April 16th,2006
Advanced Base Camp

ImageWe had another Puja. Today after breakfast, we gathered by the altar-monument-like little construction which was made out of stones by Sherpas one day ago. As in the other ritual everything was prepared diligently; candies, biscuits, and other sorts of food, little ornaments made out of yak butter, plastic flowers and of course one bottle of whisky! Besides the presents presented to Chomolungma through Buddha, samples from our mountaineering equipment were lined up, a little piece of butter was smeared and the ritual started. While in one corner holy grass was burned, our Lama Sherpa who is at the same time in the team said prayers for a while. Meanwhile we grabbed rice and threw it in the direction of the altar. After the prayers were finished, this time we danced in a ring arm in arm together with Sherpas! Finally for three times, we grabbed the flour, and altogether we threw it in the air.

ImageAfter the ritual, the process of the constitution of our advanced base camp continued. For us to be able to move to a single tent, we need to dig a bit more ice! We hope to finish carrying the stones and breaking the ice until tomorrow. We are about to be done with the communication and office tent. We have a little generator but it doesn’t work all the time, we are not done yet with out solar energy system. The biggest problem with our computer equipment here is the cold temperature. Before starting to work, we have to put them inside our clothes and warm them up! Yet out technology stuff is as good as to make the other teams jealous, we hope the climb will be as good too.

April 15th, 2006
Hello again,

ImageAfter a several days of break, our technologic setup is up again. We are at the advanced base camp from now on. We moved upwards from the base camp on April 12th. By a 5 to 6 hours’ walk we arrived at the base camp at 5800 meters. After spending a day here we departed for the advanced base camp on April, 14th. Again after a 5 hours’ walk we arrived at 6400 meters. All these walks are done on the East Rongbuk glacier region. It starts at the bottom of the glacier which is covered with soil, and goes on over the rocky moraine. All the equipment that has to be carried from the base camp to the advanced base camp is carried by yaks. The poor animals carry the heavy load quitely despite the difference in altitude. During the walk we gave way to the yak groups and we tried to move on without cutting their way and scaring them. Not only our load is being carried of course, the load for the advanced base camp of all the other climbs is being carried by yaks. These days East Rongbuk is becoming festive thanks to the long convoys of hundreds of yaks.

ImageRegarding our advanced base camp, we are on a quite bumpy terrain as it is located on moraine. Here again we have one kitchen tent, our common dining tent and our communication tent. Except those, our and the sherpas’ little tents. It takes time for all of these to really settle down. We will make use of our acclimatization days by settling down. We are at a quite important altitude. We didn’t have any serious problems in our team. We hope it continues like that.

Tomorrow there’s our second Puja ritual and we will once again ask permission from Chomolungma.

April 11th, 2006
April 11th,

ImageThe plan changed, we were stayed at the camp today. In the morning, our Puja ritual took long time and the weather was a bit too windy. So we decided not to leave and stay another day, after the ritual.
“Puja” is a ritual that all teams do before they depart. At a kind of place of worship made of stones, incenses arr burned, various food and beverages are presented to Budda. Several Lamas say prayers during the ritual, meanwhile rice is served and sometimes it is scattered in the middle. Towards the end of the ritual prayer flags are hanged on the stones so that they are spread outwards. The purpose of this ritual is to show respect to the mountain and take permission through Buddha for the people who are going to climb the foot of Chomolungma. Our ritual took around one hour. Two sherpas from our team who are Lamas at the same time prayed. Food, candies, wine and whisky is presented, and after the ritual these presents were distributed to the people joined the ritual! They said we were going to do such a ritual at the advanced base camp too.

ImageAfter the ritual we packed our stuff, we are going to leave tomorrow morning in any weather condition. As we wrote yesterday, we might not be able to send any messages until we arrive at the advanced base camp.
Today we celebrated Serhan’s birthday. Our cooks baked as a delicious cake. We sang altogether “Konyalim”* as the birthday song!



*”Konyalim” is a Turkish folksong.

April 13th, 2006
According to the latest news that we received from the team, everthing is going as planned and they are currently setting up the advanced base camp. Recent daily dispatches and photographs will be available soon.
April 10th, 2006
Everest Base Camp

ImageToday is our last day at the base camp, tomorrow we’ll leave for the advanced base camp. We’ll stay overnight at a camp inbetween, the next day we’ll arrive at the advanced base camp at 6400 meters. During these days, it might be hard to setup our communication devices, that is our daily news might delay for a few days.

Recently we have new friends at the base camp. For example Pepe, who came by bicycle with two of his friends from Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. Pepe’s both legs below his news are disabled, it happened twelve years ago at a paragliding accident. However he didn’t quit doing sports, and he continued doing ambitous stuff in mountaineering and bicycling. He won the golden medal in bycycling at the handicapped olympiads in the year 2004. Now he is aiming at climbing Everest. Two friends of Pepe escorted him to the base camp and went back. When they were leaving, they entrusted their friend to us. We’ll try to have him with us as much as we can.

ImageAnother friendship that affected us is with three Russian guides. Andrey, the guide who is at the same time a doctor, invited us one evening to their camp. We thought that it would be a short meeting together with the other teams. When we went there we were surprised to see a lavish meal with wine and vodka, only prepared for us. But what excited us the most was meeting with Max and Nikolay. Nikolay is 75 years old and he is an incredibly vigorous and successful mountaineer. He took place in almost all the important climbs since the Soviet times. And Max is an experienced mountaineer and rescuer. He was the head of the search and rescue team that worked after the earthquake in Turkey in 1999. The coincidences are not only those. Max and his team encountered our team at the earthquacke and worked together. We both remembered each other very clearly.  When Nikolay’s incredible experiences and stories were added to these exciting coincidences, we spent a night that we won’t forget.

