North Col in Good Time

As you saw in the last entry from Bryan, the team has started their summit bid!  Since Bryan won’t have wifi, I am updating the blog.  Monica, the team doctor, let me know Bryan and the gang made it to North Col in great time, and they are feeling good.  They will be on oxygen from here on out.  I am hoping he gets a good night’s rest for the rest of his journey.  You can all thank Larry (Bryan’s dad) for the progress map below.


Here we go!

Today, we left for our summit bid! By the time you are reading this, we’ll already be up at the North Col. 

Here is the planned itinerary:

Thursday, May 19th: climb to the North Col @7000m

Friday, May 20th: climb to camp 2 @7800m

Saturday, May 21st: climb to camp 3 @8300m

Sunday, May 22nd: attempt the summit @8848m, and return to the North Col

Monday, May 23rd: return to ABC

I’ll have a satellite phone and will try to call in updates from each camp if possible.  

It just got real!

It’s almost business time!

We are back at ABC resting and recovering from our rotation higher up on the mountain.  We ended up spending two nights at the North Col, with some movement up higher in between. 

The move to the North Col and the first night actually felt quite a bit better than I was expecting it to. However, the second day was a bit more of a challenge. I puked my oatmeal shortly after powering it down. Then, on our hike, I was just so weak. Each step was a challenge. Not only due to a lack of oxygen, but also from a lack of energy. 

That night, I had a repeat performance of the morning. Dinner came roaring back up. Turns out, I’m a bulimic on Mt Everest.  Perhaps it’s my body wanting to get ready for swimsuit season??  Too bad that altitude makes you ‘skinny fat’. I’ll likely lose quite a bit of muscle mass with little to no fat lost.  Kind of a crappy fitness and weight loss plan if you ask me. 

After trying to go to sleep and then waking myself up several times talking random jibberish, it was decided to investigate a bit more. In conjunction with having SpO2% at 44 and being totally incoherent, I went back on Oxygen for the night. It was nearly glorious. Within 30 seconds of having the O2 on,8 was asleep. 

I’ll chalk it up to training for use of the systems higher on the mountain!!

Also, I’m fairly certain that I nuked a few brain cells. Hopefully they weren’t doing much to begin with!

Now, we wait.  We are acclimatized and recovering.  It’s now a game of watching the weather and balancing true recovery with energy waste. 

Well, it looks like the decision has been made, we’re headed back to EBC for 2-4 nights. While although I’m not looking forward to the 24 mile round trip excursion, I am looking forward to the big drop in elevation (EBC is 4,000ft lower than ABC). I’m told we’ll feel like a new person!  

The mountains are a true test of patience and adaptability. With so much out of our control (e.g. Weather and rope fixing teams), there’s not much to do than to go with the flow. 



Change of Plans

I am writing this update because Bryan and the team are staying another night at North Col.  They plan to head back down to ABC tomorrow.  Though last night he slept and felt better than he expected, once he got going he wasn’t feeling so hot.  Nothing too severe, but sounded like enough to make climbing, and just being, a bit unpleasant.  Regardless of his physical state, he sounded upbeat.  The guy impresses me to no end–he keeps a positive attitude and rolls with whatever comes his way.  Soon I am sure he will fill us all in with the entire adventure to North Col and all the details including the pictures.  He said the views are amazing!

Arrived at North Col

I received a call from Bryan this morning.  It was quick and muffled, but he did inform me he is safe and sound at North Col camp!  Bryan said he was feeling pretty good, and the climb was hard.  He was getting ready for bed, which will probably prove to be a restless night of sleep due to the increase in altitude.  Tomorrow the team plans to climb higher up the mountain before heading down to ABC for the night.  After that, waiting for the routes to be set and a weather window to climb all the way to the top.  Go Bryan!

Adaptability and Pujas

Yesterday we had our Puja which all went well.

A Puja is a ceremony where the Sherpa by way of a local Buddhist lama asks the mountain for permission to climb safely.

The Sherpa had built a stone shrine with prayer flags strewn across all of ABC. Then they piled all of the items they wanted blessed next to the shrine.

The original plan was for us to be heading up to the North Col (23,000ft / 7000m) today. However, we’ve opted to stay another day at ABC, then cut our stay up high by a night. Our plan now is to stay two nights at North Col and then see how high we can climb one of the days. Ideally, we’ll touch 7500meters. We shall see!

After that rotation, we’ll be primed and ready for our summit push!!  It’ll be partly about the weather and also the Chinese Tibetan Mountaineering Association whom are the ones that set the route and fix thes ropes to the summit.

It’s about to get real!

Taggin’ 23,000ft 

Today was a long one. Shortly after breakfast, we packed our summit kits to drop off at the North Col. The North Col sits at about 23,000ft or 7000m. 

It was such a good day. It felt great to actually be climbing today. It was a solid movement and we made good time.  

Now we are back in camp trying to rehydrate and recover.  

Tomorrow is a full rest day where we’ll do nothing!  I can’t wait. Then the next day we’ll have our Puja ceremony which is important to the Sherpa before we do any more climbing. 

Assuming the weather holds, we’ll move up to the North Col to stay for three nights which will set us up for our summit push!


ABC life

We’ve now been at advanced basecamp for nearly 24hrs.  What a difference a day can make.  When we pulled in yesterday, I  wasn’t exactly on top of my game.  Lethargic, nauseated and in the early stages of a pounding headache.  

Remind me again why we do this to ourselves?  Oh that’s right, to experience places like this:

Expeditions like these are a regular test of determination, grit and will power. As annoying it is to lose your last meal or have a head splitting headache, it makes you appreciate the good moments ten fold. The more you learn to love hard work, the more you’ll reward yourself with incredible outcomes. 

You’d be amazed what you are capable of if you just put yourself out of your comfort zone. Whether that’s walking your first 5k or doing a 100+mile run. You don’t need to climb Mt Everest to blow your own mind with what you can accomplish. Whatever you define as ‘hard’ is within reach, I promise. The biggest obstacle is your mind telling you that you can’t. 

Anyway, back to Everest.  We’ll be here at ABC for a few days to acclimatize and recover. We’ll hopefully go tag the North Col (23,000ft / 7000m) in the next couple of days to enhance the acclimatization process. Then, next Sunday the 8th of May, we’ll have our Puja ceremony which the Sherpa will ask for a blessing from Chomolungma before we do our rotation up to the North Col for three nights. 

It feels so good to be here. Now, it gets real. I’m looking forward to the hard work of moving up the mountain. Chomolungma isn’t going to give up the summit without work. The mother goddess of the earth demands respect. Those whom don’t, well, you’re free to google the consequences of this hill. 

Thanks for checking in!