Waiting Game (29.
Apr, by Morten)
Three men dressed in red are creeping over the edge at the top of the
snowy field on their way to Camp 2.
Henrik and Vidar are looking like two Michelin men in their new
large, quilted down-suits.
Together with Sherpa Tenzing they are reaching the magic target for
the agreed height of 7550 metres.
“The Killinghill” is covered by a narrow margin. Especially the
last 100 metres are horrible. The wind and the blizzard are increasing and
we have to hurry to get down to the North cleft before it gets to ugly.
I almost managed a trip to our next camp at 7700 m. I wanted to, in
the spirit of the Peace Corps, check if our tents were ready for the Ra-ra
team, who possible will be the first up when the weather allows an attempt
for the top. On our way down we are passing the place where Marius and
Mattias (7350 m at a stretch, the discussion is tough!) reached a couple
of days before us. Shortly we are staggering back into the North cleft to
spend our second night in this fine, but too high camp. No appetite and
lack of sleep is showing on whoever spend some nights up here.
The next day we wake up, marked by the rough treatment this height test
exposed us to. Everybody is satisfied about getting as high as we did, and
that we did beat our friends from the Ra-ra team.
Henrik is complaining about his breathing and that his lungs are
hurting. We are melting some snow and are bravely trying to eat some
cereal. The food is growing in our mouths, so we just have to give up. We
are hurrying down the rappels and the hills to the glacier plateau under
the wall up to the North cleft. Henrik is getting worse for each step
down. We need to understand that The Peace Corps once again has been fired
a warning shot. Petter,
unfortunately, had to return after just a few hundred metres from the camp
a few days ago, as we were on our way to Camp 1. We heard on the radio
that he had returned to the Narvik BC, and that he wanted to go further
down to get rid of the coughing that has been bothering him for the last
After a night in Aktiv BC, we are starting on the trip down for our
“last rest” in BC before trying to reach the top. It feels very good
that we are walking this 24 km long moraine for the second last time.
About one hour before the Intermediate camp, the snowy weather reaches us.
It is blowing and snowing rather madly.
After a lot of hassle we are able to find the Camp and get inside.
After a couple of hours, hot tee and some pop corn we decide that Henrik
and Vidar will stay in the Camp and Morten will continue further down on
his own as soon as the wind drops. Just after this the wind starts again,
so the rescue is fresh Yak footprint s down the moraine tops, which
without footprints are a complete nightmare getting through.
The sun is breaking through again in the afternoon, and BC is
reached in fresh snow and beautiful afternoon sun.
As usual it is just splendid to come “home” to your own tent
In BC Jon, Henrik “Mr. Hollywood” and the photographer PYH are
present. Jon and Henrik have been on a convalescent trip to Zangmu and are
both feeling fit. PYH has a runny nose and would like to follow the Peace
Corps to the nearest village tomorrow.
This morning all the others returned from a 3 day trip to the nearby
village. Hot springs and nice food have done wonders with all of them.
We have been missing meat on our trip, and today the truth was
discovered. The cooks have been serving meat daily to the Sherpas with, as
we were having noodles, fried rice and vegetables. No wonder we were
Tonight we have been stuffing ourselves with yak meat, after Vidar
taking control in the mess tent.
We are now promised better food in the future, and not a day too
As mentioned, PYH and almost everyone from the Peace Corps are going to
the rural district tomorrow. Eirik and Petter will once again walk towards
ABC, to test their condition in the height.
Jon, Mattias and Marius are reading the weather reports closely,
and are in principle ready to try for the top. If God allows them, they
will be on their way in a couple of days. The Peace Corps will follow in a
week, after Henrik hopefully are feeling better.
On behalf of The Peace Corps
Snow in ABC. Such day it is best to stay in your sleeping bag.
The kitchen in Intermediate Campen. Not much more than biscuits, popcorn
and tea to eat here.
The upper part of "The World's longest uphill". May be the
heaviest part for us that are using oxygene from Camp 2.
