July 4, 2020

Cayman Climber, Guy Manning nearing summit

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6673The following are blogs from Guy Manning, a partner at Campbells law firm in Grand Cayman, who set off from Cayman to Kathmandu in Nepal at the end of March, 2013 to begin a two-month expedition with team mates. They flew to Lukla in the Khumbu Valley and then hiked for two weeks to the Everest base camp, which they reached Saturday  April 13th.

Manning is attempting to climb the highest summits on each of the seven continents.

To date he has completed four.

See iNews Cayman article “A big Guy will try to climb mountains for Cayman Cancer Society” dated March 7 2013 at https://www.ieyenews.com/2013/03/a-big-guy-will-try-to-climb-mountains-for-cayman-cancer-society/

latest blogs from Jagged Globe:

09:16 10th May (GMT) – Ropes fixed to summit, detailed account from last rotation

Well it’s been a busy few days and at present we are all enjoying a well earned rest in BC! I thought that I would expand upon our activities over the last few days. During our last rotation on the mountain the team achieved some important goals. Firstly we climbed from BC to Camp 2 in one jump – I think its fair to say that most people found this very challenging. We made an early start, which is always difficult! Setting off at 12:30 am we entered the icefall once more. Everything was going well, the team climbed swiftly in what felt like warm conditions. David led the group and I climbed at the back with John, Nacer and Pasang. As we approached Camp 1 the temperature suddenly dropped, this took its toll on everyone. We were tired and cold, the journey across the Wesern Cwm had suddenly become a bit of a grind! The Western Cwm is a huge valley, at one end the Lhotse face dominates the view ahead, on your left is the West ridge of Everest, the summit for the main part is hidden from view. On your right another imposing wall, the huge face of Nuptse. You climb the glacier zig zagging between huge crevasses that get wider every time you journey up the valley. Crevasses that are not so wide are bridged by multiple ladders lashed together by rope. As always it is exciting crossing the ladders, for a moment you forget about the cold, engrossed in concentration as you carefully place your crampons between the rungs of the ladder. One of the team members (no names mentioned) decided to take my mind off the cold a little more by throwing some belongings down a crevasse, so once again I abseiled down and retrieved the items. With the excitement over we pushed on to C2, everyone arrived shivering and exhausted!

The following day we enjoyed a rest day, relaxing in the heat of the tents, eating lamb shanks and catching up on sleep…. life is tough!!

After a good rest the team set about achieving another goal, sleeping in camp 3. This involved another early start from camp 2. We all met in the mess tent for a quick breakfast, I was first to arrive followed by Dan, Dean, David and eventually everyone else. Each person looked around the tent, eating porridge and drinking coffee in an attempt to wake up and get all cylinders firing for a good hard climb up to 7200m. Our camp is situated in the very desirable and highly sought after lower end of C2. It is a pleasant spot but it does mean we have a little further to walk to the base of the Lhotse face than other teams in the neighborhood. We all set off at a good pace and in no time at all we reached the bottom of the fixed lines. Thankfully it was a quiet morning with no other teams to consider as we readied ourselves for the climb above. The Lhotse face is covered in ice and snow and is steep enough that it requires ropes to be fixed from its base, to camp 3 and then on to the south col. When ascending the face each climber clips into the ropes as they go to prevent any serious falls on route. David led the way followed by Nacer, The Norwegians, Trond and Christian and the rest of us. The weather was fair but after about 100m an icy wind began to blow across the face. After enduring this for a while many of the team members began to get very cold hands. Whilst not serious this experience did teach the team an important lesson. Many people had colder hands than they should have had, often it is difficult deal with cold hands on a fixed line and you need to establish a good system with warmer gloves packed so that they are easily accessible.

Camp 3 is situated high on the Lhotse face. Our valiant team of Sherpas carved a big ledge out of the ice which takes a considerable amount of effort, forming a balcony in the sky with amazing views back down the Westen Cwm. All the tents are pitched in a row, and everyone was eager to settle down for vital rest after the climb. Camp 3 is high so I set off down the line of tents to see how everyone was doing after a difficult day. I returned to my tent happy that the team was on good form having received a large amount of light hearted abuse and banter from each person, plus an extra helping from Andrew at the end of the line. The only issue that was drawn to my attention was that Guy had forgotten his WAG BAG (when you need a number 2 on the mountain, you do it in this special bag so that it can be carried down and disposed of correctly) this problem was quickly solved when his friend John came to the rescue and offered to share his with Guy. As I walked back to my tent I reflected on the many rewarding and touching moments that happen in the mountains between fellow climbers and friends…

The team slept on oxygen giving them an important opportunity to get used to using the system in preparation for summit day. Everyone awoke feeling as well as can be expected after a night at 7200m. After a quick breakfast and a coffee we headed off back down to C2, after negotiating the ficed lines down the Lhotse face we arrived at our destination and spent an afternoon in the sunny suburbs of Camp 2. We were planning to stay at camp 2 and see how the weather evolved, with plan to try for the summit shortly after. Unfortunately we were not quite ready for this brief opportunity so we descended to BC the day after.

As I write this our final load of equipment is on is way to the South Col. The team is acclimatised and in good shape. We wait in BC, watching the weather and plotting our next move. Watch this space….

Matt Parkes

We’ve heard that the ropes have been fixed to the summit this morning, 10 May – the route is now open!

12:26 8th May (GMT) – Relaxing in base camp

All the team arrived back at base camp from Camp 2 this morning and were greeted with a full cooked breakfast. Meanwhile our Sherpas have done a load carry of oxygen and equipment from Camp 2 up to Camp 4 on the South Col. As long as the weather stays OK, the ropes should be fixed from the South Col to the summit during the next few days. Everyone is feeling fit and strong in preparation for the summit push while enjoying the small creature comfort of a hot shower here at base camp. Here’s a photo taken on Monday as the team climbed to Camp 3.

07:25 7th May (GMT) – Resting in Camp 2

[Dean half way up to Camp 3, 4 kb]

All the climbers are back in Camp 2 resting this morning having descended from their overnight at Camp 3. They left at 0600 and were back in C2 in less than 2 hours. We currently have 3 Sherpas carrying to Camp 4 on the South Col, with 8 more heading up tomorrow.

Just in from Gavin at BC [Climbing up the Lhotse Face Everest 2013, 4 kb]

“All the team are back in Camp 2 after spending a night acclimatising at Camp 3, which is situated on the steep Lohtse Face at 7200 meters. Our excellent Sherpa team had made a ledge for the row of tents with possibly the world’s best views.

I climbed up with them from Camp 2 to Camp 3 at first light on the morning of the 6th and was impressed at how quickly and efficiently everyone scaled the face. A few of us found our hands got quite cold before the sunlight inched its way up the Western Cwm and onto the Lohste Face. But a quick change from gloves to mitts soon sorted that.

We had all left Base Camp at midnight on the 4th and climbed through the night directly to Camp 2. While the team carried their high altitude gear I delivered some food supplies including lamb shanks which were slow cooked in a minted sauce and served over creamy mash with a side of steamed greens. Good food really is fuel in the mountains so hopefully this paid some part in their quick accent. ”

06:51 6th May (GMT) – All team in Camp 3 7,400m

The climbers left Camp 2 at 0500 this morning, arriving at Camp 3 between 0930 and 1030. They report that the weather was calm and sunny and the mountain very quiet. They will spend the rest of the day in Camp 3 and sleep there tonight, before descending back down to Camp 2. Gavin will update from base camp later today with some photos.

09:33 5th May (GMT) – Accident at Camp 3 – Jagged Globe team safe

We have heard that there has been an accident at Camp 3 this morning. Our climbers are currently resting in camp 2 and our Sherpas are now back in base camp. None of our team were near the incident, but it sounds as though it was serious and our thoughts are very much with those involved. Our team are deliberating whether to climb to camp 3 tomorrow, as the forecast now suggests winds increasing.

10:14 4th May (GMT) – Move to Camp 2

The team left base camp this morning at 0030 and took 6.5 hours to climb all the way to Camp 2, arriving at 0700. Camp 1 is no longer be utilised at this stage in the expedition. Our Sherpas are up at Camp 3 today, organising the camp there.

