It feels like a repeated message from last year. I’m sorry for the delay posting, I was focused on FB as it has greater reach. Scott was at camp 1 when the 7.9 earthquake struck Nepal on April 25. He was with the entire Adventure Consultants climbing team at the time. An unprecedented avalanche was caused by the EQ, which then ripped through the Adventure Consultants Base camp. Tragically 5 Sherpa (who were in the cook tent) were killed but other base camp staff were unharmed. I’m not clear on the exact number of fatalities at EBC but reports are saying 15-18.
Scott was evacuated with the rest of the AC team to EBC yesterday Nepal time. Since then, he’s been trying to find his equipment and help AC clean up their camp. It would seem that most of Scott’s film equipment, tent, sleeping bag etc is gone or broken. He did have some of his gear with him on the mountain. At least he’s alive.
Basecamp is in better shape than Kathmandu which is facing a major disaster. We are not sure when Scott will be home but in the meantime he is fine at basecamp.
Scott left for Everest yesterday (March 24). With two projects lined up – with summits planned for both – he’ll be a busy man. The packing achieved new heights this year. He was packing full time for two weeks and part time for the two weeks before that. Boxes were arriving continuously. He has three cameras on board. His Assistant cameraman will be Mingma Sherpa – who also assisted him on Karina’s project in 2013. Project one has him working for NZ guiding company Adventure Consultants.
On another note, Scott has once again been nominated for a Sports Emmy for outstanding camera work on the Hawaii Ironman. He already has one Emmy from this production (where he works with the Texas Crew) and they have been nominated at least two times before. May 5 is the day of decision.
Lots on – we’ll keep in touch!
He’s off again. After a spectacular year demonstrating what an actual renaissance man looks like (balancing jobs, wife’s job/s and parenting), Scott heads back to Everest. His jobs in the last year (a catch up since his blogger is useless) include a shoot for the Travel Channel at a fishing lodge in Alaska, a very physically demanding three week shoot for Red Bull in the Kimberly’s in Northern Australia (embedding and filming Red Bull athletes thrown into an extreme environment) and an equally full on shoot in Japan for Animal Planet where Scott donned a bee suit to film the world’s most dangerous wasps (10 stings will kill). His camera lens would be covered in venom as he sweated away in the 43 degree (celsius) suit. That’s well over 100F!
He once again joined the Texas Crew to film the prestigious Hawaii Ironman. Being a moto-cameraman means a 20 hour day with much of it out on the black lava roads filming the athletes from the back of a motorcycle. Scott loves it. This year he filmed the men instead of the women.
Early in December he joined his good friends from Kinetic Media (who he’s worked with on the Winter Games NZ for several years) to film an Ironman in Bahrain. It was a crazy long journey from NZ – but a short job.
Returning to the US, Scott then filmed four episodes for an upcoming National Geographic series which focuses on animals that have been brought back from extinction. His segment focused on wolves, sea otters, Californian condors, sea elephants and Channel Island foxes.
Everest this year is a two-part scenario. Part one is to film an Adventure Consultants client as he seeks to climb his seventh summit (the Seven Summits refer to the highest peak on each continent). Part two is a New Zealand Film Commission feature documentary. This means that Scott will likely be climbing Mt Everest twice – but his second attempt will be soon after his first and will most likely be from the South Col at 8000m.
Scott has filmed this (and received an Emmy award and two nominations) for the past five years. He’s a “moto-camera,” meaning that he’s out in the field filming from a motorbike. Most years he films the ladies but in 2014, he filmed the guys. It’s a long strenuous day for athletes and field camera operators alike. Hawaii is the great Ironman race of all of the Ironman races around the world.
The overly baritone voice notwithstanding, this clip gives a good taste of Scott’s journey into the Nettlebed/Stormy Pots cave system last year. The film has shown at many film festivals and has won awards. Many ask – did Scott have to make the squeezes and climbs as well? Yes, he was fully committed. No film if you don’t follow….
Thanks for following Scott’s blog. Thanks to a resurrected NCell network, we have managed to talk most days. Two days ago, a puja took place at Basecamp for the lost Sherpas. 16 died in the end with 3 still buried in the Icefall and 9 ending up in hospital. Scott and Kent Harvey continue to shoot footage for the movie but the Icefall remains closed. The production company have decided to withdraw the crew from climbing Mt Everest this season. We are not sure exactly when to expect Scott home yet – but certainly he will be home long before June 4, the expected date of return.
A little background on the Icefall: As a glacier wends it’s way down a mountain, it may encounter steep topography. Instead of a flowing river of ice, the glacier will slowly tumble over the steep area resulting in precariously hung ice blocks – seracs. It’s like a slow waterfall. Cracks (crevasses) are prevalent between the blocks. Think of a mars bar slowly melting on the edge of a counter! This is what is happening with the Khumbu Icefall. And there is no other way through to the upper reaches of Everest.
Icefall “doctors” fix a route through the Icefall each season and remain on hand to adjust the fixed anchors and ladders to keep access open. It’s forever changing – a glacier in motion. Ordinarily mountaineers would avoid such a place but you can’t on the south side (Nepal side) of Everest. It’s the most dangerous part of climbing Everest. After the Icefall doc.s (who are Sherpas), the second most at- risk group would be the Sherpas who carry loads and “fix” the upper part of the mountain. These two groups of men will do more laps through the Icefall than anyone else. By Nepal standards, these men are paid well but it is very risky for them.
On April 18 numerous Sherpas had carried loads to camp 1 at approx 21000 feet and were returning to basecamp. In the upper part of the Icefall, a ladder had broken and someone was trying to fix it, resulting in a bottleneck. A massive serac collapsed onto the bottleneck of people – resulting in this tragedy.
A word on job security – Sherpas, guides and camera operators are all contractors – we get paid for the days we work and we mostly take care of our own benefits (insurance etc). I am not certain what benefits the families of the dead Sherpas will receive. Certainly there is nothing from the Nepali government. It’s worth remembering that no-one climbs Everest (or numerous other high Himalayan peaks) without Sherpas. To this end, the American Alpine Club has (just) set up a fund to support the families of the fallen. We have been members of the AAC (and NZAC) for years and believe that this fund will adequately do what it is set up for: American Alpine Club
We have many Sherpa friends who are kind, gentle and considerate people. Wanaka-based Adventure Consultants, who run many trips to the Himalayas each year, lost three of their people. It is incredibly sad.
Thank you for your support.