherpas, veterans of many Everest expeditions and formally trained at the Alex Lowe Khumbu Climbing School, will be working as Sherpa guides for our team. Our Sherpa really are the best in the business!

Back at IMG HQ in Ashford, WA near Mt Rainier, we have been at it for many months — organizing our guides, climbing team, and the food and gear. This year I have been working with all the main Everest commercial groups in hopes that we can do a better job of fixing the ropes on the climbing route. To this goal, I have bought and shipped on behalf of the teams over 20,000 feet of high quality PMI static fixed rope, which is now on the way to Base Camp too.

On Everest you do your best to control the variables that you can, and you try to plan for the things you cannot. I am confident that we have done our homework. Now it is up to the climbers, the guides, the mountain, and the gods. Let the games begin!

—Eric Simonson, IMG Director

Everest Rope On The Move

March 18, 2010

Ang Jangbu in Nepal reports that we have sent another MI helicopter charter load (3495 kg) to Syangboche this morning in preparation for the Everest expedition. Ang Pasang and Ang Tshering at Syangboche received the loads which will be heading up to Everest BC soon.

Among the loads is a large quantity of climbing rope (several thousand meters or a few miles!), which we have purchased on behalf of a group of the Everest operators. We hope to work together this year with as many other climbers as possible to get a good route fixed up the mountain. Prior to sending the rope up to Khumbu, our Sherpas stripped it off the spools and stacked it into bags, so it is easy to deploy without kinking.

—Eric Simonson, IMG Director

Oxygen for the 2010 Expedition Arrives in Nepal

March 10, 2010

Good news, our shipment of oxygen cylinders has now arrived in Nepal and cleared customs. Just getting them halfway around the world requires special documentation and packing since they are considered dangerous goods for flying by the FAA and the airlines.

These high tech aluminum/carbon fiber composite cylinders were tested, valved, and filled in California, then specially packed for their long journey. And since the yaks do not read the warning labels, our Sherpas will be wrapping them in additional foam to protect the cylinders for the trip to Everest Base Camp!

—Eric Simonson, IMG Director

The IMG 2010 Everest Expedition Team

IMG Expedition Leaders
Justin Merle, Expedition Leader
Ang Jangbu Sherpa, Deputy Expedition Leader

Western Guided Climber
Jeff Gottfurcht, climbing with Justin Merle

Everest Climbers with Sherpa Guides
IMG Team Coach: Greg Vernovage
Robert Kay, climbing with Nima Nuru (Pangboche)
Bryan Chapman, climbing with Dorje Lama (Baganje)
Ryan Dahlem, climbing with Danuru I (Phortse)
John Dahlem, climbing with Danuru II (Phortse)
Karel Masek, climbing with Karma Rita (Phortse)
Chien Min (Davis) Wang, climbing with Phinjo (Phortse)
Peter Ford, climbing with Mingma Tshering (Phortse)
CL Lein, climbing with Jamling Bhote (Makalu)
Anastasia Iliopoulou, climbing with Mingma Dorje (Phortse)
Chris Bergum, climbing with Mingma Tenzing I (Phortse)
Michael Boaz, climbing with Kancha Nuru (Phortse)
Adolphus Hancock, climbing with Pasang Rinji (Phortse)
Lei Wang, climbing with Da Tenji (Phortse)
Mike Chapman, climbing with Samduk Dorje (Pangboche)

Express Everest Climbers
Martin McGarvey, climbing with Phinjo Dorje (Pangboche)
Sylvia Moser, climbing with Nima Karma (Phortse)

Everest Hybrid Team
Team Leader: Mike Hamill
Assistant Leader: Eben Reckord

Louis Carstens
Sandhosh Kumar
Mayk Schega
Steve Barnes
Ted Fairhurst
Jason Van Dalen
Tim Igo

Dasonam (Pangboche)
Kalden Phura (Pangboche)
Tseten Dorje (Pangboche)
Pasang (Thamo)
Pasang Nuru (Phortse)
Kancha Nuru (Pangboche)
Phu Tshering (Phortse)

Lhotse Climbers
Sumiyo Tsuzuki, climbing with Gyalzen Dorje (Phortse)
Brook Mancinelli, climbing with Chewang Lendu (Phortse)

Everest Camp 2/3 Climbers
Phil Ershler
Larry Johnson

Everest Base Camp Trekkers
Susan Ershler
Paul Kent-Snowsell
David Pinkham
Rob Seely

For more info on IMG's Guiding and Sherpa Team, please visit our Guides page »

Expedition Support Sherpa Team

Sherpa Sirdar
Ang Pasang (Pangboche)

Regular Sherpas
Shaym Pun (Myagdi)
Karma Dorje (Phortse)
Karma Gyalzen (Phortse)
Ang Karma (Phortse)
Phur Temba (Phortse)
Phura Ongyal (Pangboche)
Tenzing Gyalzen (Phortse)
Mingma Tenzing II (Phortse)
Ang Nima (Khumjung)
Phu Tshering (Phortse)
Phu Tashi (Phortse)
Sonam Dorje (Phortse)
Mingma Tshering II (Phortse)
Thunang Lomi Bhote (Makalu)
Dawa Nuru (Thame)
Da Rhita (Phortse)
Tshering Wangchu (Khumjung)
Gyalzen Dorje (Phortse)
Chewang Lendu (Phortse)

Camp 2 Cooks
Nima (Sun Dante)
Kancha Nuru (Pangboche)
Pasang Tshering (C2 helper/ C3 carrier)
Tashi (Namche) (C2 helper/ C3 carrier)

Base Camp Cooks
Ang Tshering

Trek Sirdars
Hybrid group: Phu Tashi
Main Group: Chuldim
Lhotse/Express & C3 group: Pasang Tshering (Khumjung)