Scott is back in Utah

Scott arrived home very early Monday morning (May 11).  We were really concerned hearing about the very significant aftershock centred near Namche Bazaar in the Khumbu valley on May 13.  At 7.2, this is easily enough to further destabilize buildings and landslides.  Aftershocks are always a big concern and Christchurch (where we were for the 7.3 EQ in 2011) still suffers from aftershocks several years later.

Scott is understandably quite shaken by the experience in Nepal.  The loss of the six Sherpas on the AC team has been especially difficult.  As he and Guy and Suze and Rob Smith (a Scottish guide) travelled down valley and to Kathmandu, they visited the families of the Sherpas who died and also visited the Sherpas still in hospital in K’du.  Although we are happy to have him home, it’s also a relief that he remained to assist AC clean their base camp and to visit and  (to try) to offer solace to the families of the fallen and to visit the other injured Sherpas from the AC team.

Please consider donating to the Sherpa fund via Adventure Consultants:

Scott leaves Base Camp

Scott and the remainder of the Adventure Consultants team – including our good friends Guy and Suze from Adventure Consultants – have left EBC and are heading back down valley toward Lukla and Kathmandu.  Scott says it feels strange to leave Base Camp after all the intensity of focus there.  Happily he found his second hiking shoe and now has a matching pair to walk in.  Regarding his film projects, Scott was actually rolling when the earthquake struck and has continued to film the clean up effort at EBC – led by team leader and multiple Everest summitter, Guy Cotter.  He also helped clean up the camp.  Scottie is a man of action after all.  He says it has been very intense and sad at Base Camp.

He’s now in Pheriche and then will spend  a couple of days in Namche Bazaar before heading to Kathmandu.  I’m uncertain of the situation in Kathmandu.  I can only imagine it is very difficult with crowding, aftershocks and people living outside – and the hygiene issues associated with such a disaster.  We hope for his safe return home in the next 10 days or so.

IMG_1918Base Camp before the avalanche.

Scott ok at EBC

It feels like a repeated message from last year.  I’m sorry for the delay posting, I was focused on FB as it has greater reach.  Scott was at camp 1 when the 7.9 earthquake struck Nepal on April 25.  He was with the entire Adventure Consultants climbing team at the time.  An unprecedented avalanche was caused by the EQ, which then ripped through the Adventure Consultants Base camp.  Tragically 5 Sherpa (who were in the cook tent) were killed but other base camp staff were unharmed.  I’m not clear on the exact number of fatalities at EBC but reports are saying 15-18.

Scott was evacuated with the rest of the AC team to EBC yesterday Nepal time.  Since then, he’s been trying to find his equipment and help AC clean up their camp.  It would seem that most of Scott’s film equipment, tent, sleeping bag etc is gone or broken.  He did have some of his gear with him on the mountain.  At least he’s alive.

Basecamp is in better shape than Kathmandu which is facing a major disaster.  We are not sure when Scott will be home but in the meantime he is fine at basecamp.


Scott to Everest for fourth time and Emmy nominated for fourth time….

Scott left for Everest yesterday (March 24).  With two projects lined up – with summits planned for both – he’ll be a busy man.  The packing achieved new heights this year.  He was packing full time for two weeks and part time for the two weeks before that.  Boxes were arriving continuously.   He has three cameras on board.  His Assistant cameraman will be Mingma Sherpa – who also assisted him on Karina’s project in 2013.  Project one has him working for NZ guiding company Adventure Consultants.

On another note, Scott has once again been nominated for a Sports Emmy for outstanding camera work on the Hawaii Ironman.  He already has one Emmy from this production (where he works with the Texas Crew) and they have been nominated at least two times before.  May 5 is the day of decision.

Lots on – we’ll keep in touch!

Everest encore on encore

He’s off again.  After a spectacular year demonstrating what an actual renaissance man looks like (balancing jobs, wife’s job/s and parenting), Scott heads back to Everest.  His jobs in the last year (a catch up since his blogger is useless) include a shoot for the Travel Channel at a fishing lodge in Alaska, a very physically demanding three week shoot for Red Bull in the Kimberly’s in Northern Australia (embedding and filming Red Bull athletes thrown into an extreme environment) and an equally full on shoot in Japan for Animal Planet where Scott donned a bee suit to film the world’s most dangerous wasps (10 stings will kill).  His camera lens would be covered in venom as he sweated away in the 43 degree (celsius) suit.  That’s well over 100F!

He once again joined the Texas Crew to film the prestigious Hawaii Ironman.  Being a moto-cameraman means a 20 hour day with much of it out on the black lava roads filming the athletes from the back of a motorcycle.  Scott loves it.  This year he filmed the men instead of the women.

