Olympic Gold Medal and Frozen Spaghetti

By George Manley – Expedition 8848 Artist

Everest Historical Moments Series

3 Olympic Gold

In 1922 the first full expedition to climb Everest was undertaken, arriving before the monsoon, with superior food, but still with inadequate clothing and equipment. Although the food supplies were greatly improved, famously and to the disappointment of everyone, much of it froze solid, including the tins of spaghetti.

In spite of the intense cold, bad clothing and frozen spaghetti, helped along with hot tea and oxygen bottles George Finch (Australian), Geoffrey Bruce (British) and Teibir Bura (Nepal) reached the highest point that any human had ever achieved of 8230m/27,300ft. 

2 Olympic Gold

This was celebrated as a great success back in Britain, two years later during the 1924 winter Olympics in France, all the team members were awarded the Olympic Gold Medal. But because many of the team awarded these medals had left on 1924 expedition to Everest, Edward Strutt accepted the medal on their behalf and at the closing ceremony, Strutt pledged that these Gold medals would be taken on the next expedition to the summit of Everest.  

1 Olympic Gold 4

Because of this disastrous and fateful 1924 expedition, his pledge faded away, until 2010 when this pledge was rediscovered by a Kenton Cool an experienced Himalayan mountaineer.

Kenton Cool obtained permission and to the delight of the descendants of the 1922 Everest team, he fulfilled this pledge and took the Olympic Gold Medal to the summit of Everest, the same year Britain hosted the 2012 London Olympics and exactly 90 years but one day after the three 1922 Everest team members reached 8230m/27,300ft.

4 Olympic Gold

Renewable Energy

By George Drayson – Expedition 8848 Education Team

Climate Science Series

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What is Renewable Energy?

Renewable Energy, also known as clean energy, is energy made from resources that will never run out, like wind, water and sunlight. It is a clean form of energy because it doesn’t deplete the earth’s resources and at the same time doesn’t pollute our atmosphere. This is the opposite of coal, oil and natural gas.

What are the 5 main types of Renewable Energy?

Solar

Light consists of small particles called photons. When electrons absorb photons, it causes them to move to higher energy levels. If this energy is high enough, they will leave the atom.

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This phenomenon is the basis for solar power:

  • Light is incident on a solar panel
  • The electrons absorb energy from the photons causing them to leave their atom
  • This flow of electrons causes an electric field, which is converted into electricity

Solar energy can also be used in something called a solar thermal system to warm domestic hot water.

Wind Power

Wind pushes a turbine, converting its kinetic energy into the mechanical energy of the spinning turbine. We can then use this energy to pump water or to turn a generator, which converts this mechanical energy into electricity.

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Biomass

Biomass is organic material stored in plants caused by the photosynthesis of light. This biomass has stored energy, which can be released by combustion. One of the issues with this is that the use of trees and other plant material causes deforestation.

On the other hand, by using substances such as animal manure, waste food and waste wood chippings, we are not chopping down living plants and therefore not contributing to deforestation. At the same time, by switching from coal to biomass we are reducing the net carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere, which causes the greenhouse effect.

Hydroelectric Power

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The most common type of hydroelectric power uses a dam to store water in a reservoir.

The dam releases the water through a turbine, converting the gravitational potential energy of the water to the kinetic energy of the turbine. This is then connected to a generator, creating electricity.

Photo by Quintin Gellar from Pexels

Geothermal Power

Geothermal energy is the thermal energy contained within the Earth’s surface.

  • Water is pumped down to hot regions below the Earth’s strata,
  • The water is heated and turns into steam
  • The steam rises, drives a turbine, which drives a generator -> generating electricity.

Geothermal energy is a very important resource in volcanically active places such as Iceland.

Sources

  1. http://www.altenergy.org/renewables/renewables.html
  2. https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/?page=biomass_home
  3. http://www.darvill.clara.net/altenerg/geothermal.htm

Lesson Plan 5: Extreme Survivors

We are now halfway through the lesson plans of the Expedition 8848 Education Programme! These lesson plans have been made for teachers, educators and scout leaders to use in their classrooms to teach students about climate change and exploration.

The fifth lesson plan is about animals who have adapted to live in extreme environments like the high altitudes of the Himalayas.

The lesson plan 5 – Extreme Survivors can be downloaded here: http://expedition8848.com/lesson-plans/05-MW-LessonP5.pdf

Click here to access all the lesson plans: http://expedition8848.com

Click here to access more resources for this lesson and all the lesson plans on OneNote: https://1drv.ms/o/s!AvIvIB5FrRB2rmQQsl_tJ87xwOvk

Lonely Planet Kids: https://www.lonelyplanet.com/kids/

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The First Expedition

By George Manley – Expedition 8848 Artist

Everest Historical Moments Series

1 lets take a look

1921 saw the first expedition to Everest, it was only reconnaissance trip, to see if it was possible to climb Everest. Very little was known and understood about Everest, the environment, the altitude and the equipment and clothing needed for such a huge undertaking. 

Because of World War One, many of the best mountaineers of the time had been lost, the average age of this first team was in the 40s, this was George Mallory’s first visit to Everest and he was the youngest team member. 

It was soon discovered that trying to climb Everest in the summer, the monsoon period was not the best time, in spite of this George Mallory reached the North Col at 7000m/23,000ft and first looked into the Western Cwm.

Lesson Plan 4: Something in the Air

Welcome to the Expedition 8848 Education Programme! These lesson plans have been made for teachers, educators and scout leaders to use in their classrooms to teach students about climate change and exploration.