Sherpa Tenzing is a good man. He has stayed in ABC and C1 for almost 3
weeks. Sometimes he even goes up to C2 and C3 bringing supplies.
Vidar finally gets inside the tent in Intermediate Camp. He is longing to
get tea and some rest.
and Marius ready for the summit (24.
Apr, by Mattias and Marius)
not yet translated...
The camp in the northern pass is well protected from the powerful winds, even
though it looks dramatic here. This photo is taken 200 m above Camp 2.
He doesn't look very smart in his down dress, but he is very comfortable
with the height. Go Marius!
Mattias in the middle of the worlds longest uphill - both litterally and
A frustrated Sherpa fights against the heavy winds. He is alive!
The route up to Camp 1 is vary steep. Mattias enjoys climbing in the ice
height reached - 7.060m asl (20.
Apr, by Jon)
not yet translated...
Some of the beautiful ice towers close to the path between BC and ABC.
An overview over Aktiv Base Camp (ABC).
in Base Camp (14.
Apr, by Petter)
night, the last team came down from ABC and the acclimatisation trip in
the mountain. As I, Vidar, Morten and both the ‘Henriks’ felt degraded
to a B-team, we were expecting a brotherly welcoming from the A-team boys
who had already spent three to four resting days in BC.
More than a hundred metres away, we could hear some swinging music from
the pub- and mess tent, Track 1.
“What a reception”, I thought, as I dragged the tent canvas
aside. Here the whole A-team was present, freshly shaved and smelling
good. Not one un-trimmed nose hair to be spotted. I was touched, but in a
split of a second I understood the whole session.
At the very back, by the table, three climbers from another
expedition were sitting and two of them had splendid nice female features.
“Oh, damn”, I was thinking, once again the A-team has cut ahead of us.
Not only did they outclass us to ABC, but by now, bearded and exhausted we
once again have to compete with a team packed with self-confidence and a
How did the battle about female attention go? There were no winners – no
losers. Both of them left us in half an hour and a well gathered Everest
team gained their focus back about reaching the top. This nice experience
in the mess tent did liven us up and was a great contrast to the four cold
and exhausting days we had just spent some higher in the mountain.
middle camp on 5750 m were unpleasant and most of the logistic was
missing. The strong wind totally damaged a number of the neighbouring
tents and the time was spent laying in front of each Primus waiting for
the ice to transform itself into drinking water.
In ABC the wind was even stronger, the temperature even colder and
the bodies more exhausted. On the other hand, we had Sherpas that were
pampering us, a cook that made food and a mess tent with an oven that kept
us warm. That’s luxury!
Inside the tent in ABC
Vidar is served tea by the kitchen boy
Petter and Henrik on their way to ABC
Base Camp 5200 m –
Two forced to give up Everest
Apr, by Jon)
11th of April:
“Tomorrow we will stretch the rope to the northern pass – for sure.”
“You can walk down to BC and rest”, says Dawa Chhiri smiling.
And I know this might happen. Before I go, we have talked with all the
sherpa leaders from all the other Expeditions. They are a little ashamed
that both Dawa Chhiri, Dawa
Tensing and I, have been all the way up to the beginning of the glacier to
find that the fierce winds that have been raging ABC the last couple of
days, are not ruling the 500 m high wall up to Camp 1, 7060 m, in the
northern pass . It is actually rather sheltered, where we are dropping
snow poles, ice screws and other equipment, on 6550 m.
have spend three days and nights in ABC, lifting stones, secured and put
up new tents together with the Sherpas and I feel that my body is not
producing as much energy as it should.
