SUBSCRIBE | NEWSLETTERS | MAPS | VIDEOS | BLOGS | MARKETPLACE | CONTESTS
TRY BACKPACKER FREE!
SUBSCRIBE NOW and get
2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.
Share your tales of travel & adventure with our step-by-step guide. Upload trail descriptions, photos, video, and more. Get Started

Searching for "Everest:_First_Ascent_Dispatches"

More Articles Next >>

Everest/First Ascents: Hahn, Arnot, Waterfall Summit!

Hahn extends his non-sherpa record to 11 summits; team descends safely

This spring, superstar mountaineers Ed Viesturs, Dave Hahn, and Peter Whittaker will tackle Everest as the First Ascent team. Joined by some of climbing’s best and brightest young talent, this Eddie Bauer-sponsored group of all-stars will chronicle their trek to the top of the world right here on BACKPACKER.com with daily blog updates, videos, photos, and more.

I was perplexed this morning at ABC.  Shouldn’t a night’s sleep have healed all wounds and refreshed me enough to seize one more Everest day?  But as I lay –uncomfortably- in my sleeping bag at 5:30 AM, rubbing my eyes, stifling coughs and wondering why so many muscles hurt… I remembered what we’d accomplished the day before and why we deserved every bruise, blister and affliction in return. I could hear my team starting to stir and stuff sleeping bags –in between prolonged bouts of coughing.  I made myself get up and get packing and coughing since we only had to put in this one more hard and dangerous morning.  Get down through the Icefall this last time without a trip, a stumble, a busted rope or ladder, an avalanche or collapse and then we might start reflecting on how nice it had been to stand on top of Mount Everest the previous day. 

In the early morning shadows, I could see Kent, Melissa and Seth going about their packing business with puffy faces and grim determination.  We didn’t say much to one another about how knees and backs hurt… or about the blasted cough.  Like I say, we deserved it all and we knew it, we’d climbed good and hard for several days and to top it off, we’d tacked on the vertical mile of descent from high camp the afternoon following the summit.  As horrible as it all felt at 21,300 ft, none of us had any questions as to how much worse it might have been to be waking at 26,000 ft on this morning.

The cough bordering on retch was a direct result of breathing bottled oxygen for several days.  The gas had done the trick… none of us had even a hint of frostbite and we’d all turned out to be strong enough when it counted… but all of that O% humidity oxygen had irritated the heck out of our sinuses and throats and already it was considered normal for either the speaker or the listener –or both- to pause in any conversation for coughing fits, groans and spitting. 

We’d have made an entertaining foursome as we tightened our climbing harnesses, cinched our spikes and shouldered our packs… had anybody still been around ABC to watch.  But the place was largely devoid of Western climbers by this morning.  It was mostly Sherpa crews tearing camps down and constructing massive and uncomfortable loads for carrying.  Our own packs were heavy enough, but nothing compared to the awkward loads we were seeing.  We walked out of camp, silent, pre-occupied with our Icefall descent… but surprisingly limber.  Now that we were up and rigged for climbing again, we quickly shook off the elderly affectations of the early morning.

Read Full Story...
Tuesday, May 26, 2009 in: Everest: First Ascent Dispatches
View Comments (0)

Everest/First Ascents: Summit Video

Peter Whittaker reports from the summit of Everest

This spring, superstar mountaineers Ed Viesturs, Dave Hahn, and Peter Whittaker will tackle Everest as the First Ascent team. Joined by some of climbing’s best and brightest young talent, this Eddie Bauer-sponsored group of all-stars will chronicle their trek to the top of the world right here on BACKPACKER.com with daily blog updates, videos, photos, and more.

Here's footage of Peter Whittaker of RMI on top of Everest:



—Ted Alvarez

The content of this blog has been provided by Born Out There, the First Ascents blog. For more on the expedition, go to
http://blog.firstascent.com. And for more climber footage, watch our video interview with Viesturs, Hahn, Whittaker, and more.
Read Full Story...
Wednesday, May 20, 2009 in: Everest: First Ascent Dispatches
View Comments (1)

Everest/First Ascents: Viesturs and Whittaker Summit!

Ed Viesturs and Peter Whittaker summit Everest

This spring, superstar mountaineers Ed Viesturs, Dave Hahn, and Peter Whittaker will tackle Everest as the First Ascent team. Joined by some of climbing’s best and brightest young talent, this Eddie Bauer-sponsored group of all-stars will chronicle their trek to the top of the world right here on BACKPACKER.com with daily blog updates, videos, photos, and more.

