Thursday, April 29, 2010

Makalu April 29 update - on to Makalu La at 7400m!

from stu in the usa office
April 29, 2010

I had a great chat with Fabrizio today and he was thoroughly enjoying a full day of rest at BC! Between visiting all the other teams there and sharing a cup of tea each time it is clear that our team is well hydrated. Lots of old friends from home, other expeditions abound for our team and we may have to work hard to get them to come home!

After a great push up to C2 last time on the hill our team is ready for a bigger challenge ahead this weekend as they will try to reach to Makalu La at 7400m. At this time the route is in to just below the La and between our team moving up and a few other teams on the hill we'll hope to have the route established all the way to the La before the end of the weekend. On Sunday they will plan to push as high as possible and then return all the way to BC.

They had a snowy day on the 28th but the 29th has been quite nice in the morning and made their rest day that much more enjoyable. The weather looks to be windy but clear over the next few days, a bit snowy on Monday and then calmer and sunnier by Tuesday. Hopefully this will be a good omen for a period of generally stable weather!

Fabrizio commented that they will still need at least one more round of acclimatizing after this, with a night at C3, before considering a summit bid. Weather will begin to play a very important part for our team from here on in and we are thankful to Meteotest for their updates!

Listen in below to Fabrzio's audio dispatch from BC!

hear all the Field Touring Alpine Audio Dispatches at Gabcast

On a side note there is a climber from another team utilizing a toe warming system from Human Edge Tech and loving it. Fabrizio is so impressed that we'll be ordering one for our summer climb on K2! Nothing like warm toes to help you make good decisions!!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

FTA Makalu 2010 - C2 established!

from stu in the usa office
April 27, 2010

Fabrizio called in from our BC to let us know that everyone is safe and sound back at BC after establishing C2 at 6700m! He and the rest of the team had just returned and they were looking forward to a good meal and a good night's sleep.

The weather has been deteriorating and looks to be quite poor over the next 3 days so the team decided to retreat to BC to get a full rest before pushing up the hill again in a few days time. Fabrizio will get an audio dispatch out in the next day or two with the updated plan for the week ahead. We'll be waiting and hoping for an improved weather forecast from Metotest in the days ahead but it does appear a period of cloudy and snowy weather is settling in.

On another note...CONGRATULATIONS to South Korean climber, Oh Eun-Sun, who became the first female 14x8000er summiteer!! A great day for climbing to have our first female join the group of male climbers with this accomplishment! See more about here climb and all the recent action on Annapurna:

More news as we have it!


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Makalu Team Reaches C1!

from stu in the usa office
April 24, 2010

Great news from the team - the entire team had a great day on Friday the 23rd of April and reached C1 all feeling very well!

Joelle felt very strong and decided to stay up for the night to acclimatize while the rest of the team descended to BC to enjoy a rest day on Saturday. On Sunday Fabrizio and crew will head up to sleep in c1 and push up to c2 for a carry on Monday!

Fabrizio left a voice dispatch and you can listen in below!

Field Touring Alpine Audio Dispatches - FTA Makalu 2010 - C1 reached!

more news as we have it!


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Makalu Team in BC - Puja Tomorrow!

from stu in the usa office
April 21, 2010

I had a great talk with Fabrizio who called in from BC to let us know that everything was going very well and everyone is feeling great!

They are settled in at 5600m alongside of several other expeditions and enjoying the company of the small community of climbers, sherpas and BC staff. A number of the climbers and sherpa are friends of members of our team so it sounds like a nice small close knit group of climbers!

The plan is to have a puja on the morning of the 22nd and then make an acclimatization carry to C1 on the 23rd! Fabrizio will call in every few days with voice dispatches from here on so check in often to hear our team's progress!

Audio Dispatch from Fabrizio at BC, April 21, 2010

Listen to the FTA Makalu 2010 Audio Dispatch April 21, 2010 on Gabcast

Just a few spots remain on our Broad Peak and K2 trips for this summer and we are already filling up our autumn trips to Cho Oyu, Ama Dablam and more so check out our trips and join us for a great adventure!


Monday, April 19, 2010

Makalu Team in Hillary BC!

from stu in the usa office
April 19, 2010

Our team is settled into Hillary BC at 4900m after aother great day of trekking and everyone is feeling well on the team. Fabrizio called in this morning to let us know that they are now just a 5 hour walk to Makalu BC tomorrow where they can settle into their new home for the next month!

They have continued to have some rain each day but mostly after they have arrived at camp so the trekking has been very enjoyable. Fabrizio added that our cook, Ram, has been doing an especially great job and they are eating very well! In the afternoon Fabrizio took an acclimatization walk up to visit the BC of a team attempting a new route on the south. He said the mountain is enormous from up close and sounded very excited to get onto some climbing in few days!

Our weather forecasting from suggests continued afternoon rain likely for another few days and then hopefully a period of drier days. Winds are quite high on the summit still in the 50 km/hr range so we'll be looking for more moderate winds in the weeks ahead!

More news as we have it!


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Makalu update April 15th - Rainy Days!

from stu in the usa office
April 15th, 2010

Fabrizio called in at the end of a big day of trekking to Khongma (3560m) to let us know that all is well. Today's leg is one of the bigger days on the trek with a gain of 1400m but Fabrizio said everyone was feeling great.

Despite 2 days of rain since the last dispatch they have had enough clearings to see the magnificent glimpses of the mountains surrounding them and are appreciating the flora a fauna of the valley. They will begin to break out of the low regions soon and hopefully enjoy some sun and views!

Fabrizio plans an audio dispatch either tomorrow of saturday so tune in for more!


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Makalu Update - Team en route to BC!

from stu in the usa office
April 13, 2010

I have had a few nice notes from Kathmandu from Fabrizio, team members and local staff and just got a great call from Fabrizio on the sat phone from Seduwa (1460m). Sounds like everything is going perfectly so far! All members arrived on time, baggage and cargo arrived without delay, gear purchased and packed and flights went easily to Tumlingtar on the 11th!

On the 10th Fabrizio and Joelle went to the ministry to sign all of the papers for the permit and then joined Stuart back at the Marshyangdi Hotel. After a nice opening supper on the 10th at Fire and Ice pizza the crew got to sleep early to be ready for a sunrise meeting with Miss Elizabeth Hawley before catching the 11am flight to Tumlingtar. The meetings with Miss Hawley are always much anticipated and we enjoy our conversations every year with the legendary figure. To see all the work she has done be sure to visit the himalayan data base.

After arriving in Tumlingtar they made the 3 hour drive on the new road to Chichila (which used to be a two day trek!). From there they made a two day trek to Seduwa and official entrance to the Makalu Consevation area. Along the way they had the great fortune to stay at a lodge on the 11th during a Hindu wedding and were invited to join in all of the festivities. Fabrizio said it was an honor and great fun and has set the tone for the trek.

The first two days have been quite rainy but Fabrizio said everyone is in good spirits and looking forward to great views ahead. Our weather reports suggest good weather for thursday and Friday but perhaps snow and rain perhaps coming their way for the last part of the trek to BC. The trek to BC is by all counts is one of the great remote mountain treks and we look forward to seeing the great pics they take along the way!

Fabrizio also said that this was the fastest and easiest start to an expedition he's ever had...great members, staff and logistics all working in unison. We'll hope it bodes well for the team that they are already off to such a good start!

We expect Fabrizio to call in every 2-3 days and often he will leave a voice dispatch or email and when he does we will post it here. You can see more about our team members on our team page.

More news as we have it!


ps We still have a few spots remaining on the summer trips to Broad Peak and K2 so let us know if you are interested!