News
May 2nd, 2006
Base Camp
ImagePepe, who was a part of our team for days has completed his climb and left today. We have mentioned about Pepe before. He was our great-hearted friend who determinedly continued his sports life without any interruption after his legs were disabled in a paragliding accident, years ago. He is a very good sportsman who has won the silver medal in the bicycle race, in the 2004 Sydney Paraolympic Games. This time, he aimed to climb the top of the world by straining his limits, but it did not come true. He reached up to 7000 meters with us, but the problem in his legs prevented him from ascending more. The shoes he was using were giving serious pain to him; none of the few alternatives did work. In the end, Pepe made his decision which is the most appropriate one for him, however which is an upsetting one for us and he returned to his home today.

ImageWe saw him off early in the morning. Good bye Pepe, good bye our intelligent, cheerful and heartfelt friend. Hasta Luego!

Tomorrow we are departing for the advanced base camp again. The second phase is starting. There may again be an interruption in transferring the news for a few days. In the meanwhile, with the particular request of the young members of our team, we would like to send our compliments to the METU Spring Festival…! Participate in the activities also for us.

May 1st, 2006
Base Camp
ImageToday is the May 1st. We organised an international celebration at the base camp. We, Pepe, all our Sherpas (they also arrived to the base camp yesterday), our Brazilian friend Rodrigo, our Chinese friend Ning, our Nepalese cooks, our Tibetan kitchen helpers, we first had our photo taken all together and then passed to the common food tent. We continued the celebration here with Pepe’s offer of various cold meat and beer. At the base camp in other places, Tibetans were celebrating the May 1st, with drinks and dances. Çomolungma also accompanied us by waving its white hair around.

ImageThese are our last days here, the preparation will start again and we will leave for higher altitudes. Most of our supplies are at the advanced base camp and some of them are at the camp at 7000 meters. We are skimping with the things that we brought with us here. That is to say, this time we are temporary at the base camp.

A new month has started, we are also preparing for a new stage of the climb; may it be easy for all of us, long live May Day!

April 30th, 2006
Base Camp
ImageWe are at the base camp since two days; we are eating, drinking (since we have the opportunity to drink beer here!) and resting. Actually we are at an altitude of 5200 meters, which is not a height to regard. But still, after living in high altitudes for the last fifteen days, this place is good for us. One or two days later we will set off again, until that time we are trying to recover in all senses. We met with Mustafa Temiztaş, the 12th person of the team, who is responsible of the documentary film, by climbing down to the base camp. On these days, we will have the opportunity to gather the things we have in hand related to our documentary film. Base camp, other than to rest, also means to get cleaned. We all have been washed the first time since many days. A tent, rather large and can be remained standing, is put up; the hot water is filled into a bag and hang on to a pole in the tent. Well then, how peaceful would it be to have a bath under the threats of, being left out of water and soapy, the weather to turn nasty and to search for a warm nook, and having forgotten the most critical cloth among the last clean ones that has left over in the tent? There are of course other cleaning activities other than having a bath. For example, Mustafa and Haldun got rid off their excess hair and beard. On the other hand, Serkan left haircut aside and contented just with shaving.

ImageHowever the most important event of the camp days is the radical decision of Elif. Her long and luxuriant hair to be cut! Having fought with her hair during her climb, she has taken the control in hand and decided to get rid of her excess hair. It is the Aunt Doma who has a grocery at the Tibet town, who successfully brought this difficult task to a conclusion! Aunt Doma who we met at the grocery that we dropped in to get scissors, has cut Elif’s hair ably with the huge steal scissors that she brought from her house, on a stool, at the square of the village. From now on Elif will be an example to even the most perfect hairdressers and be comfortable during the rest of the climb!

April 28th, 2006
Advanced Base Camp
ImageWe came back to 6400 meters. At the 25th of April we departed from the advanced base camp quite loaded and reached the northern col at 7000 meters. The weather was clear; therefore the descent and ascent routes were crowded. Acting all together as a team all the time, having the highest ratio of women among all the groups by four women climbers and being insistent on a resolute strategy of our own, we are attracting quite attention here.

That day, we again climbed in the accompaniment of comments. These comments are usually comprised of praises but sometimes we face with some envy questions. For example, the guides of the “most experienced” firm of here, question our most important safety equipment, helmets! Some odd questions like, why do you wear these, doesn’t your head sweat! We actually think that they do not want to come across with uneasy questions of their customers and do not want to go into a comparison of safety!

