"Children are amazed to see their images in our digital camera," reported Fiona - even if many of the kids are pretty used to this trick 'performed' by virtually all trekkers and climbers passing by. Image courtesy of Paul & Fiona Adler (click to enlarge).
"So it seems like there are 4 Filipinos who will attempt E this year. Wow, exciting," wrote Romeo Garduce. "I don't see this as a competition. I hope that at least 1 of us makes it on top." File image of Romeo during a triathlon competition, courtesy of Garduce's blog (click to enlarge).
Everest daily wrap-up: Up and down the Khumbu valley

Posted: Mar 23, 2006 04:45 pm EST
(MountEverest.net) Romeo Garduce is back from an acclimatization trip on Island peak (no summit). Back in the Khumbu valley, he was surprised to see that he wont be the only Philippine climber attempting to be the 'first' to reach Everest's summit.

Romeo is on his way back to town for some rest, but on the way he will meet many climbers heading in the opposite direction: Among them are Australians Paul and Fiona, and the large British Army team aiming for Everests West ridge.

However, the current panorama is different from the crowds seen along the Khumbu valley's paths in previous years: Climbers are reporting on very few visitors in Nepal, probably scared off by the uneasy political situation.

Everest West ridge

The Army team hoping to be the first Brits to summit Everest via the perilous West Ridge set off from London Heathrow yesterday. From Kathmandu, they will move through Tibet to a base camp on the Rombuk Glacier.

According to the expeditions press office, they will then establish five camps progressively higher up the mountain before attempting their final bid to reach the summit some time in May.

In addition to the Everest climbing team, two other groups of Army climbers will go for Lhakpa Ri (7045m) in Tibet, and Island Peak in Nepal.

Everest South

Romeo Garduce: Good luck to all in the Filipino race!

"The first acclimatization stage is now complete and I'm now resting and recovering for the big trip ahead. We reached (and slept) at an altitude of around 19000ft, and stayed above 17000ft for several days, a good enough acclimatization for the April climb."

Unfortunately Island Peak (6100m/21000ft) - our target mountain for stage1 acclimatization, has not been very accommodating to us climbers this March. The heavy snowfall on our 3rd day (+40cm, typical Nepal winter), made us postpone it, but even after the weather stabilized a bit, several teams ahead of us (including the 2 strong Pinoy athletes from the big team) were all sent down empty-handed.

In our attempt, we established a high camp at 19000ft. But the big jump in sleeping altitude made us sick and we aborted the climb -hahaha! We tried to cheat, but then we got other problems hehe.

Garduce on Everest Filipino 'Race'

Romeo is now heading back to KTM for some R&R , but before reaching town he has gotten word of the other fellow Philippines attempting the peak this year.

So it seems like there are 4 Filipinos who will attempt E this year. Wow, exciting, he said. Two of us are independent (1 being very quiet), the other 2 from the big team.

"I don't see this as a competition - Climbing the great mountain is a very personal matter - it's between the individual climber AND the mountain. With a summit probability of 5-10%, it is never a question of 'who is first', but a question of 'who will be lucky to be on top'. I hope that at least 1 of us makes it on top. I hope that all climbers this year, have their purity of intention (personal desire to top the peak), and not just to 'race', or not just because they were 'sent on a mission', added Romeo.

Paul and Fiona Adler: No rocks in the clouds on the way to Lukla

Paul and Fiona are already in Phakding, after flying to Lukla earlier today. They are camping by the river and hope to reach Namche Bazaar by tomorrow.

The couple was relieved to wake up to blue skies before taking off this morning. During a previous visit to Nepal, they were delayed for two days in KTM due to cloudy weather. When Fiona asked the air company why they wouldn't fly, she was simply told: We dont fly because clouds in Nepal have rocks inside.

Jagged Globe: Meeting up on Sunday

UK-based outfitter Jagged Globe is finally launching one Everest team, attempting the peak from the South col route. The team will assemble in Kathmandu on March 26. Jagged Globe Managing Director Simon Lowe will trek with the team to base camp, before traveling to Tibet to visit the Army's West Ridge expedition.

Links to teams on Everest North:
Russian Climb | UK Army 's West ridge expedition | Ecuadorians w/o Limits (Spanish) | Tomas Olsson (Swedish) | Everestmax | News on Pepe Andrés Blanco (Spanish) | Mark Inglis' Legs on Everest | News on Andalucia Everest (Spanish)| Northern Ireland-England | Terres de lEbre (Catalan) | Comarques Gironines | Adventure Peaks| Scott on Everest| Everest Peace Project website| DCXP | Project Himalaya | S. Woolums' Adventures Intl | Abramovs 7 Summits Club | Harry Kikstras 7 Summits | Thomas Webers SightOnEverest| News on Bahrainis - The Gulf Times | Dr. Ken Stalters website | Malaysian Treverest website

Links to teams on Everest South:
Polish-Russian Traverse (Polish) | Martyna Wojciechowska (Polish) | Khoo Swee Chiow | Malaysia/Singapore EverestFriendship | Paul and Fiona Adler| Indias BSF | Romeo Garduces blog | Philippines FPMEE 'reconnaissance' climb| Mallorca a Dalt de Tot | Alpine Ascents | Jagged Globe | Adventure Consultants | IMG | Mountain Madness| Mountain Link| BaseCampMD

Links to teams on other Himalayan 8000ers:
Ralf's Amical (German) | Andrew Lock | Ivan Vallejo | Simone Moro | Mario Merelli | Tunc Findic (Turkish)| Italian Makalu team (Italian) | Iñaki Ochoa (Spanish) | Nives Meroi (Italian) | Carlos Pauner (Spanish) | Friendship Beyond Borders| DCXP | Jagged Globe| Silvio Mondinelli| News on Shisha's Cordoba 8000