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Monday, June 9, 2014

Back on the horse! First post for Everest 2015 (6/9/2014)

Greetings and welcome to my first Everest 2015 update.  I just finished my first week of training and, after reviewing my previous posts, I decided to offer more descriptive and narrative material rather than data.  For those who like the data, feel free to send me a comment and I will post two types - the narrative format and the graphical displays.  Here are a few updates from the prior few weeks.

1.  With one full week down and two "Summit Sundays" under my belt, I am feeling pretty good.  The past few weeks of eating and drinking left me feeling pretty fat and bloated (175 lbs now!!).  I know all the extra weight will go away and in April 2015 I will long to be back to my current weight but I want to get lean and fit now.  The partying will slowly be replaced by climbing and exercise.

2.  I am fully committed to return to Nepal in 2015 but there are many factors that need to be sorted out before I know how and when I go.  Several great posts from knowledgeable sources indicated that the permit fees and other associated costs are not guaranteed - far from it.  In fact, there are some people who think the Nepal government may rescind their offer to honor our permits.  If that indeed happens, I may re-evaluate my climbing objective and consider only climbing from the Tibet side.  Readers interested in other opinions ought to consult Russell Brice's "Daily Moraine" newsletter along with Alan Arnette and Mark Horrell's blogs.  Each of these writers have slightly different perspectives but they all converge on an important point - we all remain unsure about next year.

3.  Despite my uncertainty about Nepal, I have firm plans already for my next two climbs.  First, in August, I intend to climb Rainier and several other Cascade volcanoes with my son and wife.  Not sure how much vacation time Kathy (my wife) will want to devote to climbing but I suspect a few days should whet her appetite.  My son is excited about climbing so he and I will go out for about 10 days of backcountry adventures.  One thing I would like to do is to traverse the Three Sisters in Bend in a single push.  Patrick (my son) may not want to do that so I may leave him in Portland.  Second, I plan to climb in Argentina for at least a month.  My plans are to fly out to Mendoza in early December - as soon as my semester ends - and prepare meals and such for two expeditions on Aconcagua or other nearby mountains.  The first expedition will be up the Polish Traverse and the second will be the normal route with my family.  If time permits, I would like to take in a few other climbs around the area.  Should be a fun few months of climbing.

4.  My plans to climb in Nepal include some others who I met in April.  Sam Chappatte and Alex Schneider - my two friends I met during my last outing to Nepal - will be great fun to climb with next year.  Sam may join me in Argentina if his work and vacation schedule allow.  We await any news about the Everest permit situation because that dictates what our options are for next year.  Our aim is to climb together and improve upon a few minor things we felt could interfere with our success on Everest.  More on those details later...

5.  In terms of training, I learned a ton from my previous year's preparation.  This time around, I intend to focus more on acclimatization and less on fitness.  I was fit for sure but I could have been in better shape for 20,000 feet.  My intent is to start at 8,000 feet and move up three times - August, December, and May.  I figure if I can train and sleep at 20,000 feet (6,100 meters), I will have no problems getting up the hill and skipping the trek into basecamp.  Sam, Alex, and I intend to fly into basecamp (EBC) next year so the acclimatization portion of our training will prove to be far more important compared to if we opted to trek into EBC.

That is it for now.  I hope you all enjoy the updates.