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North Side 2005!
Continuing the aim
and objectives employed in 2004 of taking modern day adventurers
to explore the history of the Great Mountain, while achieving
their own ambitions we will next year facilitate a team of like
minded people to undertake
Eric Shipton Anniversary Everest Expedition 2005
In 1935 Eric
Shipton led his own expedition to Everest. On the 70th Anniversary
of this expedition, Erics son john is returning to
the mountain to retrace his fathers exploits of this
attempt on the mountain and those made by his father as
member of the 1933, 1936 and 1938 teams.
You are invited
to apply to join the group, which has 4 phases.
1. A summit
2. A non technical
trek/climb to the North Col
3. A support
trek to Advance Base Camp
4. A visit
to Rongbuk Base Camp with day walks and visits.
details and to register your interest, please
or telephone 00 44 1749 671777
A full and
detailed programme will be available shortly at www.everest-2005.co.uk
Welcome to the
official website of the Irvine Lovett (Memorial) Everest Expedition.
We are currently recruiting members for this once in a lifetime
chance to be part of an Everest expedition.
ON PICTURE FOR LARGER VIEW
Report by Simon Gray
been raising funds for the Jubilee Sailing Trust, a charity
which operates two specialty designed tall ships for able
bodied and disabled people to sail together. (visit the
web site at www.jst.org.uk.)
Lovett (Memorial) Everest Expedition' commemorated two former
pupils of Shrewsbury School, Sandy Irvine and Guy Lovett.
Sandy took part in an early attempt to climb the North Ridge
of Everest in 1924 (with George Mallory, he possibly reached
the summit - no one knows.) Guy was originally inspired
to climb Everest in memory of Irvine but sadly died in 2002.
and sister also took part in the expedition and arranged
for a permanent memorial to the two men. A white Chorten
(traditional Tibetan religious structure) was built at Base
Camp and a Buddhist monk from the local Rongbuk monastery
performed a moving dedication service, with incense and
chanting. A memorial plaque, donated by the Old Salopian
Club, now stands facing the summit of the mountain. The
monk looked rather surprised when we all burst into song
and sang two verses of the School Song, 'Floreat Salopia'!
started in Kathmandu where we met our fellow climbers and
guides and spent two days experiencing the busy street markets,
temples and famous Durbar Square. Then a short flight, over
Everest itself, to Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, to start
the lengthy acclimatisation programme. Western people are
not used to the altitude of the Himalayas and need to spend
time to help our bodies to adjust to the thinner air.
3,600 metres, is fascinating, with monasteries, temples
and the awe-inspiring seventh century Potala Palace. This
amazing structure was the traditional home of the Dalai
Lama for many centuries until the current (14th) Dalai Lama
was forced into exile soon after the Chinese invaded Tibet
in 1950. The Palace is now a World Heritage Site with magnificent
gold statues, colourful carved columns and shrines to the
13 previous Dalai Lamas.
The drive to Xigatse, and New Tingri, took us through large
expanses of dry mountainous land dotted with small villages
and men and women working on the land. We drove over high
passes and past spectacular snow capped peaks. Whenever
we stopped we were surrounded with curious locals, some
of them begging for money or pens. We visited a hillside
village and were surrounded with young boys eager to show
us the way to the ruined fort on top of the hill. When we
returned to the village I found my stack of postcards of
the Lord Nelson tall ship very useful as presents, so if
anyone happens to visit this village they might see a picture
of the ship in the temple courtyard!
at Base Camp, at 5,200 meters, to find our campsite already
set up with a mess tent, kitchen tent and sherpas' tent.
The ablution tent had a plastic toilet on a pile of stones
and a simple shower - hot water in a plastic container pumped
through a hand held nozzle. Our expedition and campsite
had been organised by a New Zealand climber, Russell Brice,
and his company, 'Himalayan Experience'. A world-renowned
climber and leader of expeditions, Russell is well respected
on the mountain, leading many teams to the North Col and
After 5 nights
at Base Camp we walked up the East Rongbuk glacial moraine
for 22 km, climbing 1200 metres in two days to Advanced
Base Camp (ABC). We staggered into ABC, at 6,400 metres,
to spend the next 4 days getting used to the effects of
altitude and admiring the views - we were camped on a corner
of a huge glacier pouring off Everest which towered above
us. The nights were hard, trying to sleep despite the reduced
amount of oxygen in the air (about 50%) and the bells of
the yaks ringing all night long.