16:54 1st May (GMT) – Tagging the base of the Lhotse Face – John’s impressions

The team were sorry to part with Gavin and his culinary expertise as Matt set a brisk pace leading us up through Camp 2. The camp sprawls over 100 vertical meters and it took us 45 minutes of winding up, over and around ice walls and plateaus covered in rocky debris, before we put crampons on and David took over. The steep sides of the Western Cwm mean that direct sunlight does not hit Camp 2 until about 0830, so we had plenty of time to enjoy the gigantic Lhotse Face in the cool light of dawn. For most of us this was the first time to see where we were to go “face to face” with the steeper slopes. The extraordinary Sherpas have already fixed a line to Camp 3 and we met several groups of them carrying what seem to be impossible loads both to set up Camp 3 and to fix lines above to Camp 4. We have nothing but respect for the Sherpas and are always happy to meet our friends in the Jagged Globe Sherpa climbing team.

Everyone felt really well at the foot of the Lhotse Face and, after a few photos, we beat a hasty retreat to get back to our camp before the sun hit us. Life at all the camps is a continual battle against the cold in the evenings and the excessive heat of the sun during the day. All our climbing is done in the pre-dawn and dawn light and we spend the rest of the day like lizards – moving from shade to shade. The days are punctuated with a morning snooze to catch up on lost sleep, the very British pastime of tea at 1130 and 1530, with plenty of banter and crowned with the excellent main meals from Gavin and his Sherpa cook team.

An exceptionally hot afternoon saw Andrew, Guy Manning, Nacer and Dan’s apres-lunch card game disrupted by a flash flood through the mess tent. All hands joined in an effort to divert the stream of melt water while Guy Munnoch and I adopted an overseeing role. The following day saw a return down to base camp via a drop off at our remaining tents at Camp 1. We are all becoming more adept at movement through the Icefall and the only occasions of note were Andrew’s attempt to throw Dean’s camera down a crevasse! (Fortunately Matt and Pasang came to the rescue and retrieved it) and a magnificent breakfast of bacon, beans, french toast, sausages and mushrooms – how we suffer!

A short message to say hello to family, friends and everyone at Eaglebrow. To Natasha – the hat was really great moving between Camps 1 and 2. To Jessica “Night Bear”! To Karen I miss you so much.

15:57 30th April (GMT) – Update from Gavin back in BC

There is no experience quite like moving up through the Khumbu Icefall at 2am under a full moon. The twenty shades of blue ice took on a mystical appearance as we made our way through the jumble of seracs and crossed over the ladders spanning the crevasses. Everyone made very good time arriving at Camp 1 within five hours. We spent the remainder of the day relaxing, eating and chatting in our tents.

The next morning at 5am we were on the move again, this time for Camp 2. Zig zagging amongst lines of crevasses, following a safe route, we made our way deeper into the Western Cwm.

Camp 2 is nestled below the Lohste Face and is where we have our advanced camp, complete with two cooks and a dining tent. After a day’s rest the team set off at 5am this morning for a two-hour acclimatisation hike up to the base of the Lhotse Face. I parted the others as I left for BC with one of our amazing Sherpas, Pemba Chirring, who had been part of the rope fixing team for Camp 3. I will see the rest of the team again as I greet them with a huge ‘Welcome Back Breakfast’ tomorrow morning, when they arrive back at Base Camp.

Gavin: Jagged Globe Extreme Chef

07:08 30th April (GMT) – Team acclimatising well

We’ve had a short update from the team, who are currently resting in Camp 2 today in the Western Cwm. Everyone is acclimatising well and reached 6,800m at the foot of the Lhotse Face this morining. They were moving well and made good time. They are now resting in their tents and will head down to base camp very early tomorrow morning (1 May). We’ll post a more detailed report and photos, once the team have returned to base camp.

08:26 28th April (GMT) – Team in Camp 2

The Everest team are all well in camp 2 at 6,400m in the Western Cwm. They left camp 1 this morning at 0535 and arrived in camp 2 at 0745. The weather is fine and they’re currently relaxing in camp having had lunch.

