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Everest Expedition Day 1: International Mountain Guides Update

Wednesday, March 28th, 2018

International Mountain Guides’ 2018 Everest Expedition is underway! The Everest Expedition Leader sent us the below note from the teams’ first day on the trail. We’re proud to the be the official medical kit sponsor of IMG and can’t wait to hear more about this year’s journey to the highest peak in the world. #BeSafe out there! 

Hey Adventure® Medical Kits!

I just wanted to take a minute and say thank you again for all of the support you give IMG. As the Everest Expedition Leader I can tell you that the kits you give the guides, and the ones we use to cover the overall expedition, are absolutely invaluable. Clearly we hope to never need them, but it’s nice to know they’re there if we do.

Everest Team 1 on the trail to Namche. PC: Greg Vernovage

We’ve only been on the trail for one day but things are going great. The gear checks in Kathmandu went perfectly. We got the first flights out of Kathmandu and all safely arrived in Lukla today, which is huge. We’re right on schedule.  I’m with Team 1 in Phakding right now getting ready to head up to Namche Bazaar.  Getting up the ‘Namche Hill’ will be the team’s first test, but I have a feeling they’ll do just fine. Namche sits at about 11,000ft. so we’ll hang out there for a couple days and acclimatize. We’ll be at EBC in about 10 days. Team 2 led by Emily Johnston and Team 3 led by Craig John & Ang Jangbu aren’t too far behind.

It’s great to see everybody’s hard work come together. Lots of smiles and a good buzz in the air. It’s great to be back in Nepal!

IMG Guides and Sherpas are excited for the journey ahead! PC: Harry Hamlin

Thanks for all you do for us!

Greg Vernovage

IMG Everest Expedition Leader

What Experts Pack: The Mountain Series Recharged

Thursday, September 14th, 2017

With over 30 years of guiding experience on the world’s greatest mountains, International Mountain Guides (IMG) is the definition of #adventureequipped! IMG guides know how to lead expeditions safely, which is why Adventure® Medical Kits is proud to have partnered with them for over 20 years. We’re excited to share this note we received from them during their Mt. Rainier season, where they’ve been testing out the Mountain Guide Kit from the Mountain Series Recharged. – Adventure® Medical Kits

Mt. Rainier

IMG climbers above the clouds on Mt. Rainier

Tye Chapman here at International Mountain Guides reaching out on behalf of our guides to say “Thank You” to Adventure® Medical Kits for the new med kits they provided this year and their continued support over the years.

Choosing to Be Prepared

With over 50 guides guiding close to 1500 climbers and trekkers on all 7 continents, on over 150 climbs, treks, and expeditions around the globe each year, you can imagine we take the safety of our climbers and guides seriously.  Simply put, that is why we work with Adventure® Medical Kits. There’s no better partner to ensure that our guides and expeditions are fully prepared for medical emergencies.

What We Pack

IMG climbers on summit of Mt. Rainier

IMG climbers on summit of Mt. Rainier

So what are we packing? Well, at the Guide level all of our guides are equipped with the new Mountain Series Mountain Guide Kit. What we like about these kits are the Find It Fast Map and the semi-transparent and secure pocket. These features make it easy to find supplies when we need them.

At the Expedition level, we carry a few different kits depending on the duration of the expedition and number of climbers or trekkers involved. A few examples include the Mountain Series Mountaineer Kit and the Professional Series Expedition, Professional Guide I, and Mountain Medic kits.

Everything We Need & Nothing We Don’t

While it’s impossible to prepare for every possible scenario, Adventure® Medical Kits has spent years dialing these kits in to provide us with exactly what we need, and equally as important in the mountains, nothing we don’t! Thanks for the continued support Adventure® Medical Kits. Although we hope never to need your emergency medical supplies, it’s nice to know you’re there when it counts!

