Mt. Everest/Lhotse Expedition Spring, 2019

Mt Everest

The American Climber Science Program will be working in Nepal at Mt. Everest and Lhotse in Spring, 2019. We will be collecting a variety of environmental data to compare with our on-going research in the Cordillera Blanca in Peru and past research on Mt. Everest. The expedition will be carried out at high elevation, including an ascent to the South Col of Everest and the summit of Lhotse. Sherpa support will be in the form of climber and scientist, rather than porter, to build up East-West collaborations. Sherpas will be volunteering with the program in order to learn various science techniques and gather data critical for local people. This is not a traditional ‘guided’ expedition. We will all be working together to gather data, haul loads, and climb the mountain. The leaders of this expedition are experienced climbers and scientists who have summited peaks around the world, including Mt. Everest, and have lived for significant amounts of time in Nepal and Tibet over 5000 meters.

The Project

The American Climber Science Program will be working in Nepal at Mt. Everest and Lhotse in Spring, 2019. We will be collecting a variety of environmental data to compare with our on-going research in the Cordillera Blanca in Peru and past research on Mt. Everest. The expedition will be carried out at high elevation, including an ascent to the South Col of Everest and the summit of Lhotse. Sherpa support will be in the form of climber and scientist, rather than porter, to build up East-West collaborations. Sherpas will be volunteering with the program in order to learn various science techniques and gather data critical for local people. This is not a traditional ‘guided’ expedition. We will all be working together to gather data, haul loads, and climb the mountain. The leaders of this expedition are experienced climbers and scientists who have summited peaks around the world, including Mt. Everest, and have lived for significant amounts of time in Nepal and Tibet over 5000 meters.

Research and Outreach

  • Ecology: We will collect vegetation data in the lower elevation areas early in the expedition, to link with satellite imagery and compare to past expeditions and published studies.

  • Hydrology: We will take water quality samples in all of the major streams and rivers on the approach and in the vicinity of the Khumbu glacier.

  • Air Quality: Once we are settled into base camp, we will sample snow on the glacier for particulates (black carbon and dust), and we will continue taking samples all the way to the South Col on the normal Everest Route.  We also will take samples up to the summit of Lhotse.  

  • Meteorology: We monitor ambient CO2 levels and meteorological conditions in our sample locations and at base camp.  

  • We will work with Sagarmatha National Park, Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu, and others to disseminate our findings.

  • We will attempt to Skype with classrooms in the States, to involve them in our research, in near real-time.

Logistics

The expedition cost for tents, cooks, fixed ropes, bribes, permits, etc. includes everything from basecamp to basecamp.  The only thing this does not include is oxygen – most of us are going to climb without it. This is a barebones expedition (cost-wise), but is a very good deal for climbing an 8000-meter peak with the great history of this route. As a group, we will share tents, cooks, etc. and will work with other climbing expeditions for such tasks as fixing ropes. For base camp you will bring your own tent and we will have two expedition-sized tents for cooking and lectures/science. We will share tents in the higher camps. A complete gear-list of shared and personal equipment is available.

Itinerary

  • Meet in Kathmandu at the beginning of April.

  • Fly to Lukla.

  • Spend ~10 days trekking to Everest Basecamp (5300 m), camping each night or staying in teahouses along-route.

  • Base camp acclimatization and data collection for one week.

  • Climbing to ever higher camps while shuttling gear and collecting environmental data and snow samples. Descents for rest, recovery, and to process samples. This will span about 5 weeks.

  • When carrying gear to Lhotse Camp 4, after we deposit the gear we will sample snow up to the South Col.

  • Summit Lhotse.

  • Process final samples at EBC for a few days. Rest and recovery.

  • Return to Lukla in early June.

  • Return to Kathmandu in early June.

Logistics

The expedition cost for tents, cooks, fixed ropes, bribes, permits, etc. includes everything from basecamp to basecamp.  The only thing this does not include is oxygen – most of us are going to climb without it. This is a barebones expedition (cost-wise), but is a very good deal for climbing an 8000-meter peak with the great history of this route. As a group, we will share tents, cooks, etc. and will work with other climbing expeditions for such tasks as fixing ropes. For base camp you will bring your own tent and we will have two expedition-sized tents for cooking and lectures/science. We will share tents in the higher camps. A complete gear-list of shared and personal equipment is available.

Itinerary

  • Meet in Kathmandu at the beginning of April.

  • Fly to Lukla.

  • Spend ~10 days trekking to Everest Basecamp (5300 m), camping each night or staying in teahouses along-route.

  • Base camp acclimatization and data collection for one week.

  • Climbing to ever higher camps while shuttling gear and collecting environmental data and snow samples. Descents for rest, recovery, and to process samples. This will span about 5 weeks.

  • When carrying gear to Lhotse Camp 4, after we deposit the gear we will sample snow up to the South Col.

  • Summit Lhotse.

  • Process final samples at EBC for a few days. Rest and recovery.

  • Return to Lukla in early June.

  • Return to Kathmandu in early June.

  • Mt Everest/Lhotse
  • Mt Everest/Lhotse
  • Mt Everest/Lhotse