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Everest Sky Race finish 2011 – Jorbir Raï, Lizzy Hawker and Deepak Raï in Pangboche (3930 m), with Everest (8850 m) and Ama Dablam (6856 m)

The Everest Sky Race is one of the original multi-stage trail races in Nepal organised by Bruno Poirier and his team of Chevaliers du Vent and Amazones du Ciel.

Always original, always changing, the routes are very challenging, not fearing to take the highest altitudes trails possible.

You can download full information here: ESR 2015. Dossier en anglais or read on below. Reference maps available here: 1.3 Everest Sky Race 2015. Cartes Makalu – Everest. Find more information here: http://www.leschevaliersduvent.fr/ 

Everest SKY RACE VII 2015 Makalu – Everest

« Altius, Altius, Altius »

(30 October to 17 November 2015)

Himalaya, literally the “Kingdom of Snows” in Sanskrit, is the highest mountain range in the world. It expand in Asia in Pakistan, Cashmere, India, Tibet, Nepal, Sikkim and Bhutan. From 250 to 500 km wide between Tibet in the North and Indo-Gangétic plain in the South, Himalaya is 3.000 km long et expand from Hindu Kuch (Afghanistan) in the West to Yun-nan (China) in the East. This mountain range is the highest, but also the youngest of the planet. It is inhabited by various people, with very old traditions and religions. Nepal is a “digest” of this ethnic and cultural variety.

10 of the 15 Himalayans summits above 8.000 meters are located in Nepal. The ones rising beyond its borders are K2 or Dapsang (8.611 m), Nanga Parbat (8.125 m), Gasherbrum I (8.068 m), Gasherbrum II (8.035 m), the four of them in Pakistan, and Shisha Pangma (8.013 m) in Tibet. Everest, called Sargarmatha by Nepalese and Chomolungma by Sherpa (8.848 m), Kanchenjunga (8.598 m), Lhoste (8.501 m), Makalu (8.475 m), Yalung Kang (8.420 m), Lhoste Shar (8.383 m), Dhaulagiri (8.167 m), Manaslu (8.156 m), Cho Oyu (8.153 m) and Annapurna (8.091 m) are the ten summits that tower above 8.000 meters in Nepal.

Everest: THE MOUNTAIN OF A CONTINENT

Reaching its highest point at 8 850 m, Everest is the highest summit in the world. Everest Mount is located on the border between Tibet and Népal, in the midst of Himalaya. This mountain got the name of a famous English geodesian, Sir George Everest, because people didn’t know that Tibetans already called it, for a long time, Chomolongma, i.e. « World mother Goodess ». Sagarmatha is the Sherpa name of Everest. The Everest height was calculated for the first time in 1852, by a employee of the geographical service of India – which was, in that time, a British colony. Measurements carried out in 1954 by British researchers enabled to value its height as 8 846 m. In 1999, a system of sensors using Global Positioning System (GPS), system of position measurement by satellite, placed on the Himalayan summit by an American team, set this height at 8 850 m. Moreover, these measurements have also shown that the “Roof of the World” laterally is moving from 3 to 6 mm every year to the North-East, because of the push of the Indian tectonic plate.

From the start of the XXe century, Europeans were attracted by Everest Mount: geographers, naturalists et doctors took part in expeditions organized by alpinists who tried the climb. In the second half of the XIXe century, every summit in the Alps had been climbed, and the conquest of the highest summit in the world could but attract sportsmen. As people asked George Leigh Mallory, who died in 1924 while trying the climb, about his desire for climbing the Mount, he answered : « Because it is here ! »

Everest : BEGINNINGS OF A CONQUEST

The first expeditions started from Darjeeling and went through Himalayas to reach Tibetan plateau, which they went along in the west near to Everest. In 1921, the expedition managed by colonel Howard Bury was above all a reconnaissance expedition. It discovers that the top of Everest Mount had a pyramidal shape. This top is often decorated with a cloudy plume made of snow and ice pulled up by the wind. Glaciers, cut off by seracs and crevasses, bristling with snow blocks, go down from the mountain slopes. In the North, the cut ridge of a pass stands out from the summit to join a less high peak. Firsts expeditions tried to reach the top by this way. On the West, a combe (valley), from which goes out a glacier, is dug at the bottom of the mountain: this is the way that will lead to victory.

