High Hope, The Expedition to the Sharp Edge of Nepal and Tibet and Introducing High Hope Expeditions, your gateway to the mountains of Nepal



Pethangtse is the low summit in the middle of this picture with the Everest massif to the right and the Makalu massif on the left. This picture is taken from the below Langma La in Tibet.  

This blog documents our expedition to the border of Nepal and Tibet and the ascent of the rarely climbed Pethangtse (6738 meters). It’s also an introduction to a newly created expedition planning and support alliance between High Hope Expeditions, a Canadian business, and Adventure Thamserku, a licensed mountain guiding and trekking company in Nepal. Interest in the Himalaya, Nepal, and our remarkable expedition is growing. High Hope Expeditions can help you fulfill your dreams of a trek, a climb, or an expedition in Nepal. David Graham, of Kelowna, BC, Canada; and Dawa Geljen Sherpa of Lukla and Kathmandu , Nepal are teaming up to help you fulfill your goals in the Himalaya. More information will be posted soon.

Contact David at mogulsbw@shaw.ca  to discuss your Himalayan plans further.

This remainder of this blog tracks our expedition to climb Pethangtse (6738M) on the border of Nepal and Tibet, and to complete a traverse of the three 6000M. ice cols on the ridges of Baruntse. The posts below are in chronological order with the most recent first.
The climb of Pethangtse will be the first in 26 years and the first by Canadians. Crossing from the Barun Glacier to the Khumbu region will connect two of the major river systems of the Himalaya; the Arun and the Dudh Koshi.  The expedition is in October and November 2009 and is privately funded. All support services and climbing sherpas are suppplied by Dawa Geljen Sherpa and Adventure Thamserku.  www.adventurethamserku.com. Our Sirdar and lead climbing Sherpa is Pema Chiri Sherpa.

Team members are: Stephen Graham of Kelowna BC; Colin McLean of Calgary Alberta, and David Graham, father to Stephen, also of Kelowna BC.ndw0203l1

Stephen and Colin have now graduated in Geography from the University of Victoria . This climbing and trekking challenge is a “next step”  in their mountaineering careers. David has been enjoying mountains around the world his whole adult life and is taking this expedition on as a high point in a long history of mountain pursuits. 

Since we have now completed the expedition, some of the more recent blogs are out of time sequence but read on and it should make sense. These recent ones contain more photos that we couldn’t post earlier.


High Hope Pethangtse 2009 has chosen Hope for the Nations Nepal Solukhumbu school project as its charity. See the link below.



The expedition is self-funded and un-sponsored but is supporting  the charity Hope for the Nations, using this expedition to raise awareness to some critical needs in Nepal and to seek donations to Hope for the Nations. One hundred percent of the funds raised will reach worthwhile projects in Nepal directly.



Things are really heating up for a Baruntse expedition in the fall of 2011. Steve, Colin, and David are all working to get on board with Alex who says…”Let’s go!”  If you draw a line between Everest and Makalu,  Pethangtse is half way along the line. If you make an equilateral triangle, Baruntse is at the apex of the triangle. It’s climbed more frequently but is about 500 meters higher and somewhat more challenging with some tough ice climbs above 7000 meters. Himalayan keeners unite!

Pema and Extreme Everest 2010

Our lead Climbing Sherpa, Pema Chiri Sherpa, joined the Extreme Everest 2010 Project to clean up Mount Everest. This project was planned and implemented by Sherpa climbers who successfully reached their high altitude goals, as set out in their website:  http://www.extremeeverestexpedition.com/eee2010.html

In a recent Skype conversation with Pema in Kathmandu,  he explained to me that the team brought down thousands of kilo’s of waste including discarded oxygene tanks and  garbage. After contacting the appropriate family members, they were also able to remove or relocate human remains  left along the route. All of this is a grim reminder that our sport has very serious impacts and needs careful management.

Pema also told me that he spent 16 days above 7000 meters, and climbed to the South Col three times, and the summit twice. These achievements and the strength he demonstrated on Pethangtse give Pema the right to be able to say again…”no problem, easy”.

Extreme Everest 2010 Objectives – Mission
  • To collect waste left above 8000 meters above sea level and manage appropriate means of bringing it down.
  • To keep Mount Everest pristine and unpolluted.
  • To raise awareness on the negative effects of climate change in the Himalayas.
  • To urge our public in Nepal to keep their cities and villages clean.
  • To promote tourism and assist in spreading the message of Nepal Tourism Year 2011.


