Today is the first day of October, and that means one thing: the post-monsoon season in Nepal is in full swing, and it’s time for AWE’s 2019 Nepal team to migrate towards Kathmandu and get moving in the mountains.
This year we’ll be visiting Everest Basecamp before heading over to neighboring Island Peak, also known as Imja Tse. Island Peak is a striking glaciated peak located slightly south of Mt Everest and Lhotse, and about two days of walking from Everest Basecamp. Island Peak’s summit elevation is 20,305ft or 6,189m; it is considered a classic introductory climb in Nepal, rated PD+ (‘Peu Difficile’ which translates to ‘Somewhat Difficult’) on the difficulty spectrum - but that sure doesn’t mean that it is going to be boring or easy! Island Peak combines a host of mountaineering challenges that are sure to keep our team engaged: rock scrambling, crevasse crossings (which sometimes can involve ladders, depending on the season), exposed ridge lines, and a steep headwall just below the summit.
To that end, we are grateful to once again partner up with CAMP USA for cutting-edge lightweight glacier gear. Just as we did after climbing Mera Peak in 2017, we are going to gift the team’s harnesses, helmets, and ascenders to our sherpa team at the end of the expedition - hoping to contribute a small part towards modernizing the gear that keeps our climbing Sherpa and other local friends safe in their day-to-day work on the mountains that we aspire to summit. Thank you CAMP for making amazing gear, and for being such a strong supporter of our endeavors.
The mountaineering gear that’s readily available in Nepal is of variable (and often downright terrible) quality; climbing sherpas and porters can often be seen tackling steep snow and ice without the requisite gear or with outdated, heavy equipment that’s been through many seasons of intense use. Being able to bring over five sets of state-of-the-art glacier gear is a privilege that we here at AWE highly appreciate, as do our Sherpa friends!
And with that… back to expedition prep. We’ll be touching down in Kathmandu in less than a week now, and start our long walk towards Everest and Island Peak on the morning of October 8. Expect more regular updates both here and on Instagram over the next few weeks as our 2019 Nepal adventure is in full swing.
If you looked at my Instagram yesterday , you saw that I shared a few words about our porter team during the Mera Peak expedition. The forced brevity of Instagram captions just doesn't do things justice, so here's a more in-depth introduction to our lovely support crew.