Thursday, March 31, 2011
We are just about to leave Kathmandu and off to Lukla. It is now Friday and we arrived Wednesday at midday. The last couple of days in Kathmandu were a blur...it was buying last minute gear, figuring out funds and how much cash to bring on the trek, final gear checks, setting up techology. The day and a half flew by!
It is so nice to have friends and fellow campaign supporters on the team! Kathy is doing the summit climb on behalf of Climb Take Action and then my dad and Steve are also trekking to BC for the campaign :) Then I have my friends Melanie, Mylene, and Tristan that have joined us from Hong Kong and of course my dear friend and climbing partner Pam! So we are one big happy family here and ready to set of on the next leg of our adventure....get us on that plane please! So for the team there are 13 climbers, about 13 trekkers, then 3 western guides, and our sherpa crews of +25. I must say it is so nice to have friends here...and am so happy to be able to share this adventure with them. It is also nice to have part of the Kili crew reunited here in Nepal.
We are told there will be about 23-26 climbing teams on the south side of the moutain, so it will be a full house at BC!
Kathmandu is organized chaos :) You can find pretty much anything you need there. I was a able to get a nice light puffy jacket for BC. You can also custom order any down product you may need for a reasonable price. You just have to be careful about the knockoff and fake gear. The food in town was YUMMY!! I had kebabs, pizza, thai, and even fajitas! I also found an Illy coffee, which hit the spot for sure.
I am still fighting my head cold and tired...we had a 3:30 am wake up call this morning to be able to make it to the airport and catch our flight. But I think with a good night rest, I should be good as new tomorrow :) We have about a 4 hour walk to our first camp once we get to Lukla.
Well I need to head out, more to come from the trail. I have got a wireless card that I am told will work with my mini-laptop and I bought a SIM card for my iphone and I have a sat-phone. So you will be getting updates from me or friends I call to post on my behalf.
Thanks for all of your love and support! Many of you have been asking where to donate to support International Medical Corps and VDAY and you can do so on our website: www.climbtakeaction.com. Ther is a DONATE NOW link on there.
Here are the latest blog post from the Peak Freaks Website...Please check it out when I go radio silent as they will have daily updates :)http://www.peakfreaks.com/everestnews2011.htm
March 31, 2011- 09:00 Nepal Time
It was awesome!.. I spoke briefly with Liz Hawley and Tim on Skype this morning (Nepal time) and then the team in theWarren Bruce photo background gave a big shout out. I'm loving the new technology we have today. The very early 90's were much different. Tim would go away to Everest and I wouldn't here a word till I saw him on the runway again in Vancouver. I never knew if he would even be there, or if there had been an accident till that moment. Two and half months is a very long time left to wonder. Way too many rambling thoughts that haunt you. It was a long haul.
So, they are off to Lukla tomorrow morning, first flight, that's about 2 hours from now because I was late getting this post up. Everyone is stoked and bonding very well. Good team..
Roger Wright and his wife Lorraine are in Kathmandu. They were up in the Khumbu together this past week. Lorraine is not feeling so well so Roger is going to stay with her a couple days till she is better and catch up with the team in a couple days. He knows the way and the routine having been there in October with us on Pumori. He is acclimatized to Namche already so it will be an easy trip for him.
Tim said he will call and let us know when the team lands in Lukla. Fears of this runway are right up there with theWarren Bruce photo crossing of the ice-fall and I understand that, so I'll keep everyone informed.
Team personal equipment is already headed up to camp on the yaks and base camp is all built and the sherpas are awaiting everyone's arrival. The hike in will take 8 days from tomorrow. This is a special time for everyone getting acquainted with friends they will have for a lifetime.
Today most members went on a city tour of Kathmandu. They had a blast!
Over and out, Becky
March 30, 2011 - 23:00hrs Nepal Time
Just a quick report from Tim as he had a big day today and his pillow has sucked him in. Almost everyone has arrivedsomething for you sir? now. There are a couple stragglers who have late flights so he will catch up to them in the morning for a briefing then get those interested off on a morning city tour we have organized for them.
Some members were out buying new cell phones to get linked in with the new 3G technology that we will test out this season on Everest. Tim gave his a go and came in loud and clear but we still don't know how the capacity will hold out in the Khumbu. Fingers are crossed as it's a considerable savings. Example: A satellite call is $1.85 to $2.00US per minute and the rates for cell international will be just pennies per minute.
