Where is Bob?
Location: China/Nepal border, Asia
Mount Everest is the highest point on Earth above sealevel and rises to the cruising altitude of commercial aircraft.
It’s summit is 8848 metres (29,029 ft) above sea level and is the highest point in Asia and the world. Everest has been my ultimate goal from a very young age and everything that I have done has been working towards attempting to achieve my dream of reaching the summit (and more importantly coming back down safely).
I am hoping to fly out to Everest in the Spring of 2013, become suitably acclimatised and be in position on the mountain ready for a summit bid when a weather window opens. The jetstream winds are often flowing over the summit, hence waiting for a suitable weather window when the winds have moved away from the summit is essential. I am hoping that a summit bid will be attempted sometime in the period mid-May to early-June 2013.
I have thought long and hard about which route to attempt Everest by. Most expeditions attempt Everest from the South side. The benefit of going from the South side is that you potentially spend less time in the death zone above 8000m. However, in recent years, the mountain has been especially busy on the South side and people have been queueing at various sections above 8000m on the South side.
The route on the North side is the route attempted by Mallory and Irvine, therefore it holds some significant history. It is meant to be slightly technically harder than the South side and some of the greatest difficulties are above 8000m altitude. My main reason for selecting the North side over the South side is that I feel that overall there is slightly less objective danger on the North side. Neither side is safe and people do die on Everest every year. I do not want to be one of those statistics and by selecting the North side this removes the need to go up and down the Khumbu Icefall multiple times during acclimatisation. The North side should also be less crowded, which hopefully means that I can move quicker up and down the fixed lines when above 8000m. I am under no illusion, it is a risky undertaking, but if you have a dream then the greatest risk of all is not to try to achieve that dream as you may regret it for the rest of your life.
If successful on Everest, then this would mean completion of the Seven Summits challenge for me, but more significantly it means the completion of a goal that I set myself at age 12 to help overcome my fear of heights! (I now have a healthy respect for heights).
Adventure Peaks will be sorting out the logistics for my attempt on Everest and they have a good safety record and good success rate. There are no guarantees with this type of expedition.
For my attempt on Everest, Base Camp will be established at the snout of the Rongbuk Glacier at 5200m, in preparation for the initial ascent of the East Rongbuk Glacier towards the North Col.
Intermediate Camp at 5600m breaks the approach to Advance Base Camp and will help me acclimatise. Advance Base Camp (6400m) is placed high on the moraine below the North Col.
Camp 1 (7010m) on the North Col provides the springboard for the remainder of the ascent. When I reach Camp 1 this will be a new altitude record for me as the highest point that I have been up to date is Aconcagua.
Camp 2 (7500m) will be situated at the top of the North Ridge snow slopes.
Camp 3 (7800m) will be high up on the North Ridge.
Camp 4 (8300m) will be established below the first step and the start of the more technically challenging section of the ridge. The final summit push will be made from there.
Everest is a huge unknown for me. I will give it my best shot. Whilst out there I also wish to perform some scientific measurements and raise money for charity. Please donate generously to my chosen charities for my efforts on Everest.
I hope to be able to post audio blogs and updates onto this website during the Everest attempt therefore please keep an eye on this website. I will be testing out these links and technology during a training expedition to Ecuador during Christmas 2012.
Media and online coverage
Interview with Myrddyn Phillips – YouTube