The event is …. imminent

Whilst I might have been out training every day for 50 days and posting daily updates to FB I haven’t managed to be quite so conscientious with my Blog. There are only so many hours in the day and whilst I have been trying to get the miles in I have also trying to make sure that I still spend some quality time with my family (as well as manage the B&B).

So … my first piece of advice is that if you want to know what I have been doing please take a look at my FB page (Everest Expedition) which has been used for the purposes of updating about my training and the donations I have been receiving for the families of the staff who died last month.

I’ll be starting out on my mega Lakes triathlon Friday evening 24th July at 18:00 with a cycle round The Fred Whitton route from Keswick and back to Keswick. After that I’ll be in Derwentwater for 2 lenghts of the lake followed by the Bob Graham Round. As a few people have said just one of these events is big. 2 together is gruelling but all 3, back to back, is insane. And now, as the time approaches for the event to start, I can whole heartedly agree.

The forthcoming event. Black shows The Fred Whitton (112 miles over 6 Lakeland passes), blue shows the openwater swim (5.5 miles in Derwentwater) and the red shows the Bob Graham Round (66 miles across 42 Lakeland Peaks). I’m aiming to do it ALL, back to back, in under 48 hours!

The reason for the event is to raise money to put some children through school. They are the children of my staff who died whilst I was on Everest this year. They were supposedly safe down at Base Camp and the unprecedented happened when the avalanche that was triggered by the earthquake swept away Everest Base Camp. In Nepal there isn’t the social security and child benefit that we might qualify for. There is insurance … but the families will have possibly spent this on the puja for their funerals. The wives probably (almost certainly) haven’t got careers of their own. So … I’m cycling and swimming and running in the hope that you might feel my effort worthy of a donation.

You can easily donate by going to

So far I have managed to raise around £35,000 – which I am very humbled by. But to put 6 children who are of school age through classes for an average of 10 years each is going to take at least £50,000 because I don’t want to start their education and not be able to finish it. Along with other families who have fallen on hard times and are in need of their house being rebuilt or some financial support I estimate that £100,000 is a healthy, and achievable, target.

The charity that the funds will be going to is and they will make sure that 100% of donations received via my cause are passed on to pay for school fees or go to families affected. No commission, no admin fees – just money from you to where it is supposed to go.

Some of the training I did

And here’s a whole load of photos of me out and about. Sometimes alone but often I have been lucky to have been out with some great mates. They, and the donations that have come in, have really spurred me on.

All I need to do is put it all together!!!

50 days of training for 48 hours of suffering to raise money for families in Nepal …

Folks – if you are contemplating where to go for your trekking holiday in October then I can heartily recommend Nepal. Yes they have just had an epic event of biblical proportions but by the time the next trekking season is upon us they will be well on the road to getting things sorted and back on their collective feet again.
If you are hesitant then please remember that there are 4 and a half months between now and then. The danger from aftershocks will be so diminished by then that it won’t even register. The chance of infection won’t even be worth considering by then. The clearing up won’t have finished but the fact is that life goes on and the locals will be very keen to get back to business as usual.
If people don’t go trekking and climbing this autumn then the repercussions are very far reaching. As it is the country gets 95% of it’s tourist trade in 4 months (April & May / October & November). May has just been written off. If the tourism takes a dive in Oct and Nov then effectively families will be relying on their recent April income to see them all the way through until next April.
How would you feel if your income stream stopped TODAY and you had to make your funds last until next April?
For those in ‘The West’ we would undoubtedly have the fall back option of getting unemployment benefit / child benefit / tax credits of some sort as well as free school meals / prescriptions as well as qualifying for free this, that and the other.
In Nepal they don’t have state funded benefits and are wholly reliant on income. No work … no income. Sore leg … no NHS. Sore leg preventing the ability to work … no income.
So please, please don’t be put off going to Nepal for the next trekking season because your valuable £s will help to kick start the local economy. The local economy won’t benefit from the international aid and donations that are pouring in to the country. Yes that money will go to infrastructure / rebuilding / health and welfare but it won’t be spent (or donated) to teahouse owners. That money won’t be handed to porters. It won’t go to the vegetable seller or the stone mason. And the stone mason won’t repair the teahouse if the teahouse owner doesn’t have cashflow. The entire local economy is in danger of collapsing.
Not only do the trekking regions need tourists to reinvigorate the local economy but the families who have lost loved ones need money too. The families of the 3 staff that we sadly lost recently (Pasang Temba, Kumar and Tenzing) don’t have ‘Plan B’. The bread winner has gone and no they literally don’t have any bread.
I am personally raising money for the families and this will go directly to them. Ideally this will be for the education of the 9 children that have been left behind but the family of Pasang Temba also need to rebuild their house which fell down (no insurance will be covering that).
I am undertaking a personal challenge involving a certain amount of hardship in the hope that you will feel that my venture is worthy of a donation.

