Everest Expedition via the South Col Route
Testimonials from various Everest expeditions
Of course I would tell you that you are going to have a great time and that I provide a very high level of service with a great deal of attention to detail. But for honest, objective feedback, you have to hear it from previous clients. These are people who, like yourself, wanted to make sure that they were signing up for not only a great experience but that they were joining a top class expedition. They are discerning people, from a variety of backgrounds, who all showed due diligence when investigating which trip offered not only value for money but also a high level of service with an excellent approach to safety and logistics. And they all agree on one thing…
I read the earlier reviews elsewhere about Tim’s 2017 Everest expedition and I wanted to add my view as I don’t feel the reviews portray a version of Tim that I know, so I wanted to present my experience. I’m the assistant guide who was on the expedition, referenced below. These views are my own - my overall impression is that things could have gone better at the end of expedition. I think Tim would acknowledge that. No one wants to end on a bad note, but everyone reached their respective summit and returned home safely. The clients were a good group but there were some personality clashes. Some of the clients did not hold a significant amount of mountaineering experience or fitness and of this smaller group one client was always going to know best regardless. I joined the expedition on quite short notice; Tim having an assistant guide was not part of the package sold to his clients, but before leaving the UK he decided he wanted some additional support for the trip so asked me to join if I was keen. The main purpose was to support with the earlier part of the expedition - the acclimatisation rotations on the mountain since there were 6 clients so people might end up on different rotations. The way it works during the early rotations is that the clients generally climb to camp 1 or 2 without a personal Sherpa. The Sherpa teams are working to establish the higher camps on the mountain. It worked well for me to support with this part of the expedition as I only had 4 weeks available to stay in base camp due to a commitment back in the UK. I left base camp around 10 days before the clients summited so will give my view below on what I experienced whilst I was there. After their 3 week acclimatisation programme, I joined the team at base camp. I did not know the team before hand, but my first impression was that the team were friendly and motivated, which was awesome. As we started to prepare to go on the mountain, I also observed that there was a range of fitness and mountain experience across the team. Tim tends to give a good amount of guidance in base camp on tips, techniques and skills to manage risk when on the mountain. He makes a point of going over this a fair few times and tries to drum into the clients the need to take responsibility up high. Whilst the majority of the expedition is easy going, in these sessions he is more serious. He will push the clients to learn the message he’s trying to get across. I felt sometimes one or two of the clients didn’t take these sessions too well/seriously, which in turn frustrated Tim, especially when things happened on the mountain that should be covered from these basic skills sessions. Regarding some of the criticisms Radios - most teams don't provide radios directly to clients. On the lower mountain, the clients had radios but there are frequent black-spots all over the route so the radios don’t work all the time. Sherpas use higher powered radios, which are better but still don’t always work given the black-spots. Maybe there was a specific technical issue with a radio that the below review refers to - not sure. But, I had no radio issues despite frequent use, whilst I was there. Weather reports - several teams agreed to share weather reports. This was to reduce risk and manage traffic jams on the mountain. The review below mentions “listening in to other people’s weather reports”, but it seems consistent with sharing weather information. Logistics - I’ve been on several trips with Tim and never had any specific logistics issue so I’m surprised by this one. But, maybe the client experienced a logistics issue that I'm not aware of. I know some of Tim’s oxygen was stolen on the South Col which unfortunately happens sometimes (the bottles were subsequently re-stocked by Tim’s Sherpa team). One of the clients injured his foot in base camp and left the expedition. He went back to Europe, but decided to come back two weeks later, when he had good news from the doctor. Tim adjusted the whole climbing programme to make this situation work, importantly to get the client back to a suitable level of acclimatisation - he summited. In more general terms, in 2017, there was a lot of snow on the mountain, which led to delays in all teams establishing higher camps. This snow prevented the fixed lines being established to the summit, which in turn prevented all teams achieving an early summit bid - all teams went down. The teams had been in base camp around 3 weeks by this point. That was the end of the first summit bid. On Everest avoiding crowds significantly reduces risk. Summit day crowds = people dying - it happens every year. Very shortly after the first summit bid a window opened for a second attempt. The clients and I were by then back in Namche and we had to decide to return or not to base camp. I decided to go back to climb with another client already in base camp. The rest of the team chose to stay in Namche as they were concerned about their fitness so soon after the 1st attempt. Their collective decision is fair enough, but a shame as the conditions were good for the 2nd summit bid. Later, when the 3rd summit window opened, I understand that the clients were annoyed about Tim proposing not to go on the first wave. Tim’s logic was due to the above point above traffic jams - the whole of base camp was going for the 3rd summit window. I’m sure by that point in the expedition the clients were desperate to go home but Tim had dozens of expeditions behind him and he obviously made the decision to wait for the next window based on experience. So the 4th summit window, when the clients all summited, ended up with some pretty bad weather coming in at the end; unfortunately this the nature of climbing mountains - the weather changes. It sucks the clients didn’t get a 360 pano on the summit, but they did summit and they did get down. Tim didn’t goto the summit with the clients as he’d already been to the top that season on the 2nd summit window. That’s unfortunate and I think he regrets this. But, he did goto the south col and each client had a 1-1 Sherpa on summit day. The point about Tim not running an expedition company is really harsh! He's been running these trips, at a competitive price point for 20 years. His trips are small, well catered and he has a load of experience on Everest and Ama Dablam - look at his success ratio. By the end of the expedition the clients and Tim had their differences. But, looking objectively, the clients all summited and descended safely. Some had an adventure on summit day, more than they wanted/expected. That's a shame because you want every client to have a perfect summit - but it doesn't always work out like that. 8000m mountains are unpredictable and in my opinion all clients should really be preparing themselves (for many years) with the necessary skills and experience to perform with confidence when things do get challenging.
