Return to the Himalaya

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In a few days, I’ll be returning to Kathmandu. It will be the 3rd time I’ve led a group on Cho Oyu, 8201m. The 6th highest mountain in the world.

Last time we had a weather window and were lucky with great views from the summit.

You can follow progress on the following links –

https://www.instagram.com/seanjdjames/

and

http://www.jagged-globe.co.uk/news/

 

Thanks to Thuraya and CygnusTelecom in Dubai for supporting all communications with an XT Pro satphone and IP+

http://www.thuraya.com/

http://www.cygnustelecom.com/

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Big Plans 2016

El_Chaltén,_panoramic_view1

El Chalten

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Monte Fitz Roy

In addition to leading a number of commercial expeditions I’m super excited to be climbing in Patagonia and Chile in February and March this year

Let’s hope the weather is kind and we can crack some of these stunning lines

Happy New Year

jebel Yibir

Xmas and New Year spent around #dubai and #UAE

The outdoor adventures in this region will amaze most people

We spent a few days camping, climbing and biking on the wonderful #mountains here around Jebel #yibir

All only a few hours from Dubai

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

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.