We posted yesterday on the blog that there were 3 spots left on our annual Everest Training climb on Pumori in October but no quicker than it was uploaded the spots filled. We are now waitlist only. More tomorrow, Becky
Correction: Mark Schaible and not Matt (yesterday typo).
March 29, 2011- Timalaya checks in:
"Ministry formalities today, Everest 2011 climbing permit is in hand. A full permit size is 15. Some expeditions run with several permits offering larger expeditions. We prefer small scale, easier to keep an eye on everyone and more personal. As a result we sell out early so if you are thinking 2012' you should drop Becky and email and get yourself on the roster real soon.
We also provide pre-expedition training in the eyes of Everest on Mount Pumori. There are only 3 spots left this October's and we only offer one a year.
Everest South 2012' Everest Training- Pumori 2011'
I visited with other expedition operators today to discuss some changes in how we do business for the better. Things have come along way since we first started climbing here 20 years ago.
I also met with Durga Aran, founding Director of First Steps Himalaya and friend for 20 years. I am overwhelmed by what he has accomplished. Once a waiter, a very good one at that, worked at the Potata Guest house in the early nineties. He was lucky to step outside of Nepal and come back to help the children in his country. Good man, more on these projects later.
The one thing we are learning is that some of the most effective aid projects in the Himalayas are the ones that are initiated and managed by the Nepalese themselves. Like Durga, Tsedam Sherpa, well-known by climbers and trekkers passing through Namche Bazaar has a little shop on the main drag where he sells mountaineering clothing. Over the years he has made enough money off mountaineering to build the lovely Zamling lodge. Recently he built a house next to his for homeless children of the Khumbu. He clothes them with clothing from his business, houses and feeds them. His daughter, now a teacher provides the children education. This entire project is funded by himself and his family. I am so incredibly proud to have Tsedam as my friend, honourable man.
Once homeless children of the Khumbu Tsedam, his daughter (right) and helpers (left)
New arrivals are Nelson Dellis and Mark Schaible and trekker Craig Law. The rest of us went out for dinner while Nelson and Mark headed off to their rooms to get some rest after their long international flights.
I attempted to send a signal to set SPOT, but because I am in between the buildings here in Thamel, I couldn't reach the satellite. I will try a rooftop tomorrow.
It's still pretty quiet, a few more climbers milling about the streets but definitely much quieter this year. Everyone else should be here tomorrow. We have scheduled our expedition briefing for tomorrow evening and dinner to follow. Over and out- Tim "
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Hong Kong oh what fun! I stopped here for a few days to meet with my friend and fellow Everest Base Camp trekker Melanie and her friends Tristan and Mylene, who will also be joining us on the trek to Base Camp. It was great to catch up with Melanie, who I had not seen since our Kilimanjaro trip in 2009! Thank you Melanie for a wonderful time and your hospitality!! :) We are all now ready for this next chapter of our adventure. As you can see from the photos, Hong Kong Rugby Sevens was the highlight of my weekend here- this is a fantastic event and highly recommended. Cheers to the champions New Zealand!! It was a great time to be in Hong Kong and the city was vibrant with celebrations galore :) I did also get to explore various parts of the city like Won Chai, Lan Kwai Fong, Central, Victoria Harbour, Victoria Peak :) The hike up Victoria Peak was lovely and it had been over 5 years since I had been there. I also got to do last minute gear and technology shopping while I was there for items I will need on the trip and finish up on some work items and more.
Well now I sit in Singapore, waiting for my dad to arrive in just another 1.5 hrs and then we fly to Kathmandu!! The others are on their way! Pam my good friend and tent mate is in India on a layover, Kathy is in route, and Melanie, Mylene, and Tristan all leave HK tonight! It's finally here :)
I am fighting a minor cold, highly due to lack of sleep from last week, but I have medication and hope to get some good sleep upon arrival in Kathmandu. We are due to arrive just before midnight local time on the 29th. Fingers crossed all the gear makes it!!
