The Clymb: What was the inspi­ra­tion for this trip?
Samuel Rose: One of my clos­est friends passed away sud­den­ly two weeks before I was set to study abroad in New Zealand. I was crushed by the loss and since then I use him as moti­va­tion to live life to the fullest. Hence the idea for this trip was born. 

Why these adven­tures specifically?
This trip will be about 10 months long and I plan to vis­it over 30 coun­tries. I bought a round the world plan tick­et with Star Alliance. The Clymb pro­vid­ed me with a way to go see Africa, Egypt, Kil­i­man­jaro, and Ever­est Base Camp–places I felt uncom­fort­able doing on my own or pre­ferred in a group set­ting. The main theme was to keep me busy and to push my body and mind as much as pos­si­ble. Trav­el­ing is a beau­ti­ful puz­zle and the pieces are fun to put together.

What were some highlights?
Egypt was my favorite non-moun­tain­ous area. The coun­try gave off such an amaz­ing vibe. Kil­i­man­jaro was insane and the peo­ple there were tru­ly incred­i­ble, our porters could not have been bet­ter. Ever­est Base Camp was the best thing on this entire journey. 

It was the jour­ney of a life­time with­in the jour­ney of a lifetime. 

What made this trip special?
The peo­ple I have met along the way. The friends I have got­ten to trav­el with and the places I have got­ten to go. I am so thank­ful and blessed and I won’t be able to ful­ly com­pre­hend what I have done for some time. 

How has this trip impact­ed the way you live now?
The con­stant chang­ing of plans forces you to be flex­i­ble and deal with adver­si­ty. There have been no bad days on this trip, only bet­ter days.

Where do you want to go next? 
After trav­el­ing nomad­i­cal­ly for near­ly 10 months, I am mov­ing to Israel to teach Eng­lish in Beit She’an, an impov­er­ished com­mu­ni­ty in the north.


For more infor­ma­tion on tak­ing a Clymb Adven­ture, check out our page here. 


Why Anna­pur­na Base Camp?
It’s no secret that the Himalayas are the most icon­ic moun­tains in the world. The rich his­to­ry of these moun­tains has always been a huge pull for me and final­ly see­ing them was like com­plet­ing a life­long dream. We chose Anna­pur­na Base Camp as an alter­na­tive to Ever­est because we want­ed some­thing a lit­tle more off the beat­en path. In the end it did not disappoint.

Pack­ing Essentials
Obvi­ous­ly, you’re going to want a real­ly sol­id pair of hik­ing boots or shoes. These will be your go-to footwear for essen­tial­ly the entire trek so they should be com­fort­able and durable. Beyond that, the usu­al hik­ing neces­si­ties and a healthy amount of snacks should get the job done.

Tell us about Ace the Himalaya
I’m kind of a skep­tic when it comes to guid­ed trips, but Ace the Himalaya is no joke. Our guide San­tosh was one of a kind, a true man of the moun­tains who was born and bred in the Himalayas. His com­mand of the region and the his­to­ry made our expe­ri­ence all the better.

Some High­lights?
The sim­ple act of wak­ing up know­ing that all I had to do that day was hike to the next place I was going to sleep, that was some­thing I could get used to. The small inter­ac­tions we had with locals–how friend­ly they were, and how excit­ed they were to share this place with us–were real­ly some­thing special.

What made the trip so special?
I went into this trip think­ing it would be an amaz­ing way to expe­ri­ence nature like I nev­er had, walk­ing amongst the largest moun­tains in the world. Stand­ing in the basin of the Anna­pur­na Sanctuary–which sits at almost the same ele­va­tion as the high­est point in the con­ti­nen­tal US–only to have moun­tains ris­ing up all around you, was absolute­ly aston­ish­ing. But, what I did­n’t real­ize was how much of a cul­tur­al oppor­tu­ni­ty this trip would be; the Nepalese peo­ple were so friend­ly and wel­com­ing, it made our expe­ri­ence all the more worthwhile.

Where do you want to go next?
Japan, I can’t wait to get a taste of some of that amaz­ing pow­der. Plus the sushi sounds pret­ty good.


