Author: Peter Andersson
Please join Stibo Systems in support of the victims of the earthquake disaster in Nepal by donating to Charity: Water
After several months of preparation – full of highs and lows – the brave climber that Stibo Systems sponsored to climb Mount Everest, Ivan Braun, was meant to be on the mountain when the Nepal earthquake hit, but fate would have it otherwise. Please allow me to quickly summarise our crazy adventure on the road to the top of the world as what started out very simply has become an amazing story.
Sponsoring one man’s dream
Ivan Braun is a Danish mountaineer with a dream of becoming the first from his country to reach the summit of Mount Everest unaided and without bottled oxygen – via the legendary North Face of Everest. His climbing partner – Mingma Sherpa – a legend who, if the expedition was successful would become the first person to have reached the summit 21 times. Read more about our sponsorship on our expedition microsite and in this blog post. Over the past few months they were to travel the world and forge a partnership by climbing other mountains in the Himalayas, in South America and in Africa. But as we soon found out, life is unpredictable on the mountain, and our project keeps taking the most unexpected turns.
Heroism in the Himalayas
Descending Cho You, one of the world’s highest mountains, Ivan came across an unconscious man on the ground in the so called "Dead Zone". Ivan brought the man back to consciousness, and managed to get him back down to safety. He became a hero and minor celebrity in the climbing community when he saved this man's life.
Unfortunately this little adventure had its consequences: Mingma injured his back while helping the unconscious man’s team back down to basecamp. Unfortunately he did not recover quickly enough to go on the other planned climbs. This left too little time for the climbers to work together, and considering the dangers involved in climbing the North Face of Mount Everest, Ivan had to find a replacement climbing partner.
Ivan himself suffered frost bite on three of his toes while spending almost half an hour in the "Dead Zone". Back home, he soon recovered, but before risking his life on Mount Everest he had to make sure his toes worked in the expected extreme cold, so he had to find a very cold place to climb. Enter the Russian winter.
The Russian winter takes its toll
Ivan decided to make a winter climb at Mount Elbrus in Russia. It is one of the legendary "Seven Summits" (the world’s seven highest mountains). Braving -55 degrees C (-67 F), his toes worked just fine. But unfortunately he caught pneumonia. Climbing Mount Everest without bottled oxygen is very dangerous, so you want to be sure your lungs function well, especially when climbing the North Face, where there is no room for emergency evacuation.
So with his family in mind and the life of his new climbing partner Karma Sherpa, Ivan decided to postpone the actual Mount Everest expedition until August or September of 2015. Had he not caught pneumonia, the expedition would have started in early April, and he would have been in the middle of the Nepalese natural disaster.
By now you have seen the horrible earthquake devastation in Nepal on the news. Ivan happened to be on the phone with a friend in Nepal as the first earthquake hit, he was actually one of the first persons in the world to know what happened, and shared this with his many followers on social media. Because of his insight and contact network, he has been interviewed by news outlets such as CNN and BBC. He is currently helping hundreds of people – climbers and locals alike – get in touch with each other.
Stibo lends a hand
We are proud to work for a company that cares. The Stibo Group has decided to donate to a relief organisation. Ivan Braun, who knows the stricken area well has helped us identify a suitable organisation that is sure to put our money to the best possible use. If you also feel that you want to help, please consider private donations to Charity: Water.
So where does this leave the expedition?
Ivan has planned for the actual expedition to start on August 26th, estimating that he will make the final push for the summit by the end of September. But these dates are now uncertain. There are rumours that they will close the mountain for the season. We will have to wait and see. Until then, we hope the relief efforts are fruitful.
Please join Stibo Systems in support of the victims of the earthquake disaster in Nepal by supporting Charity: Water.