Layer up!

by Matthew Bush
The best way to dress for winter is to wear layers. Layering gives you flexibility to add or remove layers, depending on the weather and your activ...

Winter Camping Tips & Tricks

by Matthew Bush
When people hear the words "winter camping" or "cold weather camping" excitedly come out of our mouths, they often give us weird looks. For some pe...

How to Select and Prep a Campsite

by Matthew Bush
Before You Hit the Trail: Practice setting up your tent before taking it out on a trip. Assemble it in the backyard or living room if necessary, t...

Rest Days on the Mountain, November 15th-16th 2017

November 15th,

Today was the first of the two rest days before the summit bid, so much like the other rest days we were hand washing cloths and taking solar showers. We hiked to the lodge and purchased more WiFi cards but this time they were out of the smaller cards and only had the $40 one gig cards, I️t will be interesting to see how long that one will last. Instead of heading back to camp we decided to hike over to another expedition’s site that is set off away from all the others at base camp.

They have what looked like a satellite receiver and we wanted to know if they had a more accurate weather forecast than we did. Both of the forecast sites that we have been using are normally pretty accurate and reliable but in this case they are saying very opposite things about the weather during our summit bid. After finding who was the expedition lead we asked him what his weather data was showing for the next week and he just blew us off, saying that he can not confirm or deny that there will be good or bad weather coming up. I was disappointed in his attitude, I had hoped that from climber to climber we could share what ever info was needed to keep everyone safe on the mountain. As soon as we  were out of earshot, my team members had a few words to say about him that made me smile.

We spent the remainder of the day reviewing our plans and contingencies for the summit due to the mixed weather reports. Either the weather is going to be manageable and allow us a shot at the summit or we are going to be blown or frozen into submission which is why we have to make plans for both scenarios. We will see what tomorrow’s forecast brings.

November 16th,
The temperature dropped today at base camp and we spent most of the day in our own tents prepping our climbing gear for tomorrow. Because the weather forecasts are still conflicting we have decided to continue to camp 1 tomorrow and evaluate conditions one day at a time while staying in comms with our basecamp guys who have access to WiFi and the weather. If the weather is okay we will ascend to the next camp and so on, or the reverse if the weather worsens.

Bad weather was always a possibility and even though we chose a timeframe that is traditionally more stable weather wise, we ultimately cannot control Mother Nature. All we can do is prepare and make educated decisions with the information we have. You will  not hear from me for the next 4-5 days depending on what happens on the mountain. Wish us luck and safety regardless of the outcome, because now all of our preparations and load hauling for upper camp caches will come to fruition. Our first priority is and will always be to walk off the mountain safely, the added bonus is to walk off with a summit in our pockets. Now it truly begins!

I will be communicating with Lauren, Max and Kristen via satellite messenger so please feel free to contact them for updates during this time frame.

Sushi and a movie! It's not all rough :)