Wednesday, April 25, 2007

China with open arms

We headed into china yesterday with our new friend Dawa Sherpa who is in charge of Asian Trekking. I convinced Rachel that the big sign on the border written in chinese said "China welcomes you with open arms".

We parted ways with Dawa this morning and now we are in the hands of the chinese for 3 more days until we arrive in basecamp. The hotel we are staying in tonight has duct taped walls, smells a little rancid, and the food is a rather interesting (check out the photo in the On Our Way post). We are tough, so we will make it through.

This morning we went on an amazing acclimization hike to the top of a mountain right next to town. It was a little tough with the altitude, but now we both feel a lot better. At the top we were surrounded by huge mountains and hundreds of prayer flags.

Today is probably the last day we will have internet for the next month. I just wanted to tell everyone thank you for all of your hard work and help with raising money and awareness for LUNGevity. Halle made us a wonderful flag with Lungevity's logo and Jackie O's pub and brewery so our goal is to get it on the discovery channel to raise as much awareness as we can.

And all of you satellite adventurers it looks like rachel and i will just be arriving at base camp and going for a hike. We will be thinking of you all. Thank you for everything, be safe, and nothing crazy (this means Daddy McGee no jumping off of any bridges).

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Audio Update: Brian calls from ABC

Brian just called to say that he and Justin have returned from North Col, and that they will head up there again in a couple of days.

Click here to hear Oestrike's report.

Also, I'm including a photo I took of Brian trying to use his satellite phone just so you have a visual.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

On Our Way

Leaving Kathmandu in our Land Cruiser with Dawa Sherpa

This is Katie and I's schedule for the next few days!!!!
22-23-Apr= In KTM for Tibet visa procedures
24-Apr= Drive Ktm-Zangmu 2350m
25-Apr= Drive to Nylamm (not sure of spelling) 3750m
26-Apr= In Nylamm for acclimatization

Our classy hotel in Nylamm

27-Apr= Drive to Tingri 4350m
28-Apr= In Tingri for acclimatization (Yeah Satillite Adventurers we will be hiking with all of you!!! Thanks for your support!!!!!!)
29-Apr= Drive to Everest BC 5200m and join the International Group.
Right now we are scueduled to leave June 3rd however it could be sooner!!!

We will make sure to get all new comments to Justin and Brian that we receive in the next few days!!!!! As we will not have internet after that!

Wishing you all well!

Upcoming News Broadcast, April 27th

I got a quick call from Brain yesterday. He & Justin are doing well at ABC. On Friday, April 27th, Cleveland's NBC affiliate, WKYC Channel 3, will air a story about Brian & LUNGevity on the 11pm news. Paul Thomas, a reporter for WKYC, quickly took interest in Brian's cause and has been avidly working on this story since. If all goes as planned, the guys will be live via satellite phone during the broadcast. Hopefully there will be a video link at I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, April 21, 2007


Rachel and I have made it safely to Asian soil. It was a very long journey (50 hours) with not much sleep, but it feels great to finally be here. It felt like we played Skip Bo 100 times, and of course Rachel is still undefeated.

It is very hot, humid, and rainy with lots of craziness on the streets. It is definitely not the cleanliest city we have been to but its pretty exciting to see cows, monkeys, and goats roaming freely with all the people in the streets.

We will give some more updates after we get some much needed sleep. Thank you so much to everyone for all of your hard work helping us get ready for the adventure.

Friday, April 20, 2007

More News from ABC

I hope this finds each of you well. Brian called earlier today and says hello to everyone. After spending some time down at Base Camp he is back at ABC. He sounded fantastic and is feeling great. He and Justin have a lot of energy, are in high spirits and “eating like horses”. I feel for the cook tent folks after seeing their eating display on the trek! (Chris you’re included in that one)

The weather at ABC is rather windy and about zero degrees with the wind chill factor. The night sky has been exceptionally clear making for unbelievable views of the stars from 21,000 feet. As Justin said in his call, they had to build yak ‘barriers’ around their camp so the beasts don’t mangle tent lines. Just a side note; the Discover Channel camp is set up next to them at ABC. My fingers are crossed that the TV crews will air a shot of the LUNGevity flag.

