Most Current Posts

Expedition Dispatches From Around The Globe!

Posts for every team can be found under the drop-down menus at the right of this page.  We have organized our expeditions into Denali, International and Mount Everest categories, with further organization by their Team Meeting Date.  We try to post from each team on each day, but this is not always possible, due to communication challenges in mountainous regions, so keep in mind that “No News Is Good News!”

Click on the audio dispatch icons to hear phone calls from our climbers and guides, so that you can better enjoy the experience through their words, not ours.  Click on a post’s title to open it in its own window to leave a comment for your favorite climber.  Above all, have fun and dream big!

TODD Talks – with Jacob Schmitz

By: Mountain Trip

Mountain Trip seeks the best guides in the business. Our guides are well traveled, highly knowledgeable, professional and awesome people. But, don’t take it from us, get to know our guides for yourself!

Jacob Schmitz

The irrepressible Jacob Schmitz on the summit of Everest in 2012.

Jacob Schmitz chose to become a mountain guide in the late 90s while working in the backcountry of Yosemite National Park. He loved playing and working outside, and his passion was climbing so it naturally made sense. Jacob spends 250+ days each year on expeditions; that’s a lot of time! So much in fact, that he hasn’t been home for Christmas in over 15 years. Mountain Trip Director Todd Rutledge caught up with Jacob to get all the dirt on life, guiding expeditions and his love of the outdoors when he passed through Ophir, CO last week.

Todd: What relevant experience did you have when you started guiding?

Jacob: Since I was a little kid, I would go on camping trips with my family. When I was 12 I started climbing and quickly became very passionate about the sport. In my 20’s, I worked so I could climb and travel, so I learned a lot of lessons the hard way. Then, I worked as an assistant for years under some great guides and tried to absorb as much knowledge as possible from every expedition. I owe so much to all my mentors.

Todd: What sort of courses, education or certifications have you taken along the way?

Jacob:  From the time I began guiding, I have always held the WMI Wilderness First Responder. I have an ARIE Level 2  Avalanche Certification, and hope to take the Level 3 in the near future. I have also taken AMGA courses along the way to help with more technical rock and alpine guiding.

Todd: For how long and where have you guided?

Jacob: I have been guiding for 15 years all around the world. Some of the more notable places I have been are: Tibet, Nepal, Pakistan and Antarctica. In 2013 I completed the “7 Summits” while guiding,  that was a great way to see the world. I mostly work on high altitude peaks. I’ve done 60+ 6,000 meter peaks, and this year will be my 5th trip to an 8,000 meter peak.

Everest slack line

Slack lining at Everest Base Camp

Todd: What is the most rewarding part of the job?

Jacob: The most rewarding part of my job is seeing a team member’s face when they summit. It feels great to see someone succeed, after they put so much hard work and energy into a goal that is not always guaranteed.

Todd: How do you return to the same venue over and over, yet still keep it fresh for your clients?

Jacob:: Returning to a mountain is a good thing! You get to know the area, where to shop, eat, take the team for day trips and explore. When you become comfortable on a big mountain and get to know the weather patterns and terrain, you are able to make good decisions about moving to a higher camp or summiting.

Also, each team is unique, and no two trips are alike. Being with like-minded people in the mountains is always fresh and exciting.

Todd: Do you have any tips or advice for people who are considering climbing a big, cold mountain?

Jacob:  I always try to stay as organized as possible. When I’m in my tent I know where my boots are and that they won’t fill up with snow. If I need to go out to work on the tents or put up snow walls I know exactly where my warm gloves and goggles are. Prepare for the worst, hope for the best but most importantly enjoy all of it, the good and the bad. It’s all part of being in the mountains. Sometimes you have to have a sense of humor when the wind won’t stop, for days…

Vinson tent

Yucking it up in the tent on Mount Vinson this past season

Todd: What was your first concert?

Jacob: I’m not sure… My parents took me to a few while they went on Harley rides.  I remember a Reggae Sun Splash at the Greek Theater in Los Angles was a lot of fun! I was pretty young, around seventeen.

Todd: What do you do for fun in your spare time?

Jacob: More and more, I’ve been able to travel to a lot of amazing places. I’m a history buff so I really enjoy seeing amazing historic cities in Europe or ruins in Asia and South America. It’s a small world filled with wonderful people, and spectacular places!

Todd: Any parting thoughts?

Jacob: There are still so many places I would like guide and go to travel. New Zealand is in my future and I would like to return to Peru and Bolivia. I love each and every moment in the mountains. Guiding has allowed me to follow my dreams and explore the world, I’m forever grateful for that.

Todd: Who is you favorite boss? ;-)

Jacob: You are Bill!  Oh wait – this is Todd Talks…. Of course you are Todd!  Come on – I meant Laura!

Stay tuned to meet more of our guides!

Posted in Alaska, Everest, Uncategorized | Tagged | No Comments

In Kathmandu

By: Mountain Trip

Well, another successful Everest season is over!

This morning Manoj flew to India to visit friends and recover from a touch of frostbite. We are taking care of all the end of season details, then I am off to Thailand for some R and R on the beach!

Enjoy and we’ll see you next year for the Mountain Trip Everest Expedition 2014!

-Scott Woolums, Kathmandu, Nepal

SAMSUNG

SAMSUNG

Posted in 2013 Everest Expedition, Everest | Tagged | No Comments

Everest Team – Summit Photos!

By: Mountain Trip

Posted in 2013 Everest Expedition, Everest | Tagged | No Comments

We’re in Kathmandu!

By: Mountain Trip

This is just a quick report to let everyone know were back in Kathmandu! Manoj, myself and DaWang Chu all flew out from Base Camp yesterday direct (well, almost, see below) to Kathmandu.

This is proving to be a bit of a journey as things can be here in Nepal. We showed up at 6am at the helipad in Base Camp, and finally at 9.30am, we caught a short ride to the village of Pheriche, spent another couple of hours waiting, and then caught another heli company and off to Lukla.  After a short refuel we were finally off to Kathmandu! Only 8 hrs  to get out!

There are lots of friends to say “hi” to, and a ,lot of packing, changing tickets and all, before we’ll finally be headed home. Manoj will be leaving tomorrow, I plan a few more days to sort equipment and pack everything away for next season.

Namaste from Scott Woolums in Kathmandu

P1010337-Large.JPG

P1010337-Large.JPG

P1010446-Large.JPG

P1010446-Large.JPG

P1010314-Large.JPG

P1010314-Large.JPG

Posted in 2013 Everest Expedition, Everest | Tagged | No Comments

Everest Update – Flying out to Kathmandu

By: Mountain Trip

Scott and Manoj are going to fly from Base Camp to Kathmandu via helicopter, as Manoj had some frostbite develop on his feet and we are trying to expedite his descent.  The weather below them has been very, very rainy, which is complicating things with air travel, but we hope that they can fly as soon as possible.

All of our Sherpas are off the mountain and Base Camp has been bustling with our team cleaning and packing.  There are still a few climbers on the upper mountain, and we wish them well.  We will probably post one more update from Kathmandu, and will try to include a number of pictures.

Posted in 2013 Everest Expedition, Everest | Tagged | No Comments

EVEREST TEAM AT CAMP 2, PART 2

By: Mountain Trip

And more from Manoj:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Posted in 2013 Everest Expedition, Everest | Tagged | 1 Comment

EVEREST TEAM AT CAMP 2

By: Mountain Trip

A very excited Manoj called in a report today, describing the team’s incredible summit day. It sounds like the team had very little/almost no wind, clear skies, and unlimited visibility as they stood on the summit. A perfect summit day! The plan is to leave Camp 2 and head back to Base Camp one last time tomorrow morning, early.

Here’s Manoj:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Posted in 2013 Everest Expedition, Everest | Tagged | No Comments

Mountain Trip Team in Camp 2

By: Mountain Trip

Good news, the Sherpas called just a little while ago and said they were just coming into Camp 2 after a long, hot descent down the Lhotse Face today.

It is always a challenge coming down the day after summiting. Conditions were reported as windy and cold at the South Col this morning when they left. One advantage of having a 4 to 1 Sherpa ratio is camp 4 is taken down and cleaned in one shot. We also had another group of 2 Sherpas go up from Base Camp to Camp 3 today to bring down empty O2 bottles.

A big day up to C3 and back to BC in one day, thank you Karma Geljin and Da Kusang! Everyone should be back in BC tomorrow morning around 10am Nepal time. They are planning to spend the night at C2 tonight and then come down the icefall very early am.

It is very warm now in BC, there was another collapse in the icefall today and a Sherpa from another team took a fall off a ladder but was ok. The Sherpas are coming down now with very heavy loads supporting all the summits in the last few days. These guys are the super stars of Everest! I will post photos when Manoj is back in Camp.

-Scott Woolums

Posted in 2013 Everest Expedition, Everest | Tagged | No Comments

All Safe at the South Col Tonight!

