Post #105: Go-Scope adds a sharper dimension to GoPro Hero3 & My Sierra Bivys Project
After having spent the night on the Summit of 9 of the 14 Sierra Nevada 14,000′ Peaks for this latest edition of “Sleeping on the Summits” and having climbed six 14,000′ peaks in both Colorado and California in the past ten days, I arrived home to download my photos and noticed that some of the shots were better than ever. The reason? My new Toys! The GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition was sent to me by the folks at GoPro, courtesy of Kelly Leggoe. But also, giving more reach (literally) than ever before to my photos and videos comes the versatile Go-Scope telescoping monopod, courtesy of Kyle Scarola
Last week in the Sierra Nevadas for my book sequel I carried this lightweight pole with me everywhere I went, and when I take a look at the photos and video I produced, I was very pleased. One shot in particular was a video from the Summit of Mt. Sill, 14,153′ at sunset (See Below):
The Go-Scope only weighs 4 ounces, but can extend up to almost 35″ for wide angle shots and the 21″ setting shoots awesome video and pictures, capturing a great perspective of the subject (Me), and the surrounding landscapes.
The value of this Go-Scope Pole with the ability to use the Wi-Fi remote on the GoPro Hero3 captures still photos that will surely be used in my next book “Sleeping on the Summits: California 14ers and Cascade Volcanoes.”
I can’t wait to get this out on the snow for my ski descents this winter in the Colorado Backcountry as well. The “Warren Miller Quality” video will be cinematography at it’s finest. I also am looking forward to being able to stick the pole down into crevasses this coming spring on the Cascade Volcanoes or on Himalayan Peaks or off cliffs in Colorado even further to leave the audience with a true bird’s eye view.
GoPro Pole: http://go-scope.com/gopro-pole/
Granted my footage was pretty stellar during my last book project on the Colorado 14ers or with the footage I filmed for Dateline NBC for the recent documentary “Into the Death Zone“, but I could only imagine the enhancements and angles the Go-Scope will give my footage when I return to Everest in 2015 to climb the mountain again without supplemental oxygen.
White Mountain Shelter and Summit Bivy, 14,246′ wide angle sunrise captured with GoPro Hero3 Black Edition and Go-Scope.
From now on, every expedition or project I go on, in addition to the SilverOak bottle of Cabernet I usually bring to toast a successful summit, I’ll be carrying this light piece of equipment and capturing angles that my audiences will love.
Dr. Jon on High Ridges in the Sierra en route to Middle Palisade 14,040′
This piece is a must have for use in the mountains, valleys, lakes, rivers, and oceans. The Go-Scope floats and thrives in salt-water, freshwater, and snow. You can bet that when summer comes next year, I will be relaxing and surfing at my family’s lake property with the Go-Scope, and when I Snorkel in Hawaii or Belize, it will be in my carry-on luggage. Don’t leave home without it, otherwise someone else will capture your adventure and you won’t. With Go-Scope, take your footage to the next level and capture YOU in your adventure!
Get out there and explore this fall and winter!
(Views from La Plata 14,336′ in the Sawatch Range, CO)
Posted on Thursday, May 31, 2012 12:34 AM
Posted on Thursday, May 31, 2012 12:34 AM
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I ate some hot porridge and oatmeal with the Migma, Jangbu, Ctilly, and Tschong at 6am, and departed Camp 2 for Camp 3 shortly after 630. It was a cold (about 0 degrees F) and windy morning, otherwise clear. Jangbu and Ctilly were headed up to Camp 3 along with Jangbu’s Nephew Tschong, and all three Sherpas were carrying loads of food, oxygen, or tents. They were heading up to further establish Camp 3 halfway up the Lhotse face at above 7200m/23,000-feet, and so they were happy to let me tag along and climb with them. The rest of the team was sleeping in and still tired, and the sun was rising over Everest and leaving our first hour to the base of the Lhotse face in Shadow. I was looking forward to the sun’s warmth and hopefully we’d have the sun before starting up the steep ice face.
We were all bundled up and Jangbu let me take the lead as we hiked out of camp and into the upper sources of the Western Cwm. The winds stayed bitter cold, (L to R across us as we hiked up and sustained at 35 MPH) and we divided into two groups, Tschong and I first, and Ctilly and Jangbu about 20 minutes behind us. I carried a bit of food for the day, some water, and my large down jacket just in case. I also carried a couple of glass cylinders to collect air samples from on the Lhotse face for one of my research studies. I was plenty warm, as the pace kept me warm. Tschong stayed behind me, he liked my pace, and we both knew we’d really enjoy the climb that day. As we approached the face and the warmth of the sun, the valley lowered and sank below us, the tents of Camp 2 became smaller and smaller (still like little candies out of a Piñata). The size of the Khumbu glacier really became apparent as we left the valley, and you could clearly see how it has carved out the Western CWM, the highest, and deepest glacial valley on earth.
