Kathmandu, Nepal

April 4, 2010

Namaste Family & Friends:

I met David Liano on the airplane at Los Angeles Airport on March 30, and we arrived in Kathmandu on April 1.  The flight was fast, comfortable and uneventful.

The city is as wild, crazy, noisy, polluted and crowded as ever.  I absolutely love being back in Nepal for the fourth time.  We are staying at the Yak & Yeti hotel.

David and I met Mingma (my Sherpa) on April 2, and he took us to his home to see his family.  He has a wife, daughter and son.  I gave all of them some gifts from my family.  They were thrilled to receive the gifts.

On April 2, I had dinner at Kilroy’s restaurant, the most exclusive in Thamel.  Thamel is a busy shopping and restaurant district in Kathmandu.  The merchants were devastated that my daughters, Lori & Amy, were not with me this year, as in 2008, and they are now busy redoing their 2010 budgets.  The owner of Kilroy’s was there, and he showed me the photo of me on the wall, along with the other photos of famous climbers and dignitaries.  The photo was taken after I summitted last year and includes Mingma and Puchhanga.  He also told me the same photo is posted somewhere on K-2 in Pakistan.  K-2 is the second highest mountain in the world and is one of the most difficult, technical and dangerous mountains in the world to climb.  I have no idea how, or why, that photo made it to K-2.  Maybe I need to go there next year to see the photo (and climb K-2?).

Today, I am going to the satellite shop to see if I can get my computer synched with my satellite telephone so I can send reports and photos from the mountain.

Whenever David and I tell experienced climbers and guides of our plans for the double summit this year, their faces turn serious and somber and they advise “be careful, be very careful.”  I mention this because I know some of you harbor the same thoughts and fears.  Please don’t worry.  David and I are conservative when it comes to climbing, and we have enormous respect for Chomolumnga–Mother Goddess of the Earth. I constantly remind my family that, in 2007, when I was all by myself at the South Summit, just 300 feet from the summit, I turned around and went down because I didn’t feel it was safe to continue.  So, not to worry, we’ll be safe again this year.

Here is the Itinerary:

April 6–drive from Kathmandu (3,800 feet) to Zangmu (7,708 feet)

April 7–drive to Nyalam (12,300 feet)

April 8–rest day in Nyalam for acclimatization

April 9–drive to Thingri (14,268 feet)

April 10–rest day in Thingri for acclimatization

April 11–drive to Everest Base Camp-North in Tibet (17,056 feet)

April 10-11-rest day at Everest Base Camp for acclimatization and preparing loads for carry

April 12–trek to Intermediate Base Camp (19,024 feet)

April 13–trek to Advance Base Camp (20,992 feet)

April 14-May 12-climb Mt. Everest (29,035 feet)

May 13–Advance Base Camp to Everest Base Camp

May 14–drive to Nyalam or Zangmu

May 15-drive to Kathmandu

May 16-helicopter flight to Pheriche or Gortak Shep

May 17-trek to Everest Base Camp-South in Nepal (17,600 feet)

May 18-27-climb Mt. Everest

May 28-trek to Namche Bazaar

May 29-trek to Lukla

May 30–fly to Kathmandu

June 1-7 depart Kathmandu for home

I love all of you,

Bill Burke