Website- Peak Freak Expeditions

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Safety first- we pull the pin.

Peak Freaks Everest 2014' is cancelled due to safety concerns, firstly the route in my professional opinion is NOT safe and providing guidance through our expertise in safety is what we are paid for.  We've cancelled expeditions before to save lives, this is not new to us. Nothing in mountaineering is absolute, we have to be flexible and move with the mountains, there are no guarantees.  As I give this dispatch I hear an avalanche. Earlier today I listened to another coming from the same direction off the western shoulder that killed 16 Sherpas on April 17th. 

What I am seeing here is exactly why we no longer climb on adjacent Ama Dablam 6856m and later Mount Pumori at 7145. We no longer climb those mountains due to global warming, the ice is melting, the glue that holds them together.

Secondly there is too much riff to consider safely moving forward as the political environment here is getting more complex and anger is developing. There is talk of retaliation on Sherpas who want to continue and I'm not about to be part of this or put any of my staff or clients in danger. There seems to be two tribes forming and this makes for a dangerous situation in an already unstable mountainous environment. If we care about our Sherpa families as so many say they do, then we must give peace a chance. 

Tomorrow the Nepalese army and police are expected at base camp to try to talk to the Sherpas who do not want to climb into doing it for a few select operators that are putting pressure on them. This is not how we climb mountains!!

The ice-fall doctors who put the ladders and routes in through the ice-fall have made their decision that the glacier is not safe. Why wouldn't we listen to them?  In addition 300+ Sherpas have put their names on an organized protest to not climb in respect of the recent deaths, why wouldn't we listen to them? 

It's gotten too messy, we hung in here to see if we could learn from all of this and be of assistance in anyway through this crisis, but now that we have an army, police and angry Sherpas staging at base camp, it's time to go home. 

What's next?

We have 32 loads of equipment up at Camp 2. We are organizing jointly with Alpine Ascents and Adventure Consultants a helicopter to take up 3 Sherpas, one from each team, to organize the loads to be flown down to base camp avoiding the glacier all together. 

Some of our clients have organized helicopter lifts to Kathmandu while others are walking out effective tomorrow morning. 

We've been in the Sherpa community for 24 years as partners in tourism and have seen so much good come from it to a country that was once the 5th poorest in the world. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been generated here from mountaineering. 

We will continue to climb on smaller mountains in Nepal and do what we can to keep the industry alive in Nepal,  but we will tread softly on future plans with Everest. 

Over and out

Everest 2009 taken from Mount Pumori

Everest this week 2014' 


  1. Tim, Thanks for all the solid information and leadership you are providing on the mountain.

  2. Tim, thanks for your work, for letting us know and for taking a principled stand in support of the Sherpas. Thanks for your leadership.

  3. What operators would try to use the army and police to force Sherpas that do not want to climb onto the mountain.... hopefully they get called out and noone signs to work for them again.

  4. George Andreou, Cyprus23 April 2014 at 18:13

    Have a safe trip back home, Tim ! You are a great leader and a great person :)

  5. Awesome Tim! Very pleased about your decision and your reasoning's behind it! You, my friend, not only talk the talk but truly walk the walk! Proud that you are a Canadian Mountaineering Guide! :-)

  6. 'nuff respect. The expeditions should not be a catalyst for further strife among the Sherpa at a time when grief remains so raw. Thank you again for pointing out that above all else are the conditions on the mountain; whether people want to climb is secondary to whether people should climb.

  7. Very well said Tim . Good call

  8. Peace Be With You.

  9. Tim thanks for the info send my regards to Kuntal joisher......

  10. Tim, I have been transfixed and saddened by the story coming out of Nepal. Particular aware of the terrible fate for sixteen men. I personally believe, and have for many years, that Sherpas should be paid the same rate as Western guides. And, that their names should be part of coverage any time a European or Westerner who climbs with them claims that they conquered Everest. Your blog above appears to be one of the most measured, thoughtful, and conflicted (which makes it's POV more trustful) pieces b to come out to date. Thanks for it. And, pointing out the connection to Global Warming.
    Tibby Rothman

  11. Thanks Tim, tough call but clearly right call.

  12. Lead by example...appreciate and respect your integrity.

  13. Lead by example...appreciate and respect your integrity!

  14. I truly wish the government would shut down the mountain for at least 5 years. So much has changed, the environment is being destroyed. I know you understand. I also think that struct regulations need to be put on WHO is allowed to climb. Thank you so much for the updates. Blessings to everyone.

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