Our team is led by Russell Brice a distinguished mountaineer in his own right and arguably the leading commercial operator on Everest. Several of his expeditions have been filmed for the Discovery Channel giving an excellent first hand impression of high altitude mountaineering. Russ and his team handled the logistics of The Widest Dream a film which sought to recreate Mallory and Irvine’s summit attempt from the north side in 1924 using contemporary clothing. Russ’s lead guide on the mountain is Mark Woodward, ‘Woody’ who has summited 9 times. He talked us through the crux of the film, the climb of the second step and the whole question of whether they could have been successful in 1924. It was Woody who did all the filming of Leo Holding on the summit as the intended cameramen fell by the wayside.
Today we took a short walk to climb up from Namche Bazaar to Khumjung at 3750 metres. It is in Khumjung that Sir Edmund Hillary established what is now an extensive school with boarding houses so that it can serve much of the Solokhumbu valley. At least one of the buildings was constructed by the Himalayan Trust which is hosting the Kanchenjunga evening on 4th June which I referred to earlier.