Everest/First Ascents: Yak Transit and Missing Luggage

Under fresh snow at 16,200 feet, Peter Whittaker and the First Ascents team scramble to arrange for their gear arrival

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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.

Woke this morning to four inches of new snow. It was full on snowing when we went to bed last night and Viesturs and I, like expectant little kids, peered out the window to see how much had fallen. Lobuche had turned into a winter wonderland overnight. Nonetheless, at 16,200′ the sun is quite powerful, and by late morning the temperatures were balmy, with some of the porters staging snowball fights!

Lobuche under a blanket of fresh snow.

After breakfast, we received a bit of disheartening news that 22 of our expedition loads are still in Katmandu. We were under the assumption that just four were there and that the rest were on their way to Base Camp. After a morning powwow, we decided to send Linden Mallory (Base Camp manager) up to Base to get a physical count of bags and inventory what was there. Our agenda does not have us occupying Base Camp for two more days, but we must have adequate gear and equipment to make our move up. We should be OK but we’ll know more tomorrow.

The team is firing on all cylinders. It is an honor to be a part of such an accomplished group of climbers. We have a wealth of mountain experience and knowledge starting with Viesturs and Hahn, with 16 Everest summits between them. Our climbing team will function the same way we do on Rainier when we are stacked heavy with experienced guides. Though there is an expedition leader and climbing leaders, all team members share in the decision-making process. Our production team rocks as well, as Gerry Moffat and Jake Norton have both stood on top of the “Big E.” This is a talented team, deep on experience.

Now, with a little luck our Katmandu bags will find their way up the Khumbu to Base Camp and we can put our team’s mountain experience to work.

Uh-oh, it is beginning to snow again outside….

—Peter Whittaker

Yaks head up the Khumbu Valley to Basecamp.

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.

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