Everest 2009. The first expedition of the 7 Summits Club from the South. Approach and acclimatization
By the end of the 2007 Everest expedition, it was clear that the next year would be difficult. The Chinese clearly stated that only one team would go to the top from their side. The one that will carry the Olympic flame. Therefore, there was no other option but to prepare an expedition to Mount Everest from the South. However, closer to the start, it turned out that the Chinese were not limited to closing their side. They convinced the Nepalese that until the Olympic flame reaches the top, no one should be on the route from the South. As a result, it was announced that all work on preparing the route from the Nepalese side will begin after May 10. After learning about this, Alexander Abramov decided to postpone the expedition to the next year.
Most of the failed 2008 expedition members were determined to go to Everest from the South. In addition, it became known that there was unrest in Tibet. And in General, the trust in Chinese bureaucrats was undermined. So the 2009 expedition was initially prepared from the South.
March 20, the advance team of Seven Summits Club Everest Expedition started off for Katmandu. The team consists of: Abramov Alexander (leader), Nikolay Cherny (guide), Maxim Bogatiryov (guide). They arrived in Nepal before the whole group, to prepare everything necessary for the expedition. Then Nicholay Cherny and Maxim Bogatyryov will go to the Everest Base Camp for arrangement for the arrival of participants.
The expedition will take place from 20 March till 10 June 2009.
For Alexander Abramov (Captain of the Seven Summits Club and permanent Leader of Seven Summits Club Everest expeditions) it is the seventh Everest expedition. But this expedition is unique in many ways. It is the first time when Seven Summits Club conducts the expedition form the South (from Nepal). Secondly, this year major part of the group consists of the citizens of other countries.
The list of participants of the expedition:
KHUTOROVSKY Vladimir (Russia)
CARPENCO Andrey (Moldavia)
NIKITIN Dmitry (Russia)
Mr Philippe Burlet (France)
RAVENSTIJN Erik (Holland)
MARIN Michael James (USA)
CRELLIN John Anthony (Great Britain)
SINGH Patrick Rajnaraine (Canada)
HANNA Lynne (Great Britain)
HANNA Noel Richmond (Great Britain)
The head: Abramov Alexander (Alex)
Nikolay Cherny (Russia)
Maksim Bogatirev (Russia)
Viktor Bobok (Russia)
Doctor and base camp manager:
4 April. Alex Abramov from Kathmandu:
Yesterday all participants of the expedition came to Kathmandu. There is the list of participants of the expedition:
Russia Abramov Alexander
Russia Bogatyrev Maxim
Russia BOBOK Victor
Russia CHERNYY Nikolay
Dr. Uzbekistan Matkhalikov Avazkhon
Russia KHUTOROVSKIY Vladimir
Moldova CARPENCO Andrei
Russia NIKITIN Dmitry
France Mr Philippe Burlet
Dutch RAVENSTIJN Erik
US MARIN Michael James
UK CRELLIN John Anthony
Canada SINGH Patrick Rajnaraine
UK HANNA Lynne
Irish HANNA Noel
4 guides + 10 members + 11 Sherpas + 4 cooks and 2 assistants cook
At this moment the whole expedition’s cargo has already arrived at the Everest Base camp. 9 Sherpas and 3 cooks came to the Base camp too. We are working to clear areas in the Khumbu(5100m), and the installation of tents. We have TV and DVD with Karaoke in the Base camp. We will be singing "Katyusha" to drum up all women`s expedition. In connection with the homeland, we have brought and set up satellite modem for the Internet.
This is something that is already in the mountains ...
Yesterday it was a meeting in Kathmandu in Nepal`s Tourism Ministry, where we handed to Permit and introduced to Lisan officer, which should help us to organize the expedition.
We hope fly to Luklu on April 4. Weather in Luklu is bad, and 2 days did not fly airplanes. A huge queue established of people and goods. We are trying to resolve this problem.
Yesterday we went to the airport in order to fly to Lukla. We passed the queue other expeditions, draggled our trunks, got into a small plane. After 15 minutes we were asked to go out and wait, because the weather in Lukla became bad. But five minutes later we again went to take off. Weather deteriorated completely, and the plane turned over Lukla, after 20 minutes we were back in Kathmandu. Now we find ourselves at the end of the queue.
At that time, two guides 7 Summits Club Nikolay Cherny and Maxim Bogatyryov and Sherpas establish a Base camp. Already they made a dining room, mess-room with TV, karaoke, and Internet and a washhouse.
Here are some photos sent from Khumbu Glacier.
9 April The team reached Namche Basar by helicopter
Today all the participants of the Everest expedition led by Alexander Abramov arrived to the Base Camp. They had a holiday dinner on this subject. During the lunch Alex Abramov announced the program for the following days. In the next two days, participants will have a rest, check the equipment and training on the ice. And then they will go to the ABC (6400m).
Buddhist puja ceremony this morning officially opened our camp and the blessing was given to the climb, the climbers and climbing gear. Now buddhist prayer flags criss-cross the camp.
