Everest Nepal Camp 3 Training Climb, and Everest Basecamp Trek Expedition News, Spring

Everest Nepal Camp 3 Training Climb, and Everest Basecamp Trek Expedition News, Spring

Everest Nepal - Lhotse Expedition & Training Climb
7 April to 5 June

The season began in early April, after a snowy winter. The snow continued to fall lightly through the middle of April and the temperatures remained moderate. Our teams began arriving in Everest's Khumbu Valley at Lukla on 9 April. Our beautiful Himalayan trek arrived in basecamp on 17 April. While acclimatising at basecamp we completed a series of fun training walks, ice climbing practice sessions and forays into the mighty Khumbu icefall near basecamp. On 25 April, after lots of rest and training, we climbed the icefall during the wee hours up to camp 1 at 6,100 metres / 20,000 feet.

Upon arriving in Camp 1, we had just retreated inside the tents when, at 12:00 noon, the glacier we were camped upon began violently rolling like the ocean and then a large avalanche let loose from the high above west ridge of Everest sweeping camp 1 with spindrfit snow and winds. We radioed down to basecamp to find out that a huge ice avalanche from Mount Lingtren had destroyed basecamp. Later we found out that that a 7.5 earthquake had hit the entire Nepal and Tibet region with as many as 10,000 people dead or missing. In basecamp around 20 people had been killed or were missing in the aftermath of the 1 minute earthquake. One of those tragically lost was Tom Taplin, a film maker who had chosen to not climb up to camp 1, but rather to stay in his tent in basecamp. He was later found hurled by high winds 300 metres / 500 feet from camp, near his broken camera. Our deepest condolences to the lost climber's family, friends, and colleagues. Needless to say, the route through the icefall was destroyed, with little possibility of safe descent and all 100 plus people in camp 1 were helicopter evacuated down to basecamp. Upon arrival we found basecamp to be leveled flat, a total loss.

All teams spent the next several days digging through the snow for their lost posessions, and then trekking and helicoptering back to Kathmandu. We wish everyone a safe return and encourage all to lend a hand in rebuilding after the tragic Himalayan Earthquake of April 2015. At this time of writing, the Nepalese and Tibetan peoples are rapidly rebuilding and look forward to your visit during September - October 2015 for Mounts Cho Oyu, Shishapangma, Baruntse, Ama Dablam, Mera Peak, Everest Glacier School, EBC Trek and the Summit of Mount Everest in Autumn 2015 and 2016. The situation is rapidly stabilising, and returning  to normal. Everyone is eager for your return to freshly repaired and well maintained mountain routes, hotels, and lodges, to boost their families' and villages' economies, and for renewed climbing excitement on the highest, most beautiful peaks on Earth, the Nepalese and Tibetan Himalaya. 

Blog posts: Please click one of the links below to go directly to that blog post or just scroll down.

Alexandra climbing in the icefall with the team. Sam Chappatte Photo. Alexandra having a cuppa and a chat on Pat's satphone. Sam Chappatte Photo
Team ascending the Khumbu Icefall. Photo by Sam and Alex Chappatte. Team climbs the 2 big vertical ladders in the icefall. Matti Sunell Photo. 
Base Camp. Zsolt Torok Photo. Climbers wating for a helicopter in Camp 1. Zsolt Torok Photo.
Climbing a snow wall above Camp 1. Zsolt Torok Photo. Fishtail helicopter makes a pickup from Camp 1 with Mount Pumori in the background. Matti Sunell Photo
Cook put together a few pieces of tables and chairs and served a meal! Sam and Alex Chappatte Photo. Crossing Ladders in the Western Cwm. Zsolt Torok Photo
Garth Burrell by Zsolt Torok. Zsolt digs out some of his lost clothing beside his smashed tent. Sam and Alex Chappatte Photo
James, Damian, and Matti hoist a cuppa. Zsolt Torok Photo. Zsolt Torok, strong climber from Romania in Camp 1. Photo by Justine
 Leo prepares the medical kit. Photo Sam and Alex Chappatte. Leopold making a movie about the climb. Zsolt Torok Photo
Patrick and Leo making high altitude medical kits. Matti Sunell Photo. Selection of medications from the medical  kit. Photo by Sam and Alex Chappatte
 Sherpa from another company has fallen into the icefall and broken his leg. Zsolt Torok Photo. Snowy tents in camp 1 with windy Mount Lhotse in background. Matti Sunell Photo
Spectacular photo of Mount Tawoche and Ice Pinnacles in an avalanche dust storm. Zsolt Torok Photo. Tashi Sherpa and Dan Mazur at ceremony in basecamp. Zsolt Torok Photo.
Team dons crampons and harnesses at the 'crampon point' at the base of the Khumbu Icefall. Sam and Alex Chappatte PhotoTragic wreckage of basecamp. Matti Sunell Photo
View to our neighbors basecamp, where 8 people were killed. Sam and Alex Chappatte Photo. Zsolt, Alex, Sam, and Matti in Camp 1. Patrick McKnight Photo
Tom Taplin. Photo by Zsolt Torok. Woody and Tom Taplin were making a documentary about the history of basecamp. Eric Poppleton Photo

1 May -

Today's Update from Expedition Leader Dan Mazur: Everest Tibet & Mount Cho Oyu cancelled: Tibet Mountain Asscn. Teams heading to Lhasa airport; Nepal border closed by Earthquake

29 April -

Today's Update from Expedition Leader Dan Mazur: Everest‬ ‪#‎Earthquake‬ ‪Nepal‬: Tom Taplin, film maker thrown 300m / 480ft from BC by crushing wind, found with smashed movie camera.

28 April -

Today's Update from Expedition Leader Dan Mazur:

  • ‎Everest‬ B C Return. Walk 30 min from helipad to BC: Nothing Left. 3 dead in neighbor camp. 5 dead on other side, 2 dead across.
  • We are last 9 Sherpas & 8 climbers @ #Everest. On helipad here in C1 @ 6100m / 20,000ft. Sunny & cloudless, but waiting is hard. back to top

27 April -

Today's Update from Expedition Leader Dan Mazur:

  • Helicopters flew to #Everest C1 today, rescuing stranded climbers & Sherpas. @ 1:30pm, clouds & No more helis. Hope for tomorrow.

26 April -

Today's Update from Expedition Leader Dan Mazur:

  • Icefall scouts back w/ news: GOOD: route is there. BAD: it sustained damage. V BAD: icefall Sherpas bc gone; ran away to Namche!
  • Aftershock @ 1pm! Horrible here in camp 1. Avalanches on 3 sides. C1 a tiny island. We worry about icefall team below.. Alive?
  • 12+1 member #Everest BC TV team passed away. RIP. #Earthquake loosed tons of ice down, creating wind blast destroying BC' heart back to top

25 April -

Today's Update from Expedition Leader Dan Mazur:

  • Aftershock! ‪#‎Everest‬ team is in camp 1, hanging on. ‪#‎Icefall‬ route destroyed.

  • A Massive earthquake just hit Everest. Basecamp has been severely damaged. Our team is caught in camp 1. Please pray for everyone. 
Alex, Sam and Patrick listening to Dan unravel mysteries of climbing universe, on the Khumbu Glacier. Tom Taplin photo. All smiles - Sam, Sange Sherpa and Alex in front of Lobuche. Friendly Trekker photo.
Boots, helmets, crampons, axes, and other gear being blessed at the puja ceremony. Jim Grieve photo. The docile, friendly, and hardy yak - the real heros of every expedition. Tom Taplin photo back to top

Damian, Dan, Sherpas and camp guests with flour smeared on faces for good luck during the puja ceremony. Damian Bourke photo. Damian, Jim, Zolte, Dan and friend Tim, with Ama Dablam in background. Matti Sunell photo
Damian, Matti, James, Leo, Dan and Jangbu in the dreaded Everest icefall. Tom Taplin photo. 'THE BITCH IS SLEEPING' sleep mask, as modeled by Alex, available at Boots. Sam Chappatte photo back to top
Damian '20 stories tall, made of radiation' Bourke on a ladder crossing. Tom Taplin photo . Jim doing a bit of modeling at Pumori Base Camp, in front of Everest, Lhotse, and the Icefall. Damian Bourke photo. Jim expertly rappelling during training in the Khumbu Glacier. Matti Sunell photo
Icefall, Nuptse, Mario, Luigi and our tents at base camp on a crystal clear day. Tom Taplin photo
Damian gingerly practicing ladder crossing, while being filmed by Tom. Matti Sunell photo. Jim expertly rappelling during training in the Khumbu Glacier. Matti Sunell photo.

24 April -

  • Today's Update from Expedition Leader Dan Mazur: We are all packed for tonight's climb through the Everest icefall. It snowed today but now its a clear starry night. Good luck!  back to top
  • Today's Update from Expedition Leader Dan Mazur: Practice ice climb, abseil, rappel, & ladder on Khumbu Glacier in Everest Basecamp. Lobuche training glacier school also join!
  • Greetings from Everest basecamp. Tonight I and our team of 10 men and women of all ages from around the world are climbing the mountain up to camp 3 at 7000 metres / 23,000 feet. It seems the dreaded Everest icefall is in good condition according to our recent forays there. Weather has been good, and conditions safe for the Sherpas to stock the camps. Everyone is in good spirits after quite a few training days on the ice and ridges around basecamp. Wish us luck.Thank you very much. 

