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  Fall Ama Dablam Team Begins Climb

14 October 2013 -

Rest day at Namche (3740m.), Mt. Kailash Lodge 14 October, 2013 Namche, centre of Sherpa land for traders (also from Tibet), sellers, trekkers and climbers. We arrived yesterday with rain and mist. Itís still raining now on Monday afternoon.

But that brings you to new adventures. I found myself back last night at a snooker table in Cafť Danphe Bar Ė Rock, Blues & Beer. Dan and other fellows of the trek invited me to play and with the push of music of Rolling Stones and a can of Tuborg, whilst I had my first attempt of playing snooker. My name is Mark from Holland (NL, together with my brother Leonard who brings me to base camp) and Iím here for that free standing mountain Ama Dablam, the Matterhorn of Nepal (famous Swiss Mountain, Google on both and see the similarities). With me for this summit are also Saz (UK), Tim (Aus), Jim (UK), Maggie (Aus, UK). With different backgrounds weíre already sharing our adventures of climbing and what we expect of Ama Dablam, íLady with Necklaceí.

Together with members that have an eye on Island Peak or on Everest Base camp we are 16 in total, from a variety of countries including the above as well as India, Thailand and United States. That gives us stories to tell in the sitting end dining room of our Lodge overlooked by a poster of the Potala Palace in Lhasa, like in most Tibetan houses in and outside Tibet.

The weather forecast has our special attention of course. It tells us that there will be rain tomorrow, but not so much as today. On Wednesday, when we all walk together from Pangboche to base camp Ama Dablam the rain should be finished. But as it is said, expectations of weather are right or wrong 50 percent of the time. So you can choose what you want to believe.

13 October 2013 -

Phakding to Namche Bazaar - 13 October, 2013 Early breakfast and 8 am start under overcast skies. What began as a warm but cloudy day turned into a light rain by late morning increasing to steady downpour by noon. Some were better prepared for the unrelenting rain which made rocks slippery and sent rivulets of muddy water down the trail. We didnít understand why Dan showed us his umbrella when talking about the equipment to take with us. But after this day we all know why and will look for our own one in Namche.

12 October 2013 -

Leaving Kathmandu, 12 October, 2013 Everyone up for a 6:30 am breakfast, and 7a.m. departure for the airport.
Traffic very light Ė itís the Nepalese holiday, called Dashain, where everyone goes home for many days ,perhaps months of celebration; so the airport was a picture of chaos. According to Island Peak team member Sangeeta Sindhi, in Nepal it is called Dashain, but In India it is termed as Dusserah where Good overcomes the evil . The story goes back to the King of Ayodhya, Dasarath who had 3 wives and four sons, namely Ram, Bharat , Shatrughan and Laxman. Kaushalaya was the first wife of the king whose son Ram was the heir to the throne. His favorite queen Kakeyi wanted her son Bharat to ascend the throne. One day , to please his queen the king promised that her son Bharat would ascend the throne. He banished his eldest son Ram to the jungle for 14 years. His wife Sita and younger brother Laxman accompanied him. During Ramís stay in the jungles, the king of Ceylon Raavan abducted his wife Sita and kept her confined to his palace in Srilanka. His two brothers helped the king to keep Sita in the palace .To win back his queen, Ram fought many battles and killed the ten headed king Raavan, by piercing a poised arrow into his navel. Dusserah is celebrated by burning an effigy of Raavan and his two brothers all over India. It is to celebrate the good that has overcome the evil each year.

Back to the trek: airplanes are so small (only 8 seat each) that the team had to take 2 planes. The first took off about noon with an American pilot who assured us the weather in Lukla was perfect for flying and landing.
(often itís not) Beautiful views of Everest from the left side of the plane. Landing in Lukla 35 minutes later felt a bit like threading the eye of a needle. Itís built on the side of the mountain so the hillside seemed alarmingly close when landing - quite exciting. After a 90 minute wait for the rest of the team Ė and the luggage - to arrive we had a leisurely lunch.

After sorting thru the luggage before it got loaded on the yaks - everyone took off only to be stopped Ĺ hour later at a checkpoint. Another wait (these checkposts occur at regular intervals we found) everyone took off once again along a beautiful rocky and rugged trail interspersed with tiny villages which took us down from Lukla, dropping 200 metres / 600 feet. By now it was mid-afternoon and the completion times due to the differet pace levels varied by a few hours. Couldnít be done without the wonderful help and support of the Sherpas. Wonderful hot dinner and an early night for all.



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