Banner
MY BASKET
SHOP BY CATEGORY
INFORMATION
NEWSLETTER

Enter your email address to sign up for our newsletter

Website design by Freecom.net

I am raising money again for the Leukaemia & Lymphoma unit at UCLH in London. If you have already donated last year thank you very much. If you have not and would like to I would be delighted:

https://www.justgiving.com/Jules-Mountain

Update 12 April - Loberche village - 4900m

So to get wifi you have to buy a scratch card in the lodges run by "Everest link" a bunch of entrepreneurial Nepalise. So I bought one yesterday in Dingboche and it turns out it gives you 200MB of download AND only last for 15hrs. ........ Shortly afterwards the wifi went down at the lodge !!! Hmmmm ok so do we get a refund - not on your Nellie !!...., hmm what a gt system. Managed to get the Thuraya sat phone working this morning and downloaded 20 emails , v slow but at least I am completely independent at EBC. 
Left Dingbocke around 8:30am this morning after Sunita had given us a stretching session, she is a personal trainer and I hurt in places I never new existed !!! We then headed off. My expedition team last year list one of my expedition bags at Periche so I decided to diverted and go via Periche just on the off chance that they had kept my bag. After a 40min hike over the hill I arrived at Periche & found the lodge (there are only 3 so it was not hard). I asked about the bag and got lots of blank expressions, I tried raising my voice (very British) "MY BAG FROM LAST YEAR, is it here ?" "Wait, wait, wait here" so I stood around for 30 mins until La Grand Fromage arrived. When I say Grange, she was 5ft nothing, but v lovely and spoke good English. I explained my predicament and she said that she was sure she did it have it as she remembered by expedition coming back late last year and if they had left a bad she would have stored it. But she said I could look in their store. Ok good. Then it turned out her Dad had taken some bags up to EBC and taken the key - dandelion and boolocks (mkmrt). So I thanked her and left to catch up with the rest of our expedition team. The valley was quiet without a sole
Was quite eerie when you consider I am 4 days trek from civilisation & not a sole around - still kicked on a pace in v thin air to try and catch the rest
Caught up with the rest of the group at the lunch stop and it was one of Dr Neema's cousins (no surprise there then). After lunch see brought out a lovely cake 
It is Nepal New Year and the date is 2073. So Nepal is 47 years ahead !!! ...... I didn't even dare ask, particularly at 4700m. We trekked onto Loberche village at 4900. This is just higher than the summit of Mont Blanc (4800m) and I can tell you the trek today with the long diversion to Periche has really taken it out of me. I've also got a runny nose from breathing in bucket loads of eau de yak butt !!! I can tell you it's not a perfume I would recommend for the girlfriend, it's a definite passion killer !!
We checked into the lodge and this is the last lodge before the dreaded EBC tomo and 6 weeks in a tent on a large block of ice. I am praying its not as cold as last year when it dropped to -15c every night - it was hell on earth. Then it so good news is it's snowing outside the lodge window !!!!
I have to say I was whacked on arrival and after some lemon tea both Christoff and I crashed out for a few hours, and tonight even the Sgerpas are huddled around the 1 heating stove in the middle of the eating room. I would like to say "restaurant" but that would be an outrageous exaggeration. I think one up from the EBC mess tent.
Dawa Sherpa, the expedition organiser and MD of the company told me that this expedition would not be as luxurious as last years with my previous expedition - I thought bloody hell I thought last year was rough. 
With all this to think about and my runny nose there is no wonder I crashed out this afternoon. But, do you know, it's still going tone exciting to turn up at EBC tomo and check everything out and work out how I can make myself as comfortable as Poss for the next 6 weeks. 
I leave you with that happy thought !!

6 April

So .... Up at 5am (I really am not a morning person but my time clock is so screwed up, and the adrenalin is now flowing that I woke at 3am (swollocks - (my kids may read this).

 

We headed down for a specially organised early 5:30am breakfast, but the hotel forgot !!! So we delayed leaving to catch breakfast at 6:15 and got a rollicking from the driver as he thought we were going to miss our "scariest in the world" flight.

