We are following the epic journey of Luca Colli, a personal trainer, guide, and motivational speaker who is attempting to climb Mt. Everest without oxygen. He is also carrying an ST sensor board in his pocket to gather additional information about his performance, and he’s hoping to raise funds for a Nepalese school that an earthquake tore down in 2015. It is our privilege to sponsor Luca’s journey, and we are thrilled that he’ll be bringing our components on top of the world. We shared his story and his life lessons a few weeks ago, and we will continue to monitor his progress. In the meantime, you can read the original article by clicking on the link below and visit this page to get the latest news on Luca Colli’s preparation and ascent.
Luca Colli is back. Read his interview where he talks about the deaths on Everest, the dangers he faced, and how technology could help.
May 27, 2019:
On May 23, 2019, Luca Colli reached the top of Mt. Everest with a SensorTile.box in his pocket. The news took a few days to reach us, but we are glad to announce that his expedition went well and that he’s back in Base Camp at 5,200 meters (17,060 feet). Luca is in good health, except for some tingling sensations in his feet that’s slowly subsiding. His climb was less than certain and Everest recently made the news after chaotic overcrowding in the Death Zone and the tenth death in two months made 2019 the deadliest year on the Nepalese side of the ascent. Luca shared how climbers ascending were sometimes face to face with the descending bodies of those who had given their lives in pursuit of their adventure. He even gave his oxygen tank to his tentmate who was in grave condition but is doing better now.
Here are a few words from Luca himself:
Thank you to everyone for their support. Looking at the mountains, it’s hard to believe what we accomplished for more than a month. If you want to meet me, I’ll wait for you one evening and I’ll tell you all about my adventures, and the story of this asthmatic child who dreamed of climbing Everest.
We wholeheartedly congratulate Luca on his awesome climb and we can’t wait to talk to him once he’s back in Italy. We also thank all our readers, partners, and friends for showing their support in many different ways. Luca truly carried a piece of all of us to the top of the world and we are proud to have lived this adventure on his shoulders.
May 20, 2019:
Despite less than optimal weather conditions, Luca ascended to Advanced Base Camp last Saturday where he’s hoping to train for a few days before attempting his climb to the top of Mt. Everest with a SensorTile.box. The forecast is anticipating a positive weather window on May 23 or 24, and because it doesn’t give Luca a lot of time or opportunities, he decided to ascend to 7,050 meters (23,130 feet) and brave the elements to train as much as he could before the upcoming deadline. The conditions are extremely difficult and this year is particularly brutal with already six climbers dead or missing just this past week, while there were also numerous injuries due to rock falls or altitude sickness.
Despite the fact that the beginning of the season remains extremely challenging, Luca focuses on his safety, his morale, and the challenge ahead. In fact, he wanted to share a little message to the blog’s readers and his supporters so we will let him have the last word:
“Thank you to everyone for their support. Your thoughts and words of encouragement continue to carry me through this grueling experience. When I’ll start to climb above 8,000 meters (26,247 feet) and walk through the Death Zone, I know that there will be thousands of hands lifting me up. And if out of fatigue my knee touches the ground, knowing that you are following this will help me to get up again. Truly, a piece of you will be with me when I reach the summit.”
May 14, 2019:
Luca Colli reached Base Camp again where he is continuously training and waiting for a weather window to attempt his climb to the top of Mt Everest. Every day Luca either climbs the mountain near Base Camp, which reaches 5,800 meters (19,030 feet), or a “little peak” that tops 5,200 meters (17,060 feet). The problem is that the weather forecast remains inclement with snow showers for the next few days, and the climbing season is coming to a close. June is the beginning of monsoon season in Nepal. The rain makes the trail wet and slippery, while the fog forbids any real attempt at reaching the top of the world.
Time is running out fast, and Luca doesn’t have a clear idea yet of when he will be able to try Everest, which makes the whole situation highly unnerving. Spending time at almost 6,000 meters is not a substitute for Advanced Base Camp at 7,050 meters (23,130 feet), and always battling lousy weather conditions can have a pretty negative effect on morale. At this point in his journey, the mental challenge is as hard as the physical one. We thus invite you to share your messages of support to Luca as he continues to push towards the top of the world with a SensorTile.box in his pocket.