22 April - 


Ama Dablam from Shomare. Matti Sunell Photo. James Grieve in the Dingboche Pass with Mount Tawoche Backround. James, Jangbu, and Damian on Chukkung Ri back to top
Leo Eats. James Grieve Photo. Mount Nangpai Gosum. Photo by Matti Sunell
Baby Yaks in Pangboche. Matti Sunell Photo. Pony in a snow storm. Matti Sunell Photo

21 April -

Today's Update from Expedition Leader Dan Mazur: We checked members gear, visited bc hospital for checkup, & walked in the icefall. All Everest and Lhotse members are here.

20 April -

Today's Update from Expedition Leader Dan Mazur:

  • Today was the first day Sherpas were allowed into the icefall. Ours carried loads to C1. Members climbed to 5817m / 19080 ft!
  • Today in basecamp we had the opening ceremony for our expedition with all sherpas and members and 2 lamas. Very sunny! back to top

Porter carries a lot of beer in Dingboche. James Greive Photo. Rosy and Kyle at Kathmandu Airport. Rosy Herstell.

Team checks out the Buddha in Pangboche. Matti Sunell Photo. Wringing water out of clothing in Dingboche. James Grieve Photo.

18 April -

Today's Update from Expedition Leader Dan Mazur: Everest Nepal team reaches basecamp. Everyone is well. The Everest trekkers and Island Peakers joined for lunch too!

16 April -

After Dingboche, the team braved the small hill overlooking Dingboche village to merge onto what was a traffic-ridden Everest Highway, full of climbers and trekkers simultaneously taking advantage of the renewed pleasant weather. Yak teams tolled their friendly bells, sherpa herders shouted their impenetrable curses, and trekkers generally carried on, chatting away about whatever came to mind. For us, it was 'how the recent Tom Cruise films have had very clever plots', and 'what a ranuncula flower looks like if you've never seen one before because it's kind of hard to describe', and 'what we'll be doing seven years from today in the "I am", present case format'.

There were young teenagers sporting street wear, and older folks bent over trekking poles. There were older Japanese with their ever-pristine kit, walking in a perfect line spaced two feet between each trekker, moving aside together whenever anyone needed to pass. They were a perfect millipede.

There was a young group of bright-eyed Israelis, walking in pairs, casually joking and laughing, some listening to music and oblivious to their settings, and one, curiously, with a roll of toilet paper strung about her neck. They were a perfect school trip. This flow of people was a testament to Everest and the Khumbu region's perennial draw, to nature's ability to inspire people of many paths, and to merge them onto one highway. 

We came up on Dukhla shortly, halfway between Dingboche and Lobuche, and stopped for a bit of noodle soup and juice. A bit of romance spontaneously flared up between one of our trekkers, and a pretty young girl from another group. He left the mines to work as a team leader on the ski slopes; she was a nurse, soon moving, but already in love with her future home. Sparks flew, diamox was offered, and bystanders were made gently awkward. Afterward, up the hill we went, and soon, we'd rolled into Lobuche, and the Above the Clouds Lodge. A few celebratory beers were had, and a fantastic set of meals: for lunch was a hyper-indulgent double serving of french toast, and for dinner, spaghetti with mushroom and tomato sauce, with mangos for desert. Fit for kings. In fact,, it was the "last supper", as the day after, the teams would split: Grant, Andre, and Kai would head for Lobuche base camp, and the summit they came for; the New Zealanders (Steve, Sally,  Rosy, and Kyle) would head for Kalapattar and then back to Island Peak; and the Everest team for Everest Base Camp. There was a toast, and lighthearted jokes were made about the team members who'd become inseparable, and would now need to part.

That night, the afternoon snow cleared, and a crystal clear view of Nuptse emerged. It felt like the first night the stars really came out in full force. After dinner, team members stepped out to take extended exposures, and to bask in the night light.
Lobuche by Leo Wang  back to top

15 April -

Dingboche is "quite the sprawling Himalayan metropolis", said one of the team members upon arriving. At about 4300 meters, the village's scale is a bit unexpected - a (very) rough estimate would place its length at about 2-3 miles, populated by the usual tin roof, cinderblock wall, and  plywood construction trekking lodges lining both sides of one central artery of mud, wending its way higher and higher, eastward toward Island Peak. From a distance, it looked like a schoolyard hopscotch grid gone cancerous, its residents having piled up stone walls into square-shaped animal corrals, one after another, somewhat willy-nilly. 