The high point
of the trip was the climb to the North Col. The day was
bright and warm with good visibility. 8 of us, each with
a friendly and super fit Sherpa guide, set off suitably
attired with crampons and climbing equipment to climb the
ice and snow up to the Col (mountain pass) at 7,000 metres.
Fixed ropes lined the route, and we used a hand held ascending
device, which slides up the rope as we climb. At this altitude
the effort of putting one foot in front of another while
pushing on the ascender is quite strenuous but the ever
patient Sherpas made sure we were safely clipped on to each
rope, and encouraged us on each time we stopped for breath.
When we finally arrived at the Col four and a half hours
later, we could see the North Ridge of Everest stretching
up nearly another 2 miles to the summit - an amazing sight
worth all the hard work.
After a short
break for a drink and photos, we abseiled down the steep
ice walls, and almost ran down the more gentler snowy slopes,
reaching the bottom in under an hour! A welcome cup of revitalising
black tea was waiting for us on the path back to the campsite.
The next day,
another exhausting walk back to Base Camp (this time 22
km in one day!), to be met by Russell and his group of summiteers
celebrating their success with champagne and whisky, slightly
overshadowed by the knowledge that 6 people had died on
the mountain this season. Then a long day's drive to the
border town of Zangmu for Chinese border control, a walk
over the Freedom Bridge into Nepal, and back to Kathmandu
for further celebrations and few days rest.
experience, highly recommended to everyone!
for the communicatuions breakdown from ABC!
We are all
now back in Kathmandu safe and sound after an incredible
week in the shadow of Everest and one superb day on the
North Col when 8 team members struggled up the fixed ropes
for a day they will never forget.
After a 2
day walk to Advanced BaseCanp (ABC) wth a height gain of
1200m, everyone was feeling the effects of the altitude
and it was only after a couple of days rest that we started
taking in the awesome nature of our srroundings. We were
nestled on the corner of a huge glacier pouring off
Everest which towered above us.
After 4 days
at ABC, a group of 8 set off up the morraine to Crampon
Point and onto the glacier. Ahead of us the ground steepened
as we fixed our ascending devices to the fixed rope and
slowly moved up through the ice and fresh snow to the North
Col. When we finally arrived we could see the great
North Ridge of Everest stretching up nearly another 2 miles
into the sky. An incredible sight.
By the time
we had abseiled back down the winds had stregthened and
the clouds had gathered once again. After a fitful nights
sleep we headed back down the valley to Base camp where
Val and Clare were waitng with tea and
whisky! Then on down to Zangmu in a bus, across the bridge
back into Nepal and on to Kathmandu.
More to follow
but our thanks to Russel Brice and his team at Himalayan
Experience for their superb organisation which resulted
in 18 summiteers just days before our venture to the North
Col. Our thought and prayers go out to the families and
friends of those in other expeditions who did not make it
back down from the North Ridge this year
17th May 2004 UK
ahead of expected demonstrations on May 11 for flight to
Lhasa. Spectacular views over Everest, leaving China Airways
plane practically lurching to one side as entire group crowded
to the windows to catch a glimpse of our goal.
climate of Tibet was welcomed by all but the altitude (3,600m)
left everyone puffing and panting around the heights of
the awe inspiring Potala Palace home of the Dalai
countless Buddhas and incense, the group set off in four
Land Cruisers for Tibets second city, Shigatse.
What was supposed
to be a jaunt along the interestingly named Friendship Highway
turned into a nine hour epic as our drivers turned onto
the decidedly unfriendly highway.
In fact, the
dirt track detour, caused by the closure of the original
route, took the party across dizzying high passes (5,000+m)
and past spectacular snow-capped peaks.
the rutted track, Tibetans worked teams of yaks, ploughing
what they could of the rough desiccated landscape ready
for springtime sowing.
Two days into
the journey, following a brief pit-stop at Shigatse, Everest
finally came into view, commanding everyones attention
and prompting a photographic frenzy.
