We have recently returned from Nepal and I wanted to tell you how much we enjoyed using Moss tents on our expedition to Ama Dablam. While we did not reach the summit, we got very close and your tents played a critical role in our achievement.
We left the United States on September 5 and arrived at Ama Dablam base camp (16,500 feet) on September 25. We pitched our two Moss Encores as well as several wall tents used and supplied by our trekking agency staff.
Upon reaching the ridge crest where we hoped to find a large snow platform, we found a knife edge instead and resolved that a major excavation of a campsite was necessary. Two days later, we had a 5-by-15-foot ledge chopped out of rock and ice cliff. This became our Camp 1 at 19,300 feet. We eventually set up two Moss Olympics on the ledge and tied them into the slope with fixed line.
After climbing another 21 technical pitches consisting of 5.10 rock and Grade IV ice, we reached the shoulder just 1,500 feet below the summit. As with Camp 1, locating a suitable site for Camp 2 was proving difficult and we left all our makings for the second camp (a Star Dome, stoves, food, hardware, etc.) hanging from a piton at our highpoint. It was here that it began to snow. [The storm] lasted three days, the second of which it snowed 6 feet. The upper camp had to be abandoned and the storm eventually destroyed all but our Moss base-camp tents, buried equipment, and spelled defeat for our expedition.
We were in serious trouble. We sent our two Sherpas to the nearest village in order to recruit porters. We waited for four days before beginning our hike out. The snow had consolidated somewhat but still we were post holing in thigh-deep snow. After five hours and having only gone a mile, I felt we were at the end of our rope. It was than that I saw our Sherpas returning with a large group of porters. It was like seeing the cavalry coming over the ridge. They eventually got to us and helped us carry our equipment to a lower elevation and out of the mountains.
I don't believe we could have accomplished what we did on Ama Dablam without Moss tents. The Encores were suberb base-camp tents; very roomy and bright. The tight confines of Camp1 made the Moss Olympic the perfect tent. We also found that the shape and flexible poles allowed the tent to spill wind. We have nothing but praise for the Olympic.
Steve Davis, Deputy Leader, American Ama Dablam North Ridge Expedition, 1987
an excerpt from Bill Moss: Fabric Artist & Designer by Marilyn Moss