Resting in Kathmandu

Yak & Yeti Hotel, Kathmandu

Namaste Family & Friends:

This morning, Allan and I flew from Lukla to Kathmandu. The airport at Lukla is rated the most dangerous in the world. Tthe runway is short and is uphill on the way in and downhill over a cliff on the way out. As usual, the flight was exciting. We were the last airplane to leave Lukla in the morning because weather closed down the airport, as is typical of this airport.

It’s great to be breathing the thick, albeit polluted, air of Kathmandu.  It is also nice to be sleeping in a real bed and ordering off a menu. Tonight, Allan and I plan to have dinner at the Everest Steak House. We’ll also order a nice bottle of wine, the first alcohol in a very long time.

Dawa Steven, of Asian Trekking, arrived at Lukla in the morning on his way to Base Camp. We had tea and then Allan interviewed Dawa for the film.

Here’s my current plan: I will stay in Kathmandu until May 12, which is my entry date for Tibet per the VISA application. On May 12, I will be transported by land rover to Chinese Base Camp in Tibet, with one stop on the way, probably at Nyalum. I plan to arrive at Chinese Base camp on May 13 and promptly begin my ascent of the North side of Everest. From what I have heard, the Chinese have made good progress in fixing the lines to the summit. Since I am already acclimatized from the South side, I hope to move up briskly, weather permitting. I am really excited about returning to the North side. If my ascent of the North side goes as planned, I plan to return to Nepal and move back up to Base Camp South for a summit attempt on the South side.

This morning, I asked Dawa Steven to assess the situation on the South side to see if anything has changed on the South side from what I reported to you in an earlier post. If things are the same, with the delays in line fixing, I will follow the plan outlined in the preceding paragraph. If things have improved, and an early summit on the South side is now possible, I will move back up to Base Camp South and follow the original plan for a South/North double summit. In this event, my return to Kathmandu will be treated as a lower than usual pre-summit rest before the big push up.

Bottom line: the dream is still alive. I don’t give up easily. I’ll keep you posted.

My spirits are sky high and I feel optimistic and great.

God Bless all of you,



19 thoughts on “Resting in Kathmandu

  1. Great update, Bill… we feel your excitement…
    Wonder if the Lukla airstrip is still graveled… last time I landed there, the plane banked and the first thing I saw below me was a fuselage of a crashed airplane on the side (the engine was salvaged and removed)… I mumbled, “How nice”… every passenger, many seasoned travelers, had a white knuckle grip on the arm rests… 10 feet above the strip, an alarm sounded, warning the pilot there wasn’t enough air speed to stay aloft… He knew what he was doing and placed our craft on the strip… we hurtled upward… the pilot turned the craft just in time to avoid crashing into the mountain… we disembarked and headed up to Namche Bazaar… k;-)

  2. Bill, your dedication is unparalleled. I strongly believe that everything will go well for you and you will be able to follow your original plan. I will keep sending positive thoughts to you.

  3. Go gett-em Bill….I like your attieude – NEVER GIVE UP….

    I like you Bill because you have the magic is believing in yourself, and you know once you can do that, you can make anything happen.

    Good luck.



  4. I’m super excited for you! Things have a way of working out…when God closes a door…you’ve got a window!! A summit window!! Really excited! Hope and pray all goes smoothly! Glad you are feeling good and are ready to go! Thanks for keeping us all posted!

  5. “Dreams rooted in the heart are slow to die.” Now, who said that? Yes, I remember, it was Bill Burke! “The only failure which lacks dignity is the failure to try.” (Malcolm McNeil) Keep up the great effort–you have an endless throng of cheerleaders. Blessings,


  6. I remember last year (or the year before?) when you sent a video of a plane taking off from Lukla airport. Yes, it looked crazy! Here’s hoping all of your dreams come true!

  7. Hope you can salvage both climbs, Bill. I’m learning more and more how one has to often improvise in mountaineering.

  8. Bill,
    Everyday I look forward to reading your posts! Today was no exception. So glad to know you are at the Yak and Yeti! I have spent many nights there pre and post trek to Base Camp. I bet the air feels nice and fat and juicy! When you go to Chinese Base Camp, you are going to be ninja-like with amazing lung capacity vaulting up the mountain! Be safe, be healthy and have fun! Namaste, Joni

  9. How very exciting it all sounds. I am glad you got to have this rest & good food before you make whatever climb you decide to make at this time. May God be with you in all of your endeavors. Love & Blessings, Betty

  10. Bill —- your journey reminds me of a ping-pong ball! up South, then over to North….well maybe back to South….nope, let’s head North….then back to South? This cracks me up! Love your spirit & just keep klimbing 🙂 Jill-o

  11. Mr. Burke, I have really enjoyed reading your posts and wish you the best of luck going up the North side and hoping things will work out so that you can still get back and make it up the South as well.

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