Thursday, June 19, 2008

What is Success?

This is a favourite story that Dan likes to tell.
When hiking up Mt. Aconcagua Dan & Adam met a man hiking down and Dan asked him if he had been successful. The man replied that that depended on how you viewed success. He had spent 5 days in a blizaard at high camp with very little food or fuel to melt water. He had survived and was hiking down the mountain. Was he successful?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

What's at the summit?

The summit is a small space, a rectangle about 2 meters by 7 meters, with sharp drop offs on three sides and a steep area leading from the Hillary Step to the summit. There is a Buddha statue at the top drapped in prayer flags and other momentos from climbers.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Media coverage

There has been a lot of media coverage of the family adventure. Susanne our web designer from efx wizzard is posting some of our media interviews on the website under MEDIA. Check the dates for the most recent coverages.
We have been interviewed by A Channel, CTV Canada AM, CBC Newsworld, and several radio stations.

Grocery bills soar

Everyone has been eating constantly since arriving home and sleeping a lot. I go shopping every other day to keep the fridge filled with fresh fruit and vegetables something there was very little of on the mountain. Meat is also something they crave. Dan wanted a Wendy's double burger when he got off the plane. Since all the Wendy's were closed when we reached Barrie he had to settle for a friend's homemade pies delivered to the house as a treat for the returning mountaineers.
The family all lost weight. Since none of them had a lot of fat on them in the first place a lot of the weight was muscle. Adam lost almost 35 pounds (17.5 kg). His clothes are quite loose. It will take a long time for their bodies to fully recover.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Everest Moments

We are home safe and sound and doing a number of media interviews. Normal life will have to return shortly.
We were asked about the "scarier" moments of the trip. There were several - the crossing of the horizontal ladders as many and 4 sections lashed together over gaping crevasses; Laura throwing up blood at around 20,000 ft; Laura and I watching boulders whip by us while climbing the very steep Llotse face; the safety rope breaking at camp 3 where a slip would send you off the Llotse face. All these made your heart stop for a second but clearly not hearing from Laura and her Sherpa on their summit attempt day by 9 am the next morning, that was my worst day! We tiried to reach them all day by radio and no word until mid afternoon. If there had been a fall or some other injury or incident, a rescue attempt would have been almost imposible. No planes or helicpoters would have been able to make the rescue and it is utterly exhausting to be navigating at the altitude between 26,000-29,000 ft. I/we could not have gone back up to look for her or even assist in any way. Even if we had the strength which we did not, we needed to find oxygen and it was not readily available. It was a big relief when we heard from them mid afternoon and learned of their inability to communicate because of radio battery problems.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Mallorys home Monday night

Dan just called from Hong Kong. The family will be arriving home Monday June 9, 2008 at 9:55 p.m. on Cathay Pacific flight CX828. It seems to me as if they have been away forever. It will be great to have everyone home safe and sound, to see all the pictures and hear all the stories.
Thanks to everyone for their ongoing support.

Friday, June 6, 2008

What's Next?

Several people have asked "What's next?" Dan still has one more mountain to conquer with someone in the family The Vinson Massif in Antarctica.
In the immediate future. Team Mallory have been asked to do some media interviews. They also plan on doing some speaking engagements so check the blog ocassionally to see if there is going to be a presentation near where you live. Adam and Laura still have some university exams to write. Dan and Alan have to return to work. Barbara has to heal.
No news of the flight home yet. I will keep you posted.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Safely off the Mountain

As a summary, Dan, Adam, and Alan Mallory reached the summit of Everest at 8:15 a.m. on May 26/08 and descended arriving at high camp (South Col-camp 4), very tired at about 2:30 p.m. Laura left at 7 p.m. that afternoon and summited May 27 at about 9:30 a.m. Dan, Adam, and Alan descended the Mountain to Camp 2 on May 27 and expected to hear from Laura or her Sherpa on her progress on May 27. Nobody heard from them or could communicate with them until they summited and arrived back at high camp at about 3:30 p.m. May 27. Many at base camp were praying and lighting incense and burning juniper for their safe return. We were quite worried - we did not realize that their batteries were not functioning in their two radios.
We all were joined together at base camp on May 29.
On May 30, we descended from base camp to Lukla in 3 days which would normally take 9 or 10 days to ascend from Lukla to base camp but we were extremely acclimatized. We were completely exhausted when we reached Lukla.
On June 2 we flew from Lukla to Kathmandu where we are staying at the Annapurna hotel and enjoying some well deserved pampering of good food, a soft bed, and warm weather. We are on a waiting list for an early flight home around May 8 but if not available we will be leaving on June 13 according to our current tickets.
We have many fantastic digital photos and video of the climbing experience which we will put together for presentations on our return for groups or organizations that are interested. Interested groups can email us according to our web site. Looking forward to seeing everyone on our return.


Monday, June 2, 2008


Food on the mountain is adequate but not terribly exciting. All the menus in the teahouses are the same - eggs, potatoes, rice, pasta, pizza, yak steaks, milk tea, hot tang, bottled water, some herbal teas, pop, popcorn, chocolate bars, white bread. Lots of yak cheese which they put on everything. There are some fresh vegetables near the base of the mountain but higher up vegetables are canned. Everything is cooked over a wood/yak dung cookstove. I had good yak steak and yak steak that was worse than shoe leather. One day, as a treat we got little cocktail hot dogs and spam. When camping we had the above plus chicken, hot chocolate, jam, cookies and canned fruit. Everything has to be carried up on someone's back, there are no refrigerators and cows are sacred to the Hindus. There were lots of no meat days. Considering what they have available to them they do a good job.
They tell you to bring your own snacks and freeze dried food. I took over a bag weighing over 20 kilos just with snack food in it for the family. Snack food included nuts, granola bars, power bars, chocolate bars, canned tuna and chicken, sesame seed bars, mints, dried fruit, fruit jube jubes, beef jerky and power gel.
Altitude suppresses you appetite, you often feel sick to your stomach and you get tired of the same food all the time so you have to force yourself to eat. You are using up a lot of energy hiking and at higher altitudes breathing and surviving. Most people take a diuretic to help them acclimatize. It is natural to lose weight but it is not a weight loss program I would recommend.
After being on the mountain for awhile you really crave things like fresh fruit and vegetables, a hamburger, steak. There is a lot more variety in Kathmandu but again you never eat anything in a third world country unless it is well cooked, you bought and washed it yourself with safe water, or it is a high class restaurant you trust.
When everyone arrives home I can't imagine my grocery bill.

Family back in Kathmandu

Dan called today to say they arrived safely in Kathmandu. They are all very tired and very thin. They have to wait to get a flight home so they will be resting and eating and healing for the next few days.