Posted by: Yury Pritzker | May 21, 2009

5/20/09 10:13 pm Yura Summited Everest!!!!!!!!!!!!

Congratulations! The first Pritzker had reached the top of the world! The 2 months odyssey is almost over!!!

Yura just called with the good news. He had summited Everest at about 8:10 pm Chicago time. It took him 8 hours to get there. He was there ahead of his group and was able to experience the mountain 2 hours before everyone else from his group got there. But we all know Yura, right? If he is pushing, he is pushing all the way up!

Coming down is not an easy task after being on the mountain for that long. It is about 9 hours climb back. He made it to the 4th camp where he will be resting after this very hard yet very exciting day. We are hoping to hear from him again from the camp 3 later or tomorrow morning. But who can sleep now anyway?!

Posted by: Yury Pritzker | May 20, 2009

May 20 2009, 6:36 pm Yury at the Hillary Step

Yura’s expedition guide Dawa Steven received a call from Thukten Sherpa that  Yura  and his Sherpa team climbed over the Hillary step and is less than an hour from the summit. The rest of the team, Apa, Nic, Krushnaa, Gyalu, Pasang and Phurba are still behind but making progress.


Posted by: Yury Pritzker | May 20, 2009

5/20/6:01 pm

Yura is ahead of the other groups and heading up strongly. His crew is on the balcony looking at the sinrise and we are expecting him to be at the Summit very very soon!!!

Posted by: Yury Pritzker | May 20, 2009

5/20/09 From 4 to Summit Today

Lucky us! Yura called at 12 :30 am yesterday from camp 4 on the South Cole. He did take his phone after all. He made it to camp 4 fast and was happy for his personal record of 4:45 instead of  6 hours predicted by Sherpas. He said that he was feeling strong and was first in his team on his way up. His Sherpas were a bit behind carrying the “stuff” and Yura had to figure out where his team’s tents were 🙂

He sounded very optinistic, reporting an amazing close up view of the Summit and being very excited  about his climbing  record: 8000 m! He took his oxygen mask and was breathing well while we were talking. Yura said that the view was breathtaking , the weather looked goog and the sky had just a a few small clowds. Everest felt so close, very close, as never before!

After a short rest, Yura and his Sherpa weree going to start the Summit climb at about 9 pm their time in order to reach the Summit their  at about 4-6 am their early morning tomorrow which is our early evening today!


Posted by: Yury Pritzker | May 19, 2009

5/19/09 Camp 3 and 4

Yura called today from the camp 3 right before going to sleep. He was tired, but sounded strong in spite of experiencing the camp 3 altitude challenges. One of his team member had lost his consciousness yesterday just near the tent and fallen hard on his head. Yura said that a team of sherpas went down to bring him to the base camp. The other climbers remained in camp 3 and are planning to start coming up the camp 4 in the morning (our evening tonight).

He said that he is leaving his phone behind, so we will hear from him most likely on Wednesday evening or Thursday morning when his Summit trip will be completed. He is summiting his Thursday morning which should be early Wednesday evening in Chicago.

These 2 days are the hardest days of the whole trip for both us and him. It is when your months of training, all the emotional and mental strength and inner guidance align for the final push through to Summit helping you overcome your limitations, fears and expectations. Truthfully, every day on this trip pushes you beyond what you know, but these last days before the Summit are the hardest. It is the time to to face  the raw power of the mountain and the raw power of who you are as a spiritual being having a spiritual experience called human life. I truly believe that Yura has all it takes to meet this raw power with courage, strength and wisdom to chose his next step.

Blessing to all who are supporting him in his quest.

Posted by: Yury Pritzker | May 18, 2009

5/17/2009 11:04 pm

I have just spoken with Yura. He called from the camp 2 where he’s gotten from the BC in 6.5 hours. He said that he feels strong and he is happy with his timing.

As you may know Yura was planning to sleep at the camp 4, but the weather is still unstable, so his plans have changed. He is resting today and will start climbing up the 3 and 4 camps,  leaving camp 4 faster then was previously scheduled to avoid weather changes. Yura confirmed  that his Summit day will most likely be moved to 21st if weather window is still available (that is our 20th) .

He sends all of you his love and hugs

Posted by: Yury Pritzker | May 18, 2009

5/17/2009 Yura is Heading to the Summit

The last time I had Yura’s news, he’s reported that he was doing really well and after eating Isagenix shake and double brekfast all at once he was going to leave his computer at the BC and head for the Summit push.

I have just received the  news that the weather looks good and the group is actually moving on according to their schedule. Yura’s expedition was split in two smaller groups and he ‘s gotten into the first group along with  Nic, Bud, Henry, Krushnaa accompanied by Phurba, Puchhanga, Tenzing Dorje, Thukten Dorje, Gyalu, Pemba Tenjing and Nima Kanchha Sherpas.

Their group left at 4 am yesterday (they are a day ahead of us) and are now settled at Camp 2 for a day of rest before climbing to camp three, camp four and Summit. Yura is very fortunate to have the legendary Everest climber Apa Sherpa leading his team to Everest summit on the 21st! May they be blessed with a great weather, courage and our love!  There is Yura’s latest photo at the bottom of the Asian Trekking update for 5/17.

Posted by: Yury Pritzker | May 15, 2009

Getting Ready for the Summit: Yura’s 5/15 Update

This e-mail just came directly from Yura.

“I came to BC yesterday after spending 5 days in Pheriche.  It is a common
practice to spend some time at the lower altitude before the summit bid.

