Wednesday, 29 September 2010

God Bless Technology.

Ian rang a few minutes ago. Stood in the Air Dynasty office they have just managed to check out a possible landing/BC area by using Google Earth...!

Rapidly getting older by the day since becoming involved with all of this, later today, Ian Wall will be flying to Pokhara with the Chopper guys. Tomorrow, hopefully, they will fly into the BC area to mark the landing site, which, if Gooogle Earth is to be believed, is at approximately 4000m and three and a half kilometres from the base of the crag. (Base of the crag is Ian's description, I personally would call a 2.5 kilometre ridge leading to the summit of a 7555m mountain slightly more than a crag!)

Needless to say, they may, or may not be successful!

Monday, 27 September 2010

Reccy, no Reccy...Reccy, no Reccy...Reccy, no Reccy...Reccy, no Reccy..........................................

The most recent news from Ian Wall in Kathmandu is Pemba at Air Dynasty managed to fly over the BC area yesterday for the first time. Unfortunately he had to stay quite high as there was a thin cloud layer. Nepal has distinct pitfalls when flying in clouds as big solid lumps of stuff,(mountains) tend to be quite high also and don’t move much when hit!

Pemba reports a lake that is not shown on the map and at least one promising BC area, all be it higher than we want, approximately 4500m...(note to myself to remember the paracetamol!) The area we really want to be based is approximately 4000m, and will still mean bumping headaches for everyone apart from Matt who has been guiding folk up Mont Blanc... I'll take the headache any day!

Ian also reports that weather permitting; Pemba and he will fly from Kathmandu to Pokhara and onto the BC area on the 30th. All getting a tad close as we arrive in Kath on the 3rd.

For folk who dont know much about expeditions of this type (not that this type of expedition happens everyday) you could easily think this is not very good organisation... but what you have to remember is this aint no exact science,this certainly isn't a tried and tested route, a well travelled area, an often done jaunt... This is a wild and nearly unexplored area for both people and helicopters alike and the climb will be cutting edge (if we can reach it). So we just have to take whatever comes our way and hope we can sort it, because if we cant, it aint happening!


Monday, 20 September 2010

After Tentative Friday, comes Frustrating Monday.

Just heard back from Ian Wall, that after he travelled to Pokhara and waited three days, there was no chance to fly. His liver could stand no more of the socialising in Pokhara, so now he is back in Kathmandu waiting for a break in the weather and another go.

The road to Pokhara is out due to landslides, but if we stump up $100 for a flight he will be on his way asap. Given Ian's words,

"Please try to let me know what to do within the next few hrs as I have to get flight tickets .. if I don’t hear I’ll go and we can argue later .. if I don’t go then we’re all in the shit .. will need to drop down to mark landing zone or Pemba might not find it again with you guys"

No brainer then..

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Tentative Friday.

Things are now moving at an ever increasing pace...

Ian Wall has just emailed to inform us that he is travelling to Pokhara in preparation for the reccy flight which will take place on Friday (hopefully!).

Loben has just emailed with costing, timing, plans etc... (always fraught this one)

(Just to give the non expedition folk out there an idea... Liason Officer costs, $1800, Garbage deposit, $2000, LO and cook insurance $500, Peak Fee, $1400 (this is an autumn cost, its double in the spring) BC service costs anything between $6000 to $8000.)

David Reeves, the new addition and cameraman working for Posing Productions, now has his plane ticket, as do Matt, Pete and me thanks to my credit card. (even more fraught than the one above, well for me anyway!)

Samsung have now supplied all of the camera gear, filming gear, and communications gear.

The North Face have supplied a couple of tents for Matt and Pete to use at BC which are being delivered to DMM for collection.

An invoice has been raised by Pete for the extra funding which Samsung have very generously given.

And on, and on, and on...

With a bit of luck, no, in fact with a lot of luck by Saturday we may have some pictures of the hill thanks to Ian.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

New team member on board

David Reeves will be joining the expedition team as camera-man for Posing Productions who will be capturing all the stunning beauty of the Annapurna region together with all the highs and lows of a major mountaineering expediton to a remote and seldom visited part of the world.

Posing Productions will be making a marketing video for Samsung our main expedition sponsor showcasing their electronic products in extreme locations and possibly a feature length film if the climbers remember to switch on their video cameras during the climbing!

Monday, 6 September 2010


Monsoon is still hitting Kathmandu hard according to Ian Wall and because of this the Air Dynasty guys are grounded so still no reccy, and still no conformation of whether it is possible to land at BC or not... Hey you remember when expedition climbing was easy and it was just a 3 week walk from Kathmandu to Everest BC!

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Here we go again. (Round 2)

After a few months of wild email contact with each other,  sorting out helicopter companies, wild repeated email exchanges with Ian Wall, (who has graciously taken it upon himself to sort out the helicopter side of things, "You want the BC where?? Yes there, just there, no, there, not there, yes there"... etc, etc, etc...), Loben, (friend and sorter of things that need sorting), Alastair Lee, who isn't coming but Ian Burton who may be coming to film, Rob Fairley who has given invaluable info and last but definitely not least, Samsung, who have thrown in more cash and who without their support this thing would not have been happening, we have finally committed to going out for a second attempt. The flights were bought today and we, Pete Benson, Matt Helliker, and myself, fly to Nepal on the 2nd of October.

The helicopter company we have been dealing with are Air Dynasty   As it stands they have already attempted to fly a reccy to pin-point a drop zone near BC, but because of the monsoon, they were forced to land on the hillside and sleep in the chopper till the following day where they flew back to Pokhara. Now we are waiting for the second attempt by the chopper boys to get in and make sure they can land. (So that's yet another failure to get in!)

Anyway, there now will be, no-doubt, loads of up-dates on the run up to the second attempt.

Hopefully we will at least see the hill this time.

Nick Bullock.