The 1st Filipino climb on Mt Everest (Chomolungma is d Tibetan name). Everest stands 8848m/29035ft, it's the highest pt on Earth. This highest climb dedicated to the people with the highest needs.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


This blog has moved to <a href="

Here you'll also find all of Romi's other blogs compiled, as well as a host
of other multimedia content. More updates coming really soon. Stay tuned.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Off to Basecamp!

Hi folks,

Today (Mar28) is my last day of rest, and tomorrow, we'll start trek for Ev BC.
Our supply caravan is already on the way to BC, and our advanced party
will soon setup our camp - this will be our homebase, our 'home sweet home' for the
next 2 months. Last year in Cho Oyu Advanced BC, there are around 200 climbers,
this year in Ev BC, we're expecting more than 300 climbers on-site. (I was told there was 1 season with more than 800 haha). This is gonna be an interesting little tent village life =)

We expect the Khumbu Icefall (the way to C1) to be 'passable' sometime between end of wk1-April (if lucky) to mid-April, depending on formation of the seracs, iceblocks and size of the crevasses. The so-called 'Icefall Doctors' (Sherpa employees of Sagarmatha Park) left Namche 2 days ago, and are expected to start work on the safety lines and ladders in the Icefall sometime 1st wk of April.

I expect to be in BC in 6-8 days, depending on our pace and mood :)
I'll do an update then (by satfon).


(Wow, I'll be missing the tropical summer in the Phils, o well ... )

Friday, March 24, 2006

The Recent Journey

Ops time-out, seems like we're all too focused on "summit" & "first" topics hehe. People think it's just climbing, just a reminder that the odds are against us, Ev summit is still a distant dream so let's not make an issue or make too much noise on that, a li'l less than 2 months we'll know if we can talk about it.. ;)

Let's sidetrack a bit and move away from the summit blackhole. Live the journey with us - so, how was our recent trip?

Back in Nepal
After a few months of resting in Manila, I was happy to be back in Nepal.
This is my 4th Nepal trip, but every visit - a whole new experience.

This is my 2nd Khumbu trip, but yet again - it's a different experience. I didn't know that the power crisis in Kathmandu is a subtle hint for me that smtg's gonna happen on my march trip. It hasn't been raining or snowing for a while in Nepal, and when it did (on our 3rd trekking day), oh boy it did a LOT! It was actually fun at first, it was like visiting Alaska. My co-trekker ('LA') was child-happy at first, shooting endless digi pix from his hi-tec cam, all his lens on high use. 3 days after, he was fed up HAHA! I recall my first trek in Nepal (1998), I was jumping like a happy cat seeing Himalayan white peaks for the first time, then I started cursing white peaks after 5days ;)

True also when i was hiking in Karakoram Pakistan (2001), first day of snow was a "wow"! Nothing like it! 2nd day it bored me. 3rd day we were hit by a blizzard, what I thought was pure beauty (snow) was now seen as color of cold hell ;( But, there are good days after storms, and experiences to cherish, so I kept coming back to strange places w/c are very different from our tropical paradise.

And so on our way to Tengboche, snow started hitting ground, and after 16days, snow still lay stubbornly in the Khumbu trails. I recall LA saying: "I wont go w/ you anymore, always off season with off-ideal conditions!" haha. Last Aug05 a pinoy group (incl him) went hiking w/ me in Langtang Nepal - during the end of monsoon. And so we got endless rain, and eekie jumping limatics (leeches). hehe.

But our Khumbu March trip was not w/o reward. We caught several glimpses of Thar (deer), saw a herd only 10m away, then again after the snowfall as close as 7m away. We saw a fox running towards Island Peak basecamp, our camp was visited by tamed (or hungry) cuckatoos (w/c I called hi-altitude chickens), saw eagles from time to time, have good photos/videos of majestic white himalayan peaks, greeted by a swarm of rhododendron flower-trees, tasted the warm hospitable caring from the locals, and overall, a near-ideal trekking experience. Seeing and experiencing the beauty of this wonderful place made me forget about the upcoming ordeal.. the good experience we had is a morale booster, so that hopefully we'll breeze thru the expected difficulty in the next coming months...

