After a long flight, we spent a couple of days in Kathmandu, getting to know the group members (15 from England, 3 from the US) and our trekking guides. It’s a short flight from Kathmandu to Lukla (2845m/9334ft), a small, bustling mountain town where all groups in the Everest region begin their trip. Look up “Most dangerous airports” and you will see why Lukla always makes the top of the list. The 1730ft runway slopes at a crazy angle, and ends at the top of a huge cliff. Our ultimate objective was Island Peak (6189m/20,305ft), and we would also climb a few smaller peaks and passes.Read More
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Before the Eiger climb, I had planned to spend 3 nights in the Torino hut at the 3400m (~11,200ft) for acclimatization. However on the second day, October 31st to be exact, Jon called me to come down to Chamonix since good weather moved into the Grindelwald area. Although my acclimatization was insufficient, we headed to Grindelwald. In my misjudgment, I thought I should be fine on the Eiger since I could take a rest at each pitch during belay. I was totally wrong. We climbed continuously, and took belays only for a few sections. We climbed all day without resting, from dawn to dusk.Read More