The team members of course gravitated to its bakeries; an activity which has emerged as the de-facto "time-killer" of choice. Not difficult to understand. Dingboche's best was apparently Mama's Bakery, a small but cozy shack toward the mouth of the village. The New Zealanders, Steve and his partner Sally, Steve's daughter Rosy and Sally's son Kyle, plus Grant, the minister from Australia, were joined by Garth and Leo, two Everest hopefuls -- all crowded in to sample what they presumed were the eponymous Mama's home cooked treats: chocolate donuts, carrot cake, walnut pie, and chocolate croissants. A few other trekkers filed in and out, including, notably, a film crew from New Zealand come for a documentary on the sherpa-climber relationship, one year after the shattering accident of 2014.

The next day, there was much small-talk admiring the beautiful morning - clear sunshine warmed those of us who sat outside the Yak Lodge, de-layered to soak in as many rays as possible. It was much like a scene from any small town: a few homebodies and lay-abouts arrayed along main street, unconsciously hoping for some news to chuckle at, scoff at, raise an eyebrow at, or ultimately just mindlessly stare at. "Hey is Bantha Brakk in Pakistan, or Northern India?" "I thought it was in the Trango Towers?"

Portable solar panels drank sunlight, propped on plastic lawn chairs from China. A couple teenage porters washed clothes along the muddy path, bogarting some sun-warmed water flowing through a section of the town's black rubber piping. Cards were played; a New Zealander's game of luck. It was called "3-up, 3-down"; unsure if it was only a harmless and catchy name, or a profoundly bleak and satirical statement on life.   

Perhaps to fulfill the bad luck sign that was a full-circle rainbow entirely ringing the sun, from the day before, one team member fell a bit sick, and was ferried down toward Pheriche, for the swift helicopter ride back into Nepali civilization. Combined with exhaustion and a cold, the difficult decision to curtail her trek to Everest base camp was made - expedition leader Dan, senior sherpa Jangbu, Garth, and Janet (aunt of the unlucky trekker) made two trips to help escort her onto the arranged helicopter. The first attempt was snuffed out by inclement weather, as by now, true to Northern Hemisphere mountain / Himalayan weather patterns, the snow was coming down generously. It was mid-afternoon, when her helicopter finally lighted. Kudos to the trekker for toughing it out day after day - just the day before she made what must have been a truly grueling hike from Pangboche to Dingboche - and to everyone for helping her off the mountain. A couple days later we found she was healthy and active, back in Kathmandu, entertaining ideas of shopping and the climber world renowned Momo Star.

I should also mention a few of our more stalwart members rallied for an acclimatization hike up to 5100 meters, in the morning sunshine. This, is an altitude gain of 800 meters. There always seems to be more than sufficient excitement, and anxiety, and eagerness, and nervous jitters, and generally, human nature, to fuel a few climbers for an "acclimatization hike", on what was a planned rest day.

And so passed a climber's day in Dingboche.    

Garth and James on the trail to Dingboche. Damian Bourke Photo. Garth, Damian, Zsolt, Leo, James, and Dan, at the Padmasambhava Statue in Pangboche.Grant, Andre, James, Kyle, and Steve. Damian Bourke Photo
 Sherpa children enjoying a bracelet from James Grieve. Damian Bourke Photo. Snowy Yaks. Damian Bourke Photo. Lakpa, Damian, James and Emily on the trail to Dingboche
Garth, Damian, James, Sally, and Steve. Damian Bourke Photo. Grant Finlay blessed by Lama Geshe. back to top

James, Garth, and Damian at Everest View Hotel. Everest and Ama Dablam in background. Lumber Porter. Grant Finlay Photo.
One day old horse and mom in Pangboche. James Grieve Photo . Rhododendrons along the trail to Everest. Kangjoma village in backround. Damian Bourke Photo. 
Zsolt, Marius, and Jangbu enjoying a beverage along the trail to Everest Base Camp. Grant Finlay Photo. West Face of Ama Dablam seen from Shomare. James Grieve Photo.
3 Kiwis with the flag on the summit of Syangboche. Damian Bourke Photo.  Team photo in front of Kwangde Ri at Namche Bazaar. Damian Bourke Photo.

14 April -

Today's blog by Damian Bourke.

Early morning tea delivered to the room combined with a clear sky meant we were heading to Dingboche.  This is one of the most majestic walks you can imagine.  We have been blessed already with snow on the mountains, clear sky, warm day and great company.  All team members are getting on well and we constantly interact whilst trekking.  The groups from new Zealand even get on well with the Australians who like the Scot, who likes the Romanians, Czech and the Americans.its our own global village.