For more infor­ma­tion on book­ing a trek to Anna­pur­na Base Camp, check out our Clymb Adven­tures page here. 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/emmabishop/albums/72157643399225483

https://www.flickr.com/photos/emmabishop/albums/72157643399225483Mera Peak is one of the most allur­ing trekking peaks in Nepal as it involves a cul­tur­al­ly stim­u­lat­ing jour­ney through remote pic­turesque vil­lages and forests—followed by a mod­er­ate climb to the sum­mit. It is per­haps best known because it is Nepal’s high­est trekking peak.

The Himalayas are get­ting atten­tion. The media fren­zy around Mount Ever­est seems to build in inten­si­ty every year, and the trek to Ever­est Base Camp is now avail­able on Google Earth. But even as the spot­light shines ever-brighter on Ever­est, many trekkers and climbers remain unaware of oth­er acces­si­ble climb­ing options in the Himalaya.

Mera Peak is less than 20 miles due east of Ever­est, but because it is nes­tled in the Makalu-Barun Nation­al Park, it receives only a frac­tion of the atten­tion. At 6,476 meters, it’s clas­si­fied as a trekking peak, and the climb is so straight­for­ward that for guid­ed clients, no pre­vi­ous expe­ri­ence is necessary.

For most climbers the trip begins in Kath­man­du, where teams can make final prepa­ra­tions, orga­nize gear, and explore the ancient city. When the weath­er allows, they catch a tiny plane into the town of Luk­la, which is nes­tled at the base of the Khum­bu Valley—the entrance to the Himalaya.

The Approach
From Luk­la, climbers were his­tor­i­cal­ly faced with three options to gain access into the Hinku Val­ley: cross the high-alti­tude Zwa­tra La Pass (which can be chal­leng­ing ear­ly in the trip, before climbers have accli­ma­tized ful­ly), approach by heli­copter (which until very recent­ly have been hard to find and very expen­sive), or take a cir­cuitous route that wan­ders far to the south (which makes the trip quite long). Today most climbers opt to take a heli­copter across the pass, which saves time and lets teams focus on a grad­ual acclima­ti­za­tion trek up the beau­ti­ful upper Hinku Valley.

As climb­ing teams make their way up the val­ley, they trek through the two tiny towns of Khote and Thag­nak. Lush rhodo­den­dron forests, shy herds of moun­tain goats, and glacial rivers dot the trail. After a week, give or take, teams reach Khare, a tiny moun­tain vil­lage at the very base of Mera Peak.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/emmabishop/albums/72157643399225483The Climb
In Khare, most climbers refresh their skills with cram­pons, ice axes, and ropes, which can be nec­es­sary to move up the moun­tain. High camp is nes­tled in a shel­tered spot on the breath­tak­ing Mera La Pass (5,415 meters), and climbers typ­i­cal­ly spend one night enjoy­ing the view before mak­ing an ear­ly morn­ing alpine start to the climb.

The climb itself is a straight­for­ward glac­i­er walk, and most teams hope to be approach­ing the sum­mit pyra­mid some­time in the mid-morn­ing. The final push can be steep and icy, so most teams opt to fix ropes for added safety.

The view from the sum­mit is breath­tak­ing. The snow-capped Himalayan sky­line extends in every direc­tion, and on clear days climbers can see five 8,000-meter peaks: Mount Ever­est (8,848 meters), Lhotse (8,516 meters), Cho Oyu (8,201 meters), Makalu (8,463 meters), and Kangchen­jun­ga (8,586 meters). The descent to Khare, where most climbers spend the night, takes between 2 and 5 hours.

The Trek Out
From Khare, most climbers choose to descend quick­ly to Luk­la to catch flights back to Kath­man­du, where they can enjoy a hot show­er, a real meal, and soak in the sights.


For more infor­ma­tion about trekking adven­tures in Nepal, check out the Clymb Adven­tures page here.

You’re read­ing our first ever Clymb Adven­tures Part­ner Spot­light. We’ll be giv­ing you an inside look at the peo­ple who pow­er Clymb Adven­tures, what makes them so spe­cial, and why they are such an inte­gral part of what we do.

Hori­zons framed by soar­ing snowy peaks, ancient Bud­dhist monas­ter­ies, and wind torn, flut­ter­ing prayer flags are but a few rea­sons the Himalayas are pure alpine mag­ic. The topog­ra­phy of this sacred land begs for explo­ration and dis­cov­ery. It’s not just the land but the peo­ple that make an expe­ri­ence here unforgettable.

