Aventuras Patagonicas and Himalayan Experience (Russell Brice) has traditionally been working on the Tibet (North) side of Everest. However, due to the unreliability of access, we have decided to operate from the Nepal (South) side. Russell Brice, first climbed on the West Ridge from the Western Cwm in 1981, so although this route is new for Himex Members, it is not new for Himex. All of our Sherpa Staff come from Khumbu, just a few days’ walk from Base Camp.
Fourteen years ago when Russell first started operating on the North Side, there were very few teams and very little infrastructure. Over the years, we have continuously been innovative with new ideas, methods and standards, which has lead to a high level of success and safety. We bring this same experience and knowledge to the South Side. We are concerned by the unstable nature of the Khumbu Icefall so we intend to have Members and Sherpas travel through this area as little as possible. Team Members will spend more time on Lobuche and surrounding peaks during the acclimatization, so as to avoid at least one trip through the Icefall for Members, and several trips for the Sherpa Staff.
The traditional Everest Base Camp is crowded and is on active ice that moves and melts around the tents during the course of the expedition. Himex will camp further down the valley, closer to Pumori where there is more sun and the ice does not move, so that our Sherpa staff will not have to spend so much time maintaining our Base Camp infrastructure, and we will be less crowded. Members will be encouraged to use both the Everest and Lobuche Base Camps in order to do long strenuous day and camping trips on surrounding peaks before the first acclimatisation trip through the icefall.
The first trip into the Western Cwm will be directly to Camp 2 (6,400m) where members will spend 2 nights before continuing up to Camp 3 (7,200m) on the Lhotse Face. We will spend one night here before descending back down to Camp 2 for another night. The following day we will return to Base Camp.
We will still have a very small camp at the Traditional Base Camp. This will comprise of just a kitchen/dining tent, sleeping tents and a basic toilet tent. Members can have an early evening meal at the Himex Base Camp before they move up to the “Tea Shop” for a light supper and to sleep before an early start up through the Icefall and directly to Camp 2 in the Western Cwm. On the return journey members can have a welcome snack and drinks before returning to our more comfortable Base Camp.
There will be practice ladders at Base Camp so that Members will have the chance to become familiar with how to walk across these before travelling through the Icefall for the first time. We will place an emergency tent and equipment at Camp 1 at the top of the Icefall. However this camp has an inherent avalanche danger, so members are not encouraged to stay in this camp.
The summit program will be dependent upon weather and snow conditions, but in general will be a single push on 7 consecutive days from Base Camp as follows: Base Camp – Tea Shop: Tea Shop – Camp 2: Camp 2 – Camp 3: Camp 3 – Camp 4 (South Col, 7,900m): Camp 4 – Summit – Camp 4: Camp 4 – Camp 2: Camp 2 – Base Camp.
Because of the dangers of landing helicopters at altitude, We do not encourage Members to charter helicopters for the return to Kathmandu and recommends that Members trek back to Lukla.