Sunday, 30 December 2007
Wednesday, 26 December 2007
Monday, 24 December 2007
Saturday, 22 December 2007
are still the same. What snow there is in the gullies is nice and firm and there are many water courses in various Corries and Glens that are well frozen making for interesting climbing. This photo was taken at 9am this morning looking out towards the Cairngorms across a very frozen Loch Morlich. The ice on the Loch was creaking and groaning but at the same time it was all very peaceful.
Wednesday, 19 December 2007
Tuesday, 18 December 2007
The photo of Coire an Lochain was taken around midday today. We still have a temperature inversion as it was freezing in the valleys and +5 on the summit of Cairngorm today. The ground is well frozen and all the boggy areas and seepage on steep ground is frozen solid. There were plenty of Snow Buntings and Ptarmigans flapping about, a perfect day for bird watching. Happy days. Kathy
Monday, 17 December 2007
It's remarkable weather in the Cairngorms at the moment and the long term forcast is for high pressure to dominate Scotland for the rest of the week. Remaining snow is now very firm underfoot which makes for nice conditions underfoot (ice axe and crampons are needed though). Most of the lower grade gullies in the Northern Corries are complete, the buttresses are quite bare with dribbles of ice and limited snow on the ledges, but some of the water courses are looking quite frozen due to the cold clear weather. Go on have a duvet day and take the day off work...Opps I never said that did I!?
Sunday, 16 December 2007
Saturday, 15 December 2007
Friday, 14 December 2007
Monday, 10 December 2007
Sunday, 9 December 2007
Monday, 3 December 2007
Thursday, 29 November 2007
Good quantities of snow in the Cairngorms. Here we are climbing in Coire an T-Snechda. The climb featured is"The Runnel", it was first climbed on Easter1946 by a EUMC party. Conditions were quite good really for the time of year. There was a strong wind blowing up the couloir ( Northerley), and there is some neve around, turf remains far from frozen, but one can get an exciting day out. Some of the stepper routes are probably quite Ok, although they are bound to be scartchy as there is nothing really frozen solid, so foot and axe placements have to be taken with care! Most of the gulies have adequate snow cover. Patches of wind slabs and this cracks a bit as you step on it, but reasonably obvious, Cat 2 on the Cairngorms avalanche scale!
Wednesday, 28 November 2007
Wednesday, 14 November 2007
Friday, 9 November 2007
Tuesday, 6 November 2007
Monday, 5 November 2007
Once back at Namche, Sandy and Kathy will be able to update the blog themselves if all goes to plan. They are then flying from Lukla to Kathmandu on the 8th November and back to the UK a couple of days later.
Saturday, 3 November 2007
So, the plan! Tomorrow will be a rest and sort out day. Yaks will arrive in the evening. After clearing/cleaning up base camp they will take 3 days to walk to Namche Bazaar and the flight out of Lukla is on the 8th November, with flights back to the UK on the 9th (or 10th).
Congratulations everyone! From here in Dunblane, this journey sounds like a fascinating one which will hopefully develop into many more encounters, some perhaps in the mountains of the world and others in some cosy armchair in the company of friends. Well done and good luck!
Friday, 2 November 2007
He was with Ed and said it was a beautiful morning but very cold, which really isn't hard to imagine at 6856m.
So, Congratulations to them and hope they get down safely!
Thursday, 1 November 2007
Call received from Sandy 10.30a.m. (UK Time). All is well. Ed and Sandy have successfully reached Camp 3 (they made good time having arrived at 1.30am local time). They have pitched their tent and are still in the company of their three Sherpas who are in another tent about 20 m below. The weather remains good and they hope to rise early and make a summit attempt tomorrow. The plan would then be to get down the mountain as quickly as possible, hopefully to Camp 2 (and perhaps Camp 1) on the same day (lower altitude, better air and presumably extra food supplies). Sandy has spoken to Kathy at base camp and everyone there is well. Conditions remain good so lets wish them well.
PS I don't understand the time of posting shown on this blog..maybe its a US website..suffice to say its just passed 11.30am here in the UK. This was an answering machine message. Great to hear the voices. Ed in background reminding him of the day! Can tell the air is thin by the throaty voice and deep breaths!
PPS Yes, there are now three Sherpas...the magic of Halloween???!!!
Wednesday, 31 October 2007
Call received around 8.10am (13.45, Ama Dalam time), 31st October. Ed, Sandy and two Sherpas have reached Camp 2 at 6060m and hope to climb too Camp 3 tomorrow. Ewan and John were suffering from very bad sinus colds and have therefore gone back down the mountain. At this point the phone line went down.