I am training for 50 days to attempt the following:
Start at The Moot Hall in Keswick.
Get on a bike
Cycle the Fred Whitton route (approx 112 miles + 6 Lakeland passes & 3,800m of ascent)
Back to The Moot Hall

Change in to swimming gear
Go to the lake and swim the length of Derwentwater
And back again (around 4.5km each way with 0m of ascent)
Back to The Moot Hall.
Change in to fell running gear
Run (walk) The Bob Graham Round (66 miles, 42 peaks, 27,000ft ascent and descent)
Back to The Moot Hall.

All in all I will be aiming to do all 3 events, back to back, in under 48 hours.

The training started yesterday with a run up and over Latrigg and continued today with a Baltic cold swim in Derwentwater this morning and another fell run this afternoon, this time up and over Walla Crag. I will be out and about at some stage or other every day for the next 50 days getting ready for this crazy venture. In only a few weeks I will need to be fell running for stretches of between 4 and 6 hours. Soon after that I should be ready to be doing 2 legs of the Bob Graham Round back to back and certainly before the big event I should be doing 3 passes on a bike, 2 legs of The Bob AND a couple of mile’s swimming in a day.

Wish me luck!
Please follow my training and progress on my Everest Expedition Page on FaceBook*. If you like the page and sign up for notifications you will get alerted every time I post. I hope that you enjoy the show.
And I hope that you might sponsor me.
But most of all I hope that you will consider trekking in Nepal in October. You will not be disappointed.


Gokyo to Phortse

An awesome day trekking from Gokyo to Phortse today. We deliberately set off early and were rewarded not only with amazing views and a quiet trail but also crisp snow which made for easy progress underfoot.

We followed the main route down towards Machermo and then crossed to the East side of the valley where it becomes a much quieter and less trod route. Having said that we saw a total of 12 trekkers throughout the day – the busiest I’ve ever known it!

The route meanders in and out of valleys and up and over shoulders so, despite dropping about 600m elevation, it is still a full on day.

We’ve met up with John (aka my Dad) again, who trekked here from Machermo, and we have all just had some hot orange and enjoyed some doughnuts that we’re very kindly given to me by my friends at Gokyo as I left this morning.

We are now poised to venture around the corner to Pangboche tomorrow where we will join the main Khumbu trail for a few days. After a rest at Dingboche we will spend 3 nights under canvas going up and over the Kongma La before dropping down to Lobuche and thence on to EBC where we will arrive on the 18th April.

It sounds like the route through The Khumbu Icefall has been fixed all the way to C2 which is great news. The fact that we are out of the way for the time being is no bad thing so that our Sirdar, Kame, and the Climbing Sherpas can concentrate on the business of getting logistics sorted on the hill.

Very much looking forward to working with the guys again and introducing them to my trusty group.

Photos to follow.

A belated update …

I’m sat in a teahouse at Lungde, the last settlement before the Renjo La. We’re at 4,350m, it’s a long way from anywhere and there’s snow gently falling outside. I’m sat here with 3 guys who are hoping that, with my guidance, mentoring and leadership, they will be able to summit Mount Everest sometime in May. There’s a lot they need to do for themselves but it’s only with my top tips, handy hints, advice and putting everything in to context that they can envisage what it will actually be like high on the mountain. How can people prepare for something like this when it’s their first attempt? Yes they all have previous expeditions and mountaineering forays under their collective belts, but none of them have even been close to being this high before. The enormity of the task lies heavily on my conscience because if I fail in my task of providing them with any aspect of the expedition they may fail. Or worse.

