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Sherpas Establish Camp III

RMI Dispatch from Dave Hahn…

April 23, 2010
17,575 ft.

The big event today was the establishment of Camp III at 24,000 ft by our Sherpa team. Nima and Tsering were part of a rope-fixing effort composed of Sherpas from a number of different teams. This was the second day of fixing lines on the Lhotse Face and although things seem to have gone well enough, it will still be a few more days before the route is good all the way to the South Col at 26,000 ft.

Casey Grom and Rob Suero got up early at Camp One this morning and made quick work of the route to ABC. After a few hot drinks there, they motored on down to Basecamp, arriving in time for lunch. Michael Brown spent his first “rest” day in BC editing and sorting the images and footage he’d collected over the past four days up the hill, while Leif Whittaker and I simply rested, ate and drank the day away. Scott Jones and Chad Peele also seemed content to take things easy today. Mark Tucker sorted gear, made plans with the Sherpa team and hiked toward Pumori to stretch his legs. Seth Waterfall is back in camp this evening after a quick run down to Pheriche.

Dave Hahn

2010 RMI Everest Team

2010 RMI Everest Team

Up the Lower Khumbu

Mark Tucker writing from Basecamp for RMI…

April 12, 2010
17,575 ft.

Namaste,

Mark Tucker sending you this update from Basecamp.

Our Sherpa team had great weather for their trip to Camp Two with a big hunk of supplies for the teams nest at that 21,500 ft camp. They started out at 4:00 am this morning and retuned to basecamp for lunch, these guys are tough.

The climbing team had a great day with a number of them getting their first taste of the Icefalls terrain and ladders. They went up the lower part, out of objective danger and perfected the techniques required for what will be there job for the up coming weeks. Another group went to the top of Kala Pattar, a near by trekking peak, at over 18,000 ft summiting without supplemental oxygen.

I spent a bunch of calories with about 60 people from many of the teams working on making a helicopter pad out of a glacier. Chopping ice, throwing rocks and moving boulders at 17,500 ft is a great test to see just how acclimatized you are.

Tomorrow Jeff Martin will head down valley starting his journey home to Ashford, WA. Jeff, more than anyone, has made this expedition become what it is, a top notch program, and a team to be proud of. This being my eleventh Everest Expedition I can say with great insight that the effort he has put in the planning and execution of this enterprise is superb. I forced him out onto the lower glacier for a few holes of wiffel golf this evening, it being our Masters Tournament, he opened a can of you know what on me, next time maybe I will whip him. The team wishes him safe travels and a big THANK YOU!

Cheers!

Training at Basecamp

The latest from RMI guide, Chad Peele…

April 11, 2010
17,575 ft.

We woke up to yet another beautiful and sunny day at Everest Base Camp. The team is still settling into the increased altitude and we are slowly ramping up our activity level in preparation for moving through the Khumbu Ice Fall. Today, we focused on ladder training as we will have numerous ladders bridging gaping crevasses and seracs between Basecamp and Camp One. Dave Hahn and Leif Whittaker decided to go for a short hike into the icefall to do their ladder practice while the rest of the team stayed in camp and created a simulated course. We rigged several ladders over the glacial rocks to simulate the icefall in which we practiced walking up and down the shaky ladders. For starters, we began in our trekking shoes stepping from rung to rung getting used to the shake and wobble of the aluminum ladders. Once everyone felt comfortable with this, we put on our stiff 8,000 meter boots and ran the course again. After this, we continued our progression and added roped hand lines while wearing crampons which best replicates the actual movement during icefall travel. With the addition of hand lines, we were able to steepen the ladder grade for both uphill and downhill travel and even practiced several “emergency” scenarios. One scenario involved stopping mid crossing and kneeling down on the ladder rungs to re-attach a crampon that had “accidentally” popped off. Although this was not a very likely scenario, it had the advantage of addressing a “possibility” while increasing confidence and agility.

Everyone did a great job showing skill and balance and we are all looking forward to moving higher onto the mountain.

Chad Peele

Wendy on a ladder in the Khumbu Icefalls - Everest 2009

Wendy on a ladder in the Khumbu Icefalls - Everest 2009

Life at Basecamp…

RMI dispatch from Casey Grom…

April 10, 2010
17,575 ft.

All is well here at Everest Base Camp and life is easy for now.

We usually have breakfast around 8am (this morning we had pancakes) and relax in the warmth of the morning sun. The next few hours are spent on personal chores and taking it easy while our bodies adjust to the altitude. Lunch comes next and then is shortly followed by nap time or just relaxing in the tents. Dinner is at 6:30 sharp and dress attire is down jackets and insulated pants. Although the dining tent is quite comfortable being double walled, carpeted, and it even has a propane heater. Clearly we are not roughing it!

