Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Update From

No more news by phone to Barrie Base Camp but I have been reading the posts on the Summit Climb website. Summit Climb is the outfitter that the Mallory's chose to help them on this expedition. On April 28 the team leader posted this:

All of of our members, except the Mallorys and Linda, made it to camp 2. They are all healthy and strong. The Mallorys are a little bit behind schedule, but they are sleeping in camp 1 right now and tomorrow they will come up to camp 2 for a short visit before returning to camp 1.

(No clue as to why they are "a little bit behind schedule".)

To read the full dispatch from Summit Climb go to and look for the Everest Climb, Trek, Lhotse & Island Peak Spring 2008 link under "News" in the left-hand column (about half-way down the page).

Monday, April 28, 2008

Home May 1, I think

I am now staying at the Annapurna Hotel in Kathmandu for 2 days. A big upgrade from the Bejing Hotel where I have been staying in for the past 5 days. No cockroaches!!
I have arranged a flight home leaving Kathmandu April 29, 2008. My ticket has departure times but no arrival times so the exact day and time are questionable.
I discovered today that even though this is the only time to attempt to summit Everest it is not the best time to see Nepal. I will have to return when things are green and the air is fresh after the monsoon season to get a true appreciation for the country.

No news from the Mountain

The Chinese must be really paranoid. There has been no news from any expedition from the mountain for the last week and RUMOUR has it that there will be no news from Base Camp until after May 10th. Another rumour is that because of the American with the pro Tibet banner the Nepalis (really the Chinese) are not letting people climb to camp 2 after May 1 as originally stated. Everyone will have to come down to base camp or lower. Only communication with base camp will be emergency evacuation. The Chinese are at camp 2 on the Tibet side.
No news is good news -right?

Friday, April 25, 2008

Barbara trying to get home

It seems to be easier to get into Nepal than out of it. I have been trying to get a flight home but things do not seem to be working out. I will keep everyone posted.
My anke and leg show little sign of improvement. I had hoped to be treated at home but may have to see a doctor here. As for now I just keep hobbling around this overcrowded polluted city of blackouts.

Mallory update from base camp

Summit Climb gets regular updates of all their climbers. The Mallory clan has adjusted well to life at base camp and has been doing some hiking in the area and some ice climbing in the Khumbu icefall. All the ladders have been set in the Icefall and hopefully they will be able to climb to camp 1 and possibly camp 2 before the May 1 partial shut down of the mountain for the Olympic Torch run.

American kicked off of Everest

A "Free Tibet" sign was found in an American's bag at Base Camp. His climbing permit has been revoked and he has been sent down off the mountain. He was supposed to arrive in Kathmandu yesterday but he did not arrive and no one knows where he is. The Chinese are not fooling around with the torch run and the Nepali government is supporting them whole heartily.

The Moaists rule

The elections were the fairest ever held in Nepal. The Moaists won the majority and will form the next government. Rumour has it that they will tread carefully since 60% of the countries income comes from foreign aid. The monarchy is still in place but who knows what the future will bring.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

From Kathmandu

I finally made it to Lukla. Quite a challenge, infact I think it was harder climbing down than climbing up. Dowwa, my porter, said his good byes at the airport and presented me with a Budhist scarf.
I am now back in Kathmandu trying to get a flight out. I was going to do some more hiking but am afraid I might competely severe this tendon and that would be disasterous.
Today is Democratic Day. Lots of military around and I saw the soon to be owsted Prime Minister drive by. The King says he is a Nepali citizen and will remain in the country but he will likely loose the palace and all his possessions and wealth. We will have to see what the Moasists decide to do. Strange that the military which fought against the Moaists now has to protect them. Also, the Moaists are atheists in a country of strong Budhist and Hindu religion.
The front page of the Kathmandu Times said anyone trying to disrupt the Olympic torch possession or cause problems at Everest would be shot dead. Be thankful we live in Canada.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Everest Base Camp

(as dictated by Dan by satellite phone)

Hello! We have made it to Everest Base Camp along with Adam, Alan and Laura. We arrived yesterday after following the very rocky Khumbu major moraine for a few hours. We are basking in sunshine at 17,500 ft. We are dealing with some altitude issues; not the least being short of breath.

We are surrounded by towering snow-covered peaks where loud avalanches are a regular occurrence.

We have a full view of the challenging and somewhat dangerous Khumbu Icefall that we will be attempting in 2 or 3 days which will lead up to Camp I at about 19,500 ft. We will be crossing multiple crevasses on extended ladders amongst other challenges.