 

Quick pic at the airport

6thaprilimg1.jpg

Here is the motley crew so far (from L to R)

Alesha (Australian - just left school)
Sinita (indian - fitness trainer, top of the Hindie caste)
Harshad (Indian - IT in Mumbai)
Me (handsome devil)
Andy (Polish - doesn't seem to work so perhaps a drugs dealer - we will find out over the next 8 weeks !)
Christoff (Belgium - investor/entrepreneur)

16 in total so 6 so far (and a real mixed bunch but the common factor is we are all v driven), 5 have already left for base camp (inc 3 Brits) and we will not meet them until BC. That leaves 4 - where are they ?? The whole thing is much more relaxed (an interesting word for Everest) than last year which suits me but it means I have to keep a close eye on my expedition bags and where i'm going, or supposed to be going.

We are now sat in a coach on the Tarmac waiting for our plane for the roller coaster ride from Hell - rock on !!!"

Plane arrived and after a nail biting ride with turbulence worse than a rollercoaster we are in Lokla.

The runway at Lokla ends in a 400ft sheer cliff - see photo of our plane taking off back to Kathmandu.

It sort of falls off the runway !! So I am really looking forwards to the return trip ...... not !

Lokla is 2870 metres and I can already feel the air is thinner as I'm breathing more heavily walking around. Not a prob at this altitude because just like a very high ski run in the Alps, but as we are trekking higher today let's hope the body can start producing more red blood cells quickly without giving me a heart attack. A comforting thought !!"

Overall looking good, at BC its
8am breakfast
1pm lunch
7pm dinner
...... and we have been promised meat at least once a day but ...... wait for it........ It may be Spam, here I break into a Monty Python Spamalot song, spam, spam, spam .... La, la, la ..... the altitude is already pickling my brainSo we have now arrived in the village of Phakding at the Mountain Lodge (v appropriately named) for the night. Was supposedly a 2hr trek but took us 4hrs. Not quite as quick as those Sherpas yet !!!!

6thaprilimg2.jpg

5 April

Woke up to a phone call from Christoff - apparently Miss Elisabeth Hawleys representative is here and wanted to interview me. Miss Hawley started keeping records of Everest summits in 1964 (bearing in mind the first summit was Sir Edmund Hilary in 1953 and there were very few summits up to about 1970. Her's is the definitive list of who has summited. I was not interviewed by her last year as the expedition I was with controlled everything with an iron fist - so nice to be interviewed this year.

 

Then just caught the back end of breakfast before major re-pack. 

We have one expedition bag that goes straight to EBC, the other expedition at follows us up the Khumbu valley during out 20 day trek to EPC and has our sleeping bags, thermorest and warm evening jackets in it, and of course the rucksack for waterproofs, water and technology that will get broken (iPads, iPhones, solar panels etc. ) 5thimg1.jpg

5thimg2.jpg

Had to also start the hand washing to leave a clean pair of up's and teeshirt in the hotel.

Then booked a Japanese massage (who said this climbing lark was hard work) before the teams 4pm conference and dinner. Only 6 of us there but seems a v relaxed expedition. We can climb when we like - no restrictions. To get to Lokla there are 2 routes, helicopter or plane. You really don't want to get the plane as the runway is sloped onto a cliff. Apparently it is the most terrifying plane ride in the world. Last year we got helicopters. But guess what, we leave tomo at 6am and yes you've guarded it, we're getting the plane. S£&@7t, I am more nervous about this than I am about the summit !!!!!

Right must get some sleep as I'm up at 5am for the scariest plane in the world - Walt you've got nothing on this !!!

4 April

Arrived at the yak & yeti hotel. It turns out there are 16 of us on

> the expedition (a big number). But only 3 of us in the Y&Y. Why ? Because the 3 other Brits are walking all the way from Kathmandu to EBC and have already left as it adds 5 days to the trip (I fly to Lokla). And the Indian contingent are a bit strapped so they are staying in a hovel in the Thamal, tourist area of Kathmandu !!!

 

So I have checked in, nice place, and rang reception to get Christoff and Aleysha's (my cohorts) room no's to see if they want to go for a beer tonight.