A Snapshot

Check out my only digi picture, more like a proof of life =)
Yes, I am in Nepal and not Siberia or Alaska. The background mt is Ama Dablam (6800m), north of that is Island Peak, and further north is Mt Everest. (Ah why only 1? Tsk tsk I'm videoing 90% of the time and film-cam shooting the rest. )
I hope the video clips are aired on Tv, so I can share this great travel experience back home... (abangan)

The Battle we can win

Join the cause, and be a part of this big leap in our history...

Today, there are hundreds of thousands of poor and struggling families all over our country;
children who do not have opportunities to enter primary school,
poor indigent patients who cannot afford to pay for their medical expenses,
kids who are malnourished and suffering from serious illnesses,
families who are victims of calamities,
and a million more who are simply ignored, neglected and uncared for.

Here's a call for us to live a life of shared wealth and success,
Together, we can make a big difference in uplifting the lives of our struggling countrymen.

JOIN ME in this campaign, as I CLIMB the highest point on Earth...

Help, donate or pledge now, and be part of "MT EVEREST CLIMB FOR A CAUSE 2006"!
The future is ours to make!

Thanks to Fr. Bong of Lucena for his 5000p pledge. Really appreciate it po =)
I'm also pledging 10k for the charity foundation.
You may email if you wish to help us in this fund-raising, we'll collect after the climb.
You may also drop by Kapuso Foundation GMA office in Quezon City, or drop your contribution to any The North Face shops (Davao, Rockwell, Shangrila, Glorietta?).


Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Back On-line

End of 1st Stage

Tashi Delek! =)
The first acclimatization stage is now complete and I'm now resting and recovering for the big trip ahead. The plan to "break in" at Ev Bcamp altitude (17,400ft) has been completed, with a bit of unexpected difficulty and challenges.
We reached (and slept) at an altitude of ~19000ft, and stayed above 17000ft for several days, a good enough acclimatization for the April climb.

The 2nd stage of acclimatization (April) is for altitudes above BC up to ~25,000 ft (i.e., camps 1 to 3).
The last stage of the trip (May) is the actual summit attempt, we'll be climbing above the Death Zone Layer up to the summit height of 29,035ft (if we're lucky).

The elusive peak
Unfortunately, Island Peak (6100m/21000ft) - our target mt for stage1 acclimatization, has not been very accomodating to us climbers this March. My plan was to make an attempt as soon as we get on site, but the heavy snowfall on our 3rd day (+40cm, typical Nepal winter), made us postpone it, but even after the weather stabilized a bit, several teams ahead of us (including the 2 strong Pinoy athletes from the big team) were all sent down empty-handed by the mt due to deep snow and technical difficulty in the ridge and icewall. With the objective to sleep at hi-altitude, and w/ an approach to 'phase' the Island Peak climb, my team decided to establish a highcamp (~19000ft). This will give us more time to negotiate w/ the deep snow. Sadly, the big jump in sleeping altitude made us sick (my partner and Moi) making us abort our climb, hahaha! We tried to cheat, but then we got other problems hehehe ;p

It would have been nice if we have extra 3-4days for recovery and re-attempt, but I have to go back to civilization to finish my logistics prep for the bigger objective ahead. Besides, I must have several days of Rest and Recovery at low altitudes, if I want to last for 2 more months.
The intent of the March trip was simply to acclimatize, reaching the peak is a bonus. The same peak had eluded me last Sept 2003, w/ the same relentless early-winter snow as the culprit (and now late winter snow haha - ayaw talaga, fine!)

Rest and Recovery

I'll be on R&R for the next several days (I miss emails ;).
This is a necessary re-charge, since altitude weakens our body. True that my body is (hopefully) now more O2 and H2O efficient (adjusted to avoid altitude sickness), but it also weakened all muscles including the heart, it has weakend the joints, well- every functional parts actually. Acclimatized, but weak. Sige, be more confused ;p So now i got to eat meat, meat meat! Eat a lot, load on calories & food supplements, drink gallons of softdrinks, etc.
The more important aspect is 'mental', have to recharge w/ more patience, 'tolerance reset' to a lot of things, and morale recharge. You may be physically strong, but low morale or patience can make you quit.

The 'Race'(?)

So it seems like there are 4 Filipinos who will attempt E this year. Wow, Exciting! :)
2 of us are independent (1 being very quiet), the other 2 from the big team.

