Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Look what Ed has been up too!


A couple of years ago Ed ( Left) on the summit of Ama Dablam with Climbing Sherpas Lhakpa and Kusam and Sandy (Right)

Friday, 20 November 2009

Floods in the Lakes

Thankfully the bridge is still intact, but a few have been swept away.

Huge floods are affecting the lake district and NW of Scotland with many roads still un-passable due to several feet of water from overflowing rivers and lakes.

The "Team Ascent representative" (myself) who is at some stage hoping to appear at the "Kendal Mountain Film Festival" has so far not been unable to leave her dwelling, due to the river flowing past her car. So my apologies to all concerned, does anyone have a canoe I can borrow?


Thursday, 19 November 2009

Bionic Joe, the Adventure Show, Cara and my back yard!

Well its pouring rain here ,but not as badly as it is in southern and western Scotland. Kathy was almost flooded as she drove her car to try and set up our TEAM ASCENT marketing table at The Kendal Mountain Film Festival which starts tonight and runs all weekend.. Please go and take the opportunity to swing by and say "Hi!" to Kathy and Coleen who will be dishing out brochures and free posters.
Here it's digging the garden and assisting neighbours with tree removal! Between doing the web site and planning Everest trips to both the Nepali and the Tibetan side for 2010 and 2011. Also I hope to try and guide Mera and Baruntse Peak (7129m) next fall. Also we will run our expedition to Island peak and Ama Dabalm again. The web site will be updated soon... unless some of my mates phone and drag me screaming from my desk to climb at the Inverness Climbing Wall!
You simply have to check out my good friend Joe French.. just as I left here for Nanga Parbat back in late May, Joe has been house sitting for me. More importantly he has been fortunate enough to be gainfully employed, performing outstandingly as a Man Friday for Richard Else.. Yet another humble and famous man who is based in this amazing neck of the woods. Anyway, Triple Echo is a wonderful company and we are fortunate to have such talent near by. Joe loves his work and getting wet, so check him out on: and follow the buttons across the top to click on Upcoming.
You will see him and Diziree preparing for the next "Adventure Show" which will be televised soon!!!
You must watch it, although its a big file. So, if you computer is as aged as mine, give it time to download!!
It's a cool life eh? My daughter Cara phoned to let me know she passed her degree essay, so she has only one more to pass and she will be let out to nurse us all soon... Oh la la... Secretly, a very proud Dad, you know!

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Back from Nepal: Lama Geshe's wishing prayer

A face mask at Thangboche Monastery

Lhakpa on the summit of Ama Dablam

Back in the garden at Sandy's house!
It's that time of year. Most expeditions are over in Nepal although there will be a few groups still trying to climb the popular trekking peaks and Ama Dablam and even Baruntse. Most of the TEAM ASCENT Sherpas will be back at home, Lhakpa above will be trading in his shop in Namche Bazaar, and Kusam was to be working on Island Peak and Lhakpa Dindi said he would go home and help his family dig up the last of their potatoes and storing them for the winter. The same applies here in Newtonmore. It's time to catch up with all the chores that have built up, thanks to being away guiding all summer and Autumn. The nice weather here allows me to prepare the garden for next spring, manage bookings for the coming Scottish Winter climbing season with occasional forays to the climbing walls and catch up with friends and neighbours. Many of the Sherpas head up to Thangboche monastery again where the Mani Rimdu festival will take place. Monks dance and act out the many tales of the Buddhist gods with complicated dances, swinging swords and explosive fires. They wear elaborate costumes and finely painted masks as part of their routines and many of the masks are on display at the local monasteries. Mani Rimdu is an important event on the Sherpa calender.
A wishing prayer which was written and given to me by Lama Geshe from Pangboche Monastery lays on my desk and reads:
"Give up all intention to harm other from your heart
And do your best to benefit them all
If each and everyone feels the universal responsibility to do so,
We will all enjoy the feast of peace!"
That's pretty cool eh?
Meanwhile...we do have snow in the Grampian Mountains and some of my friends climbed a snowy route last week in the Northern Corries of Cairngorm, but the turf is not really frozen yet.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Last evening in Nepal

Calum McIntyre celebrates by cutting a special cake made for us all by our wonderful cook at base camp. This was our last night before commencing our walk back to Lukla
One of our Climbing Sherpa Team, Kasum Tenzing Sherpa. He led some of the steeper ice pitches helping us all to summit.

Lama Geshie of Pangboche Monastery, chanting prayers on our behalf for a safe and successful summit attempt!

It's our last day in Kathmandu, men shopping for gifts for their loved ones back home... good meals and entertaining and being entertained by our climbing Sherpas and support staff here in the city. The photos above are of important people and moments shared and encountered along the way!

Back in Kathmandu

Hi, we are all safely back in Kathmandu and the last of our sherpa staff flew in from Lukla yesterday after cleaning and drying out and carefully folding and packing away some of out tents and other essential expedition equipment for storage at the Lukla store. I have had my meetings with various Mountaineering organisations to finalise our exit and confirming that we left the place tidy! Some equipment is also stored here in Kathmandu, ready for future trips. Air freight costs are so high now its forced me to have good stores of equipment here and in Pakistan and Chamonix, France.
The guys are enjoying Kathmandu. Last night my agent Chwang Sherpa took us out to a nice Nepalese restaurant where we enjoyed the local food and demonstrations of cultural dances from various parts of Nepal, the final dance had a Yak and Yeti theme, we got the hint that it was bit touristy, but otherwise fun and good laughter was shared by all.
Dawa our Sirdar has been giving us lifts around Kathmandu as a pillion passenger on his motor Bike, its much more dangerous than climbing! Driving in Nepal is well on impossible if you have been brought up with any sort of Highway code!
Today 1st Nov is our last day in Kathmandu and we all fly back to the UK on various flights tomorrow. Maybe I will post a few more photos later.