Well I will write more once I make it to Kathmandu and the entire team is there. Just a quick thank you for all the love and support coming in!! I really cannot thank everyone one enough and it feels like you are all coming on this journey with me :) When I climbed Aconcagua one of the things I remembered most was that on summit day I never felt alone...it was like all of my loved ones were right there by my side. I was so grateful and it definitely helped me keep going. So now, I just thank you all for your support and encouragement...you will all be in my thoughts and I promise to keep in touch as best as I can and I LOVE hearing from you....so keep it coming.
Here are the latest updates from Peak Freaks, you can follow their blog at (in times where I cannot blog myself, you will have the latest and greatest here): http://peakfreaks.com/everestnews2011.htm
March 28, 2011- Tim checks in: "Martijn and Nelson are now here as well as Javier and Angel." "Our Sherpa staff have successfully built base camp in our usual spot. They have been battling keeping the snow under control. It's been snowing hard dumping quite a bit on the tents and making it hard to organize tent platforms. Flights have also been a cancelled in and out of Lukla today due to the precipitation in the Himalayas. Need snow, need water, can't complain. I also checked in with Ncell the company who installed the new 3G network in Gorak Shep situated near base camp. Here are the tariffs: A Nepalese Rupee today conversion today is: 1.00USD = 71NRS. Impressive savings over the satellite phone but we will still use them as backup." Prepaid International Tariffs International Calls Price(Rs/minute) India 2.99 Bahrain 6 Bangladesh 6 Canada 6 China 6 Hong Kong 6 Saudi Arabia 6 Singapore 6 Thailand 6 USA 6 Australia 15 Japan 15 Qatar 15 UAE 15 United Kingdom 15
March 27, 2011 Tim reports from Kathmandu. He has arrived safe and sound and his skype check-in was brief. Generators are running as usual due to power conservation practices. Elizabeth Hawley keeps a close eye on Tim. Immediately upon his arrival the phone rings and they made a date. He has so far met up with Conor Robinson who is climbing Island Peak with us and BG from Sweden on the Everest team has also arrived. Several others are arriving today including guides Javier from Bolivia and Angel from Argentina. Remember you can check photos on Tim's Facebook.
March 26, 2011 Welcome to our Everest 2011 blog. The one thing we love about this business is the interesting people we ge to meet and know over the course of an expedition and this year is no exception. There are a couple of very worthwhile projects at which fund raising and awareness are driving some climbers to give Everest their best shot. We urge you to take a moment and read through some of their profiles. Other projects: Everest continues to be a place for learning. There are two studies some of our members will be participating in this spring. (1) High Altitude Cognition study and (2) a watch for the Bar Headed geese known to fly over Everest. Sherpa Culture: Our dear friend Lama Geshe is back in Pangboche. His home and the highest monastery in Nepal. Lama Geshe now in his early eighties, suffered a stroke last year. His prayers, outs and the people of the Khumbu have been answered allowing him to return to his home where he will continue to bless climbers and Sherpa families for safe passage on Everest this spring. Everest Logistics: Once again commercial teams are working together to purchase rope and finance a team of Sherpa's to fix the route to the summit jointly. The payment process will or should be in advance and shared by everyone, much like the ice-fall doctors who maintain the ice-fall ladders and ropes. The difference being the expedition leaders and guides will continue to control safety standards of fixed lines higher up by continuing to do it ourselves with a team of select Sherpas and guides. April 11-Moment of Silence: Russell Brice has initiated a moment of silence and collection for Japan this day. This date marks one month since the earth quake and tsunami. It's hard for some of us to be out continuing doing what we do when there are so many people at risk. Mountain Weather: It's been a dry cold winter. This is not exactly what we like to hear. This could mean the glaciers crevasses will be wide open. April 1st, the ice-fall doctors will start working in the Khumbu glacier and will be able to give us a report on expected conditions. Ideally we would like to see a lot more snow to help mend things and fill in the cracks. It's cold! The