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2011 Project Himalaya Everest Expedition 8848m

An introduction to our Tibet (north side) Everest Expedition

Above, Everest rises above all other mountains - taken from the drive in from Shegar

Meet the team

We have a nice small team, although originally a few more people planned on joining. Several people decided they needed more preparation after the Aconcagua warm up expedition, and the Middle East democracy protests took their toll on sponsorship money.

Project Himalaya: Luke and Everest

Luke Smithwick and Chomolungma / Everest / Sagarmatha - Jamie

Esther Tan - Singapore

After 10 years of adventure racing supported by The North Face, Esther is tackling new adventures. For preparation she took an ice climbing course in Sichuan then climbed Mt Chola, a 6000m peak in Sichuan with Singapore mountain guide Kim Boon, then summited Aconcagua with Project Himalaya in February. Pasang Kaji is personal sherpa for Esther.

Grant Rawlinson - New Zealand living in Singapore

Newly wed, Grant has always been an outdoor kiwi and has plenty of previous mountaineering experience, although with the last 13 years in Singapore, he has to travel to satisfy his passion. We suffer his endless verbal vomit such as on ugg boots "shag 'em, eat 'em, put 'em on your feet"; we might survive Everest together!

Follow Grant's Climb For Hope blog.

Kenneth Koh - Singapore

In the 1980's Ken climbed Yosemite big walls before moving back to Singapore to fly for Singapore Airlines. Training hard for Everest, he also climbed Mt Chola, and joined us on Aconcagua earlier this year, and pushed himself physically with cross-fit training. He has a passion for photography and writes occasional articles. Laura, his wife, is going to cycle from Lhasa to Kathmandu via Everest BC in May. Jamling is personal sherpa for Ken.

For more background check out Ken's Adventure nomad blog and for Everest follow him on Twitter.

Jim Morrow - New Zealand

A builder in Auckland, Jim has a long climbing background and has previously climbed on Cho Oyu with IMG but destroyed tents prevented any of the team summiting. He was also part of the classic DCXP trip that crossed the 6800m Lhakpa La to the Kangshung side (and climbed the 7045m Lhakpa Ri en route). He also climbed Himlung (7100m) with DCXP and that didn't slow him down so this year he wants to go as high as possible.

Jim  Morrow

Jim Morrow - Jamie

Ismail Askerov - Azerbaijan

With only one more peak, Peak Pobeda, to climb for the Snow Leopard title, he is already an accomplished mountaineer. He is sponsored by Bakcell, the best mobile phone company in Azerbaijan.

2011 Everest team in Kathmandu

Kenneth Koh, Esther Tan, Ismail Askerov, Jamie McGuinness, Luke Smithwick - Grant absent

2011 Everest team

The team in a new Ford Transit van, driving up from Zhangmu to BC
L-R: Dawa, Esther Tan, Andrew Lock, Ismail, Grant Rawlinson, Luke Smithwick, Jim Morrow (behind) and Kenneth Koh - Jamie


Meet the crew

Most of the climbing crew have been on Everest many times, but not always allowed to summit, which is very dependent on the climbing member with them. This is a work in progress, I will write more sometime soon.

Bali (Bal Bahadur) Lopchan - Nepal

Bali (36 years old), just gets things done, the reason he has risen from porter to sirdar and now expedition sirdar, and has worked with Jamie on the challenging 42 days treks. Bali is still waiting for a chance to summit Everest, last year he worked for the German-Austrian team last year and climbed to 8300m no less than five times.

Pasang Kaji Sherpa - Nepal

Kaji summited Everest in 2010 with Eric K and has summited Everest previously too. He is working as personal sherpa for Esther.

Nima Griman Sherpa - Nepal

Nima has three Everest summits under his crampons including with Barry Cohen in 2010.

Pasang Gyelu Sherpa - Nepal

Quiet Pasang, who is also an excellent cook.

Tawa Sherpa - Nepal

Previously our expedition cook, Tawa (30 years old) has proved so strong that he is now a climbing sherpa, although has yet to summit Everest. Perhaps this will be third time lucky.

Kami Sherpa - Nepal

Our base camp manager and cook, Kami has also climbed Everest, and Cho Oyu 4 times and so can climb in in an emergency too.

Nawang Geden Sherpa - Nepal

A quiet regular too, who has carried many loads to 8000m.

Dawa Gelje Sherpa - Nepal

Our ABC cook and backup climber who has summited Everest with the the Everest Peace Project, and again with us in 2007.

Jamling Bhote - Nepal

New to our team, Jamling is no stranger to Everest though, having summitted 5 times, often climbing with Singapore teams, and is personal sherpa for Ken.

Jamling and Ken

Jamling and Ken admire the teashop owners' zhi stone - Jamie

Phujung Bhote - Nepal

Jamling's brother...

Dorje - Tibetan

A regular, we couldn't actually work out how many times we have worked together. When he started he had no children, now between him and his brother (married to the same woman), they have three kids.

Karsang - Tibetan

Another regular, Karsang is up for the toughest work and has the respect of all the Tibetans working as expedition kitchen hands.

Norbu - Tibetan

Norbu nearly died of a perforated intestine working at ABC years ago (for another company), luckily our team helped carry him down, and after a spell in Shegar hospital, he fully recovered. He helps out at BC.

Karsang Chewang - Tibetan

Nawang Chhiri worked for us a few times and sadly his father died, so he is at home looking after the house while his younger brother, Karsang Chewang works for us, and his older brother is now trained as a Tibetan climbing guide and working for Kari Kobler.

Namgya - Tibetan

Karsang's brother, this is his first time working for an expedition.

Luke Smithwick - USA

An Alaskan ski mountaineer, Denali guide and rafting guide, Luke has a passion for the outdoors and has moved out to the Himalaya. Working with Project Himalaya since 2010, Luke is guiding the North Col and Everest BC team and hoping to climb Everest on the side, helping out as a general hand. His wry sense of should see us through any tough patches; to Grant, "you just wear panties because they're comfortable, right?".

Jamie McGuinness - New Zealand

A veteran of more than twenty 8000m expeditions, Jamie was the first New Zealander to climb Broad Peak. In addition to organizing big peak expeditions, he is helping open up the Great Himalaya Trail (GHT) and loves long (42 day) exploratory treks.

Jamie also works as expedition consultant for Explore Himalaya (Nepal) and Explore Himalaya support the Mountain Trip team on the south side, so I have been busy for several months working with the sherpa teams on the preparation for these two expeditions. A BIG thanks to Dawa Gelje, Sarki and the crew.

Base Camp-ABC support

Andrew Lock - Australia

Australia's most accomplished mountaineer having climbed all 14x 8000m mountains, Andrew is climbing Everest again completely independently on the mountain but shares our base camp and advance base camp.

Follow him on Andrew-Lock.com.

Project Himalaya Everest

We have an extensive history on Everest and our Project Himalaya teams have summitted every time. Jamie has personally summitted four times, three times from the north and once from the south side, but the expedition is not about me - it is about the climbers who book with us. See our 8000m history for more details.

We are not the most expensive, nor the cheapest; instead we really try to run good expeditions focused on success and safety for mountaineers with some previous experience.


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