Thursday 25 December 2008


Tee and I are in Canada for Xmas and fly back (if we're not snowed in) to the UK for the New Year. Best wishes to everyone for the festive season.

Monday 8 December 2008


Back in the UK until Xmas doing Ropes Course and Climbing Wall training and inspections. It's getting chilly. Fingers crossed!


From Japan and back to the UK for a short stint of work for 2 weeks in early November then back out to Singapore and Thailand for climbing wall work. A small climbing wall at a private residence on Sentosa and then climbing wall anchor maintenance in Thailand.

Saturday 11 October 2008


After a week in Thailand visiting 3rd Party providers and international school clients we went to Indonesia to do the same. Thanks to all our clients for fantastic hospitality and to the local providers for their input into the best practice workshops and visits. A week in Singapore now and then a break for Tee and I in Japan.

Monday 15 September 2008

Singapore & Malaysia

We're currently based in Singapore doing work for several international school clients in South East Asia. The work has taken us to some fantastic places advising educational departments on adventure based learning programmes and providing outdoor first aid courses for their staff. Next week, Thailand.

Wednesday 27 August 2008

Chamonix Week 3

Dad and I visited Chamonix together for the first time. Aiguille du Midi and Grand Montets as well as Chambre Neuf and great meals at Le Monchu and La Bergerie. Dad gave us a little health scare with an angina attack on the Montets giving me a busmans holiday and him a ride down to Chamonix in the Alouette 3 from the PGHM. He's fine though - our thoughts go to the climbers who lost their lives on the same day and in the avalanche on Mont Blanc du Tacul on Sunday. MB

Friday 15 August 2008

Back In UK

Tara and I have been in Canada for a break and now T has flown back to Singapore for the start of term. I've recently been in Kent discussing a ropes course build and skills courses with various clients. Next week, Chamonix. MB

Monday 21 July 2008

Chamonix Week 2

Team "F" arrived and proceeded to drink Chambre Neuf out of Baileys. In between bouts of Neil Diamond's Sweet Caroline they racked up Cosmiques Arete (slight variation to the start ala Team F), Traverse du Midi Plan, Couloir Grisolle and Mont Blanc du Tacul. Bye fur noo...

Chamonix Week 1

Tara, Lori and I climbed together. It was Lori's first visit to Chamonix and the girls managed an impressive list of climbs and shopping routes from Chamonix Sud. Peak Performance, Petite Verte, L'Atelier, Cosmiques Arete, Chambre Neuf and Lachenal to name but a few!

Tuesday 1 July 2008

Snowdonia In June

Just back from our 15th June in Snowdonia providing bespoke adventure programmes for schools. The month was a great success and we look forward to seeing all the schools again next year and welcoming our new clients booked for 2009. Next stop Chamonix.

Monday 2 June 2008

Back In Singapore

Hi all, finally back in Singapore. Firstly, a big thankyou to Tee for keeping everyone posted on the teams progress whilst I was away. Unfortunately my room at the Yak and Yeti Hotel in Kathmandu was broken into and my Olympus 1030SW camera and all the memory cards stolen the night before I left Nepal. This means all 450 pics and videos have gone - so no updates folks. I also lost 6kg over 7 weeks, not as much as some others! I spend a week here in Singapore relaxing and catching up with the Outdoor Ed Dept in UWCSEA then head back to the UK and work in Snowdonia with the VLM gang. I'll post some pics from others soon. Lastly congrats to all this years summiters and thoughts to families of lost climbers during this years Everest season. MB

Thursday 29 May 2008

Lukla and Kathmandu

Mark is now approaching Lukla where he, and a few others from the Adventure Peaks team, will jump onto a small plane that will take them to Kathmandu. From there Mark will fly to Singapore on the 31st and end up in Wales sometime in the second week of June. He has gone full circle! He has tons of stories to entertain the troops as and when he meets up with friends and family. TB

