Everest – The North Col

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The steep climb to the North Col.
This is the first technical piece of climbing on #everest.
A 400m steep ice and snow slope that finishes at camp 1, #northcol, 7000m.
It is equipped with fixed ropes and requires a #jumar – a mechanical device that fixes from your harness to the rope to stop you slipping.
Large numbers of “climbers” on a single rope can cause delays and getting cold is a serious problem.
Although a part of climbing, many people on Everest are inexperienced in moving up and down fixed lines, relying on their #sherpas to clip them in and manage the change overs at anchors.                                            
A great lengthy article in the Guardian recently tried to describe the current Everest season antics.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/apr/12/mount-everest-sherpa-disaster-one-year-on

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Almost the first view of Everest

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It was snowing when we woke up. The group set off after breakfast from Tingri in Tibet to hike up to a hill above the town at about 5000m.

The weather was changeable and cloudy all day so Everest has not revealed itself yet.

Tomorrow we will hopefully travel on to Basecamp if our bags and gear manage to get across the border and find us.

Kathmandu to Tingri

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The journey from Kathmandu to Tingri in Tibet is via Kodari and the Friendship Bridge.

After a testing and arduous few days we have checked into Tingri. It’s windy and cold.

DubaiEye’s Travel Show called again. Stay tuned for a broadcast in the next few days.

China China China !

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China China China ! Always an unpleasant experience. Schedules changed, websites blocked, maps confiscated because of reference to Tibet, luggage delayed days behind us, terrible food and hygiene. We have just driven over a 5000m pass and descending to Tingri for the night at 4200m. Will be a relief to finally see our objective,  Everest. Hopefullt we are not delayed too long and can get to the relative isolation and calm of basecamp

Down time

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On an Everest expedition there is always lots of time free.

Team members find many different ways to amuse themselves: Reading, writing, growing strange facial hair, discussing the Bristol Stool Scale, making rock sculptures, listening to music…

Here ex-headmaster Andy is restimulating his interest in art. Kept company by a local cat, he will have a fine collection by the end of the 2 months.

Cold and windy

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Even at only 4800m it’s cold and windy.

We will be climbing nearly double that to 8850m in a few weeks.

On our trek out we had to avoid an angry confrontation with teahouse owners who thought they had our booking.

14 western trekkers with dinner and breakfast is a lot of income to miss out on.

The men of the village threatened to beat our Sherpas who called the local police.

Everest reflections so far

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Today we arrive back in Kathmandu after our 10 days trekking to acclimatise.

We are 14 people and will say goodbye to 3 before heading to Everest Basecamp in China on the north side.

We reached an altitude of 5600m and as a team have got to know each other.
The barriers have dropped and the initial excitement and questions have died down.
Hopefully there will be less questions and probing -what have you climbed before?” or “how high have you been?”.

The 9 remaining Everest team members, all with varying degrees of experience and none having climbed above 8000m now know what they are up against. The trek was not without its problems and we had to overcome cases of altitude sickness, GI problems, gear breakage and loss.

How many will be there on the summit in the middle of May?

Our day in Kathmandu will be time to collect our thoughts before we head to China where we await our turn to enter the Death Zone and claim our prize for 2 months of hardship.