Putting the Mountain Series to the Test

IMG climbers headed up Mt. Rainier

We’re in full swing on Mt. Rainier with climbs coming and going every day now. I’ve heard it many times already this summer, from several of the guides, that the Mountain Guide kits are perfect. They’re so well thought out and are the perfect size for our groups on not only Mt. Rainier but around the world. The kits you sent this spring have already been in Nepal, Russia, Bolivia, Mongolia, Europe, Tanzania, and Alaska with upcoming trips to Mexico, Ecuador, Argentina, Chile, Nepal, and Antarctica to name a few.

IMG Guide Jonathan Schrock is calling in on the radio from the summit of Mt. Rainier as I type this note. After 10 years at IMG, I still love getting that radio call!

Stay safe this summer!

Tye Chapman

International Program Director

www.mountainguides.com

Photo Credits: Austin Shannon, Senior Guide

The Last Day on Everest: Ending an Expedition Safely

Thursday, August 31st, 2017

An International Mountain Guide climber in the upper Khumbu Icefall. Photo Credit: Dallas Glass, Senior Guide

Expedition Experts

International Mountain Guides (IMG) has been organizing Everest expeditions for over 35 years – they’re definitely experts and the definition of #adventureequipped! With 482 summits of the highest mountain on earth, IMG and its guides understand how to lead expeditions safely, which is why Adventure Medical Kits is proud to have partnered with them for over 20 years. Check out this note we received from Greg Vernovage, the Expedition Leader for the 2017 Everest expedition. As he speaks on wrapping up the 2017 Everest season and exiting the Khumbu Icefall, Greg reminds us of the excitement of completing an expedition and the importance of ending expeditions well, whether they be big or small. – Adventure Medical Kits

Leave Nothing Behind

Mount Everest 2017 is in the books. Everyone came down off the mountain, which left only a couple days of cleanup for the IMG Sherpa Team. We dried tents, and packed and carried gear back down to Everest Base Camp.

Not Done Till Your Team’s Done

The climbing season is not over for IMG until the last Sherpa is out of the Icefall and arrives back at Everest Base Camp (EBC). The final morning of climbing started like many mornings with burning of Juniper at our Puja Alter, followed by the Sherpa Team heading out. When the last Sherpa arrives back to EBC, a couple things happen.

  1. First, a split second pause, followed by a collective deep breath, and my thought, “We are all safe now.”
  2. The second and much more noticeable reaction when the last Sherpa arrives at EBC is a group cheer! We are out of the Icefall and off the mountain! Congratulations!

Pack & Celebrate as a Team

 

Climbers on the summit of Lobuche Peak in Nepal

Climbers on the summit of Lobuche Peak in Nepal. Photo Credit: Dallas Glass, Senior Guide

We finished up the final day working around EBC: packing, organizing, making loads for yaks and porters and wishing each other well. For the final night at EBC, the Sherpa Team gathered one last time in the dining tent, eating Dal Bhat and talking as confidently as ever about the strength of the IMG Sherpa Team. As I went to bed that final night of the 2017 Everest Expedition, I could hear the Sherpa singing and dancing. A perfect end to a great season on Mt. Everest!

On behalf of the entire 2017 IMG Everest Team: Thank you Adventure Medical Kits for all of your support! The med kits got hit hard again this year, but luckily it was for the bandages and ibuprofen, not the trauma shears.

Until next year…

Greg Vernovage
Expedition Leader
www.mountainguides.com

The Tower of Mordor

Tuesday, July 5th, 2016
Photo: Matthew Parent

All Photos: Matthew Parent

Adventure Medical Kits’ Adventurer Gareth Leah’s Pico Cão Grande Expedition

A dark tower of volcanic rock shrouded in clouds dominates the unearthly landscape. Formed millennia ago when high-pressure magma solidified inside the vent of an active volcano, its presence is foreboding. This is the peak of Cão Grande, a 370m volcanic plug situated deep in the jungle on the island of São Tomé in sub-Saharan Africa.

Prior to the expedition, I’d spent a year planning (mainly dreaming) of the day I would be able to visit this island whose landscapes resembled a scene from a Jurassic Park movie. It was a project I knew was ambitious on so many levels. Everything had to be carefully planned and arranged, as the island offers almost nothing in the way of purchasable goods or medical help. If something was to go wrong, we would be on our own.

