*NO2 Expedition Update*

Mountain Hardwear athlete Ueli Steck along with teammate Simone Moro and photographer Jon Griffith have been on Everest this spring, working on a different route up the famed mountain.

We received reports yesterday that Ueli, Simone and Jon were attacked at Camp 2 on Everest. At this point, we are waiting on updates from the team and will post with more details as they come in.

We can confirm that Ueli, Simone and Jon are healthy and we will keep you all updated on the decision they will make regarding the NO2 Expedition.

Thanks to all of you who are sending thoughts and support to the team members.

More information can be found on Ueli Steck’s website here.

Ueli Steck continues to push cutting edge alpinism to new heights. This spring, along with teammate Simone Moro, he will attempt a different route on Everest without the use of supplemental oxygen. Tune in to blog.mountainhardwear.com and the Mountain Hardwear Facebook page for updates on their expedition.

Dispatch #1
April 9, 2013

The trip begins…

Still lots of work ahead of us, but I feel we are well started on our mission. If I think back, it’s only 4 days ago that we flew from Kathmandu to Lukla. We stayed an extra day in Namche Bazar, just to let the bodies get used to the altitude. This is exactly what we will be focusing on over the next couple of weeks – getting used to the thin air.

As usual I cannot sit around. I used the extra day in Namche to run to Tame. It’s a perfect run, not steep and quite a flat trail, so it is possible to actually run even at these higher elevations. If I think back to when I tried to get prepared for the Expedition, I would stay overnight in the Moenchjochhut (3600 meter) where there is only glacier and snow. I climbed up several times to the top of the Moench and I remember standing on the summit in minus 30 degrees celsius temperatures. Now I am running in shorts and t-shirt towards Tame more or less at the same altitude. I realize it is definitely easier to get acclimatised here in the beautiful Khumbu valley!

On the way back I met Dendi and Tenji to do a pujia; for me it is a very important part of an expedition. It’s a Buddhist blessing. And for me it’s always important to respect the culture of the place I am visiting. First I always did it mainly for the locals, now I feel I really want to do it for myself. I hope this will provide us with good luck! We will see!

Simone also arrived in Namche Bazar a day after us. Finally the team is completed. He just arrived on his helicopter as he still had some work to finish in Kathmandu before he could join us on the trip. But now he is here we can concentrate on the climb ahead. But his flight in gave him a little bit a headache so he stays another night in Namche Bazar while we keep heading up the valley. Simone will catch up today for sure and then we are again all at the same pace.

Tomorrow we will continue up the valley to Lobuche. Today we spend the day in Dingboche. But of corse I will not hang around the whole day at the lodge drinking and eating, but am looking forward to another run up the valley.

- Ueli Steck

Dispatch #2
April 26, 2013

We got some snow the last couple of days but Simone and myself are really happy about that. We need some more snow for the approach to the West Shoulder so it works out well. When I went to 7500m to the Shoulder one week ago it was quite icy. Going up is not a big deal but coming back down again you have to be very careful on your front points. Anyway this problem should be solved now! It is now time for the second rotation.

Jonathan also spent two nights at Camp 2 which means we are now all more or less on the same page. Finally the team gets together!

We are in a good position and that makes us also quite relaxed. The weather now looks perfect for at least one week, this is what we need. The snow is good for us but it also has some danger. This is the reason why we are taking our time so the snow can settle first. After the plan is for sure to go and sleep two nights on the West Shoulder at 7500m. I am very motivated for the conditions. It looks much better then before as the recent snow fall has stuck nicely to the ice so we are keen to head up there!

The last few days were very important for me and Simone. We needed a good rest since we pushed ourselves quite hard at the beginning as we had good weather. After, when the snowfall came, we had a good reason to relax. I feel now that we are ready. Me and Simone had a really good run together. We head down the valley and did some training. It was a good feeling because we were able to move fast again. First we started quite slow to warm up for the first 20 minutes. After that we switched to high intensity for 20 km and 900 vertical meters. After a run like this you feel different. You feel like your body still can move fast.

But now we are back at base camp. Up above Camp 2 you will not recover so you need to slow down and listen to your body. So now we are back in the high altitude game. We will see if the lower altitude training paid off. But I am sure it is not stupid. It’s not new. Anatoly Bukreev was a strong advocate of this, and for sure we are not the first people to go through the Icefall without Crampons, and in running shoes with spikes. Anatoly Bukreev did it in 1996 and he was using shoes made for the high-jump! At that time everybody was making jokes about him, but that’s ok as we also accept that people will ale jokes about us!

-Ueli Steck

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