They guys will ascend to the North Col (23,000 ft) on Monday or Tuesday. Brain indicated that they will make 2-3 trips up with gear before staying overnight at the NC camp. The numerous trips help ensure they are properly acclimatized. They are excited that Katie and Rachel are en-route and are waiting patiently to continue up the mountain.
As always, thanks for reading and take care.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Audio update: Justin calls from ABC

The guys are going to leave periodic voice mails with me that I am able to upload for everyone to listen to (yeah, I'm a geek).

Here is the first update from Justin.

In his message Justin references a Pooja, which is a blessing to the Deities of the Hindu Religion in the form of prayer, offerings and sacrifices. It is customary to have a Pooja for a new home, new car, when a family member leaves or for any other occasion one wants blessed.

In other multimedia news, I uploaded a short video from Kala Patar on Google Video. Kala Patar is a small 'hill' (5545m/18,192ft) at the base of Everest. You can see Justin talking on the satellite phone (the very same phone used for the audio clip). After Justin you can see Mt. Everest (the black pyramid). The shot then pans to Brian, in his sunglasses (er, glacier glasses as he calls them) and orange jacket.

Click here to watch on Google Video (you will be redirected from this site)

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


After two grueling days Brian and Justin are relaxing in their tent at Advanced Base Camp (ABC). Brian said it was slow moving and a pretty difficult hike to get up to ABC. They sounded a little tired and said they are feeling the altitude, so they will stay and get acclimated for a few days. They will hopefully move up to the North Col in the next couple of days when they are feeling strong and ready. Besides that the food is great, but ABC is extremely crowded.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Interim Camp

A quick call from Brian and Justin yesterday said "We are feeling strong and healthy. Today we will move up to Interim camp, halfway between Basecamp at 5200 (17,060 ft) metres and ABC (Advanced Basecamp) at 6400 (21,000) metres." They will have a rest and acclimatization day today day at 5800 (19,028 ft) meters, while they wait for the yak train to move up to ABC.

Brian and Justin are on the 11th post on the Rest of Everest.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Finally at Base Camp

Brian just called and they just made it to base camp. They are very relieved to be out of the car and the disgusting towns on the way to camp (he says to brace yourself Rachel). They had to bribe their driver to leave for base camp earlier.

It is a beautiful sunny morning and they are charging up all of their equipment with their solar charger. Camp is really crowded with a ton of climbers, but they are really excited to have arrived at there new home. The food so far is pretty tasty, including egg sandwiches and oatmeal. They also did another podcast that I don’t believe is up yet, but make sure to check again soon.

Also, Rachel and I leave in 10 days so it’s the last chance for any prayer flags or care packages that can be brought over to Brian and Justin. Feel free to contact me with any questions Thanks for reading.

Himalayan Humor

The following pictures bring a smile to my face, and I figured now was a good time to share them while the boys are still making their way to base camp.

Mmm Mmm Good!

With the exception of eggs, we were all vegetarian while in the mountains. Some of you carnivores out there may wonder how this was possible. Well, when the menu looked like the one below it was actually a lot easier than you'd think.

Because there are no trees, the tea houses burn dried yak dung for heat. The dried dung has no smell, and seemed to provide the same amount of heat as wood.

It was always interesting to watch a tea house owner place dried yak dung in the stove (as seen below), and then walk over and pick up our dinner to serve us in one fowl swoop - as if the two activities were always meant to go hand-in-hand.

It's a....uh, kangaroo rat deer thing?!?!?!?

Part of the fun of being somewhere for weeks without cell phones, TV, radio, newspapers, or even other English speaking people, is that you have to find things to talk about in order to stay entertained.

