Everest Northeast ridge expedition 2013 – 41st phonecast

Listen to my latest phonecast


  1. dunc hale says:

    Bob, great to get all these updates! I know you have the right mental attitude and physical capability to summit and return safely. Fingers crossed for the weather and other external factors. With all best wishes, Dunc

  2. Tessa, Unity and Sue says:

    Hi Bob, Thanks so much for the special Devon mention today – we all think you’re absolutely amazing. Will be following your blog as we start on our own little expedition to Harrogate very shortly for the SRP Annual Meeting. We’ve already booked you a place at next year’s one in Southport to tell us all about your trip. Take good care – all at the SRP Admin Office

  3. Anne Marit Rødland says:

    Impressed that you remember Norwegian independence day up there. Thanks for remembering. I was supposed to celebrate the day crossing the Folgefonna glacier on skies and staying one or two days on the glacier. Unfortunately I got the flu so had a “normal” 17th of may like most people – staying in town and having a barbecue.

    Great to follow your phonecasts. I keep my fingers crossed that the weather conditions will be perfect and that you will make it to the summit and safe down again. Take care.

    Anne Marit

  4. Robin Smith says:

    Hiya Bob
    Robin, Head at Landscove School here. I have just listened to your phonecast and was amazed that you gave our littel school, hidden away in the heart of Devon, a mention! WOW!!! I can’t wait to play this in assembly & see the faces of the kids when they understand where you sent it from.

    Good luck with the final push, if you haven’t already completed it, and remember to be very careful on the way down. You are an amazing example that must inspire all those who hear of your adventure!

    All the very best wishes from your chums at Landsove!


  5. Lucy, Adam and Sam says:

    Hi Bob,
    Our names are Lucy, Sam and Adam from class 4, and we are representing Landscove Primary by writing to you. The School and ourselves are truly inspired by your great skills, determination and perseverance.
    To all of the children, you are a great inspiration who sets an outstanding example for any person to follow.

    Whilst taking part on this fabulous adventure, the pupils at Landscove have been extremely desperate to ask you about your trip- here are some of them: “Which of the 3 mountains was the most exciting to go up?” (Izzie, class 4.)
    “Have you seen any animal species?” (Adam, class 4.)
    “How long did it take you to get where you are now?” (Nat, class 4.)

    Thank you so much for sending us the ‘phone cast’ and for mentioning us in it; we are really grateful!

    So, from all the pupils and staff at Landscove C of E Primary we wish the best of luck on the journey back home!!!!

    P.S: “Do you have a good phone reception up there?” (Sam, class 3.)

    • admin says:

      Hi Lucy, Sam, Adam and everyone at Landscove Primary School. I am glad that you have all been enjoying following my adventure – all of you can achieve your dreams and great things. Set your goals (no matter how far fetched), work towards them and you will be pleased with what you can actually achieve.

      Thanks for your questions. I’ll answer them in order:

      Izzie – Every mountain is exciting in its own way and I have had challenges on each of them. I’d have to say that Everest has been the most exciting to date due to the great unknowns associated with it’s extreme height and it is my ultimate life goal. Everest has so much history associated with it and has captivated generations. Using oxygen masks, just like fighter pilots, has been a new and exciting experience for me.

      Adam – we have seen a few different animal species. High up on Everest there is no wildlife but you may occasionally see the odd bird such as Ravens or Chuffs. The highest mammal that I’ve seen was a very well fed fat mouse who kept appearing in our kitchen and dining tents at our Advanced Base Camp (6400m altitude). Perhaps, hiding somewhere, higher up the mountain there may be the Yeti. Our equipment and supplies were carried up to Advanced Base Camp using Yaks and before this Everest expedition I had never seen these animals before. Down at Base Camp (5,200m altitude) we had some marmots living nearby – although I saw them I never managed to get a picture of them. Also down at Base Camp altitudes we saw small deer/antelope type animals roaming free. Towards the end of the expedition, when the tempetatures at Base Camp had warmed up, we began to see a few different butterfly species and the occasional fly. I also had a spider sharing my tent with me.

      Nat – the higher that you go in altitude above about 3000m height requires more and more acclimatisation. In general as a rule of thumb we aim to increase sleeping altitude by 300m per day but due to technical difficulties and unsuitable campsites this is not always possible so we have to acclimatise by climbing high and sleeping low but occassionally pushing our bodies to the extreme by sleeping much higher than the recommended increase of 300m per day. Above about 6000m your body does not acclimatise much more. It took us about 6 weeks to be acclimatised enough to consider launching a summit bid and that is about a 10 day round trip from Base Camp. If you ever fancy climbing Everest then you should plan to be out here for about 10 weeks (70+ days). This is a long time away from home.

      Sam – the mobile phone reception at Base Camp was good and I was able to receive emails and Facebook on my Smartphone. This was because there was a mobile phone mast in line of sight near the Rombuk monestry. Higher up the mountain at Interim Base Camp, Advanced Base Camp and the North Col I had no mobile phone reception as we did not have line of sight to any mobile phone masts. I didn’t take my mobile phone any higher than the North Col as I was concerned with damaging it with the extreme cold and very low pressure – the Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) screen on smartphones are easily damaged in this harsh environment. In 2007, when mobile phones had smaller LCD screens, a British person made a mobile phone call from the summit of Everest. For communications when I have been out of mobile phone reception I have been using a satellite phone. The satellite phone reception was intermittent as the network that I was using (Iridium) does not have geostationary satellites – each of the 66 Iridium satellites are constantly moving around the Earth and you need line of sight to the satellite to use the satellite phone however if you are in a valley or surrounded by high mountainsides then as the satellites move you often lose reception. This loss of satellite phone reception often frustrated me but unlike Mallory and Irvine in 1924 at least I could stay in touch easily with loved ones at home by satellite phone text message and calls. Mallory and Irvine had to handwrite letters and post them to the United Kingdom then wait on a response letter which normally took several weeks. Communications are a lot better nowadays and I’m sure they will improve further on Everest in the future.

      Although I did not reach the summit of Everest this time, it is still a life goal for me and I will continue working towards it. Sometimes you get setbacks in life when trying to achieve goals, but view these setbacks as fresh challenges and find a solution so that you can then complete the goal. If you have had challenges on the way to achieving a goal then when you finally achieve that goal it makes it even more satisfying. Anything is possible if you put your mind to it. Go out there and achieve your dreams Landscove Primary!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *