Island Peak

Hello everyone! We are back in Pheriche after a solid attempt to climb Island Peak.

On April 30th we hiked to Island Peak Base Camp and set up shop. We woke at 12 am and Ben, Tom, Sonam, and I left for the climb. After 3.5 hours of climbing (nearly 3000 ft of elevation gain) on steep trail and scrambling through rocks we reached the upper glacier just as the sun started sharing it’s warmth.

We continued through the fixed lines leading us through an amazing section of icefall. We topped out at the bergshrund around 20,000 feet before Ben and Tom made a decision and we retreated before the snow started falling. We descended back to BC for a round trip time of 12 hours.

After restting in BC for a couple of hours, we then hiked 2 more hours to Chhukung where Wally and Stuart were waiting for us. The members of the climbing team took a well deserved 12 hour rest and woke to beautiful weather for our hike to Pheriche. We are now enjoying the evening in local Mountain Trip guide Sonam Sherpa’s lodge.

We plan to descend to Namche Bazaar tomorrow and enjoy the rich air of 11,000 feet! The following day will find us on our way to Lukla with a stop off at another local Mountain Trip guide Wong Chuk’s house for a celebration before we all leave the Khumbu valley and return to Kathmandu. We will give another posting once we return to Kathmandu.

I want to congratulate Tom and Ben on a valiant effort to climb Island Peak. The Henson’s are very strong individuals and fantastic company. Although the summit wasn’t in the cards they made a great effort and loved every minute of it. I also want to congratulate the group as a whole. We had an amazing time in the Khumbu valley and I believe every one of us enjoyed the immense power of the Himalaya. We meet so many great people, enjoyed the wonderful culture of the Sherpa people, and truly found something inside ourselves that we didn’t know was there. This has been a trip of a lifetime and we couldn’t have done it without the support of all of you at home. Thanks for following our trip and we will blog again soon.

-Joe Butler

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