We are ready!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Barbara's porter

After my injury I was assigned Dawa as my personal porter. He is 19 years old, illiterate. speaks very little English, and has worn the same clothes day and night for the past 3 weeks I have known him. He has a lovely smile, is very devoted to me and we manage to communicate in various ways. He is from the "low valleys" which means he is at the bottom of the cast system which still exists here in Nepal. I think he likes me because I pay him the highest porter wages - 600 rupees a day (approx. 60 rupees = 1 US dollar) and share my treats with him. Most porters carry up to twice their body weight up and down the mountain but Dawa only has one bag of mine which is not that heavy. I think all tourists should have to carry their bags for 1 hour up a steep incline and we would discover what "essential items" were thrown to the wind. One lady complained she forgot her nail brush which for her seemed quite serious. I do not know where Dawa eats or sleeps but he is always waiting for me in the morning with a big smile on his face.

Politics on Everest

Be aware that this information is from a third world country and the Khumbu valley so it is not necessarily 100% accurate.
From Yangji, my guide's wife
The Nepali new year just happened and it is now the year of the rat.
From Ian a Canadian who tried to rent a helicopter
The Chinese are now in control of all of Nepali air space and only offically Chinese sanctioned flights are permitted.
From Kurt a guide who recently was in contact with Everest base camp
An army liason officer has been assigned to each expedition at base camp. Satellite phones and video equipment are being confiscated. This should be interesting since I passed several high tech camera equipment crews on my hike down.

News from Barbara

Since my last posting I have climbed Kalapatar, visited Everest base camp and climbed to 5700 meters on Island Peak. Regrettably, I tore my Achillies tendon the day before and some of my calf muscle so even though I was feeling strong I decided to opt out of the final ascent which was quite technical. This was a good decision since my leg progressively got worse over the next few days. I left the main group I had been with since arriving in the Khumbu Valley and hiked on my own with my porter to Pheriche to meet up with the family. It took me 2 days to hike to Pheriche which should have been only 4 hours. I checked with a doctor at a clinic in Pheriche who informed me I could hike down myself if I took my time and taped the ankle well. I am now in Namche and heading off to Lukla tomorrow. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Some Pictures along the trek to base camp.

Everest Update

It is Sunday April 13th, and Adam has arrived at Namche Bazaar at 11200 feet and is feeling very strong and no acclimatization issues. During the day, we met a Japanese man that five years earlier at age 70 was the oldest person to summit Everest. Recently, his record was broken and he has returned this year at age 75 to recapture his record. We have a picture of Laura and him together which will be the youngest Canadian female (maybe) and the oldest Everest summiter (maybe). Also at the hotel, we spent time with the first Vietnamese team to attempt to summit Everest and got photos of each other.

Monday April 14th, we leave Namche (Dan, Alan, Adam and Laura) to go towards Pangboche at 13000 feet. It is a long day starting at 9:00am and ending at 4:00pm and we are all feeling a little elevation fatigue. The route follows the cut-out side of steep mountains where a fall to the side would lead to a 1000 plus foot drop. You soon learn to stay on the uphill side of the trail when the yak trains pass as other wise they would knock you off the trail. Everything is carried by porters or yaks or yak-cow combos called Jobkes.

Tuesday April 15th, we rest in Pangboche and it is a well needed rest for Adam who has not had a rest day since the start of his trek in Lukla.

Wednesday April 16th, we went to visit the local Lama who gave us his blessings of safe travel and this was interesting. From there we travelled along the mountain side to arrive at Pheriche at 14200ft. Here we met up with Barbara and we are now a complete family of five, for now (is that a sigh of relief from my family?). Laura and Adam are climbing machines and are not having to work at all to deal with the trek. Alan is doing very well as well particularly dealing with his troublesome achilles but it has not slowed him down too much. The chest infection that I have is still lingering but does allow me to continue never the less and I hope for a recovery before I reach base camp (in three more days). The lungs have to be working at full capacity in the higher elevations. Now Barbara, this is the first that we have talked to her in almost two weeks. She has been doing some high elevation climbing and trekking but it has cost her as her achilles tendon is stretched with related muscle bruising and she is going to be heading down to recover tomorrow. We will see where this ends up.

The last blog was sent from Namche and there was to be only one Internet sight above Namche at Tengboche however, it was closed. We did learn however, that we could trek from Pheriche to where we are sending this blog at Dingboche a 30 min hike uphill both ways (haha). So glad to have this last opportunity to post. We hope for a continued success to base camp where our next update will occur from 17500ft.