ImageAnyway, we came across with an unpleasant event on the day to climb 7000 meters. At the camp site of the northern col, an Indian climber got worse in the morning. The doctor from the USA has just arrived when we reached there. They injected dexametazon to the unconscious mountaineer and placed him on the stretcher to carry him down. The patient regained consciousness after a while and first taken down to the advanced base camp and then down to the base camp via stretcher. As we have learned later on, he had a brain oedema start however he is ok now. After all these, we have reached to our camp site at 7000 meters. We settled by putting up the tents that were left for us by Sherpas beforehand. Our camp at 7000 meters is composed of three tents in total, 4 girls staying in one tent and 6 boys staying in two tents three by three. In spite of the noteworthy height, we spend the first night quite well. The next day we hang around in tents until noon and we started out in the afternoon in order to ascend a little more. The first 500 meters of the route from the north col starts with steep snow and then leaves its place to the rocky terrain up until to the summit. As it is seen at a distance, the path that goes to the summit did not frighten us. For sure it is long, tiring and high, but it is not something that we cannot deal with! We had a live broadcast with Turkey during our adaptation ascending. The weather turned nasty right at that time, the snowstorm started and we returned to our tents. On the 26th of April we spent the night in the accompaniment of snowfall at 7000 meters. The weather was clear in the morning, the 27th; we waited both for the snow to settle down and for the other groups to get in the route from below. We packed and descended in the afternoon.

ImageBy this way, we have concluded the first stage of our climb. We have been living at an altitude of 6400 meters over fifteen days. We climbed up to 7000 meters two times, spend two nights there in the final one and ascended up to 7300 meters. Well then, we deserved to rest a little! Today we are going back to the base camp, we will rest a few days and recover. Who knows, maybe we can find a chance to be cleaned up!!

April 24th, 2006
Advanced Base Camp
We are getting prepared for higher altitudes. Tomorrow, we will climb up to 7000 meters to spend one or two days. Although we keep saying equal work load, it is impossible to catch up with Sherpas. Nima and Lakhpa Sherpas have already climbed up to 8300 meters today! They are preparing the camping sites at 7900 and 8300 meters. They are not putting up the tents but preparing a suitable place. We are expecting them to come back when they are done. These people are really different from us, Nima Sherpa, 22 years old yet, doing all these work as if he going to a daily picnic with a continuous smile on his face. We also started making our preparations. Tomorrow we will climb up to 7000 meters and if the weather allows us, we will try to reach to 7900 meters on the following days. We will try to get some of us, if not all; spend the night at the camp at 7900 meters. Today we are going to arrange the climbing equipments and the food that we brought from Turkey. We are burning Mustafa Abi’s ears for his invention of the heat bridges as a solution of the dilation problem of our fuel tubes that we use in our stoves. Thanks to Mustafa Abi, Everest will resound with our stoves!

In the meanwhile, we changed the carburettor settings of the generator that wasn’t working for days, and it works now. It seems like we are taking the advantage of the engineering education!

If it goes as it is planned, we will be above on the following four or five days, we will do our best to send news to our web page via wireless communication with our camp manager Hakan. May it be easy for all of us!

April 23rd, 2006

Advanced Base Camp
ImageWe ascended a little more on the Everest. Yesterday, on the 22nd of April, we started out from the advanced base camp and reached the northern col at 7000 meters at the end of approximately 5 hours of climbing. We left the supplies that we brought with us in the tent we put up beforehand and climbed down. The climb was both formidable and impressive for us. From the advanced base camp to an approximate altitude of 6700 meters, you pass through an endless viewed glacier which has a gentle slope however a long way. At about 6700 meters of altitude quite steep slope starts. From this point on, the route is paved with fixed rope lines. The climbers attach themselves on these fixed lines by making use of certain safety equipments named “jumar” and continue climbing. However these lines are not for climbing by holding on but just to fix you in case of an unfortunate incident of fall during your climb. There are also steal ladders placed in one or two places throughout the route to cross the crevasses. Yesterday there were 45-50 people climbing on the same route. There may be people on the same line both climbing up and down. In order to avoid any chaos that may come true because of this reason, two different lines are prepared. It seems like they have already prepared the Everest for us! As you can guess, this is not something that we are very familiar with. There is an enormous commercial atmosphere here. A big firm prepares the mountain for the climbers and then collects money from other mediator firms. Sherpas and other Tibetan carriers form the labour part of this commercial traffic. In spite of their superior abilities, these people also get their share from the merciless side of the market and they are obstinately insisted to go beyond their limits that even sometimes end with death. When we think all these it is easier to understand why they have so many religious ceremonies!

ImageWe do our best to be very careful with the safety of the Sherpas that we climb together. They, for sure, present different performance than us, but even so we are determined to share equal work load as possible.

Today, we are spending the day at the camp following the climb we did yesterday; tomorrow, if the weather continues to be like this, we will climb up to 7000 meters again and this time we are planning to spend one or two nights there.    

