Saturday, 12 October 2013

Game Over

Picture the scene; we are ascending strongly from camp 3 (6900m). It is a steep slope about 400metres in height. The wind is blowing from left the right and is strong enough to blow you off your feet. We are carrying all of our equipment to survive a few hours in camp 4 before setting out for the summit. The oxygen system was working well and really made a difference.

We got to within about 250 metres from Camp 4 to find the fixed ropes set in ice! There was no going on in such high winds without the fixed ropes so the only sensible decision was to turn around.

The route to camp 4

The views were breathtaking, literally on top of the world.  I felt stronger than ever before on such adventures. My physical preparation((some 7 months) was paying off and that makes the outcome a little harder to take.

To have given so much physically (I for one was at my peak), get so close and not summit may seem cruel but any mountaineer will acknowledge that this is the way it goes in the great outdoors.

Accept fate; it just wasn't meant to be. That we tried at all in such testing conditions is testimony to each and everyone of us. We should be humble enough to allow ourselves that much.

Finally, a tribute to my family for their resolve and ability to just get on with life in my absence. I love you all and long to hold you in my arms.

On route to camp 4

Camp 3

Back down at base camp (with my house on my back)

It has been a great journey from start to finish and I return to the UK a stronger person as a result.
Slanthe! :-)

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Fixed ropes failure just before reaching Camp 4

This is a very short update as I have very limited internet access.

Unfortunately we didn't make the summit.  We were just 250 metres away from reaching Camp 4 when the fixed ropes failed which forced us to retreat down the mountain. The whole team is disappointed as you can expect.

More detail will follow in tomorrows blog, hopefully I will have better access then.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Message to Children, Teachers and Staff of Holy Trinity Junior School in Ripon

Hello everyone,

I hope that this message finds you well. We have been resting in the village of Samagoen (it takes 2 hours to walk down from base camp and 4 hours to walk ack up) for the last few days and I was invited to visit the local school by the Principal Phurbu Lama.

I thought that you might like to see the pictures of my visit. It was very inspiring to see some great education taking place in such a remote location. The children learn in Nepalise, Tibetian and English! 

Perhaps we can form a link with them Mr Bowlas?

The Children and Staff (above) Phurbu Lama (The Principal) and me (below)

Turning the focus back to the mountain, we will start our bid for the summit today. We are hoping to reach the summit on Tuesday 8th October.

That's it for now. Keep working hard everyone. I look forward to seeing you upon my return.

Kind Regards,


Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Back in Samagoen

We have left base camp to spend a couple of days in Samagoen (2 hours down and 4 hours back up to base camp) as the weather has not improved.

A comfortable and clean hostel is our home for a couple of nights and wifi is available when the electricity comes on at 5pm daily.

Our plans at the moment include heading back to base camp on Thursday and then into each camp consecutively over the following days until a summit attempt on 8th Oct.

Very frustrating but we feel rested and reading for a crack at the summit!