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Entries By adam knoff


Everest Base Camp Trek and Lobuche: Team Rests in Pheriche

Today was officially a rest day. Our team had different definitions of what that means but all in all we are going to bed content.

If you haven’t already guessed we had breakfast at 7:30 am, drank tea and coffee until 9 then prepared to go on a short walk.  Being a lazy day, three out of the five departed by 10:15 while two others stayed back to enjoy some down time in the lodge. The weather started cloudy but improved by late morning offering new views of Makalu, the world’s fifth highest mountain and the north side of Ama Dablam which we have been viewing from its more popular side on the west.  

Two members of the team hiked to a small summit at 16,600' for some extra acclimatizing while the others went back to the lodge for lunch.  

Overall it was a pleasant day here in Pheriche which should set us up for our next stretch to Lobuche tomorrow.   

We hope all is well back home.  

 

--RMI Guide Adam Knoff 

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Following from Wisconsin.

Posted by: Paul Knoff on 3/28/2022 at 7:39 pm

Weather looks wonderful!! Enjoy your updates very much!  Best as you walk on!!

Posted by: Jane on 3/28/2022 at 12:29 pm


Everest Base Camp Trek and Lobuche: Team Arrives in Pheriche

Namaste from the small village of Pheriche.  

I know this might come as a surprise to many of you, but we woke up at the same time as the last 5, ate the same food and packed our bags for another meditative day of trekking.  The departure was a bit more emotional than the previous mornings because I had to say farewell to the host family I so thoroughly enjoyed seeing after so many years but as we all know, time continues to roll, and we will one day see each other again.   

Easing the sadness of leaving Phortse was the crystal blue skies and breathtaking views of the mountains we have been waiting to see. Within 30 minutes of leaving the Phortse Guest House, we were greeted with stunning vistas of three major peaks, one being Ama Dablam, arguably the most iconic peak in all of Nepal. Later in the day Mt. Everest even made a quick showing. Energized from such a powerful landscape we cruised the three hours to Pangboche which is the oldest Sherpa village in the entire region. It is also the location of a very old Monastery where we were lucky enough to arrange a Puja ceremony with the head Lama of the village. This ceremony is a special blessing granting us passage into the mountains with luck and safety.  Shortly after the Puja we had a good lunch giving us strength to polish off the remaining distance to camp.  

Making better time on the second half of the trail, we could focus on the walk and not take a thousand pictures because the clouds moved in and shut down the views. We rolled into our tea house just in time to have the fire warming the great room and hot tea ready. We were also very happy to see the other RMI group and share stories of the adventures already had and the ones to come. Casey Grom is one of my closest friends, so I feel lucky to have gone from one emotional encounter to the next. Although the visits are brief, they are meaningful, nonetheless. 

Now the team is all tucked in and I myself am off to bed, happy to have a rest day tomorrow.  Everyone is in good spirits and doing well.  

We will reconvene tomorrow at the same time.  

RMI Guide Adam Knoff and Team

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Everest Base Camp Trek & Lobuche: Team Visits Khumbu Climbing Center

Today was a special day. If you listen to enough Tony Robbins you will learn that every day is a special day but for us, me in particular, this day was one I have looked forward to for fourteen years. 

Before we get to why that is, I will say the team is doing great going from point A to point B and enjoying every bit this place has to offer along the way.  

Today we did our standard packing, breakfast and launch with the starting point being Namche Bazaar and the ending point being Phortse village. The trail was a bit more difficult today with many ups and downs but in the end, we only gained 1000 feet. Our weather was cloudy so no mind-blowing views but the temps were good for walking, and we could see a long way up the valley so everyone was still in awe of the complete magic of this place.  After a solid seven-mile jaunt, we landed at the Phortse Guest House which is owned by an old friend of mine and the reason this day is meant a lot.  

18 years ago, Conrad Anker asked me to be an instructor for a school in Nepal he had planned in the Khumbu region of Nepal during the month of January.  Back then I knew very little about this place but couldn’t pass up an opportunity to join Conrad Anker, John Krakuer and three other world class climbers to help create a vocational school at the base of Mt. Everest teaching local Sherpa and Nepali climbers more formal skills helping them peruse a career in expedition work.  

Three years later I became the program director of that school but unfortunately passed the torch on when my son was born in 2009.  It has been 14 years since my last visit which seems like an eternity.  But reconnecting with old friends, seeming the new KCC building and sitting around a table eating bahl bot and drinking tea with all the Sherpas makes for an emotional reunion. I could not have asked for a better day.  

