For the first time, Matt Moniz and his climbing partner and dad, Mike Moniz, took two different paths. Matt lead a group of four eighth graders, including his twin sister, and two mothers, including his own, on a trek through Nepal which included visiting a Nepalese school, a stop at Everest Base Camp and a summit attempt on Kala Patthar a smaller Himalyan peak at 5,545 m (18,192 ft).
Mike Moniz headed to Nepal to tackle Mt. Everest and Lhotse, the tallest and fourth tallest mountains in the world, respectively. Due to the tumultuous Everest season and an impending monsoon, he opted out of the Cho Oyo bid.
Climb7 tracked the two expeditions separately. Below is the story of the Teen Kala Patar and Everest Base Camp Expedition.
For the full story on Mike Moniz's Everest/Lhotse Expedition, click here.
Teen Everest Expedition: Pictures!
The team is in Lukla now. They will be headed back to Boulder soon. I am so proud of these kids! What an amazing expedition!
At the summit of Kala Patthar
Teen Everest Expedition - Day 8
Updated by Mike Moniz.
Communications have been challenging the past few days with me in the lower Khumbu and the kids up near Everest. I'm happy to report 100% success - the team made it to Everest Base Camp Saturday. They were greeted by the Sherpas from IMG with team. Yesterday after a very early Alpine start the entire team reached the summit of Kala Pathar 18,350. The day was absolutely perfect except for conditions on the summit were reported to be extremely cold. After a very long day they trek down valley to the village of Pheriche, 14 hours later.
As someone who has been to extreme altitudes many times I must say this a remarkable accomplishment to have every team member summit and be symptom free. 7 days to EBC is very fast and demanding. Very proud of everyone. I hope to see the team tomorrow here in Namche.
Teen Everest Expedition - Day 7
Despite Mike's cautionary words, the ambitious team moved to Lobuche (16,210 ft) today. To his surprise, everyone is doing well with the rapidly thinning air. Matt seems to be improving, ironically as he goes higher in elevation - must be in his DNA.
Tomorrow will be a long and difficult day - they'll gain another 1,300 feet on the several mile journey to Everest Base Camp. The trail will take them by the last outpost of civilization in the Khumbu, Gorak Shep. There they'll drop overnight gear and head on to EBC and then back to Gorak Shep. After what is imagined to be an unappetizing dinner, the kids will sleep a few hours, then gear up, fire up their head lamps and begin the summit push to Kala Patthar (18,373 ft). As the sun rises in the east it illuminates the Tibet side of Everest. The South Ridge and Summit radiate beams of sunlight creating one of the most dramatic and memorable sunrises the team will likely ever witness.
The next 36 hours should be the crux of the expedition.
Teen Expedition Update - Day 6
Mike spoke with Dee last night briefly through their SAT phone which was struggling to stay connected. What he was able to ascertain is that they made it to the mountain hamlet of Dingboche (14,800 ft). The kids are now higher than any point in the Continental United States. Weather is clear (thank you Joel Gratz) and they now have views of the 8,000 meter giants - Everest and Lhotse. To the south is the majestic Ama Dablam and up valley, the isolated Island Peak. Since this is their first time seeing this, we are sure they feel like they're on a different planet. Spirits are high.
Matt is still sick (fever and stomach) but is soldiering on, he says he's improving and there are some encouraging signs. Cam has a little stomach thing going and the three girls (Kaylee, Olivia, Jordan) are 100% as are the moms (Kim and Deidra). They're current rate of ascent is fairly fast - Mike recommended they take another day in Dingboche to rest and build some red blood cells. Next destination is over 16,000 feet.
Day 5 - Moving on from Tenboche
Day 5 - Moving on from Tenboche
Day 4: Hillary School and Blessings from Khumjung
The team is on the move to Tengboche (12,687) after spending the morning in classes at the Hillary School. The day is perfect - blue bird skies and striking views of Ama Dablam. After school, the team hiked up to the Khumjung Monatstary (12,434 ft) where they were blessed and then back to Tenboche to spend the night. Everyone is strong - despite early morning starts. Matt Moniz is not fully recovered, but is improving. Weather forecast is a bit of a wild card. Hoping to post a SPOT soon.
Day 3: Khumjung and Dust
The kids moved up to Khumjung today, which is about 12,400 ft, a gain of about 1,200 vertical over Namche. Not a typical strategy on the trek in to EBC, most spend a few days in Namche to acclimate and rest. However, most of the team lives around 6,000 feet here in Colorado so in this case the move was smart. They reported amazing views today from the very dusty trail. They also visited the Hillary School this afternoon but the students were in testing so they'll return tomorrow morning.
Matt has improved slightly but still has a fever - not the first time he has adventured sick. Everyone is hoping it does not spread to the rest of the team - fingers crossed.
Day 2: Namche Bazaar and Rest Day
After 8 mile stroll through the Khumbu and 2,500 feet of switch backs and stone steps the team arrived safely at their tea house in Namche Bazar, the bustling heart of the Khumbu region. Kaylee's gear bag finally arrived and she is quite relieved to have all her kit with her. Matt is still sick - hopefully the much needed rest day will allow him to recover. Everyone else is feeling great!
Day 1: The Adventure Begins
This is a sat view of the Tea Houses the kids are staying in a few mile from Lukla. The massive "River of Everest" or the Dudh Kosi is right in front of their first Camp.
No adventure is complete without some challenges (spice for stories later) and the team are facing a few. First, Kaylee's bags were weathered out and did not make it to Lukla. She has no gear and - the hope is that the first flight tomorrow am will have the gear and they'll be reunited, assuming the weather clears. Fortunately, Matt packed an extra light sleeping bag. Second, Matt is a little sick, stomach thing. Third, a Bird Flu outbreak in the region has taken chicken off the menu.
Other than that, the report a few hours ago is that everyone is in awe of the Himalayas and having a wonderful adventure.
The kids are off to Nepal today. This about half of the Teen Everest Expedition's gear plus some duffles from the First Ascent West Ridge Expedition. Kids are helping out FA with logistics and gear transportation. Mountaineers share culture of supporting each other - you never know when you might need the help. Good lesson to learn early!