Friday 23 May 2008

Decisions, Decisions

Having left Camp 4 at around 8 p.m., Mark felt quite good. Due to a combination of circumstances however, he decided to turn back to Camp 4 at the "Balcony", which is an area at around 8,400 metres. At this point, a few of the team members decided that the situation called for a return to Camp 4. Mark was suffering from lack of feeling in his left foot, a condition which had already surfaced when waiting for others when moving from Camp 3 to 4. This was probably an old cold injury from being benighted near the summit of Mont Blanc a few years back when helping out some stranded climbers. Unfortunately people from other teams died the previous night including Uwe Gianni Goltz, a well known mountaineer. The details are not yet known, but this along with very low temperatures and poor weather conditions provided for less than desirable climbing conditions. TB

Wednesday 21 May 2008

Camp 4 and Beyond

Mark and the Adventure Peaks team arrived at Camp 4 at around 6 p.m. local (Nepal) time. They've made a group decision to stay there overnight and check out the situation tomorrow. If all is go, they'll leave the evening of the 22nd at around 11 p.m. for the journey to the summit, arriving sometime on Friday morning. The six day weather forecast says generally clear skies until Monday, so the window is wide at this point. There is still a slight chance that the team will decide to go up tonight, but with the traffic the way it was today, and a late arrival at Camp 4 (the South Col), it is unlikely. Mark sounds good however, a bit tired, but good on the whole. TB

Monday 19 May 2008

Change of Summit Schedule

Seems that the weather has changed in favour of the Adventure Peaks team! They actually set out yesterday (the 18th) for their summit quest. Leaving early in the morning, the team reached Camp 2 at around 3 p.m. Mark reported that he was feeling good after the days climb. They will have a rest day in Camp 2 today (the 19th), and then up they go to Camp 3 on Tuesday. From there, they hope to go for the summit the evening of Wednesday, May 21st, and reach the summit sometime in the morning on May 22nd. Let's hope for continued good weather! Mark has been up to Camp 3 twice, spending a few hours there each time, and then descending to Camp 2 to sleep. He has felt very good both times. In fact, outside of one day with a bad headache, and other with some stomach upset, Mark has felt strong and healthy the entire trip. TB

Sunday 11 May 2008

On to Camp 3

Now that the Chinese have summitted, all previous restrictions (like satellite telephone use, monitored emails...) have been lifted and all climbers thanked for their cooperation with the Nepalese army. The lines (ropes) have now been fixed between Camps 2 and 3 which means that Mark and the rest of the team can climb up as far as Camp 3 (7162 metres or 23,500ft ). They started up from Base Camp on the 9th and arrived at Camp 2 that same day. After a rest day on the 10th, they started for Camp 3 today, the 11th. After a short break at Camp 3 they were planning to return to Camp 2, rest there on the 12th then hopefully spend a night at Camp 3 on the 13th. It seems that this schedule has Mark and the rest of the Adventure Peaks group out of sync with the rest of the teams which will hopefully make for a less busy day between Camp 3 and the summit. TB

Tuesday 6 May 2008

Life At Base Camp

"Still snowing but temperatures seem to be increasing during the nights. More action on the now "infamous" terrace (photos from various photographers from different teams and a doctor team from Swiss TV) as my tent was uprooted and a new floor put in. The terrace houses three spaces for sun beds (foam mattresses) on the renovated crazy paved balcony which overlooks the path leading up through base camp. We also overlook the "freezer" where Ganu(Base Camp Cook and Manager) sends Mengele to hack out frozen meat from their "freezer store" with an ice axe and cleaver (no joke). Off to the Ecotent this afternoon where apparently there's a bakery (yum yum as Ganu would say) and then back for more 24. Hi to all the well wishers (too many to list - sorry). We should be heading up this week for some acclimatisation to Camp 3 and Lhotse Face then down for a weeks rest before our summit attempts." MB

Wednesday 30 April 2008

Camp 2 and Back

"Just down from Camp 2 at 6444m having carried a load (sleeping bag, mats, downjacket, gloves etc, etc...) to there via Camp 1. I'm starting to notice the altitude. Camp 3 will be established at the beginning of May. We're not allowed up until after May 2 due to the set restrictions unless the north side Chinese team summits early. Another carry of more summit kit including O2 mask and more down gear. I think that once Camp 3 is established we'll start watching the weather more carefully. Ideally, we hope for a summit week of 15-20 May then a week long trek out to Kathmandu for the end of May. Missing my Tee!" MB

