Just a quick update having received another awesome testimonial:
The fact that Tim is an incredibly strong mountaineer is self evident (4 Everest summits and counting), and the high summit rates for clients on his expeditions speak for themselves, but it’s the things that go on behind the scenes that might not be so apparent if you haven’t been away with him before – his planning is meticulous, his logistical skills are second to none, he communicates well before the expedition and during it, and he leads with a style that generates respect for his decisions. Even when the weather’s not playing ball, you can rest assured that when it comes to timing for the summit push you will be in the right place at the right time.
As a doctor, I was highly impressed by Tim’s medical acumen – I think it was testament to his planning that during our Everest expedition not a single member suffered with altitude sickness over the entire trip. I was also very impressed that everyone was given potentially life-saving dexamethasone injections to carry, and that Tim taught the Sherpas how to use them too.
Personally, one of the things I value the most about Tim is his sense of humour. You can guarantee that even when things get tough, Tim will be able to lighten the mood, which on long expeditions makes all the difference.
If anyone is thinking of signing up with Tim, I would be more than happy to be contacted for a recommendation.”
Dr Adam Booth, Everest summiteer 13th May 2013.
I think that just about says it all.
Oh, and I’ve just had the most awesome few days out with a chap coming along to Ama Dablam this November as well as picking up another 2 bookings last week. The first trip (3rd Nov – 30th Nov KTM – KTM) is almost full but there are still a few places available on the second trip (10th Nov – 7th Dec KTM – KTM). So if you are interested you need to get in touch sharpish.
I’ve also received another 2 enquiries for Everest 2014 and 2015 as well as having a healthy mailing list for 2016 and a client I am getting trained up for 2017. So it looks like I’ll be there for some time yet.
As ever I’ll endeavour to keep the blog updates / Tweets and FaceBook posts coming whilst we are away. I hope that you enjoy the show.
Cheers – Tim
I realise that I haven’t managed to get round to giving a post expedition update but it’s been pretty hectic since I returned from Everest. The B&B has been pretty chocker and I’ve been climbing with clients quite a bit – as well as trying to work through my 2 month in tray which is full of Everest and Ama Dablam enquiries.
Anyway I have just received some feedback from one of the guy on my trip, Jon Gupta, that I just wanted to share.
An expedition with Tim is more than just a mountain, it ticks every box – and for most, this also includes summiting.”
At The South Col with Ilina, Steve & Stuart. Tom has descended to C2 unfortunately due to exhaustion. Setting off in to the night to try & summit early tomorrow. Sorry to be brief but saving batteries. Watch this space. T
So now that we are done and dusted with the rotations and acclimatisatioin schedule it is time to wait, and be patient … our time will come.
A few days ago it looked like there may be some favourable weather and a few of us were primed and eagerly waiting the green light. The weather changed significantly enough for us to realise that it would be far too windy to be venturing up the hill and so we all descended to EBC. That was a couple of days ago and we are now waiting and watching and listening and being patient.
For me this is a difficult period because folk often feel that sitting at Base Camp is wasted time. The weather doesn’t look to be bad enough for long enough to warrant dropping down the valley for a rest at lower elevations – it would be a shame to go down to be called straight back up again when the weather was looking to improve. That would amount to quite a lot of effort being expended in the name of having a rest!
So we are confining ourselves to Base Camp for the time being and spending time chilling, reading, playing cards, stuffing ourselves with snacks and generally trying not to think too much about the reality of the forthcoming exertions …. whenever that may be.
For the time being I’ll not even divulge any thoughts about dates and potential weather windows because I would hate for folk to start getting all in tizz and excited about nothing. The other reason is that there are some expeditions watching what we and other teams are doing. Not only are they watching at Base Camp but they are tracking our blog, tweets and updates. If I mentioned potential dates, only to find that I was unable to update a change of plan because of lack of reception on the hill, then this could have far reaching consequences for teams who are not so well equipped with weather updates. The other thing is that we are obviously keen to keep our cards close to our chest to try and make the best use of the information that we have.
We do have some great allies and are happy to be working in cooperation with some of the other well respected teams … but we are VERY wary of the lesser equipped teams who have clients who are clearly out of their depth who have signed up with companies who have a very poor success rate and a very low pedigree.
So for the time being that is it – we are waiting and there is very little to add. Even if the situation changes I may not necessarily update but please don’t lose patience you’ll find out about our successes in due course.
That’s all for now. Except to add my usual thanks for all the messages of support. It means a LOT.