Tomorrow we unfortunately leave Phortse and walk a solid 5 hours to Pheriche, our next village.   

Thanks for following.   

RMI Guide Adam Knoff & Team

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

I am so glad you are all having such a good time.  Wish I could be with you!

Posted by: Catherine Symonds on 3/26/2022 at 1:46 pm

So very happy for a wonderful reunion!! Memories remaking !!

Posted by: Jane on 3/26/2022 at 12:19 pm


Everest Base Camp Trek & Lobuche: Knoff & Team Enjoy Namche Bazaar, Visit Women’s Nunnery

Today was pleasantly uneventful here in the Khumbu.   We are starting to fall into a nice routine up here aided by the familiarity of the food, the daily packing list and what to expect weather wise.  I am very impressed with everyone adjusting so quickly and favorably to the Sherpa menu items often eating porridge for breakfast, noodles and momos for lunch and some kind of sherpa stew or rice dish for dinner.  We are all leaving the fried food and pizza items alone which I think secretly impresses our local guides.  

After that fine bowl of porridge this morning the RMI team, led by Dawn and Denza Sherpa packed our not so heavy day bags and made a lovely two hour trek into the Thame valley to visit an all women’s nunnery which I believe is the only one of its kind in the entire area.  We sat in on a stunning prayer ceremony while sitting mesmerized by the cadence and tone of the prayers, all read from a scripture.  All of us with technology raised fine western children all asked each other how long we thought our kids would last sitting cross legged on the floor praying through a rhythmic chant while reading a bible.   I think the average answer was around 30 seconds.   The Buddhist nuns and monks will pray for three to six hours a day for 30 years.   What a crazy different world we all exist in! 

Once we finished with the monastery we had some tea then retraced our steps back to Namche for lunch and more shopping.  I can’t get over how much the village has changed!  So many new structures and lodges.  I hardly recognized it walking through the gates yesterday at the bottom of the hill.  

By 5 pm were practicing some knots and technical skills on the extreme angles of the lodge’s front steps.  After everyone displayed ample confidence in arm wraps and figure Eights, dinner was on the table so we wrapped up our day sitting by the fire eating exactly what makes us happy.  

Now in bed we are prepped and ready for a nice long hike to Phortse which holds a special place in my heart.  

Find out why tomorrow.  

Namaste from Hotel Camp De Base, Namche Bazaar.   

RMI Guide Adam Knoff

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Wish I could be there with you!  It all sounds and looks wonderful.

Posted by: Catherine on 3/25/2022 at 4:02 pm

Glad your team is doing well and continue the great updates on your trip and comparisons to trips past. Thx and Best

Posted by: Jane on 3/25/2022 at 9:54 am


Everest Base Camp Trek & Lobuche: Team Hits the Trail towards Basecamp, Arrives at Namche Bazaar

Today proved to be a much less stressful day than yesterday.   Waking up to five thousand vertical feet of relief directly out your window, fabulous crisp Himalayan air and the absence of a bajillion people trying to run you over is pure bliss.  Combine that with French press coffee, pancakes, eggs and homemade chapati bread and the day is off to a good start. 

After breakfast we got our porters loaded up to carry our unneeded gear ahead to our next lodge then hit the trail for our first miles towards Everest Base Camp.  What is so unique about this area is this trail is not only a trail but an interstate, superhighway, autobahn, or backwoods country road; it is the single line on which literally everything in this area gets moved through.   If you want a beer, it came up on a human’s back.  If you want French fries, noodles, toilet paper, clothing, or anything else under the Himalayan sun, it was moved by legs of some kind.  No automobiles have ever driven this path, nor will they.  It is the way things used to be. 

After three delightful hours of walking, we stopped at a small tea house for lunch then polished off the remaining 2 miles to Namche Bazaar, capitol of the Khumbu Region.  This last two miles gained us more elevation than the previous four so by the time we rolled into or lodge we were ready for a rest.   Despite being over 11,000 feet, the team is feeling good and looking forward to an even more mellow day tomorrow.   We are enjoying decent weather in the morning and light rain by the afternoon.   A great combo for walking then drinking tea and beer.  

Stay tuned for our rest day adventure tale. 

Adam Knoff

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Everest Base Camp Trek & Lobuche: Knoff & Team Take Helicopter to Phakding

We made it to the Khumbu!  Normally I wouldn’t sound so excited but this was not an average day of travel.  

