One of the better Base Camp Treks
Year of Expedtion: 2017
Tim knows this area well. He has a lot of history with many tea house owners and in-turn creates a fantastic 3.5 week itinerary which goes well beyond the beaten path. We avoided the main trail and most other trekkers and climbers most of the time. We stayed in wonderful tiny secluded villages, experienced epic high altitude pass crossings and had a couple of really cool camping spots also. I was not a trekker per-se as I was on Tim’s Everest Climb but the climbers and trekkers are one team on the way to Base Camp. I have the benefit of being able to compare this to other operators and the main trail as I have done that before. My only problem is that we did not stay in Namche Bazaar on the third night and instead passed straight through it and stayed at a nearby tea-house. Namche is very cool and it is a nice experience for weary trekkers as a last chance to enjoy the comforts of civilisation before spending the rest of the trip in tea-houses. There were a couple personality clashes between Tim and clients which he could have handled better but after three weeks these things happen. Tim’s customised off-the-beaten-path trip is top notch. Highly recommended.
Excellent trek away from the crowds
Year of Expedtion: 2017
This trek takes you to Everest Base camp and back in around 3.5 weeks. I chose this company based on the itinerary which sees you follow a less troden path than the usual (faster) route straight to base camp. The parts away from the main trail were the real highlight of this trip. We passed through what felt like very remote villages and some days saw very few other trekkers at all. Tim the leader knows the area really well and also knows most of the owners of the tea houses we stayed in. This meant we got to hear a lot of personal and interesting stories which really added to the experience. We spent 2 nights camping on the way to base camp which was another highlight and a nice change from the tea houses. Incredible views and no one else around during either of these nights. The team managed to produce some excellent hot food which was impressive given where we were. Joining back with the crowds on the main trail on the final miles to basecamp made you really realise how different an experience it would have been had we been on the usual route the whole way. Getting to base camp could have been a bit of an anti-climax for a trekker, however joining a group who were making summit bids meant we got to go to their camp area and spend a couple of nights staying at base camp. That is a pretty unique experience for a trekker and getting to experience base camp life as part of an expedition was fantastic. I would absolutely recommend this trip and route to others considering the Everest base camp trek.
Mixed bag despite summit
Year of Expedtion: 2017
Tim is a seasoned mountaineer and has been around the Nepalese hills for many years. I joined him for Lhotse (my first 8000er), another Lhotse climber and a group of Everest climbers – his overall largest group yet. Both guide and base camp infrastructure appeared stretched by the numbers and requirement to coordinate two different summits as well as stronger & weaker climbers. Looking back, I feel there were significant safety risks that could have been avoided and consequently would not recommend to climb with this outfit despite making the summit (and back). I summarise key points below. Detailed blog on www.rocketontour.com/Lhotse. Some stuff I liked … – The extended trek into base camp was enjoyable and helped acclimatisation – The preparation re medical self-help on the hill was well prepared – His team selection was decent in our case ie. I felt we had on average more qualified climbers in our team than other teams – Camp facilities were decent (for the price) and food sufficient though there is room to improve quality Some of things I didn’t like … – Get used to not getting straight answers, even for the smallest of things. It was upsetting for literally all members of the expedition. I found more answers during a conversation with a neighbouring, Nepali run expedition team. on the flip side, expect disparaging remarks about Nepali government, other teams, etc. – Guide prioritised his own (early) Everest summit over client interests leaving us stranded without comms, weather updates (base camp was dysfunctional while he was on summit bid) and with a guide that post summit needed recovery first (plus wasted his one-time license ruling out another bid with clients) – Guide never actually summited Lhotse so can’t tell much about conditions above camp 4 other than what you can read online. The sherpa I had likewise never submitted Lhotse and at one Everest summit was the most junior available (see next point for priorities) – Lhotse summit was completely secondary to Everest efforts. I would have missed my summit bid if it wasn’t for other climbers going up. Tim missed to spot the Lhotse window having just Everest in mind. – Corners cut on weather forecasts. All borrowed (or listened in on their radio chatter) from other teams which was suboptimal when higher on the mountain. Communication was poor to non existent in Lhotse camp 4 meaning we left for summit bid with uncertain / outdated info. Happened to me and the other Lhotse climber. – Better not get checked! Plenty of expedition gear undeclared to authorities (to avoid fees) such as radios, SAT phone, etc. – No client radio, just for sherpa. Not great as my sherpa was taken away from me, against agreed terms re sherpa support, and diverted to other tasks. Left me in a critical position coming down from C4 to C2 – my guide was unaware of my problems until I told him in base camp 2 days later.