The following is my favorite example of this principle. This is a picture that we found on the wall of a tea house. I have no idea what the animal is, or what the text below the animal says. However, for twenty minutes we all debated over what the animal was, or rather, what various animals were used to create this one. We eventually agreed that the animal had the head of a kangaroo, a rabbit's ears and hind legs, the back of a rat, but the spirit of a dragon (did you notice the two enormous teeth?) - har!

I challenge any of you readers out there to come up with a better name than we did, which was The Himalayan Sabre-Toothed Kanga-Rat!!!

Please post your replies, haha.

Brian Oestrike Captures a Yeti

Another fun thing to do when trekking through the Himalayas is to tell Yeti stories to as many local people as possible, claiming that the Yeti has been following you on your trip. This is especially easy to do when you have your own gorilla mask.

Here we see Brian with the first ever photo of a Yeti, as captured on the summit of Island Peak.

More Island Peak Pictures

Greetings all and apologies for the interruption,

Before the guys start their climb I wanted to take a moment to post a few pictures and fun info from the acclimitization trek they just completed.


Island Peak, or Imja Tse (20283 feet / 6183 meters), was selected as Justin and Brian's acclimatization peak because it offers an easy and accessible means of sleeping at high elevation. I now realize that my definition of 'easy and accessible' differs slightly from Justin and Brian's. I hope you enjoy the following Island Peak photos:

Our yellow tent sat at approximately 17,500 feet

Justin and Brian demonstrate that it's important not to forget about one's sense of personal style and fashion even when going two weeks without a shower.

Justin and Brian on top of Island Peak with Lotse Shar
in the background ->

<-Justin descends from Island Peak after soloing the steep face.
.........Watching the sun go down from high camp

Sunday, April 08, 2007

The Aspen Times

There was an article in the Aspen Times today, make sure to check it out at

Thank you to Charlie Agar for writing a great article!!!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Arrival in China

We've had an interesting couple of travel days and now find ourselves in Nyalam, China. I could'nt use the T-word there because Hu Jintao does not approve of that word. Both Zangmu and Nyalam have been relatively disgusting towns with a total lack of decent hotels and restaurants. We're hoping to speed up our itinerary to base camp by a day or two because of our previous acclimatization. Not sure if this will be possible, and if it is it will probably involve traveling with all of the team's equipment, so basically a tight fit.
We had the opportunity to meet Jon Miller in Katmandu who has been kind enough to include us in his everest podcasts, which have a respectable audience. So basically Justin and I will be able to do direct voice dispatches to his website in order to update everyone on our progress. The address is , and hopefully we will get a satellite feed tonight to make another posting.
Well, we hope all are well and look forward to updating you further!
Namaste, Brian

Friday, April 06, 2007

The Rest of Everest

Hey guys- Brian and Justin are in route to Base Camp, which will be home until June 1st. Also, Halle just told me about the podcasts that Brian and Justin have been doing with The Rest of Everest.

"A Colorado filmmaker Jon Miller who created “The Rest of Everest,” an award-winning podcast about an Everest expedition, will return to Tibet this month to broadcast more climbing adventures. In this groundbreaking effort, Jon Miller will be the first to travel to the Himalaya specifically to document expeditions through podcasting."

Brian and Justin will be doing dispatches through "The Rest of Everest" which includes interviews and stories from the mountain. is where you can listen to all the updates. You can also see their video from the Denver news at and click on podcast episodes and then click on the top story.

Thanks to Jon Miller and The Rest of Everest, and once again thanks to Major King from the Denver News!!!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Clean in Katmandu

We arrived back in Katmandu this morning after an excellent acclimatization trek. I really don't think it could have gone better for Justin and I. We were able to breathe increasingly thinner air with a great group of people, and managed to stay healthy throughout the journey. We just left the Asian trekking office and are excited to say that everything is in place with the million details somehow sorted out. Speaking for both Justin and I, I can sincerely say that any pre-climb jitters were definately worked out over the past two weeks, and that our confidence towards Everest has only increased. The goal for the next two days is about 9000 calories a piece per day, and if we keep up at this rate it should not be a problem. Also, with any luck we'll have an excess of photos coming soon!!!!