March 20 - May 4, 2003
At the conclusion of training, we will cross the notorious Tashi Lapcha pass into Khumbu. During this technical traverse, we will have the opportunity to tackle an additional major summit. Pachermo rises 6273 meters above sea level and will be the ultimate test of your newly acquired skills. After navigating the difficult icefall leading to the pass, we will camp at over 5750 meters before attempting the summit. Following our summit bid, we will descend into the popular Khumbu valley and the town of Thame. At Thame our program will end, but you will have the opportunity to trek throughout Khumbu, participate in the Namche Conference and other events planned for the Everest Jubilee (50 years since the first ascent), or simply return to Kathmandu. Whatever your decision, you will have gained the necessary knowledge and skills to plan and execute your own mountaineering expeditions throughout the world.
As mountaineering is a generalized sport that draws countless skills from other more specialized disciplines, we plan to cover numerous topics during our time in Nepal. While in Kathmandu we will discuss such ideas as: Group Dynamics and Expedition Dynamics, Leadership, Minimum Impact techniques, Packing, Expedition Prep, Planning and Logistics. We will then encounter more practical hands-on-topics during our hike in as we learn a “knot-a-day” by the time we reach Rolwaling you will have mastered all the necessary knots for climbing. We will also touch on the more academic and information based ideas surrounding weather, nutrition, high altitude medicine and acclimatization. As our learning progresses we will have opportunities to apply this newly acquired information in our day to day exercises in the mountains.
As we begin the climbing portion of the course, we will begin with a thorough introduction to the equipment, its uses and its care. We will quickly progress to more exciting ideas such as Glacier travel and movement on snow and ice. We will learn important techniques such as the Self-Arrest and Self-Belay as well as several different ways to belay our fellow teammates. We will also spend time on the glaciers practicing Self-rescue and other rescue techniques. During this time we will also learn about the proper use and placing of now and ice protection, those important pieces of gear that we use to protect ourselves in the event of a fall or other mishap. Once we have become comfortable in all of these techniques, we will progress to topics such as leading, fixing rope, and other more advanced ideas. Conditions permitting, we may also have the opportunity to learn introductory rock climbing and repelling. When all of this is accomplished, most of our time will be spent ascending peaks and practicing the skills until they become second nature. By the time we attempt the crossing of Tashi Lapcha and the summit of Pachermo, what once seemed like impossible mountains and difficult techniques will have become as normal as riding a bicycle. Following the program you will have developed the skills necessary for ascending peaks throughout the world.
During our time in Nepal, we hope to enhance the learning opportunities of our students through topics that are not directly related to mountaineering. These include background lessons in basic Nepali, geology, geography, Anthropology/Cultural studies and an introduction to the valleys flora and fauna. We will also have the opportunity to evaluate tourism, tourists and their role in development. Hopefully, we will have time to participate in volunteer opportunities in Beding, including the installation of a micro hydropower project. In addition, we hope that each group member can share personal insights and experiences from their own lives to enhance our understanding of each other and the world around us.
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