The dream continues… Mt. Everest Expedition 2015

I’m off to climb to the top of the world. See you in 3 months…

Everest Sunset Hillary Step @ 8760m

March 23, 2015  Tags: , , ,   Posted in: Mt. Everest 2015  3 Comments Views: 2649

Jbel Toubkal (4167m) – Highest peak of Morocco

Jbel Toubkal is the highest peak in the Atlas Mountains, Morocco and in North Africa. It is a non-technical summit requiring only a reasonable degree of fitness and determination. Toubkal is climbable year round, albeit from Nov till May snow settles above 3000m and crampons and ice axes are required. No permits or fees required. No seasonal closures. I went solo and unsupported.

Check out more of my spectacular 360° Photo Spheres from the roof of Morocco:
 Chamharouch Village (2350m) Jbel Toubkal (4167m)
 Mouflons Refuge (3200m) Neltner Hut (3200m)
 Jbel Toubkal South Cirque Route (4000m) Jbel Toubkal North Ridge Route (3400m)
From Dublin to the 4176m high summit in less than 40 hours:

Day 1 (28.09.2014):

  • 8pm arrival airport (RAK)
  • 2h airport immigration
  • 1h 4×4 transport (40€/1 way)
    to Imlil Lodge 

Day 2 (29.09.2014):

  • 9am departure from Imlil Lodge 
  • 35mins to Trail Head (1925m) via “Shortcut”
  • 1.5h to Chamharouch Village
  • 2.5h to Mouflons Refuge
    (30€/night incl. dinner & breakfast, 1€/1.5l water)

Day 3 (30.09.2014):

  • 6am departure from Refuge
  • 2.5h to summit via South Ridge
  • 1h Toubkal summit 
  • 2h down via North Ridge to main path (3050m)
  • 1.5h to Chamharouch Village
  • 1h to Trail Head (1925m)
  • 45mins to Imlil Lodge (1950m)

Imlil & Chamharouch:

After about an hour and a half past Imlil there is a the tiny settlement of Chamharouch, which has grown around a Muslim shrine. Check out my 360° Photo Sphere: Chamharouch Village (2350m)!

Refuge Toubkal:

There are two refuges open to the public. They are literally next door to each other, the lower one is newer and called Mouflons Refuge, the older one sits right above and is called Nelter Hut. Each of the huts can provide meals and have a shop for daily needs.

The South Cirque (Ikhibi Sud):

This is the most popular and straightforward ascent of Toubkal. There is a worn path, which is easy enough to follow. More of a problem is finding the right track down through the upper slopes of loose scree.

The North Cirque (Ikhibi Nord):

This route is a little bit longer and best for more experienced climbers. It is far more interesting than the south col route and en route you will pass the remains of an aircraft that crashed in 1969 and was only discovered 7 months later in spring snowmelt by mountaineers. The north col also benefits from having fewer people on it. The final ridge to the summit area calls for some scrambling. People that climb the north col route will normally descend by the south col route. This makes a great day out with the advantage of not covering ground already seen. As I was unsure about the conditions and didn’t bring crampons or axe, I climbed via the less icier south route first and then scrambled down the north route after making sure the situation is safe to do so.

Summit Toubkal:

“Don’t ask what the world needs.

Ask what makes you come alive.

Because what the world needs is People who have come alive.

Climb on top of a bunch of random dudes on the roof of North Africa, highest point of Morocco!”

Day 4 (01.10.2014): 

The next morning I walked back down from the lodge to Imlil village where I negotiated a 22 EUR private taxi ride back to Marrakech…

September 30, 2014  Tags: , , , ,   Posted in: On the road 2014-15  One Comment Views: 4690

Rysy (2503m) – Highest peak of Poland (2/2)

Rysy is a mountain in the crest of the High Tatras, lying on the border between Poland and Slovakia. Its middle peak at 2,503 meters is the highest point of Poland. The other two peaks (at 2,499m & 2,473m) are on the Slovak side of the border, in the Prešov Region.

 Stunning view back down to Morskie Oko  Maja & Zigeiner on top of Poland

Deep snow forced me to turn around 200m below Poland’s highest point 2 years earlier

Rysy – you are conquered now!!

 Morskie Oko & Czarny Staw nad Morskim Okiem - click on picture to enlarge full panorama 

  • Midnight arrival @ Krakow airport
  • 3:00hrs sleep
  • 2:15hrs car ride to trailhead (Palenica Białczańska)
  • 2:00hrs (10km) hike to Morskie Oko
  • 0:45hrs hike Morskie Oko to Czarny Staw
  • 3:15hrs climb Czarny Staw to Rysy
  • 2:30hrs down-climb Rysy to Morskie Oko
  • 2:00hrs (10km) hike to Palenica Białczańska
  • 0:30hrs car ride to Zakopane (Willa Dewajtis)
  • 8:00pm: bigfatmonstercow @ Stek Grill
 Done! Finally! What a long day!
 The last hour is “on chains”  Almost there…
Check out my spectacular 360° Photo Sphere from the roof of Poland (or Morskie Oko / Czarny Staw here)

August 31, 2014  Tags: , , ,   Posted in: On the road 2014-15  No Comments Views: 18227

“Skyswimming” & Sónar Festival en Barcelona

I call it “skyswimming”…

Good Reggae times @ Empuriabrava beach  Do more of what makes you happy! #kickthatsky

What a f*ckin’ Party!