Ed Viesturs, Peter Wittaker, Jake Norton, John Griber, and Gerry Moffat topped out on Everest around 8 a.m. Nepal time. Here's a live video report:



The content of this blog has been provided by Born Out There, the First Ascents blog. For more on the expedition, go to http://blog.firstascent.com. And for more climber footage, watch our video interview with Viesturs, Hahn, Whittaker, and more.
Read Full Story...
Tuesday, May 19, 2009 in: Everest: First Ascent Dispatches
View Comments (0)

Everest/First Ascents: 27,600 Feet And Climbing

Whittaker and Viesturs near the summit

This spring, superstar mountaineers Ed Viesturs, Dave Hahn, and Peter Whittaker will tackle Everest as the First Ascent team. Joined by some of climbing’s best and brightest young talent, this Eddie Bauer-sponsored group of all-stars will chronicle their trek to the top of the world right here on BACKPACKER.com with daily blog updates, videos, photos, and more.

Half the First Ascents team is in the midst of making their summit bid. Peter Whittaker reports from 27,600 feet, in an area on Everest known as the Balcony.

Transcript:
Linden Mallory, Base Camp Manager (LM): Go ahead Peter this is base.

Peter Whittaker, Expedition Leader (PW): Hey Linden. We are, according to our altimeter, at about 27,600 feet, a few hundred feet below the balcony. Over.

(LM): Copy that Peter. Nice work up there. You guys are making great time. Over.

(PW): Copy that. Beautiful night. We got a quarter moon over Tibet, very light wind and it’s a beautiful, beautiful night. Over.

(LM): Copy Peter. Nice job up there. Keep up the good work. Over.

(PW): 10-4. We’ll keep moving and check-in here in a bit.

(LM): Copy Peter. Base camp standing by.


The content of this blog has been provided by Born Out There, the First Ascents blog. For more on the expedition, go to http://blog.firstascent.com. And for more climber footage, watch our video interview with Viesturs, Hahn, Whittaker, and more.
Read Full Story...
Monday, May 18, 2009 in: Everest: First Ascent Dispatches
View Comments (0)

Everest/First Ascents: Reader Q&A

Guides Seth Waterfall and Dave Hahn answer questions from curious readers following the climb

This spring, superstar mountaineers Ed Viesturs, Dave Hahn, and Peter Whittaker will tackle Everest as the First Ascent team. Joined by some of climbing’s best and brightest young talent, this Eddie Bauer-sponsored group of all-stars will chronicle their trek to the top of the world right here on BACKPACKER.com with daily blog updates, videos, photos, and more.



Written by erstad17 on May 1, 2009
As a Nikon shooter myself, I’m proud to see the Nikon name at Everest. Is there a specific reason why you wouldn’t go full frame? Do you carry a backup to the D300? See original post

Answered by Jake Norton on May 11, 2009
Hi erstad17…good to hear from another Nikon shooter! As for the full frame issue, I’m not personally against full frame, but have not gone that direction for a couple of reasons. First, I personally do not see a huge benefit to full frame, it being a somewhat arbitrary size anyway; I find the DX format to take a little getting used to at first, but now quite familiar and good. But, more importantly, I use the D300 (and used the D200 previously, and the D100 before that) primarily because of size and weight. Both, of course, are major issues when shooting on Everest. The “prosumer” Nikon (digital) line has always treated me quite well, with exceptional performance in the extreme cold, with a great balance of weight and quality. I do have backup cameras with me - a D300, D200, and D100 in case I’m really in trouble - but do not carry them with me all the time. Again, finding the balance with weight, space, etc. Thanks for your questions, and keep shooting!
———-

Written by Grizmtn on April 28, 2009
Thanks for all the great footage and comments. Allows folks like me in faraway Montana to get a glimpse at a fascinating other world through the eyes of experts. Question for Dave Hahn: Since you were involved in the search for evidence of the Mallory & Irvine expedition, and the finding of Mallory’s body, do you think the north route has been scoured enough (hopefully not by treasure hunters) to have discovered Irvine and the sought after camera if they were there, or is the area complex and difficult enough that Irvine’s remains may be hiding in some nook of the yellowband? See Original Post

 

Answered by Dave Hahn on May 11, 2009
Hi Grizmtn. There probably is still more to be found high on the north side regarding the Mallory and Irvine mystery. Just as you say, the area is complex and difficult enough to keep plenty hidden, including Andrew Irvine’s remains and whichever camera(s) he and George Mallory had with them on June 8, 1924. I trust you use the term “treasure hunters” as I do, with tongue-in-cheek when it comes to those exploring Everest’s North Face. A dumber way to get rich has yet to be conceived. I still feel that Irvine’s remains may be hidden on a ledge within the Yellow Band but I doubt I’ll risk my life again to confirm that. That said, it is hard for me to imagine a better season for searching than this dry one. Jake Norton and I covered some good ground (rock) in our 2004 Yellow Band search, but due to snowdrifts, we can’t categorically say that those same ledges didn’t still hold clues to the mystery. Best Regards, DH

Read Full Story...
Tuesday, May 12, 2009 in: Everest: First Ascent Dispatches
View Comments (0)

Everest/First Ascents: Waiting For A Weather Window

Bad weather, avalanches force the First Ascents team to miss their planned summit push

This spring, superstar mountaineers Ed Viesturs, Dave Hahn, and Peter Whittaker will tackle Everest as the First Ascent team. Joined by some of climbing’s best and brightest young talent, this Eddie Bauer-sponsored group of all-stars will chronicle their trek to the top of the world right here on BACKPACKER.com with daily blog updates, videos, photos, and more.