Following this first expedition, equipment was improved. So, oxygen becoming scarce from some height, alpinists, soon as 1922, were provided with oxygen masks that eased their breathlessness. In 1922 et en 1924, alpinists climbed to 8 300 m, a altitude never reached until then. But nine porters and two alpinists – George Leigh Mallory and Andrew Irvine – died. Nobody knows if they reached the summit.

The expedition of 1933, preceded by aerial reconnaissance that was at the time a real exploit, failed, likewise those of 1936 and 1938. Hardness and length of the chosen route, the quick exhaustion of men on high altitude, wind and cold were cause of these failures.

The expeditions, broken off by the Second World War, resumed in 1951, but from Kathmandu, in Nepal, because, meanwhile, Tibet turned under Chinese rule; moreover, alpinists decided to try the climb by the West side. In 1951, an English expedition, in which New- Zealander Edmund Hillary took part, made a reconnaissance, and was stopped by a seracs fall, then by a 30 to 100 m wide crevasse.

The following year, Swiss alpinists tried venture ; among them were Lambert and the chief of Sherpas, which name was Tensing Norgay. After jumping over the crevasse thanks to a rope bridge, they saw that the combe was closed by a slope ending up to a pass – over hanged by the pyramid of the summit. From the pass, they saw, behind the South summit, 8 754 m high, the highest summit: 8 848 m. But the assault tried by Lambert and Tensing Norgay, failed at 8 600 m, and the autumn expedition, the first one began in that season, was thwarted cause of a cold of – 40 °C.

On the contrary, in 1953, the English expedition was helped by luck. Edmund Hillary and Tensing Norgay Sherpa ranked among members of this expedition managed by colonel John Hunt (1910 – 1998). An improved equipment had beforehand been tried in Switzerland, and alpinists had carefully studied their route ; lastly, they had carried out a training period for 3 weeks at a height of 6 000 m. A crossing was opened through the combe, the slope was climbed, and a camp was set up on the South pass. Colonel Hunt made up two assault teams, supported by help teams that accompanied them to the last camp.

The first assault team failed, on May 26th , at 8 754 m. But on May 29th , Edmund Hillary and Tensing Norgay Sherpa, after spending night at 8 590 m, reached the summit at 11 h 30, being so the firsts men triumphing over the highest summit of our planet: Everest, Chomolongma, Sagarmatha. Three names for only one mountain, to go up Altius, Altius, Altuis…

Altius, Altius, Altuis… is the motto of Everest SKY RACE. Behind this name, a race never devised before … A mountain race at the bottom of the highest summit in the World, in the country where the Horses of Wind never finish their race…

Makalu

Makalu is the fifth highest peak in the world. It is located southeast of Mount Everest on the Tibetan-Nepalese border at 8463 meters altitude. Makalu is an isolated mountain in the shape of a pyramid with four sides. Makalu has two notable side peaks: Kangchungtse or Makalu II (7678 m) and Chomo Lonzo (7804 m).

Makalu is regarded by mountaineers as one of the most technical Himalayan peaks. The first ascent was successful by Lionel Terray, Jean Couzy May 15, 1955, during a French expedition led by Jean Franco on the north side and the northeastern edge. The next day, May 16, three other members reach the top: Jean Franco, Guido Magnone, and the Sirdar Gyalzen Norbu. May 17, Jean Bouvier, Serge Coupe, Pierre Leroux and André Vialatte reach the top.

