IMG 2004 Everest Nepal Dispatch #2 Sunday, March 28, 2004 -
Well, we survived the flight into Lukla (actually I
exaggerated that experience, it's come a long way in recent years, the runway
is real now and it's much better than the livestock grazing field it used to
be, although the cliff is still a cliff) and spent our first night in Phakding,
then moved up to Namche on Friday, where we then spent two days and nights
resting and getting ready for the next push uphill.
We met the high altitude sherpas here in Namche and, as I
said in my first dispatch, these are the guys with the real stuff. Between the
15 of them I counted 98 previous 8000m expeditions (mostly with IMG) including
53 8000m summits, 28 of which were on Everest. I'm sure I am estimating on the
low side with this tabulation and that by the time this expedition is over
that statistic will need further adjustment, but they stand as one of the
strongest Sherpa teams on the mountain year after year and I am grateful for
their support and hard work every time!
We charted two helicopters into Shyangboche to get the bulk
of our gear that far up the valley. Its always fairly amazing to see the huge
assembly of manpower and beastpower and general efficiency as the helicopters
are unloaded, gear sorted and counted, and prepared for loading onto the
animals for the rest of the journey upward. With the beautiful Himalayan
peaks as a backdrop, its all fairly satisfying to see this culmination of
months and months of planning and procurement.
Ang Jangbu and I will bid farewell to the team and head back
to Kathmandu on one of the choppers today. After seeing the gear loaded onto
the animals, the group will hike up to Phortse tonight. Phortse is always a
real treat as it is the home village of many of our sherpa team members and
their families make the visit special for everyone. After a night there, the
group will head on up to Tengboche and spend 2 nights there. The views from
there of Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Ama Dablam and more are world-class. We'll
hope to hear from them sometime in the next few days and will let you know
when we do!
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