Meeting (half) the team 1st time amidst tragedy on Ama Dablam (R.I.P. Thundu)

I had emailed Tim yesterday (my expedition guide, back right in the picture) to see how his November/ December expedition to Ama Dablam (6,812m) went and also to get a few gear related questions answered. Once we managed to connect and discussed the sad news from Italy this morning, he told me that he would actually be in London today to meet a bunch of clients. I gladly headed over to Euston (so exciting!).

Half the team face to face in London

By the time I arrived, Tim was accompanied by 6 hikers. Five of the lot will join us for the 3 weeks base camp trek (sorry folks, names I didn’t keep just yet) and Rory, from Ireland, who will head for Everest summit I believe. Nice bunch of people first glance and some good Q&A from which all benefitted. They seem to be all friends and/or colleagues and most have done Kilimanjaro. Rory seems to have a good amount of mountaineering experience (well, more than me anyway) with Denali, Aconcagua etc (probably loads more) done. In total we will be 12 people of which 4-5 high altitude climbers and some 8 people trekking to base camp – a big feat in itself at almost 5,400m.

High altitude team of four, maybe five

  1. Rory, Ireland, ex city worker (back left in the picture)
  2. Blake, US (?),  he tried 2y ago but didn’t make in 2015 due to the earthquake, was with IMG at the time yet had moved to Tim (better food!), permits from 2014/15 (two disaster years) can be used again (5y & 2y expiry respectively)
  3. Billy, ???, oil service background
  4. Ronny, East Germany, ex city worker
  5. Maybe one more guy (tbc)

Not sure yet if there is anyone in the team who also heads for Lhotse. Most likely, they all will attempt Everest I reckon. I guess I will find out soon enough.

Departure date set

Tim expects us to be in Kathmandu by Sunday 26th March. I will head out the 25th and enjoy an extra day in what I have been told is the craziest city there is (lets see JW ;o). Things are beginning to fall in place.

Bad news elsewhere, sadly

The initial reason to get in touch with Tim was to hear about his November/ December expedition to Ama Dablam (here a few pictures from another expedition). Unfortunately it didn’t go entirely as planned, as a freak accident above camp 3 killed Thundu Sherpa, injured another climber and led to an early end to this expedition. The reason was the tremor of a 5.4 earthquake in the region that dislodged some blocks of ice that hit the sherpa on the head and a client (who got also injured, but survived supported by a helicopter rescue). Reminds one of the risks this environment exposes you to. Thundu was only 43y and leaves two kids behind. Tim has visited Thundu’s family and organised a fundraiser to support his family and 9 other children left exposed following the earthquakes in 2015 the killed their fathers. You can help here.

Rest In Peace Thundu!