Thursday, October 29, 2009

Island Peak Summits!

from stu in the usa office
october 27, 2009

Summits on Island Peak (Imja Tse) 6186m and everyone down safe and sound!

Chris has called in an audio dispatch and also called in to the office to let us know that the team had topped out in high winds and that everyone was back at BC resting up after a long summit day. He sounded tired and happy as one should after a good push up a 6000m peak in the Himalaya. I

Island Peak Summiteers on the 27th Oct, 2009:
Chris Szymiec
Christine Li
Ian Blessley
Oscar Raap
Sam Tyler
Siddhi "Mama" Tamang

Eric was not feeling super strong leaving from high camp and decided to abort the summit push and save his energy for Ama Dablam. We applaud his wise choice and it bodes well for a safe climb on Ama Dablam! He returned to rest up at high camp accompanied by Mama (Siddhi) who then turned about and caught the summit group and joined them to the top!

Mama continues to prove an incredibly strong and fast climber and an up and coming sherpa guide. I have known Mama for 4 years it has been great to watch his growth as a guide. He began as a cook assistant & high altitude porter and has been working on his climbing skills every year. He has now guided on Island Peak for a third time with FTA and worked on our Ama Dablam and Cho Oyu trips as well last year. Looking forward to seeing him join our Ama Dablam team for his first summit bid in support of Chris and Pemba.

They will enjoy an easy amble down to Dingboche tomorrow likely stopping for cups of hot lemon at the tea houses in Chukhung and an evening of hot soups and popcorn in Dingboche. The trail back to Chukhung is pretty uneven but from there on down it is a gently descending trail with outrageous views of the massive Nuptse/Lhotse wall. Anyone who has seen the wall up close from Island Peak or Chukung Ri has seen one of the largest reliefs imaginable. Rising more than 7000ft and less than a mile away it is hard to take in all at once!

There is a great image of the wall at

Tsering, Ian, Oscar, Hong and Christine will join the team back to Dingboche tomorrow and then head off for the Everest BC trek. We'll expect to hear from them every 3-4 days as they make their way to Lobuche, Kala Pattar and then over the Cho la to Gokyo. It is one of the great treks on the planet and we look forward to hearing how much they enjoyed themselves!

Chris, Sam, Erik, and Mama will climb back up to Ama Dablam BC to join Pemba and Emilia and begin the Ama Dablam climb after a few days rest. If all goes well we expect them to be making a summit bid on or about the 5th of October.

An exciting start to the FTA autumn season in nepal with lots of action still to come!

have posted some images below from last year and we look forward to lots more images when the season is over. (Be sure to check out our gallery section or all the images from past trips!)
listen in below to chris's audio dispatch:

Listen to all the Field Touring Alpine Audio Dispatches on Gabcast

Approaching the fixed lines on Island Peak © sean james
Approaching the fixed lines on Island Peak © sean james

Summit Ridge on Island Peak © chris szymiec
Summit Ridge on Island Peak © chris szymiec

FTA guide Chris Szymiec at the top of the fixed lines © chris szymiec
FTA guide Chris Szymiec at the top of the fixed lines © chris szymiec

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