Problems with leadership and logistics damaging an otherwise amazing trip
Year of Expedtion: 2017
Deciding to climb Everest isn’t something that you do overnight. You climb a lot of hills on the way and see lots of well run and less well run expeditions. Tim runs a small, less commercial climb and while that appealed to me (along with the price tag), on reflection it came with additional risk and lower quality than expected and ultimately we were at the mercy of bad decision making from our leader. Tim is a quirky guy I’m sure he is some climbers cup of tea, I would suggest getting to know him very well in advance so avoid surprises. Even those climbers I have met which like him and are in awe of his achievements accept he is not everyones cup of tea. On the mountain the main reason I will mark this trip down is 2-fold 1) Logistics logistics logistics. Radios which didn’t work. Not providing the sherpa cover as promised. Borrowing and listening in on other teams weather and sometimes not having a forecast as a result. 2) Leadership and decision making. I still cant believe what he did on our summit push, and frankly those of us on this trip are often looked at in disbelief by climbers, expedition leaders and lay people alike when we detail what happened. We went for an early summit but aborted before camp 3 as a result of heavy snows and failed rope work higher up. We returned to base camp to wait for the next window and all decided as a team following review of the forecasts that we would take a break down in namche and recuperate. Two of the team walked to Namche, three of team took a helicopter. Just as everyone was settling down in Namche Tim contacted us to say he had spoken to the Ghurka team and changed his mind and thought we should go for summit immediately with them. Weather wasn’t perfect but doable and the they would set the ropes themselves and we’d go right behind. We all discussed and decided that given this would be our last shot (as he explained it), we were tired and could use R&R, and there were still no ropes or summits yet in the season, we should stop focusing on being the first up the mountain and just fall in line for a later window. We weren’t trying to be heroes. When we told Tim of the decision of the whole team, he said fine but I am going to climb with the Ghurka anyhow and take the assistant guide as he needs to get home early. So off went Tim and we were left with no comms for days. A new window opened which we missed as a result and then finally when Tim came back he suggested we wait despite there being another window. The assistant guide who Tim had brought promptly went home. Finally we did manage (thankfully) to find a window on the last day of the season. Tim suddenly “found out” he couldn’t summit a second time without paying a further fee and as a result didn’t end up climbing on our final summit push from camp 4 at all. Simply bizarre and certainly not as advertised. We made it so I won’t give a 0 or 1 , but the risks were higher on this trip over other (largely more expensive ones to be fair) as far as we could tell – we had been willing to give up some pampering but had been sold on expert risk management. Tim disappearing for 6 critical days as the short weather window opened also gave us all a lot of stress as we started to think our trip was being ruined and we wouldn’t get a shot at all. The silver lining is the climbers who went through this crazy experience have bonded and we’re all now great friends for life
Year of Expedtion: 2017
Tim is an excellent climber. Tim is a nice guy. His logistical company do a pretty good job despite their questionable reputation. The food Tim provides is excellent. The start of the expedition was fantastic. We did an ‘off the beaten path’ trek to Base Camp which saw some amazing sites and got us to BC nicely acclimatized. At Base Camp, Tim worked his hardest to ensure all climbers were well informed and comfortable. He even spent of a lot of time with me personally helping me through a bad injury which nearly ended my expedition before it started. Above Base Camp things were very different. I spent a few hours climbing with Tim on my first rotation. I didn’t really see him on the trail after that. Despite promises of a 1:1 Sherpa Ratio I only had a sherpa with me on my summit day, even he disappeared for an hour after unclipping, slipping and disappearing but that is another story. The higher we got and the more difficult it became for Tim to manage an Everest Team and a Lhotse team, cracks started to appear in his leadership. By the time we were heading for the summit there were a plethora of errors, shortcuts, ridiculous situations, and dangerous events. Here is a summary. Sherpas were too stretched setting up camps to climb with clients. Tim never climbed with clients (or at least myself) We never had radios ourselves, not even on summit days this became dangerous as we were usually alone without guides or sherpas. Tim was trying to manage two teams on two different mountains at the same time which did not go well. Tim borrowed weather reports from other teams and tuned into other team’s radio conversations trying to get information on weather. The weather on our summit day was terrible. We descended from the summit in a terrible storm. We were one of two teams summitting that day. Tim did his personal Everest summit before the rest of the team using up his one permit meaning he could not accompany us to the summit despite ensuring he would. Lots of promises at sea level did not come to fruition at 8000m. Tim would have sudden furious outbursts at team members for no apparent reason. Back down in the valley prices for helicopter rides always increased when we needed to return to BC. And much much more more. Overall I cannot recommend Tim Mosedale or Himalayan Guides Nepal for an Everest Climb. I feel my expedition was very dangerous and I am very lucky to have come back down – no thanks to the guides. Like I said, Tim is a nice guy and a good climber but I don’t think he should be running a Mountain Guiding Business.