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Ace the Himalaya, a 100% Nepalese-owned ground oper­a­tor, makes adven­ture hap­pen here. And The Clymb is proud to say they were our very first trav­el part­ner. Today, they con­tin­ue to embody the spir­it of human-pow­ered adven­ture, offer­ing authen­tic­i­ty, val­ue, and a mod­el which takes care of its own and the sur­round­ing communities.

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Found­ed in 2006 by a for­mer trekking Sher­pa named Prem Kha­try, the inspi­ra­tion was born out of a life lived to hon­or moun­tains. Raised in the remote Himalayan vil­lage of Gorkha, Prem devel­oped a love for nature which led him to the Nepalese tourism indus­try at age 15. After 8 years as a guide, Prem was ready to bring his own vision to life, and Ace the Himalaya was born.

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Oper­at­ing in Nepal, Bhutan, and Tibet, from trekking, to moun­taineer­ing, raft­ing, moun­tain bik­ing, cul­tur­al tours, to vol­un­tourism, Ace con­nects explor­ers with their cho­sen paths. With an aver­age group size of eight clients to two guides, these expe­ri­ences are inti­mate and authen­tic. All guides are local and trained to strict standards.

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To cel­e­brate Ace the Himalaya, we’re high­light­ing four of their adven­ture offer­ings. Hike the clas­sic route to Ever­est Base Camp, trek the spec­tac­u­lar Anna­pur­na Cir­cuit, heli-tour the Himalayas, or raft, moun­tain bike, and paraglide your way through Nepal. Expe­ri­ence a beau­ti­ful cor­ner of the world while sup­port­ing a grass­roots orga­ni­za­tion. There’s no bet­ter time to go than now.

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For more infor­ma­tion on Clymb Adven­tures, check out our page here.

A trek across the Khum­bu is more than fol­low­ing in the foot­steps of adven­tur­ers and moun­taineers. It’s a full immer­sion into Himalayan cul­ture. In the midst of the world’s high­est peaks, yak trains tra­verse pre­car­i­ous sus­pen­sion bridges adorned with col­or­ful flut­ter­ing prayer flags. In sim­ple wood­en Sher­pa vil­lages where farm­ers work their ter­raced farms pulling pota­to crops, a spicy com­bi­na­tion of incense and dried chili pep­per fills the air while citadels of glacial ice and rock dwarf the lit­tle homes.

For those who vis­it the Khum­bu, the north­east­ern Nepalese moun­tain region, only a tiny per­cent­age will ever have the abil­i­ty to climb in the Himalayas. But to feel hum­bled and inspired between the moun­tains is what gives many the moti­va­tion to make the near­ly 2‑week trek to Ever­est Base Camp, the launch­ing point for Ever­est expe­di­tions. Nepal and Khum­bu have been through a dev­as­tat­ing last two years between avalanch­es and earth­quakes. Through know­ing the peo­ple and the set­ting where they build their life is to under­stand just how remark­able this place is.

©istockphoto/Keith MolloyLuk­la: The Cliff Air­port: The trail to Ever­est Base Camp starts in the town of Luk­la, fol­low­ing a 30-minute flight from Kath­man­du to the air­port with its famed run­way that ends at the end of a cliff. This small vil­lage hosts sev­er­al lodges and ameni­ties for trekkers with every­thing from gear shops to Inter­net cafes. The offi­cial trail­head is on the far side of town, and imme­di­ate­ly it delves into deep-forest­ed groves and spi­ral­ing hills toward the town of Nam­che Bazaar, the de-fac­to cap­i­tal city of the Khumbu.

©istockphoto/sihasakprachumNam­che: The Cul­tur­al and Tourist Stop
Nam­che is the main trad­ing and tourism cen­ter of the Ever­est region. With its streets built into semi-cir­cles, which cas­cade down the hill­side, and dwarfed by the face of Kongde Ri, the town is rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Sher­pa peo­ple, who descend from horse-traders of Tibet. A short hike above the town reveals the famed ter­raced farms, where res­i­dents man­age to grow crops despite the dry envi­ron­ment and thin soil. Far­ther out­side of Nam­che are two towns of note: Thame, which was the child­hood home of Ten­z­ing Nor­gay and Apa Sher­pa, who hold the Ever­est climb­ing record with 21 suc­cess­ful sum­mits, and the town of Khumjung, which had a school and hos­pi­tal built as part of Sir Edmund Hillary’s Himalayan Trust Foun­da­tion. Being wel­comed into these com­mu­ni­ties, espe­cial­ly the small­er town­ships, reveals the unique par­tic­u­lar­i­ties of the Sher­pa people.

