Month: April 2014

Running with the big dogs

Had a bit more relaxing day in Kathmandu yesterday. Getting a bit more used to the chaos of this city.
Ate lunch at the Rum Doodle, a famous restaurant where a lot of climbers come after their expedition. They will sign “feet” when they get back, and there are signatures from Hillary, Ed Visteurs, and other famous climbers on the wall. If you summit Everest, you can eat free at this restaurant for the rest of your life.
Then we had dinner at a restaurant near the hotel courtesy of Phil the expedition leader for Altitude Junkies with all the climbers. I thank Phil for letting me join the group, as I am just a lowly trekker in with all these climbers getting ready for Everest or Lohtse. The only other trekker is one of the climber’s wife, so I’m right in there with her. (Hence the peewee)
So at dinner we were with more 8000 meter summits probably than anyplace in the world. There are only 14 8000m peaks in the world and we had over 25 summits of these peaks eating dinner last night. Amazing group of folks, high acheivers, but very welcoming and humble. I think that is part of Phil’s success as he keeps a small group, and hand picks his climbers. He has mostly repeat customers, and for good reason.
His wife Trish helps with the expedition and stays in Kathmandu for the whole time, keeping things running from her end. She told me, “I don’t like mountaineers” and went on to explain that they tend to have big egos. But she went on to explain that the climbers they tend to attract do not fit that mold. The great thing about this group is that they are incredibly accomplished but no huge egos in the bunch. Reminds me of gravel riders!
We literally had the whole world at the dinner table last night with USA, UK, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, China, Canada, Lithuania, and Nepal all represented.
From there some of us went to sam’s for some more drinking and then back to the hotel bar for some more. Let’s just say, do NOT try to keep up with the Brits when drinking is involved. Moving a bit slow this morning but the good news is I will feel better as the day goes on!

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Kathmandu!

Landed safely in KTM this morning.
One heck of a whirlwind day. Crammed a lot in today. Robert met me at the airport, back to hotel. Met some of the climbing group including Phil crampton the xpediton leader. Impressed with the climbers. I’m just kind of like the waterboy hanging out with the varsity with these folks. Our head Sherpa, Dorje is one of the Sherpas who carried the IMAX camera to the peak of Everest in 1996. Legit big boys.

Spent a lot of the day doing tourist things in ktm. Crazy city, chaotic, loud, busy, dusty, but somehow seems to work. Traffic is like nothing you’ve ever seen. No rules. Roads shared by cars, trucks, motorcycles, bikes, pedestrians, cows(!).. A couple of times I would feel something gently brush me as I walked and it was a motorcycle or a car. They would come that close all the time but not seem to have wrecks.

Met Robert’s family here I’m Nepal. There are 9 kids he is supporting that basically call him dad, ages 5 to sixteen. All polite, great kids. Amazing to see those with so little beingso happy. A lesson for us over here.
Spent the whole day lost. Robert kept asking, “which direction are we going?” I had a 25% chance of getting it right!
Stayed up all day then finally hit the sack for some much needed sleep.
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