Website- Peak Freak Expeditions

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Triple Crown 2014- Wrap Up

Peak Freaks "Everest Training- Triple Crown" Expedition wrap-up.  Successfully developing self-reliant climbers who do their work, carry the load and their success is not fully on the back of our Sherpa crew. The way it used to be- we are team!

We'll be adding comments here from our past participants to give anyone considering this trip an idea
on what members got out of it. Here's one that just came in.

"Tim (and Becky) - Thank you for the experience of a lifetime!  I will be thinking and talking about the Triple Crown for many years to come.  As I mentioned to Tim a few times out in our camps, I had no idea we would have the opportunity to learn so much about mountaineering on the trip. Tim was such a patient and thorough teacher - always willing to review and go over things one more time - no question of mine was too simple or too complicated for him - he always gave me all the time I needed and always was so courteous and thoughtful with his answers.  You really made it fun - thank you SO MUCH for all I learned - a complete bonus for me!

Beyond the teaching, the opportunity to climb three peaks in the Khumbu region and push myself a little farther up the “altitude curve” was a thrilling experience.  Our setting in a world renowned mountaineering area, the Sherpa culture, Tim’s inspirational spirit and good humor and the many friendships we made all added to make it an unbelievable experience.  I cannot thank you enough.

Please keep me on the list for future climbs!  Not sure Everest is in the cards, but there still are a lot of great mountains out there and I’d love to go back to EBC sometime during the climbing season again.  I hope we can remain in contact."

Best regards,
Craig (USA)

Tim & Becky,

I cannot express enough how happy I am to have signed up for the Triple Crown expedition with you guys. Not only did I get a great introduction to mountaineering, I had experiences that I will cherish my whole life. I met some incredible people on this adventure from whom I learnt so much and want to thank both of you for the opportunity. I hope to have another crazy adventure with Peak Freaks soon! 

Cheers and talk to you soon,

Hi Tim and Becky:

It's hard to believe that nearly 2 months have passed since our Peak Freaks adventure. I have finally melded back back into "everyday" life. For me, this was the adventure of a lifetime and I will always have incredible memories.  I joined the expedition expecting to make an attempt on three Himalayan peaks and left with so much more. The course itinerary states that the goal is to help develop self sufficient mountaineers. I finished with a level of skill and confidence that will serve me well in the mountains, but will also extend much further to everyday life.
Tim is an incredible leader and his passion for the mountains and desire to extend that passion to others was evident throughout the expedition. All I can say is that Peak Freaks does it right!. Thank you again for a world class experience. I hope that our paths will cross again soon,



Thursday, 6 November 2014

Expedition End- Ice Bucket Challenge - 5350m

In the name of raising awareness and a cure for ALS we officially close Peak Freaks Triple Crown Expedition 2014'  Possibly the worlds highest ice bucket challenge.

                                                   If the video doesn't open, click this link.


Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Tim pulls strings - Team in Kathmandu a day early!

The team made good time arriving in Lukla from Phakding today arriving at 11:30hrs NPT. Members began ordering their lunch and began to settle in for the night to prepare their hopeful scheduled flight to Kathmandu tomorrow, Tim disappears. He was determined to keep those faces smiling till he sees each them off on their international flights.

Tim was giggling on FaceTime telling me the story on how it all went down. Lukla airport manager came in the house they were staying at. He calls out "I'll take two", returns a while later, "I'll take one" one by one and two by two, they were all lifted to Kathmandu. Tim was now alone with all the food on the tables. He called in some porters and area workers to help him with that and just as he was paying the bill he gets summoned to get on the plane.

Tonight it was Rumdoodles restaurant for dinner and signing of the Yeti foot for the wall. Tim sent them all off to Tom and Jerry's, the local watering hole frequented by climbers, he asked to them to look around at some of the old Peak Freak paraphernalia from days gone by.

During our conversation I got tipped off that the team is preparing something special for this blogs  closing. I must say I'm looking very much forward to that post.

Stay tuned!
"Triple Crown Mountaineering Course"

Check this out!  An extremely rare clean shaven Tim, John Forestell's father Claire and sister Lindsay back in 2001. John was 8 then now 21 lifting a 90kg load at which Tim said just about knocked him over. No doubt!! Good fun...

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Lukla in our sights!

The team is in Phakding tonight, sleeping in the rich air beside the river.  Tim wanted me to show the latest photos of the team all cleaned up and with smiling faces. To show them now in the event they get wrapped up in the complications that can come when flights get backed up in Lukla due weather and they get all cranky.