Arriving on the island was a cultural eye opener. Stray dogs running wild through the busy streets, a seven-person family riding a single 125cc motorbike, a balancing act fit for a circus performance. Navigating the narrow roads that winded south from the capital we arrived at Agripalm plantation, the furthest point we could reach before being forced to continue on foot through the jungle. A 3km hike through thick jungle and we emerged at the base of the wall, greeted unknowingly by a 100m high roof that jutted out some 30m. There was no information on the peaks rock formation prior to arrival and standing at the base we gained a very real sense of the task at hand.

image003        image002         image004

We climbed in 14-hour shifts every day for 4 weeks and had only 1 attempt on each pitch to make it happen before we had to leave the island. In the end we established a new 15 pitch 455m line up the wall, which goes at F8b (5.13d). We named it Nubivagant (Wandering in the clouds).

When we at last stood atop the peak, we were blown away by the magnitude of the challenge and not just by the climbing! It had been wrought with difficulties, many of which had threatened to end the project from the start. Luggage problems, blown battery chargers, generator issues, snake bites, jungle logistics, currency exchange, sickness and stuck vehicles all looked that they would stop us in achieving our goal. However, with each new obstacle that stood in our path, we would find a solution, though none were what you would describe as “traditional”.

Having now completed the route and with time to reflect upon the island, the peak and the people we have encountered along the way. I am thankful in all that I have gained from the trip which amounts to a lot more than just a new route, but new friends, skills and an understanding of a life where people are masters of their environment.

About Gareth
Gareth Leah is a worldly adventurer, passionate writer, business developer and rock climber. Born and raised in UK, he discovered rock climbing and quickly became obsessed with adventure and the unique problem solving qualities it presented. Leah owns his own guiding company and is currently living in Mexico, where he is working to grow climbing as a community, culture and sport through development of new climbing areas, local communities projects, and industry education and awareness. He supports a number of causes that benefit climbers such as, the Access Fund and Climbers Against Cancer. See more at www.GazLeah.com.

Essential Gear for the Journey:
Bug Spray – Natrapel
This stuff works great. I like the non-Deet option and it smells great.

Ben’s Face Net-Great to have when the bugs were fierce.

Ben’s clothing spray – We sprayed the entire basecamp with it. Tents, clothes, sheets etc and it definitely worked at keeping the bugs at bay.

Adventure Medical Kits Comprehensive- This was amazing to have. There were a handful of cuts, small health issues such as diarrhea, fever, headaches, vomiting, all the good stuff you get from visiting a jungle that no ones really been too. I think the really good thing about this was the book. When people were becoming sick, i used it to help diagnose the problem and decide on a solution.

Adventure Medical Kits Ultralight Watertight .7– It is great to have in the backpack. It has all the essentials needed to deal with common problems. If you can’t fix your problem with this kit, you’re up a creek and need an EMT anyway.

Dental Kit – I never used it in the end, my fillings held out. However, I did use it on one of the locals who developed a MASSIVE abscess in his molar. The information in the pack gave again helped me diagnose and decide the best solution. Using some broad spectrum antibiotics and this kit I was able to clean the wound out, numb the pain and he is now perfectly back to normal. Huge success!

Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2010 Round-up

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

Many of us at Adventure® Medical Kits just got back from another busy but great Outdoor Retailer Summer Market — the trade show for leading outdoor manufacturers and retailers, which takes place the first week of August in Salt Lake City, UT.  Prior to and during the show, AMK was recognized by OR’s organizers as one of its ’40+ Legacy Partners’. The initiative, which included special call-outs on OR’s website and signage on the convention floor, honored AMK as one of only 54 companies that has exhibited at Outdoor Retailer for at least 40 shows. Below is a summary of other highlights that occurred during OR:

 

SOL ORIGIN & CORE LITE MANIA!