Tuesday, 30 October 2007
Call received today, 30th October. Ewan, John, Edward and three Sherpas have arrived safely at Camp 1 with Sandy. They are now at 5800 m. Conditions on the mountain are good. The plan is to aim for Camp 2 tomorrow and stay there for a day. Kambi, having reached base camp decided that it was time to say goodbye and left for home a couple of days ago. Kathy in the meantime remains at base camp. So, all remains well.
Thursday, 25 October 2007
I have received a long-ish phone call from Sandy a few minutes ago (13.10 h, 25th October). All is well!
Ewan, Ed, John, Sandy and Kathy all summitted Island Peak (6189 m) at 8.15a.m. on 23rd October. Kamby, who had still got a cold, did really well and reached 6000m. So, congratulations and well done to all!!!
They left Island Peak base camp on the 24th and headed to Pangboche village which is at the lower altitude of 3930 m. Last night they visited the monastery. The Head Lama, Gishe, performed a blessing (chants, silk prayer scarves)to everyone including the three Sherpas accompanying the group. He also told them that 3pm today was a good day for their "Paja". So, today they have arrived at Ama Dablam base camp and performed their "Paja". Thats probably spelt wrongly and being niaive on the culture of these parts here is an explaination as decribed by our well-known guide, Sandy, with a little amplification from me (the young sister!). Basically, after setting-up camp they erected strings of prayer flags (presumably blessed at the monastery) over the tents (these will slowly disintegrate in the wind speading their prayers across the mountain and beyond). A fire was lit and incense burned. The local lama performed a ceremony, asking the mountain for "permission" to climb and making a safe passage.
Incredible though it is, Sandy and Kathy have met some friends at base camp so I imagine the social scene is good! Conditions on the mountain are apparently good. The plan is to rest for 3-4 days. Although everyone is basically well there are a few colds lingering. Then, the climb begins...
So sounds great! Who else wishes they were there?? I will try and keep the site updated as quickly as I receive the messages. Remember, no news is good news!
Monday, 22 October 2007
Call received at midday Monday 22nd October from Sandy Allan. Everyone is well and recovered from minor ailments. The last 24 hours have been pretty exciting on Island Peak. They had arrived at high camp (approx 5,500 m) on Sunday 21st, pitched their tents and settled for a good nights sleep at this "new" high altitude. Everyone was awakened by extremely high winds and by 2 a.m. the decision was made to go down too base camp. The team left base camp again at 3pm and had just newly arrived at the high camp when the satellite phone call was made. Winds were still high and it is hoped that these will settle down so that a summit attempt can be made tomorrow (Tuesday).
Sunday, 21 October 2007
Today, the team were at Island Peak base camp at 5110m. While at base camp they've been practicing rope work and doing jumaring. For those who don't know what jumaring is, like me, its when you use a gadget on a rope to help you get up, but it doesn't slip down the rope. This helps with getting up fixed ropes on the mountain.
Later on today, after lunch, they will be moving on to Attack Camp...
Tomorrow they're having a very early morning and setting off at 2am to try and reach the summit of Island Peak then heading back to Base Camp for a well earned rest.
Good Luck Chaps.
Friday, 19 October 2007
A phone call was received today (12.43 UK time) from Sandy. He and John were literally on the summit of a "small" peak, Chukingarie (5035m). Kathy had turned back just 50 m below the top. The sun was beginning to set with marvellous views all around. They were keen to leave before dark and planned to stay in the village of Chukum (?spelling) tonight. A happy outing!
Thursday, 18 October 2007
Sunday, 14 October 2007
We walked along to Khumjung and visited the Gompa ( Monestary) there where we were shown around and also saw the famous Yeti head which is kept in glass box with strong padlock and then locked in another big steel locker also suitable padlocked. We also visted the famous Khumjung bakery where they make world famous apple pie!
We returned to Namche for around 5.30 pm and after a well deserved hot chocolate, we all went our separate ways to make phone calls and e-mails to folks back home. We will meet up in an hour or so for dinner. This is our last night in Namche and we leave the internet behind. Everyone is doing fine, no sore heads from altitude which is really great, Sandy and John have colds and Kambiz a running nose but hopefully these will get better before we gain to much high altitude. Today the weather was much better and we did get some views of the high mountains, Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Middle Lhotse, Shartse, and of course Ama Dablam, our main climbing objective.
Our plans for tomorrow are to load up the Yaks and head on up the valley to Tenagboche Monastery and camp overnight at Deboche ( 3820m) and then on Tuesday go on to Dingboche ( 4410m) and overnight there for two nights to acclimatise. There after we head up to Chhukhung( 4730m) and then on to Island Peak Base camp forThursday night ( 4970m). We will spend few days there attempting Island Peak (6189m). We hope to make some Sat phone reports which hopfully will be transcribed to this blog!