Category Archives: Everest 2012

Grant Rawlinson on the Summit of Everest

Since Grant may have problems accessing this photo taken by someone on Phile Crampton’s team, I have posted it here with Grant in his “he-man” pose.

Grant on the Top of the World, May 19, 2012

23 May: Happy Axe from basecamp

Hello all. I am very happy to report I am sitting comfortably in basecamp at 5200m, enjoying the luxuries of thicker oxygen, a hot shower coming up this afternoon (no need to rush into these things), and I even indulged in a beer or three last night with our Sherpa crew.

I downloaded my emails this morning, and was completeley blown away by the literally hundreds of messages from people from all over the world. From family and friends I know very well to people I have never met personally before, it actually bought tears to my eye’s to see how much support and positive energy that was being sent my way. It is no wonder I felt so strong on the mountain.

I am in the process of writing my blog on the summit climb. I hope to be able to post this by tomorrow. It’s a sad time here on Everest this year, with at least 6 deaths in the last few days. The total death toll now stands at 11 for the season and there will be more deaths in the next few days as the second summit window comes and the remaining teams make a dash for the top. I definitely am relieved to have got up and down quickly and safely.

In the meantime if you are wondering what the view from the top of the world is like – see the attached photo.

Thanks again for your wonderful support and messages, and a HUGE thanks to Mr David Lim for making the insightful blog updates over the course of the expedition.

Axe out from Everest Basecamp

Latest News! Grant back at Basecamp

Hi Everyone, just got a call from Grant, who just pulled in about 1215pm Nepal time or 230pm Singapore time. He called me just 2  minutes after getting into basecamp Rongbuk. He’s sitting in the mess tent smelling like a yak’s armpit. He says he smells so bad he can smell himself around the corner.

Anyway, he will be chugging down a Lhasa Beer before heading off to wash his nether regions and be a civilised chap once again. He was feeling strong on the way down (in comparison to his ill-fated 2011 climb), but was talking slurred, like someone who’s already had a few beers!

The mood amongst the expedition climbers is a little sombre what with a few more deaths on Everest in recent days.

Now is just the waiting game for the Chinese mountaineering association people to organise some yaks, jeeps so the team can pull out of baseamp and head back to Kathmandu.

You will probably get a full account of the summit climb in a day or two once Grant gets around to cranking up the laptop




The 36th or 37th Kiwi to Summit Everest? – May 22 Update

There’s no news from Grant since his last SMS and phone call from ABC – must be the beer! His last call to Steph said he’d be coming down to basecamp today; and might be home as early as next Wed!

In any case, I have been conferring with Suze Kelly from Adventure Consultants, possibly the premier Everest guiding outfit about some statistics. Below is a list of Kiwi climbers who have summitted Everest (ignore the numbers on the left):

1 Sir Edmund Hillary
2 Mr Nicholas Banks
3 Ms Lydia Bradey
4 Mr Peter Hillary
5 Mr Robert Edwin Hall
6 Mr Gary Ian Ball
7 Mr Mike Perry
8 Mr Mark Whetu
11 Mr Guy Cotter
12 Dr Jan Elizabeth Arnold
14 Mr Jonathan Gluckman
17 Mr Andrew M Harris
20 Mr Russell Brice
21 Mr Richard Desmond Price
23 Mr David John Hiddleston
25 Mr Michael Roberts
26 Robert Anderson
28 Jamie McGuinness
29 Clive Jones
30 Julian Haszard
31 Mark Woodward
32 Derek Chinn
33 Dean Staples
36 Mark Ingils
39 Wayne Alexander
42 Steve Harvey
43 Steve Moffat
44 Penny Goddard
48 Mark Sedon
51 Mike Allsop
57 Dave McKinlay
60 Johnny Davison
64 Michael Phethean
66 Christine Burke
68 Adam Parore

Grant would be the 36th (not 31st as I reported earlier) Kiwi to summit, and the 69th Kiwi ascent of the peak.

On the same summit day, Peter Cammell from NZ also summitted – at 9am. As Grant made an audio post around 9am Nepal time – and he had been downclimbing for about 2 hours, I make his summit time to be around 730am. So Grant is #36 and Cammell is #37 – for all those trivia kings out there. Mystery of the morning solved with a  few email messages.





