November 10 - Three generations of Bishop climbers

This is Wally Berg in the early morning of November 10 at Ama Dablam Base Camp. The sunlight from the east has just begun to strike the tops of Kantega and Towoche and the other peaks in this area. Today we’ll be moving up to Camp One and we will continue on for our attempt to ascend the southwest ridge of Ama Dablam.

I hope you’ve enjoyed some of the photos I was able to get back from our traverse between Camp One and Camp Two a few days ago.BAI Ama Dablam Base Camp I should explain that the climbing photos are all pictures of Garry because he climbed behind me. The group of the six of us took off with myself in the lead, followed by Garry. Then came Doug, David, Ryland and Brent. So it was Garry who was always smiling behind me as he turned the corner around those steep ridges. I hope everyone’s enjoyed looking at these photos to see what that climbing was like.

As we began that traverse between Camp One and Two a few days ago, Garry was fondly remembering December of last year when he had just seen on the Berg Adventures Web site that we were doing an Ama Dablam climb. He and I got into a phone conversation and his excitement and commitment to the trip began that day. The day before he found out about Ama Dablam and made that commitment, Garry had made a commitment to climb in Bolivia this summer. And he’s remembering that Nadine, his wife, just smiled and said, “Well, it looks like you’re going to be doing a lot of climbing next year.”

Garry also came to Alberta with Berg Adventures and trained for his climbs with Larry Stanier this summer and his mountaineering dreams are coming true in a big way now, nearly one year after he found out about our Ama Dablam climb.

Garry, along with the rest of this team, is aware at every moment of this climb of the support of our families and their patience as we pursue our dream here.

And speaking of that, young Barry and Reed Bishop are back in Seattle. These fellows climb at the Vertical World Climbing Gym in Seattle and Barry made an ascent of Mount Si in Seattle with his Dad this summer. As most of you know, at every part of this climb, we’re aware of Barry and Reed’s grandfather Barry and the first ascent of Ama Dablam.

On that traverse a few days ago, we got out to a feature called the Yellow Tower. On February 24, 1961, Barry Bishop led the Yellow Tower, which is probably the crux technical climbing pitch of this entire route, and fixed a caving ladder for the team to use to move on up the ridge and continue the route. It was very fitting that Brent was the first of our team to climb the Yellow Tower and head into Camp Two.

And of course tomorrow, we plan to return to Camp Two. And from there we’ll move on up the route.

We feel the presence of three generations of Bishop climbers on this mountain here today. And in addition, many of you will remember that back in Kathmandu, I described that Elizabeth Hawley remembered fondly in the autumn of 1960 when she and Lila Bishop went trekking as the Scientific Expedition members began their long journey into the Everest region.

Ama Dablam 2002
BAI team:

Wally Berg,
Canmore, Alberta
Brent Bishop,
Bozeman, Montana
David Burger,
Boulder, Colorado
Garry Porter
Olalla, Washington
Ryland Gardner
Edwards, Colorado
Doug Frost
Santa Fe, New Mexico

Our objective:

22,494 feet
6857 meters

First Ascent:

March 13, 1961
Barry Bishop
Wally Ramanes
Mike Gill
Mike Ward