The lodge was filed with climbers resting there. While in Periche
 I catch some stomach bug and got sick at the end of my stay. It is very
common here because of the food preparations and general hygiene. Having stomach problems is usually a consideration for the climbers when they decide to go down to villages from the Base Camp. There are much more possibilities to get sick here being in contact with so many trekkers and locals. Unfortunately it happened to me and I could not eat during the last two days I was there. Because of that I was very weak coming back to BC. I am much better now. I am eating normally (and even asking for the second helpings) and I am getting my strength back.

The base camp met us with a beautiful sunshine and much better weather. It felt much more like home. There are many changes on the glacier. Most of the tents now are standing tall, settled on the ice pedestals because there was a lot of melting going on around the tents. I was about to make a picture of such tent that
was towering in front of my tent and then discovered that my own tent has
even more dramatic view from the side.

Even though the Base Camp feels sort of like home, it is still a very difficult place to
live.  It is located at 5350 m after all! We are wearing down coats almost all the time
here. Yesterday, it was minus 10 degrees C inside my tent when I went to sleep.

Our team is holding up pretty good in comparison to the other teams. According to the BC rumors, other teams already lost about 25% of their members that either got sick or quit for some other reasons. We are all still together accept for Will Cross who decided to climb another 8000 m peak instead and left 8 days ago.

We are not really wasting our time here trying to warm the environment with our own body heat. We are the real scientists now.  Austrian doctors
are conducting a study here. They are testing how Viagra can help adjusting to the high altitude and our team is gladly participating in the study. We went trough the ultrasound test today were Dr. Felix was measuring our heart chambers. Then we took the pill and measured the heart chambers again in two hours. According to Dr. Felix our results are very good and we will use Cialis from camp 2 and on. We will see what will happen later on.

Most of our conversations now are around the summit push that we are
preparing for in a couple of days. We talk about how to use the oxygen,
the optimal rates of usage and work out summit strategies. The whole base camp is in the “short start” as we are all getting the weather forecast from the same couple of sources.

This is a difficult year for all the teams that came to BC much earlier then our team. The weather is not cooperating and they are running out of time. As of now there were only 5 summits made by Sherpas who went to fix the ropes to the summit on May 5.

Today we received our oxygen masks and went through the exercise of fitting them and learning how to changed oxygen cylinders without blowing regulator gaskets away. We are now fully trained and the mask feels much more comfortable then I was expecting.

It is an afternoon at BC and it is cloudy as usual. The temperature
is dropping fast after the sun is gone and I am finishing this update in my
tent, sitting in my sleeping bag with the hot water bottle inside – very nice.

This is my last update before I am going up for the summit.  I do not
know how it will turn out, but I am full of optimism. I will continue to
call home via my satellite phone from all camps and Sveta will continue to update this blog.
As of this moment my schedule looks like this:
May 17 – Base Camp – Camp2
May 18 – Rest at Camp 2
May 19 – Camp 3
May 20 – Camp 4
May 21 – Rest at Camp 4
May 22 – Summit.

The summit day will actually start at 9 pm on May 21st. That is 10 am on May 21st in Chicago. The Summit is expected May 22nd  somewhere between  9 am and 12 noon Nepal time which will be an evening of May 21st  in Chicago (central time.)
This schedule might change upon the weather forecast of course.

I am grateful for all your love and support and I appreciate your encouraging and supporting thoughts during my summit effort.
Big love to all of you,


Posted by: Yury Pritzker | May 15, 2009

Up the Base Camp

Today Yura called with a short update. We are waiting for a full report he promised to send soon.

Periche days are over and the group went up to the Base Camp again. The weather is really bad and the two days trekking up the camp was not so easy even though Yura was still ahead of the most climbers.

It has been a long time since the expedition started. The recent events on the mountain, the bad weather factor and the living conditions at the high altitude often affect the fine balance between being in prime form and ready to climb and the need to hold back. Yura said that he is feeling much better now when they are on the move again.  His appetite is back and his blood oxygenation level is high.

The plans now are to stay in the Base Camp until May 17th or 18 th and begind the final assend if the weather will allow the group to move further up. The forecast looks better these days, so we all hold a strong vision for his successful summit and and wellbeing.

Being a mountain climber is about both: climbing and being patient. Yura’s continues effort, the strength and his courage to continue his trip under the hardest conditions of the 2nd – the 3rd camps and during the avalanche events makes us proud of each and every one of his Personal Peaks. No matter how the weather will play its role in this journey, he already achieved many Personal Summits on his trip and this is what matters more then any “publicly” recognized achievement.

Posted by: Yury Pritzker | May 12, 2009

May 12, 2009

Yura called today at about 10 am to check in and share how he was. It has not been easy for him to sit still in Periche, a tiny village at about 4000 meters. Being with the same people in the same dining hall is not that entertaining, but ” resting” and “waiting for the weather” are the two activities that Yura “loves” the most in his life. Those who knows him personally would really understand what it means for him to relax and be still… He is doing really good though and even promised to meditate with some of the very powerful audio recordings that were strategically placed on his Ipod exactly for such time. We also sent him some breezing yoga exercises that help deepen his breezing patterns and strengthen the mind before the last push for the summit.

The plan for tomorrow is to start moving up the trek and reach the base camp within two days. It will take 2 days to get to the base camp where the group will be waiting for the summit opportunity. On his way up he will stay one night at Lobuche and continue up to the camp the next morning. Lobuche is another tiny village with a nicely decorated pleasant lodge that has a very limited space for the trekkers and the climbers. It gets booked pretty fast and the chances to book a room on a spot are very slim.

The group will check with the lodge and depending on the space available will stay another day in Periche or start its march to BC tomorrow.

Yura is grateful for all your loving thoughts, comments to the blog and e-mails flowing his way. He really feels your support and love and he asked me to send you his deep gratitude for keeping him in your thoughts and seeing him successfully moving forward.

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