In 1996 I did not listen to these signals and went up and down the
northern pass six times in one week with a 20 kilo ruck-sack. This cost me
not reaching the top, as well as causing me a respiratory infection so
strong that two weeks later the coughing made me break a rib, in the
second highest camp on
the moment I am again tempted to stay in ABC. “Just a short trip to the
northern pass with a small burden as soon as the ropes are laid out. That
can hardly be very exhausting!” But
no, this time I am able to resist. Especially after ensuring that the
ropes will be laid out according to a unique collaboration agreement made
between almost all of the Expeditions. (Click
here to read the entire agreement)
the British Expedition leader; Hug Ruttledge, failed on two Expeditions to
Everest, in 1933 and 1935, an intense discussion started about the role of
the leader of the Expedition. Is he supposed to be up front pulling? Or
should he be at the back, pushing? Or, is it possible to do both at the
same time? Ruttledge was the
organizer that pushed – without reaching the top. After this, they put
in experienced climbers into the leading role. They pulled – with the
far, I have been pulling and given our Expedition a unique position
compared to other Expeditions. “We are, as a matter of fact, in the
leading position”, am I thinking after our third night in ABC. “But,
what’s that worth, if the entire team can’t take advantage of this
position?” I ask myself as I am sitting alone in the mess tent with my
third cup of tea, the only Expedition leader still in ABC.
Freedom of action, I think. The one that comes first decides more of the
premises for the co-operation between the Expeditions than the one that
comes later. But, we have already done that, as the co-operation agreement
is saying. There is nothing more I can do up here, except ensuring that
our agreement is fulfilled, something also Dawa and all the other Sherpas
On the way down from BC I sense that the decision to go down is right. I
meet Vidar, Morten, Henrik, Henrik and Petter. As I have been pulling up
front, the quality in the middle camp has been insufficient. This is
luckily something we can act upon, but it requires that the leader is not
just looking ahead, but also in to the Expedition and the excellent team
we have spent one and a half year building. I have to admire the boys that
are still keeping up their spirit, as they are moving slowly towards ABC.
The only thing I can promise, is that one of the Sherpas will bring from
ABC all the litres with drinking water that they did not have in the
middle camp, due to poor cooking possibilities.
As I am defying the gale towards BC, I am working out a plan for how we
can manage to make the underestimated middle camp to the best of the
Expediton. I can feel how small a problem might become when you only find
the right solution.
Happy and content I am about to enter the mess tent in BC, but find myself
looking into Per-Yngvar’s camera and being asked a completely surprising
question: “How do you feel about Haakon and Tarald leaving the
“Was it that bad?” is all I can say. I see before me Haakon’s happy
camper’s face as I was leaving BC just four days earlier. He was
complaining about respiratory problems, but he believed that he would
manage to get well. Now it’s turning out that he was having pulmonary
oedema. This is his goodbye from Kathmandu:
“There is a time for everything – or – time to say goodbye:
I thought I was strong
Suddenly I was wrong
Pulmonary Oedema came along
people who wish me the best here in Nepal, will not allow me to go back up
on Everest. I wish to thank you all for this wonderful time in Nepal and
Tibet. Good luck on the rest of the way to the summit of the world’s
I can imagine Tarald, who already on his way to Namche Bazar three weeks
ago caught a respiratory
infection that has been bothering him from the start and at last developed
into pneumonia. He must have been worse than I expected.
a friend I feel this is sad, and I will miss them both. As a leader I am
glad they took the signals early, and made the brave decision not to carry
on with the dream they have been having for years.
Expedition leader Jon in ABC
Haakon: "It is important to have a good time"
Tarald and his great dream, Everest
Apr, by Mattias/Marius)
not yet translated...
From left: Marius, Bente and Jan Flygind. Everest behind. Nice having the
parents to dinner in BC.
Photo: Hartvig Munthe Kaas
Marius and Jon climbing up to ABC. Beautiful ice towers on both sides and
Yaks carry our equipment from Narvik Base Camp up to Aktiv Base Camp.
It is difficult to live in this tent after the powerful winds in ABC
Base Camp 5200 m – Active Base Camp 6400 m
Apr, by Tarald)
sitting in the tent writing as the tent canvas is shivering in the wind,
the sun has just set and the time is 5 pm. Within an hour the temperature
will sink to about
– 20 C. We have been on this trip for one month and we know that this
will only get worse. In
Active Base Camp the night temperature is between 30 – 35 C below cero,
and if you add the effect of the wind, the effective temperature sometimes
is 50 – 60 C degrees below cero.
does not take much to make us happy. A little lamp in the tent to warm
your hands, a crisp bread with liver paste, or a greeting from home. But,
we are not complaining and are trying to motivate each other for the great
challenge that lies ahead. One small delight is the fact that we are rid
of all the rats, even if they provided us with some warmth inside our
As Jon keep saying; “To climb Everest is all about how much
unpleasantness one can stand.”
