Dispatches - Three Peaks Nepal 2005

December 06, 2005

The Adventure Consultants Three Peaks Expedition set out to climb three trekking peaks in the Khumbu region of Nepal in the post-monsoon season of 2005.

Adventure Consultants Three Peaks of Nepal Expedition 2005 Dispatches

Lead Guide - Steve Moffat, NZ
Guide - Ray Button, NZ
Climbing Sirdar - Chhildim Sherpa, Nepal
Climbing Sherpa - Lhakpa Tenzing, Nepal 

Members include:
Debbie Agnew, NZ
Ross Evans, NZ
Timothy Wood, Australia
Fabienne Pattison, USA
Andrew Finnigan, NZ
John Brennan, USA
Oliver Hirschau, USA

4 November 2005
A big hello to everyone in cyberland and welcome to our latest Nepal expedition. Everyone is excited to get this trip started and members will be meeting in Kathmandu on November 11. Guides on the trip are Steve Moffat (Leader) and Ray Button from New Zealand, with a team of seven climbers.

12 November 2005 - “I'll have mine medium rare thanks”
Up at 4.30am tomorrow to catch our flight to Lukla, tonight we sit at the fabulous Kilroy's restaurant enjoying big steak dinners. It's all part of the training. Catch you all tomorrow. Steve.

13 November 2005 - To Bed With Full Bellies
I write this now as members have shuffled off to their beds to get a well-deserved night’s rest. We started very early this morning to catch the first flight out of Kathmandu to Lukla and the start of our trek in the Khumbu valley. A stunner of a day with big blue sky, warm sunshine and big mountains all around.

We rested in the small village of Phakding which is nestled on the banks of the mighty Dudh Kushi river. Tomorrow, apricot chocolate danish's for afternoon tea in Namche Bazaar.

All the best from the Three Peaks team, Steve.     

14 November 2005 - The Taking of Namche Hill
Greetings from Namche Bazar. After a well-deserved rest away from the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu, we were up at daylight getting ready for the day ahead of us. After a big feed of momos (dumplings) we arrived at the boundary of Sagarmatha National Park. Once inside, we began the pleasant stroll up the Namche Hill, past a drunken porter (who had rolled off the trail), through beautiful forests and spectacular mountains views. We were rewarded with our first glimpse of Everest. 

After a 500m elevation gain on the last hill we reached Namche Bazaar. It is a beautiful village with numerous guest houses, terraces for the Saturday market and a pretty temple. We ended our journey at the Himalayan Lodge nestled on the hillside of the village. We had a close encounter with a man with beautiful hair who looked remarkably like the legendary 'Fabio'. Nepal is full of surprises!

Tomorrow is a rest day, but alas there will be no rest for us wicked folk. We are taking an acclimatization 'stroll' to gain some altitude and to view the grandeur that is Himalaya. Then it is back to Namche for lunch and a lazy afternoon. 

Signing off... Tim and Fabienne

15 November 2005 - Acclimatization hike
Namaste! John reporting tonight for the AC Team. We had a great day doing an acclimatization hike by climbing the hill behind Namche. As Steve was off dealing with logistics, we were led by Ray and Lhakpa Sherpa. Lhakpa helped us to learn Nepalese phrases and how to count to 10. As with every other day, today the weather started out cool, crisp and clear in the morning, followed by late afternoon clouds moving in. After 40 minutes climbing, we were rewarded with clear views of Everest, Lhotse and Ama Dablam.

After the hike, many of us went in to shop and browse around the Namche Bazaar. Today is our last night in Namche Lodge, camping will be the order of the day for the next 2 weeks until after our Island Peak attempt. This is John signing off.

16 November 2005 - The hard work begins...
Hello everyone this is Fabienne, writing the dispatch today from the village of Phortse. We spent the day trekking with views of Everest and Ama Dablam along the way. We saw Himalayan tahr and pheasants in the hills and runners competing in the Friendship race from Namche Bazaar to Thame, quite impressive. The Sherpa cooks had prepared a picnic feast for our lunch. The food and rest was enjoyed by everyone as we kicked back under the warm sun. We have gained 500m in altitude at the end of the day that included numerous ascents and descents of a few hundred metres.

Tonight, we all settled in to tents for the first night and a new phase of our trip begins. We have a beautiful mess tent where people congregate for tea and meals. We all need a good night's sleep as bed tea is at 6am in the morning, with a send-off at 7am for the village of Nha. Greetings to all, and a hug and a kiss to Raven.


20 November 2005 - Gokyo Ri
Greetings everybody, from the top of Gokyo Ri on the 20th of November. Lovely day, just a light breeze and the team suitably impressed with the surrounding views. Hard not to be with Cho Oyu, Pumori, Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Makalu all seeming just a stone's throw away.

We dropped down to a hot lunch by the lake, and then to Dragnag for the night.

This is all from Steve, we'll catch you tomorrow. Ciao.

21 November 2005 - Rest Day in Dragnag
Well yesterday's ascent of Gokyo Ri took it out of people, so we are all just chilling in the wee village of Dragnag, 4,700m

It's interesting to see what different people do with time on their hands. Some go for a stroll to look at the view, some wash socks and undies, some don't bother. As time ticks on through the day, camp life gets more and more bizarre including 'building the tallest cracker' competition which involves piling up all the condiments on the table - peanut butter, jam, marmite, liver pate, then stuffing the whole thing into your gob....and people blame the water for their stomach issues!

Tomorrow, all going well, we're off to camp below the Cho La Pass.

Goodnight from Dragnag - Steve and the crew.

