It's been a busy time for the team here at Adventure Consultants this autumn with multiple summits in the Himalayas on our expeditions and also here at home and in the European Alps at our climbing schools. We hope you'll enjoy reading about our latest adventurous expeditions and those on the horizon and that this will inspire you to join us in your quest for adventure!
Just over one week shy of the 60 year anniversary of Edmund Hillary's successful summit of Mt Everest, Adventure Consultants showed they are still at the forefront in the world of high altitude mountaineering, successfully guiding a team of 33 (7 team members, 4 guides, 1 cameraman and 21 Sherpas) to the 8,850m summit over three summit days on 19, 20 and 21 May 2013. Adventure Consultants pioneered guided expeditions to Mount Everest in 1992 and this year celebrates its 20th expedition.
The team was led by Dean Staples from New Zealand who has now summited Mount Everest a record nine times. He followed his Everest Summit this year with a Lhotse summit with team member Thomas Stromstedt (Sweden) becoming the first New Zealander to summit both mountains in just over 24 hours, just days after fellow AC Guide Mike Roberts from New Zealand summited both mountains within 35 hours. Mike's double was delayed when he postponed his summit of Lhotse to help with a rescue effort for a client of another team at Lhotse Camp 4.
" What a brilliant year it's been here on Everest," Dean said. "Everyone on the team is just thrilled with the results. Due to the general good weather throughout the summit period we didn't experience any crowding issues, as all the teams were spread out over a week of summit days. I was really pleased to be able to climb Lhotse also with Thomas, after so many years of coming here and looking over at it from Everest."
Lydia Bradey (New Zealand, 3rd Everest ascent), and Ang Dorjee Sherpa (Nepal/USA, 17th Everest ascent) rounded out the AC Everest guiding team. Congratulations to team members Josef and Lukas Hochmeister (Austria), Cason Crane (USA), Simon Gower (Australia, achieved all Seven Summits!), Ingolfur Gissurarson (Iceland), Dean Hall (New Zealand), Thomas Stromstedt (Sweden), and cameraman Mark Whetu, New Zealand (7th summit).
Guy Cotter, CEO of Adventure Consultants, led a team of 8 (inclusive of 4 Sherpas) to the summit of Lhotse, 8516m, on 22 May, marking his sixth 8000m peak ascent. Congratulations to team members Heather Geluk (Canada), Anthony Baldry (Australia, 4th 8000m peak ascent) and Suze Kelly (New Zealand).
AC General Manager Suze Kelly on her Lhotse 2013 summit
With many visits to Nepal and a steady progression in her high altitude climbing experiences to date, late March 2013 rolled around and it was time for Suze to stretch her legs on her first attempt at an 8000m peak. After ACL knee surgery just over a year ago it had been a year of recovery for Suze and she had to fit her training in around her busy role as General Manager of AC and project manager for AC's new premises build during 2012. When asked by people as to how long she had been training for the climb, Suze said "all my life!"
After 9 weeks in Nepal, with time spent helping the Everest team with their logistics, the trek in and acclimatisation cycles on the mountain, summit day finally came around and the whole team reached the summit at 8am on 22 May.
"It was just fantastic to experience an 8,000m summit AC style, after being involved with Adventure Consultants since 1996" said Suze. "It has really hammered home to me how we stand out on the mountain, making the sensible and safe decisions climbing at high altitude, and as always I love seeing how our team members rise to the occasion and then are changed forever after they have summitted, which is what has happened to me for sure."
This year three of our Everest and Lhotse team members were not only climbing to achieve personal goals but also to build awareness and/or raise money for charity.
America's Cason Crane has set a goal of being the first openly gay person to climb the Seven Summits (highest mountain on each of the world's seven continents) in support of his Rainbow Summits Project, an initiative to raise funds and awareness for The Trevor Project, the leading GLBTQ suicide and crisis prevention service. The goal of this project is not only to raise donations for The Trevor Project, but also to improve awareness of suicide and mental health, especially in the GLBTQ community. With his Everest summit, Cason has only one more to go...Denali, which he is currently climbing. Best of luck Cason!
Thomas Stomstedt not only knocked off two summits back to back (Everest and Lhotse), he also used the climbs to raise funds for the dZi Foundation which will go towards building a school in a remote and poor village in Nepal, enabling children in a remote area to receive an education. After the expedition, Thomas went with his Ang Gelu Sherpa on a one week trekking adventure to visit the village, which happens to neighbour Ang Gelu’s home village. You can learn more about his efforts by clicking here."
Lhotse team member, Heather Geluk, is helping to raise funds and awareness for Hope for Tomorrow, a national UK cancer charity dedicated to bringing cancer treatment closer to home. Hope for Tomorrow Mobile Chemotherapy Units bring vital chemotherapy treatment closer to patient's homes reducing long distances of travel, waiting times and avoid the stresses and strains of busy Oncology Centres. Through her various Himalayan climbing projects such as her climb of the 8516m Lhotse, Heather aims to bring a new mobile chemotherapy unit into operation. You can contribute to this tremendously worthwhile cause by clicking here.