I told him his eyes looked like they were closed. He told me he was praying good weather.

Fingers crossed,


Monday, 3 November 2014

Triple Crown- Photo round-up

What can I say? pictures tell a thousands words. More to come in the next few days. Enjoy!

Stay tuned! It's not over yet!


Sorrow in the Mountains- Ama Dablam death

Sad news came to Tim when he learned of three deaths on Ama Dablam today. One Sherpa climber was killed and three foreigners were injured when the looming serac (aka ticking time-bomb) on the route to the summit let go of a chunk of ice or possible rock, the details are not out yet.  Tim knew the Sherpa well, his name is Dendi Sherpa. Tim said he'll miss bumping into his smiling face in the valley. The foreigners names he did not know. Our hearts and prayers go out to the families during this difficult time.

Sorrow in the mountains is inevitable these days with warming temperatures and especially when climbing under ice that"will" come off at some point. We feel the best thing you can do if you're not willing to take those risk is to avoid them altogether.
Triple Crown climber Dekel Berenson photo of Ama Dablam 2014'

We quit climbing Ama Dablam over 10 or 12 years ago when this particular serac started to calve back then. To us it just wasn't worth the risk. The situation here is like what happened on Everest this year when 16 Sherpa climbers lost their lives due to ice-fall and not a traditional snow avalanche as many may have thought by the way the media quoted the incident. The event in the Annapurnas was avalanche related deaths by snow loads coming down, Everest was ice-fall.

On Ama Dablam like Everest, you have no choice but to climb underneath it.  Climbers need to know those risks and not take their safety for granted. Tim decided those risks are not acceptable for a training climb or a group of climbers out for a good time and with
no pressure and not influenced by an outside agenda to succeed at all costs -  the kind of applicants we want.

We used to use Camp 3 on Ama Dablam but now it's in direct line of this problematic area where potential for calving ice and rock is considered active.  Once the ice is gone then there will be rock fall to contend with. We came close to having an incident back in the day so we left and never returned. There are other peaks to climb, it's beauty and prestige is not worth the risk when you're guiding.  Independent teams- okay. The situation there now is that Camp 3 can't be used so all climbers must have the stamina and ability to climb swiftly, all while putting in a long day from Camp 2 to the summit and back. It's not for everyone and certainly not for a novice climber.

We have photos coming out now of our safe and successful "Triple Crown Expedition" I'll be posting them to Tim;s Facebook, if you're not already, be a follower...

Peak Freaks are in Namche Bazaar tonight.


Friday, 31 October 2014

Lobuche East Summit Success!

Tim just called in to say....

At 06:30 the entire who made it to the final third Peak Freak team summited the false summit and at 08:00hrs NPT they stood on
Our solar cooker
top of the true summit and are now just below the summit enjoying a bite to eat. They're pretty tired and happy with their accomplishments. They'll be down at base camp in about 3 hours from now.

Romano made it up and summited. The rest at Lobuche village served him well.

Karsung Sherpa, Desh and crew have the soup on on the solar cooker heating up for their arrival.

The past three years on Everest we've been using this to supplement the use of fuel as part of our green theme. We haven't seen any other teams using it yet and hope it will be of the norm in the future. It just makes sense. Tim first saw the one being used near Gorak Shep and made a replica of it. Now they have a more upscale one.

 The final summit of Peak Freaks Triple Crown 2014" a job well done.  Photos will coming out sometime tomorrow when they start moving down the valley and get on wifi.

Congratulations team!

Triple Crown Mountaineering Course

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Cheyne Stokes at Altitude

Peak Freaks once again enjoyed a day of instruction at the base of Lobuche Peak. Rope rescue and
other survival techniques were rehearsed.

Romano from Australia has beens struggling with a condition related to altitude known as Cheyne Stokes, it's inhibiting his ability to sleep soundly. I've experience this myself at altitude and typically a very small percent of our participants will - especially on Everest at Camp 3 if they are not supplemented with oxygen. For that reason we supplement all our Everest climbers at Camp 3 to get the full rest they need pre-summit push.

Tim and Romano discussed his options as he's not been able to sleep for several days and as a result is losing much needed energy for the summit push. He decided to retreat to the village of Lobuche to enjoy two full nights sleep before the summit bid tomorrow.

Cheyne Stokes are related to low oxygen saturation and for some who suffer from this , their body is alerted to gasp for air and this reaction jolts the climber awake each time he or she starts to relax as the result of taking in less oxygen. Or for some, they don't wake but their tent mate is kept awake listening to irregular breathing patterns of the person next to them. They will sound as though they've quit breathing and then gasp but never wake themselves from their slumber.  If this goes on for more than 2 or 3 nights it can be the end of a climbers ascent higher as the only cure is to retreat, spend more time at the elevation they were last comfortable and gradually try to ascend again. For some they can hit the wall each time at the same elevation no matter how long they are there, and try.

Another thing we see on high altitude climbs is a condition that has nothing to do with altitude. It's claustrophobia. Anyone that has not experienced life on a major expedition that requires sleeping in tents for multiple days may learn something new about themselves. Something they wouldn't have known till they tried it. This condition is more common than most would think. We've already lost a few participants on this expedition at this stage of the climb. Once again this can be for some- the"boot" in boot camp.

These are two very good reasons to join this program and spend only $7K instead of $20K or $50K to find out your body chemistry just doesn't work for you up here or expedition style climbing is not for you before making the big investment in time away and money.


High camp tomorrow, rest, hangout, summit push at some gaud awful hour in the middle of the night.


Wind will be the highest it is this week and Tim said that is exactly what he was hoping for. Just another reality test of what to expect on big mountains such as Everest and what it feels like to climb in harsh conditions. It won't be that bad, but they will get a bit of a simulation. 

Stay tuned!

"Triple Crown Mountaineering Course"

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Lobuche East Route and Weather information

Tim called in a quick namaste as they were coming down Kala Pattar at 07:30 NPT yesterday. They
Lobuche East

got their morning sunrise shots and were on their way to Lobuche base camp where they'd be now all tucked in.

They are obviously getting spoiled living in the comforts of camp. He grumbled about having a bad sleep last night because a trekker next door in the teahouse where they lodged, was snoring. He said he couldn't wait to get back into his tent.

That's just some of the joys of this expedition: Small scale, off the beaten track, moderate altitudes for the Himalayas, learning some mountaineering skills and about staying safe,  good and clean cooking at base camp and your own space to sleep at night in your tent, quiet and with great views. All of the above is why we created these trips.

Not to forget that it's a great tool for climbing big mountains. Here's a testimony that just came in from a past participant that I thought I'd share.

"If you aspire to climb Everest there is no better training program that I am aware of that puts you right on the spot. Tim and his professional crew puts you to the test in the exact environment you will eventually meet on the big E.  A complete and good set-up of camps  is all important in high altitude climbing, Peak Freaks is second to none when it comes to quality camps.
Lars, Norway, Summited Everest 2012."
Ha en fin dag

Med vennlig hilsen
Lars Haugen

Tomorrow Lobouche East? either a rest day or begin their ascent. Not sure what their plan is, I'll update when I hear.


There are two distinct summits on Lobuche Peak- Lobuche East (6119m/20,75m) and Lobuche West (6145m/20,016ft.) Although a continuous ridge connects them there is a sharp gap and a considerable distance between them. Lobuche is an attractive summit, offering a variety of existing routes and a wide scope for new lines. Seen from Pheriche, the dark triangle of its rocky East Face rises above the moraines of the Khumbu Glacier to an icy skyline. The skyline forms the South Ridge, the junction of the East Face with the glaciated South-West Face and the line of the normal route of the ascent. This in turn leads to the summit ridge running northwest from the top of the East Face through several small summits to the East Peak.


All holding just fine, clear in the morning a few skiffs of snow in the afternoon. It looks like they'll get their climb in before the wind starts to impact the area if they push it. The seasonal high winds that increase the windchill factor is in the forecast. If they get going earlier rather than later, they'll get their summit in under the wire.

Looking good!

Triple Crown Expedition

Monday, 27 October 2014

Triple Crown- Photo Upload

Great! We finally get some photos of the group who are now in Gorak Shep for the night after crossing the Konga La pass and grabbing that photo opp at the entrance of Everest Base Camp.

They came over the pass from Pokalde while the animals went down Chukung way and back to Pheriche because the pass was a bit too icy for them. They'll have camp setup late tomorrow afternoon  at the base of Lobuche and in the meantime the team is going to go up Kala Pattar tomorrow to catch some views and photos of the Khumbu Icefall, Everest North and South, Lhotse and Nuptse. Afterwards they'll retreat and make their way to Lobuche base camp.

Nothing more to report other then they are doing great and it's life as normal in the Himalayas for our team.  That's why Tim loves this climb: no crowds of people, off the beaten path and no politics. Climbing as it should be!