Everyone seems to be doing great and we are enjoying these few days of rest before we get busy. Today we had a gear review and dress rehearsal and then went for a short stroll through the lower glacier.

A special thanks tonight to Mark Tucker and Jeff Martin for providing a wonderful burrito dinner!

Namaste!

Casey and crew.

A Blessing from Lama Geshe

RMI Dispatch from Jeff Martin…

April 3, 2010
13,950 ft.

Hi all,

We woke to another beautiful day in the Khumbu. Crystal clear skies and surrounded by magnificent mountains, including Ama Dablam in the morning light. What a sight!

It was our second night in Deboche, and the group is doing really well. After breakfast we started hiking along the Imja River, following its banks until the valley walls narrowed and we began the climb up to Pangboche. Pangboche is a small village, but a very important stop on our trek to Basecamp. It is here that the Lama Geshe gives his blessing for a safe expedition. Each climber receives a “kata” and blessing card and this is followed by his blessing. The tradition is for the climbers to take a picture holding the blessing card while on top of Everest and then mail it back to him. One whole wall is covered with pictures of climbers, spanning many years. To take part in this ceremony is an honor and gives valuable insight into the Sherpa culture.

After leaving Lama Geshe’s house, it was a short walk to the oldest monastery in the Khumbu. Though simple and basic, it has been standing for over 400 years!

Still traversing above the Imja River, the valley opened up and a junction in the trail marked the way to Pheriche. We are now all settled in for the afternoon at our tea house. Some are reading and playing chess and the rest of the team is playing Texas Hold’em. Tucker has been cleaning up the last few nights with the card games, but he is about to run out of luck…

Thyangboche Monastery

The spiritual heart of the Khumbu: Thyangboche Monastery with Khumbila rising behind.

Jeff Martin

Wendy’s Inspirational Quilt Entry

Visit the Inspirational Quilt project for the upcoming Extraordinary Measures film and vote for Wendy’s video entry! Her charity could receive $5,000 if we win!
http://extraordinarymeasuresthemovie.com/#/quilt

What’s your Mountain? MS Walk

Wendy,

I had the pleasure of hearing you speak in Clovis, California this past Thursday evening.  I told you then that I had “needed” to hear your message and truly believe it was meant that I be there. You’ve set your amazing goals and in the process have helped other people all along the way….all those wonderful kids! Amazing!

I was diagnosesd with MS this past January and you mentioned to me that the first year is the hardest.  It HAS been challenging, but each new day is looking brighter.  (Actually lately, days don’t just look brighter, they seem to SPARKLE!)

You asked me what my mountain is… I’m still searching for the big moutain, but I have little foothills in my sight.  I’m already organizing a walking team for the Fresno area MS Walk in April of 2010.  I also love making jewelry and have goals to get back into  making and selling my pieces.

I have added “Beautiful Day” to my playlist!  It reminds me of your strength and endurance as I work out on my elliptical machine (15 whole minutes a day after a 5 month relapse that has left me with much numbness and burning sensations in my left leg!) I’ve spent so much time in bed this year and now I’m anxious to push my body just a little more each day!

Thank you so very much!  MS is just going to be a “blip” in my life story. For these past 10 months I have truly worried that MS would become my life – slowly taking over ever square inch of my body and my mind.  But I’ve already learned that I can become a better person through adversity. MS is just in the background and I can go forward to the live the best life possible from here. That is my goal… and I thank you for helping to open my eyes and heart the other night! I’ve been a changed person since.

Be well,
Kim


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About Wendy Booker

In June of 1998, this 55 year old mother of three was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS after experiencing balance problems, blurred vision and numbness on her left side. When first diagnosed, Wendy was devastated. But it took very little time for her to transform anguish into inspiration. She immediately turned her hobby of casual running into a continuous pursuit and has now completed nine marathons.

Mountain climbing became the next conquest. Wendy learned about a team of mountain climbers with Multiple Sclerosis who were attempting to climb Mt. McKinley (Denali) in Alaska. With no previous climbing experience, she dedicated a year to hard training and set off with them in 2002. Although weather conditions prohibited the team from completing, Wendy attempted the summit again in 2004 on her own and she succeeded!

The feeling of accomplishment she experienced propelled her next aspiration: to climb the highest mountain on each continent. Just five years later, Wendy Booker has successfully reached the top of six of The Seven Summits – Mt. Kilimanjaro, Mt. McKinley, Mt. Elbrus, Mt. Aconcagua, Mt. Vinson Massif and Mt. Kosciuszko. Mt. Everest, the highest mountain on earth, still awaits for 2010.