 Boys Noize @ Sónar Festival en Barcelona

June 15, 2014  Tags: , , ,   Posted in: On the road 2014-15  No Comments Views: 1341

Mt. Everest “closed” – what now?

I simply haven’t had the time yet to reflect and write about what (really) happened this 2014 season on Everest. This post is preliminary and will be replaced with my own story  in the near future.

Meanwhile if you want to know more about the tragedy of April 18th and why the mountain was abandoned please have a read through this in selection of articles. In my opinion Alan sums it up pretty damn well:

Alan Arnette: Everest 2014: Season Summary – A Nepal Tragedy

National Geographic: Measuring Everest’s Monster Avalanche

Outside: Black Year: Everest’s Deadliest Season

Jemima Diki Sherpa: Three Springs

National Geographic: Post-Avalanche Everest Ascent Sparked Outrage

Alan Arnette: Everest 2015: The Reality of Everest

Alan Arnette: The Cost to Climb Everest

Alan Arnette: The cod science of Everest hate

June 1, 2014  Tags: , , ,   Posted in: Mt. Everest 2014  No Comments Views: 1777

Next adventure: the top of the world!

After just months of hectic preparations, the time has finally come. We are off to attempt a 10 week-long expedition to summit Mt. Everest.

Never have I worked & trained harder in my life, so yep… let’s bring it on!

Dear Google, thank you for buying me this playground! Dear colleagues, if you are wondering why this idiot is now running up & down all 432 steps of the highest building in Dublin with a water canister in his pack on a Friday night… it’s because Zigeiner is alive!
 Packing… Everest Base Camp 2013 (©

Regular updates about our progress will also be published on:

IMG’s 2014 Mt. Everest Expedition Coverage

March 22, 2014  Tags: , ,   Posted in: Mt. Everest 2014  One Comment Views: 3031

Istanbul & Cappadocia

They call it “Love Valley” but I say let’s climb ‘em!

(Accommodation @ Aydinli Cave House in Göreme, Cappadocia, Turkey.)

March 15, 2014  Tags: , ,   Posted in: On the road 2014-15  No Comments Views: 2978

Ice-Climbing in Rjukan & Hemsedal, Norway

Rjukan – “Kokan” area
We, a handful Googlers from Dublin, spend 3 full days ice-climbing in Rjukan (see also my post from last year) before we get stuck twice at impassable roads during an epic 8 hour snow drive to Hemsedal. Here we enjoy 3 more cold days of fun playing with massive icicles and even hit a perfect day @ the local skiing slopes.
Riding on meter high snow – epic!  In the middle of nowhere – end of road!
Hemsedal – “Haugsfossene” & “Golsjuvet” sector

Barbara & I rounded up the trip with a day of superb powder skiing @ Hemsedal Skisenter.

WOW! I am taken aback – it’s all ours!

February 9, 2014  Tags: ,   Posted in: On the road 2014-15  No Comments Views: 4038

Snaefell (610m) – Highest point of Isle of Man

Yoyo – there ain’t no higher! The conquerors: Zigeiner, Ziglioner & Monia

The summit is crowned by a train station, cafe, and several communications masts. There are no roads to the summit but you can drive up to “The Bungalow” from which it’s not even half an hour walk to the top. Or you hike from “sea to summit” in about 2 hours from Laxey:

The path from Laxey – you can’t miss it. The view from the top.

No need to rent a car on this island – anywhere you need to go there is a bus at least every 30 mins. The Admiral House right on the promenade in Douglas comes recommended.

November 10, 2013  Tags: , ,   Posted in: On the road 2011-13  One Comment Views: 6612

Snowdon (1085m), Wales & Scafell Pike (978m), England

This is what I call a fulfilled weekend: Friday afternoon we (Zigeiner, Barbara & Reka) take the ferry from Dublin to Holyhead (2h / 38€ p.p. / one way), rent a car, drive 70 km to the Gallt y Glyn, have a couple of good-night pints and an awesome pizza, get up at 5 am early next morning to hike Wale’s highest peak “Snowdon” (Pyg Track Route up as it is too windy for Crib Gosh, Miner’s Track down, 4h total) in downpour, change into dry clothes and drive 360 km all the way to the Lake District (Wasdale Head Inn pub:) where we call it a day with a stale ale.

Early Sunday morning we’re back on the trek at 5:30 am sharp, this time to conquer England’s highest peak “Scafell Pike” (Wesdale Route up (south) via Mickledore, down (north) along the end of Corridor Route, 4h total), jump back into the car and speed back 380 km to Holyhead from where we catch the ferry just in time for our 5 pm return to Dublin.

(A) Holyhead 
(B) Gallt y Glyn (Snowdon) 
(C) Wasdale Head Inn (Scafell Pike) 

Snowdon (1085 m) – highest mountain in Wales

Here you can find a Topo Map, the Guidance Sheet and Weather Forecast Snowdonia.
The weather truly could not have been more miserable – the wind almost blew me off the summit!

Scafell Pike (978 m) – highest mountain in England

“British sunshine” on the roof of England ⇑ ⇒

Here you can find a Topo Map, the Guidance Sheet and Weather Forecast Lake District.

Click map to enlarge Barbara on the Wesdale Route to Mickledore
 The top of the Brown Tounge    Beautiful hike out through vivid autumn colors 

November 3, 2013  Tags: , , ,   Posted in: On the road 2011-13  No Comments Views: 6450