The last couple of weeks we have been preparing Base Camp and we have been
blessed again and again in the Ronbuk monastery (one of Tibet’s oldest).
The monks will pray for us both when we are on our way, and especially at
the day when we reach the top.
Yesterday, the pulling group from “Hvitserk” visited us. Most of their
members were obviously affected by the height, among others Narvik’s
mayor, who was as brave as he could manage. We thank them for their nice
Today, after making various food and climbing gear ready, one half of the
group left for Active Base Camp. The other half stayed in BC in order to
climb some peaks, close to the Camp, for acclimatisation purpose. It is
noticeable that the group has been a while in the height now, some are
sick, some are coughing and some are not sleeping well due to the thin
air. In two to three days we assume that everybody will be established in
Active Base Camp.
We will have to admit that we sometimes envy you people back home that are
able to enjoy the springtime as we are facing colder and colder days. At
the same time we are well aware of how lucky we are to experiencing
something so unique. We also have the time to think through what really
matters, and not and how privileged we are home in Norway.
There is one life before Everest, and one after…
Once again, thank you for all nice greetings we have received from both
known and unknown people.
time, in even thinner air.
A portrait of Vidar
The Tibetanians in front of Narvik Base Camp
An overview over Narvik Base Camp
have established Base Camp Narvik
Apr, by Tarald)
After a nice night in Nyalam, with rats in all the rooms and half of us
with diarrhoea, we are ready for next leg before Base Camp. The days
target is the world’s highest small town street, TINGRI, which is
situated 4400 m on the high mountain plateau of Tibet. The trip goes up
and down for 6 hours on dusty gravel roads. The boys are well shaken by a
bus that seems to be immortal.
There was time for a short stop to enjoy the view and take some pictures,
before approaching Tingri.
TINGRI – A TOWN IN GROWTH
Form of government; a mixture of anarchy and dog-law.
Number of inhabitants;
approx. 200 people, 400 dogs and an unknown number of small rodents.
Climate; cold, dusty, windy and barren.
Social life; this town is seething of life during the night, thanks to all
the different kinds of dogs . They are howling all through the night, so
if you’re not fond of the nightlife, this is not the place for you.
Food; The places that do have food – they are offering Chinese, slightly
spiced with all possible microbial populations that really makes you feel
Language; It has to be Chinese, but everybody speaks fluent English. The
favourite word is “Good morning”, and they use it into the night. We
are not sure if it is because they sleep into the day, or if it is a part
of their English lessons.
Hospitality; The population is very welcoming, except for the stray dogs,
who are blessed with all kinds of illnesses. If you choose to visit some
of the shops or “SH-OP” as they write it here, they rise the price for
you. If you think it is expensive they have all of a sudden forgot their
English and are just staring curious at you.
City development; There are real opportunities here for a mercenary soul.
To start a kennel, JUST have to become a gold mine. There might be a
problem to locate the dog’s owners. Sale of paint and stopper will
certainly ensure profit you might forget to achieve somewhere else. Or
what about trying your luck as a rat catcher? Oh, come on – this is just
your golden opportunity! Well, generally if you are not afflicted by wind
and dust during the day, smoke coming out of the walls at night or thinks
that sleeping is just a waste, this is the right place for you.
Sad, but we knew it had to come; departure from Tingri, and the last lap
We are starting at 6:00 am and all the boys are in excellent shape
as we are swirling towards the target of the day. The landscape is rising
in time with the hours, 6 totally, before we see BC for the first time.
On the way our bus has had a breakdown 2-3 times, but did manage in
the end. (Not bad).