8 days ago we flew to Lukla and arrived late (around 11:30), but we were still on the first flight. For the past few days there had been many interruptions to international flights coming in and out of Kathmandu and flights to Lukla had been infrequent. We had boarded the bus and sat on the vehicle tantalisingly close to the aircraft for half an hour or so before we’d been taken back to the departures terminal where we waited again, munching biscuits and drinking tea having forsaken an early breakfast back at the hotel to allow for another half an hour in bed. We’d been collected at 05:15 and the guys from Himalayan Guides, as usual,  had made the transit through to the departures lounge as efficient as can be expected. Later, whilst waiting for our first call, my agent (the legendary Iswari) had shown me the webcam app he had for Lukla and it didn’t look entirely promising. Kathmandu was bright and crisp following the rain from the previous afternoon which had cleared the haze, but Lukla was looking cloudy. So we waited.
When we were called for the bus for the second time it was a mad dash and scramble … to sit on the bus again. And then the call came and we were on the plane. Then the engines fired up and we were taxiing.
Half an hour later we were the first of only 5 or 6 flights that got in that day and, not only that, all our bags were there too.
We popped round to see Dawa Phutti and Ang Pasang at Paradise Lodge where we had a much need brunch before hitting the trail after I’d briefed the group about a few dos and don’ts and how life would be on the trail.
We were aiming for Monjo but the late arrival in to Lukla meant that we were still a bit short when I felt it was time to stop. We’d popped in to see Sonam Sherpa for a coke and chocolate bar (I’d met Phendan at Lukla and he’d phoned ahead) but even though we were full of energy I felt it would be unfair on the porters for us to continue in to the dark.
Having spent a night at Tok Tok (what a great name) we were one of the first teams through the National Park Entrance because we were half an hour ahead of the trekkers at Phak Ding. We had tea with Pasang Dawa in Monjo and then headed gradually up the zig zags to Namche. After lunch, WiFi, coffee & doughnuts in Namche we continued another hour along the trail to stay with my long standing friend Tashi at Ama Dablam Lodge.
(For those who don’t know, Tashi and her husband Lakpa, accompanied by their youngest son Karma, came to the UK last year and stayed at my B&B before we all went to London for a private audience with HRH Prince Charles. But I digress.)
In between our 2 night stay at Tashi’s we mooched up to the Mong La via an amazing hidden staircase to gain a bit of altitude for a couple of hours before returning to Kyanjuma. After getting back to Tashi’s she allowed us to see her private prayer room which is always such an amazing privilege.
The next morning we bade Tashi farewell and she gave us some Kharta scarves as a blessing for our onward journey and we trekked up to Khumjung where we said a temporary goodbye to Loraine and John (aka my Dad). They were off to visit the Everest View Hotel before heading back to Tashi’s and then their itinerary was to take them very gradually up the Gokyo valley. In theory we will all be reunited tomorrow!
My trusty Everest wannabes and I went up and over the col to Syangboche where we stopped for tea before pressing on via Thamo (lunch) to Thame where we stayed with my friends Dr Kami and his wife Da Dolma. They have a new addition to the family and are truly delighted to have a grandson (their son married the daughter of my Sirdar, Kame Nuru Sherpa, just over two years ago).
We stopped at Thame for 2 nights and visited the monastery in the hillside above the village for a private puja and, with more Kharta adorning our shoulders we said goodbye to Thame continued to Marylung to stay with some more friends of mine. Sadly Ang Chutin wasn’t present but I was delighted to hear that, following my advice that she contact a friend of mine in KTM who organises running events, she has competed in a variety of different races. One was a 60km trail run up and over various passes and she completed it in 9 hours coming in as fastest female. Presently she is studying in Germany and is set to run the Berlin marathon in the not too distant future. I’m now wondering about getting her across to the UK for a week or so in summer to have a go at The Bob Graham Round – but I’ll have to sound her out about that when I get back home in June.
Phurba Sherpa runs the teahouse in Marylung with his wife and they are an amazingly cheerful and resilient couple. Phurba has summited Everest 8 times (once from The North) and was obviously very saddened by the events last year. Not only the disaster that befell the 16 Climbing Sherpas who died but also the way the whole event then unfolded and the ominous twists and turns the tragedy took. Their eldest daughter turned up (she’s a teacher at Namche with perfect English) and we chatted away for hours.
Another departure and another Kharta brought us to where we are now. Poised at 4,350m below a 5,350m pass which will give us access to the Gokyo Valley where, all being well, we will meet up with the 2 trekkers we last saw in Khumjung.
Post script:
We went up and over the Renjo La and the conditions were perfect. An early start meant that the mud and, higher up, snow were crisp and easy going underfoot. The view from the pass was absolutely fantastic and we dropped down to Gokyo in time for lunch.
John & Loraine arrived mid afternoon from Machermo so we were all reunited and caught up on each other’s gossip. The WiFi wasn’t working, hence not sending the update as planned.
Today John (aka my Dad) dropped down to Machermo to break the journey to Phortse which we will be making tomorrow. All the others went to various altitudes on Gokyo Ri and I mooched off to do a panorama.
The WiFi has just come on and naturally enough is pretty slow because everyone, myself included, has started catching up with the outside world.