Pethangtse and the Vancouver Mountain Film Festival

On October 15, the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival comes to the Kelowna Community Theatre. David Graham has been asked to present photos and an account of the Pethangtse expedition. Stay tuned for more information on the availability of  tickets. You won’t want to miss the Festival and you will enjoy seeing Pethangtse on the big screen.

Pethangtse Proudly Published

Our humble expedition to the sharp edge has gained notoriety due to being published in a number of important places.

The Himalayan Data Base maintained by Elizabeth Hawley and Richard Salisbury has documented our climb. The American Alpine Journal has also done so.  Climbing Pethangtse from the south is not a great achievement by world mountaineering standards, but it is a fabulous location that has been lost in time. The American Alpine Journal has been flexible in applying its editorial standard (The World’s Most Significant Climbs), seeing this location as important with it’s unique persectives on the massive Kangshung Faces of Everest, Lhotse, Lhotse Shar and Peak 38. We are proud to have our expedition recognized in this way.

Also, Okanagan Life Magazine has published a feature article on our expedition with front page and centre fold photo spreads. This magazine is widely read in the Okanagan region of British Columbia and its coverage has helped bring attention to our charity, Hope for the Nations, and its projects in Nepal. Again, we are thankful and appreciative of the interest and the coverage.

High Hope Pethangtse and High Hope Expeditions support Solokhumbu Project

Hope for the Nations is starting a new project in Nepal. Nick Arkle, the Chair of the Himalayan Section of Hope for the Nations, visited a remote corner of the Solokhumbu Region and discovered the need a residence for girls attending school in the Taksindu region. The walk from home to school is several hours over rough trails and most are prevented from attending school. The residence will allow them to attend school during the week and be home on the weekend.  He also found a small social service organization called Taksindu Social Welfare already working in the region and able to partner with Hope for the Nations. A new project is born and with its geographic proximity to the High Hope Pethangtse expedition, our support for this project is a natural. Fund raising efforts and donated funds will  go in this direction.

The previous project, the Young Adults Home, has achieved success and while their is still need, graduates of the program are moving into independent living. The Solokhumbu project addresses a more urgent need and is a great match for the support from High Hope Pethangtse and High Hope Expeditions.

New Era for High Hope

The High Hope Pethangtse blog was created to enable family and friends to keep track of our expedition, and to publicize our fund raising efforts for Hope for the Nations. Now more than a year since it was first created, the blog is shifing it’s focus to High Hope Expeditions and a new project with Hope for the Nations.

High Hope Expeditions is a business created by David Graham to assist North Americans in expedition planning and support for mountaneering and trekking in Nepal. It also provides expedition planning and support for anyone wishing to reach remote wilderness areas in Jasper and Banff National Parks. High Hope Expeditions is the exclusive North American Representative for Adventure Thamserku, Dawa Sherpa’s Kathmandu company that provided support to the High Hope Pethangtse expedition.

Hope for the Nations is starting a new project in Nepal. The goal is to build a school in the Taksindu Region south east of Lukla in the Solukhumbu. A portion of the funds generated by High Hope Expeditions will be used to help the project.

 Important links: 

www.highhopeexpeditions.com   New website for High Hope Expeditions

http://www.hopeforthenations.com/project/project.aspx?asset=360  Hope for the Nations Solukhumbu Project

http://www.adventurethamserku.com/trips/north-american-representative.html  Adventure Thamserku North American Representative

View the blog archives for photos and the story of High Hope Pethangtse.

ADVENTURE THAMSERKU appoints David as its North American rep.

Dawa Geljen Sherpa and Adventure Thamserku are extending their reach into North America by appointing David Graham as the North American representative. David has created HIGH HOPE EXPEDITIONS to provide personalized assistance to trekkers, climbers and cultural tourists in Nepal, seemlessly linking North Americans to Adventure Thamserku and their excellent support services across Nepal.
HIGH HOPE EXPEDITIONS can assist you with travel plans, planning and preparations for your customized adventure, equipment requirements, budget, communications with Dawa’s team, and secure payment procedures to Nepal.

A new website is under construction for High Hope Expeditions and can be found


Contact David at : david@highhopeexpeditions.com

or 1-250-860-1715

Also check out the Adventure Thamserku website here to see the bit about David as the North American representative.