Mt. Everest Expedition: Flight of the Climbers

Posted by: | March 26, 2011
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest
Elevation: 4,383'

My little team began to combine in Kathmandu yesterday afternoon.  Jeff Martin met my flight into hot and dusty K-Du at around one o’clock.  As my boss at RMI, Jeff has already been over here for nearly a week, chasing down logistical details and getting all the arrangements arranged.  My climbers, Bill and Sara McGahan, beat me into town by about an hour, having flown East out of Atlanta, while I circled West from Taos.  Long, long flights no matter how you slice it…. a passel of time zones and bad airplane food.  I had time for a quick shower back at the hotel before Jeff and I taxied our way over to the Ministry of Tourism.  I scribbled my name a half-dozen times and shook a bunch of official hands… swallowed the obligatory cup of sweet tea and voile!!  we walked out with an all-important Everest climbing permit.  We retreated to the hotel to join Bill and Sara for dinner.  Despite the fun reunion, we got yawning and fading fast… hopelessly jet-lagged we stumbled off to our rooms.  Linden Mallory is already up in the Khumbu, we’ll get together with him about a week into our trek, and Mark Tucker will join us at about the same time to complete the team.  For now it is just four of us, which made today pretty easy when it came to a final gear check and packing session.  We enjoyed an interview and conversation with Bili Bierling who is helping the legendary Elizabeth Hawley with the monumental task of keeping track of climber statistics in the Nepal Himalaya.  Then we each made a few forays out into the streets to track down odds and ends -our version of sightseeing at this busy point in the expedition.  We need to be ready to fly good and early tomorrow morning, up from 4,000 feet in Kathmandu to 9,200 feet in Lukla before the air gets cloudy and turbulent.  My clock is set for 4:15 and my bags are packed once again… with luck we’ll be walking in mountains by mid-morning.

RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Busy downtown Kathmandu In Kathmandu

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I am constantly amazed at the determination of the human spirit, regardless of age. The Olympics is a great example.  Our 17 year old luge racers travel 80 mph, our 14 year old uneven parallel bar competitors risk life and limb, 16 year old downhill skiers speed at 90mph! on two skinny boards! on ice!  Some die from it.  However, over half of the US population is unable to find their ass with both hands (despite their extensive “life experiences”).  So, if some 18 year old wants to train and discipline themselves to conquor Everest, I salute them.  No offense intended Michelle

Posted by: Bart Miller on 3/30/2011 at 9:53 am

I have to question the motivation/reasoning behind allowing kids under 18 to climb Everest.  No matter how mature they might be, there just isn’t the life experience to draw upon in my humble opinion.  While I think Dave Hahn is a very accomplished climber, it makes me lose some respect for him in his choices to accept clients such as this.  Money talks I suppose.

Posted by: Michelle on 3/29/2011 at 8:55 am

Wow—5+ weeks of solitude and isolation with my brother - alternating between uncontrollable laughter and sheer wonder of how his mind comes up with the stuff that he says….  No doubting the teams mental toughness!  Have fun!

Posted by: Martin on 3/28/2011 at 5:09 am

You’re a great tour guide.  Bucky and I will follow your progress.  Stay safe.
Jorene and Bucky

Posted by: Jorene on 3/27/2011 at 3:17 pm

The blog is great reading! Those streets look pretty busy. Sara, did you get in some shopping? Sending you good luck and love.

Posted by: Mom/Grandma on 3/27/2011 at 9:34 am

I am praying for you Bill and Sara…...looking forward to keeping up with your blog!

Posted by: Jenifer dobbs on 3/27/2011 at 5:09 am

Good Luck Bill and Sara.  Reach the summit.  We are thinking of you!

Posted by: Lowndes Harrison on 3/27/2011 at 2:51 am

Just wishing a good flight into Lukla, Big D!

Posted by: T-Dawg on 3/26/2011 at 6:18 pm

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