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The Pictures!

Hello All,

Annette and I finally got to some of the pictures from my Everest trip and posted them here. Hopefully we can get to the rest soon.

To give you an update on my situation… my move and job hunt to the Denver area is going well.

Thanks again for all the support and good wishes.

Joe

One Month Early

Hello Family, Friends, Supporters and Followers,

First let me say thank you for all your good wishes and support of not only me but Annette during my journey! It is comforting to feel the support of so many gracious people.


I returned home this past weekend safe and sound but a little worse for wear one month earlier than expected. 

Since the official announcement of the decision that our commercial expedition was being turned around to head home was made, it took me 2 days at Everest base camp, 3 days of trekking on yak dung trails, one small 30-minute plane ride, 2 days in KTM during a strike, a large plane ride from KTM to Doha for 6 to 7 hrs, a 10 hour layover in Doha and a 12 hour flight to get home.

I do not know if the decision will ever settle well with me. There is a chance the entire experience may haunt me for some time, if not forever. While shopping in KTM for gifts for friends and family I found myself not interested in a momento or reminder of the trip. Instead I felt a need to push the experience out of my mind. As of now, it is unlikely that I will return to Nepal nor attempt another climb in the area. The cost, time and other sacrifices one must make in their life to allow for such a journey are too excessive and currently outweigh the potential reward. I say this now, at this moment in my life, fearing that my feelings my change in the future. That I may, some time in the future, have an internal need to return to the area to see if I am strong enough to meet the challenge again.


Before departing for this expedition the team blogger asked me the question… “Are you prepared for not making the summit?” I answered in my own way that I do not think or look at making the summit in those terms. Instead that I have always focused on the climb and being prepared for it… Rehearsing the actions required until I can preform them to almost perfection in the worst conditions. Reviewing the schedule and route until they can be recalled in all most every detail. Being mentally prepared for what is to come, knowing when it will be time to rest, when it will be time to preform at my utmost ability. Knowing that there may come a time that my best is not good enough or that some other circumstance may overcome my abilities or preparations forcing a change of plan.


This is similar to how a climbers builds anchors or connections to the wall, rock or other medium they are attempting to ascend. These anchors keep the climber prepared and safe in case they or their partner falls, there is unexpected bad weather or rockfall or other circumstances occur that are beyond the climber’s control. A climber builds these anchors to be solid, redundant, equalized and with no extensions.


Solid - the anchors are tied with and to known good solid objects able to handle the potential loads

(one selects the best possible folks and equipment to travel with)

Redundant - there are at least 3 solid and separate anchors used, if one fails the others will remain solid

(the team is practiced and focused)

Equalized - the climber and their equipment load is equally balance between the anchors, if one fails the others are not over loaded

(if one piece of equipment or member falters there are back up or other are prepared to back them up)

No Extensions - if one anchor fails, the others are not over or shock loaded

(Everyone works together)


This climbing anchor system and evaluation process does not take into account the climb itself being closed or completely removed from the face of the earth while the climb is in process. Leaving the climber in the middle of nowhere or in something like sensory deprivation.


This is in essence how I felt when the decision was announced. I have had never thought about or taken into account in all my years of climbing that the chance to climb would just be removed, not allowing for even for a chance to attempt the climb. The chance of putting in the utmost mental and physical efforts to climb, to at least try for the summit. All though I was not the strongest or faster at the beginning of the expedition I was improving and doing quite well near the end. One friend even noted that I appeared to be improving as we gained elevation. I had figured out the processes and procedures of Himex and had adjusted to their schedule. I wasn’t exactly slow through the ice fall or on our practice day hikes from Camp 2 to the base of the Lhotse face. However, I never got a chance to go higher. This is a experience I have never really dealt with before in climbing. On top of all this, I was not an active member in the decision process nor had influence on the decision itself. I have made a commitment to myself to never allow for that to potentially happen again. As this was only the second time using a guide company, the first being on a honeymoon which doesn’t really count. I will be quite hesitant in going with or choosing another guide service in the future. Preferring to travel as a climbing team over being guided. Please note this is not a poor reflection of my experience. Rather I found the guides to be of and preform at the highest standards. This is instead a realization that I may not operate the best in a guided situation and thus prefer a team environment. 