Aims of the Kathmandu Declaration

  • To protect effectively the mountain environment, its flora, fauna and natural resources.
    To reduce the negative impact of man’s activities.
    To respect the cultural heritage and dignity of local populations.
    To stimulate activities which restore and rehabilitate the mountain environment.
    To encourage contact between mountaineers of different countries through friendship, mutual respect and peace.
    To spread information and knowledge in order to improve man’s relationship with the environment. To use only resources which respect the energy needs of the environment
    And the elimination of waste products.
    To support mountain countries by way of development with a view to environmental conservation.
  • To expand access to mountainous regions without difficulties of a political nature.

Everest SKY RACE : race technical card

generalities

Everest SKY RACE is organized by Base Camp Voyages, Nepalese agency based at Kathmandu, Nepal.
Everest SKY RACE is open to men and women over 23 years aged and fulfilling the five criteria of selection :
1. Experience of mountain running ; 2. Experience of multi-days running ; 3. Experience of “high height (4.800 m) or hypoxia test in laboratory corresponding to a height of 5.000 m ; 4. A significant result in trail, raid or mountain race ; 5. Experience of orientation race (reading of maps and handling a compass).

The thirty (30) first registered runners and fulfilling these seven criteria of selection will be selected for the unique edition of Everest SKY RACE. The competition is in stages (multi-days running) and it will be run on footpaths over a maximum distance of 300 km with 15.000 m of positive uneven and 13.000 m of negative. The race is divided into 13 stages of race in line. According to meteorological condition, natural or medical or political event, or other event, the organization, Base Camp Voyages, reserves the right to modify the route will be essential. Also do note that, if altitude would imperil a large part of the runners of Everest SKY RACE a race stage would be turned into acclimatization day.

The Technical Team is made up of 20 persons, employed and salaried by Base Camp Voyages – Nepalese agency based at Kathmandu, Nepal and organizer of Everest SKY RACE – will take care of race organization. This Technical Team is divided into several sub-teams, that will be spread over the whole itinerary. It will take care of arrival time-keepers, check-point time-keepers, reservation of the lodges (refuges, hotels) as well as the provision of breakfast and evening meals (see supplies chapter).

Competitors are solely responsible (complete autonomy) for beginning each stage, using a card marked with the departure point, arrival point and one or several control check-points. Between these points, the competitor will choose its route by respecting the instructions of the race director, the control check-points or obliged passages. Competitors are allowed to run and walk using poles/sticks but taking care not to injure anyone. At the end of the first stage, two groups will be made up: Group 1 (competitors in positions 1to 15) and Group 2 (positions 16 to 30) and two starts will be arranged on the beginning of the second stage. Do note that these groups will change throughout the race, because the daily competitor’s classification will be used to make up the two groups.

In Nepal the only way to move is walking and consequently there is a local population, and runners are allowed to ask them for assistance during the race. Some areas are however deprived of village and human life. So, the competitor will have to trust in its view of orientation and only rely on its own analysis of the route. The route of Everest SKY RACE is not marked out, so a good reading of the maps will be primordial.

Obligatory equipment

Each competitor of Everest SKY RACE has to be in possession of certain compulsory items from the beginning to the end of the race. Bag checks will be made during the race. Any compulsory item missing in a competitor’s backpack will incur a two-hours penalty, and the requirement of having a complete pack to be allowed to continue.

List of compulsory equipment : backpack, sleeping bag (-15° extreme), survival blanket, headlamp with spare batteries, whistle, mirror, rocket of distress, first-aid kit containing a bandage, personal drugs (each competitor will be able to take a good care of him, so he will have got drugs against usual infections in Asia and in mountain), one-litre flask, snap hook, a pair of cramps, a three (3) meters rope, compass and survival rations (2.000 Calories). Sticks are advised.

For remaining personal equipment, the competitor is free to carry what he wants.

Race numbers

Each competitor will be equipped with two tissue numbers (bring pins). One (20 by 20 cm) will inevitably be worn on the chest, i.e. on the upper body, the other has to be fixed to the backpack. The competitor’s number and the sponsors of Everest SKY RACE must be always visible: any infraction of this rule will be punished by a two-hour penalty.