Buyers and media alike couldn’t get enough of the company’s first ever line of Essential Tools, the SOL Origin and Core Lite. The Origin was prominently featured on the local Salt Lake ABC affiliate and Park City Television, among a plethora of other media outlets. Representing AMK’s first entry into hard goods, the Origin and Core Lite — which will also be the first products to be released under the newly minted SOL brand — offer a multitude of survival components that will save your bacon, if you’re lost, hurt or stranded in the outdoors. Among other items, both the Origin and the Core Lite come with a fully featured knife — a folding AUS-8 locking blade with easy-grip handle that includes a built-in LED light and single-frequency, pea-less whistle. Both products will hit store shelves later this year — just in time for the holiday rush!

AMK ATHLETES IN THE BOOTH

Plenty of AMK’s athletes and other industry notables stopped by the booth, including International Mountain Guides‘ partners Eric Simonson and George Dunn. George recently became the first person to ever summit Mt. Rainier 500 times. An amazing milestone. Congratulations George! Only 500 more till you reach 1000, right?  Women’s World Mountain Bike Champ Rebecca Rusch also hung out in the booth. Rebecca was preparing to compete in the Leadville 100, which is coming up this weekend. Rebecca won the event in ’09 and is gunning for the two-pete this year. Best of luck, Rebecca!

Rebecca Rusch hanging out in the AMK booth

Throughout the show, AMK was also helping to raise money for Epicocity’s Elephant Ivory Project, which aims to end the practice of elephant poaching in Africa. National Geographic Channel’s Young Explorer grant winner Trip Jennings and the Epicocity Crew are currently raising funds for a forensic biology expedition to the remote jungle of the Democratic Republic of Congo this fall, with the goal of saving wild elephants from the illegal ivory trade. You can help the cause directly, by donating money to the project here.

During the OR show, AMK also donated DEET-free Natrapel® 8 hour insect repellent and Ultralight/Watertight medical kits to the Four Corners School of Outdoor Education (FCS), a Monticello, Utah-based non-profit organization that provides outdoor education on and about the Colorado Plateau located in parts of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah. According to executive director and founder Janet Ross, the Natrapel® 8 hour was sure to be an indispensable item for the trip the FCS was organizing for a group of outdoor industry leaders to the Canyonlands and Arches National Park, following the conclusion of OR. To learn more about the great work the FCS does, go here.

It’s hard to believe it already came and went, but it was another amazing Summer OR show for Adventure® Medical Kits. Now the real work begins, getting the new products onto retailers’ shelves – oh yeah, and preparing for Winter OR 2011. It’s, like, only six months away!

IMG Orchestrating Multi-team Summit Bids

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

Here is another update on the International Mountain Guides summit bid status. As always, keep an eye out for more updates coming soon!

Camp 3 at 23,500' midway up the steep Lhotse Face. Climbers begin sleeping on oxygen here, and crampons must be used outside of tents to move around on the ice.

Camp 3 at 23,500' midway up the steep Lhotse Face. Climbers begin sleeping on oxygen here, and crampons must be used outside of tents to move around on the ice.

May 19, 2020

IMG deputy leader Ang Jangbu reports from Base Camp that everyone did very well today pulling into Camps 1 and 2:

Karel, Al and Lei went from Camp 1 to 2. Bergum, Ford, Mike Chapman and Merle went from BC to Camp 2 directly. John and Ryan Dahlem and Robert Kay stayed at Camp 1 for the night and will move to Camp 2 tomorrow. Ten sherpas carried to South Col, three carried Camp 3 and two carried to Lhotse Camp 4 today. Three more sherpas moved to Camp 2 today. It was windy all day today above Camp 1.

The plan for tomorrow (5/20) is that the Hybrid team and also Greg, Brook, Boaz, Hancock, B Chapman, Lein, Davis, Karel and their personal sherpas plan to leave Camp 2 at 3am in the morning and head up to Camp 3. Ang Pasang, Tenzing Gyalzen and Phura Ongel will go ahead of the group to Camp 3 and set up three more tents and then they will drop back down to Camp 2. We have two sherpas down here at BC (Phu Tashi and Karma Gyalzen) who will go to Camp 1 and meet two sherpas coming down from Camp 2. These four sherpas will take down the Camp 1. The rest of the sherpas are taking a rest day today. Tomorrow they will go to Camp 2 and will carry personal/group gear to the Col and set up tents the next day.