As pointed out in some of the messages that were sent; yes, our friend Tunç Fındık is also at the Himalayas, on the other side of the Everest, namely the south face. Although being at similar geographies we are too far from each other. Maybe on our return we may meet with him at Kathmandu. Using this as an opportunity, let us wish him a good climb!

And lastly, our friend Hakan Ürenç is getting married today:

Sincere loves from the whole team, we wish you HAPPINESS HAKAN!

April 20th, 2006
Advanced Base Camp,

ImageToday the weather broke, around noon the tents became like saunas! Bora, Soner, Dawa, Sherap and Dorje Sherpas made use of this oppourtunity by climbing up the little glacier walls with axe and crampon. The rest of the team enjoyed the heat in the tents. In the afternoon, when the sun went away everything turned back to its previous state. According to the information we received, it is going to snow for another several days.

ImageWe are waiting for the weather to break, a classic of Everest climbs. The date to ascend to 7000 meters depends on the weather conditions, we are waiting at our camp at 6400 meters. From time to time we are entertaining guests, from time to time we withdraw into our tents and read books. Backgammon, sudoku and logic puzzles are the most popular freetime activities, and of course after our meals to enhance our breathing we play the game of finding a song beginning with a certain word a lot. The sherpas, the cooks and Pepe are a bit suffering from this, but what can we do!

 

April 18th, 2006
Advanced Base Camp

Finally the weather broke down! It is snowing since yesterday night. Snow is added on to our ongoing struggle with the altitude. This situation effects our climbing plans, too, naturally. For the next stage, which is climbing the Northern col at 7000 meters, we’ll have to wait for the snowfall to stop and then for the accumulated snow to settle down. Actually our hasn’t changed much. We were planning to spend several days at this camp, this period has increased a bit.

Our days here are becoming quite routine. Besides to eating, drinking and sleeping we are busy with arranging the camping site. And of course, we have duties as setting up the energy systems, keeping the computers running and preparing the stuff to be send for the website. As our connection credits are limited we first download the messages that arrived to our website and we read them in a bulk. Part of our table chats consists of these messages, and the rest are our ‘blue voyage’* plans!

*A famous type of holiday in Turkey where you spend 2 or 3 weeks on  a boat  going from one bay to another on the Eagen coast of Turkey.

April 19th, 2006

Today's dispatch is from a Brazilian friend that we met at the advanced base camp:

"I am really happy being here at Everest ABC again. Waiting for good weather for me is a mind exercise! I’d like to go to other mountain, like Cho Oyo, to acclimatize and then get here just to the summit bid but the money was impeditive.

I like to think Everest as being Chomolungma, the goddess of the universe, as Tibetans say. This is a huge mountain and we need to respect it a lot and the environment.

These snowy days could be boring if we don’t fight against it. We can play, talk and meet people like your group, so nice and friendly. In a two-hour meeting we can share a lot of culture, way of lives, climbing trips. We learn a lot in suck situations. So thank you for receiving us so well and I wish you good time and success on this expedition.

Rodrigo Raineri - Brazil"

April 17th, 2006
Advanced Base Camp, 

The struggle with the altitude goes on! We are at the fourth day at the 6400 meters, and we try to spend time with methods enhancing the adaptation. At this altitude it is inevitable to have problems at a certain rate, what we try to do is to overcome these problems as lightly as possible and to speed up the acclimatization. For this, first of all we came here stage by stage, we spend two nights at the intermediate camp at 5800 meters. On the other hand, the sherpas spent only one night at the intermediate camp and ascended to 6400 meters. Our method on this is unfortunately confirmed very quickly. Presently, three of our sherpas and our cook went back to the base camp as they got sick. Our strategy after arriving at 6400 meters is this; not sleeping after 8-10 hours of our arrival here, drinking a lot of fluids and to be careful to breath in deeply. The days afterwards, getting used to the altitude by controlled and slow physical activities, lots of liquid, good feeding and lots of breathing in.

As can be understood, the altitude can turn the daily activities into an endeavour in itself. From your feeding habits to your breathing in, each needs to be taken care of by itself. Our daily activities are completely arranged as for the aim of adapting and getting used to this altitude. The adaptation period of the team is progressing quite well. We are 11 people at the advanced base camp, our friend Mustafa who is responsible of the documentaries is at the base camp. We thought that it is yet early for him to come to this altitude.

We almost completely set up the advanced base camp. We are working wonders in communication, energy and other technologic stuff. Unfortunately, electronic devices aren’t as successful as we are in adapting to the altitude and cold temperature! One of our computers is dead already, and to keep the other warm we have to invent various new ways. We have to be careful in using efficiently our energy needs and our already limited communication possibilities. Both the web site and the videophone connection possibility are as valuable as oxygen here. That’s why we are trying hard to keep them working as much as we do for getting used to the altitude, these days.

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