Brook Alongi, 28, of Marysville took off for Katmandu, Nepal, on March 20 to lead a six-man expedition up the North Ridge of Mount Everest. The team includes Scott Streett of Everett, and Ryan Allen, Al Baal, Ambrose Bittner and Michael Frank, all of Seattle.
Their story was featured in The Herald on March 19. Alongi is filing occasional dispatches from the trip, using a laptop computer with a satellite modem.
This is the second report, received at 2:20 a.m., PDT, Thursday:
Climbing Mount Everest, or Chomolungma as the Tibetans call it, is definitely an undertaking of the greatest sorts. Both the mountain and foreign governments pose unique challenges, and our team members’ health always hinges on taking a dive.
Vigilantly, we sit at Everest Base camp, approximately 17,000 feet, while our bodies adjust to the altitude. Team members have been alternating rest days with acclimatization hikes to aid in their adjustment.
Yesterday (April 6), the Sherpa staff and I organized all the equipment for the high camps. This will help when we begin carrying loads to stock the camps – the highest sitting at approximately 27,000 feet and more than 40 days away.
We will spend a total of five full days in base camp before beginning our journey to advanced base camp. Two days of travel are necessary to reach the advanced base camp. This is achieved by splitting the trek in two with an intermediate camp.
All of the expedition equipment must first be loaded onto more than 100 Tibetan yaks before we head up to the advanced base camp. The yak train will accompany our team during the trek.
The advanced base camp sits at just over 21,000 feet and is higher than any point in North America. For many climbers, this is the achievement of a lifetime, but for us it’s not even halfway.
The major expeditions on the north side of Everest this season have formed a coalition, which is probably the greatest event to occur this year. The coalition’s goal is to remove all old fixed rope from the mountain, fix the entire mountain from the advanced base camp to the summit with the same rope – thereby increasing safety, promoting a new sense of environmental awareness, and promoting unity between foreign expeditions. Three other expedition leaders and myself founded the operation.
Today is April 7, and our team will be on our way to the advanced base camp by the time this dispatch is published.
Brook Alongi, Team Ogawa 2005, Everest Expedition Leader