Tuesday, April 24, 2018

inReach message from Patrick McKnight

Spent the past few days hanging out at ABC. Today we practiced some ropework then tomorrow up to the North Col! The correct day we head back to CBC.

View the location or send a reply to Patrick McKnight: https://inreach.garmin.com/textmessage/txtmsg?extId=065edd89-2cd6-42de-9213-bc48f9b93000&adr=pem7251.fromeverest%40blogger.com

Patrick McKnight sent this message from: Lat 28.032614 Lon 86.94241

Do not reply directly to this message.

This message was sent to you using the inReach two-way satellite communicator with GPS. To learn more, visit http://explore.garmin.com/inreach.

Monday, April 23, 2018

inReach message from Patrick McKnight

Hiked up toward crampon point yesterday. Felt great! Today we chill out at abc, sort our climbing gear, and then practice some ropework tomorrow.

View the location or send a reply to Patrick McKnight: https://inreach.garmin.com/textmessage/txtmsg?extId=89fae5c9-16f5-48d2-8af0-8c66a6e5d63a&adr=pem7251.fromeverest%40blogger.com

Patrick McKnight sent this message from: Lat 28.032625 Lon 86.942453

Do not reply directly to this message.

This message was sent to you using the inReach two-way satellite communicator with GPS. To learn more, visit http://explore.garmin.com/inreach.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

inReach message from Patrick McKnight

Firsr morning at ABC and feeling fantastic! The view of Everest are breathtaking. Brendan and i are doing well and thank you all for your support.

View the location or send a reply to Patrick McKnight: https://inreach.garmin.com/textmessage/txtmsg?extId=cad12233-b441-4138-aaae-3bab04f82112&adr=pem7251.fromeverest%40blogger.com

Patrick McKnight sent this message from: Lat 28.032603 Lon 86.942453

Do not reply directly to this message.

This message was sent to you using the inReach two-way satellite communicator with GPS. To learn more, visit http://explore.garmin.com/inreach.

inReach message from Patrick McKnight

At abc! Feeling awesome! ! ! !

View the location or send a reply to Patrick McKnight: https://inreach.garmin.com/textmessage/txtmsg?extId=167a72d1-ac19-4ea8-b8e6-a960144be68d&adr=pem7251.fromeverest%40blogger.com

Patrick McKnight sent this message from: Lat 28.032496 Lon 86.942346

Do not reply directly to this message.

This message was sent to you using the inReach two-way satellite communicator with GPS. To learn more, visit http://explore.garmin.com/inreach.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

inReach message from Patrick McKnight

Made it!

View the location or send a reply to Patrick McKnight: https://inreach.garmin.com/textmessage/txtmsg?extId=da14bb1e-e667-4b3b-9a82-2b98d5e1d85e&adr=pem7251.fromeverest%40blogger.com

Patrick McKnight sent this message from: Lat 28.085614 Lon 86.914194

Do not reply directly to this message.

This message was sent to you using the inReach two-way satellite communicator with GPS. To learn more, visit http://explore.garmin.com/inreach.

Friday, April 20, 2018

inReach message from Patrick McKnight

We are off!

View the location or send a reply to Patrick McKnight: https://inreach.garmin.com/textmessage/txtmsg?extId=e2d0caee-8876-4882-b722-19e53acd6f5a&adr=pem7251.fromeverest%40blogger.com

Patrick McKnight sent this message from: Lat 28.135514 Lon 86.854069

Do not reply directly to this message.

This message was sent to you using the inReach two-way satellite communicator with GPS. To learn more, visit http://explore.garmin.com/inreach.

Today we start!

Last night we decided based upon the weather forecast and potential for rope fixing to be done in a few days that leaving for Interm camp today and then ABC tomorrow made sense. We have a strong, well acclimatizd team so we all feel confident in the new itinerary.  Brendan and I plan to head out right after breakfast.  Our mission today is to take our time. Saving energy and strength down low on the mountain ensures that we have both on summit day.  We are off!

Expect updates via Twitter and Instagram along the way. When we return to CBC in about a week, I will post a full recap.  Thanks for following.  Have an awesome week.

Maybe tomorrow?

We were to leave for Interim camp but the fixed ropes are not set above ABC.  Given that situation, we decided to stay in the comfortable confines of Chinese Basecamp.  Today we hiked up to about 5500m.  Brendan and I climbed with our full packs - full with our gear we plan to carry up to ABC in the next few days.  Both of us took it easy and felt great.  Now we're back at CBC and lounging around after another wonderful lunch.  Hopefully we leave tomorrow.... fingers crossed.

