Friday, October 16, 2015

NEVEREST Archive: Mountain Madness Schedule, March 23 - May 20, 1996


March 23, 1996Departure on Thai Air for Kathmandu, Nepal.
March 24-27Climbing team arrives. We will meet at Hotel Manang in the Thamel district of Kathmandu. Our local agent, P.B. Thapa, will take care of the last details. The expedition members meet our high-altitude Sherpas. Lopsang Jangbu Sherpa is the sirdar, leader of the climbing Sherpas.
March 28-30Helicopter to Lukla (9,200 ft/2,800 m). We rest three days in Namche to acclimatize. Team up with our Base Camp crew and porters. Control luggage and gear.
March 31To arrive on foot to the home of the Sherpas is like gaining insight into how it must have been for the Jews to arrive in the Holy Land.
—Mike Thompson, anthropologist and

We start trekking toward Everest Base Camp. In about a week's time we'll have to gain 2,000 meters (6,560 feet) of altitude from Namche. First day, we'll traverse the mountainside along the Dudh Kosi valley, cross the river and ascend through pine, fir and rhododendron forest, to Tengboche (12,700 ft/3,870 m), where we'll camp next to Tengboche Monastery.
April 1From Tengboche we cross the river Imja Khola, trekking up to Pheriche (14,000 ft/4,270 m) and the Himalayan Rescue Association's Trekkers Aid Post.
April 2Resting day in Pheriche. An easy trip to Dingboche to improve acclimatization. Great views of Ama Dablam and the Nuptse-Lhotse Face.
April 3From Pheriche the trail climbs steeply to the end moraine of the Khumbu Glacier and follows it to Lobuche (16,170 ft/4,930 m). From Lobuche we see Everest's South Wall and most of the West Ridge route.
April 4We proceed to the two shepherds' shelters in Gorak Shep (16,958 ft/5,170 m) and establish camp at the base of Kala Pattar. Views of Pumori, Nuptse and Everest. Our route follows the Khumbu Glacier, on the moraine as on the glacier itself.
April 5Early rise to scramble up Kala Pattar (18,443 ft/5,554 m). From the top are the best photo options of Mount Everest. We descend this famous outlook and make our way to Everest Base Camp, following yak trails through the labyrinth of the Khumbu Glacier.
April 6-26We arrive at Everest Base Camp (17,600 ft/ 5,364 m) and make ourselves at home on the glacier under the notorious Khumbu Icefall, taking sufficient time to acclimatize. We climb the Icefall, establish Camps I and II in the Western Cwm, climb the Lhotse Face and establish camp at the exposed Camp III. Sleep a couple of nights in Camp III (24,000 ft/ 7,315 m) to maximize acclimatization.
April 27-30With the entire team in super condition, we return to Base Camp. Rest will be our main priority. Trekkers support team visits. We eat, rest and make final preparations for the summit bid.
May 1-4Ready for the summit bid, we climb directly to Camp II. Rest day. Camps III and IV. Those who are fit climb to Camp IV in South Col (26,000 ft/7,925 m). Going for the summit.
May 5-7We climb in the footsteps of the legends of climbing history. The ultimate goal of mountaineering transforms into reality. We summit Mount Everest (29,028 ft/8,848 m)!
May 8After descending from the summit, we return to Base Camp and prepare for the trek out.
May 15-20We fly out of Syangboche by helicopter when our yaks arrive with the expedition gear.
May 17-20Stay at high-class Hotel Yak & Yeti. Party! And good-bye.

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