14:05 26th April (GMT) – Xtreme Everest 2 and Impressions from Trond

[Welcome to Everest Base Camp, 6 kb]The Xtreme Everest team has now been at base camp for about five weeks and are approaching the end of their time here. During their time at base camp we have been studying groups of volunteers who have trekked up through the Khumbu. Valley The purpose of the study is to compare how lowland people compare to Sherpas during their ascent to base camp. It follows on from the Caudwell Xtreme Everest expedition, also organised by Jagged Globe, in 2007.

[Xtreme team testing at Everest base camp, 5 kb]The weather was cold when the team arrived at base camp prior to all the rest of the climbing teams, but now the spring warmth is in full force. It has been a busy time with two treks per week arriving at base camp, but with only one more to go the end is in sight. Once the study is complete at base camp, the team there will descend back to Kathmandu, to be reunited with the rest of researchers from there and Namche Bazaar.

Matt Parkes

Jagged Globe team member, Trond Eilertsen, is from Oslo, Norway. Here he gives his impressions of the expedition so far:

It is fair to say that joining a climbing group for Mount Everest, the ultimate goal is to summit and descend safely. Not achieving a summit will most likely expose each of us to questions and necessitate explanations towards family, friends and colleagues upon our return. The climbers in our group appear strong and determined. Luckily, both David, Matt and Pasang are experienced and competent, hopefully telling each of us (if necessary) if we are not up to attempting the summit.

[Trond, 5 kb] However, irrespective of this focus on the summit, considerable time is spent on acclimatisation both by resting days in base camp and climbing days to gain higher altitude. So far we are in the midst of our acclimatisation and our whereabouts in BC and familiarisation with the Khumbu Icefall have had most focus. We take one day at the time.

“My home is my castle” as they say. At present it is my spacious tent in BC. Even the most unstructured climber should be able to organise his belongings. Most of us have left hectic days in offices 3-4 weeks ago. However, the transformation into our daily routines in BC, attending three meals per day plus afternoon tea, drinking coffee and tea, chatting and reading appears seamless. The reasons are several, but two deserve to be mentioned: First, the Guides and the climbers have established a very good basis for our living together for 2 months, based on mutual respect, trust and not least humour. Second, equally important is Gavin, our Australian Chef. In charge of three meals per day he never stops surprising us. He varies the menu and presents the food in a manner which makes me reluctant to elaborate further. Otherwise, my wife could question whether Jagged Globe served better meals in Everest BC than I have at home. Suffice to say that many of us has put on weight since we arrived in BC.

That being said, we have done our first climb, going through the Khumbu Icefall to Camp 1. I have read about it, heard about it, but did not believe it before I saw it. Huge and massive ice towers hovering above us, like walking in the streets of Manhattan. Broad and deep crevasses are crossed on crampons by use of 50cm wide aluminium ladders. However, both David and Matt are repeating our mantra, “security, security and security”. Hence, although somewhat uncertain at the initial stage, we are now well prepared for our next tour through Icefall, commencing at 02:00 hours on 27 April.

Trond Eilertsen

10:30 26th April (GMT) – Getting ready to head to Camp 2

Today the team enjoyed a well earned rest day. This generally involves sleeping and eating lots of excellent food.

[Our Everest BC Chef Gavin, 7 kb]

Our BC Chef, Gavin (pictured) prepared another great lunch:

Fresh grilled Norwegian Salmon (especially for Trond and Christian – our Norwegian team members!) Lentil and vegetable burgers. Platter of parma ham, salami, Danish Blue and Goats Cheese Olive, green bean, feta and lemon spaghetti Tomato Salad.

I weighed myself today and no, I have not yet lost any weight. Andrew and John displayed excellent washing skills.

[Typical lunch spread at Jagged Globe base camp on Everest, 8 kb]As I type this blog the team are selecting their food for the next rotation on the mountain. It will be early to bed tonight as we start our second rotation on the mountain. Tomorrow we plan to leave early morning and head to Camp 1 where we will spend the night. The following evening we will move to Camp 2 for a few days.

