7 summits by Microlight

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25 Oct 2006 FAI Gold Air medal
1 Dec 2005, Aconcagua expedition
4 Feb 2005, RAeC Awards
16 Dec, RAeC Britannia Trophy
1 Jan 2005, 3rd place Best of ExplorersWeb 2004 Awards
1 June, Home
22 May, Fog again
23 May, Hollywood
24 May, Full story
24 May, Summited!
21 May, Nearly
20 May, Rain
19 May, Flora
18 May, Smelly socks
16 May, Line break
17 May
15 May, A narrow escape
14 May, Fog
13 May, Camp life
12 May, Runway repairs
11 May, Yaks, Naks & Jopkyoks
10 May, Syangboche
9 May, fog
8 May, Everest in sight!
19 Apr, Pokhara
23 Apr, Oxygen
26 Apr, Lukla
5 May, Still Lukla
6 May, We have fuel!
Apr 25, Kathmandu
30 Mar, Kit despatched
6 Mar 25,280 ft
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(UTC + 5:45)

News release: 18 May, Smelly socks



It makes a change from having the title 'fog' anyway. Here is a nice sequence of photos looking down the valley towards Lukla which explain quite clearly why, if we are to be away for 2 1/2 hours on an over Everest attempt, it is a good idea to only have completely clear weather when you start. This has been typical of the last week.

In the small number of flights we have made I have experienced occasional - not always - coolant loss. Advice from the ever helpful Nigel Beale at Skydrive suggests local boiling may be forcing coolant out of the system, and it is boiling at a lower temperature because of the altitude. Fix: Put more coolant/antifreeze in, up to 100%. Of course I don't have that much antifreeze but we have put all I have in. We have also installed a larger overflow bottle so if it boils again, at least we won't lose more coolant which would make things worse Etc. We never experienced this problem in testing, but then at 12,000 ft it was always somewhere below zero wheras it is relatively warm here.

As a further fix, a couple of days ago I tried to make an scoop out of a plastic jerry can to get more air into the radiator. It was not very satisfactory so I junked it. Last night I had a better idea, wire and neoprene, so this morning I fettled up a simple scoop and this afternoon Barty and I went down to the great metropolis of Namche to get it properly sewn up, and at the same time see if we could buy a battery charger and get some washing done, Barty had spotted a shop offering a Laundry service yesterday, hence today's title 'Smelly socks'.

Over the cliff and down to Namche, it's about 1000 ft down from Syangboche. I am a reluctant hill walker at the best of times, but this had to be done. Our first tailor had electric sewing machines. They went wizzzzz, but didn't like neoprene at all. We had more success at a less hi tech tailor with a good old-fashioned foot-powered Singer, he had it all sewn up in an hour or so. Barty and I then retired to - a pizza parlour - for a late lunch of pizza & a Sprite, (what is the world coming to) and then went to the Internet Cafe, not so much to do internet as we have our own very good comms now, but because they might know where we could hire or buy a battery charger - I have solar panels, but they are not much good in a cloud.... These people have an extraordinarily ambitious scheme to wireless internet the whole valley, and they have some parts of it already up and running. They also ran an internet cafe at Everest Base Camp last year, not sure if they are doing it again this year. Picked up our laundry, climbing shop with american style washing machine and tumble drier. I noticed a photo on the front of the latter, the lady, Palmo, who runs the shop carried the thing herself from Lukla - these really are extraordinary people. I mentioned we had seen an industrial washing machine being unloaded from the helicopter the other day - she was not best pleased to hear of potential competition!

Finally we set off back up the hill to the airport with scoop, clean laundry and some presents for my children (no, I'm not saying what they are, you will have to wait). Barty, who quite likes this sort of thing, had many encouraging things to say like 'we're easily past half way now' and 'we're past the steep bit, easy from now on' and 'with this kind of high altitude exercise you won't believe how bouncy you will be when you get back home' but mostly all I could think of was that this is the worst kind of masochism; give me a microlight or a nice walk in the fens any day (a part of Eastern England where Nicky, my beautiful wife comes from which is completely flat and mostly a bit below sea level).

Well I didn't die and eventually we arrived at the top just as it got dark. I did have a chance to fit my scoop, it looks good, but you will have to wait until tomorrow for a photo.

The forecast is not looking too good for tomorrow, there may be a glimmer of possibility for the day after.

ICARO 2000 Hang Gliding World Champion
THE NORTH FACE clothing for extreme conditions
ALPHA emergency parachute
The FIAT group
MAINAIR SPORTS  manufacturers of fine microlight Aircraft
Articole Studios - GRP mouldings
SKYDRIVE, the UK Distributor of ROTAX engines
PARAMINA; Suppliers of Oxygen equipment to the expedition
Industrial Pressure Testing Ltd; Suppliers of Oxygen cylinders to the expedition.
Mainair Sports; UK dealer for Warp Drive Propellors
Lyndhurst Touchdown Services.  Supplier of fuel system components to the expedition.
BAILEY AVIATION manufacturers of Paramotors and automotive sport acessories
Neltec flexible heaters
AdventureWeather.com providing Meteorological information to the expedition
O-ZEE flight suits.  Suppliers of Bar-mitts to the expedition.
PEGASUS AVIATION manufacturers of fine microlight Aircraft
Quatar airways
Gerbings heated clothing
FLYCOM Intercom and Radio equipment
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18 May 2004
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