The hall­mark of Sher­pa cul­ture is warmth and hos­pi­tal­i­ty. Being invit­ed into a home or a lodge is equiv­a­lent to enter­ing ones life and being a part of their being. Along near-end­less laugh­ter and song, enter­ing a Sher­pa home spurs an auto­mat­ic offer­ing of food, tea, and con­ver­sa­tion. Their jovial nature means they con­stant­ly sing or make jokes, most of the time gen­tly at the expense of oth­ers. Some base camp res­i­dents have remarked that while the mess tent for the climbers is often tense, ner­vous, and high-strung, the Sher­pa tent is more like a par­ty, with long din­ners going late into the evening.

©istockphoto/DanielPrudekTeng­boche: The Prayer Flag Village
From Nam­che, the trail winds uphill towards the monastery of Teng­boche, sil­hou­et­ted spec­tac­u­lar­ly by the ris­ing face of Ama Dablam. Teng­boche is one of the most sacred sites in the Khum­bu, as young monks and nuns trav­el from across Nepal to study in the midst of the moun­tains. The tem­ple was orig­i­nal­ly built in 1916, then par­tial­ly destroyed in the earth­quake of 1934 and rebuilt with many of its orig­i­nal books and doc­u­ments saved. For moun­taineers and Sher­pa, Teng­boche is where climbers ask for spir­i­tu­al per­mis­sion to climb the moun­tain. As some Sher­pa put it: You don’t just climb that moun­tain. The gods who live atop grant you the good for­tune to stand on the sum­mit for a few moments. This is a cer­e­mo­ny known as a puja, a rev­er­ence and offer­ing to the divine for a good bless­ing on their journey.

One of the most ubiq­ui­tous sym­bols of the Himalaya are the prayer flags, col­or­ful strips of rec­tan­gu­lar cloth that hang from every home, tem­ple, and chort­en, a stone tow­er rep­re­sent­ing a place of med­i­ta­tion or remem­brance. The flags are hung in five col­ors: blue for sky, red for fire, white for air, green for water, and yel­low for earth. The Tibetans believe that the prayers inscribed on the flags spread peace and wis­dom across the hills as they are car­ried by the wind.

©istockphoto/fotoVoyagerDing­boche: Homes Dot­ting the Mountainside
After leav­ing Teng­boche and trekking under groves of crim­son rhodo­den­dron flow­ers, the tree line grad­u­al­ly gives way to glacial moraines, arid desert-like plateaus, and soar­ing but­tress­es of rock and ice past the town of Ding­boche. Here, tiny com­mu­ni­ties of stone and wood­en homes dot the hills and val­leys carved by ancient glac­i­ers, mak­ing fer­tile graz­ing land for herds of yaks, whose bells echo through­out the gorges.

Above Ding­boche, the land is flat and red, marked by spindly trees which stand against the gray gran­ite of the peaks and the hang­ing glac­i­ers, cre­at­ing an odd jux­ta­po­si­tion of desert and mountain.

©istockphoto/sihasakprachumChuk­pa Lare: The Memo­r­i­al Grounds
High on a glacial ridge is one of the most stir­ring and con­tem­pla­tive places on the trek—the memo­r­i­al chort­ens to lost Sher­pa and climbers. In the area known as Chuk­pa Lare, the stones are jus­ti­fi­ably placed against the moun­tains, and prayer flags fly between them, as the wind up here blows almost mourn­ful­ly between the stones. Sher­pa and west­ern climbers are grouped togeth­er, with plaques recall­ing notable names such as Scott Fis­ch­er, the Seat­tle guide lost in the 1996 expe­di­tion, and Babu Chiri Sher­pa, who sum­mit­ed 10 times and held two speed records before per­ish­ing near Camp II in 2001.