—Ang Jangbu, Deputy Expedition Leader

Everest Summit Bids Ready to Start!

Monday, May 17th, 2010

Looks like the teams on Everest, including International Mountain Guides teams are getting ready to start their summit bids!  Keep watching for updates – there should be more news soon.

IMG Sherpa Trek team before they departed base camp. (photo: Ang Jangbu)

IMG Sherpa Trek team before they departed base camp. (photo: Ang Jangbu)

Dawa Nuru on the fixed ropes below C3 (photo: Justin Merle)

Dawa Nuru on the fixed ropes below C3 (photo: Justin Merle)

Sherpa Trek Departs BC; Summit Bids Ready to Start

May 17, 2010

IMG leader Justin Merle reports from Base Camp that the Sherpa Trek group left today after a nice visit, and are heading for Lobuche.

The team reports that there may have been as many as 50 Everest summits today. Congrats to these summiters, the door is open now!

This morning the IMG climbers finished packing high altitude snack food and personal gear for the summit bids and we got the oxygen masks handed out to the Sherpas. The weather report is looking better with the jet stream is forecasted to start tracking over the next week more to the north, away from Mt Everest. Currently it has been very close to Everest, moving away slightly, but then meandering back and forth. Now that it starts to move conclusively to the north, this is really the beginning of the end of the climbing season, since this also signals the beginning of the monsoon formation down in the Indian Ocean.

The tentative plan for the IMG is to split the team into two waves, with the first group of summit climbers starting up tomorrow, and the second group starting up the next day. Leaving at a pre-dawn hour tomorrow morning are the Hybrid team, Greg Vernovage, Boaz, Hancock, Lien, Wang, B Chapman, Masek and their respective personal sherpas. The rest of the climbers and their Sherpas leave Base Camp the following day with Justin.

We’ll keep you posted!

—Eric Simonson, IMG Director

International Mountain Guides Update – First Summits of the Season

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

International Mountain Guides reported that their first expedition members reached the summit of Mount Everest today.  The teams are preparing for their summit attempts in the coming weeks.  Keep track of their progress and read daily updates by vising  their blog.  Congratulations on the first successful summits of the year and we are wishing the teams luck in the coming weeks!

IMG Sherpas at Everest Base Camp

IMG Sherpas at Everest Base Camp

First Summits of the Season

May 5, 2010

IMG deputy leader Ang Jangbu Sherpa reports that the following IMG sherpas reached the summit of Mount Everest between 11:25 and 11:30 AM on Wednesday, May 5, 2010:

1. Nima Karma Sherpa (Phortse)
2. Phu Tshering (Phortse)
3. Phinjo Dorje (Pangboche)

They fixed rope from the South Col to the Balcony yesterday and finished fixing all the way to the summit today along with three sherpas from two other teams: HIMEX and AAI. Congrats to all nine of these guys, great work.

The door is now OPEN for other teams!

—Ang Jangbu, Deputy Expedition Leader

Discovery Channel’s Everest: Beyond the Limit Air Dates Announced

Monday, December 21st, 2009

Everest Beyond

Discovery Channel’s Everest: Beyond the Limit Air Dates Announced

Now in its third season, the Discovery Channel’s Everest: Beyond The Limit is taking a new approach to filming this year and will feature both International Mountain Guides and Himalayan Experience in a five-part series.

Several IMG climbers will be featured in the series – you can read more about former NASA Astronaut Scott Parazynski and Dawes Eddy, the oldestAmerican to climb Everest below.

The dates and times are below. Be sure to check your local listings for any last minute changes.

Sunday, December 27
8:00pm   Episode 1
9:00pm   Episode 2
10:00pm Episode 3

Wednesday, December 30
9:00pm    Episode 4
10:00pm  Episode 5

2009 IMG Everest Dispatches

Everest Climber Feature – Scott Parazynski

Scott Parazynski

IMG climber Scott Parazynski returned to Everest this season after coming tantalizingly close last year. The former Nasa Astronaut was sidelined with a ruptured lumbar disc at 24,500′ on his summit bid in 2008.