Main dangers over – Grant at ABC – May 21 update

Got a call from Grant from ABC. he bombed down the route in ultra fast time on Sunday, and by lunchtime was relaxing with a beer. He sounded very relaxed, and contented. The main objective dangers are past, as it’s just a long hike back to basecamp on a well-trodden route. What remains to be seen is how much time he’ll need to hangback in basecamp and the expedition winds up and flights re-arranged. There are still some people who may be very tired and slow in the descent. Suffice to say, he is way ahead of his original schedule.


The Descent C3 and Going Down – May 20, 2012

( via SMS messages to David Lim)

From Grant: It was decided to spend the night at C3 as the group needed to re-group after the summit climb. Some very tired people are coming down,

It was freezing cold last night- like being in a freezer (  David’s note:  The average household freezer is about -10C. C3 temps are closer to -20C)

WOke up this morning with spindrift over everything. Very strong gusts all night and this morning. Ned to get down to ABC today to that out and get more air.


David’s Note: Grant’s possible schedule in the next week could be:


20 – C3 – ABC
21 ABC – BC
22 BC packing
23 Striking campsites
24 Striking campsites
25  Climbers return ahead of the camp staff ( who may take a few more days to clear out C2 and C3) Basecamp to Tingri
26 Tingri – Zhangmu on the border of Nepal
27 Zhangmu- Kodari – Kathmandu overland
28 Kathmandu
29 KTM – Singapore

I’m just speculating, but if the team schedule is primed this way, and Grant can get an earlier flight, he could be home within the next 10 days. His official flight returns on June 10th






Summit Day -It ain’t over until it’s over – May 19, 2012

( by SMS to David Lim )

SMS just in from Grant…

13 hours to the summit and back to C3. Little rest here, and then I will probably head down to North Col this afternoon. I’m the first one back so not sure about the others behind me yet. But i saw all of them a few hours ago. I was held up a lot y the large Chinese team. Nice weather today but windy and cold on the summit.. Feel good and would love a beer.


( through phone call to Stephanie)

“I feel tired but not too tired. The phone is dying so hope to recharge it lower down”



Grant is the 31st Kiwi to climb Mt Everest

A quick check in the records ( valid up to 2009) show that unless there have been more Kiwi’s on the top since then, Grant would be the 31st. And if not, he would easil be in the first 40 Kiwis to have done the feat, joining such illustrious climbs like Edmund and Peter Hillary, Rob Hall, Gary Ball, Mark Whetu et al. Some of these have made multiple ascents, so my statement above just covers specific individuals, and not ascent numbers.

Hope you have enjoyed the ‘ride’ so far….



” I’ve Just Climbed Everest!” – May 19, 2012

(from David thru G)

” Just climbed Everest! The phone packed up at the summit; so I could not make a call from the top. EVeryone is safe. It’s been about 2 hours since my descent. I’ll will check in with another report later”

FROM DAVE: Well done buddy!  You know that the job to get to the top is only half the job. Safe descent.


NB: Grant sounded tired but very very calm. Options: I dont know what he will do, but if he gets to the C3 over the next 2 hours ie 11 – 12noon today. He might a) rest, drink, eat and continue to C2, or b) just rest at C3 before making a long day’s push to North Col or ABC.  My own feeling is that it’s better to head to C2 if not feeling totally exhausted. He will sleep better, and if anything turns for the worse, within easier reach and easier terrain than the awful C3.

Stay tuned.

Audio Post

No news is good news – Summit Day thoughts…May 19 2012

Hi Folks ( david here) – there’s a frustrating lack of reports from the north – mostly because most teams arent was well equipped on the communications side as those on the south. I know that a couple from Adventure Consultants just summitted – so the winds cant be that bad. As I write this ( 1115am)  it’s about 9am Nepal time ( 2.5  hour differemce)  Grant would have been climbing for 8-9 hours now. If he is on a 1000litre Poisk bottle at 2L per minute, he should be switching over to his second bottle by now to crank up the final few hundred metres to the top, before cranking down to 2L p.m again for the descent. He’s with a strong sherpa, so I dont have worries in that department.

This is NOT unusual to take this long as the north side is peppered with more technicalities that slow people down in chokepoints like the 1st and 2nd Steps. G was slated to leave at a staggered time of 1130pm. SOme other issues – his Thuraya ohone’s battery may have packed up. Or even on a full charge, some phone, in my personal experience, have simply refused to switch on. Youhave to remember that most tech stuff are being pushed way beyong their operational limits at times. My 2002 Apple Laptop had  manufacturer statement ” Do not operate above 4200m” – I was cranking it at 5600m!