The sim­ple stones are a hum­ble reminder of the effect the moun­tain has on the Sher­pa. Typ­i­cal­ly, as guides and porters, the Sher­pa men are the sole providers for the fam­i­ly, and upon death, the insur­ance only cov­ers the fam­i­ly for a lim­it­ed amount of time. In the wake of sub­se­quent dis­as­ters in 2014 and 2015, gains were made in how the Sher­pa are treat­ed and how much mon­ey could be allo­cat­ed to the fam­i­ly upon the death of the patri­arch, but it still leaves much to be desired.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/7/70/Gorak_Shep_from_Kala_Patar.jpgGorak­shep: For­mer Base Camp
The trek con­tin­ues to Lobuche, a tiny set­tle­ment made up of sev­er­al lodges for trekkers with the peak Nuptse ris­ing dra­mat­i­cal­ly above the vil­lage. The trail towards Gorak­shep, the lodg­ing area before arriv­ing at base camp, fol­lows par­al­lel to the Khum­bu Glac­i­er, which is in a carved val­ley between the Ever­est-Lhotse mas­sif. Set in a dry lakebed, Gorak­shep was the orig­i­nal base camp up until 1953, when it relo­cat­ed under the Khum­bu Ice­fall. While there is lit­tle to see in the town itself, which is most­ly trekker lodges, Gorak­shep pro­vides access both to Ever­est Base Camp and Kala Patthar, the ridge above 18,000-feet which over­looks Ever­est, Lhotse, and the Khum­bu Glacier.

The trail lead­ing to Ever­est Base Camp descends through a val­ley flanked by sev­er­al large peaks, many which con­sis­tent­ly release rock-fall and small amounts of snow upon the path. Look­ing at the land­scape, one can see how much effect the avalanche on April 25, 2015, had on base camp and Everest’s low­er slopes.

©istockphoto/PumoriBase Camp
Ever­est Base Camp is set in a val­ley between the Ever­est-Lhoste mas­sif, and the peak known as Pumori. Dur­ing the climb­ing sea­son, the base camp is home to expe­di­tion teams from around the world, with a pop­u­la­tion and a tent camp that rivals a small city.

The Sher­pa are most preva­lent in camp; tend­ing to clients, fix­ing ropes through the Khum­bu Ice­fall, and fer­ry­ing sup­plies between camps. In the ice­fall, they are con­stant­ly exposed to avalanch­es, falling ser­acs, and open­ing crevass­es, since, as an active glac­i­er, the ice­fall is con­stant­ly mov­ing and chang­ing. In 2014, an avalanche broke away from the upper glac­i­er and buried 13 Sher­pa who were fix­ing lines for clients. Less than a year lat­er, when a 7.8 earth­quake rocked the coun­try, an avalanche came tum­bling down Pumori, hit­ting Ever­est Base Camp up to the ice­fall, tak­ing the lives of 20 Sher­pa and west­ern climbers. The two inci­dents, which for­ev­er changed the Sher­pa and moun­taineer com­mu­ni­ties, have insti­tut­ed more reg­u­la­tions on who should be at base camp or on the peak, includ­ing require­ments of expe­ri­ence, and an increased pay­out for Sher­pa fam­i­lies. In Ever­est expe­di­tions, the climbers are high­ly cel­e­brat­ed, but the work of the Sher­pa is large­ly untold and unappreciated.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/7/70/Gorak_Shep_from_Kala_Patar.jpgKala Patthar: Over­look­ing the Valley
To tru­ly under­stand the scale of the val­ley, the last pil­grim­age of the trek is to the top of Kala Patthar, which appears like a black sand dune above Gorak­shep. From here, among the flut­ter­ing prayer flags, Ever­est is first hit by sun­light, bathing the entire moun­tain in a soft glow, and slow­ly creep­ing across the ice­fall and Ever­est Base Camp. Between the world’s high­est moun­tains, the des­o­late envi­ron­ment appears alien, with only the col­or­ful tents at base camp show­ing any sign of inhab­i­tance. But those who inhab­it the Khum­bu, this is both their office and their home.

Trekking through the Khum­bu is more than a life expe­ri­ence. It’s a glimpse into a cul­ture not under­stood by many. The Khum­bu is as much about the peo­ple, their homes, and their lives, as it is a place of some of the most adven­tur­ous feats in human his­to­ry. Between the flut­ter of the flags in the moun­tains are reminders of liv­ing sim­ply and humbly in an extra­or­di­nary landscape.