If you follow mountaineering much, you already know that climbers often don’t do what they said they were going to do. And I assure you that there are good reasons for such contradictory and inconsistent behavior. For instance, yesterday I said that I would lead my sub-team of Erica, Seth, Kent and Ang Kaji in an effort to get up early and go on up the hill to ABC. I lied. We did get up early… at 3AM… and we did give it a try, but then we came back down to BC.

It was a beautiful night and each of us got up and out of the tents professing to have slept well. There was a massively full moon lighting things as we swallowed coffee and rice porridge. There weren’t any headlights already in the Icefall, and in fact we were the first to venture onto the route this morning. This didn’t surprise me as many potential summit climbers are well down valley in the tea houses right now, taking a rest before their final bids on the mountain. Their Sherpa teams have, for the most part, already carried all the equipment that is needed for those final bids.

So things are quiet on the climbing route at the moment and we seem to be the only folks still thinking of going up for practice and acclimatization. Being slightly out-of-synch with the general mob is exactly to my liking though. As we strapped on our spikes, I was pleased to contemplate cruising through the Icefall route without any traffic considerations. I led the way and began to experience a strange fringe benefit of being first. The glacier kept popping and snapping with my passage… sometimes playfully, sometimes with a rifle-crack that made one want to duck and cover. Lots of daytime melt water runs on the surface of a big glacier in Spring and it freezes solid in cracks and seams at night… whoever puts weight on it first breaks the new bonds. Knowing this intellectually and being surprised out of your socks by a loud CRACK on a quiet night are two different things.

Read Full Story...
Monday, May 11, 2009 in: Everest: First Ascent Dispatches
View Comments (0)

Everest/First Ascents: Summit Push Begins May 8!

Melissa Arnot, Ed Viesturs, Dave Hahn and the First Ascents crew plan for an assault the peak this Friday

This spring, superstar mountaineers Ed Viesturs, Dave Hahn, and Peter Whittaker will tackle Everest as the First Ascent team. Joined by some of climbing’s best and brightest young talent, this Eddie Bauer-sponsored group of all-stars will chronicle their trek to the top of the world right here on BACKPACKER.com with daily blog updates, videos, photos, and more.


The chatter of Sherpa staff waking up and getting going is the first thing I hear, then the sun hits the tent and it is time to get up. Basecamp is a busy place, but I always think of it as the place that is ruled by the rise and set of the sun. As soon as the sun hits, it is too hot to stay in the tent and once the sun recedes, it is too cold to stay out. I like the simplicity of that; I don’t have to think too hard about where exactly to be.

If all goes well and the weather holds, this will be our final rest before the summit push. There is still so much to do, but plenty of time. At Camp 3 on the last rotation, it was a great test of how things will work, and what still needs to be done. Today, I look through the gloves that I can choose from for the summit bid. I scan my climbing clothing, seeing what needs to be washed one last time and what is ready to go. I count out the energy gels that I will use for the summit push, and tuck in a few packages of fruit snacks for good measure. Looking at all of this equipment, it is hard to imagine that in less than a week it will be tucked onto my body and my back, on my way to the summit.

Read Full Story...
Tuesday, May 05, 2009 in: Everest: First Ascent Dispatches
View Comments (0)

Everest/First Ascents: Progress on the Peak

Climber Dave Hahn reflects on the team's performance so far

This spring, superstar mountaineers Ed Viesturs, Dave Hahn, and Peter Whittaker will tackle Everest as the First Ascent team. Joined by some of climbing’s best and brightest young talent, this Eddie Bauer-sponsored group of all-stars will chronicle their trek to the top of the world right here on BACKPACKER.com with daily blog updates, videos, photos, and more.



The first day and night down after an Everest climbing rotation are great for enjoying the novelty of comfort and easy living again. But it isn’t really until the second night back down that I normally get full and renewing sleep. And looking at Kent, Seth and Erica over coffee this morning, I’m guessing it was similar for them. We all seemed back to our normal selves again today, ready to make plans and preparations for climbing again.