Matt Parkes

10:01 25th April (GMT) – Report on 1st Camp 1 rotation

The team set off at 2.00am on the morning of 24 April with the aim of getting to Camp 1 on the mountain. I am pleased to report that our little excursion was very successful. We are all now safely sat in Base Camp enjoying the sunshine. Here is our story:

The team assembled in the mess tent at 1:30am on 24 April and made their best attempts at trying to digest some breakfast before departing at 2:00am for the Icefall. The weather was good, clear and cool. We decided to make an early start to get ahead of any other teams, not to mention the many Sherpas moving loads up the Icefall. We set off on time and within 10 minutes the group arrived at crampon point, the location where we don our crampons and other necessary equipment for navigating the icy assault course ahead. The first part of the climb is very straightforward, crossing the easier part of the glacier. After about an hour you enter the Icefall proper, things begin to steepen and the fixed ropes start. With everyone looking forward to the challenge, we wasted no time in getting stuck in! Although the Icefall holds many risks, it is an amazing place to pass through. A maze of ice that is full of huge sculptures, that you weave your way in between. The journey is often exciting when climbing along ledges or over huge crevasses on ladders. Despite the obstacles and thanks to the great fixing skills of the Icefall doctors (the team that puts in the route), the team made great progress, taking only 5 – 5 1/2 hours to reach camp (this is a quick time for your first journey through).

Once in camp it was time to get things organised; water boiling, sleeping bags and mats laid out. Everyone took the opportunity to get warmed up, not to mention a well deserved second breakfast! The afternoon was spent trying to deal with the opposite end of the temperature spectrum as the sun heated the tents up to 30+ C. The tone for the afternoon was rest.

It was early to bed for everyone as alarms were set for 4:30am. We left the sun behind and awoke to ice on the ceiling of the tents. A quick cup of coffee and everyone was assembled outside the tents for a prompt 5:30 departure. We wasted no time as we knew Gavin our chef and BC manager would be up in a few hours, preparing a “full English” breakfast for our arrival. The team retraced their steps in the cool morining air, finally arriving in BC at 8:30. Gavin delivered as promised and as I write this everyone is relaxing in BC pleased with their efforts![Jagged Globe Everest Camp 1 2014, 4 kb]

Matt Parkes

12:51 24th April (GMT) – Team in Camp 1

The team left base camp at 2am under a clear crisp night and made their way through the Icefall. They arrived at Camp 1 around breakfast time and will spend their first night away from base camp acclimatising before heading back down tomorrow morning, as long as the weather permits. Some of our Sherpa team also headed up to Camp 2 with loads to establish camps further up the mountain.

Gavin, Base Camp manager & Team Chef

09:08 23rd April (GMT) – Grounded in Base Camp

The team has been grounded in BC for a few days due to some unsettled weather, producing significant snowfall above Camp 1. Most people have been amusing themselves by doing washing, walking to Gorak Shep or watching movies on the BC cinema. Last night the weather finally broke and we were bathed in moonlight. After enjoying bangers ‘n’ mash with mint gravy, I took the opportunity to try to capture some images of our base camp set up at night. On a clear evening BC can offer some stunning views for those who venture out into the cold….

It’s early to bed tonight as the team embarks on their first climb up to Camp 1 tomorrow to spend the night. We will be setting off at 2.00am for a 7-8 hour climb and load carry.

Matt Parkes

13:49 21st April (GMT) – Snow in BC, sorting HA rations

Apologies – this blog was accidentally posted 3 times – Ed [

Last night camp was hit by some heavy snow, so we had a last minute change of plan. Instead of our 3am departure up the icefall, we opted for a lie in and a cooked breakfast, much to everyone’s delight! For the team most of the morning was spent enjoying the snowy scenes in BC (see picture). David and I took the opportunity to unpack all of the high altitude rations that myself and Kerry @ Jagged Globe HQ had purchased in the UK. After sorting all of the food we invited the team members to pack 2 days of rations for camp 1. Everyone was impressed by the variety and quantity of what we are able to provide as high altitude rations on Everest.

 

As I am writing this Gavin, our BC Chef and manager, is just delivering freshly baked scones from the kitchen. (pause for a moment…..)

Gavin’s scones have quite a reputation here, and I can say its completely justified!

We are still experiencing some snowfall here in BC but we hope to make an early start up the icefall tomorrow morning. Our weather suggests that conditions will become more stable on the 24th, just in time for a visit to C1.