Our day began with a modest 3:45 am wake-up call from our comfortable air conditioned rooms so we could get all of our luggage and bodies to the airport by 5:15.  Our flight to Lukla was scheduled to depart at 6 which in theory would put us out of the smoggy Kathmandu valley and into the mountains at 7 am.   Everything is good in theory until a human makes a silly mistake or Mother Nature takes the reins.  In our case it was the later that began to send our perfectly good plan into a tail spin.  

Landing in Lukla, which sits at 9,000 feet literally dug into a mountain side is considered one of the most challenging places in the world to land a plane, so conditions need to be just right.  Today they were anything but.   By 10 am we actually loaded a bus, got transported to the plane, sat on that hot and sweaty bus for 30 more minutes then got word the conditions deteriorated suddenly so all flights were on then off again sending us back to the terminal.   By 1pm, 8 hours after arriving in the terminal we had moved a total of 20 feet.   As reports of continuing bad weather reached us, we knew our chances of flying were dwindling.  

So enter Plan B.  If a fixed wing can’t fly, sometimes a helicopter can.  And fly it did!  After another hour and half of finagling we rounded up two birds to take the entire group, with luggage to Phakding, our scheduled place of rest for the evening.   Wait, wasn’t there bad weather up there? Yes, and because of that we had to make an unplanned landing well below our village to avoid sinking clouds and big scary mountains.   So enter Plan C.  

The group flew in separate helicopters with one group making it on their second attempt and myself and Eva still stuck below.   After much head scratching about how to reconvene the next day, our pilot motioned Eva and I to quickly load up so he could make a last ditch attempt at keeping the group together.   By some blessing of karma, the clouds parted just enough to make it happen and we landed literally as the clouds began to close in again.   With blades still running we jumped out, threw the luggage off the helicopter and off he went.   We were both glad to be on the ground and not heading back into the ensuing white out.  

As the bird disappeared we counted our blessings and began our efforts to find the rest of our team.  Twenty-five minutes after landing we were all reunited drinking tea at the Sunrise Hotel in Phakding.   

A warm fire, big dinner and a couple beers prepared us for a well deserved sleep.  

I was impressed how the team kept a positive outlook and rolled with the punches despite an unpredictable outcome.   

Tomorrow we begin our actual trek towards Namche.   Follow along for hopefully a less intense entry tomorrow.  

Cheers, 

RMI Guide Adam Knoff

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

I’ve read several books about climbing Mt. Everest and love keeping up with your trek!

Posted by: Donna Randolph on 3/27/2022 at 8:39 pm

Best of luck and good weather.

Posted by: Jane on 3/23/2022 at 3:39 pm


Everest Base Camp Trek & Lobuche: Knoff & Team Arrive and Explore Kathmandu

Namaste from Kathmandu.  

Day 1 of our Everest Base Camp and Lobuche Expedition is in the books.  I would say yesterday was the official first day but I don’t want to start confusing people this early into things.  

Despite where we sit on the official green light of our multi week adventure, one thing isn’t confusing, this team is not afraid to drink a beer!  Yesterday, whatever day of the week that was for those of you reading this now, we all met for our first team lunch and within minutes were making a toast to all of our bags showing up, all of us showing up and to offsetting jet lag with alcohol.   I liked everyone from the get go.   The rest of the day brought some shopping, resting and a nice dinner.  

Today we started with a wonderful breakfast at our Hotel Yak and Yeti, quickly followed by a fun city tour.   We saw ancient Buddhist temples, a Hindu cremation ceremony and monkeys cute enough to want to bring home but would likely eat all your food and kill your cat.   

These are all beautiful sights with lots of history and meaning but to me the most intense part of this city is the traffic!  If anyone reading this has a family member on said trip, don’t expect them to come home and be the same person, especially crossing the street.   We all have a much different “margins of safety” when dealing with moving vehicles now.  Don’t attempt to stop us, just close your eyes and count to ten.  

After surviving our last walk to and from the restaurant zone, we are now packing for our anticipated 6am flight to Lukla, one of the most challenging runways in the world and gateway to Everest.   

We will report on the flight and first stretch of the walk tomorrow.   

RMI Guide,

Adam Knoff 

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Ecuador Seminar: Knoff, Smith & Team Reach Summit of Chimborazo

To the top we go! Thirteen days into our trip, we can all feel the wear and tear from the previous mountains. Chimborazo is our final objective, the tallest of the three peaks standing tall at 20,500'. 

