Yak & Yeti Hotel
Kathmandu, Nepal
May 28, 2012

Namaste Family & Friends:

Tomorrow, the Government of Nepal Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation and the Nepal Tourism Board are sponsoring the 5th Annual International Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) Day celebration to (i) honor the mountain, (ii) celebrate the efforts of the local and international climbing community who come to the region every year to climb in the Himalayas, (iii) draw international attention to the adverse effects of climate change on the Himalayas as well as various aspects of human life living in the region and (iv) promote global cooperative efforts to foster sustainable economic, social and cultural development, promote tourism and protect Mt. Everest and the entire Himalayan mountain range. The celebration is a day-long event. Medals are handed out at the ceremony to those who have summitted Mt. Everest and awards are given to those who have made significant contributions to the above causes.

My good friend, Dawa Steven Sherpa of Asian Trekking, will be giving a speech at the event on behalf of the local Nepalese climbing community. His father, Ang Tshering Sherpa, owner of Asian Trekking and a revered figure in the Nepalese/Tibetan mountaineering community, has asked me to give a speech on behalf of the international climbing community. Of course, I feel privileged, humbled and honored to be asked to give this talk, especially given the worthy goals of this celebratory event and the local and international fame of those who will be in attendance. I don’t feel particularly worthy of this honor, but I’ll do my best.

Tomorrow, my bags should arrive from the North side, so I hope to be flying home soon.