 

Some to Christoff and he's up for hitting Thamal tonight. So got a shower and headed down to the lobby. Bit nervous because I am stuck with 15 people I don't know for 8 weeks so need to do a Botox jelling to see if there are any good eggs - last year spent the whole way up the Khumbu valley drinking and playing cards with my good buddies Dan and Scott and had a great laugh. Would be nice if I can find delinquents to replicate that with this year !!!"

 

 Christoff is an entrepreneur from Belgium and we had some spicy chicken wings and American spicy pizzas and I had a few beers. Christoff is not drinking and taking this whole thing a bit to seriously but we'll lighten him up.

 

Hit the sack about 10:30pm and keeled over. 

4 April

It's a 14 hour journey from Heathrow to Kathmandu with a stop over for 1:45hrs stop over in Doha. I am flying Qatar - really nice clean efficient airline even in steerage - being a movie junky I managed the new Ricky movie, the Big Short (excellent) and half of the Martian with Mat Damen. Can't wait to see the end but could be a long time before I find out what happens !!!!

 

Got to Kathmandu airport - bit like Luton 20 years ago. Got through customs really quick (last year 2hrs) and thought gt but now been waiting over 1hr for my baggage - but no worries, I've got to slowdown and settle in for the next 8 weeks so no rush.

 

I am meeting my expedition buddies at the Yak and Yeti hotel (quite famous with climbers) in Kathmandu. I don't know anybody so will be an interesting 2 days trying to work out everybody and hopefully I will bond with 1 or 2 people, otherwise it's going to be a very long 8 weeks !!! It's a funny thing but longer term you usually bond better with people you didn't at first !!!!! Will be interesting as we will be relying on each other at the camps and cooking together (I hate cooking) and if I'm honest I am a little apprehensive !!! Roll on tonight's rendez-vous 

3 April 2016

My girlfriend, Vicky, v kindly dropped me to Heathrow T4 for my Qatar airways flight to Kathmandu. She was a bit upset to see me go which made it harder, but in a nice way.

 

Everest is a bit like a massive exam, before it starts you get nervous, just before even more nervous, and once it starts (board the plane) you can think that you are now eating into the 8 weeks, so every day it's getting a bit closer to finishing. I am also v v apprehensive as this year I now know what I am letting myself in for !!!"

31 March

 

I am on a plane flying back from Morzine after 5 gt days skiing with my daughters. And the altitude won't have done me any harm for the big E

 

Here we are skiing off piste down Vallee de la Manche. 

image1.jpg
image2.jpg

And here's my daughter, Steph, tucking into a giant hot chocolates with whipped cream. Well her's and mine. Best hot chocolates on the mountain !!

I'm allowed a few extra pounds as I will lose between 2 & 4 stone at Everest. At altitude you lose your appetite but I know this so I force myself to eat and I'm can only assume you also lose the weight because the body is working so hard to keep warm.

This has been a gt few days with my 2 lovely daughters. The hardest part about Everest is being away from my 2 daughters for 8 weeks, it's a long time. And I will dream about our skiing trip together many, many times over the next 8 weeks and think back with very fond memories.

19 March

 

"So here we go again - I ask myself most days why do I feel the need to do this again ?? I must be mad. I just know that if everything goes according to plan this year, rope, weather, food, no Buddhas revenge etc and some make the summit, if I don't go come 1 June I will always wonder if I could have made it up the big hill !! And although it's a cliche, I do like the excitement of living outside my comfort zone. I am not so keen on the though running up to it and sometimes hate living outside of my CZ but the feeling afterwards is well worth it.

 

But philosophical I know. So I am in Poland at the mo and with my very good friend Peter and his lovely GF Emily and my GF Vicky. Peter was in my expedition last year and we have been good friends ever since. We are here to do some climbing in the Tatras mountains and we are also going to see  aufchvitz (which a lot of people don't realise is in S.W. Poland). As a reader you may think this is in prep for Everest but it's actually just a long weekend to visit some friends and see Poland - and what a great country - very modern superb road system, 4G in most areas and cheap food & booze, what's not to like !!!

 

Here's a pic of me climbing. 

19th img1.jpg

19th img2.jpg

And another of me and Peter in training. He is one scarey guy and an awesome climber - like a piece of wire