At about 8am at the base of the Lhotse face, where the fixed ropes began, I paused to put on my helmet (for good reason) and attend to a call of nature. After crossing a bergschrund crevasse and up a short 10m vertical snow section, I attached my Jumar to the rope, pulled the rope tight, and drove my ice-axe into the snow and ice. Suddenly I was like a bug on a wall, and it was time to climb up the lower reaches of 60-degree blue ice. Tschong steadied the rope behind me, and in a minute I was to the first anchor station on the wall. 150 yards below us and on the trail, Jangbu gave up a whistle of approval and I think was glad that we were climbing up the great wall together. Tschong is 25, and this is his first time up Everest working as a climbing Sherpa. He is somewhat of an apprentice to his Uncle Jangbu, who has climbed Everest 11 times. In getting to know Jangbu over the past month, and he told me later in the day, that he was honored to have is Nephew get his first taste of the Lhotse face with me that day.
The bottom of the face is the toughest. 5 pitches X 100m sustained on 50 to 60 degree blue ice. Then we had some gentler snow ramps of 2 pitches of about 75 meters each, then 2 more steep 60 degree ice pitches of 100m each. By 830 and 4 or 5 pitches in, the sun warmed us….the only problem, it was right in our face and so we couldn’t see any rocks that could’ve been dislodged from above. Fortunately this sun glare didn’t last for long. Typically I would lead a pitch with my Jumar and safety anchor, climb in a good rhythm to an anchor or a stopping point, then Tschong would come up and join me. Then process would repeat itself. Tschong is a very strong kid, and I was glad we tagged teamed this face. This was the highest moderately technical climbing I’d ever done at nearly 23,000’/7000m, and by the time we got to Easier ground where we could just walk up steep snow at 35-degrees, we were above 7000m. A few parties of climbers that spent the night in C3 in some tents to the right side of the face looking up descended some lines to our left and we continued toward our goal for the day after taking a short breather on an ice ledge.
Soon we saw the line of tents chopped into the face, the angle reduced to about 30-degrees, and we pushed past the tents up to a short 50m snow slope. The final 45 minutes became a long slog up a fixed rope to where we finally arrived at a tent dug into the steep snow slope at 7300m/24,000-feet. Pretty close to the highest I have ever been, and higher than any spot on the 6 other continents on earth, yet Everest loomed another mile (5000 feet) higher! The time was 10am……a nice bit of work for sure! We were slightly out of the wind and from this perch, the views of Everest, back towards Camp 2, and up towards the Yellow Band and the South Col were tremendous!
So far Camp 3 was only 1 tent set up into a minor bergschrund crevasse but there was room up here for at least 5 other tents. Will try to post pics and a video. We sat out of the wind for a moment, I shot some photos and video, collected an atmospheric sample and ate a granola bar. In about 20 minutes Tschong bit be farewell as he was going to stay and assist Ctilly and Jangbu with further establishing Camp 3.
I descended alone in sunshine as the winds continued. I got down to the valley and off a series of rappels on a down line down the face in only about an hour’s time. Because this year is a drier year, there are lots of rock and loose debris embedded into the ice on the face, and this can become a hazard especially as the sun warms and the rock melt’s out, but also as more climbers get on the lines. Once again, start early!
At one point I was still about six or seven 100m rappel pitches from the bottom and a rock the size of a saucer dinner plate whizzed by my head and brushed my helmet……whew that was close! Moments earlier at 6900m I was transitioning off of a line and onto another line to descend and I glanced across about 15 feet to see that the “up” lines were being climbed by Sandra (34) from Canada and her personal Sherpa Lhakpa. They were doing ok after leaving camp at about 730am. It was almost noon and they still had about 1.5 hours to get to C3. I chatted with them briefly and encouraged Sandra in telling her she was almost there, and then I continued down into the Valley.
What happened to Sandra and her Sherpa an hour later was simply bad luck. IN less than an hour I was back to the safety of Camp 2 and a hot lunch. Meanwhile, by almost 1pm the pair had nearly made it to Camp 3. Then it Happened.
By 230 pm, our Leader Arnold had recruited a couple of doctors from nearby teams (AAI and HiMex) to come with him to meet the Sherpas who had Lhakpa with them. The rescue off the face and back to Camp 2 was successful. Arnold got a Helicopter to come a pick Lhakpa up from 6500m above Camp 2 before dark, and today (Friday) He is safe in Kathmandu and having surgery to fix his teeth, jaw, and face from the incident.
Sandra was adopted by another one of our Sherpas (Ctilly), and so our expedition will continue on. But once again a valuable lesson…..although rockfall on that Lhotse face can happen anytime, start early and most rockfall accidents can be avoided….less people, and colder conditions on those lines are much safer. They have since placed a newer and slightly safer route further to the right of the current route, so we will see how that one plays out.
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