Saturday, May 28, 2016

Post Everest Update 3

I took 58 seconds of video on the summit of Mt. Everest. 25 second in the video above on my GoPro and 33 seconds on my primary camera, which I will publish eventually, but it's not as good. Taking a picture or a video is such a challenge in these conditions. For my GoPro the process was to unzip my down suit, take off my gloves, reach into my inner down suit pocket and take out the camera, turn it on, and then start recording. That takes maybe 30 seconds to do all of that, maybe 20 seconds. Then there is the recording time. At which point I realized, and said in the video, that my fingers were getting very cold, and I had to start the reverse process of putting the camera away, another 20-30 seconds. It sounds really short, and it was, but I've spent time in a -40C/F cold room for engineering testing, with fans running, and the cold up at the summit of Everest there was worse.

On the topic of cameras, my primary camera was a Nikon AW120, on a strap around my neck. Great pictures, but when I tried to get it off my neck for some better angles, it got stuck on my hoods, so I gave up and moved on to my iPhone 5S and GoPro Hero 3+. The problem with those two is that trying to use them with my summit gloves was nearly impossible because the risk of dropping either one was too great. So I had to take off my gloves to use them, which means that in the interest of keeping my fingers I took 58 seconds of video and 15 pictures, most of which look like the one below.
Another Summit Selfie, With My Thumb
It's actually kind of funny. I'm going to frame at least one of them, actually hang it on my wall, and title it: "No Frostbite", because I would much rather have my fingers than some picture. Also, shout out to Alan Bean who broke the color video camera on Apollo 12, I get it man.

Also, I'm apparently giving a five minute speech tomorrow at the 9th International Sagarmatha Day at  9 AM, May 29th, at the Nepal Tourism Board. Supposedly there will be 700 people there, and they wanted a westerner to say something. So if anyone is around Bhrikutimandap, Kathmandu in about 22 hours please stop by. I flew back into Kathmandu from Lukla around 11 AM on Friday the 27th, if that wasn't clear.
South Col selfie with Menanie Southworth in the background messing with her satellite phone.
Here is the first of several videos from the south col. I hope you get a laugh out of these as much as I do. That being said, the videos from my first summit push will make you surprised that the other guys went on to summit, it was not good weather.
Other random tidbits:
  • Feathered Friends down suit does not have pockets for your hands, it should.
  • "Everyone" summited Everest this year.
  • No one died above camp 4 this year on Everest, but they died between camp 3 and camp 4, very strange.
  • Camp de Base in Namche is my favorite lodge in the Khumbu. It has hot water, towels, big blankets, soap and toilet paper included, plus the food is good. 
  • Billi Bierling said last night at Sam's Bar that the "interesting" thing to do, which hasn't been done would be the west ridge of Everest, Lhotse, and Nuptse and down the west ridge of Nuptse all without bottled oxygen. It's not a huge traverse, but it's a lot of time at altitude. Anyone want to try with me? Uli?
  • I ran Everest basecamp to Namche Bazaar in 5:42, here is the Strava event. The hard part was carrying about 10 pounds of clothing, gear, food and water. 
  • The hard part of Everest summit day is having no sleep when you start hiking, at 8 PM. If we left at midnight, it might be even easier. That being said, I think it's good 48 hour race training to go from camp 3 up to the summit and back to camp 2 all with only a 40 minute nap after the summit on the south col.
  • There is less air pollution in Kathmandu now than there was in early April. 
  • My friend Dave Ohlson summited from the North Side a few days ago.
  • Looks like I will be on Denali next year. No oxygen, no guides, no porters. 
  • Again, July 4th weekend, I'm planning to "run" Nolan's 14. I would really like some company, if not on the actual mountains, then at the road crossings would still be great and make my logistics much easier. (I can go sub 48 hours.)

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