Generally, I think this is good in terms of increasing the overall chance of success - in putting a Filipino flag on top of the summit.
I don't see this as a competition (as viewed by many). Climbing the great mt is a very personal matter - it's between the individual climber AND the mountain, nothing to do w/ the other aspiring climbers. With a summit probability of 5-10%, it is never a question of "who is first",
but a question of "who will be lucky to be on top". I hope that at least 1 of us makes it on top.
Let's support all climbers who are making an attempt, this is quite an effort, a very serious undertaking, and pray and hope that this whole thing will not lead to disaster.
I hope that all climbers this year, have their purity of intention (personal desire to top the peak), and not just to 'race' , or not just because they were 'sent on a mission'. It would be sad if they lose a limb or something else while 'racing' or 'just completing a task' and not following a personal path to self-discovery or self-enrichment.
Anyhow, the best of luck to all of us!! Godspeed!

Thursday, March 09, 2006


Hi and Hello from Namche Bazaar (3500m/11500ft).
Now getting cold, ds morning it was 5C, will be colder as we go up - we're estimating our hicamp in d first climb to be at -15C. 
I'm techno-loaded this time, with satfon in my pocket, and videocam in my beltbag, camera in my pack, etc.  I sure do hope I get good footages of the place, and the climb.
We did a short acclimatization hike today (spending another nite here), then move to Tengboche tomorrow.  We expect to summit the 21000ft snow mountain around Mar16, depending on d weather and health conditions.
I'll do another email update when I get back to Namche around Mar21-22, this is where I will wait for my main team.
So far all is well, wish us luck in the first climb.  "LA" (co-climber) is worried daw, kuno, altho I'm 100% sure he'll make it, bka ako pa lagnatin as I can see he adapts faster at hi-alt.  We met 2 climbers yesterday, they've stayed 3 days in Namche and 1 is still feeling sick.  So i guess we're doing good, so far.  Hehe, wag lang sana hagdanan-type ung trails coz both of us have knee issues hahaha, talk about getting old ;p
I'll do a satfon update after the first climb, then email update around Mar21-22. I'm still figuring out how to post digi-pix here, I only know Picasa - smtg i only have in my laptop.
Lastly, pls ask your friends to help in the fund-raising, hopefully we get a big and significant charity fund.
Til the next update...
Ciao!  =)

Send instant messages to your online friends

Monday, March 06, 2006

Hi from Lukla

Hello friends,
Just arrived in Lukla, the starting pt of my misery haha!
From here, we walk towards Phakding (today).  Lukla is at around 2800m (umm 8500ft?) so it's higher than Mt Halcon or Banahaw, and an AMS risk for us, so we'll go down to Phakding (2500m) to allow ourselves to acclimatize. 
I'm w/ LA (my co-climber) and a Sherpa.  The Sherpa ("Lakpa") is the guy i was with when i summitted Cho Oyu.  He'll also climb with me when we do the E.
Tomorrow we leave for Namche (3500m).  This altitude is already significant and can already cause mild AMS (acute mt sickness).  So we stay here 2 days at least.
I Hope to email when i get to Namche (maybe Mar9).
Ok Cheers!

Send instant messages to your online friends

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Hello from Kathmandu

Hello Everyone,
Just got back in Kathmandu (after 5months), the season is 'better' now, temp is around 20C, city is a bit quiet - not so many tourist (yet).

Met with my Sherpa team today and discussed our battle plans. I still need to do some shopping today and tomorrow, then sort out my gears as well and re-pack. I also did a short interview wd Ms. Elizabeth Hawley - the woman behind the Himalayan Climbing Archives. Her group records all major climbs done in the Himalaya - especially big climbs such as Cho Oyu and Everest. It was her group who confirmed to me last year that my Cho Oyu was the first Pinoy 8000m climb, and that no Pinoy has been to Everest yet.

Tomorrow is my last prep day, then I leave for Lukla (jump-off pt) on Mar7, Tue. I'll be climbing w/ another Pinoy climber during the first stage, then be on my own (rather, my team) from April to May for the main objective.

