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May 28, 2009
Alex Gavan's interview with Marius Vintila on Radio Guerrilla


 Click here to listen to Alex Gavan's live interview


May 06, 2009
Alex Gavan's interview with Marius Vintila on Radio Guerrilla


 Click here to listen to Alex Gavan's live interview


May 05, 2009
Alex Gavan talks about his decision to postpone the Everest climb

The Khumbu ice fall this season is a nasty place (maybe due to the global warming as well). The time spent in the base camp and on the mountain proved the hazard of the place to be total. It's not the seracs are collapsing but they can do so, night or day, regardless the hour and you can accept this or not and choose to go up or not and it's as simple as that.

My experience and my instinct told me to postpone the climb, at least for the moment. And during the long time I spent into the mountains I have learned to cherrish the things gained due to experience and to follow my instinct.

I just did not have a good feeling about the ice fall. Could not make any educated guesses.

Here's a clip recorded by Keith Cowing last Friday and showing a huge avalanche from the West side of Everest covering a significant part of the Khumbu icefall (and the route from Base Camp to Camp 1).
A smaller one, although big enough to speed up my pulse occurred while I was in the ice fall descending from Camp 2.

I wished I had a chance this time to go to the top of Everest. And perhaps the chance was there and maybe I could have done it to the summit but it would have meant to rely too much on luck (as for my standards of risk taking) while crossing the ice fall.

Each time I plunge into the thin air above 7500m is actually also about taking chances. Big chances. Calculated chances. And this is what keeps me alive and I go up there to live not to die.

I think real adventure means crossing the border and coming back safely. Adventure without taking responsability for own actions is madness. Summit at any price is plain stupidity.


 
April 30, 2009
Alex Gavan live with Marius Vintila about his decision to postpone the Everest climb


 Click here to listen to Alex Gavan's live interview


Alex Gavan Interview on Antena 1



 
April 29, 2009
Some photos from the last days


The Khumbu Icefall
Avalanche on the West face of Everest
C1 above the Icefall
C1
Crossing one of the many crevasses
From C1 to C2
Getting down the Icefall
Into the Icefall
Lhotse face as seen from C2
Lhakpa
Willi Benegas, Alex Gavan, Simone la Terra, Mara larson and Chris
Mountaineering legend Sergio Martini, Alex Gavan and Simone la Terra
Myself in C1
Myself in C2
Nima, Kumar and Simone
Pumori as seen from the Icefall
Seracs in the Khumbu Ice Fall
Simone on the way to C1
Everest (left) as seen from above C1

 
April 23, 2009
Everest Base Camp, 5360m

Alex Gavan's interview with Marius Vintila on Radio Guerrilla

 Click here to listen to Alex Gavan's live interview


April 21, 2009
Alex Gavan Interview on Antena 1




Alex Gavan's interview with Marius Vintila on Radio Guerrilla

 Click here to listen to Alex Gavan's live interview


 
April 17, 2009
Everest Base Camp, 5360m


 Click here to listen to Alex Gavan's live interview


Tomorrow, Sunday 18th, I will climb up with Simone over the Khumbu Ice Fall to Camp One at around 6000m.
The weather is fairly good with only a bit of snow fall last night.


On the way to EBC (Everest Base Camp) with Pumori (7165m) into the background.
Nuptse - 7861m
Trekking to Base Camp you can see only the upper part of Everest (summit in the center backgound)
Kumar and Lhakpa trying to sort out things in our first day in BC
A face burnt Simone La Terra.
Lower part of the Khumbu Ice Fall as seen from the BC.
Avalanches are frequent from the slopes sorrounding BC but we had our tents set up in a safe spot.
Alex Gavan

 
April 16, 2009
Everest Base Camp, 5360m,

Alex Gavan Interview on Antena 1




April 15, 2009
Alex Gavan's interview with Marius Vintila on Radio Guerrilla


 Click here to listen to Alex Gavan's live interview


 
April 12, 2009
April 12th , Dingboche, 4400m,

Small happy man, big mountain arena.

Mountains of the Khumbu on the way to Dingboche.
Dingboche,4400m.
Ama Dablam (6856m) as seen from Dingboche.
The magnificent south face of Lhotse ( 8516m).

...happy... you know... I feel a huge drive while thinking that I am doing what I love to do. I AM DOING WHAT I LOVE TO DO. And I think this means a lot. Actually it's truly a luxury. But I simply have no other option than doing what I love and loving what I do. Life's too short for not giving your best and getting involved with things that have no meaning...