BC is situated on a stony prairie at the foot of Everest, with mountains
from seven to almost ten thousand meters around. The wind is blowing and
it’s getting cold. After a while all the cars, luckily, come into sight
and it is time to build BC.
There is really a maddening amount of equipment, approx. 400 packages,
including 50 large barrels. Just to get an overview is a task on its own.
Little by little, Jon and his Sherpa brother are starting to get the total
a few hours all the personal tents are put up. The evening is short and
everybody knows that tomorrow everything needs to be ready. Communication
tent, repair tent, kitchen tent as well as Jon’s old (and out of date)
mess tent will have to be ready.
The first night above 5200 m is always a little rough. Most of us got
headaches and felt spineless, but the thought of promised Norwegian food
made us all come around quickly. In the beginning of the day we had an
important visitor; a local Lama, who in a great ceremony put up prayer
flags around the camp and prayed for the Sherpas as well as the members of
Next, equipment was delivered to all of the Sherpas and all of the
personal equipment was distributed. Our chef Vidar, had totally control of
our food, that was laid in different barrels.
There is enough food, but as higher we get the less food we want.
In the afternoon BC is almost finished and it is time to start climbing.
We are heading for Active Base Camp 6400 m in two days.
wish us good luck on our first step towards the roof of the World!
Mattias - Everest behind
Unloading the equipment in Base Camp Narvik
We pray to the gods to make our expedition successful
Kathmandu – Nyalam
Apr, by Tarald)
a spectacular trip by helicopter we were ready for two quiet days in
Kathmandu. It is nice with some decent food again after a couple of weeks
on tomato soup and noodles. We are ready to part with Thor-Johan who has
been joining us at the trip so far and who has been a pleasure to travel
with. We believe that the trip to the top of Island Peak has left traces
in his mind and we all wish him a safe journey home.
Most of us have been using the time in Kathmandu to relax and shopping for
the latest equipment we need before reaching BC.
After an intercession by the local lama, we all have the spiritual
support we need to reach the top. We are aware of the appalling poverty in
this city and we are looking forward to start the climbing.
We are ready to go to Base Camp; 3 trucks with equipment, 10 climbers, a
film team of 2 as well as 6 Sherpas.
Heavy logistics carried out to please everybody. We were up by
04:30 and had a 5 hours trip by car to get to the border of Tibet (China).
Some of the boys found the time to get a massage (normal body massage,
nothing else). Everybody has been behaving very well and they are all
missing their love ones!
physical shape of some of us is so-so. We are having diarrhoea, the flu
and even one with a toothache, but nothing serious.
back to Kathmandu
Morten - on our way to base camp
Tarlad in front of Shishi Pagma
KalaPattar (30. Mar, by Mattias/Vidar)
Easter the team split in two and went different ways; four of us, and one
sponsor, are climbing Imjatse (Island Peak, 6189 m).
The trip went from Dingboche, via Chukung up to Base Camp (BC) which is
situated at approx 5100 m. They
way up to BC was totally beautiful with a fantastic view to Ama Dablam
(6815 m), one spectacular mountain, to Lhotse (8516 m), Nuptse
(7864 m) as well as Bauntse.
climbing from BC to the top was nice and very varying. We had snowy
weather that gave us valuable practise (with a hint of drama) before
climbing Everest and everyone in the group are well acclimatized and
looking forward to the next phase – to establish BC on the north side of
Everest. Prior to that there will be a short stay in Kathmandu and then
further transport with truck and jeep to Tibet.
We are at the moment sitting in
Dingboche, waiting to be picked up by a Helicopter to return to Kathmandu.
The first part of the acclimatizing period is now finished. I am in good
of us have had some trouble in this height. After 4 days at more than 5000
m, my blood has reached the right pH-value. For us it has just become more
and more spectacular. There are enormous mountains where ever I look.
There are no electricity at our lodges so it is not always easy to find
target for this trip was Kala Patter, 5500 m. Here we could see both the
south and north ravines of Chomolugma. At this time I understood the
seriousness of the expedition.
Meeting the Hvitserk expedition i Lobuche.
Haakon in front of Mt. Everest.