In addition to individual efforts by our team members, Adventure Consultants is a Visionary Society member of the dZi Foundation, supporting their Revitalise a Village programmes for remote areas of Nepal.
AC has worked with several individuals and groups to set up charity climbs (from climbs on Kilimanjaro to treks to Everest Base Camp and summits of the big mountains) and are happy to help you or your organisation with your charity climb from conception through to the climb. For more information just send us an email
Adventure Consultants have a long association with climbing the Seven Summits. Company pioneers Rob Hall and Gary Ball completed all Seven in seven months back in 1990 and we've been at the forefront of Seven Summits expeditions ever since. This collection of peaks embodies a significant but achievable objective for the motivated expedition enthusiast. Whether you decide to take seven months or seven years achieving this project, we can put programmes together to suit your timeframe.
We have spots available on our Kilimanjaro Expeditions, Elbrus Expeditions in late-July and early-August, Aconcagua in January and February, four Expeditions to Vinson Massif in December and January and Expeditions to Carstensz Pyramid in August and November.
Our Denali Expeditions are fully booked for 2013 and they fill quickly so it would be prudent your space for 2014 now. We are now accepting applications for Everest 2014, if you're interested in joining the 2014 team let us know soon as spaces fill fast!
If you are just embarking on this journey, we run specialised Seven Summits Training Courses with our experienced Himalayan mountain guides to prepare you with the required skills for achieving your goals. Not sure... give us a call, we'd be happy to talk it over with you and tailor a plan to your availability, budget and current skill level.
Click the map to the right to see our interactive map of the Seven Summits.
Post Monsoon Himalayan Expeditions and Treks
We've found that while some like to get to the top of the mountains others prefer taking in the splendour of the world's highest mountains from the comfort of the Base Camp areas. We think we've come up with the perfect solution and now offer treks that run alongside our expeditions so that those preferring to stay at the lower altitudes can still take part in the journey. It should also be noted that many of the Himalayan Peaks are trekking peaks and therefore accessible to those who are fit but not necessarily "mountaineers." Trek / Peak combination trips this year include an Island Peak / Khumbu Trek option and a Three Peaks / Nepal High Passes and Base Camps Trek option.
If you are looking for one of the easier summits check out Island Peak, Three Peaks and Himlung trips. For a bit more challenge you might want to consider our more technical expeditions such as Ama Dablam or Cholatse. Looking for more challenge or training for Everest? We are also running trips on Cho Oyu (8,201m) and on the technically challenging North Ridge of Ama Dablam.
AC's Ops Manager Caroline Blaikie escapes for her own adventure to Island Peak
AC Operations Manager Caroline Blaikie took a season off her role as Everest Base Camp Manager this year and after helping settle our 2013 Base Camp Manager in, she joined her partner Loz Ogle for a Himalayan adventure. The two hadn't planned to climb Island Peak but it seems Caroline couldn't resist. In the following excerpt Caroline shares their experience.
As the black night sky slowly turned first midnight blue, then purple and finally glowed orange I stopped and reminded myself where I was. Having trekked to Everest Base Camp a number of times I had always looked at the high peaks of the Khumbu valley and the urge to step above the snowline became stronger each year.
Nearing 5700m and the edge of the glacier on Island Peak, the surrounding peaks were suddenly lit up in all their splendour – Nuptse, Makalu, Baruntse and of course Ama Dablam (also begging to be climbed!). I welcomed the opportunity to pause and put my harness and crampons on; firstly to gasp for breath and then, as the thin air hit my lungs, to soak in the vista below. Then it was time to get on with the climbing... Click here for full article
Time is running out...contact us now to join our Antarctic Yacht Based Expedition!
The options are endless on our Antarctic Yacht Based Expeditions! With a multitude of peaks in the region, mostly unclimbed, there is potential for new routes from the less technical to the extreme! You can choose climb mountains, ski from high coastal peaks and/or tour around the region with your guide. Every day you will mingle with the wildlife at close quarters from the boat and on land. Whales, seals and penguins are abundant and we are all drawn to spend many hours observing and photographing these incredible creatures. This journey is available to adventurers of all levels who have a desire to immerse themselves in the real wilderness. Become one of the adventurous few who get to experience the abundant wonders of the Antarctic Peninsula.
Winter in New Zealand...snow to lake level in Wanaka!
Anticipation is building and we've already seen our first snow falls here in New Zealand. In fact, we had snow all the way to lake level here in Wanaka the other day and more is forecast this week. Is it the early snow or maybe the word is spreading about how great it is to get out into the Southern Alps during the NZ Winter? Whatever it is we're excited to see our backcountry ski and ice climbing trips filling quickly this year.
New to backcountry skiing? Join our experienced guides and learn how to navigate your way safely through New Zealand's alpine backcountry on one of our Backcountry Skiing Courses. You will fly into a high alpine hut where you will be treated to skiing on some of our highest and biggest glaciers. Our courses are big on learning and big on experience while skiing big terrain! For those looking for a guided backcountry ski experience we offer a choice of 3 days around the Remarkables Range on our Ski Queenstown Backcountry trips or you can let our guides show you their secret "stash" and book in for a 6 to 10 day Guided Ski Touring package.
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