Tuesday 22 April 2008

Down from Camp 1

"Just down from Camp 1 where it blew a hoolie last night. I had too thin a mat and bag but I'll add to them on the next carry up. It's weird to see people climbing up with a sherpa behind them carrying all their gear and we're there with big packs taking our own gear up. Went well Friday and spent 2 days at Camp 1 as Camp 2 is not established yet. Last night was warmer as I wore my Millet Summit Jacket in bed!!! My "roomie" Hoeng (doctor), lost his waterbottle and was saved by an Indian climbing team who offered him water and thyme drinks. He was the definition of "wasted" when he arrived at Camp 1... At least 2 days in BC now enjoying not having to melt snow for drinks and use pee bottles. Yippee!" MB

Sunday 13 April 2008

Base Camp

"Arrived Base Camp today 12th April. We arrived at Lukla Airport from Kathmandu and trekked through Phakding (2610m), Namche (3440m), Deboche (3710m), Dingboche (4410m), Loboche (4910m), Gorak Shep (5140m) and now Base Camp (5315m). It's very busy here with lots of teams settling in and practising with their climbing gear. We have a full day off tomorrow so a little exploration of the whole base camp will be called for!" MB

Tuesday 1 April 2008

Last Minute Stuff..

The latest is that soliders will stand guard at Base Camp and Camp 2 to prevent climbers going above Camp 2 earlier than May 10th. The use of satellite phones and internet is under liason officer supervision until May 10th so updates may be sparse. Owing to the continuing social unrest in Tibet, the Chinese authorities have forced all North Side Everest expeditions to cancel their 2008 plans. The Chinese hope to carry the Olympic flame all the way to the summit of Everest as some sort of “gesture”, but their intense paranoia about the attempt being filmed and leaked precluded the Chinese Tibetan Mountain Authority from issuing suitable permits. It is perhaps a broader recognition of the Government’s fear that provoked countrywide riots. The Chinese government basically handed the Tibetan separatists a publicity “slam-dunk”. On a lighter note Olympus have sent out a spare battery for the new 1030SW - thanks Abs! Tara and I have just come back from Bali where I kept training in the gym so things are good to go.

Friday 14 March 2008

The Agreement

There is an agreement that the South side teams will not summit before 10th May, to allow the Chinese time to do their Olympic torch thing. This doesn’t stop anyone with permits climbing the mountain on the south side - it's just they can't summit before the 10th. However on the North side the Chinese are not allowing anyone in until after the 10th May to avoid any congestion, which is obviously way too late to acclimatise and climb within the usual safer weather periods. MB

Tuesday 11 March 2008

It's Now The South Side

NEWS: This morning, China announced it is restricting world mountaineers from climbing Everest and Cho Oyu. Only Chinese climbers will be allowed, carrying the Olympic torch to the summit in a supposed celebration of sportsmanship and Olympic ideals. The Chinese have revoked all team permits from climbing Everest, Cho Oyu, Lhakpa Ri & North Col for this year. The official line: "concern of heavy climbing activities, crowded climbing routes and increasing environmental pressures will cause potential safety problems in Qomolangma areas (included Mt. Cho-Oyu) in this Spring season, the limited capacity of reception in addition, we are not ability to accept your expedition, so please postpone your climbing project to after 10th May. For this please accept our deeply regret." So we're going to see if we can climb the South Side, like everyone else.

Friday 22 February 2008

The Climb

Mark will be attempting to climb Everest (also called Chomolungma) to it's summit at 8,848 metres (29,029 ft) via the North Ridge in Spring 2008. The route begins from the north side of Everest in Tibet. Expeditions trek to the Rongbuk Glacier, setting up Base Camp at (5800m) on a gravel plain just below the glacier. An intermediate base camp (6400m)is used during acclimatisation. Camp 1 (7010m) North Col provides the springboard for the remainder of the ascent. Camp 2 (7500m) situated at the top of the North Ridge snowslopes. Camp 3 (7800m) high up on the North Ridge. Camp 4 (8300m) established below the first step and the start of the more technically challenging section of the ridge. Climbers must first make their way through three rock bands known as First, Second and Third Steps. Once above these steps, the final summit slopes (50 to 60 degrees) lead to the top.