Everest Base Camp



Today was another day of technical practice in the lower Khumbu Ice Fall.  The climbing was a lot of fun—vertical ice ascending, rappelling, and ladder crossings—all made possible by fixed lines.

Ice Screw

Ice Screw

Fixed lines are what allow city dwellers like me to climb big mountains like Mt. Everest.  The fixed line on Mt. Everest is a continuous line of rope that starts at the bottom of the Khumbu Ice Fall and goes to the summit.  The line is attached to the mountain every 30 feet or so by an ice screw.



Climbers attach themselves to the fixed line with a mechanical ascender device.  The ascender is designed to travel in only one direction; once the ascender is pushed up the rope the climber can put their full weight on the rope to climb the route—even vertically.


Staying Connected

One of the unbreakable rules of fixed line travel is that the climber always remains connected to the line.  So at anchor points (illustrated above by a rock), the climber will connect a carabiner above the anchor point before removing the ascender from below the anchor and reconnecting it above the anchor.



The fixed line and ascender allows climbers to traverse more safely and efficiently across even the most technically challenging features.

Ladder Crossing

Ladder Crossing

At ladder crossings there are fixed lines on either side of the climber.

Ascending Mt. Everest would not be possible for most climbers without the fixed lines.  I have a deep sense of gratitude for the Sherpa climbers who go before me to fix the lines that make this adventure possible.

The ascender that I am climbing with this year was a 50th birthday present from my daughters.  It is one of my most prized possessions.  It will also be a constant reminder of my promise to always stay connected to the fixed line, no matter what.

We are getting close to our move to the higher camps.

Thanks for following along.


  8 comments for “Everest Base Camp

  1. Phil Goss
    April 19, 2016 at 11:01 pm

    I love the connection you have with family via your ascender. Climbing is about connections, right? Physical connection to team and rope, emotional connection to near and far, spiritual connection to self and guardians. And the important connection across these spectrums between boot and mountain. You are an inspiration and I am grateful for our connection. Enjoy your time in the Khumbu Ice Fall. Stay connected, no matter what.

  2. David bialecki
    April 18, 2016 at 3:00 am

    Just want to say thanks james for giving up your time to show us all sat at home what is involved in climbing everest it’s amazing

    • james.lumberg@me.com
      April 18, 2016 at 6:17 am

      Thanks, David. I am happy that you continue to follow along and appreciate your kind feedback.

  3. Jennifer Anderson
    April 17, 2016 at 4:22 pm

    Thank you for all the updates and pictures. My kids are now following your journey along with me. We are all in awe!

    • james.lumberg@me.com
      April 18, 2016 at 6:18 am

      Jennifer. Great to know that you and your children are following along! It should get even more interesting in the days ahead. Take care. Jim

  4. Lyn
    April 17, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    Amazing pictures. Love seeing and who, what, where, why, when, and HOW of your adventure. You’re lookin’ good!!!

  5. Alan Reynolds
    April 17, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    Thank you for the way you are keeping us updated. Continuing to pray for you. Alan

    • james.lumberg@me.com
      April 18, 2016 at 6:19 am

      Alan. Thanks for your prayers. Know that they are being answered here on Mt. Everest! Please keep them coming. Jim

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.