Thanks for following.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Tomorrow morning the climb begins in earnest

I am lounging around today at Chinese Basecamp doing very little other than walking about, meeting other climbers, playing cards, and eating.  I even managed a nap!  Who said mountaineering was difficult.  Oh...just wait.  Life gets way more interesting for me and the rest of our group in the next few days.  We leave for Interim camp (IBC) tomorrow morning.  After two nights sleeping at that altitude (5800m) we then head up to Advanced Basecamp (ABC) for several days.  As I explained previously, we embark on round 1 of our acclimatization process where we climb higher and sleep lower than we climb.  To many, these rounds don't make much sense but to mountaineers these are the common tool for getting used to the low oxygen.  So by April 22nd, we will be at ABC.  The 23rd we rest.  On the 24th, we walk across the snowfield and touch the headwall then return to ABC to sleep (and eat).  Then the 25th we do a little ropework practice.  On the 26th, we climb up to the North Col then back to ABC.  Finally, we hike back down to CBC on the 27th.  Those days up high gives our bodies a chance to get accustomed to the low oxygen.  We should all feel pretty good after our return to CBC - even better than we feel now. 

Today, I met many climbers when we toured Basecamp.  One thing I love about climbing with Brendan is that we are both social and largely uninhibited.  We just walked into the 6 neighboring camps and said hi.  We met Chinese, British, American, and Austrian climbers on our tour.  Climbers are often very friendly and those we met today didn't disappoint.  We also witnessed a black tie affair at CBC.  These folks aim to set the world record for highest formal dinner at the North Col.  Here they are during dress rehearsal...

https://www.instagram.com/p/BhwCWSXFdmt/

So much fun!  These folks are from the UK.  Very nice and welcoming.  Cheer them on if you can.  Search for highest formal dinner on Everest. 

Thanks for following us.  We appreciate all the support.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

First round up the hill begins in 2 days

We are patiently resting in Chinese Basecamp or CBC and everyone is doing quite well.  Daily hikes, gear repacking and resting fill our days.  Here are a few items that you might find interesting or useful while you follow the climb.

  1. Sleeping at 5200m appears physiologically similar to my hypoxico tent simulated altitude.  My morning spo2 remains largely unchanged from the levels I recorded from my tent at home.  Pretty cool I would say.
  2. Communication method will change above CBC.  We believe WiFi will be spotty above this camp so my next blog post will be after the first round of climbing.  When I return to CBC, I will update my blog with the goings on above CBC. The best way to follow my progress is via Twitter (@pem725).  
  3. Brendan and I are both feeling great!  The training paid off so far and we both feel confident.  It feels fantastic to be with a good friend and wonderful climbing buddy.
  4. Our itinerary is slowly taking shape.  The yaks come to CBC tonight.  They will hang around our camp until the morning when they will be packed up with 30kg each and haul out gear up to ABC.  Meanwhile, we will sleep at CBC tonight and tomorrow night before departing for interim camp or IBC.  The walk to IBC should be between 4 and 6 hours.  Once there, we rest for two days before heading up to ABC.  Basically our climb starts in 2 days.  Today, we walk over to see the highest monastery in the world - the Rongbuk Monastery.  So the climb is taking shape.  
  5. Round 1 is now scheduled.  After we rest at ABC for a few days, we will walk over to the north col face, touch it and return to ABC.  The next day, we climb to camp 1 and sleep.  The next day I believe we climb to camp 2, turn around and descend to ABC.  That completes round 1.  I will post Twitter updates along with tracks so you can follow our progress.

That's it!  It is 5am at CBC on April 18th 2018 and I am comfortably snuggled in my sleeping bag.  Outside it is about -10C but toasty warm inside my tent.  Thanks for following along.  Will try to post right before we depart for IBC in 2 days.  Until then, have a wonderful few days.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Heading to Everest Basecamp this morning

The last few days since we crossed into Tibet followed a similar pattern.  We wake up, meet in the restaurant to eat - always the same restaurant with practically the same food for each meal - and then venture off for a walkabout.  Afterwards, we rejoin the group at the restaurant for meal 2 then another walkabout.  See the pattern.  We weren't authorized for much wandering but we still got out.  Tibet is pretty locked down.  I just got access to the internet via a VPN after a huge hassle.  Updates will be more frequent.  

By the way, after much hassle, Brendan and I met up.  Life is great!  


Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Surprise! We are still in KTM....

but we leave tomorrow at 4am to cross the border into Tibet and start our journey to Everest Basecamp.  Based upon some pretty spotty speculation, we could be in Basecamp by April 16th but don't hold your breath.  I certainly won't!