On the positive side, during my recent travels I have come to realized that the accomplishments of the climbing team of whom I have been so fortunate to be a member of for over 15 years (team JAKKed or Chicago which includes myself, Andy, Karen & Kev) was more successful and stronger than we ever realized. In speaking with many many wonderful folks along the trail, in the camps and tea houses I came across not one person whom spoke or told stories of their climbing friends or team as I did. I mention this not to toot our own horn but rather to note that what we have is special and to thank them for their years of friendship and ensuring I got home safe. We are fortunate to have climbed as successfully and for as long as we have. I look forward to our future trips. On another positive note, I found traveling through the Khumbu Icefall exhilarating and have pics to come!


For now… I am working on settling back into industrialized society and currently find level sidewalks and car keys fascinating. Annette and I are continuing our efforts to move out West and have added SLC to our list of places we may move to - Denver still being number one. Anyone know anyone hiring cell phone guys like me out there? I have no near or long term climbing goals or trips planned. For the first time in my life I am not interested in spending any time in a tent anytime soon. Instead, I look forward to dinners with Annette, AC, driving in normal cars and comfortable nights at home on the couch. My climbing gear may stay packed in storage for a while as my mtn bike and snowboard get a little more use.

Annette hopefully will continue to aid me with her multimedia skills in efforts to release a final package of the all pictures and videos of my journey. The ones of my return trip through the ice fall are quite amazing! So was the cab ride in KTM to the airline office during a strike.


Again I thank you for your support of this most amazing endeavor, besides marriage, in my life.


I did return my radio at base camp but… this TheJoeMartinet from Home signing off…

Himex - Additional Everest Newsletter

There have been dozens of questions about the cancellation of Joe’s expedition. This is a new post that Himex has done in response to much of that. There are definitely many questioning the decision to cancel, since other teams have remained and pushed up the mountain. We may never know if the decision was the “right” one, regardless of if others summit or not. But I hope that Russell isn’t really proven correct in this situation, meaning I hope no one gets hurt on the mountain the rest of the year. It’s a tough situation…

~ Netty

The last thing I expected was that you wouldn’t have enough snow. Bummer. Hope you’re finding enough things to distract you in your downtime. Did you bring War & Peace to read? LOL :) 

Go Team Yeti!

Back at Everest Base Camp

We are back at Everest Base camp after our first ascent up part of the mountain, which was amazing. We got up hours before dawn last Thursday and headed out of base camp. Going through the Khumbu ice fall – in the dark – was very spooky. I felt extremely good on the climb and arrived at Camp 2 among the first few people. While we were climbing, it was very crazy to see the avalanches that were occurring, and one that happened near Camp 1 where some of our group had stopped as they were moving along a bit slower than they would have liked. (If you make it to Camp 1 too late in the day, you need to stop there for the night, as the glacier makes the climb between camp 1 and camp 2 a sauna with the sun bouncing off the snow and ice.) Thankfully, the team members that were there ended up being safe, although probably quite scared!

We were supposed to spend a few nights acclimatizing at Camp 2 before moving up to Camp 3 for a night, but the conditions of the headwall to get up to Camp 3 did not allow us to do that. Between VERY high winds and some dangerous rockfall, we were not able to make that move. We did take a few hikes to get our bodies moving at that altitude, but weren’t allowed to get any further up the mountain. Again, though, Russel’s decision proved to be perfect, as another Sherpa was hurt in some rockfall at that area, so we are glad we didn’t move up and through it. He really is “the man” here.

I was happy with how I felt at Camp 2 these past few days…my breathing has been very good. The cold air has been giving me a little issue regarding breathing – but it’s just causing a little soreness in the back of my throat, which I’ve been able to deal with. Other than that, I’m feeling strong and ready for the rest of this expedition.

Yesterday we hiked back down to base camp, and I was able to call Annette to give her an update just before breakfast. Going back through Khumbu in the daylight was breathtaking. I got some amazing pictures…

We will wait here at least two days to rest, then wait for a good weather window to get back to business and hopefully move all the way up this mountain. I will give Annette an update as soon as we have a good indication of when we will go. 

Thanks again for all the support!

More later,

Joe

Update from the Carney’s

Update on The Joe (from the family member of another climber):

They are still (as of yesterday) at Camp 2. There were 40+ mph winds so they hadn’t yet made it to Camp 3, they were trying to find a good route. The group took a little walk over to Lhotse to keep the body moving and help acclimatization. They did not yet have an updated plan/schedule, so will let you know as soon as I hear! 

~ Netty

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