Saturday, April 18, 2015

A day of reflection

Lots of snow this year. It looks cold but the snow actually insulates the tents nicely. 
You just don't feel like digging out until the sun hits the camp.

April 18, 2015 
(One year after 16 lives were taken by an avalanche on Everest)

A year ago today was a pretty heavy day in all of our lives. Today most of us sit quietly contemplating, paying our respects, counting our blessings and being thankful that we're still here living our dreams. It wasn't our time last year and hopefully it won't be this year either.

We're off to a late start this season. The snows have been heavy and the route through the icefall is new and challenging. Our first team of strong Sherpa haven't been able to get through the thigh deep snows and long ladders in the icefall yet but they hope get up to C1 (camp 1) within the next few days.

Susan has been on me about updating this blog, but things are a little different this year. I'm finding myself deep in thought and lacking for words to express what I'm thinking and feeling. I've actually written several entries over the last few weeks but deleted each because they didn't seem describe the experience. They were lacking. And I know my crew back home won't put up with lacking, meaning gibberish ;)

I feel a little detached this year. My head is completely in Nepal. I'm not as worried this time about making the summit (although it's high on my list :) but more focused on soaking in the scene, the experience, the people, and just the life and time that we're having by being here. Just crawling out of my tent, standing up on a pile of snow and looking around. Its hard to take it all in. Everest base camp, the icefall, the mountain itself, snow, silence, staggering beauty on an enormous scale! Just standing here looking around you quickly realize how charmed your life is if you're here at all.
I feel quieter this year. Happy, grateful, fulfilled, but a bit quieter.

A little about the team: The group of guys we have this year really makes up a spectacular team. Everyone seems to be on the same page. Everyone is strong (except me, I've got a little cold thing going on), everyone is upbeat and feeling positive. We all miss our families and friends but we seem to be equally focused on the task at hand. Each guy seems to be supportive of the others, real team players. It's an unusually lucky draw of guys and a good sign. Our Sherpa are positive as always. They're such strong people, both physically and mentally. We really couldn't do this without them.

I don't know what this year will bring but I do know that I'm with a great group of guys, we're having one of the best expeditions of our lives and things are looking great overall. It's all in the attitude, right? Well this team seems to have that part down! We're three weeks in, the honeymoon is over and everyone is still happy, positive and eager to move uphill. It's good, we're happy and were on our way!

I'll try to write more often. I really do miss all of you and it means so much that you all want to share in my life and this experience.
I may be quiet now but once the action starts up high I'm sure it'll be a wild and wooly ride with lots of pictures and stories to follow. Keep the positive thoughts and prayers headed our way and we'll keep putting them to good use.

We're sending gratitude to each of you for sharing this experience with us! Your participation in my life is what really gives it meaning!


Nathan and I on the ridge approaching Everest Base Camp

Letting off steam after making camp.
Mosey (in the upper left), of course, takes the opportunity to pile on the pain once his buddy goes down.

Sharing the local interstate with the yak train trying to get to Everest Base Camp


  1. Many positive thoughts and prayers for all, Jon!

  2. Keeping you in our thoughts and prayers Jon. Hope you shake that cold quickly. Looking forward to seeing photos when you reach that summit!!!! Take care.

  3. Thanks for sharing. We will keep you in our thoughts.
    Leanna and Alec

  4. Was thinking of going to hear Edward this A M but your message was far more inspiring my friend. Your words are never gibberish to us back here. Everything you said was exactly what we needed to hear. Describing what you're seeing, feeling, and not feeling......its all golden to me. Thank you so much for just being you and showing me a glimpse of a life that is still somewhat "unbelievable' I love you more and more .... and so it is...

  5. Hi sonnyboy I'm thinking of u SOOO much!! I'm sure u r getting bored!!�� so I reminding u of the advise I gave u the night before ur talk before all the bankers...... Remember? It had to do wth pants��

  6. Oops I forgot to say how much I MISS U & LOVE U��

  7. Jon, glad you are having a great experience! I know what you mean about feeling quieter and "in the moment". I imagine that you are experiencing the ultimate in "getting away from it all." The lucky ones in life are those who can feel that way even in the midst of a more boring hum-drum every-day life. Good luck!!!

  8. Take care of yourself and get well soon dad! Sounds like an amazing experience. Loved the post, keep us updated as much as you can! Love ya!

  9. Hi Jon,
    Thank you for the update....your perspective on life is fantastic my friend. Be safe and know your in my thoughts daily. Your an amazing person and an amazing friend. Enjoy :-)

  10. Hope you're feeling totally better. Reading "Peak Bagger" gives me a new perspective on all that you go thru and I'm even more amazed, Love the photos of "boys playing in the snow" I talked to Jerry the other day. He's put together a game no Nancy's birthday so I'm not sure I can attend...but we'll see. I'm giving him The Peak Bagger it really makes a difference. I picking Ag up today and always look forward to him & the wisdom of Sponge Bob ! lov & joy 5:45 a m

  11. Jon, I hope that you are feeling better and that your cold is moving on it's way! Sounds like you are having an amazing experience and I have so much gratitude that you are willing to let us have a glimpse of your trek. You are in my thoughts and prayers daily! You have lots of positive energy coming your way to help guide you up the mountain! Enjoy!!

  12. Hi cousin! I was concerned when i heard you were not feeling well. I pray that has passed and you are back on your feet 100%. Thinking of you and your friends and praying all goes well. Love you, Judy Tenneyuque

  13. I have enjoyed sharing this WHOLE journey with you. The good, the bad, and the ugly (although every time I have seen your face via Skype and photos, you look awesome)! I know the morning will bring good news and you will get back to BC.
    Love you,

  14. True Grit. Feels like we're there right beside you. Thank you for sharing your journey and wisdom. It was great to hear you in good spirits. Enjoy your ride and know our thoughts are with you and all is well back here.

  15. Great pics and comments! Keep em coming! Stay safe!