Summit Preparations

Khumbu Icefall Second Rotation

Khumbu Icefall – Second Rotation

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. — Lao Tzu

I returned to Everest Base Camp today by helicopter after a bit of drama and uncertainty with the weather in Namche Baazar. There was a brief conversation about walking, but I think that was driven more by nervous energy than anything else.

The stage for a summit attempt is now set. The acclimatization rotations are completed and a weather window identified. Camps are established, the fixed lines put in, and oxygen cached up high.

It is almost time to go.

Tonight will be our last full night in Base Camp before the summit bid.

Above Camp 1 - Second Rotation

Above Camp 1 – Second Rotation

The thought of climbing to the summit of Mt. Everest at over 29,000 ft can be overwhelming. So I am being disciplined to only contemplate the summit bid in small increments:

  • The Khumbu Icefall to Camp 1 then the long push to Camp 2.
  • Rest and recover in Camp 2.
  • Cross the Bergschrund on the Lhotse Face, climb over the ice bulge, make it to Camp 3.
  • Cross the Yellow Band, traverse the Geneva Spur, then the big push to Camp 4.
  • Rest and recover at Camp 4. Stay warm and hydrated. Try to eat.
  • Then the push up the Triangular Face to the Balcony, then the South Summit, across the Southeast Ridge, the Hillary Step, and on to the Summit.
  • Then get down safely.
Preparing Supplies for the Summit Bid

Preparing Supplies for the Summit Bid

Today I am thinking in segments and preparing for each step in the journey. I can visualize each segment to the point that it feels real and present.

It is almost time to go: one step, one segment, one day at a time.

Happy Mother’s Day from Everest Base Camp!


  7 comments for “Summit Preparations

  1. Mark Osmond
    May 10, 2016 at 11:32 am


    All of us are urging you onwards and upwards with our collective energy!
    Thank you for the thoughtful and detailed discussions of your preparations
    May your careful footsteps allow you gaze from the peak of the world, in the most glorious of sunshine…
    Little doubt in your determination.

    Very proud of you!


  2. Gina Hartley
    May 9, 2016 at 1:31 am

    We are rooting for you from Colorado! The planning and preparation and prayers from your followers and your mental and physical toughness will guide you through this journey! Looking forward to reading about the final journey to the summit and your safe return. You are inspiring many of us to follow our dreams!

  3. Mike kolk
    May 8, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    Go get em Jim. If anyone has the mental and physical toughness and perseverance it is you my friend. Be safe brother.
    Mike Kolk

  4. Staci Colovos
    May 8, 2016 at 12:00 pm

    Your laser focus, perseverance, preparation, and humility leave me with NO DOUBT that you will achieve your summit bid. I have only excitement for you and tremendous pride as your sister to be a part of this journey.
    Stand tall on the top of the world!
    Can’t wait!

  5. Viggy Mokkarala
    May 8, 2016 at 10:50 am

    Jim, you are one tough, wonderful guy! You’ll be successful, I am sure. Best wishes, brother!


  6. David bialecki
    May 8, 2016 at 9:07 am

    I think I’m more nervous than you and your team ……All the way to the top

  7. Lyn
    May 8, 2016 at 7:58 am

    A Mother’s Day wish from Mt. Everest. Now I ask you, how special is that!!!

    Have your schedule printed and ready to follow. What an exciting day the summit will be, but as you said, just take it one step at a time. I am praying continually for safety, good weather, excitement, success, and praise to God.

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