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.