temperatures in Namche Bazaar are freezing, -2c and lightly snowing today. Looks like it will be holding similar trend for the next week. Sorry climbers, no T-shirts and shorts this time around. The Team: Everyone is on their way now in the next day or two. Tim is on his way arriving March 27, Angel and Javier on the 28th and everyone else should be there on or before the 30th. We will keep family and friends and readers posted. The Itinerary: On April 1st everyone, trekkers and climbers, will be flying to Lukla and this will signify the official beginning of Everest 2011'. From here it is an 8-day walk to Everest Base Camp. We will be providing daily reports as they progress up the valley. We will also have three GPS Spot trackers sending signals to watch. Over and out, our first blog this spring- Becky Rippel
Team Roster 2011 We keep our climbing team size smaller and our Sherpa team larger than most. We believe this will not only enhance our participants experience but more importantly allowing us to put priority on keeping risk factors at a minimum. We hope you enjoy following us this season- to the top- and back again. CLIMBERS:1. Matthew Wozniak, USA- Bio 2. Nelson Delis, USA/UK - Bio 3. Mark Schiable, USA- Bio 4. Jan Sinivaara, Finland/Germany- Bio 5. Kevin Farebrother, Australia - Bio 6. Laura Ross, USA - Bio 7. Georgina Miranda, USA - Bio 8. Pamela Pappas, USA - Bio 9. Kathy Setian, USA - Bio 10. Bengt-Goran Hakansson, Sweden - Bio 11. Mark (Mango) Mangles, Australia - Bio 12. Martijn Ebbing, Dutch - Bio 13. Roger Wright, Australian- Bio GUIDES Tim Rippel- Expedition Leader- Canadian Angel Armesto- (UIAGM) Mountain Guide- Argentina Javier Carvallo Contreras- (UIAGM) Mountain Guide- Bolivia SHERPA CREW Ang Namgay Sherpa, Phortse Palden Namgye Sherpa, Phortse Tashi Thundu Sherpa, Khumjung Lhakpa Sherpa, Solu Phu Tashi Sherpa, Phortse Pemba Nuru Sherpa, Solu Sonam Phinjo Sherpa, Khunde Mingmar Sherpa, Okhaldunga Lhakpa Bhote, Mahakalu Reader Lhamo Bhote, Mahakalu Dawa Chering Sherpa, Khunde Zangbu Sherpa, Godang Ang Dawa Sherpa, Khunde Tsering Namgye Sherpa, Khumjung Dawa Cheri Sherpa, Khumjung Lhakpa Tenzing Sherpa, Khumjung Minga Noru Sherpa, Khunde Chowang Karma Sherpa, Solu Dami Sherpa, Solu Thele Bhote, Mahakalu Sangye Phuri, Godanga, Tsultrim Dorgi, Khunde Shere Sherpa, Solu Karsung Sherpa, Khunde Lhakpa Gyaltsen, Khumjung Desh Kumar, Solu Sonam Dorji Sherpa, Khunde Nawang Nuru Sherpa, Solu Tsering Lopsang Sherpa, Solu Ang Nima Sherpa- Khunde TBA TBA TBA
Until next time....Hugs to all!! You can support our efforts on http://www.climbtakeaction.com/ G
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Tonight I received a very touching voicemail from Eve Ensler and was moved again to my core and reminded of why I set off on this campaign. I truly feel if things are ever to change in DRC, it will take these survivors to help drive that change. Yet, in order to do so, these women need to be healthy and empowered to continue their quest for survival and it is why it is so important that organizations such as V-DAY and International Medical Corps receive support in order for them to continue to make huge strides with these women and their communities.
Last night I was with International Medical Corps at the showing of Ruined in Berkeley and I heard the gasps and shock in the crowd during certain more graphic portions of the play, as they watch in disbelief the stories of some of the women characters. I was again reminded of how I first felt when I found out that thousands of women and girls were being raped, lives destroyed, and communities broken in DRC.
The women of DRC are survivors, fighters, symbols of strength and inspiration. I have met some of these survivors and their stories and tears and perseverance to survive will stay with me forever. I am eternally grateful to Eve for that article, as I might not be here today without it.
If something moves you so deeply at some point in your life, never ignore it, as it may set you in a journey you may have never expected and take you to where you were meant to be.
Eve-thank you for your words, your inspiration, your passionate work to help women, your bravery to speak out and educate us. Thank you for working hard to show the world that women and girls should be respected and valued and that they can be the future leaders of change.
In every community, there is work to be done.
In every nation, there are wounds to heal.
In every heart, there is the power to do it.
We start trekking to Everest Base Camp on April 1 and I leave the US in about 24hrs to begin my journey East!
