Heading up the mountain for our summit push tomorrow 3am, latest Irish Times article published

Heading back up Icefall to camp II tomorrow morning, we’re targeting a window around 25/26.

There are a lot of teams looking to summit in the next 48 hours, going to be busy up there so wishing them all a safe climb. We’ve already seen some choppers taking a few people off the mountain in the past 24 hours from some of the higher camps. The winds are then expected to pick up 23/24 before the jet stream again shifts off the summit from the 25/26th.

Latest Irish Times article published this morning in weekend sports section (back page and online)

Everest Diary: Here we go again in summit quest
Wait brings challenges as we witness joy and despair on slopes ahead of our final attempt


Namche Bazaar – where we spent most of last week

Back in base camp, we’ll be heading up soon(ish), much patience required!

We got back to base camp yesterday afternoon in the end as the fog lifted around 5pm and choppers managed to take off from Lukla. The valley was buzzing with choppers as they all frantically tried to make a few flights before dark.

We had to run up to the helipad at Namche at short notice, check out the first chopper coming in to land through the fog in this video:

Sometimes it feels like we’re running around to stand still. After stressing out and legging it back here we spent the evening with Tim looking at the forecasts and ultimately decided to let the main crowds go for the current 20-21-[22] window and aim for the one after. There are a significant number of large expeditions on the hill now targeting this window slowly moving up to the higher camps to get into position and while we wish them well but for sure its going to be busy and there are associated risks. We had initially focused heavily on positioning the early window and now we’re going to be looking at the late ones. This has been a real test of our patience over the past few days, bear with us!

The exception was that the Lhotse weather window and lower crowds meant that Ronny headed up at 2am this morning up to Camp II and will be making for Camp III tomorrow. We’re following him closely from base camp. We’re now just down to the full Everest team of Blake, Jon and myself waiting with Tim at base camp.

Won’t be long now……surely….


Stuck in Namche


We’re trying to get out of this place and back up the hill for a summit push but the fog has set in and there have been no helicopters flying in or out of Lukla or Namche today.

Feels like Groundhog Day. The same song plays on a constant loop in the background of the Barista Cafe.

One by one each of us go off in a tantrum about one thing or another. At least we take turns.

We’ve had a good rest break here and I now feel like I’ve recovered from a lousy stomach upset but we want out bad. Please someone lift this fog and let us get out of here.


“Not paradise”

Aborted summit attempt, followed by a chopper to Namche

Greetings from Namche Bazar where we’ve now been chilling for a couple of days as we refocus our efforts following an initial summit attempt.

For all the info on last week’s excursions on the hill, check out this mornings article in the Irish Times:

Everest Diary: An aborted summit attempt, faulty ropes and R&R
Part eight: Rory McHugh and fellow climbers make their first attempt to reach the topIMG_5671.JPG

Once we got back to base camp, and with no clear window available to give it another go in the next few days Blake, Scott and I decided to grab a chopper to Namche, check out this cool video Blake took leaving base camp:

Now in Namche we are enjoying showers and beds and cafes and bars. There is even an Irish Bar here although they ran out of Guinness! 🙁 very annoying

In reality though, a couple of days in, we are already finding that there isn’t much to do here and we’re looking forward to finding the right weather window and getting back on the hill.


Namche Saturday Market

I’ll be back with another post from Namche over the next day or two. I think we’ll stroll up to the Monastery this afternoon and then watch a movie in the Nirvana Cafe after. Nothing too exciting!


Rotations complete, R&R in Gorak Shep, awaiting the right weather window

Jonathan Guidry preparing for higher up

We’re back in the relative civilisation of Gorak Shep. We’ve got wifi and a bed.

Jonathan Guidry and I came down yesterday to spend the night and we decided to spend another after snoozing all morning in our beds.

The very idea of an afternoon and evening doing the same was too appealing to us. We aim to return to base camp tomorrow, just as we aimed to return today this time last night.

Earlier this week we returned to base camp from our second and final rotation up the mountain to prepare ourselves for the summit push.

On return we also found from expedition leader Tim that we’d be splitting the group into 2 for Everest and that Jonathan and I would be heading up on the first acceptable weather window. Hence our visit to Gorak Shep.

The rotation itself was not particularly eventful – on Saturday we left at 3am and went straight past camp 1 to sleep at camp 2. We took 8.5hrs with a few breaks and a heavy pack as we were bringing up supplies for our summit push.

We then had a rest day at camp 2 and unfortunately we aborted our attempt to get to camp3 at 7200m in strong winds. Our long acclimatisation schedule meant we were comfortable aborting this without needed to repeat before the summit attempt.

The Expedition Charity flag at Camp II, Billy’s shadow cast on the lower right. To support please visit virginmoneygiving.com/letsbuildschools – we’re getting close to funding the second school building in Makwanpur. Thanks to everyone who has supported thus far!

On the way down the icefall on Tuesday we encountered several collapses which slowed us down and maintained a high level of adrenaline – I’ll go into more detail in this week’s irish times article – out in print and online this Saturday (need to get that done this evening as soon as this is posted!)

In advance of our summit bid, we’ve done some training with our oxygen bottles and syringes and spent time with our personal medical kits – this even included giving a shot of Dex to an orange! In all seriousness, I do feel ready to get out that syringe even when wearing high altitude mitts, and to give a hypoxic climber with HACE a life saving shot in his thigh!

Given the last Irish Times article came out while we were up the hill, if you haven’t see please check out here:

Everest Diary: Crossing crevasses and frisbee golf in the snow
Part six: Enduring a hard night at Camp II and trying to acclimatise to the Khumbu Icefallroryladder

The next article will be out on Saturday in print and online. Check it out.