My Journey

My Mission Everest 2017

I will come again, and again, to be with you. I am a restless mind, won't take rest before I reach your summit.

On 18th May, we reached the South Col @8000 metres (aka Death Zone) feeling very strong and confident of making the summit bid in a few hours time. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be. We were met with a raging blizzard like conditions with winds at 100 kmph and extreme cold temperatures. We waited for 24 hours in the death zone. When the weather didn't show any signs of abating, we had to take the heart breaking decision of turning around from just a few hundred meters from my dream - the top of the world.

We evaluated our possibilities of mounting another bid after coming down to the lower camp. Regretfully, that had appeared to be quite challenging now logistically, given the freaky weather conditions and our spent physical forces. We decided to call off the expedition, to come back again next year.
I was so near, yet so far.

3 April

Today, I took a Jet Airways flight at 7 A.M. from Mumbai to Kathmandu. I landed at 12.30 P.M. and will stay at Potala Guest House in Thamel, Kathmandu. I also met the Climbing Sardar – our expedition leader – Jangbu Sherpa, who has summited Everest 12 times and is a very experienced climber.

4 April

I spent the day organizing my permit and then I purchased my mountaineering gear and key equipments. Give me Red!!

5 April

I purchased medicines and supplements that will save my life and give me energy at high altitude conditions.

6 April

We landed safely at Lukla airport after a thrilling flight from Kathmandu. What a lovely weather! Also got a clear view of Everest enroute. Today we will start the trek to the Everest Base Camp.

7 April

We reached Namche Bazaar this afternoon after a long gruelling trek. Namche Bazar stands at 3450 mts and is the last lively market place with bakeries and restaurants.

8 April

9 April

At Tyangboche enroute to Island Peak. Behind me, you can see a clear view of Everest on my right and Ama Dablam on my left.

10 April

Sunrise and sunset over Everest with Ama Dablam and Lhotse giving company. View from Debuche en route to Island Peak and thereon to Everest Base Camp.

11 April

12 April

13 April

14 April

We started the next trek at 1:30 A.M. with a clear sky. After a tough climb crossing the glacier and then a tall ice wall, we summitted Island Peak (20,610 feet) at 8:45 A.M.!

15 April

Today, I headed towards Lobuche - the penultimate camp. The weather turned bad last evening but couldn't dampen my spirit and determination. The entire valley is snowed under giving a beautiful view.

16 April

17 April

Today was the Expedition Base Camp Pooja by the Monks and Sherpas to announce opening up of Everest Expedition of 2017. The Sherpas and climbers believe that this Pooja is critical and no expedition starts before this Pooja. This is an important part and milestone in an Everest expedition.

18 April

19 April

Today we had our first rotation into the dangerous Khumbhu Icefall and reached the famous 'popcorn field' within our targeted time. Took photos on top of the icefall. I am happy to report that we had a good, incident free outing and came back to Base Camp feeling confident!

20 April

21 April

22 April

23 April

Today early morning, I left with the team for Camp 1 at 19685 feet (6000 mts). We moved from Base Camp to Camp 1 crossing the dangerous icefall. We have reached safely and settled down here for the night. It was a thrilling climb up with many anxious moments. We will be moving onwards to camp 2 next morning.

24 April

Today, we made our way upto Camp 2 at 21,285 feet (~6400mts). The Camp site is at the edge of the Western Cwm and just at the base of the vertical face of Mt Everest. We had the legendary Ueli Steck's tent right next to ours. And I hoped, like a teenage fan, to bump into him. The next 2 nights will be spent in camp 2 for acclimatization purposes. If all goes well, our team then pushes on to camp 3 at 23,625 feet (7200 mts).

25 April

26 April

After 2 very cold and windy days (night temp -14 degrees C inside the tent) of acclimatising at camp 2, we made way towards Camp 3 at 23,625 feet (7200 mts) on the Lhotse Face. We faced fierce winds as we made our way up on the sheer wall of Lhotse. The swirling winds and snow threatened to blow us off the face of Lhotse and we had to turn back at ~ 22,600 ft to return to the safety of our camp. An incredible experience that cannot be described.

27 April

I am happy to report that our team is back at Base camp tonight, after a successful acclimatization rotation going upto Camp 3. We had encountered extremely high winds on our way. We will rest now at Base camp for a few days before heading down to Dabouche, for more oxygen and rest. Then we will be heading back to the great mountain for our summit attempt!

28 April

29 April

30 April

1 May

Can it get wilder than this? Wild snow and winds… even the Yaks were looking for cover.

2 May

3 May

4 May

5 May

Our team left for Periche earlier today from Dabouche, after 3 nights of rest there. Here's today's pic with Everest in the background. We will start our summit push soon subject to weather conditions. Everest has been exceptionally windy these past days and we hope for fair weather and winds soon. I wish the best of luck to all the climbers.

6 May

Our team walks back to Base camp post rest and recuperation. Tomorrow we will reach base camp, where we will wait for our summit push around 2nd week of May.

7 May

8 May

After 3 days of recovering and replenishing our 'reserves', we moved up towards Base Camp. Enroute we cross the Thukla pass. It has memorials of climbers who did not return from Everest. I located and paid homage at the memorial of Anatoli Boukreev, one of my climbing heroes. The Base Camp has been abuzz with talk of the weather window opening up. And lo and behold, it's a bright and beautiful morning today! Low winds at Base Camp and more importantly at higher altitude. Hopefully we shall see the route opening soon and the first summits of the season this week!

9 May

Our team is at Base camp awaiting the summit push dates. I wish all climbers a safe and successful summit.

10 May

11 May

12 May

While waiting for the most awaited, we decided to keep busy doing what we love to do-Trek. Today we trekked Mt. Pumori.

13 May

14 May

15 May

16 May

17 May

18 May

We have reached Camp 4. We are feeling strong and excited at the same time. Need your prayers and good wishes for tomorrow.

19 May

Weather played spoilsport today. Spending 24hrs in the death zone with raging blizzards, we decided to descend to lower camp and evaluate possiblities of mounting another bid.

20 May

We reached the base camp today. Your prayers kept us warm and safe in extreme weather conditions.

21 May

22 May

Logistics and freaky weather conditions forced us to call off the expedition. Regretfully, we decided to pack our bags with the hope that Sagarmatha will call us again. However I am enriched with the experience gained alongside Samir Patham,Sauraj Jhingan and Jangbu Sherpa. I would also like to thank my sponsors for their trust and support.

23 May

24 May

25 May

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