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Basecamper Stories

Emails from an Everest Mountaineer. (The adventures of Jaco Ottink)

These are the unabridged updates from Daan, wife of Jaco Ottink. As I write this Jaco is currently at Everest Basecamp, waiting to make a summit attempt on Everest via the South Col with New Zealand outfit Himalayan Experience run by Kiwi mountaineer Russell Brice.

This is the last of Jaco’s 7 summits, the highest peaks on each continent.

Team Ottink
from Left: Joe, Jaco, Matt

Originally we were going to edit these and compile them into one post, but I think they actually are much more effective in their real and unadulterated form.

This trip is the culmination of years of effort, serious training at Joe’s Basecamp, sheer determination and the overcoming of adversity and debilitating injury.

After developing Jaco’s overall program he has been training with my senior coach, Matt Reid and working with our physio Mike Brace from North Curl Curl Physio and our sports doctor Jane Taylor to deal with some underlying biomechanical issues.

Here is the first email:

31st March 2016

Dear all,

 I wanted to give you a quick update on how Jaco is doing. He arrived safely in Kathmandu last Monday and had a few days there to relax, wind down and meet up with a friend from his Antarctica expedition. Of course he also met his fellow expedition team members. It seems to be a strong and experienced team with members from USA, Kenya, Japan, Germany and New Zealand. They have an expedition doctor actually climbing with them, which is reassuring! There is also a big camera crew from Discovery Channel who will be joining them for part of the expedition. They will video rescue operations … Russell told Jaco he won’t make it on TV as he is not interesting enough for them (young, strong, healthy, fit, social, balanced guy – not sensational enough for television. I guess we take that as a compliment!).  


This morning they departed very early from Kathmandu to Lukla by helicopter and started their tracking. They will take ten days to get to Everest Base Camp (2 days walking, 1 day rest, etc.). Tonight, they are staying overnight in a place called Monkey. He says he feels very strong and seems to be in good spirit.  


That’s it for now. I will keep you all posted.




Joe Bonington
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Joe Bonington

Joe Bonington's mission is to help as many people as possible lead a fitter fuller and more adventurous life by helping ordinary people achieve extraordinary things.

Joe is seen as an expert and leader in his field,  Possibly the southern hemisphere's leading strength and conditioning coach, for outdoor and adventure sports.

He has seen 8 of his clients summit Everest, clients cross the Greenland Icecap, ski to the North Pole, ski tour and ski mountaineering in Antarctica, Iceland, South America and Norway, climb peaks all over the world, trek all the continents and enter trail running , ultra and multi-stage events in the Gobi, Andes, Himalayas and the Sahara.

As well as a sought-after coach, Joe is a presenter and speaker.

He is also the founder and owner of Joe's Basecamp Gym, based in Brookvale on Sydney's Northern Beaches.

The gym is home to unique functional fitness, strength and conditioning, and endurance training programs for trail running, trek training and mountaineering. The facility caters for all outdoor, adventure sports and wilderness activities - a one of a kind Bucket List gym!

If you want to know more about our coaching programs contact us here to find out how you can be a part of our great community of like-minded people.

If you would like to know about working with our trainers to get the most out of your adventures, your events, your sport contact us here.
Joe Bonington
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