07:46 20th April (GMT) – First trip into the Icefall

Today was the first of many early starts for the expedition team. We awoke at 03.30 and were walking out of Base Camp by 04.30. There had been a little overnight snow while we slept and there was a covering of a few cm on the ground when we left BC. The sky was clear and the temperatures did not seem very cold. 15 mins after leaving BC we stopped to put on crampons before entering the icefall proper. There were few other climbers on the move and we took the opportunity to move slowly and practice ropework and ladder crossing on the first part of the route to Camp 1. Dawn arrived a little after 05.00 and we were able to see the full expanse of Base Camp with the peak of Pumori towering above. As we pushed on the sky became more overcast and by 07.00 it was snowing quite heavily. This was our cue to turn around and return to BC. The plan had always been to make a short acclimatisation trip and the poor weather made us all the more eager to return to BC for a proper cooked breakfast. By 09.00 we were enjoying freshly made yogurt with fruit salad followed by eggs, toast, beans, fried potatoes and mushrooms. The snow continued for much of the morning giving camp a rather subdued appearence as most people chose to remain in their tents snoozing after the early start.

Weather permitting, tomorrow’s plan is to venture higher into the icefall after another pre dawn start. But whatever happens we shall certainly be back in camp in time for breakfast…

David Hamilton

14:58 18th April (GMT) – Skills training on the Khumbu Glacier

It has been a busy few days in the Jagged Globe camp. We have been organising camp in many ways from food to electrics. Yesterday we had our Puja ceremony. It was a great occasion enjoyed by all of the team members and Sherpas. The whole ceremony took about three hours and was conducted by a local Lama from Pangboche. Now we have the Puja out of the way it means that the team can set to work on the mountain. With this in mind the Sherpa team wasted no time in moving loads to Camp 2 early this morning. Meanwhile the team of climbers enjoyed a good English breakfast, followed by a skills training session on the mighty Khumbu Glacier. Tomorrow we have a second skills session. Matt, Pasang and a few of the Sherpas have an early start on the glacier to set up an obstacle course consisting of ropes and ladders. This will provide the team with essential training before tackling the icefall in a few days. Photos of tomorrows activites to follow!

Nacer

19:52 16th April (GMT) – Acclimatisation at Pumori BC

BC, 5 kb]We awoke this morning to the sun shining on the tents bringing the usual welcome warmth. Something we rely on to get everyone moving after a cold night. We experienced a turning point in the expedition today as we said fairwell to the trek team. At 8 o’clock this morning the whole group set off down the valley, leaving BC behind until the route split in two. Here we said our goodbyes to partners, family and friends. The trekkers then headed off down the valley and the climbing team walked up towards Pumori BC, to gain extra acclimatisation for the journey ahead. The trek team will be missed in BC, and we hope that they have a safe trip back down the valley and eventually back home.

The air in BC has now turned a little more serious as the team members begin to focus on the next stage of the expedition. This afternoon was spent going through equipment in preperation for the climb ahead. We have our Puja ceremony tomorrow and after that we turn our minds to the mountain.

Matt Parkes

08:55 16th April (GMT) – Everest trekkers leaving base camp

The expedition members are getting settled into the Base Camp tents that will be their homes for the next six weeks. The members of the support trek who accompanied them to Base Camp are getting ready to leave for home in the morning. The power and electrics are all set up and Base Camp is almost fully functional. Gavin has taken charge of the kitchen and along with his three Nepali helpers is producing great food. The team have renamed the mess tent the “Gav’ Inn” and word of his creations is already starting to spread among the BC community.

While the trek team are descending to Pheriche the climbers will begin their preparations for the climb ahead. In the morning they will make an acclimatisation hike to 5,600m on the lower slopes of Pumori, the peak that overlooks Base Camp. In the afternoon we will have a final equipment check for all the climbers before we venture into the icefall for the first time later in the week. The weather has been very stable since we arrived in BC and we are hoping that this continues in the weeks ahead. Cold and clear mornings are generally followed by cloudy afternoons, sometimes with a little light snowfall.

The Base Camp Puja is scheduled for the 17th, and the team will begin training in the Khumbu icefall on the 18th.

David Hamilton

For more on this story go to:

http://www.jagged-globe.co.uk/news/despatches_list.html?id=42

and

http://www.sevensummits.ky/blog

 

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