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
How do I feel you may ask? Well, I am still in denial mode, as that is my coping method...lol. I am excited, nervous, hopeful, grateful, CAN’T WAIT!! I always look forward to just spend time focusing on surviving and that is it. Some crazy things have happened in the past 60 days, like travelling to over 7 different states, doing a 180 hydroplane across the I-5 fwy in Oregon, having my car reverse down a San Francisco hill while I was in it and crashing slightly into a wall (long story but I ran out of gas going up a big hill on my way to give a talk and that was the outcome...luckily the car and I were ok and I still made it on-time to speak!)
It seems a bit unbelievable that the endless days of doing the Lyon steps with my backpack are coming to an end :)I will no longer be the freak on the stairs...lol....well, at least until the next climb. My body is doing funny things, like developing muscles I never knew I could have, my left eye seems to twitch to its own drum, I want to eat everything, and if my calves get any bigger...well that would just be weird...lol. Training the last few months has consisted of doing the Lyon Stairs with my pack anywhere from 40-55lbs for 1.5 hrs or so a few times a week, running 5-6 miles a few times a week, yoga at least once a week, hiking in between when possible, or gym time on the stair mill or elliptical. I am feeling strong physically and am ready to acclimate and get some time to get ready for the big push on the mountain. Mentally, I have gone in denial mode and down played this monster climb in my head. It will be about one step at a time and one day at a time...plain and simple. I have always said climbing is 80% mental and 20% physical....which was confirmed by this quote on Peak Freaks’ website, “On Everest, when your body is no longer working for you like it used to, it is your mind that will get you there and back down again safely.” Sooo true and I couldn’t agree more.
Fundraising and awareness have been full on! I have had two speaking engagements with a third on t he way! I was fortunate enough to speak to a group of young women at my Alma Mater, Immaculate Heart High School in Los Angeles. What a rewarding experience!! My friend then hosted an intimate awareness event at her home. We had a little LA Reunion/Fundraiser on March 11th, followed by an awesome Fundraiser in San Francisco on March 18th at the Ambassador. We had a great turnout in San Francisco and collected over $700 at the door and still waiting for our bar tab donation totals :) I look forward to hosting more fundraisers upon my return! Tomorrow night Margaret Aguirre from International Medical Corps and I will be speaking after the showing of Ruined at Berkeley. As for awareness, be on the lookout for us on Women’s Health’s Website, on Ning,on the radio show Project Empowerment and more to come! Also, our website will have a new look by the end of the week, so stay tuned!! We are still looking for more corporate partners to join us on this cause and major donors. All donations are tax deductible and benefit International Medical Corps and VDAY’s programs in DRC. None of the proceeds go to my climbing costs.
Well, I need to go to bed, so more to come by the end of the week. I will be posting web and contact info later this week. We will have weekly eBlasts from the mountain, so if you would like to be on the distribution list, please email me!
Can’t wait to share this incredible journey with you all as much as possible each step of the way!
Special Thanks to:
McKinney Rogers (http://www.mckinneyrogers.com/)- Global Business Consultancy where I work for their endless support and half sponsorship of the climb and paid leave of absence! I could not be more grateful and blessed to work for such an amazing and extraordinary organization.
Our donors and supporters- you are all amazing and thank you for helping us make a difference for women and children of Democratic Republic of Congo.
International Medical Corps and VDAY- thank you for your amazing work and all of your support with my endeavour.
Trisha Haakonstad- you are my bff and you stepped in to help me when I needed it most. Love you and I am so grateful and proud to call you my friend. Thank you!
Chris Donohue- You to are my forever friend regardless of many situations and stepped in to help me when I needed it most. Thank you!
Pam Pappas- my friend and tent mate. Thank you for your friendship and support these last few years and I look forward to sharing this adventure of a lifetime with you.
To all of my friends and family- for your loving support and encouragement!
To the women of DRC- you are all an inspiration with your stories of survival and strength and this climb is for you!! My life would not be the same without you.
Good night and more to come very soon!!
Sunday, March 6, 2011
Friday, March 4, 2011
If you are interested in hosting a fundraiser or awareness event, please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, March 18th @ The Ambassador 673 Geary, San Francisco from 7-10 PM.
Order tickets for March 22: http://tickets.berkeleyrep.org/ Enter PROMO CODE: IMC to get 20% off tickets !!