Climb Everest in 2016 / 17 / 18 etc with 4 times summiteer Tim Mosedale

Everest Expedition via South Col 2016 / 2017 / 18 / 19 etc

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Hadrian's Wall (V,5) on The Ben

Looking up at Hadrian's Wall and Point 5 Gully

Well what a great day out we had on Thursday. Checked the forecast on Tuesday, texted a few folk and the next afternoon 4 of us were northwards bound. Arrived at The North Face car park, set up the tent, slept and woke at 5 to be on the trail for 6.

Now it's obviously been a while since I was last on The Ben because I'd never used the new direct path to the dam and the much improved path across the Allt a'Mhuillin. We got to the CIC hut in an unbelievable 1 hour 20 mins (as opposed to the 1hr 40 to 1hr 50 it used to take). We were maybe the 3rd or 4th team in and mooched over to Observatory Gully to find that it was empty. Stu and I had both done Point 5 already (which looked great and from the styrofoam snow we were walking on was probably in better than perfect condition).

Stu leading the first pitch

Had a look around the corner at Indicator Wall but everything there had been stripped by the extensive thaw so we dropped back down to Hadrian's Wall. On first sight it looked like it may be a bit thin on the middle slab of the first pitch and the corner pitch looked blank but, as is often the case with winter, it's only when you are there that you realise what it's actually like.

Basically the ice was in great condition (most screws up to the hilt) and the neve and snow ice was perfect. 3 pitches of graded climbing, a couple of pitches of easy going neve and then a further 2 pitches of graded stuff to finish on - both of which were absolutely awesome.

Reached the summit by about 1.30 and sat around for a while enjoying the spectacular views from Skye and Rhum all the way across to The Cairngorms. Looking south most of the peaks were shrouded in clouds or just sticking out above them, and looking east, west and northwards there wasn't a cloud in sight - The Ben was almost the dividing line between cloud and clear.

Mooched over to No4 gully and were back down at the car park by 5 and home for 10.30. A fantastic and unforgettable 30 hours. A real opportunistic grab.

Well done us!

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Busy busy

4 enquiries, 2 phone calls and 2 deposits for Ama Dablam 2011, a deposit for Island Peak this Spring, 2 enquiries about Island Peak for Nov this year, 2 calls about Everest (which is now 10 weeks and 2 hours away) and a B&B reservation.

And then another booking for Ama, another enquiry for Ama November 2012 (that now makes 10 on next year's mailing list already), another 2 rooms booked at the B&B, another Island Peak / Ama enquiry and arranged a meeting for another Ama client next week.

Various e mails and calls about gear / logistics / medicines / itineraries for Everest / Island Peak and Ama Dablam.

Booked our hotel in Kathmandu for the beginning of April as well as our teahouse accommodation for when we start the trek in to Everest.

Don't get me wrong - I'm not complaining. But with my 2 finger typing what a day.

Camp 2.9 on Ama. All the 2 finger typing seems worth it when you get to camp up here.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Everest Training

Everest Training in Scotland

Just had the most amazing week in Scotland with my team for Everest. We had fantastic weather, awesome snow and ice conditions and a great group. Mountain days, climbing days, crampon and ice axe work, jumaring, ladder training and walking around with masks on - not to mention generally getting to know one another and building the all important team dynamics.

Topping out on the first day

The essence of the Scottish training week was to be far better prepared as a group, and as individuals, for the forthcoming expedition. We achieved far more than we could have hoped for - partly due to the most amazing snow and ice conditions.

Kicking steps up solid neve

Smiles all round

Doesn't look as cold and windy as it was - MWIS reckoned on -25 windchill

Thankfully we had reasonably knarly weather when we were on mountain days and excellent conditions on the climbing days.

Sun and fat ice on Lurchers

Lurchers was a particularly great day with big fat ice and sunshine for the whole of the ascent followed by a great descent back down to the car. When we were on the Mess of Pottage (on quite a busy day (well it was a Saturday)) we managed to avoid the crowds by picking our way up between Hidden Chimney and Jacob's Left Edge.

Awesome neve and rime in Sneacdha

Towards the end of the week we changed the emphasis entirely to Everest specific training (although everything we did throughout the week was essential training for the job) and transferred our thoughts to jumaring up ropes, crossing ladders and wearing gas masks. I'd realised that whilst it was good to have the group analyse the Top Out masks we will be using (identifying pros and cons and suggesting modifications) that unless they are attached to the oxygen supply they don't really offer the feeling of restricted airflow and noise that we will be experiencing. So ... I managed to procure 8 army respirators from eBay and other sources and we donned them, under the cover of darkness, to wander around in the snow at night. Thankfully we weren't seen by anyone on the hill otherwise we might have sparked some kind of security scare - mind you the people just settling down to sleep in their car at The Sugar Bowl car park did give us some very strange looks.

Jumar practice with big gloves on

Ladder work - a very useful session

Walking round with army gas masks on.
Slightly bizarre but perhaps the best bit of the week for
taking away yet another unknown factor of the expedition.

All in all a week that far surpassed everyone's expectations and has undoubtedly made us a better prepared and far more professional looking outfit.

Meanwhile I also received 9 bookings for the B&B, 2 deposits for Ama Dablam 2011, 3 enquiries for Ama Dablam 2012, a summer climbing booking, 2 deposits for Island Peak in Spring and 2 enquiries for Island Peak in autumn.

Here's to a busy year,

Saturday, 8 January 2011


Having an absolutely awesome time in Scotland training my team for our forthcoming Everest expedition. Conditions are brilliant and the team are great. BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop