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,