Personal Sponsorship

According to obligations about the organisation’s numbers, the competitor may use any remaining space on the T-shirt (excluding the chest), on the backpack or on other equipment (sleeves, shorts, tights, headgear, flask, socks, etc) for other sponsorship. Note that competitors may be original in order to gain maximum sponsorship value, providing that clothing and behaviour respect the philosophies of Annapurna natives and the spirit of the race. Please bear in mind all these points. Remember the dimensions of the numbers for Everest SKY RACE are 20 by 20 cm.

Supplies

During the race the competitor is independent and must manage his own food and water. He/she may prepare supplies before departure or stock-up during the race. Except certain sections and certain stages of the race, a village is passed approximately every thirty minutes. As snacks, one will find biscuits, chocolate bars and chocolate tablets or even a “dal-bat” (lentils and rice) between 10 am and 12 noon.

Water is not a problem. It can be found in every village and consider also streams, brooks and rivers. Water is available at least every fifteen minutes. However, water has to be treated with Micropur (purifying agent) before consumption (one tablet for a litre of water). Because of this, there is a one-hour waiting period before it can be drunk without risk. So a twin-bottle-belt is ideal. While one is being purified, the other is drinkable. It is also possible to buy bottled water but it cost 30 – 120 rupees (0,5-2 €) per litre depending on the altitude.

During the ten days of Everest SKY RACE, the organisation take care of accommodation, breakfast and dinner. Lunch is the competitor’s responsibility. Anticipate 300 rupees (3 €) per day. Do note that, except for tea, all other drinks consumed by the runner (bottled water, soft drinks, beer) are at his/her own cost.

RunneRs’ solidaRity ChaRteR

Throughout Everest SKY RACE, a solidarity charter is in place requiring competitors to help other runners who are in trouble. Non-compliance risks elimination.

In the event of mountain sickness, heart/breathing problems, after-effects of a fall or hypothermia, the runner in difficulty must warn the nearest person. If this is another competitor, he/she must stay with the injured party and administer first aid, providing he/she is capable. To restart, the runner must wait for the arrival of a member of the organisation. Any time lost will be deducted.

If another runner arrives on the scene, he/she must contact the technical team. The time lost during this return journey will be deducted from his/her finishing time and he/she will also receive a one-minute bonus for every five minutes spent during this aid-run. The runner will be responsible for measuring time lost whilst helping the injured/sick competitor. The race directors will trust this assessment.

Any breach or deliberate misinterpretation of the content of this charter will be penalised by immediate disqualification without appeal. The disqualified runner will be excluded from the race and will have to return to Kathmandu by his/her own means.

withdrawal

In case of withdrawal, specific instructions will be given at each stage, because conditions to reach departure, arrival or a leaving point will be different every day. In case of withdrawal, the competitor will have to wait for the following pack, which will accompany him to the arrival of the current stage. At this point, he/she will no longer be involved in Everest SKY RACE and will be required to return his/her race numbers to the race director before returning under his/her own steam to Kathmandu. It should be noted that in the event of withdrawal, the competitor will not be able to use the “helicopter rescue” insurance, except in case of medically serious reasons: fracture, broken limb, heart/respiratory problems, and acute mountain sickness.

Remove from the race

The Nepalese hospitals doctors and the race doctors are authorised to remove a competitor from the race if they consider him/her to be unfit to continue the race. Their decision will be final and without appeal. If he/she is affected by mountain sickness, in a state of advanced fatigue or psychologically too weak, he/she will not be allowed to continue in the race.

Every year the mountains in Nepal kill simple hikers who have failed to respect the rules of walking at altitude. Runners of Everest SKY RACE will be moving two or three times faster than a hiker, and will quickly reach the critical altitude for mountain sickness (3.500 m). Each problem will be judged. According the place where the competitor is removed from the course, if it is impossible to wait for the rescuers, the rescue will take place by the nearest road or airfield, either on foot, by mule or by being carried. Helicopter evacuation may only be quickly possible, according to the place of the incident.

