As Nelson’s Tim Rippel gets prepared for a push to the summit of Mount Everest, a local company is preparing to get a shot at having its product perched at the earth’s highest peak.
Rippel’s Peak Freaks guiding company is currently preparing its 2012 Everest team at the Peak Freaks base camp in Nepal. This year marks the local guide’s 12th trip to Everest and this time he is packing a well known local taste with him.
“The Oyster Man’s smoked oysters are a favorite to some of our climbers, Tim in particular,” said Becky Rippel, Tim’s wife who handles Peak Freaks communications and logistics from her base in Nelson. “It is good nourishment in this harsh environment in a small compact can. The plan is for Tashi Sherpa, our Sirdar (head of the climbing Sherpa team) to take it to the summit of Everest in about two weeks from now if not sooner for a photo and snack.”
The current Peak Freaks Everest expedition team consists of 12 nationals from Australia, Cyprus, Norway, Canada and South Africa. This year Rippel is also being joined by two experienced mountain guides, Marty Schmidt from New Zealand and Joshua Jarrin from Ecuador.
The team arrived in Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal, on March 28. They walked for eight days up the Khumbu Valley to reach Everest Base Camp. Since that time they’ve been doing their acclimatization routines and safety practices the past few weeks. They are now at Camp 2 (6,500 m), and on Friday moved up to Camp 3 and then retreat all the way back to base camp to rest and watch the weather. They will wait till the ideal window of weather opportunity presents itself and then they will make a summit push. They are looking at possibly the week of May 12, if not sooner.
“Our team had an early morning start getting in under the extreme winds that have now moved down lower on the mountain tonight hammering Camp 2 pretty good,” Rippel wrote in his blog on Sunday.
“We are happy with our action once again playing with what we’re given up here in this extreme environment. In particular we are all very happy with how Marty and Joshua have been providing fantastic support to the team. They’re solid team builders offering encouragement and go above and beyond in making sure everyone is safe, I’m very proud to have both of them onboard with Peak Freaks this season.”
Rippel has been a professional mountain guide for 21 years in the Himalayas. He has lead 41 expeditions in total, including the 12 to Mount Everest.