Website- Peak Freak Expeditions

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Rippel & Brice story

It's a pretty quiet camp here in terms of climbing. It's cold and windy up high and many teams are just now starting to gather. Many were held back with bad weather in Kathmandu and others were out doing their valley acclimatization climbs in preparation for Camp 1. 

Tim had a visit from Russell Brice (Himex) today so I thought I'd post information on how and when they met and in the pioneering days of Everest operations. 

I've attached a photo of Tim and Russell catching up at the bakery in Namche Bazaar a couple weeks ago. It prompted Tim and I to reminisce about the old days, it's hardships,  and how we endured.

Tim first met Russell in 1994 on Everest on the north side in Tibet. Tim was part of a Canadian expedition. Russell, Henry Todd and Eric Simonson were also here in the early stages of pioneering at that time.  In 1995 Russell hired Tim to guide for him. He couldn't pay Tim as he was pioneering and we know well how that goes- barely scraping together enough to get it to happen- and barely finding enough clients to help contribute in the form of fees. Guides and operators busting out to new ranges rarely made money in the early years, they just come out of it with valuable experience that they paid for. Today I think we are all surprised how big the Everest guiding industry would become. 

Meanwhile back at home Tim had built a log house in the mountains here in Canada for us and our two kids.  We get a lot of snow and that's why today our home in Nelson B.C. is a skiers mecca with Heli and Cat ski operators surrounding us and 2 major downhill ski areas. We live right smack in the middle of it.  We were flat broke and Tim would go off Heli-Ski guiding in the winters for 3+ months while I was left at home to keep the home fires burning and get creative trying to market our own creation " Peak Freaks". That meant chopping wood for heat and melting lots snow on the wood stove for water 6 months of the year all while keeping cougar attacks at bay.  No real phone to speak of and good old dial-up that ran well below the minimum download speeds, and only after the chair-lift stopped at the end of the day because of the feedback on the line that we shared. I did this for three consecutive winters. Did I say it's for sale? Whitewater Chalet  

Tim's last Everest with Russell was in 1997, he told Russell he had to pay him enough to get our water line buried as he feared he'd be a single man when he got home.  Wait for it.....  a whopping $5k arrived in the bank early July, just in time to get a bob cat in to dig the 1800ft. trench on the side of the mountain before the next winter set in.  24 years we are still married .... thank-youuuuuu  Russell  :)

Today the team is laying low and finally the Ncell 3G tower is suppose to operational. We'll see....


1 comment:

  1. Tim and Becky, I remember when Denali got munched by the couger and survived. Thanks for the good times and inspiration to go deeper in the mountains. Water lines and my first job in BC chipping out the septic hole.

    My thoughts and prayers go out too you and your extended sherpa families.

    Your friend; Harlan Sheppard