Summit Day! May 19th 2012

No Updates from Grant – a good sign I think. If he had turned back in the early hours of the morning, we might have heard from him already – so fingers crossed. For those who asked, Uelie Steck, the “Swiss Machine” summitted on May 18 with the Chilean team. He was climbing without bottled oxygen. 29 summits as at May 18th.


Off belay,


Audio Post

Summit Camp at 8300m reached today! Latest….May 18 , 2012

( by SMS to David Lim)

Made Camp 3 in just over 2 ours from Camp 2 his morning. Relaxing in my tent while sipping on supplementary oxygen. Camp 3 is the highest campsite in the world! Was disappointed not to have found any bars open. I could do with a Tiger Beer – or any beer for that matter – oh well…

Feeling super strong. Its snowing and cold here now. Hoping not too much wind tonight. Planing to leave at 11pm Nepal Time. maybe reach the top around 4 – 5am Nepal time


(David’s note:  There are about 200 climbers prepped to climb to the top from the south and 100 from the north – quite a number! I have suggested that Grant leave early and push hard until after he clears the last bottleneck at the 2nd step. This will allow him to make good time, andnot be hemmed in by slower climbers; not to mention cruising it to the top ahead of the line, and similarly , making it back without being stuck at the chokepoints )



Everest Weather May 18th – 20th

At 8000 – 8850m, the weather today will be see wind picking up to 15km/h in the morning to 20km/h tonight, with the increasing wind continuing to 25km/h – 30 km/h tomorrow, dropping down a bit in the afternoon to 25km/h. There will be more snow showers with 6 – 8cm of fresh snow ( highest in a relatively dry week). Temps are -16 to -25C with windchill as cold as -34C at the summit. All round, not perfect, but do-able summit conditions.

Good Morning Singapore – May 18th 2012 Update

( by SMS through David Lim)

Update just in at 0837hrs Singapore time:

Large Chinese team who have some members(slow) causing bottlenecks yesterday. A little worried about getting stuck behind them tonight. Great sleep at Camp 2. A little cold last night though.. Also developing piles  ( Editors note: eat your oats, Grant!) which is uncomfortable but apart from that feel strong and ready to head up to Camp 3 ( 8300m ) soon.

Note by David:  The climb today will be a short one. Breathing with the aid of supplementary 02 at a flow rate of about 2L per minute, Grant will traverse the yellow band, and part of the exposed North Face to the tiny campsites at 8300m. WIth just 500m of vertical climbing today, and low winds, he should make it by lunchtime. Enough time to rest, rehydrate, catch some sleep before a nighttime start for the summit. Not sure what time he is aiming to leave, but i would prefer an early start to get ahead of the others.

I’ve been feeding him weather updates and tips so far.

Text him your thoughts: +8821676006005

Latest News! Camp 2 reached! 7900m – May 17 2012

( via SMS to David Lim)


I’m now lying in Camp 2 ( 7900m) breathing oxygen at a flow rate of half a litre per minute. Feel great. Changed from a dead donkey this morning into a superman after some terrible sleep. I climbed to 7300m, and then turned on the O2 at a 1.5 litre per  minute flow  – made me into a superman! Never felt so strong on a hill as the last 4 hours heading up. We need the people wo are fixing the summit route ropes to finish by tomorrow or I might have to do it myself. Even our sherpas are tired after getting to 7900m with their loads.

Hoping for an hour or two of sleep. Tomorrow , we hit Camp3; and then we leave for the summit on the night of May 18th. God, let tomorrow be the night.

Audio Post

May 17th: Summit Push – latest update this morning

( by SMS to David Lim) Just in this morning around 7am Nepal time.

Woke up to a nice day. Little wind at the moment. Terrible sleep at the North Col – as was expected. Leaving for the grind up to our Camp 2 which is now at 7800m.  Maybe take 8 hours


Axe Out…


( David’s note: Most campsites are at the end of the long snowy north ridge at 7650m, just before the route swings to the right heading upwards to the final summit camp at 8300m. In 2001, our shared camp was at 7900m, very hard to get to…)


May 16th: The Summit Climb is on! latest updates

( by SMS to David Lim)

Wed May 16th 2012:

At North Col. Quite tired on the way up ( about 600 vertical metres from ABC) carrying my sleeping bag, down suit, etc. Rest tonight and then tomorrow to Camp 2 at around 7400 or 7500m. Taking it day by day. Hope I regain strength for tomorrow..

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