The beautiful bride-to-be and me in Telluride, CO (2012)
She said “yes.” I am indescribably happy to report that Carla and I are engaged. After a brief hike up to the monastery in Namche and with a cloud-enshrouded Thamserku peak as our backdrop, I asked her to continue our incredible journey together as husband and wife. Perhaps, she was hypoxic when answering since we were at nearly 12,000′, but I’ve since been assured that she meant it. Couldn’t be happier.
Very exciting, new chapter to begin when I return in June… celebrations to follow soon thereafter!
Here is a picture of us, with Kusum Kanguru and the Dudh Kosi river in the background, on our way to Namche today after a successful flight yesterday to Lukla (the “world’s most dangerous airport”) and stay-over in Phakding last night. We’ll be here in Namche (~11,500′) for the next couple of days acclimatizing and awaiting the arrival of the rest of the team (Willie & Matt), who are set to arrive tomorrow. Looking forward to having the team together again!
38 hours of travel and Carla and I made it to Kathmandu safely. Hoping for clear skies early tomorrow to fly to Lukla and walk to Phakding, which would get the Everest & Lhotse 2015 expedition officially underway…
Courtesy of Outsideonline.com (click for larger view). It appears that the route through the Khumbu Icefall this year is closer to the middle/orange line in this picture (as opposed to the red line, which was the route for many years).
Above is a view from Outside Magazine (www.outsideonline.com) of this year’s approximate route through the Khumbu Icefall (up to Camp I – there are 4 total camps above base camp), which also helps put the icefall in perspective, with appropriate scale, relative to the rest of the mountain (using Google Earth). Also, please see this article regarding the route itself (the picture in the article itself is worth clicking the link). Some big ice cliffs to overcome this year (4 ladders tied together should make for some good fun).
We depart Monday, so this will be the last post until we’re actually in Nepal and working our way up the Khumbu Valley toward base camp. In the meantime, click this link for a great article penned for National Geographic by my young, but very accomplished, climbing partner, Matt Moniz, recapping our expedition last year.
With departure imminent, I want to sing the praises of my beautiful (inside and out) girlfriend, Carla, and her efforts to bring much-needed winter clothing to the kids in the mountainous regions of Nepal. She coordinated a similar effort in 2012 for our first trip to Nepal, and the grateful beneficiaries of that effort can be seen at left. I also want to extend my sincerest thanks to all of you that donated your children’s winter clothing (either in 2012 or for this trip) to make these moments possible. We are simply the grateful conduit for your generosity.
The climbing season in Nepal is getting underway and our team is looking forward to joining the fray shortly. Most teams are already making their way up the Khumbu Valley and will be arriving in Everest base camp in the next few days. We will be coming in behind most of the groups, but with a small, strong team, we will have plenty of time to acclimatize effectively. There are reports of rain/snow in the Khumbu, so we may have timed our arrival optimally to avoid some of this, although we will find out if this is the case soon enough.
Courtesy of Garrett Madison; Madison Mountaineering
The Icefall Doctors, the dedicated team of Sherpa that each season establish and maintain the route through the perilous Khumbu Icefall (site of the devastating avalanche on 4/18/2014 that tragically claimed 16 lives), have been hard at work setting the route to Camp I and Camp II. Reports suggest that they have shifted the route away from the dangerous hanging glaciers on Everest’s West Shoulder (the cause of last year’s deadly avalanche) toward Nuptse. This should help mitigate some of those risks and make the route a bit safer for all that climb above base camp this season. However, the new route will pose its own challenges as Garrett Madison points out in his recent post (which includes some great pictures of the new route vs the old that expand if you click on them while visiting his page): Madison Mountaineering
As our expedition gets underway, I will try to keep this blog updated regularly as travels, conditions and connectivity permit, but a great option to follow what is happening on Everest in its totality every year is Alan Arnette’s excellent blog (link at left – but note you need to scroll down a bit on this page to see his most recent posts). Alan’s coverage this year should be particularly interesting given the events of last year and the fact that he will be reporting directly from Everest base camp this year as he attempts to climb Lhotse.