In general, the route is absolutely spectacular with dramatic snow covered peaks in every direction against the clear blue high elevation skies.


Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Family Gathers

Adam arrived in Kathmandu, Nepal despite the concerns about the election held that day.
He landed in Lukla this morning and is now only 1 day behind us. Barbara is ahead of us but we have had no communication with her for about 10 days. We hope she is well and we will meet her in the next few days hopefully but it is a big mountain.
Dan's chest infection has progressed further to the bad. Dan went to a Tibeten doctor in Namche today to get a second oppinion on taking Ampicillin (antibiotic). He had never heard of it and he only had herbal medicines. Dan decided to try them and got 3 small packages of 10 days worth of what looks like various shades of rabbit poop. Dan has taken 3 today and so far is still standing. He desperately needs the lungs to clear before he should go higher. Happy birthday to Him today as he celebrates with 'rabbit poop' droppings for dessert!
Alan and Laura are feeling quite strong and looking forward to moving up the mountain after Adam arrives.
We did an aclimatization climb yesterday up the mountain about 1500 feet to Everest View Lodge with great views of the high mountains all around.

Dan, Alan, Laura

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Mallory's are Climbing!

Wow! what a wild previous week and a half. On Monday, March 31, Alan and Dan did a live interview with CBC Canada am in the morning, A live interview with CBC newsworld in the afternoon, and two telephone interviews in the middle. On Tuesday April 1st, Dan did a live telephone interview with CBC radio - Ontario Morning and for the balance of the week, turned down other requests.

Friday April 4th - Dan was up all night at the Mallory Insurance Office getting to bed at 5am and up 1 hr. later at 6am to catch the 11:00am flight from Toronto to Hong Kong and then to Kathmadu. Very long flight (~24hrs total) and glad to arrive in Kathmandu.

Kathmandu is the wildest City you can immagine with completely chaotic traffic flow, impossibly rough and narrow roads, and people everywhere. The air quality is very poor.

We were in Kathmandu 1 day and we were glad to get our early morning flight in an 18 seater Twin Otter plane to Lukla. It plummits out of the sky towards the landing strip and it lands on the shortest runway in existance in the mtns. Fortunatly for us, the runway was uphill which helped slow the plane down. It will be a wild downhill take-off on our return.

The two day trek to Namche (which is where we are now, at 11200 feet in elevation) is remarkable, challenging, beautiful and very steep. The tiny sherpa porters should all be called Galioths with the massive loads they carry - one tiny guy had a chesterfield strapped on his back! The trek is across many towering and long swing bridges and not for the faint at heart or anyone afraid of heights. The trail follows deep valleys surrounded by towering snow covered peaks. There is a turquoise glacier-melt raging river most of the way.

Unfortunatly, Dan caught a chest infection and Alan and Laura are struggling with stiff muscles and joints but other than that we are all well. After a few days we should be good to go. We will be waiting here at Namche for Adam's arrival in a few days. We hope so because Adam arrives tomorrow and that is election day in Nepal and everything (traffic, phones etc.) will be shut down in anticipation of possible riots. We don't even know if he is going to be able to get a ride from the airport to the hotel on his arrival in Kathmandu. It should be an exciting time for him and we hope for the best. Meanwhile we have a beautiful view of snow covered peaks on the steep side of a mtn. with beautiful sunlight and blue skies to enjoy.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

My hike begins

Highlights of the first 2 days. Weather has been beautiful but very windy and lots of dust. Competition on the trails with the jobyaks,(? spelling ) cross between a yak and a cow that is used for packing goods in at lower altitudes below Namche, and other hikers. First day was a gentle downhill to a quaint teahouse. Second day was a really difficult hike where we crossed a huge river on swing bridges 4 times and hiked uphill for what it seemed like forever. Namche Bazaar is a neat little town with most amenities. After tomorrow it will be difficult to communicate.

Don't drag your feet

Flight from Kathmandu to Lukla is worth the price of the whole trip. It is a small boxy propeller plane that they take the seats in and out of at random. You can see right into the cockpit and talk to the pilot if you could be heard above the noise of the engines. There is a stewardess who hands out cotton balls for your ears and candies after take off. No pressurized cabins so they fly fairly low. Going through the mountain passes it seems as if the wing tips will brush the sides of the mountains. Good views of the area below. The landing strip at Lukla is an uphill to a turn around. I imagine the take off going home will be something else since then it will be a downhill into mid air.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

theme song

Thanks to Mark Rutherford for his song "Challenge", composed and produced in tribute to the Mallory Expedition. (Hopefully you're hearing it right now as I have embedded it in this blog.)