Toward that end, during breakfast out in the sun, we began sketching a big calendar of the next four weeks. There are plenty of blanks on it still, naturally… and of course a big question mark or two at the end, but I was pleased to at least be building a framework out into the all-important second half of May. I consider it a great luxury to be down merely resting rather than recovering (which can be a much less predictable process). I’m crediting that distinction to my strong, fit and patient partners… but also to my experience and past mistakes in this arena. I’m guessing that we did just enough up high this last time around… not too much, not too little. It is all too easy for me to remember the many trips that formed my learning curve on which I wasn’t satisfied to come down the hill until my throat was bleeding, my head was pounding, and my muscles were pulled.

Read Full Story...
Tuesday, April 28, 2009 in: Everest: First Ascent Dispatches
View Comments (0)

Everest/First Ascents: Clues to Past Expeditions

While "resting" at Advanced Base Camp, Seth Waterfall and company discover artifacts from ancient expeditions

Dave, Erica and I are enjoying a day of rest after spending the last four days acclimatizing at Camp 1 and Advance Base Camp. We had an excellent rotation and are feeling healthy. It’s nice to come down and get to actually rest our healthy bodies as opposed to needing to recover from an illness or injury picked up while climbing. I know I had the best night of sleep since Namche last night.

On our last day at ABC, Dave, Erica and I climbed to the base of the Lhotse Face for acclimatization purposes. We’d headed out early, made good time up and back, and were left with most of the day as free time. Well, mostly free. Dave and I spent a fair bit of time repositioning the solar panels that power the radio and LED lights at ABC, and I re-tethered our radio antenna. After those chores, we had some true free time. My tent was calling, but Kent, the cinematographer climbing with us, wanted to do some filming out on the glacier.

Somewhat reluctantly, I grabbed my crampons and met up with Dave and Kent. As soon as we’d walked a few hundred feet though, I was amazed at Dave pointing out two oxygen bottles partially buried in the ice. I’d just assumed that the camps had been so cleaned up and combed over that you’d never be able to find stuff like this anymore. Not so. As I began carefully chopping away at the ice around one bottle, Dave grabbed the other one, a leftover from an expedition from the early seventies. As we freed the second bottle, we were both impressed at what great shape both were in. In fact it appeared that both could still be holding oxygen. Good thing we didn’t just hack away around them with our ice axes!

Read Full Story...
Monday, April 27, 2009 in: Everest: First Ascent Dispatches
View Comments (0)

Everest/First Ascents: Viesturs & Whittaker Climb to Lhotse Face

Extreme temperatures and altitude work our climbers at Camp 2, but creature comforts (a Coke!) await at basecamp.

This spring, superstar mountaineers Ed Viesturs, Dave Hahn, and Peter Whittaker will tackle Everest as the First Ascent team. Joined by some of climbing’s best and brightest young talent, this Eddie Bauer-sponsored group of all-stars will chronicle their trek to the top of the world right here on BACKPACKER.com with daily blog updates, videos, photos, and more.



When trekking into Everest Base Camp (BC) two weeks ago, it felt high, rugged, and hostile. Man, what a different perspective this morning, as Viesturs and I returned to BC after 5 days at Camp 1 (19,000′) and Camp 2 (21,200′). What fun to enjoy the creature comforts that we did without for the last few days…thick air (yes, 17,500′ feels thick compared to 21,000′), a shower, a shave, and a Coke. It never ceases to amaze me how much I appreciate the little things that we typically take for granted. A bit of suffering and “doing without” gives great contrast to our relative comforts of BC, where living on a pile of rocks and ice can seem quite luxurious.

Read Full Story...
Thursday, April 23, 2009 in: Everest: First Ascent Dispatches
View Comments (0)

More Articles Next >>
My Profile Join Now

Most recent threads

Gear
Tell me about new boot trends!
Posted On: Sep 01, 2014
Submitted By: hikerjer
Rocky Mountains
Backpacking Trip in the Beartooths
Posted On: Sep 01, 2014
Submitted By: hikerjer
Go
View all Gear
Find a retailer

Special sections - Expert handbooks for key trails, techniques and gear

Check out Montana in Warren Miller's Ticket to Ride
Warren Miller athletes charge hard and reflect on Big Sky country, their love for this space and the immense energy allotted to the people who reside in Montana.

Boost Your Apps
Add powerful tools and exclusive maps to your BACKPACKER apps through our partnership with Trimble Outdoors.

Carry the Best Maps
With BACKPACKER PRO Maps, get life-list destinations and local trips on adventure-ready waterproof myTopo paper.

FREE Rocky Mountain Trip Planner
Sign up for a free Rocky Mountain National Park trip planning kit from our sister site MyRockyMountainPark.com.

Follow BackpackerMag on Twitter Follow Backpacker on Facebook
Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
City:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
State:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions