MAY 14th – It’s time…

A ship in harbor is safe but ships were not built for that”

Tomorrow we leave basecamp for the last time for the summit of the world. I am unsure of our exact schedule yet. But tomorrow we will make the long push, 17km and 1200m of vertical height gain from basecamp to advanced basecamp (ABC) at 6400m. From ABC we will again monitor the weather and decide when to push higher.

Team briefing at basecamp this morning

I will make updates by voice post from my satellite phone. If you see a post from me titled VOICE POST this will be a short voice recording I have made from the mountain. You can replay this on your computer. (For some reason it does not work well on IPAD’s I am told?)

I feel so fortunate and excited to be in a position to be about to ATTEMPT to realise my dream. My dream is not just to stand on the summit of Mt Everest. My dream is to climb those final 500m vertical metres of Everest’s North East Ridge to the summit. The 500m which I missed last year. To climb along the highest ridge traverse in the world. To feel the exposure under my feet looking down to the mighty Rongbuk Glacier 10,000 feet below. To work my way over the three infamous rock steps. To stare down into Nepal and Tibet from 8848m.

I am also afraid of failing to reach the summit this year. Failure hurts. Not because of what I think I look like in front of other people, but internally within myself. Getting up every morning and looking in the mirror as I brush my teeth I get reminded of who I am. Sitting in a crowded bar, in the office, on a plane my mind frequently drifts away to the North East Ridge of Everest. 6 months ago when I announced I was returning to Everest a friend asked me – what happens if you fail again? I told him truthfully that if I fail it will be very hard. But my desire to climb the ridge is stronger than my fear of failing to climb it. I cannot live my life failing to attempt.

We have a great team of Sherpa’s with Altitude Junkies. They have worked extremely hard stocking the high camps and getting oxygen into position. Attached is a photo of them taken this morning. What a wonderful bunch of men, epitomizing the qualities that make people great. Tough, hard working, friendly, extreme athletes at altitude, yet so down to earth, honest and humble. In turn for their hard work I am proud to say I am on an expedition where they are very highly respected and treated extremely well.

The crack Sherpa team – what an honour to climb with these guys

On summit morning from camp 3 , I will be climbing with Pasang Nima Sherpa (see attached photo). As with many Sherpa’s, Pasang Nima is small in stature but huge in power. Being able to carry loads of oxygen cylinders/tents and other equipment up to 8300m, where most people who live at sea-level would not be able to drag their own body weight. He also makes me look tall which is quite rare. I kind of like taking photo’s beside him.

Axe and Pasang Nima Sherpa

Finally I want to thank the following people who have enabled me to be in this position today:

Graham, Dicko, GT and the team from John Foord

Darren Blakely and the team from UFIT

Robert Mills

Mark Lamb, Chris Lloyd, John Hunt, Stitch and the SCC sevens committee

Chris, Jasmine, Steve and the team from Citygolf

The staff from Kongsberg Maritime especially Edina Lee, Siti, Latif, Bill Stuart, Phil Andrew, Daryl Morse and Geir Skogen who cover my duties when I am away.

To the Taranaki Rescue Helicopter Trust – Michelle and Jayden, thank you for allowing me the opportunity to work with you and give something back to my home province which has given me so much.

To the people following my blog and making positive comments and wishes. I hope I can repay your enthusiasm and generosity of spirit.

Finally to Stephanie my wife. Thank you for for being you and allowing me to be me.

Satellite phone

I will have my satellite phone with me on the mountain. If you would like to send positive messages of support the number is below. Its probably not a good time to call me to sell insurance or a new credit card as I won’t be too interested, plus I don’t have any money. I can tell you that messages of support when I am in the high camps, breathing oxygen, lying in my tent in minus 30 degrees C, feeling exhausted and a little scared give a huge morale boost.

Thuruya Sat phone number: +88 2167 6006 005

You can send short messages from your mobile phone or from:

Input my number and enter a message less than 100 characters (its says 160 characters but that is not correct – it cuts off some of the message if its too long).

Please be sure to enter your name when you send a message – so I know who you are!

This is Axe signing out for the last time before the summit push from Everest basecamp in Tibet.

Posted on May 14, 2012, in Everest 2012. Bookmark the permalink. 51 Comments.

  1. All the best mate – one foot, after one foot! Sending you all the power I have – I remember that walk very well – go hard and with good judgement! Deno


  2. Go for it, mate! Looking forward to hearing your progress as you make your way up the to the summit (and back to BC).


  3. Warm wishes from San Francisco we wish you the very best on your safe beautiful travel. We look forward to hearing from you soon. Arla, Angela and Barb


  4. You’ve already far exceeded cycling rule #5 Axe so I now look forward to hearing of you standing up where Sir Ed was!


  5. All the best Axe….looking very forward to following your progress and your safe return…you can do it!..inspiring stuff…Stefan


  6. Good luck Grant. We all hope that you fulfill your dreams and make a safe and memorable summit. Love you, from Debra and family


  7. Great post as always, thank you wholeheartedly for the detailed descriptions, it helps me understand Margaret’s journeys, and yours of course, much better. We’ll be eagerly waiting for your voice post. If you can, please say how Margaret is from time to time. It would be easy for me to say “guys fear not!” but we all can understand that you are scared a bit, everybody would be in your place. I have already butterflies in my stomach as every year. I’m sure that all the hard training and sacrifice will work for you this time. You know, the only failure is not to return, anything else is a success. Looking forward to hear your voice from the summitt. Many people’s well wishes and good vibes will be flowing towards you guys for the next 10 days, surely you’d feel that.


  8. Hello Grant,

    How are you? How do you feel? We hope you are feeling fine. We know your dream is going to be realized in no time! We think you are very brave to be taking this adventure along with the rest of your team. How do you stay so positive? It looks like you have a good team! Best of luck for reaching the summit.

    From Omri, Sakurako, Mikael and Baptiste
    Ms. S’s Grade 6 Class


  9. To Grant,

    Grant, you are an awesome climber! We like your enthusiasm because you are very POSTIVE! We really hope you reach the top of Everest. GOOD LUCK in the days to come!

    From Ada, Andres, Frederik and Tina
    Ms. S’s Grade 6 Class at OFS, Singapore


  10. Hello Grant,

    This is David, Chan Young and Takahashi,

    First we hope you will reach the top of Everest with your team. We think you are very brave and adventurous. Please be safe. What is the weather like right now? Tomorrow we will read your most recent post together as a class. We are looking forward to it.
    Good luck to you and your team! We will be waiting for news of your progress.

    P.S. Is there MacDonalds at the top of the mountain? Haha (Joke!)

    Dear Grant,

    Hello, we are 6SPPL2 students Maxim, Marika, Vicky and Dong yoon. How
    is the weather? Is it good weather to climb? Don’t be afraid of bad weather but always be careful. It is so interesting to read your blogs!

    Sending best wishes from your friends,
    Maxim, Marika, Vicky and Dong yoon.


  11. "Uncle" Bill

    Will be with you all the way to the top. Take care, Bill


  12. Good luck Grant. I send you all my best wishes and for the team too. And of course especially for my mum. Please give her a hug from me. Take one step at a time and I’m sure you’ll be successful. I will be thinking of you all over the next week and sending all the best vibes possible. Bye for now. Basia Watroba xx


  13. come home safe and sound. remember…the mountain will always be there.


  14. shahin Kabir

    Good luck Boss from the three of us. The latest addition is our family is a boy born on the 1st of April. And we have named him ARYAN AHMED KABIR! We will celebrate when you are back in Singapore! I will come to meet you!


  15. Good luck Axe- you clearly have the right mindset/temperament- intelligence, fitness/ preparation etc to knock off the bastard. I hope the weather gods play their part and allow you to achieve what is clearly within your capability given the right conditions.

    Get down safely! Kia Kaha


  16. Axe-man, you lucky bugger… in pursuit of your dreams. Time to recoup all those hard yards. Most proud of your accomplishments already and will keep everything crossed until your return that the stars over Everest remain bright and always in sight. Enjoy! Safe adventuring pal!


  17. Hi Grant,
    Go for it and and I am wishing you all the best to get there and come safely back. It is fantastic that you have this opportunity. I really wish you well and will be with you all the way.
    All the best


  18. flor agalliu

    the only thing that matters is that you, and everybody else, make it back safe. there’s no failure when a man goes up those steps, and then makes it back. And don’t forget, Everest and the Himalayas are still growing. hahahaa, you’ll wanna be back in five years time, just to to climb that extra inch, on top of the world. Love from Albania. GOOOOOOOOOOOOO AXE


  19. Brudda, good luck on the summit
    Kia kaha


  20. Thanks for all the updates AXE. Take care Buddy and come back with a great experience!


  21. Best wishes from a couple of members of Jim Morrow’s Auckland Tramping Club in achieving your hard worked for ambition. We’ve been following your excellent posts avidly. Keep safe. Kia kaha


  22. Good luck Grant. Hope the weather is on your side this time and your dream comes true. Keep well and all the best. Speedy


  23. Good luck Grant. Make it up!
    Safe return please……….



  24. Have a great trip – I was 8 when Ed Hillary got there and still remember all the excitement.. Am loving reading your reports.. Merry in Singapore


  25. flor agalliu


    If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
    If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too:
    If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
    Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

    If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
    If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same:.
    If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
    Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build’em up with worn-out tools;

    If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
    And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
    And never breathe a word about your loss:
    If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
    And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

    If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
    If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much:
    If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
    Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
    Rudyard Kipling


  26. Barclay Morison

    Small in stature but huge in power. reminds me of a wee kiwi lad i know. Now is your time axe-man. Wishing you all the success in the world. Take care and keep your wits about you. Keep thinking and be safe. Barclay


  27. GO AXE! Be safe! Get up and get back.


  28. Awesome mate. Almost there. You can do it.


  29. Everyone is pulling for you. We’re all checking your blog for updates, picturing you making your way up that ginormous mountain and imagining you standing on top of the world. You go for it! Be safe and God’s speed.