Everest

Everest

The 2015 Ever­est climb­ing sea­son is under­way, and if pre­vi­ous years have been any indi­ca­tion, it should be anoth­er inter­est­ing year on the world’s high­est peak. Over the past few sea­sons we’ve seen every­thing from awe inspir­ing per­son­al accom­plish­ments to unbe­liev­able tragedy play out on the slopes of the “Big Hill,” mak­ing it a sym­bol for both incred­i­ble inspi­ra­tion and extreme sor­row. Add in grow­ing ten­sions between a vari­ety of fac­tions oper­at­ing on the moun­tain, and we enter this sea­son with a con­tin­ued air of uncer­tain­ty sur­round­ing the pro­ceed­ings. It is dif­fi­cult to say just how this sea­son will unfold, but here are some things to keep an eye on in the weeks ahead. 


Back to Busi­ness
Climb­ing Ever­est is big busi­ness, both for the com­mer­cial guide ser­vices that oper­ate on the moun­tain, and for the gov­ern­ments of Nepal and Chi­na. The two coun­tries issue per­mits for climb­ing on the South and North Sides respec­tive­ly, and col­lect hefty fees in the process. Fol­low­ing last year’s unprece­dent­ed shut­down of the South Side after a trag­ic acci­dent claimed the lives of 16 porters in an avalanche, there were some ques­tion as to whether or not that busi­ness would be impact­ed this year. While some of the com­mer­cial teams have shift­ed from the South Side to the North, there does­n’t appear to be any slow­down in the demand for Ever­est. Most com­pa­nies report full ros­ters for 2015, which means the moun­tain is like­ly to be as crowd­ed as ever. And with prices con­tin­u­ing to go up each year, there is clear­ly a lot of mon­ey to be made.


But Not Every­one is Back
While most of the com­mer­cial oper­a­tors are return­ing to Ever­est this year with plen­ty of clients in tow, some have decid­ed that the polit­i­cal cli­mate, chang­ing envi­ron­ment, and con­tin­ued uncer­tain­ty on the moun­tain are ample rea­sons to stay away. The Peak Freaks, a com­pa­ny that has been lead­ing moun­taineers up Ever­est for near­ly 25 years, has can­celled its 2015 and 2016 expe­di­tions. Instead, they will focus on other—less crowded—mountains in the region. The Peak Freaks may not be alone in that deci­sion either. If the Ever­est 2015 sea­son does­n’t go smooth­ly, there could eas­i­ly be oth­er high pro­file com­pa­nies jump­ing ship as well. No need to wor­ry about find­ing a com­mer­cial guide ser­vice to lead future expe­di­tions how­ev­er, as more and more Sher­pa-owned com­pa­nies are pop­ping up in Nepal, bring­ing new, less-cost­ly options with them.


Ice Fall

Increas­ing Dan­ger
The avalanche that claimed the lives of the 16 Sher­pas last year was the result of the col­lapse of a hang­ing serac—a giant piece of ice—over a cru­cial sec­tion of the climb on the South Side. That ser­ac had been in place for years, but final­ly gave way due to the increased impact of cli­mate change on the moun­tain. The Ice Fall Doc­tors, a group of Sher­pa charged with main­tain­ing the treach­er­ous route through the Khum­bu Ice Fall, feel that the dan­ger still remains in 2015, and as a result they are shift­ing a sec­tion of the route in an attempt to avoid a repeat of last year’s dis­as­ter. But chang­ing con­di­tions on the Lhotse Face have brought increased dan­ger to oth­er parts of the moun­tain as well. As the glac­i­ers on Ever­est retreat, all phas­es of the climb are start­ing to be impact­ed. That means that it could be even more dif­fi­cult to safe­ly climb and descend from the sum­mit. Add in the grow­ing crowds on the moun­tain, and Ever­est could be as dan­ger­ous now as it has ever been. 


High Alti­tude Inspi­ra­tion
As always, there will be a pletho­ra of inspir­ing sto­ries that make their way out of Ever­est Base Camp. For exam­ple, U.S. Marine Char­lie Linville lost his leg to an IED in Afghanistan back in 2011, and he is now prepar­ing to climb the moun­tain as part of the Heroes Project. Linville’s efforts will no doubt serve as inspi­ra­tion to oth­ers who are fac­ing adver­si­ty of their own. He’ll be joined on the expe­di­tion by oth­er vet­er­ans with a sim­i­lar sto­ry, as the team works togeth­er to over­come phys­i­cal and men­tal chal­lenges on their way to the top of the world. Each spring, a num­ber of inter­est­ing per­son­al­i­ties arise from the Ever­est scene, and I’m sure 2015 will be no dif­fer­ent. As we get clos­er to the start of the sea­son, which typ­i­cal­ly comes around the start of April, look for oth­er inspir­ing sto­ries to emerge. 