By: Mountain Trip

Everyone is safe back at Camp 4 now following a very good summit day. Stopping at the South Col for the night on the way down gives everyone rest before going down to Camp 2 tomorrow.

A really big congratulations to all in the summit team today. Fantastic effort, and what a perfect day!

-Scott Woolums

Posted in 2013 Everest Expedition, Everest | Tagged | 4 Comments

Five on the Summit Now!

By: Mountain Trip

We just received a call from the summit, we have 5 on top right now! 7.25am, Yahoo!

Conditions seem perfect, with very light winds and not too many other climbers. The ascent started out very windy, but conditions have improved through the night.

We have Manoj Vora, DaWang Chu Sherpa, Serki Sherpa, Pasang Gombu Sherpa and DaNoru Sherpa enjoying the view. Manoj and all the Sherpas sound good, and are reporting no problems. Interestingly, no groups are visible coming up from the North side of the mountain. All things good here at the Mountain Trip Camp after a long night following the ascent. Now comes a long descent. With an early summit, the guys can take their time descending today back to the South Col. Congratulations to all!

-Scott Woolums

Posted in 2013 Everest Expedition, Everest | Tagged | 13 Comments

Off to the Summit Tonight!

By: Mountain Trip

After a day of rest at the South Col, our small team is leaving in one short hour for the to!

It’s not the best forecast, with winds of 20-25, but there are reports of only 30-40 people going tonight which allows a lot faster moving up and back. Manoj and the Sherpas are ready, rested, hydrated, and oxygenated. Having a rest day at the col, our third year in a row, really allows for a much more manageable summit day, if the weather cooperates.

The forecast has slowly been shifting, showing higher winds on the 22d and the 23rd than originally forecast. Its also showing what our weather forcasting service calls, “massive cloud development” with moderate to heavy precipitation for the 25th. Reports from the South Col at 6.30pm tonight say there is only a light wind. We will be following the team closely here all night, although there is a large radio black-out zone going up below the Balcony, so no news is good news till they arrive near the South Summit at sunrise. I will post updates as we receive them.

-Scott Woolums

South-Col.JPG

South-Col.JPG

Posted in 2013 Everest Expedition, Everest | Tagged | 5 Comments

EVEREST UPDATE—–REST DAY AT THE SOUTH COL

By: Mountain Trip

I have just been talking with the guys at Camp 4 and they are saying the winds are blowing a steady 20+ with gust to well over 30. We have decided to put things are on hold for tonight. The plan now will be a rest day at the South Col. We have been doing this the last couple years for more options with picking the best summit day. Everyone is doing well and now have 24 hrs. to rest, recover and get ready for tomorrow!

 

Scott Woolums

Posted in 2013 Everest Expedition, Everest | Tagged | 4 Comments

Camp 4!

By: Mountain Trip

On the way!

All our team is now in Camp 4 resting and getting ready for tonight. The weather is really quite good, probably nicer than in Base Camp, where it is snowing and sleeting this afternoon. We have 3 Sherpas supporting Manoj Vora for his summit go this evening. There were quite a few people going up the fixed lines to high camp today which made for some slow going. We will be updating reports tonight, Nepal time!

-Scott Woolums

South-Col-Camp-Medium.JPG

South-Col-Camp-Medium.JPG

Posted in 2013 Everest Expedition, Everest | Tagged | 5 Comments

Moving to the South Col!

By: Mountain Trip

Hi All, here is a quick update: our team is moving up to Camp 4 today.

Summit teams are reporting very cold and windy conditions up higher, but below the South Col conditions are good. The forecast is looking very good and anticipate a summit go on the 21st, later tonight Nepal time. Manoj is feeling good and is traveling with 4 Sherpas. I will post an update after they arrive in the Camp 4.

-Scott Woolums

Posted in 2013 Everest Expedition, Everest | Tagged | No Comments

Everest 2013 – Manoj Calls From Camp 3

By: Mountain Trip

Manoj called in after a big day, moving up to Camp 3 at about 24,000′.  The weather was very cooperative today and, despite a bit of a busy day on the fixed lines up the Lhotse Face, he is in position for moving up to the South Col tomorrow for a summit bid on the 21st!

Best of luck up there and we’re all watching the forecast closely, keeping our fingers crossed that it holds true and that Manoj has a shot at standing on top of the world in the next couple of days.

Here’s Manoj:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Posted in 2013 Everest Expedition, Everest | Tagged | 4 Comments

Up in Camp 3!

By: Mountain Trip

Good news today! Manoj and our Sherpas are in Camp 3 at close to 24,000 ft.