This year Scott came back fit and ready to top out with Danuru Sherpa. Scott achieved his goal at dawn on May 20, 2009. A veteran of several space flights and spacewalks, Scott is the only person to both summit Mt. Everest and fly in space.

Everest Climber Feature – Dawes Eddy

Dawes Eddy

Dawes Eddy of Spokane, WA could not be stopped on Everest this year. At 66 years old most people think about retirement and moving to somewhere warm. Not Dawes.  An experienced climber of many peaks in the Cascades and in South America Dawes set out to become the oldest American to summit Everest and did so at dawn on May 20, 2009.

Phil Ershler Celebrates 25th Anniversary of Everst Climb

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

American Climber and founding member of International Mountain Guides (IMG), Phil Ershler, celebrated the 25th anniversary of his epic ascent of the North Side of Everest.

Phil Ershler on the North Col of Everest 1984
Phil Ershler on the North Col of Mt. Everest, 1984
photo courtesy of International Mountain Guides

Phil is one of the world’s most renowned climbers with a career that spans almost four decades.  His achievements are simply awe inspiring – including being the first American ascent of the North side of Everest (solo ascent), more than 400 summits of Mt. Rainier, 25 summits of Mt. McKinley, being one of a handful of climbers to summit the highest peaks on all seven continents and the first to do it twice!

Bridging cultural divides in Ecuador, 2008
photo courtesy of International Mountain Guides

We have had the honor of working with Phil and are amazed by his achievements and his humble demeanor. AMK would like to congratulation Phil and are excited to work with him for years to come….

Below is a post from the IMG blog from fellow mountaineers and IMG founders George Dunn and Eric Simonson in celebration on the 25th Anniversary of the Everest climb.  Visit the IMG website for more information on Phil, more photos and other news.

25 Years Since Ershler’s First Everest Summit

We started guiding with Phil back in the early ’70’s on Rainier and have watched him navigate through the mountains of life. October 20, 2009 marks 25 years since Phil made the first American ascent of the North Face of Everest.

Leaving the high camp near the top of the Great Couloir, on the 20th of October (very late in the season) Phil climbed through the Yellow Band with John Roskelley, who turned back at this point. Phil continued solo on steep terrain to the top, where his one and only bottle of oxygen ran out.

Phil Ershler descending from the top of Everest 1984

Phil Ershler descending from the North Face of Mt. Everest, 1984
photo courtesy of International Mountain Guides

He then descended without oxygen back to the camp, and down from there. It was a remarkable accomplishment, executed superbly, and firmly based on his experience of two previous Everest expeditions and many prior years of mountaineering under his belt.

Phil was on the cutting edge of high altitude mountaineering in those days. He led Bass and Well’s ’83 Everest trip, reached the summit of Kangchenjunga from the North in ’89, climbed to within a few hundred feet of the summit of K2 in ’90 w/o O2 (via the remote North Ridge). As members of several of those early American teams that ventured to the Himalayas, we remember clearly what it was like back then: no other teams on the mountain, no fixed ropes unless we put them in ourselves, no sherpas, no tourists, no sat phones, no rescue, no nothing!

Everything has changed so much now, the boundaries have been pushed back so far. We celebrate the democratization of mountaineering, but also remember the old days fondly. Back then, going to Everest was like going to the moon or something, it was surreal.

Phil and Susan Ershler at Everest Base camp after completing the 7 summits

Phil and Susan Ershler in Everest base camp after summiting Everest and becoming the first couple to climb the Seven Summits, 2002
photo courtesy of International Mountain Guides

In the years that followed those exploits, Phil has continued to distinguish himself as a remarkable mountain guide, who has personally led well over a hundred expeditions around the world and inspired a whole generation of guides and customers. All of us who have climbed and worked with him are continually amazed by his perseverance, good humor, even keel, and great judgment. He is a real asset for us here at IMG. Way to go, Phil!

—Eric and George