Cholatse 2016 Expedition Dispatches
Dispatch #3 - October 30, 2016 – Update via Sat Phone
All the Junkies and all the Junkies Sherpas have now successfully summited Cholatse . We are thrilled and happy to have a successful repeat of our 2014 Cholatse expedition.
The Junkies Sherpas fixed the rope and completed the task on October 26. This means that actually Kami and Sangee (skinny) summited twice. We were jokingly asked by our friend Mark if the ropes were fixed to the actual summit,as there seems to be rope fixing and summit fixing controversies lately. Phil confirmed that they were fixed to the summit similar to 2014. The AJ Sherpas who fixed the ropes had been to Cholatse with us in 2014, so they knew where to place ropes and how to fix plus there was ample rope. The cornice was too weak to stand on same as 2014, but Phil said he touched the top with his ice tool. Phil also managed to place prayer flags on a small pole 2 meters below the top of the cornice.
The team will hopefully return to Kathmandu tomorrow and will update the blog also with photos. Unfortunately, our Inmarsat BGAN did not work on the hill which is why there are so few dispatches.
This one was for Sammy…. Cholatse in 2014 was the last climb our dear friend Samuli Mansikka did prior to his untimely death on Annapurna in March 2015. Sammy co-led this trip with Phil in 2014.
Dispatch #2 - October 18, 2016 - Namche Bazar
We are now spending our second day in Namche with the team visiting the Everest View Hotel just above town to take advantage of the clear skies for some amazing views.
Yesterday we had a smooth journey with the helicopter flight from Kathmandu to Namche. We arrived at our lodge before 9am and then spent the day enjoying all the bakeries that Namche has to offer including the fantastic new coffee shop/wine bar, Sherpa Barista, owned by our good friend, Natang Sherpa’s daughter and son in law.
Our Sherpa crew have already established our base camp in anticipation of us arriving there in a few days. Tomorrow we are heading to Dole and the following day Machermo. We have some more team members flying by helicopter into Namche on Wednesday and they will arrive at base camp a few days after the main group.
The trail to Everest base camp is busy and it’s good to see the Khumbu getting back to normal in regards to tourist numbers.
Dispatch #1 - October 14, 2016 - Kathmandu
We are very pleased to be returning to our favorite Nepalese peak, Cholatse this fall. Our team members are now arriving in Kathmandu and all going to plan with the weather we will be taking private helicopters to Namche Bazar on Monday.
The monsoon rains lingered this fall season and this caused some problems with large amounts of snowfall on most of the 8,000-meter peaks being climbed this past September/October. According to the local Department of Hydrology and Meteorology the monsoon officially withdrew from Nepal yesterday after a 19-day delay as it usually leaves on September 23rd. The skies are now hopefully starting to clear in Kathmandu and we hope that the normal mid-October weather patterns start to return to Nepal.
Last time we climbed Cholatse we were the only team present but I guess the word has got out that it’s a much quieter and more technical alternative to the popular Ama Dablam. We know of two other teams who will be present whilst the Junkies are climbing and the respective expedition leaders have already met to discuss sharing the workload and equipment for fixing the route for the safety of all the climbers.
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