What does it take to summit Everest? Here are 7 attribute to consider.

Elsewhere I have covered the reasons why people fail on Everest but this article is about what you need to consider to even contemplate attempting it.

Everest from The North.

There are seven keys elements that people require no matter which side of the mountain they are on, no matter which expedition they are with. These attributes have nothing to do with how much the expedition has cost, whether you are rich or poor, male or female. Altitude is the invisible enemy and it doesn’t differentiate.

Everest from The South.

So … other than oxygen, Climbing Sherpas, a Base Camp cook crew, faultless logistics, the ability to get 8 weeks off work, the tricky issue of having sufficient budget to be able to afford it, the support of friends and family, the right amount of fitness etc etc what exactly do you need to be able to climb Everest :

1. ‘The Desire’ 

There is little point, if any, in attempting Everest unless you really, really want to do it. This should not be a whim of the moment decision. It’s not back of a fag packet type stuff*. It’s also not something that is on everybody’s bucket list and you don’t necessarily have to justify to anyone, except yourself, why you want to do it. You may not be able to vocalise how you feel about it. It may well just be something that, for whatever reason, ‘flicks your switch’.

But if you don’t have that yearning to attempt Everest then there is little point in setting out on it in the first place.

However … are you being realistic?

* Warning – smoking kills and is extremely bad for your health. Please do not take this an endorsement to start, or continue, smoking. Alternatively you could jot your idea down on the back of a beer mat**.

** Please note that drinking, even in moderation, can also be bad for your health. Perhaps best to just use a note book after all.

2. ‘Realistic ambition’ 

It’s all very well having the desire but is it realistic for you to be undertaking this massive challenge? Do you have what it takes? Should you perhaps be making it a 5 year plan to enable you to get the necessary pre requisite experience and enough time to save the money? Should you maybe have a think about it rather than making a knee jerk reaction having been inspired by a book that you have just read, a film you’ve just watched or a slide show you have just attended?

Having the desire is all very well but there are many things that we desire in life that we know won’t happen … unless we do something about it. And even then it may well be that the desire is completely unrealistic and even if you do try and do something about it it may well not transpire.

Don’t believe the public keynote speaker who uttered the ‘if you put your mind to it you can do anything’ line – that is utter rubbish. Have you ever noticed that this is a classic line that is banded around by people who have just done something? Yes you need to put your mind to it but don’t assume that you will achieve your ambition just because you want to have a go. You can’t just do anything that pops in to your head … or we would all be able to fly, see through walls, run a sub 3 marathon or teleport.

So perhaps you need to park the idea?

Or conversely you need to focus your energy in to getting prepared … as long as it is something that is actually realistic and potentially achievable.

3. ‘Experience and a high quality mountaineering resumé’ 

Preferably years and years of it. If you are naturally tuned in to the outdoor recreation environment due to the frequency, quantity and quality of your experiences then life on Everest will be a lot easier for you to tolerate. You shouldn’t have to think about whether your hood should be up or down, whether you are too hot or too cold, when to drink, where your gloves are or how the toggles work on your jacket. You should be able to anticipate environmental changes in advance rather than having to deal with them at the time. Preempting the fact that the sun is coming up, and in a quarter of an hour it’s going to be quite hot, has got to be better when you are stood in a safe place … rather than finding that you are boiling hot and needing to shed layers in a dangerous place fifteen minutes later. See the list of skills required elsewhere.