All is well.  We are all getting antsy and are ready to climb.  A few days to slowly move up in altitude will help us acclimatize and get our heads right for the climb.  For now, I am relieved that our expedition is starting to take shape.  I need to stop eating and start moving.

Thanks for following.  Hopefully I can post some pictures from our trip to Basecamp.  Don't know if my phone will have service.  If not, you'll see updates posted on Twitter from my Garmin InReach without pictures until Basecamp.


Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Bags are heading to Tibet soon...


Our Basecamp duffle bags are ready to be packed up and trucked to Chinese Basecamp.  We have the rest of the day here in KTM.  Tomorrow morning at 3am, we meet in the lobby to head out.  The Everest Nepal folks headed out this morning and all made it to Lukla.  Hope they have a great trek up the Khumbu valley.  Ok, time for lunch.  Been a busy morning.

Monday, April 9, 2018

News flash! Looks like tomorrow we leave KTM

I don't know if I will have data service in Tibet so please follow me on Twitter (@pem725).  Tomorrow at 10am our bags need to be downstairs and ready to be loaded up in the truck.  If the stars align, we will head out and start our expedition to Chinese Basecamp (CBC).  I will post as often as possible.  Remember, no news is good news.

Thanks for following.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

inReach message from Patrick McKnight

Working?

View the location or send a reply to Patrick McKnight: https://inreach.garmin.com/textmessage/txtmsg?extId=2ef44e34-5767-44f2-b0b1-9e926dfb4af2&adr=pem7251.fromeverest%40blogger.com

Patrick McKnight sent this message from: Lat 38.831016 Lon -77.272875

Do not reply directly to this message.

This message was sent to you using the inReach two-way satellite communicator with GPS. To learn more, visit http://explore.garmin.com/inreach.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Total success! Landed and bags arrived with me

Yes!!  I can't believe it.  The entire trip came off without a hitch.  No missed flights, lost bags, or odd circumstances to set me back.  All is good.  Good thing I shifted my sleep clock otherwise I would be exhausted.  Two flights down with over 10 hours of sleep.  Right now, it is 8:20pm local time and I'm sitting in the lobby of my hotel.  Thanks for all the good vibes sent my way.


Getting ready to leave the hot wasteland of Dubai..

Man is it hot here!  Just boarded and getting ready to take off.

Next stop Kathmandu!  Woohoo!!!

Thursday, April 5, 2018

In Dubai for a layover

Just landed after a 7 hour nap on the plane.  The flight attendant tapped my shoulder right before we took off and asked if I wanted my own row.  Dazed and confused by the request, I said "Huh?" to which he restated his offer.  I quickly grabbed my pack and moved to my future bed.  There I was....amid a packed plane and I was one of the fortunate ones to have an entire row to myself.  I slept for almost the entire flight.  Needless to say, I feel great.  Time to wait in Dubai for my next leg to Kathmandu.  Great trip so far!

Thanks for following along.  And thank you to whoever willed that flight attendant to offer me out of the sea of worthy recipients.  I am so grateful for the sleep.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

A few hours before I depart: How to follow us on our climb

I take off in a little under 14 hours.  Before I depart for Kathmandu, I wanted to alert everyone about the various ways you can follow us while we climb.  We intend to post updates to Twitter because the Garmin InReach allows us to post to either Twitter or Facebook.  The former gives us more flexibility and allows us to reach a wider audience.  Every time we post to Twitter, my blog will be updated.  If you are averse to Twitter then just check in here for the latest updates; otherwise, follow us on Twitter.  I intend to test out this Twitter to blog functionality shortly so stay tuned for a test post.  Finally, here are the outlets you can easily find our update links:

1.  My blog (here).  Every time I post to Twitter (@pem725), this blog gets updated with the appropriate map link and any message I include.

2.  Twitter.  The updates will be brief but always include a link to MapShare.

3.  Facebook.  If you are friends with me, check out Facebook.  I doubt I will post much directly to my account while away but all my Twitter posts go directly to Facebook.

4.  MapShare.  Go here for the latest location mapped only a cool Google map.  If you really want to see a cool map of the entire route, check out this Google Earth map.

Thanks for following.

