May 2017

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Today at base camp our Everest Express climbers continued with icefall ladder training in the Khumbu icefall. Guide Conan Bliss took John and Allan out for this morning and returned ready to make their first ascent up to Camp 1 and 2. This afternoon we cleaned up camp and continued our base camp chores of keeping the ground flat. For context, at night we hear the loud cracking and popping of the ice underneath us and wake up to a slight shift in the ice. After leveling the ground many of us did our laundry and enjoyed hot showers today under the warm sun.

Our climbers at Camp 1 this morning moved up to Camp 2 and are now safe and sound acclimatizing on their second rotation. They will spend tomorrow at Camp 2 with a small day hike before returning to camp. The following day, weather permitting, our team will make the ascent to touch Camp 3 without oxygen. Our forecasts are calling for high winds up on the mountain that are predicted to settle over the next few days. At base camp we are hearing that the Sherpa summit route fixing team will push to the summit on May 6 and 7 if the winds allow a safe ascent.

Guides Brent and Geoff are planning to take advantage of the first summit window with climbers John and Anders. They will continue to rest up and enjoy delicious food here at base camp before heading up on their summit rotation. Based on current weather forecasts they are planning to move up in the next 3-4 days when the winds die down up high.

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Watching the sun go down over base camp

icefall ladder training

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Night shot looking up the icefall

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Descending through the Khumbu Icefall

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Anders coming down through the icefall

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Evening shot looking up at Pumori

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Brent, Geoff, Anders and John coming down from Camp 3

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Brent and Anders on the Lhotse face

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Ascending the Lhotse face

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Anders on the Lhotse face

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John and Anders at Camp 3

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We have two climber birthdays today. Happy birthday to our 2017 Everest climbers Anders C. and Alina Z! Our base camp chef Antony Dubber made a delicious chocolate birthday cake at 17,000ft (picture below). Earlier today we woke up to cloudy weather with light snowfall covering our camp. In the afternoon the sun was finally able to break through and we caught a glimpse of the sun. Guides Brent and Geoff returned to base camp early this afternoon with climbers Anders and John after a successful second rotation up to Camp 3. They enjoyed a nice lunch of roasted duck in cherry sauce and T-bone steaks for dinner.

Our main group of climbers with guides Garrett, Sid and Billy departed base camp at 1:30am this morning for Camp 1 and will spend 3-4 nights up high before returning down to EBC. Now tucked in for the night at Camp 1, our team will rest up and then move to Camp 2 tomorrow morning.

Back at base camp, Conan Bliss (guide) went through icefall training with our Everest Express climbers John and Allen. Tomorrow we will continue to train in the Khumbu icefall with ladder practice and difficult fixed line courses. Our strong Sherpa team have been moving gear up to the high camps in preparation for our upcoming summit rotation in the weeks ahead. With strong winds striking the upper mountain our fixed lines have yet to be set to the summit of Everest and Lhotse.

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Welcome to Mount Everest base camp Allan! 

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Sumo stance!

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Sangeeta and Phurba at base camp

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Steak dinner 🙂 

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Antony Dubber aka extreme high altitude chef 

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Khumbu Icefall

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Ladder crossing in the icefall

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Geoff Schellens with his talented mountain art! Check out his amazing portfolio HERE

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Mount Everest Birthday Cake!

climber birthdays

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Mount Everest 2017 guide Geoff Schellens was raised in Norwich, Vermont but spends most of his time traveling the world to satisfy his passion for climbing.  This passion is in his blood, inspired by his Mother, Beth, who has climbed Mt. Rainier and Mont Blanc. When little Geoff was 11, he decided that he was an adult and that it was time for him to face Mother Nature. He designed his first climbing harness out of backpack straps and set out to find some rock.  His Father, Dick, acted as an enabler and belayed him from his leather belt.  When he was 13, he tried to buy his first climbing rope but the salesperson said that he was too young.  Instead Geoff purchased climbing shoes, which in hindsight, was probably more dangerous than him buying a rope.

After some trial and error Geoff taught himself some of the basics.  He attended Prescott College where he pursued his passion for climbing and graduated with a degree in Adventure Education.  He took his love for climbing and and passion for sharing it with others and began his guiding career.  Geoff has worked and climbed all over the world from Patagonia to Tibet, Alaskan peaks to frozen waterfalls of Montana.

Everest has crossed every climbers mind and is often a controversial topic amongst climbers.  “I truly believe that any climber that say they don’t want to climb Everest is lying to themselves”. Given the perfect opportunity everyone would want to see how they do on the highest peak in the world. Geoff now has that perfect opportunity, to climb with his long time friend John, with the best guide company in the business.

“The key to expedition climbing is patience and having fun.”  Summiting Everest is the ultimate goal but I believe the journey is the most rewarding aspect of the adventure.

Geoff’s perfect evening would include puppies, burritos and scotch.  He is quite the catch but you will have to chase him!  And guess what… he loves to cook!

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Everest 2017 guide Geoff Schellens

 

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