Penalties and disqualification

Any breach or deliberate misinterpretation of the content of the “Runners’ Solidarity Charter” will result in immediate disqualification without the right of appeal. The disqualified runner will be excluded from the race and will have to return to Kathmandu by his/her own means.

Seven (7) other situations can lead to time penalties, also leading to disqualification in case of a second offence. These are: absence of any compulsory piece of equipment for Everest SKY RACE (two-hour penalty for each missing object with the requirement of having a full complement of equipment to be allowed to continue); any concealment of the official Everest SKY RACE sponsorship on the numbers (two hours); missing or no checking at every check points (four hours); breach of course director’s instructions (four hours); land-based assistance (six hours) except that provided by a competitor; non-respect of the environment or the local population (immediate disqualification) – see chapter “Aims of the Kathmandu Declaration”. And finally, non-respect of conditions imposed during the linked stage (immediate disqualification). No time limit will be imposed on competitors. In case of late arrival, no penalty will be imposed and the competitor will be allowed to continue the following morning – providing his physical state is acceptable

Apart from this, the runner is considered as a responsible and adult sportsperson

Insurance

Each competitor has got insurance for helicopter mountain rescue abroad. It was subscribed by the competitor before its departure for Nepal. The decision to call out the helicopter in the event of a physical incapacity to completing the race, (fracture, broken limb, etc) or acute mountain sickness, is took by the race doctor. Until assistance arrives, the organisation assures the competitors safety.

Medical Certificate

Each runner must produce a medical certificate specifying that he/she is able to participate to Everest SKY RACE.
He has to produce a fist certificate with registration form, and a second one a month before race departure. If he/she has no experience of mountain races above 4.000m, he/she is strongly advised to pass a hypoxia test in order to determine whether or not his/her body is able to cope with the requirements of high altitude.

Medical File

This file, complete with photo, contains the following information: name, surname, age, sex, blood group, vaccinations, current medication, previous operations/surgery, serious illnesses, emergency contact including telephone number in case of an emergency, name and telephone number of the insurance company as well as the number of the repatriation insurance policy taken out. The competitor must contact his/her GP to find out about necessary vaccinations for a journey to Nepal as well as whether or not an anti- malaria treatment is recommended.

Assistance File

This file, complete with photo, contains the following information: name, surname, age, sex, blood group, vaccinations, current medication, previous operations/surgery, serious illnesses, emergency contact including telephone number in case of an emergency, name and telephone number of the insurance company as well as the number of the repatriation insurance policy taken out. This file is for the use of the organisation in Nepal.

Equipment

The Everest Sky Race is a race over several days and competitors must be prepared to deal with daytime temperatures of between –5 and +30 degrees and as low as –20 at night. However, it is possible to take part in this mountain trail with a daily weight of equipment, which does not exceed 10 kilos. An example including backpack weight and in “summer” racewear would be 9 kg…. not including water!

Example of typical equipment

Backpack 30/35 litres (quantity 1) : (700g) A –15 sleeping bag (1) : (1000g)
Fleece windcheater (1) : (700g)
Gore-Tex windcheater jacket (1) : (700g) Gore-Tex windcheater trousers (1) : (300g) Trail shoes (1) : (700g)

Shorts (1), running suit (1), pants (2) : (200g)
Race socks (2), Carline rest socks (1) : (200g)
Carline short, Carline long : (300g)
Running tights (1), Carline tights (1) : (400g)
Silk gloves, windcheater gloves, hat or mountain cap : (400g) Food complements and energy bars : (1200g)

Compulsory first aid kit and survival blanket : (700g) Personal medication : (200g)
Toiletries : (300g)
“Snow” glasses (1) : (100g)

Permitted racing poles (2) : (500g)
Water bottle-belt with two empty bottles (1) : (700g) Headlamp (1) : (400g)
Card-holder, card, stopwatch : (300g)

Obligatory equipment

Each competitor of Everest SKY RACE has to be in possession of certain compulsory items from the beginning to the end of the race. Bag checks will be made during the race. Any compulsory item missing in a competitor’s backpack will incur a two-hours penalty, and the requirement of having a complete pack to be allowed to continue.

