As yet another amazing year of adventures comes to and end we are looking back at some of our favorite moments of 2014. Enjoy these recaps of our teams’ success!
Paul Kitney started 2014 off with a climb of the second highest peak in South America: Ojos del Salado. He, Osvaldo and the BAI Bolivia climbing guides were our first team to reach a summit this year.
To continue off our success in South America our team of 9 climbers from Switzerland, Canada, Australia, Brazil, New Zealand and the United States were on the highest mountain in South America, Aconcagua at 22,841ft/6,962m.
In February we had two very memorable climbs of Kilimanjaro:
First Danny and Hendrik, two friends from the United States traversed to the top of this seven summit mountain via the Umbwe Northern Circuit route. Crossing some of the more remote and quite trails they reached the summit just as a snow storm was about to hit. They made it down to their lower camp just in time with memories to last a lifetime.
While Danny and Hendrik were making it down Bharath Samrat and his team of BAI guides and staff and journalist Shelia Nykwist were trekking to the summit as the wind and snow were picking up. After a night of sleeping with strong winds and freezing temperatures the team made it down to celebrate the achievement of Bharath’s inspirational dream, reaching the summit of Kilimanjaro at 19,340ft/5,895m.
In March BAI embarked on a unique expedition to one of the most remote summits that we climb: Carstensz Pyramid in the jungles of Papua, Indonesia. Our team took on the ultimate challenge of trekking, exploring and climbing their way to the top at 16,024ft/4,884m.
Our first trip to Nepal in 2014 was with long time BAI climbers Dave Cohn, the Brown famil: Jim, Ryan and Jackson and their good friend Jim Allen. The team took to the trails experiencing the beautiful and colorful Sherpa culture and breathing the fresh mountain air as they reached Everest Base Camp at 17,500ft/5,334m.
This year during our Bolivia Mountain School expedition we were so happy to be a part of Chris Von Gartzen’s Climb for Paws. This fundraising climb was a mountaineering expedition to raise awareness for the plight of street dogs around the world. Chris and Micheline Thibodeau spent a week brushing up on their mountaineering skills and summiting Pequeneo Alpamayo, the 17,618ft/5,370m glaciated peak.
Micheline went on to join our group of 6 climbers from Canada, the United States and Sweden as they set out to Russia to explore the famous streets of two of the world’s most fascinating cities St. Petersburg and Moscow before travelling south to reach the summit of Europe’s highest point: Mount Elbrus.
In August we returned to Africa to enjoy the spirit and camaraderie that BAI Kilimanjaro climbs are famous for. This time the team experienced sleeping at high camp in the light of the Supermoon. Dancing, singing, incredible views and awesome team spirit were just some of the highlights of this fun-filled expedition.
Dave Cohn certainly had a year of achieving goals. After trekking through the Khumbu in May he returned to BAI with another impressive expedition in mind. He travelled to Bolivia in August to first immerse himself in the rich Bolivian culture before moving onto the Cordillera Real to reach the summit of Pequeno Alpamayo. His summit day is one we will never forget!
We were delighted to begin our busy fall season in Nepal off with father daughter comic duo Rich and Bonnie Alessio, a.k.a., the Grizzled Mountain Man and his trust sidekick the Sweaty Mess. This fun filled team trekked the Khumbu offering safety tips and entertaining explanations of the rugged mountain terrain as they made their way to Everest Base Camp.
A Guinness World Record was set and great adventure was had by all when BAI ran the Far Cry 4 “Quest for Everest”. With Dave Morton and Tom Grimshaw along to do the filming and Wally and Deirdre on hand along with Temba and the Sherpa staff, we ran what was most definitely the most unique trip on the BAI 2014 calendar. Will Cruz was the man of the hour when he set the record.
Our final expedition in Nepal included three enthusiastic teams of trekkers and climbers.
Barbara and Scott Martyn travelled from Canada to reach the base of the world’s tallest mountain. Their adventure included a tour of the famous streets of Kathmandu, a trek through the scenic trails of the Khumbu, a hike up Kala Pathar and an afternoon standing in awe at Base Camp.
After Ken Poskitt trekked to Base Camp with the fall expedition team he and his guide departed to explore some of the high reaches of the Everest region. Crossing some of the highest passes they made their way to Gokyo where they spent a couple nights in the remoteness of the edges of Gokyo Lake.
As Ken was making his way off to the High Passes Bob Mangino and father and son duo Frank and Travis Brier were preparing for their attempt of Island Peak. Their summit day was full of success as they climbed to the summit of the glaciated peak in great time and enjoyed the amazing views of the towering Himalayan peaks surrounding them.
Congratulations to all of our trekkers, climbers and expedition teams for their incredible accomplishments. Thank you to all of you at home who followed along on dispatches and supported our teams as they turned their dreams into realities. Don’t miss out on your next great adventure; contact our office for more information and to make your own great memories in 2015!