After we chatted with the Russian guides, we were assured about our style of mountaineering once again. Our insistance on team climbing was approved by the experience of long years, that means, going on with working in common and climbing in a team.

April 9th,2006
Everest Base Camp

ImageToday we tested out Gamow Bag which we keep at the camp for safety reasons. The reason we carry this material with us –we plan to take it to the next base camp and to the camp at 7000 meters- is that it provideds us with a fast, reliable and consistent treatment method. At high altitude as the pressure drops the partial pressure of oxygen drops and this may lead to insufficient oxygen intake. The main source of the mentioned problems is this.

ImageThis material which is named as the Gamow Bag works with an easy mechanism. Think of an airtight balloon that is as big as one can lie down in it. The person who feels the effects of the altitude is put in it and air is pumped into it with a simple foot pump. After 2 psi pressure is obtained the person is kept there for 2 hours. He or she will begin to breathe as if she were taken to a lower altitude. According to this method a person that is treated at 5100 meters (approximately Ararat mountain summit) is as if he or she is taken down to 3268 meters (approximately Hasan Mountain summit). With the same approach, a person that is at the top of Everest is as if he or she is taken down to 6198 meters.

April 8th, 2006
Everest Base Camp

ImageOur waiting days at the base camp continue. We will move to the next base camp above on the April 11th. Until then we will adapt to the base camp, to our sherpa friends, to the other teams, and to the altitude. The base camp site is getting filled. Just next to us, there is a team consisting of a Norwegian, a Sweden and three Spanish. There are several other teams again mixed from different countries. Other big teams like ours are Korean and Russian. Throughout the day we host various guests in our common tent. We were invited by the Russian team for a party tomorrow evening. They say it will be a party with lots of chatting and enough alcohol as to acclimatize to the altitude!

ImageActually we had our greatest time yesterday evening. After the meal, the whole sherpa team came to our common tent. After a little chatting, the event turned into a party with songs and dancing. We couldn’t see our sherpas climbing yet but if they are as talented and active as when they are dancing, great! Throughout the night we danced by Nepalese songs and, as far as we could remember and sing, by folksongs. By order, samples of East Anatolian ‘halay’*, Nepalese ‘halay’ and finally, by our Tibetian cook apprentices,  Tibetian ‘halay’ were displayed.
After this, it turned out that we had to include folksong lyrics memorizing and ‘halay’ figures to our training program, too.

*A kind of Turkish folk dance where you hold hands in a ring and everybody dances to the side.
April 7th, 2006
Everest Base Camp

ImageWe spent our second day at the base camp. Whenever we raise our head, we sea the great Chomolungma opposite to us. Today we had a free day, as free as we hadn’t had for a while. We spent time at the base camp, and watched the Everest. In the evening we had a video-phone connection with Turkey, of course it was noon in Turkey. For us every activity like that is a big excitement. While the technical preparations for the connection continue, everybody begins adjusting their cloths and getting ready as to look as good as possible. Any kind of contact that we can make with Turkey is very valuable to us.

ImageBeside the video-phone connection, our main motivation source are the messages that we receive through our website. Everyday we read the new messages, and comment on them. It both cheers us up and makes us feel more responsible. We should continue to be very careful, orderly and systematic. Because this climb has really become a Turkey climb, we are a very big team...

April 6th, 2006
Everest Base Camp
ImageWe arrived at the foot of Everest. We started our trip from Tingri, we moved on in an extraordinary geography. It’s not exactly like a desert, not exactly like a mountain, neither a plateau, a bit of each of it. Both high and desolate, now and then we passed over frozen rivers, we made a trip through a place where the time was stopped. The offroad vehicles went sometimes over ice, sometimes over rocky land, sometimes through water. Most of the time, Everest was opposite to us with all of its magnificence. At  5100 meters, we saw the Rongbuk Monastery that is the highest monastery in the world. Just after that, we passed by a sort of migratory market consisting of tent stores and tent hotels. A little further away we saw the base camp.


ImageThe camp is just at the foot of the North side of Everest, but it is sufficiently distanced to the high slopes of Everest. We came to the “2006 Turkish Everest Expedition” camping site, set up by the sherpas who arrived before us. Our base camp consists of a rather large kitchen tent, our dining tent, our office tent and little tents where the sherpas and us stay. As a first impression, we are all happy. We are here for several days, we’ll settle down and try to make the camp more like “our” camp.

Photo Gallery :: April 6, 2006  

April 5th, 2006
April 5th,

ImageWe spent the night the whole team together at 4300 meters without any problems. Aching throats, dripping noses but noone has a really serious problem. As the altitude increased we began to pay attention to each other’s general condition. The appetite, water and etc. fluid consumption, sleep regularity, everything is under control! When we arrive at a new high altitude, we try to spend the first eight hours as active as possible without sleeping. On the second day that we spend at the same altitute, this time we go for a trekking to a higher altitude and come back. Today was our second day at Tingri. We climbed to an elevation close to the town. The physical geography of these places is very interesting, everywhere is dust, there are neighter trees nor plants around. Around this huge dust plateau there are summits around 5000 meters high, and at the furthest away, as you know, majestic Everest and its high neighbours.

Today we climbed a summit around 5000 meters, and we spent lots of time around 4700 meters. It was a good training for acclimatizing to the altitude of the base camp which we’ll reach tomorrow. But more important than that, we had an early encounter with something else that waiting us at Everest: The wind! The wind, which started around noon times and didn’t stop the whole day long, was together with us all the time. Its hum pounded our ears, its force beat our bodies. At the very far away, at Everest, the situation didn’t look very different, the wind scattered Chomolungma’s hair the whole day long...

Photo Gallery :: April 5, 2006  

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