Scott Mackenzie, Everest 2017
I can honestly say that the experience of climbing Everest with Tim in 2016 was one that will live with me forever…….in a good way! Tim somehow manages to balance the very serious nature of what is being attempted with a great sense of fun and excitement which I am certain helped me to achieve my dream of standing on top of the World. To me, being part of Tim’s close team felt as if I was climbing with friends whilst always knowing you were part of one the most professional teams on the mountain, where every last detail was taken care of and only the best equipment was being used. This made the trip very special as it allowed me to totally focus on the job at hand, which turned out to be pretty tough for us with a turnaround at the South Col and retreat to basecamp due to bad weather, only to go straight back up for a Summit attempt 24 hours later. It was clear to me that Tim was constantly assessing our options and ensuring that we were best placed to make the most of the opportunities that were open to us. This ability to be flexible and adapt to the constantly changing environment that is Everest is surely what makes Tim stand out from the crowd and I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending Tim to anyone considering attempting Everest in future years. P.S. His cheese selection is legendary..... Chris Bradley
Chris Bradley, Everest summiteer 19th May 2016
I have been on two expeditions with Tim, to Ama Dablam in 2009 and Everest in 2013. I would wholeheartedly recommend him as an expedition leader. 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.
Three weeks ago I stood on the highest Earth's peak Mt. Everest 8848m. It was an incredible experience and brilliant feeling to live on a high altitude for more than 45 days surrounded with beautiful Himalayan scenery. I was lucky to be part of an awesome team of super strong and experienced climbers, led by our super capable leader Mr. Tim Mosedale. I enjoyed every single moment. Thank you everyone for supporting this idea and making it happen. And thank you Tim Mosedale , Adam Booth, Elen and Pit, Jon Gupta, Tom Vaillant, Stewe Wyatt, Stuart Leonard, Kenton Cool, Mel Proudlock, for making my trip unforgetable and as enjoyable as possible :))
Ilina Arsova, 1st female Macedonian to summit Everest on 23rd May 2013
I have climbed with Tim, guided for Tim, and been lead by Tim. We have trekked together, shared a tent together and regularly I bounce ideas of him. As a climber his understanding and patience is invaluable to learning new skills and understanding the most efficient yet safest way to perform a task. Whilst guiding for him, he allows me to stretch myself and use my experience to lead and make decisions with his clients. As a leader, he has a profound understanding of the needs of his team, he leads by example and is inspiring. His humour is really great, and there is always a smile to be had - his team is always the one having a great time. His card skills are sharp (watch out), and his Connect 4 prowess flawless. An expedition with Tim is more than just a mountain, it ticks every box - and for most, this also includes summiting. He has taught me a lot, both as a mountaineer, and a expedition leader.
Jon Gupta, Everest summiteer 19th May 2013, TheBigE2013.
Having been on several expeditions with Tim before, there was really no question of going to Everest with anyone else. His logistical planning are second to none, and he uses, in my opinion, the best support crew on the mountain. Added to that, his expeditions are always, always brilliant fun, largely due to his undampable upbeat and subversive sense of humour. The three-week trek into basecamp worked marvellously, with the team getting to know one another, getting to see some amazing places off the well-beaten path from Lukla to BC and basically having a LOT of fun. All this in the name of arriving at basecamp with a good degree of acclimatization and health (by avoiding the pestilent hoardes), allowing us to go straight on up the mountain instead of kicking around at basecamp getting bored. On the mountain Tim is super-strong, & the consumate professional, managing things seamlessly to give us all the best chance of summiting, which, apart from one member leaving early on for medical reasons, we all did!