Cheers – Tim & Co
So we’ve been at Base Camp since the 20th and we are well and truly settled in. The first day involved us getting our hands on our freight from the UK and KTM and generally sorting ourselves out. Needless to say there was plenty of washing water and shower activity as well.
The next day we were supposed to be up at 5 for an early breakfast followed by a foray in to the Khumbu Icefall. However, it snowed most of the night and the visibility was pure white out conditions. I had a quick chat with the Climbing Sherpas and we decided it was prudent for me to stay put with the group.
The Climbing Sherps headed out and I woke people to tell them not to get up!
I was up and in the kitchen at 7 and the Climbing Sherpas came back having made it 2/3rds of the way in The Icefall – apparently in some quite challenging conditions so I was glad we’d stayed put (we later heard about waist deep snow being ploughed through between C2 and C1).
We were up for the usual 8 o’clock to get breakfast and it was still claggy but by now the wind & snow had stopped. Half an hour later and the vis cleared and we were eagerly scrabbling to get ready and go for a recce in The Icefall.
The start of the Icefall is only 5 minutes away from our camp and we were soon donning crampons and harnesses and taking our first steps on the lower slopes of the mountain. The initial 40 minutes or so of the route are relatively straight forward and unroped (glad we weren’t in there in the early morning white out) and then when we hit the ropes I ran a tech session to acquaint everyone with safe travel techniques.
Another hour or so and we were encountering our first ladders. The first few are for climbing up and then a few horizontal ones are in place to aid progress over the increasing number of crevasses we were encountering.
If folk are together then they can assist each other by pulling the ropes tight to create a kind of bannister for the ladder crosser to use for balance. Once across the first person then pulls the ropes for the second person and so on and so forth.
What to do, however, when you get to a ladder and you are on your own? Well you clip in, as usual, pick up the ropes and lean forwards thereby taking up the slack from behind and creating your own tension. This position means that you’re leaning forwards and looking down and into the vast yawning chasm that you are about to cross. It’s all very well saying to yourself ‘don’t look down’ but you have to to see where to put your feet. Needless to say it takes a bit of getting used to.
So in and out took around 4 hours and we were soon back having a late lunch followed by my usual array of snacks and goodies that I provide including pâté, crackers, cashews, liquorice allsorts, fruit pastilles, pistachios, olives and gherkins.
Unfortunately we were then unable to manage much of tea on account of being thoroughly stuffed, so we settled down to a couple of series of Green Wing – thoroughly recommended by the way – and retired to bed.
As generally happens when staying at Base Camp nights become better and sleep easier and it’s great that there isn’t a sign of a headache or any adverse reactions to altitude amongst the group.
That, however, is possibly all about to change as we ready ourselves for our first foray to Camp 1 (and hopefully on to Camp 2) tomorrow. All being well we’ll have 3 or 4 nights on the hill before returning to Base Camp for a few days’ rest.
Hopefully the luck we were all bestowed with at yesterday’s Base Camp puja will see us well and the snow will have settled down. There have been the inevitable avalanches pouring down the usual faces and gullies following on from the snow fall we’ve had but the icefall is, by all accounts, in good condition beyond where we recce’d to the other day. Next time we’re there we’ll be carrying a reasonable load so it will make for fairly slow progress me thinks.
I’ll keep you posted when we get back down.
Cheers – Tim & Co
Today we dropped down from Gokyo to Phortse – a rarely visited village on the ‘other’ side of the Gokyo valley. It’s reasonably inaccessible unless you make the effort – and we made the effort and have been dutifully rewarded. We saw only 4 other trekkers all day and this is the start of the high season!
The route drops down towards Machermo passing the 2nd and the 1st lakes which are in a stupendously brilliant setting. Just before the hike up towards the village of Machermo we hung a left and crossed a make shift bridge to be on the eastern side of the valley.
I haven’t been along this trail for about 14 or 15 years and I had forgotten what a brilliant trail it is. It is much narrower than the more oft trodden trails in The Khumbu and Gokyo valleys and has precipitous drop offs for a lot of the way. It is quite an undulating path and follows around ridges and in to valleys quite a bit, so is generally furhter than you think, but generally the vistas that you are rewarded with are spectacular.
So we have dropped around 900m and are spending the night here before following the trail around to Pangboche – again a rarely trodden path by the multitude of trekkers (and thankfully so).
It’s only a couple of hours to Pangboche so we’ll be having a chance to catch up on some washing and laundry before mooching up to Dingboche.