With the four
drivers competing for who could take the craziest route,
we miraculously arrived in New Tingri on the evening of
days spent at this somewhat soulless highway stopover (4,300m),
some of the group began to show signs of altitude sickness.
with the doc satisfied their conditions were mild, May 17
saw the whole group of 16 heading for Base Camp.
on an impressive winding dirt road brought the party to
the Rongbuk Monastery, sat squat and dwarfed by the towering
walls of Everest ahead.
camp of huddled tents led the expedition team to its own
base pitched at the head of moraine leading to the Rongbuk
heads from altitude (5,100m and only 63 per cent of oxygen
found at sea level) mixed with excitement about our eventual
arrival, the group settled into camp.
wore off pretty quickly on inspection of both the loos and,
in particular, the mess tent, stacked with mars bars, every
condiment under the sun, and, whats more, heating
and electric lighting!
a couple of the party were feeling the height more than
most and had to retire to bed without enjoying the incredible
scenery surrounding Base Camp.
night on Oxygen for one and plenty of tea for another seems
to have done the trick. And as the climbers higher up the
mountain push for the summit, everyone here is enjoying
the weather, sunbathing and reading with the worlds
highest mountain as the backdrop!
ceremony for Guy and Sandy will take place at Base Camp
on Thursday when a Buddhist priest from the Rongbuk Monastery
will dedicate the plaque donated by the Old Salopian Club.
May 2004- Lhasa 3550m
This is our
second day in the capital city of Tibet after the most
incredible flight over the Himalayas from Kathamndu. We
spotted all the big mountains out of the left side of the
plane, in fact we thought the plane was going to roll over
as everyone rushed over to get a glimpse of Everest with
the famous plume of spindrift flying off the summit.
interesting discussions with Chinese officials about visas
and research equipment, we met our Tibetan Mountaineering
Association guide and drivers who will be taking us up to
base camp in Landcruisers. They adorned us with prayer scarves
and took us into Lhasa to the Himalaya Hotel, which is remarkably
good (apart from the odd overflowing toilet!)
stairs reminded us of the altitude and we have been taking
things easy for the last 2 days. Our guide has taken us
to the imposing Potala Palace and other monasteries which
were fascinating. We have also been cruising the street
markets in old Lhasa for souvenirs or just to take in the
The team are
all well, with only a couple more people joining the Lhasa-belly
weight loss club. Tomorrow we start the 4 day trip to Base
Camp, when the altitude really starts to kick in!
10th May 2004- Kathmandu 1400m
now arrived safely in Kathmandu and we are relaxing in the
Hotel Tibet. Out on the streets the sights, sounds and smells
are quite a shock to the system (except to those members
living in Glasgow).
We have met
our guide, Sean and the Nepalese representatives; they have
been helping people out with last minute kit problems and
where to find the cheapest beer. Everyone is well apart
from a couple of dodgy stomachs which
is only to be expected...
we fly to Lhasa where we will acclimatise to the altitude
and change in scenery for a couple of days."
5th May 2004 UK
has finished and the team is about to set off to Kathmandu.
There is a
sense of excitement and nervous anticipation of what awaits
us in Tibet and on Mount Everest. After all the preparation
and planning we are finally ready and we cannot wait to
has been presented by the Old Salopian Club and will weigh
down some lucky person's hand luggage between here and Base
Will has done
a great job on the charity website and we are now well over
£1000 raised for the Royal Marsden Sarcoma Unit. Keep
the donations coming in and watch this space for further
See you in
will raise money and awareness for The Royal Marsden Hospital
Charity - Sarcoma Unit Research Fund (registered charity
no. 1050537). Money can be donated via: www.justgiving.com/everestexped2004
Marsden Hospital Charity - Sarcoma Unit Research Fund (registered
TEAM........click on image
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climb Everest ?
Guy Lovett was originally inspired to climb Everest in memory
of Sandy Irvine, an Old Salopian and talented oarsman who died
with George Mallory on the North Ridge of Everest in 1924. The
mystery of their disappearance can be explored further here.
Guy hoped to commemorate Irvine's achievements on this expedition
but he was unable to see his ambition realised. Tragically he
became ill and was taken from us by cancer earlier this year.
The similarities between Sandy
Irvine and Guy Lovett are striking. Both attended Shrewsbury School, were elite
oarsmen and charismatic individuals. Their parallel lives in different ages were
ended abruptly whilst they were reaching their prime. Now a new resolve has been
born to complete Guy's plan, not just as a celebration of Irvine's short but action
packed life, but in memory of both of these men. A full list of the objectives
of this expedition can be found on our Aims page
to suit everyone
The expedition has three phases. There will be summit attempt, a trek to the North
Col at 7000m (23,000 ft) and a lower altitude trek into Base Camp on the Rongbuk
glacier. Those wishing to do the North Col trek will be offered appropriate training
in the Alps during 2003; the lower altitude trek is accessible to anyone who is
want to join us ?
If you are interested you should find all the information you need on this website.
If you have any other questions please call, email or write to us - details are
on our contact page.
Find out how members got on in Chamonix
- click on our training page