The first part of the Everest adventure is a fifteen day trek from Lukla, Nepal to Everest Base Camp. Sure, you could theoretically save the time and go straight to EBC via helicopter, but then your body misses out on this critical time to build red blood cells, become one with the altitude and toughen up for the incredible climb that is to come.
Here is Mike's journey from Boulder to Base Camp. Start from the bottom and work your way up.
To continue following the next stage of the climb, click here to be taken to the Everest 2012 page.
Everest Base Camp - 17,410 ft!
Mike was on the move this morning finally arriving today at Everest Base Camp! The teams spent the rest of the day building their tents, scouting out the area and settling into what will be their home for the next several weeks.
Temperatures are pretty chilly so the coziness of the tents looks like a welcome shelter from the elements.
Tomorrow, Mike will be tackling the first real challenge that Mt. Everest throws at the climbers - the Khumbu Ice Fall. It's go time!
Everest Base Camp via SPOT
Labouche Day 3
Today was very cold and snowy day at Lobuche base camp with more acclimatization hikes. The Nepali cook "Half Greg" baked an unbelievably delicious good-luck cake for the team. Tomorrow it is an early start to Everest Base Camp for two days before returning to Labouche.
Labouche Day 2
The team went up to Lobuche High Camp for an acclimatization/exploration climb to about 17,000 feet. Two more nights here and then they will progress on the Everest Base Camp for two nights and then back to climb Lobuche East - 20,164 ft. The goal now is to get well acclimated to the extreme altitudes.
Don't forget to click on the pictures to enlarge and see captions!
Labouche Day 1
Mike started the last morning in Pheriche with breakfast with Jim Whittaker, the first American to summit Mt. Everest in 1963. Next year is the 50th anniversary of his ascent. Jim made a point of covering MIke's Mountain Hardwear logo (our sponsor) in the picture. Jim is one of the founders of First Ascent which is the clothing company sponsoring the West Ridge Expedition featuring Climb7 friend Charley Mace.
After breakfast, the team took off towards Lobouche camp at 15,818 feet. They will stay at Labouche for the next three nights.
With Jim Whittaker - who cleverly hid the MHW logo on Mike's jacket!
Pheriche (14,430 ft)
Mike took an extra day in Namche to spend time with the family but trekked today to Pheriche. He will be here - acclimating at 14,430 feet - for two days before headed off to Labouje. Base camp is getting closer!
SPOT from Pheriche
Mike was able to connect with the Teen Everest Expedition team for the past two days. They were able to have dinner, swap tales and just hang out in an incredible place sharing an amazing journey.
Mike reports that he is doing well. The slow road to base camp is intentional. The team stops in each village on the way for a couple of days. The purpose is acclimatization but also to build strength. Yes, after training at 12,000 feet in Colorado, Mike could hustle up to base camp but...there is no rush and each stop builds the all important red blood cells which help condition the body to handle the hard altitude to come.
He is entering into the zone in which communications are somewhat difficult. There is a snow storm currently happening which is making sat phone calls challenging and our cell phone conversations have been brief. More updates as they become available.
The IMG Team
The Road to Namche
Despite the smoke, Mike made it to Namche in good spirts and with a series of photos which tell a much more interesting story than I can.
After taking off ridiculously early, Mike landed in Lukla. As you can see, there are plenty of familiar ways to recover from an early morning flight. There is a fire near the route to Namche which will make climbing uncomfortable, as anyone in Colorado can attest. Nonetheless, there are some spectactular views and everything is better with Starbucks and wifi.
Kathmandu to Lukla
Mike will be headed out this morning for the short puddle-jumper flight from Kathmandu to Lukla. More updates as they arrive!
After traveling for well over 24 hours, Mike made it safely to Kathmandu. Now it is two nights for some catch up after the intense plane ride and then off to Lukla.
Mike is currently en route to Nepal via Los Angeles, then Bangkok and finally Kathmandu. The trip will include over 24 hours of in-the-air time. Plenty of time to rest and prepare for the adventure ahead.