Jen Larsen, Everest Sumiteer 20th May 2011, TheBigE 2011
I have known Tim for many years and had the privilege of working with him on a couple of expeditions. I cannot recommend him highly enough in all aspects. He is a highly professional mountaineer and guide in addition to being a very approachable, energetic and personable fellow. He undertakes the organisation and planning of an expedition with the utmost diligence and meticulousness. This excellent preparation makes for a smooth running, well balanced, flexible trip that ensures safety is paramount, both from a mountaineering and medical perspective. The medical kits on his trips are second to none, and Tim has a broad lay understanding of how to manage acclimatisation and minor medical problems. In this sense, he really stands head and shoulders above other 'non medical' guides. Tim has a wonderful ability to enthuse and encourage team members even when the task at hand is tough. He provides a highly professional and supportive service throughout a trip tailored to each individual's needs as the expedition evolves, and for the team as a whole. I have had the opportunity to see how other larger commercial teams function on mountaineering expeditions and Tim's professionalism, meticulous organisation and enthusiastic support of individual team members is above and beyond any other company out there by far. Added to which, even though you will be undertaking a serious expedition, you know you will also have an incredibly enjoyable experience. Tim goes that extra mile to ensure that when you have 'down time' to relax at base camp, its made as enjoyable and entertaining as possible. Personally, I would not go on an expedition with anyone else.
Tim's climbing expeditions are meticulously planned and executed with great care and precision. He combines great fun with the seriousness of the task at hand to provide a superb and safe experience. I have just arrived back from the Everest " The Big E" expedition where all 5 of us reached the summit on a spectacular day with great visibility and no winds. His vast wealth of experience and his knowledge of the mountains makes him unequivocally my number one choice for expeditions and I would not hesitate to recommend him. Subsequently Partha also said ... In my opinion, your organisation, skills and experience and how managed the whole expedition place you a mile ahead of any other expedition leader on the big hill and I would be happy to convey that to any person thinking about 2012 (or beyond).
Partha Dey, Everest summiteer 20th May 2011.
"In the universe of hard decisions surrounding an Everest summit attempt, the choice of which operator to go with is the hardest and most important. Quite apart from the considerable financial investment (and who doesn't want a good return on that?), the bottom line is your safety on the mountain and a safe return. I strongly believe that I maximised my chance of getting to the summit by being part of Tim's team. From his unique acclimatisation strategy that saw us all arrive at Base camp ready to go; to his unending focus on safety and mountain craft; from guidance on personal maintenance that saw us all arrive back at Base camp in better condition than most other teams; through to his subtle, enjoyable and fun team building, Tim leaves no stone unturned to make sure that your individual summit efforts result in the best possible outcome. It worked for me!"
Susan Hunt, Everest summiteer 20th May 2011.
I've run 100-mile events in the mountains and I've climbed other Himalayan peaks, but without a doubt this was the hardest challenge I've ever taken on. Tim's approach to leadership in big mountains is second to none and I'm certain helped me in summiting Mount Everest. He built a supportive, dynamic and upbeat atmosphere within the group, kept everyone in the loop on latest info and decision making and put together a superb and effective acclimatization schedule, both pre-basecamp in the Khumbu and then on the mountain itself. When the crunch came individually at a low point for me, through minor illness up high, he talked through options, lifted my morale and got me safely focussed back on the summit bid again. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend joining an Everest expedition led by him.
Giles Ruck, Everest summiteer 20th May 2011.
Without a doubt you can rest assured that I provide a top level of service and the attention to detail, particulary with regard to safety and logistics is paramount. Remember to compare apples with apples when comparing what is and isn’t included. For instance it would be pointless comparing a cheap expedition on the North side with an expensive one on the South.
Once you have decided which side you are going to be on (and if you really want to summit and come back with all your digits, and not have to go back again for a 2nd attempt, then you have to go South – it’s not only just a much better place to be but, more importantly, the chances of success are so much better) then please make sure that you look carefully at the inclusions and exclusions.
You’ll undoubtedly come across ‘cheap’ deals at US$35,000 to US$38,000 – but that will possibly not include your oxygen or Climbing Sherpa support! That is not a cheap deal – it is a con.
For US$45,500 you are getting all the inclusions (including your meals in KTM), as well as top quality Climbing Sherpa support, excellent weather forecasting, a plentiful supply (and extra access if necessary) to lots of oxygen, as well as some of the best logistics on the hill.
You are also getting one of the best acclimatisation schedules, excellent medical care and you will be treated as a valued expedition member. With me you are not just another client. You’ll be included in a lot of the passage of information and have ownership of the trip.
So please, have a look at the testimonials again and really read what these people are saying, which is ‘Go with Tim Mosedale.’
If that’s not enough then have a look at the Ama Dablam feedback as well.