List of compulsory equipment : backpack, sleeping bag (-15° extreme), survival blanket, headlamp with spare batteries, whistle, mirror, rocket of distress, first-aid kit containing a bandage, personal drugs (each competitor will be able to take a good care of him, so he will have got drugs against usual infections in Asia and in mountain), one-litre flask, snap hook, a pair of cramps, a three (3) meters rope, compass and survival rations (2.000 Calories). Sticks are advised.

For remaining personal equipment, the competitor is free to carry what he wants.

  • Day 1 (30-10). Day 2 (31-10).
  • Day 3 (01-11).
  • Day 4 (02-11). Day 5 (03-11). Day 6 (04-11).
  • Day 7 (05-11).
  • Day 8 (06-11).
  • Day 9 (07-11). Day 10 (08-11). Day 11 (09-11).
  • Day 12 (10-11). Day 13 (11-11).
  • Day 14 (12-11). Day 15 (13-11).
  • Day 16 (14-11). Day 17 (15-11). Day 18 (16-11). Day 19 (17-11).

Kathmandu (1350).

Katmandu (1350 m) – Tumlingtar (520 m) by plane.

  • Stage 1. Start ESR 2015. Tumlingtar (520 m) – Bhote Bash (1725 m).
  • Stage 2. Bhote Bash (1725 m) – Num (1560 m) – Arun River (620 m) – Seduwa (1480 m).
  • Stage 3. Seduwa (1480 m) – Tashi Gaon (2070 m) – Unshisha (3180m).
  • Stage 4. Unshisha (3180m) – Kauma (3560 m) – Keke La (4127 m) – Shipton Pass (4216 m) – Tutu La (4075 m) – Yangre Kharka (3645 m).
  • Stage 5. Yangre Kharka (3645 m) – Yak Kharka (4570 m) – Shershon (4720 m) – Makalu Base Camp (4823 m) – Yak Kharka (4570 m). Walking junction.
  • Stage 6. Yak Kharka (4570 m) – Yangre Kharka (3645 m) – Tutu La (4075 m) – Shipton Pass (4216 m) – Keke La (4127 m) – Tashi Gaon (2070 m).
  • Stage 7. Tashi Gaon (2070 m) – Seduwa (1480 m) – Kartiki Ghat (315 m). Stage 8. Kartiki Ghat (315 m) – Gothe Bazar (685 m) – Salpa Phedi (1520 m).
  • Stage 9. Salpa Phedi (1520 m) – Salpa Bhanjyang (3414 m) – Gudel (1965 m) – Hongu Khola Bridge (1350 m) – Bung (1620 m).
  • Stage 10. Bung (1620 m) – Surke La (3170 m) – Gai Kharka (2399 m) – Pankongma La (3178 m) – Bupsa (2360 m).
  • Stage 11. Bupsa (2360 m) – Khari La (2860 m) – Chutok La (2945 m) – Phakding (2610 m) – Namche Bazar (3440 m).
  • Stage 12. Namche Bazar (3440 m) – Tengboche (3860 m) – Dughla (4620 m).
    Stage 13. Arrival. Dughla (4620 m) – Gorak Shep (5170 m) – Everest Base Camp (5364 m). Walking junction. Everest Base Camp (5364 m) – Kala Patthar (5450 m) – Pheriche (4240 m).
  • Pheriche (4240 m) – Namche Bazar (3440 m). Marche de liaison – Walking junction. Namche Bazar (3440 m) – Lukla (2840 m). Marche de liaison – Walking junction. Lukla (2840 m) – Kathmandu (1350 m) by plane.
    Kathmandu (1350). Fly to….

To enter, please download the PDF

ESR 2015. Dossier en anglais

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