Two Hood River residents are taking on one of the world’s most treacherous and challenging, yet fulfilling expeditions: Climbing Mount Everest. John Phillips and Scott Woolums, as of this publication, have arrived in Katmandu, the capital city of Nepal. There they will begin a two month trip consisting of touring, acclimating and, gradually, ascending.
Woolums is a seasoned Everest expeditionist, having visited the mountain nine times previously, including reaching the summit seven times. He owns and operates Adventures International, an expedition guide service, and has been guiding since 1981.
The pair plan to spend several weeks trekking in Nepal before driving to Tibet and attempting to climb the North Ridge of Everest. Their schedule estimates an arrival at the Tibet Base Camp, an elevation of 17,056 feet, on April 22. From there, they will ascend and descend to various camps across two weeks to properly acclimate, ending with their advancement to Camp 3, elevation 27,390 feet, on May 11. The pair will acclimate there for one week before attempting to summit the mountain, reaching the peak elevation of 29,029 feet. Following their stay at the summit, estimated currently at six days, they will return to base camp, then to Kathmandu and, finally, home on June 2.
All dates and timeline approximations are subject to weather conditions and unforeseen external factors. Given the severity of the climb and risk associated with it, great consideration is given to weather patterns around Mount Everest, and climbing schedules can change daily based on incurring storms or other conditions. May is the most popular month for climbers to attempt Everest, as the spring season is ending and the days are longer, warmer (relatively) and sunny.
The great mountain was first “conquered” in 1953 by Sir Edmund Hilary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, and has since been ascended by just over 4,000 people. Should Phillips and Woolums reach the summit, they would join an elite group of mountaineers.
Phillips and Woolums will be updating their progress frequently with posts and photos in an online blog, found at exploreyourplanet.com.