What's the plan?
* March is dedicated to my acclimatization and training climb. I'll try to hit a 6,100m peak in Khumbu, 5- 6days away from Ev BCamp.
* If all is well, April will be my acclimatization up-&-down climb in the slopes of the big E itself.
* May will be our summit window month. If we're lucky, we'll probably do an assault on the 2nd week of May.

It has been a hectic week before my flight, now that I'm on site, I can relax a bit (hah! really now..)..

I'll do an update in Namche, maybe around Mar9. Hopefully the internet is still working in that village. The village is at ~11,500ft altitude.

'til the next update,

Thursday, January 12, 2006

The Campaign Starts Now

Thru Kapuso Foundation, we'll try to raise charity money to help our struggling countrymen. You may visit Kapuso link to check out how they spend their fund to help the needy.

Be a part of this great adventure!

As before, you can help in my campaign by simply donating any amount. We're accepting outright donations as early as now, either thru me, or to the foundation, or thru the shops of The North Face in Rockwell or Shangrila Mall.

Alternatively, if you want to complicate things, hehehe - you may pledge an amount (email or post a comment here w/ ur email) and the highest altitude that I'll reach will dictate how much you'll donate. We'll collect that post climb. Some people do this so the money raised is really based on my performance in the climb. So it's like an additional 'pressure' or push for me to go higher. =)

I will make an attempt via Southeast ridge of Everest, in the Nepal side. This is the "Hillary and Norgay" route (1953), Mallory attempted the Northeast ridge in Tibet side (1924). I'll fly in to Lukla (from Kathmandu Nepal), and will start the trek from there. The first 6 locations listed below are villages where we'll stop over 1 or several nights. I will include interesting and difficult challenges in the route, instead of simply doing 'pledge by 1000ft'.

The highest location or spot that I will reach will dictate the multiplier of your pledged amount. For example, if you pledge 100pesos, and if i reach camp4 (that's #12 in the list below), 100p X 15 = 1500p is your total pledge. (You donate this to the foundation). If i fall and got injured in the Khumbu Icefall, that's only x8 = 800 bucks. But if i reach the summit, that's 2500p. Still cheap :) Why don't you bring up the challenge to 500p? hehe

My route:
1. Phakding (1st village from Lukla) Altitude of 2500m. ('pledged amount' x 1 = xxx)
2. Namche Bazaar 3400m (x2)
3. Tengboche 3867m (x3)
4. Dingboche 4350m (x4)
5. Lobuche 4930m (x5)
6. Gorakshep 5160m (x6)
7. BASECAMP 5400m/17400ft (x7)
8. Khumbu Icefall 5800m (x8)
--> Most number of deaths in Everest is right before Camp1, while attempting to cross the treacherous Khumbu Icefall. Ice avalanches, deep and wide crevasses, and falling ice-seracs as big as a house.
9. Camp1 6065m (x9)
10. Camp2 6500m (x10)
11. Camp3 7400m (x11)
--> Many climbers cannot even go past Camp3 and would sadly end
their expedition here.
12. Camp4 near South Col 7920/26,000ft (x15)
--> With the Yellow rockband and Geneva Spur as major obstacles from C3 to C4, and sometimes wind speed in excess of 50kph even on non-stormy days - this small climb is already a feat in itself. We consider this place already as Death Zone, and so we'll use Oxygen even while sleeping.
13. "The Balcony" 8400m (x16)
This is already higher than my Cho Oyu climb (w/c is 8201m), a new Filipino altitude record.
Upon reaching this point, some will call it quits, and turn back.
14. South Summit 8750m (x17)
15. Hillary Step 8771m (x18)
--> A 40-foot vertical obstacle ascended via rope. Few dead climbers were seen dangling in this wall.
16. SUMMIT of Everest 8850m / 29035ft (x25)
--> Our dream peak!

Whew, reading thru these already made me nervous and exhausted..

So there, i'll do the climbing, you do the money thing. I wish to raise a bigger amount so it matches the difficulty of the mountain. 100% of all donations goes to the foundation - promise i will not use them to buy gears haha!

So, are you ready for the challenge?!
Am I ?! :p

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Chomolungma (8848m), view from the south. This is the dream peak, our feature mountain for 2006! =) Nyaar, Scaarrryyy.... :) I took the shot from Kala Pattar (5400m) in Khumbu. Posted by Picasa