Early in December he joined his good friends from Kinetic Media (who he’s worked with on the Winter Games NZ for several years) to film an Ironman in Bahrain.  It was a crazy long journey from NZ – but a short job.

Returning to the US, Scott then filmed four episodes for an upcoming National Geographic series which focuses on animals that have been brought back from extinction.  His segment focused on wolves, sea otters, Californian condors, sea elephants and Channel Island foxes.

Everest this year is a two-part scenario.  Part one is to film an Adventure Consultants client as he seeks to climb his seventh summit (the Seven Summits refer to the highest peak on each continent).  Part two is a New Zealand Film Commission feature documentary.  This means that Scott will likely be climbing Mt Everest twice – but his second attempt will be soon after his first and will most likely be from the South Col at 8000m.


Guilin, China – another shoot another year!


Getting stock footage in Hokitika, NZ

Hawaii Ironman – video from 2013

Scott has filmed this (and received an Emmy award and two nominations) for the past five years.  He’s a “moto-camera,” meaning that he’s out in the field filming from a motorbike.  Most years he films the ladies but in 2014, he filmed the guys.  It’s a long strenuous day for athletes and field camera operators alike.  Hawaii is the great Ironman race of all of the Ironman races around the world.

The Cave Connection – a clip

The overly baritone voice notwithstanding, this clip gives a good taste of Scott’s journey into the Nettlebed/Stormy Pots cave system last year.  The film has shown at many film festivals and has won awards. Many ask – did Scott have to make the squeezes and climbs as well?  Yes, he was fully committed.  No film if you don’t follow….

What is next and what can you do?

Thanks for following Scott’s blog.  Thanks to a resurrected NCell network, we have managed to talk most days.  Two days ago, a puja took place at Basecamp for the lost Sherpas.  16 died in the end with 3 still buried in the Icefall and 9 ending up in hospital.  Scott and Kent Harvey continue to shoot footage for the movie but the Icefall remains closed.  The production company have decided to withdraw the crew from climbing Mt Everest this season.  We are not sure exactly when to expect Scott home yet – but certainly he will be home long before June 4, the expected date of return.

A little background on the Icefall:  As a glacier wends it’s way down a mountain, it may encounter steep topography.  Instead of a flowing river of ice, the glacier will slowly tumble over the steep area resulting in precariously hung ice blocks – seracs. It’s like a slow waterfall.  Cracks (crevasses) are prevalent between the blocks.  Think of a mars bar slowly melting on the edge of a counter!  This is what is happening with the Khumbu Icefall.  And there is no other way through to the upper reaches of Everest.

Icefall “doctors” fix a route through the Icefall each season and remain on hand to adjust the fixed anchors and ladders to keep access open.  It’s forever changing – a glacier in motion.  Ordinarily mountaineers would avoid such a place but you can’t on the south side (Nepal side) of Everest.  It’s the most dangerous part of climbing Everest.  After the Icefall doc.s (who are Sherpas), the second most at- risk group would be the Sherpas who carry loads and “fix” the upper part of the mountain.  These two groups of men will do more laps through the Icefall than anyone else.  By Nepal standards, these men are paid well but it is very risky for them.

On April 18 numerous Sherpas had carried loads to camp 1 at approx 21000 feet and were returning to basecamp.  In the upper part of the Icefall, a ladder had broken and someone was trying to fix it, resulting in a bottleneck.  A massive serac collapsed onto the bottleneck of people – resulting in this tragedy.

A word on job security – Sherpas, guides and camera operators are all contractors – we get paid for the days we work and we mostly take care of our own benefits (insurance etc).  I am not certain what benefits the families of the dead Sherpas will receive.  Certainly there is nothing from the Nepali government.  It’s worth remembering that no-one climbs Everest (or numerous other high Himalayan peaks) without Sherpas.  To this end, the American Alpine Club has (just) set up a fund to support the families of the fallen.  We have been members of the AAC (and NZAC) for years and believe that this fund will adequately do what it is set up for: American Alpine Club

We have many Sherpa friends who are kind, gentle and considerate people.  Wanaka-based Adventure Consultants, who run many trips to the Himalayas each year, lost three of their people.  It is incredibly sad.

Thank you for your support.

Scott ok

You may have heard of the collapse of the Khumbu Ice Fall that resulted in the death of (I think) 14 Sherpas.  This occurred between Base Camp and Camp 1 on April 18.  Scott was at BC at the time and was not caught.  He and his team at Adventure Consultants have been assisting with the rescue effort.  Details are a little scarce so I cannot write much in case I get something wrong.  This is an enormous tragedy and our hearts go out to the friends (especially those in BC and on Everest) and family of the poor men who were caught. 


I will update as I find out more.  For now, the team will remain at BC until further decisions are made.