Monday, March 31, 2008

Rumours from the Mountain

Rumour has it that the Chinese gave Nepal a $121,000,000.00 development ? loan recently which means they have a huge influence on what is happening here. Until today everyone was unsure whether permits to climb past base camp would be issued. Lots of people have just been sitting at base camp waiting for news from the government and the Ice doctors had not set any ropes or ladders in the Khumbu Ice Field. The permits were issued today but we are still unsure how high anyone can climb or what happens if there is demonstration on the mountain or the Chinese need more time to bring the torch from the summit. The Nepali army has been sent to base camp to discourage demonstrations.
Welcome to politics in the third world.

Welcome to Kathmandu

I have safely arrived in Kathmandu after a long journey from Toronto to Hong Kong to Kathmandu.
Napel is the 12th poorest country in the world and Kathmandu with a population of 4,000,000 reflects this. Except for a few major roads the city is a jigsaw puzzle of narrow nameless streets and alleys. Pollution is terrible with lots of people wearing masks. Most of the temples I have seen are in various stages of ruin. Electrical wires dangle hap hazzardly from various buildings and poles and scheduled and unscheduled blackouts occur daily. The internet is slow and unpredictable. There seem to be few rules.
In contrast to all this, I feel very safe here and all the people are friendly and helpful.
This is a country with 50 plus gods and a living goddess.
An election is happening in mid April so there are lots of political rallies.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

crazy busy

This last week has been none stop with interviews, visiting family and friends, and of course packing and repacking. Barbara is off on her adventure tomorrow. The trip is evolving with the Tibet side of Everest closed to climbers.
All three children move home this week and Dan has to finish off all our personal business which should be interesting.
Next news from me will be from Kathmandu.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


We are still working on how to communicate on the mountain and from the mountain.
You can learn about our adventure either from this blog or on our outfitter's website at under RECENT EVENTS on their home page. The information there will be more general but everyone is encouraged to post something and they will give progress reports.

Thank you

Friends and family have helped us in so many ways, people have been very inventive. We are very greatful for all your support.

Last Mallory Family get together

Traditions abound in the Mallory family. This weekend the extended Mallory family plus friends will get together at the cottage for a winter cookout, Easter hunt, and Easter dinner. It will be the last time we will all be together before we leave for Nepal. Even the adults take part in the Easter hunt since we are all kids at heart.
The list of little things to be done is not getting any smaller because everytime we eliminate one another magically appears. We do have almost all our gear now thanks to our friend Paul who brought a lot back from the U.S. for us.
Sunday is the final packing for Barbara and the pre-pack for everyone else. The situation in Nepal and Tibet is still a bit of a mystery. We are unsure what we will find when we arrive but we do know it will be a great adventure.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Departure dates

Barbara - March 27, 2008
Dan, Alan, Laura - April 5, 2008
Adam - April 9, 2008
Expected return for everyone - June 14, 2008
Our departure dates are staggered due to school and work commitments. Schools have permitted both Adam and Laura to write some to their exams upon our return. Earlier departures allow for more acclimatization.
Our home presently looks like a sporting goods store. Each person has their own area for clothes, food and equipment.
This weekend is the final time we will all be together before we meet in Nepal. It takes a lot to prepare for such a trip and also to make sure all loose ends are tied up at home.

Situation in Nepal & Tibet

The Chinese government has not made life easy for climbers and what is particularly annoying is the fact that they have known that the Olympics was going to be held in China for many, many, many years now. The present unrest appears to be in the caoital city of Tibet, Lhasa.
We have just heard from our Outfitter Summit Climb and although there may still be some alterations to our plans it appears we are going ahead with a modified agenda. Climbing to base camp is permitted. There is no climbing above base camp on either side of the mountain between May 1 -10 so the Chinese can film the Olympic torch parade from the summit of Everest to Beijing. Alternate routes to acclimatize are being considered.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Problems in Tibet

Life is never dull or simple. Rumour has it that the Chinese government wants to close the Tibet side of Mount Everest until after May 10th because they want to film the Olympic flame coming from Mt. Everest. They are also trying to influence Nepal to do the same.
We continue to plan for our hike and await the outcome of this latest event.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Checking and re-checking equipment lists

It is crucial that we bring all the equipment necessary for comfort and survival. Since we go from vary warm weather in Kathmandu (shorts and t-shirts) to below freezing at night at base camp and possibly -60 degrees Celcius near the top of the mountain that means a lot of gear. Missing equipment could mean someone has to abort the trip early. Our house is now a mini sporting goods store with everyone having a designated area for their gear. If interested check out Summit Climb to see just what we are bringing and remember that list is not exhaustive.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Specialized boots and mitts

On Mt. Everest above 26,000 feet, is known as the death zone. At this height, the body starts to degenerate due to insufficient oxygen getting to the cells. Frost bite occurs at a very fast rate particularly in the hands and feet.
Dan was in Ohio on the weekend trying on special high altitude boots known as Millet Everest Boots so the toes won't freeze above high camp. We have ordered the special mittens by Outdoor Research to keep our fingers warm. All the gear we plan on buying in Canada and the US should be purchased by the end of this week.

Our next challenge is how best to communication from Mount Everest. I will leave that challenge up to our Computer/Electrical Engineering genius Adam.