Kathmandu to Lukla!!
We are just about to leave Kathmandu and off to Lukla. It is now Friday and we arrived Wednesday at midday. The last couple of days in Kathmandu were a blur...it was buying last minute gear, figuring out funds and how much cash to bring on the trek, final gear checks, setting up techology. The day and a half flew by!
It is so nice to have friends and fellow campaign supporters on the team! Kathy is doing the summit climb on behalf of Climb Take Action and then my dad and Steve are also trekking to BC for the campaign :) Then I have my friends Melanie, Mylene, and Tristan that have joined us from Hong Kong and of course my dear friend and climbing partner Pam! So we are one big happy family here and ready to set of on the next leg of our adventure....get us on that plane please! So for the team there are 13 climbers, about 13 trekkers, then 3 western guides, and our sherpa crews of +25. I must say it is so nice to have friends here...and am so happy to be able to share this adventure with them. It is also nice to have part of the Kili crew reunited here in Nepal.
We are told there will be about 23-26 climbing teams on the south side of the moutain, so it will be a full house at BC!
Kathmandu is organized chaos :) You can find pretty much anything you need there. I was a able to get a nice light puffy jacket for BC. You can also custom order any down product you may need for a reasonable price. You just have to be careful about the knockoff and fake gear. The food in town was YUMMY!! I had kebabs, pizza, thai, and even fajitas! I also found an Illy coffee, which hit the spot for sure.
I am still fighting my head cold and tired...we had a 3:30 am wake up call this morning to be able to make it to the airport and catch our flight. But I think with a good night rest, I should be good as new tomorrow :) We have about a 4 hour walk to our first camp once we get to Lukla.
Well I need to head out, more to come from the trail. I have got a wireless card that I am told will work with my mini-laptop and I bought a SIM card for my iphone and I have a sat-phone. So you will be getting updates from me or friends I call to post on my behalf.
Thanks for all of your love and support! Many of you have been asking where to donate to support International Medical Corps and VDAY and you can do so on our website: www.climbtakeaction.com. Ther is a DONATE NOW link on there.
Here are the latest blog post from the Peak Freaks Website...Please check it out when I go radio silent as they will have daily updates :)http://www.peakfreaks.com/everestnews2011.htm
March 31, 2011- 09:00 Nepal Time
It was awesome!.. I spoke briefly with Liz Hawley and Tim on Skype this morning (Nepal time) and then the team in theWarren Bruce photo background gave a big shout out. I'm loving the new technology we have today. The very early 90's were much different. Tim would go away to Everest and I wouldn't here a word till I saw him on the runway again in Vancouver. I never knew if he would even be there, or if there had been an accident till that moment. Two and half months is a very long time left to wonder. Way too many rambling thoughts that haunt you. It was a long haul.
So, they are off to Lukla tomorrow morning, first flight, that's about 2 hours from now because I was late getting this post up. Everyone is stoked and bonding very well. Good team..
Roger Wright and his wife Lorraine are in Kathmandu. They were up in the Khumbu together this past week. Lorraine is not feeling so well so Roger is going to stay with her a couple days till she is better and catch up with the team in a couple days. He knows the way and the routine having been there in October with us on Pumori. He is acclimatized to Namche already so it will be an easy trip for him.
Tim said he will call and let us know when the team lands in Lukla. Fears of this runway are right up there with theWarren Bruce photo crossing of the ice-fall and I understand that, so I'll keep everyone informed.
Team personal equipment is already headed up to camp on the yaks and base camp is all built and the sherpas are awaiting everyone's arrival. The hike in will take 8 days from tomorrow. This is a special time for everyone getting acquainted with friends they will have for a lifetime.
Today most members went on a city tour of Kathmandu. They had a blast!
Over and out, Becky
March 30, 2011 - 23:00hrs Nepal Time
Just a quick report from Tim as he had a big day today and his pillow has sucked him in. Almost everyone has arrivedsomething for you sir? now. There are a couple stragglers who have late flights so he will catch up to them in the morning for a briefing then get those interested off on a morning city tour we have organized for them.
Some members were out buying new cell phones to get linked in with the new 3G technology that we will test out this season on Everest. Tim gave his a go and came in loud and clear but we still don't know how the capacity will hold out in the Khumbu. Fingers are crossed as it's a considerable savings. Example: A satellite call is $1.85 to $2.00US per minute and the rates for cell international will be just pennies per minute.
We posted yesterday on the blog that there were 3 spots left on our annual Everest Training climb on Pumori in October but no quicker than it was uploaded the spots filled. We are now waitlist only. More tomorrow, Becky
Correction: Mark Schaible and not Matt (yesterday typo).
March 29, 2011- Timalaya checks in:
"Ministry formalities today, Everest 2011 climbing permit is in hand. A full permit size is 15. Some expeditions run with several permits offering larger expeditions. We prefer small scale, easier to keep an eye on everyone and more personal. As a result we sell out early so if you are thinking 2012' you should drop Becky and email and get yourself on the roster real soon.
We also provide pre-expedition training in the eyes of Everest on Mount Pumori. There are only 3 spots left this October's and we only offer one a year.
Everest South 2012' Everest Training- Pumori 2011'
I visited with other expedition operators today to discuss some changes in how we do business for the better. Things have come along way since we first started climbing here 20 years ago.
I also met with Durga Aran, founding Director of First Steps Himalaya and friend for 20 years. I am overwhelmed by what he has accomplished. Once a waiter, a very good one at that, worked at the Potata Guest house in the early nineties. He was lucky to step outside of Nepal and come back to help the children in his country. Good man, more on these projects later.
The one thing we are learning is that some of the most effective aid projects in the Himalayas are the ones that are initiated and managed by the Nepalese themselves. Like Durga, Tsedam Sherpa, well-known by climbers and trekkers passing through Namche Bazaar has a little shop on the main drag where he sells mountaineering clothing. Over the years he has made enough money off mountaineering to build the lovely Zamling lodge. Recently he built a house next to his for homeless children of the Khumbu. He clothes them with clothing from his business, houses and feeds them. His daughter, now a teacher provides the children education. This entire project is funded by himself and his family. I am so incredibly proud to have Tsedam as my friend, honourable man.
Once homeless children of the Khumbu Tsedam, his daughter (right) and helpers (left)
New arrivals are Nelson Dellis and Mark Schaible and trekker Craig Law. The rest of us went out for dinner while Nelson and Mark headed off to their rooms to get some rest after their long international flights.
I attempted to send a signal to set SPOT, but because I am in between the buildings here in Thamel, I couldn't reach the satellite. I will try a rooftop tomorrow.
It's still pretty quiet, a few more climbers milling about the streets but definitely much quieter this year. Everyone else should be here tomorrow. We have scheduled our expedition briefing for tomorrow evening and dinner to follow. Over and out- Tim "