The fourth lesson plan is about weather and climate both on Everest and in your local area.

The lesson plan 4 – Something in the Air can be downloaded here: http://expedition8848.com/lesson-plans/04-MW-LessonP4.pdf

Click here to access all the lesson plans: http://expedition8848.com

Click here to access more resources for this lesson and all the lesson plans on OneNote: https://1drv.ms/o/s!AvIvIB5FrRB2rmQQsl_tJ87xwOvk

Lonely Planet Kids: https://www.lonelyplanet.com/kids/

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Lesson Plan 3: At Home on Everest

Welcome to the Expedition 8848 Education Programme! These lesson plans have been made for teachers, educators and scout leaders to use in their classrooms to teach students about climate change and exploration.

The third lesson plan is about the history of climbing Everest and the story of Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, the first climbers to stand on the summit.

The lesson plan 3 – At Home on Everest can be downloaded here: http://expedition8848.com/lesson-plans/03-MW-LessonP3.pdf

Click here to access all the lesson plans: http://expedition8848.com

Lonely Planet Kids: https://www.lonelyplanet.com/kids/

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A Dead Lion

Dealing with failure

When I reached 8500m on Everest in 2013 we turned back with the Summit in sight.

Before this moment it became apparent that our lead guide was so ill that there was no real option but to abort the final section and descend.

Up to this moment I had of course struggled as you do in minus temperatures – strong side winds with only 30% oxygen breathing into my body but I was still strong and focused. For this attempt we had linked to 10,000 students around the globe via Skype so not to reach the top was devastating for me but for the students a real lesson in how important a human life is compared to summiting some random mountain!

For weeks after this event I went into a dark place with feelings of regret and what ifs! I had been in this position before on other expeditions and I feel if you choose to live your life running high end expeditions coping with disappointment is just apart of it.

So lessons learnt from the 2013 expedition was very difficult- I felt I was ok but of course we made the correct decision to get out of there at the point of death.

2019 ascent on Everest was something I was nervous about but also looking forward to. I went with a great company who some of the owners / members I knew already. The team itself were all great climbers with a proven history of a different level of mental strength. So the planets were aligned.

I felt I was the weak link as my fitness was not up to scratch so I headed out 1 month before meeting the team to acclimatise and put strength into my body.

I never assume I am 100% ready for an expedition- I’m an ordinary person who isn’t a natural athlete so in my head I had to prepare more to at least be in a fighting chance of keeping up.

On March 2 I started my walk in the Khumbu region of the Himalayas- beginning in the lower valleys to then climbing the 3 high passes to 5200m in snow blizzard and cold. I walked up 4 mountains above 5000m and managed to sleep and eat well to maintain my health.

By the time I met the ascent team at Base Camp Everest I felt strong light and ready. On reflection though I now ask myself , did I do too much training? Did I expose myself to the elements too early. Now I’m sick and questioning my movements then these are the ‘what if’ moments that spring to mind.

Each day on the build up to the first ascent we would stay as healthy as possible – washing – showering – eating as healthy as possible. One key point is keeping away from trekkers.

Over 40,000 trekkers walk this route to BC each year and pay a considerable lot less then the mountain ascent teams. They walk around the expedition camps taking photographs of the teams like we are monkeys in a zoo. This is all fine of course – we are all living our own adventures. However, bringing germs into an expedition is serious stuff so actual contact with trekkers is frowned up on by some and I agree with this.

There are usually 350 ascent climbers plus guides, porters – Base Camp staff – cooks etc so the community at Base Camp can be in the thousands. This again is a breeding space for germs. I heard that this year there was a mild epidemic of flu in Base Camp which explains a lot.

However, I don’t want to keep banging on about this because in our camp of roughly 30 people I was the only one to get sick and I have no idea why or how this happened.

So how does some one cope with failure?

First of all recording the moment is important. Any decisions you make under stress are generally made through experience. By assessing the moment at the time will allow you a clearer perspective of what is the right action to carry out. Understanding the moment and recording your decisions for future reflection is such an important part of this.

2 months down the line you will question your actions – you will look only at the situation through a new and relaxed perspective forgetting most of the pressures you were actually under.

A final point is that the worst thing you can do at the moment of trying to make a decision is not making one at all. This is why training and experience is so important.

Everything I do right or wrong on expeditions or in my business life is open to self or team assessment. An honest debrief is all part of development – like braking a bone it grows back stronger.

Finally, for me the only way to cope in the future with momentary failure is to make sure you do everything possible in the moment to make it work! Cover all possibilities whilst you are still on the ground so when your sitting at home with a cup of tea in your favourite chair two months later reflecting, it makes it a lot more difficult to pick holes in why you “gave up”.

I have mentioned failure a lot in this but to be honest it’s probably the wrong word. In 2013 we saved a life from the summit and this year I got a bug from some where! which prevented me from pushing on. It also probably stopped me from getting a lot worse further up the mountain where rescue would have been difficult -putting other people’s life’s at risk along with infecting other members of the team.

Failure I feel is not attempting things in the first place. My own opinion is, life is about a series of experiences that can test you and will allow you to see who you really are. Most of us walk around with a shield in front of us pretending to be something different.

Exploration has given me the opportunity to expose my weaknesses. In this way I am pretty happy being who I am – I have never been the best at what I do but I have always followed my passion of seeing what’s around the next corner – with an instinct to explore.

Sir Ernest Shackleton once said,

“ better a live donkey than a dead lion”