May 6, 2019:
Luca Colli is back at Base Camp for three to four days to recover from his training in Advanced Base Camp where he reached 7,050 meters (23,130 feet). Unfortunately, the latest weather forecast is worrying. The devastating cyclone Fani that recently hit Bangladesh and India caused the winds on the Nepalese face of Mt Everest to pick up last Friday, blowing out more than 20 tents at Everest’s Camp 2 (6,400 meters or 21,000 feet). Unfortunately, the next few days will remain extremely challenging. At 7,000 meters winds will reach 65 km/h (40 mph) and temperatures should drop as low as -30 ºC (-22 ºF), making training for the ultimate climb extremely difficult.
The problem is that a weather window should present itself around May 12, but at the moment, it’s impossible to tell if Luca will be able to train enough beforehand to take advantage of it. The Nepalese government issued notices to climbing companies asking them to be extremely careful. No one could have predicted the tremendous impact of a cyclone that hit 900 kilometers away. As Luca shared with us:
I have to try to keep my nerves because the prospect of not going up as a result of the weather would be terrible.
He will continue to train safely and focus on his performance rather than the weather. He remains positive and should send us updates in 8 to 10 days. Share your messages of support in the comments section below.
April 29, 2019:
Luca Colli finally went back to Advanced Base Camp at the end of last week and we haven’t heard from him since, which means that he reached his destination. Unfortunately, because of the lack of telecommunication equipment at such a high altitude, we shouldn’t hear from him until next week unless something unexpected brings him back down to Base Camp. Luca continues to train assiduously and he remains positive, even if some infrastructure issues kept him from going back to Advanced Base Camp right away. In other news, the Sherpa that suffered worrying signs fully recovered.
April 24, 2019:
Luca Colli suffered his first major setback, but in the face of life-threatening circumstances, he realized that there was only one solution: stop the trek to Advanced Base Camp and return to Base Camp. During the ascension to 6,500 meters (21,325 feet) that he started on April 21, one of the sherpas displayed worrying signs that first led the team to believe he was suffering from cerebral edema. No matter who you are or how many times you’ve climbed Everest, the strain of such high altitudes on the human body remains intense. The group rapidly decided to turn back and use a yak to bring the man in distress to Base Camp, before his condition got any worse. To add insult to injury, once in Base Camp, a snowstorm hit our group of mountaineers.
The following day, the sherpa got better and didn’t need further medical assistance. We still don’t know precisely what he was suffering from, but we are glad to report that he is a lot better now. This setback slowed down Luca’s acclimatization process because he will have less time to prepare in Advanced Base Camp. However, as he told us, there was really no question or regret. Everyone in the group realized that it was potentially a matter of life and death and they all decided to turn back at once instead of taking unnecessary risks. Luca tells us that he feels good and his morale remains strong. He also shared a picture of Morten, his Danish tent mate, and fellow climber.
April 22, 2019:
When we left Luca Colli, he had just arrived at Base Camp and started training. The beginnings were difficult, and he suffered from mild headaches as he adjusted to his new altitude (5,200 meters or 17,060 feet). The good news is that his body acclimatized quickly and the pain left him after about 24 hours. The training continues to be intense in preparation for the weather window that will allow climbers to try Everest around mid-May. There are daily excursions and the weather at Base Camp was mostly clement. There were some snowy nights but Luca kept warm, and the sunny days significantly facilitated his preparation.
After a few days in Base Camp, it was already time to prepare for Advanced Base Camp (6,500 meters or 21,325 feet). As is the local custom, a Tibetan monk first blessed their gear before loading it on yaks that will carry to the next destination. Before leaving, Luca and the other climbers visited one of the highest temples in the world, and out of respect for its religious significance, he only took one picture of one of its side walls. Finally, Luca left for Advanced Base Camp yesterday. The weather conditions were favorable, and he remains optimistic, but due to the lack of Internet connection, he won’t be able to send us updates until April 29. In the meantime, we invite you to check out his pictures and send him words of support in the comments section below.
April 16, 2019:
Luca Colli reached Base Camp and is starting intensive training. He arrived in Kathmandu last week and began his acclimatization process. He spent a few days in the area, gathered his equipment and shipped it to Tibet. Upon his arrival there, he started exercising at an altitude of 3,200 meters (10,500 feet), and the results have been excellent. He then moved to Tingri, the last town before Base Camp, where he trained at 4,700 meters (15,420 feet). He can maintain good speed, his health is excellent, and he remains optimistic. The top of Mount Everest remains cloudy, which is normal at this time of the year. Luca reached Base Camp yesterday and started training immediately to prepare himself for the weather window that should open by mid-May. In the meantime, check out the pictures he sent us from Kathmandu and Tingri.
Even you can’t add a prayer flag at Base Camp, you can share your messages of support to Luca Colli in the comment section below.