"Kilian jornet Grand raid 2010" by Cecuber - collection personnelle. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kilian_jornet_Grand_raid_2010.JPG#/media/File:Kilian_jornet_Grand_raid_2010.JPG
“Kil­ian jor­net Grand raid 2010” by Cecu­ber — col­lec­tion per­son­nelle. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wiki­me­dia Commons

Kil­ian Jor­net Goes For Speed Record
Acclaimed moun­tain run­ner Kil­ian Jor­net is hop­ing to set a speed record for the fastest climb on Ever­est this spring. He’ll be climb­ing on the North Side in Tibet and hopes to make a round-trip jour­ney from Base Camp to the sum­mit, and back, in rough­ly 35 hours. That would indeed be incred­i­bly fast for any climber, but it pales in com­par­i­son to Pem­ba Dor­je Sher­pa’s mark of 8 hours and 10 min­utes to the sum­mit on the South Side. Pre­vi­ous­ly, Jor­net has set speed marks on Denali, Aconcagua, Mont Blanc, and oth­er high peaks, but he has nev­er faced a chal­lenge like Ever­est. This will be the first 8000-meter moun­tain of his career, and it will cer­tain­ly test his skills. 


A New Route
Three elite climbers are fore­go­ing the more tra­di­tion­al routes up the North Ridge and the South Col of Ever­est in favor of attempt­ing a com­plete­ly new path to the sum­mit. The team includes Cana­di­an climber Raphael Slaw­in­s­ki, and Ger­mans David Goet­tler and Daniel Bartsch, each of whom has exten­sive expe­ri­ence on big moun­tains. The trio will attempt to sum­mit with­out the use of bot­tled oxy­gen, fixed ropes, or Sher­pa sup­port along the dif­fi­cult North­east Face. If suc­cess­ful, it will be the first new route opened on the moun­tain since 2004. 


Expect the Unex­pect­ed
There was once a time when an Ever­est sea­son moved along like clock­work and you could accu­rate­ly pre­dict with some degree of cer­tain­ty just how events would unfold. That cer­tain­ly has­n’t been the case in recent years how­ev­er when we’ve seen unprece­dent­ed shut­downs on both sides of the moun­tain (Chi­na closed the North Side in 2008 to take the Olympic torch to the sum­mit), high pro­file brawls between west­ern climbers and the Sher­pas, and wealthy moun­taineers going rogue to fur­ther their own ambi­tions. Watch­ing some of these events unfold on the biggest stage in all of moun­taineer­ing has been both appalling and frus­trat­ing at the same time. But these events have also taught us one thing—when it comes to Everest—expect the unexpected.

Everest


This week we’re part­ner­ing with Ice­break­er to help fund The Kumari Film Project. Kumari is a remote vil­lage in Nepal, suf­fer­ing from a lack of prop­er med­ical facil­i­ties and access to edu­ca­tion. Jagat Lama, a Kumari res­i­dent with an incred­i­ble sto­ry, promised his dying father he’d help bring health and edu­ca­tion to their vil­lage. In 2006, he found­ed The Inde­pen­dent Trekking Guides Co-Oper­a­tive to pro­vide jobs with sus­tain­able wages for low­er-caste residents.

For every Ice­break­er order dur­ing our 3‑day event, The Clymb and Ice­break­er will donate $6 to ben­e­fit Jagat Lama’s vil­lage, Kumari.

But that’s just one way to help. When a region requires so much, know­ing where to start can be over­whelm­ing. Giv­en only one choice, where do you think your time and efforts would be most ben­e­fi­cial in Kumari? Med­ical, Edu­ca­tion, or Road, Water, and Earth Removal? Read about the projects here and here.

Then tell us which area and why and we’ll make a $50 dona­tion in your name to ben­e­fit the Nepali vil­lage of Kumari. We’ll choose a win­ner tomor­row, 9/25, at 8am PST.