With years and years of experience and lots of expeditions under her belt Jen was very much in her element. Here she is approaching The South Summit. Shortly after this photo she stopped to change her oxygen bottle over and apply sunglasses and sun cream. She had gone a few minutes longer than she would normally after the sun comes up to allow her to get past a queue – but that was a sound decision on the day.

4. ‘Technical expertise’ 

It’s all very well having a great resumé but be honest with yourself – are you an independent mountaineer in your own right or have you been guided on every trip and climb you have ever been on? In essence, if you have an extensive mountaineering cv but have solely been guided, this is not too much of a problem as long as you then sign up for a trip that has the correct level of guidance to cater for the shortfall.

Irrespective of that you still have to ask yourself whether you will ever end up in a situation where you are no longer guided (for whatever reason), high on the mountain and whether the implication of that terrifies you (it should do). Don’t bury your head in the sand and say that ‘it won’t happen to me’ because when it does and you are high on the mountain and alone you will feel very helpless and very lonely. It’s obviously not ideal but you should be able to cope in this situation.

Better to have a whole host of skills and a thorough understanding of the natural and ever changing environment, and how to adapt to it, than to be a potential liability to yourself and therefore a potential liability to everyone around you – including people on other expeditions. Knowing instinctively how to change your walking gait from one type of snow to another means that you won’t compromise yourself when the conditions underfoot change. Having a sixth sense about the weather, conditions, snow etc will mean that you are far less likely to jeopardise yourself and being tuned in will also make it a far more enjoyable experience as well. Knowing that your helmet should be on your head not your rucksack, knowing your routines and having faultless personal admin will all be very relevant when you are high on the hill.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again … this guy should not have been on Everest. Crampons on the wrong feet, a helmet on  his rucksack instead of his head and a few useless quick draws on his harness. He didn’t even operate his jumar at each rebelay and his Climbing Sherpa had to do it for him. He was a liability to himself … and to everyone around him.

5. The ability to Focus … 

on what needs doing and when to do it. This applies to your years of training, your gear purchases, knowing your equipment intimately, your choice of operator and your own personal commitment. You need to focus on each and every aspect, and leave no stone unturned, whether it be research and preparation for the mountain, your fitness and gaining relevant experience prior to the expedition, or focusing on what is relevant at the right moment during the trip.

It’s really important to prioritise and realise that the consequences of your actions, or inactions, may have far reaching consequences. What would be considered to be small issues on lesser peaks become compounded issues on Everest. On lower peaks the fact that you haven’t applied or reapplied suncream may have little if any consequence. On Everest, due to the higher elevation and the rarified atmosphere you will frazzle and become sunburnt which is extremely debilitating. In the UK you can perhaps get away without drinking for the whole day (with the intention of topping up when you get home). On Everest you won’t be able to get enough fluids to be sufficiently rehydrated if you go in to deficit. A little bit of dehydration on a daily basis will become a massive problem at the end of a 7 or 8 week period and you will be not only debilitated but also much more prone to the effects of high altitude, more susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia as well as having reduced efficiency and depleted brain function.

Look at your expedition as a long term project. It requires lots of preparation and it needs to be conducted in a manner where you are constantly reevaluating the situation. Do your due diligence not only of the company that you are going to sign up with but of yourself as well.

Giles at the top of The Geneva Spur en route to the summit. A few days earlier he had contemplated going home. Thankfully he was able to refocus his energies and turned his feelings of despondency in to drive and determination.

6. Mental tenacity 

You need this by the pound. There will be moments of self doubt. There will be the days when you just don’t perform how you hoped. There will be the off days when you should be firing on all cylinders. There will be the days when you are missing your friends and family and questioning this crazy endeavour. And combined with all that … you will have a headache at some stage, possibly a bout of diarrhoea, your lips may well have cracked because you weren’t looking after yourself, you can’t sleep properly at night because of sleep apnoea, it’s cold and you pee all the time and you will go off your food. Perversely, just when you are burning more energy than you have ever burnt before, you will lose your appetite and won’t be able to face a fork full.

