North side of Everest


Guy Lovett

Guy Lovett


Sandy Irvine

Sandy Irvine




Everest 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

The Eric Shipton Anniversary Everest Expedition 2005

In 1935 Eric Shipton led his own expedition to Everest. On the 70th Anniversary of this expedition, Eric’s son john is returning to the mountain to retrace his father’s 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 attempt

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.

For further details and to register your interest, please

or telephone 00 44 1749 671777

A full and detailed programme will be available shortly at


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.




Expedition Report by Simon Gray

Simon has 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

The 'Irvine 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.

Guy's mother 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'!

The expedition 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.

Lhasa, at 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!

We arrived 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 the summit.

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.

An unforgettable experience, highly recommended to everyone!


1st June- Kathmandu

Apologies 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

Tuesday 17th May 2004 UK

Everest Base Camp 5100m

Fled Kathmandu 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.

The cooler 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 Lamas.

Gorged on countless Buddhas and incense, the group set off in four Land Cruisers for Tibet’s 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.

Alongside 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 everyone’s 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 May 15.

During two days spent at this somewhat soulless highway stopover (4,300m), some of the group began to show signs of altitude sickness.

Nevertheless, with the doc satisfied their conditions were mild, May 17 saw the whole group of 16 heading for Base Camp.

Four hours 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 after camp of huddled tents led the expedition team to its own base pitched at the head of moraine leading to the Rongbuk Glacier.

With sore 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.

Most headaches 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, what’s more, heating and electric lighting!

Unfortunately, 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.

However, a 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 world’s highest mountain as the backdrop!

The commemorative 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.

13th 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.

After some 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!)

Climbing the 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 atmosphere.

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!


Monday 10th May 2004- Kathmandu 1400m

Everyone has 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...

On Tuesday we fly to Lhasa where we will acclimatise to the altitude and change in scenery for a couple of days."

Wednesday 5th May 2004 UK

The countdown 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 be off!

The plaque has been presented by the Old Salopian Club and will weigh down some lucky person's hand luggage between here and Base Camp!

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 updates…

See you in Kathmandu!

The expedition will raise money and awareness for The Royal Marsden Hospital Charity - Sarcoma Unit Research Fund (registered charity no. 1050537). Money can be donated via:

The Royal Marsden Hospital Charity - Sarcoma Unit Research Fund (registered charity no.1050537

THE on image for lager view

Why 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

An expedition 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 reasonably fit.

Do you 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

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