There is quietness to the team as we get ready for our climb. As per usual, the alarm clock goes off far too early. There is no need to go wake folks since we are all sleeping in a dome tent. An hour goes by quickly and we are all roped up ready for our journey. The first portion of the route has a disappointment clever feel as we traverse under el castillo. Crampons and rocks is never a fan favorite but the team cruises through it. A short section of ice brings us to our first break. No matter how tired the team may be, everyone looked motivated to keep going. From that moment to the summit we climbed sustained steep switchbacks. The climb is unrelenting, never easing up. After a few false summits and a confusing bright star we reached the lower summit Pico Veintimilla. Once at the false summit we make the extra 30 minute walk to the true tippy top. A very faint glow of the sunrise greets us at the top. 

The team finishes their trip three for three on the volcanos. The hardwork and preparation they all put in for these climbs shows with the great success on all the volcanos. Its a bitter sweet moment on top as we celebrate our victory but also acknowledge that this trip is coming to an end. After snapping summit photos and the beauty of the sun rising, we safely reverse our steps and head back down to camp. We pack up our things, enjoy some pizza and coffee and then make our way back to the van. The van has never looked so good. We free our feet from the confines of our mountaineering boots and load up. After a hard days climb we all look forward to hot showers, comfy beds, and celebratory drinks.

 Moods are high as we reminisce on our climbs. With heavy eyes from an early start, its early to bed for all. Its been a great day and an excellent trip. We can all go to sleep feeling good about all that we have accomplished. Tomorrow we make our way back to Quito and then back to the states. 

Goodnight all,

RMI Guides Adam Knoff, Hannah Smith, and team

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Congrats to all!! 2022 is bringing great things!  Safe travels home

Posted by: Jane on 2/21/2022 at 2:28 pm

Wonderful.  What a thrill…..

Posted by: Terri L. Jennings on 2/21/2022 at 6:56 am


Ecuador Seminar: Team Moves to High Camp on Chimborazo

It was another breathless, warm morning on the Ecuadorian countryside. Our beautiful hacienda was situated perfectly in a giant valley which runs directly from our dining room window unabated for 7000’ vertical feet straight to the summit.   

Chimborazo, the farthest point from the center of the earth and closest to the sun, was mostly displaying her majesty as we sipped coffee and ate our eggs. As the morning wore on, she hid herself from view and we loaded the magic bus ready to take us to the Chimborazo trailhead.  By 1:30 all our packs were packed, and it was off to high camp at 17,500 feet.

At this altitude nothing feels perfect, unzipping your trousers just to take a pee can leave you winded. But our seemingly invincible team has again handled things with grace under pressure and is doing well up here.   Once again, the Ecuadorians have done it right, providing a giant dome tent for our lounging pleasure.

But don’t get too comfy bloglandia, the alarm is set for a mere four hour from not.  It is then we will have our final test?  

The is rest well with a positive psych ! Wish us well!  

RMI Guides Adam Knoff, Hannah Smith and Team

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

All the Best for Big Strong Lungs!!!

Posted by: Dave Kestel on 2/20/2022 at 3:44 am


Ecuador Seminar: Knoff & Team Head for Chimborazo

After another long deep sleep, its coffee that gets most of the team out of bed. One by one, we all wandered to the breakfast table. We are greeted with espresso, fruit, and toast. There is a mystery fruit on the table. Inside is a snot like texture with a sweet taste. The morning entertainment is watching everyone figure out how to eat it. Consesus is the texture might be a bit much. After breakfast its another round of duffle shuffle into the van. The driver has a real skill for stacking our jenga tower of bags.  After a quick lesson on pickets and anchors, we load the van to head to the base of Chimborazo. Chimborazo is our final mountain. Fingers crossed we bat 3 for 3.  A half way stop for burgers and fries fills our stomachs for the rest of the drive. As we get closer and closer to our destination we are graced with a tiny view of the bottom of Chimborazo and many vicunas. We are again in an adorable place for the night. We all rest up for the final climb. Tomorrow will bring us to High Camp and then hopfully the summit. For now we enjoy dinner and bid you goodnight.

RMI Guide Hannah Smith

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

“Snot like texture with a sweet taste”  LMAO Love this blog!!! All the Best!!! Climb Strong & Best wishes for more Perfect weather!
Farmer Dave

Posted by: Dave Kestel on 2/19/2022 at 8:27 am

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