Day by day progress may be found on the expeditions website at  Some of the group have unfortunately had to withdraw due to illness but currently the group divided into two  teams hope to attempt the Summit within the next week or two although the reports say that an Indian and a Norwegian team have failed in their attempt. Sherpas have advanced to storm camp at 8300m not far short of the summit and the teams are set to follow. Please refer to the web site for very full details. 

Posted on Wednesday, May 18, 2005 at 19:50 by Registered CommenterRobert Ulph | Comments Off

progress Friday 29th April



Spent the night at Camp 2 on the North Col at 7,700 metres (25,250 feet) and then returned to Base Camp to rest for a few days before we climb back to Camp 2 and attempt on the summit.  Weather is sunny but very cold with plenty of snow.  The scenery is spectacular and very beautiful.  Feeling OK except for normal altitude sickness.  Message delivered by satelite phone, hence brevity.

Posted on Monday, May 2, 2005 at 19:19 by Registered CommenterRobert Ulph | Comments Off

Update on April 6th

Have anow been in Kathmandu for six days.  It seems to have changed quite a lot since I was last here ten years ago.  Much more crowded (a lot of people have fled here from the countrryside to avoid the Maoist rebels) and I think more Westernised.  Thamel, the tourist centre, remains a bewildering mix of trecking agencies, curio shops and colourful restaurants, still with a distinct hippy influence persisting from the 60s.  But compared to last time there are also lots of mountaineering stores selling brand name goods with misspelt labels at rather suspiciously low prices, and of course there are Internet cafes by the dozen.

After arriving I spent three days in a small resort caalled Shivapuri village just the other side of the range of foothills which lies to the north of Kathmandu.  The proprietor bought some land there which used to be terraced farmland about ten years ago, and converted it into gardens surrounding the accommodation.  There is a fantastic view of the Himalayas to the north (when it's clear) and it's situated on a hillside just below a National Park. A good rest and a bit of acclimatisation before the exertions to come.

We leave for Tibet tomorrow.


April 16th - Noticed from newsspapers that the group have reached Base  Camp within the last day.


Posted on Saturday, April 16, 2005 at 17:09 by Registered CommenterRobert Ulph | Comments Off

Last minute preparations

Am currently taking an Easter retreat chez les parents in order to have a respite from all the preparations before my departure on Wednesday. It's been such a long time preparing for this trip that it will be a tremendous relief to finally be on my way. Am currently explaining to my parents how to create journal entries on this site so that hopefully you will be able to get news of my progress while I'm away. They're becoming more technologically savvy by the day, so keep watching this space for further updates!

Posted on Monday, March 28, 2005 at 12:23 by Registered CommenterRobert Ulph | Comments Off


Everyone keeps asking me about what training I'm doing.  It's certainly true that you want to be fit to undertake something like this, and maybe you should be very fit. But on reviewing what's published on the Internet, I certainly don't get the feeling that superhuman levels of fitness are required.  Fitness will help you when you are high up, because it means that you can use what oxygen is there more efficiently. But factors that are more important are how well you cope with the altitude, and your mental stamina to cope with the wind and cold for long periods. Those come partly from experience and partly I think they are innate.  Some people seem to embark on huge fitness campaigns, of three hours exercise a day for six months in advance, and some people appear to do very little, and I'm not entirely convinced that it makes all that much difference. Bear in mind that there is at least a one month period from the start of the expedition to any summit attempt and any exceptional fitness will probably be lost over that period, because there is a lot of sitting around, and any substantial lack of fitness will be made up for to some extent by the acclimatisation hikes you are doing.  So I suspect that people's levels of fitness do not actually differ all that much when summit day arrives regardless of how much training they did before leaving home.

Nonetheless, I am getting exercise most days now - swimming, cycling, hockey, for an hour or more, and I think that's worthwhile. It's a definite improvement on my training for Elbrus, where I think I only managed to fit in a walk across Regent's Park in preparation.  And I found that that didn't matter, because I developed the fitness I needed in the early stages of the trip.

Posted on Thursday, February 24, 2005 at 11:53 by Registered CommenterRobert Ulph | CommentsPost a Comment | References1 Reference