Along the trek to Dingboche there are many stops for 'postcard' photo opportunities.

On arrival in Dingboche (4,360m altitude) the team is fairing well, some minor effects of trekking but hopefully all will come good quickly.

13 April -

The morning began with a beautiful snow fall in lower Pangboche.  A 20cm layer of pure white snow (except for yak pooh!) It could be said the team preferred a clear day, but the weather had other thoughts.  The beauty of the mountains enhanced with the white snow.

After a hearty breakfast we made our way to Lama Geshe for a blessing on our travels. A spiritual journey begins, whichever that may be for each member. After finding our way through snow back to camp, it was a rest afternoon and early night in anticipation of moving forward tomorrow.

12 April -

After a solid trek from Namche, the team slept as well as you can.

11 April - 

Everest Team arrives in the Capital of the Sherpas: Namche Bazaar

Our team met in Kathmandu, organised everything, and we flew to Lukla, then trekked to Namche, where we are now. We have been so lucky with the weather, everyone and everything has arrived here safely.
back to top

Damian Bourke at the Mount Everest National Park Gate. James Grieve Photo. James Grieve in Namche Bazaar.


Janet and Emily enjoying the trek to Namche. Zsolt Torok Photo. Yaks on the Namche bridge. Zsolt Torok Photo.

Flower sellers in KTM. Zsolt Torok Photo. KJ and Lakpa buying the team medications.

Andreas and Janine enjoying a sizzling dinner in Kathmandu. James Grieve Photo. Dan Mazur and team discussing expedition plans during the team briefing. Zsolt Torok Photo


David O'Brien Tibet Everest Leader. Zsolt Torok Photo. environmental talk in Namche.


Cherry Blossoms in Chumoa Village on the trail to Namche. Zsolt Torok Photo. Lukla Airport. Zsolt Torok Photo. back to top
Lakpa and Thile Sherpa in front of the new water tank in Namche. Lakpa Sherpa at Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee SPCC Namche. Matti Sunell and Dan Mazur at Ministry of Tourism holding the Lhotse and Everest Permits
Mr. Kapindra Rai. SPCC Incharge. Namche Rubbish Incinerator.
Namche Bazaar Saturday Market. Our campsite in Namche. Zsolt Torok Photo.
Street Scene in Namche Bazaar. James Grieve Photo. Yak loaded for the trip to Namche. Zsolt Torok Photo.

Discovery Channel's Joe French visits www.EverestClimb.com Sherpas.

Today our team packed everything for Everest Tibet, Everest Nepal, Island Peak, Glacier School, Basecamp Trek. We had a nice visit from Discovery Channel's Cameraman Joe French. Who filmed the packing for the television program. Thanks to Joe for filming and to the Sherpas for their hard work.

Dendi and Kipa Sherpa pack while Discovery Cameraman Joe French shoots. Kathmandu Valley Mountains behind. Discovery Cameraman Joe French shooting Kipa Sherpa packing.
Overhead view of packing

6 April -

All of our staff are packing for Mount Everest. The members are helping pack too. It is very exciting to get ready, with anticipation!

Deha Shrestha, SummitClimb IT Manager, preparing solar equipment for Everest. Jangbu Sherpa, Sange Sherpa, and Murari Sharma preparing tents, epigas, and drums for Mount Everest. back to top
Ian Bellows from Cascade Leadership Challenge preparing Mount Everest Medical Kits.  Jangbu Sherpa  and Thile Sherpa modeling their new RAB jackets. Thanks RAB!!!.
Our advance Everest team preparing to fly to Lukla. Our Staff preparing the tents for the Everest expedition.

Team Roster:

Everest Nepal Team Roster

  • Dan Mazur, (USA/UK) LEADER
  • Leo W. ,  USA
  • Sam C. , UK
  • Alex S. , Belgium
  • Patrick M., UK
  • James G., UK
  • Garth B., Australia
  • Zsolt T., Romania
  • Damian B., Australia
Lhotse Team Roster

  • Matti S., Finland
  • Karel M., Czech Republic
Everest Training Climb Camp 3 Nepal Team Roster 2nd Group Start from 21st April:

  • Milan S., Slovakia
  • Abraham G., Israeli
Sherpas And Staff - 

  • Jangbu Sherpa
  • Sange Sherpa
  • Gyalze Sherpa
  • Mingmar Sherpa
  • Karma Gyalzi Sherpa
  • Nir Kaji Tamang
  • Thile Nuru Sherpa
  • Lhakpa Sherpa
  • Dawa Sange Sherpa
  • Jay Bahadhur Nagarkoti- Cook back to top