23 November 2005 - Cho La Pass crossing
Hello everyone, this is Fabienne writing the group dispatch tonight. There was an immense sense of relief in our group as we have finally crossed the Cho La Pass. It connects two valleys and allowed us to reach our base camp for the ascent of Lobuche East. We spent last night in a remote little valley with a view of the daunting rock scramble we would need to do to reach it col of Cho La pass; an elevation gain of approximately 300m, and sustained.

Everyone let out a sigh of relief as soon as we reached the col. The sun was shining and a small glacier started. We went down the glacier for approximately one hour and reached a trail on dry rock. The views were spectacular of Nirekha and Lobuche East to our left, Ama Dablam and Pokalde facing us and Cholatse to the right. We trekked to our camp about an hour down the valley and had lunch. The afternoon was spent looking at Lobuche East and preparing gear and food for our first climb. Looking forward to a well-deserved rest tomorrow.

P.S Raven expect a wake-up call around 6am tomorrow.

Hugs and kisses – Fabienne

24 November 2005 - Dzongla rest day
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in the USA! Today is a day of rest for us on the AC Three Peaks of Nepal expedition.

For those of you reading from the outside of the USA, Thanksgiving is a day set aside to give special thanks to all that we have, family and friends. Special Happy Thanksgiving to the Grattos, and all my family and friends too numerous to list - I have to keep this short.

For our rest day, we are at Lobuche East Base Camp at Dzongla. We have commanding views of the Himalayan peaks. Today we ran through some fixed rope and abseil exercises for our Lobuche East ascent tomorrow night. Chhudlim Sherpa and Lhakpa Tenzing went ahead to prepare high camp where we head for tomorrow.

Another sunny, clear day here at 4,700m.

We wish everyone well back in the USA, Australia and New Zealand. 

Thanks, John Brennan

25 November 2005 - Lobuche East High Camp
We're now at our high camp, 5,260m, ready for summit day tomorrow on Lobuche East. Our Climbing Sherpas Chuldim and Lhakpa are fixing ropes while we lax out and take in the extensive views. From our tent we can see Thamserku, Kang Tega, Kang Tengri and Ama Dablam.

Walking to the edge of our small rocky plateau we can look down on to the trekking path beside the Khumbu Glacier, high above towers Nuptse & Lhotse. Everyone's looking forward to the summit climb. We have a New Zealand flag signed by all team members, Sherpas, and porters. We hope to wave this from the summit, along with the Nepalese flag.

This is Ross and Debbie signing off, and wishing Gacket a happy birthday for today, and our love to everyone back home especially Tony & Lisa.         

26 November 2005 - Lobuche East Summit
The team called in from high camp on Lobuche East that Steve reached the summit of Lobuche East today, with six climbers plus Sherpas, but Ray and John were not able to make the summit bid due to still feeling unwell from a viral infection. Congratulations to all the summiteers! Next they plan to head for Island Peak with a rest day at Dingboche.

Reported by the AC office in NZ.

29 November 2005 - Island Peak Base Camp
Hey there and greetings from Island Peak Base Camp. The stars are only just coming out, as the blue sky darkens. It's off to bed early for us folks as we set off at 2am in the morning for Island Peak's summit.

Zombu, our cook, will be banging his fry pan to waken us from our slumber for a hearty breakfast of cheese omelettes. So, wish us all well. This is Steve signing off for the Three Peaks Expedition.

30 November 2005 - Letter from Nepal
We attempted Island Peak today and got to the summit ridge, but high winds prevented us actually getting all the way to the summit. But a very very good day. The winds have actually been quite predominant for about the last 4-5 days so seems like we're into some sort of pattern now.

We descended back to Base Camp and we then moved back down valley to Chhukung. Chhukung, where there was chang! So some members have been imbibing.

Anyway, all is well from Nepal.

Ciao, Ray.              

1 December 2005 - Rest day after Island Peak
We have all been resting happily today after yesterday's climb. Some attempted to wash socks and undies, only to have them freeze solid even in the bright sunshine - the joys of trying to keep clean at 4,700m.

Tomorrow our group splits, some of those who hunger for higher places will camp on the Kongma La Pass, 5,500m, the others will descend to Dingboche, rest some more and then a day trek and visit the Ama Dablam Base Camp.

The winds continue to howl over the 8,000m peaks sending huge plumes of snow into the east.

Well, that's all from me, it's time for more Sherpa tea. So, goodnight and we'll see you tomorrow. This is Steve signing off.     

4 December 2005 - Returning down valley
Hi there folks, our journey is winding to a close as we wander down valley to Deboche tonight, then the bright lights of Namche tomorrow afternoon.

The big highlight today was visiting the 600-year-old Pangboche Monastery, the oldest Buddhist Monastery in the Khumbu Valley, built after the Tibetans first crossed into Nepal via the Nangpa Pass all those years ago.

Sweet dreams everybody, and we will catch you all tomorrow night.

Steve Moffat

6 December 2005 - Three Peaks 2005 comes to an end...
Well the season's trekkers and climbers come and go. Our journey is at an end and in a few weeks, the winter snows of the Himalaya are forecast to fall.

And what a journey it has been, with ups and downs, not just crossing passes and climbing up and down mountains! But there has been the toilet tent incident where the zip jammed while a certain someone was stuck inside yelling for help unheard, while we were all sitting in the sun nearby sipping tea!

Also, Andrew stripping off and diving into the first of the freezing Gokyo Lakes, edges surrounded by ice! Surprisingly, he did not turn blue or get frostbite, but did scare the local duck population!

Tonight we are happily supping Everest beer and the local rice wine, chang. It is back to Kathmandu early in the morning, and it’s not long until we are back with our loved ones.

Thanks to all those who have followed our journey. This is Steve signing off for the last time.

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