33 hours before departure: Some last-second thoughts before I head to KTM https://t.co/wFqSKh26Jm https://t.co/FKdHvkZSeb https://t.co/TpgxXSv2Gm https://t.co/BfJP9gptcX https://t.co/8yX5fByErE https://t.co/btXTe0hlOR


from Twitter https://twitter.com/pem725

April 04, 2018 at 06:58PM
via IFTTT

33 hours before departure: Some last-second thoughts before I head to KTM https://t.co/wFqSKh26Jm https://t.co/FKdHvkZSeb https://t.co/TpgxXSv2Gm https://t.co/BfJP9gptcX https://t.co/8yX5fByErE


from Twitter https://twitter.com/pem725

April 04, 2018 at 03:58PM
via IFTTT

33 hours before departure: Some last-second thoughts before I head to KTM https://t.co/wFqSKh26Jm https://t.co/FKdHvkZSeb https://t.co/TpgxXSv2Gm https://t.co/BfJP9gptcX


from Twitter https://twitter.com/pem725

April 04, 2018 at 12:58PM
via IFTTT

33 hours before departure: Some last-second thoughts before I head to KTM https://t.co/wFqSKh26Jm https://t.co/FKdHvkZSeb https://t.co/TpgxXSv2Gm


from Twitter https://twitter.com/pem725

April 04, 2018 at 09:58AM
via IFTTT

33 hours before departure: Some last-second thoughts before I head to KTM https://t.co/wFqSKh26Jm https://t.co/FKdHvkZSeb


from Twitter https://twitter.com/pem725

April 04, 2018 at 06:58AM
via IFTTT

33 hours before departure: Some last-second thoughts before I head to KTM https://t.co/wFqSKh26Jm


from Twitter https://twitter.com/pem725

April 04, 2018 at 03:58AM
via IFTTT

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

33 hours before departure: Some last-second thoughts before I head to KTM

I sit here somewhat anxious to get going.  Here is what I am doing....

1.  My body thinks it is about 11:30am and yet my watch says 11:30pm.  Why?  I shifted my sleep time by 30 minutes each day over the past 20 days.  Before that shift, I went to bed every night at about 9pm and woke up at 5am.  Tonight, I go to sleep at 7am (tomorrow) and wake up at about 3pm.  Given the fact that I have a meeting at 3pm tomorrow, I intend to get up a little earlier but not by much.  Why shift time zones now?  I often battle sinus infections when jet lagged.  Anticipating this stress, I decided to behave a bit proactively and ward off the stress by slowly shifting the jet lag away.  Now, I am a vampire.  

2.  Working out is done!  I am resting.  No sense trying to squeeze in any last-second workouts to just tire me out.  I am in full blown recovery mode.  I don't rest very well.  The energy I typically burn up by training has no outlet.  Instead, I am getting work done.  My late nights get consumed with work-related tasks and expedition planning/preparations.  

3.  Packing is done!  Yes, more stuff that is done.  

Not much more to say other than I do not need to worry about any gear.  All is packed and ready for my flight.

4.  Sleeping at sea level.  What a concept.  Boy does it feel good to get out of the hypoxic tent.  Don't get me wrong, I love sleeping in my tent but after a few months, getting a break feels so good.  I logged over 40 days at or above 20,000 feet (6100m) and I suspect my blood is chock-full-o red blood cells.  All of that sleeping at altitude prepared me well for the harsh demands ahead.  There is not much benefit of pushing the envelope any further.  Best to get a few really good nights of sleep before I fly.  Oh, speaking of flying, I will sleep on the plane; I can sleep anywhere in any position.

5.  My friend interviewed me for his podcast.  If you have the time (an hour), be sure to listen to my conversation (iTunes link - sorry fellow Android people) with Scott Sehon about swimming and climbing.  Scott is a great guy and a great friend.  He is no slouch himself.  He ran across the US.  No kidding.  I have some great friends.  Listen to our discussion.

Thoughts before I depart:

I leave this year with a full heart and climb for many friends.  My climbing friends (Sam, Alex, and John) who cannot accompany me this year will be with me every step.  All of you who support me and have supported me over the past few years are with me.  
Left to Right:  Sam, Alex, me (with gum as usual)

My friend John - never ages...ever

I look forward to climbing with my good friend Brendan.  He plans to keep his own blog (written partly in Chinese and perhaps even some Japanese - show off!).  Together, we will update you all on our adventure.  Brendan has real skills with his camera(s); I simply point and shoot.  We make a great team.  Speaking of team....here we are:

Brendan:  Post-climb celebration in Talkeetna, AK - after Denali

The ol' fat me.  Looking scary.  NOTE:  picture taken 6 months ago

See what happens after not sleeping?  I get crazy with the pictures.  I'd say we make a great pair...

I intend to post once more to my blog before I take off on Thursday morning.  Expect some instructions on how to follow us while we climb.  Thanks for reading along...