Wouldn’t it be nice to fly to the foot of Everest and take a chairlift to the summit? No! Okay, Everest isn’t Yellowstone National Park, U.S.A, yet, thank goodness. Which means you still have to walk. And walk. And walk.

Actually, even if you were that kind of couch-potato camper, you wouldn’t want to take an auto-guided tour for this trip. Rising so quickly from close to sea level to over 18,000 feet in altitude would shock you into severe Acute Mountain Sickness. You definitely wouldn’t feel like chowing down on that burger at the Everest Summit Café, what with the pulmonary edema and all. So we’ll have to slowly let our bodies acclimate to the altitude, trying most days to keep within 1,000-2,000 vertical feet gained. We’ll stroll through some high-altitude towns, visit the world’s highest monastery, and get ready to tackle the oxygen-stingy summit of Imja Tse.

We couldn’t have done this all alone. Aside from TechRepublic’s interest in how high-altitude technology can better help IT pros closer to sea level (and, yeah, do something exciting for our members), we received assistance and equipment from a number of sponsors. Their logos appear below.

Also appearing below is our itinerary. We’ll be in daily contact with TechRepublic via satellite phone. Providing that the batteries don’t die and the satellites work (no, we’re not using Iridium phones), we’ll send daily trek updates, photos, and stories about what we learn about high-altitude technology. You can read all about it in the Expedition Briefing Center, and sign up for a daily TrekMail update.
Just what will our climbers be up to? About 20,000 feet. But seriously, here’s their itinerary (subject to change). Note: Altitudes are approximate.

  • April 8 to 9: Fly
  • April 10: Arrive in Kathmandu
  • April 11: Tour city
  • April 12: Prepare for expedition
  • April 13: Fly to Lukla (9,650 feet, 2,850 meters); trek to Phakding (8,600 feet, 2,652 meters)
  • April 14: Trek to Namche (11,286 feet, 3,440 meters)
  • April 15: Rest day in Namche
  • April 16: Trek to Pangboche (12,860 feet; 3,960 meters)
  • April 17: Trek to Dingboche (14,304 feet, 4,360 meters)
  • April 18: Trek to Loboche (16,174 feet, 4,930 meters)
  • April 19: Trek to Gorak Shep—Everest Base Camp (17,000 feet, 5180 meters)
  • April 20: Climb Kala Patar (18,050 feet, 5,500 meters); trek to Kongma La
  • April 21: Trek through Chukung pass
  • April 22: Trek to Island Peak (Imja Tse) Base Camp—Alpine conditions—use expedition gear
  • April 23: Rest day—Island Peak Base Camp
  • April 24: Climb to Island Peak High Camp
  • April 25: Summit attempt—Island Peak (20,285 feet; 6,183 meters)—Snow & ice conditions, roped in, ice axes, crampons
  • April 26: Base camp to Pangboche
  • April 27: Trek to Namche
  • April 28: Trek to Lukla
  • April 29: Fly to Kathmandu
  • April 30 to May 1: Fly home

Our almostEverest trek was made possible with the help of the following sponsors:

We couldn’t have done almostEverest without the folks from the Colorado Mountain School. They provided Bruce Andrews (our guide), and plenty of handholding.

Compaq provided two Armada laptops for evaluation.

A Web site that reports on Everest expeditions, EverestNews.com will be linking to our stories.

MVS loaned us a MiniSat data/voice satellite phone and arranged for our phone account. In addition, MVS provided tech support. Great folks to work with.

Precision Navigation makes sensors that clip onto a PalmPilot. We’re taking along their Weatherguide and Palm Navigator for trials. They also have a really cool Web site.

The makers of the incredible Stowaway Portable Keyboard, Think Outside provided an evaluation unit.

When you can add CompactFlash cards to your Pilot, and back up all of your data so it’s safe from a battery or system failure, you’ve got a Pilot worth taking on a trek. That’s what TRGpro engineered, and that’s why we’re taking their version of a Palm III along to the Himalayas.

Want to win a TechRepublic baseball cap? Share your climbing experiences or give the guys encouraging words by posting your comment below, or send us an e-mail. It’s that simple.And so you don’t miss one step of David and Mike’s climb up Island Peak, subscribe to our free TrekMail. Be one of the first 2,000 subscribers to our TrekMail, and you’ll get a cool TechRepublic flying disc!

David Bard has been a fixture at TechRepublic for some time now. At one time he was editor-in-chief of LinuxRepublic and then AdminRepublic. Currently, he occupies space as an editor-in-chief with TechProGuild. In addition, he’s a freelance writer who has covered extreme sports for years. He also is a writer of horror and—contrary to what his climbing partner may think—is hoping the expedition to Nepal doesn’t provide fodder for his next story. When he’s not at home teaching his year-and-a-half-old daughter why it’s not a good idea to eat rocks, or trying to convince his wife why yet another expedition really is necessary, he’s usually off in some remote section of woods trying to discover himself. He’s still looking.

Mike Jackman is an editor-in-chief of TechProGuild, an editor of PC Troubleshooter and Windows Support Professional, and also works as a freelance Web designer and consultant. Together with his co-editor-in-chief David Bard, he is traveling to Nepal to report on high-altitude technology and to climb 20,285-foot Imja Tse. In his spare time (when he can find some), Mike’s an avid devourer and writer of science fiction, parent to two perpetually adolescent cats, and a hiking enthusiast.