  30. Hey Axey, with you all the way mate, as you make your way up and return, Rick


  31. Grant, our thoughts are with you. TAKE CARE, YOU’LL DO THIS!
    (now that I’ve started, there’s no stopping me from posting)


  32. Axe – look at all this love!!

    You are pretty bloody amazing today, to have come so far…and especially after last year….tomorrow and the next days you will be even more amazing!

    We are wishing you up that hill and safely back down.

    Two words say it best: Kia kaha

    Take care,

    Anne-Marie, Tony, Harry and Charlie

    PS – the kids really love the pee stories!


  33. Teresa Patchett

    Hello Axe; My name is Teresa and I live in Calgary, AB Canada – I just want you to know that prayers and good wishes are coming to you from all over the world. I am a mountain climber in my mind; I am in awe of your courage and determination. Good luck, I will be following your posts closely.


  34. Better luck this year with the weather Axe. Let’s hope those winds aloft behave for long enough to give you and your team the window that you need.

    Best of luck, we’re following you up and down the mountain.

    See you back in Singapore,
    Chris, Tif, Sky, Piper & Tallis


  35. Climb Strong Axe, We’re all rooting for you.


  36. Good Luck Axe. Praying for you and your team to have a safe trip to the top of the world and a safe return to your family and friends. Looking forward to your next post. Blessings from Indiana.


  37. Your blogs have been great. Praying for you all every step of the way. Hope your dream comes true. My friend Mila is climbing with you, please give her a hug from me. Stay safe and warm. Jane


  38. Kate (Isadora) Smith

    Axe you have only to look at the list of followers all sending their good wishes for you to understand what a ‘top bloke’ you are. You don’t create a list of friends overnight, you have given us so much of yourself over the last few months and we all wish you well. The poem Flor sent you was voted the No 1 verse in the UK and it says it all. Until a couple of months ago I had never heard of Axe and now I realise what I had been missing.It was great having a pen pal from NZ who was half way to Everest.I am really going to miss your daily blogs and comments.Someone said the only failure you can have is not to come back to us all, that being said I feel you know what you are about and I have confidence in your decisions. You have a great team with you and reading the preparations re other teams I believe none of them have a better mind set than yours. I could go on and on but I believe it’s all been said,so in conclusion I wish you all the best,I will say a little prayer for you and really look forward to your first blog when mission accomplished Good Luck Kate


  39. suzie and tony price

    hi grant just wanted to send you a large good luck for your dream goal of climbing everest.we look forward to reading your next blog. all the best suzie and tony price


  40. Kelly Hilliard

    Best of luck Axe to you, your team & all the sherpas. It has been great to read your daily reports and I look forward to hearing about your safe return. Summit or not, what you have already accomplished is inspiring. Nothing but best wishes for an amazing day for your summit!
    Stay safe and take care, Kelly


  41. Chris Reynolds

    Go get it Axe you sound on top of the world and you will soon be there. Good luck mate


  42. Axe – I can’t say much more than has already been said. Your body and mind are strong and I hope the weather Gods are kind…go feel TALL on top of the world….


  43. Good luck mate – very envious of you and look forward to hearing about the feeling of being on top of the world once you are back in Singapore! McFeely


  44. Awesome stuff!!! You are sounding strong this time round. With you all the way mate and look forward to following the man from the Naki on the final push.



  45. Derek & Margaret

    Axe .. well done mate .. you’re almost there … don’t forget to wave when you get to the top so that we will be able to recognise you on Telly! Thinking of you … all the best ..
    ‘The little shit’s mum and dad’ and the grandparents of Thor and Axel from Iceland


  46. Go for it Axe, enjoy the last 500m on the way up and again on the way down. Take care of yourself and all the best from Bill, Vanessa, Oli, Ariel and Liam


  47. May you be fit, focused & all comes together on the day Grant – Leave a little in reserve as the first step down from the top of the world is the start of that journey ‘life after…’. Alan Silva


  48. Axe all the best on your last yourney you know you can stand on top of the world! Take care and be safe. Love Mica.


  49. Congratulations on reaching the summit Grant. All your hard work and determination has got you there. Well done. Enjoyed following your journey. Safe trip home and hopefully some pampering due to you.
    Big hugs,
    Susan McDaid


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