So the journey has begun. I departed Seattle in the afternoon on March 25th and after a series of airline connections, being in transit, and covering 12 time zones. I have finally arrived here in Kathmandu. This flight to Nepal is my 9th time now and it is always an adventure just getting here.
I’m guiding on an expedition for International Mountain Guides (www.mountainguides.com), one of the largest operators on Mount Everest this year, and we are running a variety of trips that include our Mount Everest Classic/Hybrid/and Express expeditions. We will also have climbers attempting Lhotse, which is the sister summit of Everest, and stands at 27,940 ft (8516 m). There will also be trekkers accompanying all of the expeditions this year to base camp.
The International Mountain Guide team is let by IMG owner Eric Simonson, who has been leading expeditions with success over the last 25 years. Eric is also well known in the mountaineering and led the expedition that found the remains of legendary Everest pioneer George Mallory. Also leading the team are veteran Everest guides Greg Vernovage, Mike Hamill, Justin Merle, Ang Jangbu, myself (Eric Remza), Max Bunce, Andy Polloczek, and Jenni Fogle.
I will be guiding on IMG’s Mount Everest Classic expedition and will be accompanied by Greg Vernovage and Max Bunce. The team has been arriving into Kathmandu over the last couple days and the next stage of our pre-trip preparations are about making sure everyone has arrived the with the right amount of gear. Gear checks are a thorough account to make sure that our climbers are going to be well equipped for what lies ahead. We individually sit down with each climber and make sure that they are bringing exactly what they need to excel. Examples of what we are looking for during these gear checks are that they have arrived with steel crampons that are fit to their mountaineering boots with perfection, warm mitts and gloves, and eye protection for the extreme elements we will endure up high.
For me personally, I am very particular with the gear that dons my body and adheres me to the mountain. This is a result from the past 16 years guiding the highest mountains of the world through trial/error and communicating with other guides to find out what works well for them. Having the right guides, gear, and tools for preparation and communication are standard setting in this profession and are what defines us as climbers. It is a testament to those who are driven by doing rather then waiting and dreaming rather then living.
For further updates on the IMG Everest Expedition, check out the IMG blog.