How on earth can you attempt to continue unless you have mental tenacity by the bucket load? However, you must temper your resilience with a deep respect for the environment around you and also listen to the inner you. If it doesn’t feel right then that 6th sense of yours may well be worth listening to. If you continue because your are tough and resilient, whilst ignoring the very obvious changes that are happening around you, then your mental tenacity may well get you in to trouble.

Mental tenacity has to be balanced with a respect for the conditions around you and a certain feeling of vulnerability.

7. Self belief 

This is a slightly different psychological requirement. Being tough and mentally resilient is one thing but you will need to be able to keep on going, despite how awful you feel, in spite of how lonely you might be, no matter how ‘out there’ and vulnerable you may feel. You have to put all that to one side and put one foot in front of the other … incredibly slowly … believing all the way that you have what it takes. Again, as with mental tenacity, your self belief has to be tempered to the surroundings, and any changes that may be occurring, or it may well get you in to a pickle.

Put it all together and you may, just may, get to the summit.

So there you have it – a variety of key traits that you need to have a chance of being successful on Everest. But remember – just because you have the ambition, the drive, the focus and all the other necessary prerequisites doesn’t actually mean that you will achieve your target.

No matter which expedition you sign up for, no matter how much preparation you have done, no matter how good your Climbing Sherpa is you have to remember that only you can put one foot in front of the other – it can’t be done for you.

Time to get out on the hill.

(For further related reading have a look at the suggested Skills Required and Why People Don’t Summit).

Proposal for poo bags to be used on Ama Dablam as standard policy (first published Dec 2013 but updated with extra Everest information).

This was first published back in December 2013. Given the recent attention that the media has given Everest regarding garbage and poo I thought it relevant to add a little extra information which I have appended.

Please read, comment, like and share …

For my next Ama Dablam expedition I will be issuing everyone with biodegradable poo bags. They don’t weigh much but their use will be so beneficial to everyone – not only my team but other teams who are on the mountain as well.

Presently there is no policy about human waste on Ama Dablam and it is a problem. Not only is it unpleasant but potentially there are health issues. I am sure that someone on some team undoubtedly gets ill every season … and that then jeopardises their summit bid and the health and well being of the rest of their team.

It is standard practice on Denali and at Yosemite to bag it up and bag it out and because that is how it is then everyone does it. On Everest, Cho Oyu, Manaslu, Baruntse etc the high camps are on glaciated areas so digging a toilet pit is easy and when it’s there then people use it. If it gets full, or unpleasant, then it can be filled in and another one can be dug out.

But on Ama Dablam the camps are on rocky platforms and toilet pits can’t be excavated. And although a team may allocate a ‘toilet area’ it would be difficult to convey this to other teams and so the result is that people go anywhere they choose. Which means that everyone is living around everyone else’s excrement … which is just plain filthy.

So I am hoping to shift this from being the accepted norm and hoping that everyone will adopt a cleaner policy of poohing in a bag … and then discarding it. Unfortunately carrying poo bags off the mountain probably won’t work as well as it might on, say, Denali, because the onus may well start to fall on the Climbing Sherpas and it would be utterly degrading for that to be one of their responsibilities on the hill. They already take on the roll of clearing the hill of tents, pots, pans etc as well as bringing down gear that clients have left up there. To ask them to also be bringing down human waste would be totally unacceptable.

In The Alps no one has a problem with the fact that there might be a long drop at a hut that is sending waste down a rocky face or in to a bergshrund – they accept that that is how it is and the logistics of trying to get soil pipes installed just isn’t feasible. Admittedly there are some huts where composting toilets are installed and are working to great effect but they are usually more accessible huts that have a suitable area for such a 21st century approach.

So my proposal for Ama Dablam is that anyone at Camp 1 or Camp 2 should crap in a biodegradable bag and toss the bag and its contents down the West face. That way all the waste is going in the same place, it will undoubtedly get scattered as it falls down the face and will subsequently rot down to nothing.

I’d like this proposal to be circulated before I approach the main companies who also take expeditions to Ama Dablam so that I can be speaking on behalf of lots of you rather than just trying to shout in to the wind. I made this proposal after my last expedition at The Ministry of Tourism and quite frankly it fell on deaf ears. I think that they saw it as a difficult policy to implement and to police. But it doesn’t need policing if it just becomes the accepted method.

So please ‘like’, ‘share’ and ‘comment’ so that this becomes de rigueur and the experience for future people on Ama Dablam becomes a cleaner experience.