Everything is going well! The team is enjoying great weather, a good forecast and their plans are set for a move on up to the South Col tomorrow.

60 some people summitted today in good conditions, making it the biggest summit day this year so far. The next several days will see quite a few people going up.  It was a bit crowded on the fixed lines below Camp 3 this morning, but otherwise it’s going very well.  The plan is to rest, eat, and recover on oxygen for a big day and night tomorrow!

-Scott Woolums

Camp-3-Medium.JPG

Camp-3-Medium.JPG

Everest-from-Camp-3-Medium.JPG

Everest-from-Camp-3-Medium.JPG

Posted in 2013 Everest Expedition, Everest | Tagged | No Comments

High WInds this morning on Everest

By: Mountain Trip

Our team is holding at Camp 2 right now as we watch the developments with the weather. All Sherpas and team member Manoj are in Camp 2 safe and sound, while we are watching the forecasts. There still appears to be a good window from the 21st onwards, although the back end is starting to develop with a large snowfall being predicted by the 24th. These late season snow storms can dump a huge amount of snow, so we are watching that closely.

I’ve attached a couple photos of very windy conditions this morning around 10am. Lots of teams up high today, hoping to hear all good news!

-Scott Woolums

May-18-10am.JPG

May 18 winds at 10am

Lenticular-2.JPG

Lenticular cloud over the summit

Posted in 2013 Everest Expedition, Everest | Tagged | 1 Comment

Everest Expedition – Manoj is at C2, Headed Up!

By: Mountain Trip

Manoj called in a report today from Camp 2.  He climbed up from Everest Base Camp and will spend two nights at Camp 2 before moving up to Camp 3.  The forecast is looking pretty good for a summit attempt on the 21st, and that is the goal at present.

Best of luck Manoj!!

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Posted in 2013 Everest Expedition, Everest | Tagged | 5 Comments

Off to Camp 2 Tonight!

By: Mountain Trip

It has been a cloudy evening here in Base Camp.  After weeks of waiting and getting ready to go, Manoj and DaWang Chu are off to Camp 2 tonight.  They are looking at a window of summiting of the 21st and 22nd.  Earlier this morning there was some delay with other teams up at the south col, as high winds kept those teams from going much higher than 26,000 ft.  We are all fresh from a good rest down at 14,000 ft. in Dingboche and ready to go up.  All forecasts continue to confirm good weather starting the 19th. It appears a lot of people are positioned for the 19th summit window, we are all watching. Good Luck to All!

-Scott Woolums, Everest Base Camp

Waiting-for-Weather-BC-tonight.JPG

Waiting-for-Weather-BC-tonight.JPG

Posted in 2013 Everest Expedition, Everest | Tagged | 3 Comments

Waiting Out the Winds!

By: Mountain Trip

Hello from Dingboche!

We have been down here at 14,000 ft. enjoying the thick air and warmer weather of the wonderful little village of Dingboche. I’ve attached some photos of Taboche Peak above Dingboche and Lhotse in the clouds with a huge wind plume blowing off the summit, which I shot the evening of the 12th.

Now is the difficult time, waiting and watching. So many groups are just about going crazy with impatience. I’m not sure where that’s coming from…

We have another day rest here before we will head back up to Base Camp, so we are on schedule, just as we had planned quite awhile ago. We are hoping some groups take advantage of a small dip in the intensity of the tropical jet stream winds on the 18th and 19th, as that will mean somewhat less climbers heading to the top during our summit window.

It also good news this arm of the jet stream will slowly be moving away over the next couple days. We still see very high winds until the 21st. While this is interesting, there is no surprise, as this is a normal pattern of very short, sharp, cold, windy pre-May 20th weather windows. In the nine seasons I have been coming to Everest, this has been the normal pattern.

So we are resting and feel that when a window presents, we’ll be ready to go. We are planning to move back to base camp to be in position if forecast models change in the next couple days. Next update from base camp!

-Scott Woolums, Dingboche Village, Mountain Trip Everest Expedition

Tabouche+Peak1

Tabouche Peak 1

Lhotse+in+the+clouds1

Lhotse in the clouds 1

Posted in 2013 Everest Expedition, Everest | Tagged | 3 Comments

Contact Mountain Trip: PHONE: 866-886-TRIP (8747) inside the US or +1-970-369-1153 | EMAIL: [email protected]

FAX: +1-303-496-0998 | P.O. Box 658 | Ophir, CO 81426 | © 2015 Mountain Trip | Site by Dayzign Graphics