Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Baruntse and thanks to Mountain Equipment

Sun set on Baruntse, from Base Camp!
Becky at camp 2, Mountain Equipment , thanks for the fantastic down clothing and sleeping bags!

Below; Becky climbing up Baruntse, at one point there is a bit of down climbing to surmount an awkward cornice on the ridge. The pointy mountian behind is Ama Dablam!

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Mera peak summit 6461M on the 24th October 2010

Becky on the summit of Mera Peak Central summit, 6461m
Behind from Left to right is Nuptse, Everest and Lhotse Geoff abseilng from the awkward little summit!

Our climbing sherpas enjoying the last of the sun at Mera peak High Camp.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Back in Scotland

Arriving on the West Col, 6143m on the 3rd November. Splendid Makalu ahead!

Pasang, an important member of our kitchen team drawing water from the lake by base camp.

At base camp on the 7th Nov . From left to right, back row~ Geoff, Pasang, Sandy, Becky and Lhapka J and kneeling in front is Lhakpa R our Sirdar.Our climbing sherpas including the Sirdar were outstanding, grateful thanks to them all.

Hi, got back yesterday afternoon to this small village in the Highlands of Scotland. There is fresh snow on the hills and a few of my friends have been out winter climbing.One big avalanche reported on the head wall of the Cas and Cairngorm Mountain has been open for piste skiing! Its been an interesting time in Nepal but its always so great to get back home. As my sister Eunice reported we got delayed at Lukla for five days which has knocked a bit of a hole in all our plans, so my apologies to all, especially to those waiting for me to reply to your emails. Many thanks for the many congratulations and good wishes.
Eventually Geoff got an expensive seat in a chopper back to Kathmandu and managed to catch up with his parents who had flown in for a few days to meet up. Becky and I got out on the 16th Nov, and after one night in Kathmandu where we managed to catch up with Geoff and his parents over dinner, we then flew back to the UK the following day. Our international flights also suffered some long delays . Our flight from Lukla was pretty exciting as it was a last minute call and Becky and I were rushed to the airport, lead quickly through security and found ourselves sitting on board with the engines revving. The flight was then held for over an hour and we sat patiently in the plane watching the mist and fog swirl around as we waited for air traffic control to let us fly.Lukal is an exciting place to fly from on a calm sunny day, so the conditions added to the anticipation. Eventually we took off and spent a long time circling over Kathmandu before we could land.
Its been a good but tough trip with Mera peak and Baruntse both climbed. Sadly we had to say an early good bye to two of our team as they had to be medi-vaced on the 30th October.The whispy high cloud gave me a clue that a weather change was on its way and true to form we then got a huge snow fall and woke up to 10 inches of fresh snow so we were so lucky to get the hellicopter in. There after Sandy was asked to assist a Chec team, one of whom had soloed to the Brauntse summit and the other had severe frost damage to his foot. We had to advise them on care and drug doses then assisted getting another helicopter for them. A day later another chopper came to evacuate a member of the international team. So, as it has done in the past, high altitude climbing take its toll on mountain climbers but fortunately as far as we know everyone has recovered well at lower altitudes. These days the helicopter services are amazingly efficient and of course a sat phone invaluable. Just over the past couple of weeks it has been reported that the Nepalese have erected another mobile phone mast near Everest base camp so now it should be possible to use your mobile all the way up the Khumbu which is great news for all although the sight of Yak herder texting for his next transport contract takes a bit of getting used to!

Monday, 15 November 2010

Still There!!

Misty again!!

Geoff has flown out by helicopter.

Becky and Sandy sitting it out - international flights are soon, so lets hope the fog clears soon!

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Still in Lukla

Have just received a text from Sandy (2pm UK time). Everyone still in Lukla, but there are stars in the night sky - so no fog!!! Keep you fingers crossed!

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Stuck in Lukla

Text message from Sandy (5.30pm Nepal time) - well several text messages..none complete, each text delivering another few words. However:

Becky, Geoff and Sandy have now been in Lukla for two days and unfortunately cannot fly out as there is rain and mist. ..unsuitable weather for fixed wing aircraft. This is especially so in Lukla whose airport is surrounded by steep sided mountains. The group are now booked on a flight that is due to leave tomorrow morning but the fog shows no sign of lifting. Fortunately their international flights are still some time away. Apparently the economic rules of supply and demand are operating to excellent effect for chartered helicopter flights with extortionate fares, which rise alongside the increasing backlog of people. On the good side, there are many bakeries and a "cafe society" is being enjoyed by all as they meet new people and share mountaineering experiences!

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Summit success

Baruntse from Base Camp

A fragile edge! Descending the ridge from the summit!

Lhakpa Jarok, Becky Bellworthy and myself on the summit of Baruntse 7129m. 5th November 2010

We are back in Namche, the sherpa capital, and oh it is so ace to be back. First of all I wish to thank my sister Eunice and my daughters Hannah and Cara for being on standby for updating my blog. We have had a really good and very lucky trip. Mera peak was summited by all our group and then Geoff, Becky, our three wonderful climbing sherpas Lhakpa Sirdar, Lhakpa Jarok, Pasang and myself all reached the summit of Baruntse. Geoff and Pasang arrived on the summit at around 8.30 am and Becky with the three of us arrived at around 9.30 am. That's why you will not see any photos of Geoff here as it was too cold for him to hang around for us on the summit.
Becky is a world record holder now as she is the youngest lady to have climbed Baruntse! At 18 years of age its quite an achievement and Team Ascent are delighted to share this with her!

Unfortunately I have some sad news to report as on the 23rd October a famous sherpa and good friend died fixing ropes on Baruntse. Chewang Sherpa, 43 years of old and has climbed Everest 19 times fell while fixing ropes on Baruntse. Chewang was working for another expedition , an American team, but he had been my sirdar on Shishapagma and our tracks have passed in the snow so very very often!

Saturday, 6 November 2010

More news!

Phone call from Sandy.

Becky, Geoff, Sandy and three Sherpas moved from Base Camp to Camp 1 on the 3rd Nov, from Camp 2 to Camp 3 on the 4th. They woke early on the 5th November and left Camp 3 at 2a.m. reaching the summit of Baruntse at 9.30 am. They then started their descent. Since everyone was well, they decided to go all the way back to Base Camp on the same day. At each camp they cleared all their equipment and took away any rubbish etc. They were the last team on the mountain and today, are the only people remaining at Base Camp.

Today they are awaiting their porters who will take out their kit etc. In the meantime they will spent some time packing, relaxing and getting ready for their walk-out. Their first night of the walk-out will be spent at the "High Camp" on the Amphulapthcha Pass, the following day they will walk over the col into the Khumbu Valley were they will start descending to below 5000m. They plan to be in Lukla for the 11th November and on the 12th fly from Lukla to Kathmandhu.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Summit Reached

AND everyone back safe at Base Camp.

Had a voice message from Beckys family to say that Geoff, Becky and Sandy reached the summit of Baruntse at 9.13am Nepalese time today.

Congratualions to all!

Some celebratory fireworks tonight (if the rain stops lashing!).

Monday, 1 November 2010


Phone call from Sandy this morning (8.30am UK time). Base Camp has about 10 inches of snow. Another group, who were at Camp 1 yesterday, reported snow up to their waists and there is also a lot of spindrift on the mountain. The weather however is now good with clear skies. Fortunately there is time in the schedule. The plan now is to wait at Base Camp, probably for two days so that the snow on the mountain can consolidate. The situation will then be re-assessed.

Email from Paul from Kathmandu. Kerry and he were evacuated from Base Camp due to altitude sickness. They are both now fully recovered and will make their way home.