March 2015 update …

As ever the news prior to the upcoming Everest season is reaching fever pitch with reports about this, that and the other. There is a great deal of speculation and the journos are having a field day with their factually incorrect and misguided comments.

But the one thing that has reared it’s head in the last week is that of garbage and faeces on Everest. I could send you a photo that shows the mountain in pristine condition and I could equally change the angle, gather some rubbish and show you how disgracefully polluted it is.

It isn’t.

Yes there is some rubbish but it is not nearly as bad as the tabloids are making out.

As for the pooh … well at Base Camp everyone uses a barrel with a heavy duty bag in it and the bag is removed every few days. On the mountain we generally go in discreet spots away from our and other people’s tents (our expedition digs a dedicated loo area at C1 and we use a toilet tent over a small crack in the ice at C2) and quite frankly when you multiply the number of people by the number of trips on the hill to the various camps by the amount that they produce it really only amounts to a few kilos per expedition which will, in reality, very quickly desiccate and / or self compost away.

Anyway this is just a reminder of the fact that I proposed a poo bag solution for Ama Dablam over a year ago and guess what? That’s right … in 2015 we were the only team to really give it a go (if you’ll excuse the pun).

I spoke with the Ministry of Tourism in December 2013 and voiced my concerns and they were not in the least bit interested. Indeed they actually found it abhorrent to even talk about the subject of human waste.

So why then have they recently started voicing their concerns? I suspect that it is their way of avoiding the more pressing issues of whether they have decided that permits from Everest 2014 are for individuals or groups and whether they are transferrable so that the client can decide who they go back with.

It is also yet to be seen whether they will be introducing the security measures that they talked about in 2013 … that didn’t transpire in 2014.

It’s basically ‘Smoke and mirrors’. Or as they described in the film Lucky Number Slevin ‘The Kansas City Shuffle – when everyone looks right and you go left.’

South Col video

Just a quick post to say that I’ve dropped a 5 min 30 sec video on to YouTube featuring myself and Adam Booth chilling at The South Col.

We were having a great time and this little feature hopefully gives you an insight in to what it can be like waiting for a summit bid and one of the world’s highest camps.

Not only do you need lots of prior experience, loads of self belief, strong Climbing Sherpas, oodles of oxygen and plenty of emergency high altitude medication but you also need … chopped ham!

Have a look at

Ama Dablam 360° panorama – the mountain as you have never seen it before.

So here it is … the latest mountain panorama this time featuring Ama Dablam.

Unfortunately due to some objective danger at the right end of The Dablam we were unable to get anyone on the summit last season, so the summit panorama will have to wait until next November. But hopefully this panorama, taken at around 5,000m from the ridge above Base Camp, will still give you a good idea about just what an amazing mountain it is and what an incredible setting it is in.

Have a look at the interactive high resolution Ama Dablam 360° vista.

For more of my work there are some 360° panoramas on my website.

A big thank you to Thomas Worbs from the Mountain Panoramas website for the stitching, and to Gerald Blondy from Bushman Panoramics for the Gobi panoramic head and tripod.

And don’t forget that you can follow the next Everest Expedition on FaceBook (timmosedale) and Twitter (@timmosedale) where we will be posting snippets of information and photos along the way.

Interactive mountain panoramas coming to a smartphone in your pocket.

Well it’s been a while but a) I have been away and b) since getting back I have been ill.

I’ll write an Ama Dablam round up on another occasion but this time I’m just pointing you to a new page on my Everest website where I have compiled all my interactive panoramas. There’s a selection of panoramas taken in the Everest region and they are all now available on this page.

If you view them on a laptop / desktop then you can get them to autorotate, turn the labels on or off and zooooom right in. There is soooo much detail it is quite stunning … even though I say so myself. 

On a smartphone or tablet you can either use the touch screen to scroll around or, best of the lot, just point it up, down, left or reght and it will show you what is up, down left or right. Incredible!

This has been done in conjunction with the maestro of photographic stitching software – Thomas Worbs. He runs his own website at and he also has a FaceBook page – In all he has a 1,000+ panoramas and growing. Why not give him a visit and a ‘like’ and you’ll receive notification of any new posts.

In the meantime I hope that you enjoy the show.