These were some of the thoughts passing trough my mind two days ago while trekking from the monastery of Tengboche to the Sherpa village of Dingboche, at 4400m altitude, my next stop for acclimatization in the way to the Everest Base Camp. I was busy all morning speaking on my satellite phone between Tengboche, Lukla and Kathmandu, trying to get all the equipment on the way to BC (Base Camp). Leaving Tengboche in a light snowfall I was making good progress...

...It's not the first time I am writing about the magic power of the encounters, being people or things, encounters that helps you go further, “hitting” you when you need them most. Many times this encounters don't necessary teach you something new but rather are just a reminder of things that you already know but are somehow forgotten. They just need a trigger to get to the surface.

For me it was one of those moments when I was half an hour short of Dingboche, without any notice (as it usually happens) the clouds parted totally and I could see Ama Dablam, Kangtega and Thamserku in all their beauty. The view was the trigger now and it made me aware of my environment and the way I was relating to it. It was that fine tuning I was lacking and the feeling of the moment “now”. There was no past, nor future, only myself in the present, totally focused on the goal. Among others, it was this mind-set of “being here and now” that got me to the summits of Cho Oyu, Gasherbrum 1 and Makalu ( and brought me safely back as well) and hopefully the same will get me to the top of Everest in the next month or so.

I'm still trying to figure out a pattern into the weather.

In two days I will hopefully set up my base camp.


Tengboche, 3860m

The Sherpa village of Namche Bazar, at 3400 m, just seen from above.
On the way to Dingboche.
Crossing the Imja Khola.
This Sherpa old man was collecting donations for the mountain path maintenance.
The Sherpa way of house building in the Khumbu.

An approach trek for some base camp to one of the mountains into the Khumbu area it's a quite comfortable thing to do (giving that you are acclimatizing properly or you don't get any stomach problems). You can almost every day sleep in a different lodge for the length of the trek. Quite the opposite is trying the same thing into the Karakoram, where you can even trek for two weeks from the last village to the base camp.

In Tengboche I checked in one of the lodges belonging to the monastery. For a short moment (as it usually happens), there was a gap into the clouds and right from my window I could see in the distance, for the first time in this expedition, the summit of Everest. It was HIGH. Strange enough, I felt like I was entering a special mood of calmness and connection with the mountain. I could even see the way from the South Summit to the top and envisioning myself on that ridge, cinematographically, breathing hard due to the lack of oxygen, tired, making the last steps to the highest point of the world.

 
April 11, 2009
Alex Gavan Interview on Antena 1




April 10, 2009
Alex Gavan's interview with Marius Vintila on Radio Guerrilla


 Click here to listen to Alex Gavan's live interview


 
April 09, 2009
Alex Gavan Interview on Antena 1




April 07, 2009
Namche Bazaar, 3440m


 Click here to listen to Alex Gavan's live interview


You can be the best planner in the world but you can't go against the Himalayan weather combined with the air controllers (are there any?:) of the airstrip in Lukla, the starting point sherpa village of the expeditions to the south side of Everest. Everything there related with flying is subject to proper visual contact.

During the last week there have only been few flights in the very morning when the sky was relatively clear and there is already a huge waiting list. The passengers have priority over the cargo so the bulk of my equipment is still in Kathmandu. But it can be worse: a South Koreean expedition is waiting for the luggage for already ten full days.

Yesterday afternoon, turning around all the prayer wheels I met in the way, I went up in a light rain from Lukla to Namche Bazar to help with my acclimatisation process.

Hopefully tomorrow I will have everything in Lukla and from there Kumar and Lhakpa will come with fully loaded yaks and meet me in Dingboche (44120m) where I will spent two nights for acclimatisation. I hope we will together reach the Base Camp by Sunday.


In Khatmandu, before starting for Lukla
Porters looking for work are taking their chance near the airstrip in
Child in Lukla.
Child in Lukla.
The way to Namche is full of Buddhist mani stones and prayer flags.
The path often goes over Dudh Koshi river. Here, after the entrance in the Sagarmatha National Park.


 
March 31, 2009
Alex Gavan Interview on Antena 1




March 31, 2009
Expedition Starts

Alex is flying to Kathmandu this afternoon.
CloudClimbing Support Team


 
March 30, 2009
Alex Gavan's interview with Marius Vintila on Radio Guerrilla


 Click here to listen to Alex Gavan's live interview


 
March 28, 2009
Alex Gavan Interview on Antena 1





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