In the afternoon the climbing team made its first incursion to Khumbu Ice Fall. The roundtrip took 3 hours during which the equipment was checked, and tested. We crossed crevasses, two of them with the help of alluminium ladders. Today`s short climb offered spectacular panorama of the basecamp and surrounding peaks.
19 April. The entire team returned to the base camp today after successfull acclimatization trip to Camp 1 at 6000m.
Crossing Khumbu Icefall was the first serious exercise of the trip. The Icefall is constantly moving, so we had to leave early before the sun started to melt the ice formations, some of which reach the hight of a 5-6 storey building. The reward at the end of the trip was an awesome view of Mt Everest (which can`t be seen from the Base Camp), the Western Cwm, which we will have to cross during the climb, and the peaks of Lhotse, Cho-Oyu, Pumori and Nuptse. We stayed overnight at Camp 1.
Just prior to heading back down the Icefall at 5:30 am we learned that there was an ice avalanche overnight, so half of our trip down the Fall took place accross the terrain that was changed beyond recognition from the previous day. Here near Mt Everest one is truly confronted face to face with the nature`s awesome might.
22 April. As the days are getting longer and the Sun is becoming warmer we are getting ready to head up for our second acclimatization trip tomorrow. Given earlier sunrise we are planning for a 5 am start up the Icefall. We will spend next two nights in Camp 1 (6000m)and Camp 2 (6400m) before heading back to Base Camp on Saturday.
Today is the rest day.
It is a rest day at the Base Camp after going to Camp 2 - Advanced Base Camp (ABC).
Our ABC is located right at the foot of Mt. Everest`s Western wall and overlooks other camps at the location. From ABC one looks straight at Western Cwm - a giant amphitheater made up by the Everest, Lhotse and Nuptse wall. From ABC we could also see our future route climbing Lhotse face, crossing the site of Camp 3 (7300m) and continuing across the Yelow band (a distinct layer of light rock crossing the black wall from left to right). The route then crosses Geneva Spur (7600m) and leads onto South Col - a saddle between Everest and Lhotse at roughly 8000m, and the site of our future Camp 4, the summit camp.
It was windy at times during the trip, but overall everybody made it fine through this acclimatization trip and through spending a night at Camp 1 and another at ABC. Our time of crossing Khumbu Ice Fall was significantly better - about half of the time it took us the first time around. Today we learned that high winds raked Western Cwm and some of the tents at ABC got flattened by it, so the camp has to be partially reconstructed in the coming days.
We plan our next climb after several days` rest, probably towards the second half of the week of April 27.
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile
A couple of days ago the entire group bid farewell to Phillipe Bourlet, who left the climb for his native Grenoble, France. For further climbs two sub-groups were formed:
Team One: Andrei, Vladimir, Dmitry, Michael and Eric
Team Two: Lynn, Noel, Patric and John.
Team One is heading up the Ice Fall tomorrow, April 29, for the final acclimatization trip that will go through C1 and ABC to Camp 3 (7300m) and on to Geneva Spur (7800m). Team two will take the same route one day later. Both teams will attempt the entire route without use of supplemental oxygen.
The wind has died overnight and it is a beautiful sunny and hot day at the Base Camp. Reports from ABC are that all the supplimentary hardware and other material has been brought up to the camp. Thus, the fly-away kitchen tent, toilet tent (with the barrell?), and collapsed dining tent and member tents should all be restored by the time Team One reaches ABC on April 30. Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile.
While most participants of Everest expeditions rest and gain strength in the woods, Seven Summits Club`s guides and other members of the expedition did not lose time for nothing.
MARIN Michael James
Seven Summits Club`s guide Nikolay Chernyi masters technological innovation
May 9, Seven Summits Club expedition celebrated Victory Day in the Base camp of Everest. Preparations for the festive evening took the entire day. Club Guides Max Bogatyryov and Viktor Bobok set generator and karaoke. Sherpas prepared food and drink.
But suddenly the holiday was threatened. And the Seven Summit Club’s expedition almost lost its leader. In anticipation of the celebration of the Victory Day, Alexander Abramov came round the base camp, inviting guests from other expeditions. On the road from the Alpine Ascents BC to Seven Summits Club’s BC Alex fell into the crevasse filled with water. Only the cap remained dry. He tried to communicate with his guides on the radio, but radio got wet and did not work. "It is insulting to die at the base camp" - thought Alex and with great difficulty got out of the crack. He squeezed out thermal underwear and puff. Abramov had to drink 200 grams of vodka, and drink after 100 grams of whiskey to the end that didn’t get ill.
Just an hour later started festive evening devoted to the Victory Day. The evening was held at a high level. There were many distinguished guests: guides of Russell Bruise, Karri Kobler, Dawa Stiven and his customers, Kazakh expedition lead by Ervand Tikhonovich Ilyinsky, Boris Korshunov and Abu Elmezov.
This evening completed a week of rest. Seven Summits Club expedition on Everest entered to the final stage. In the coming days, participants will be on the ascent.