April 3, 2014
Namaste Family & Friends:
After a very long flight from Los Angeles to Bangkok, an overnight in Bangkok, and a flight from Bangkok to Kathmandu, I arrived in Kathmandu on April 1. Check out “Where’s Bill” on my website.
I felt like I arrived once again at my second home. I am so excited to be back. Everything is the same: crowds, pollution and insane traffic. I am staying once again at my home hotel-the Yak & Yeti. Everyone here knows me.
Last night, we had a screening of my documentary at a restaurant owned by Dawa Steven, one of the owners of Asian Trekking. The guest list was largely people associated with Asian Treking, including many Sherpas. Mingma, my dear friend who summitted with me in 2009, and Gyulak, who is my Sherpa this year, were at the event. Everyone liked the movie.
I’m reconnecting with lots of mountaineering friends. The hotel is teeming with activity as the teams get ready to leave for the Mountain. Very exciting.
I will be spending the next couple of days getting my electronics to work. I think I will be the only climber on the North side team to have my own communication equipment, solar charger and weather reporting. I am trying to be totally self-sufficient.
I leave for Tibet on April 10. We cross the border at the Friendship Bridge and spend the night in Zangmu. On April 11, we drive to Nyalam. April 12 is a rest day in Nyalam, and on April 13, we drive to Thingri. April 14 is a rest day in Thingri. On April 15, we drive to Chinese Base Camp. I will fill out the climbing schedule in a later report.
My North side climbing team is listed below. I was honored to be asked to serve once again as Expedition Leader for the South side team, even though I will be climbing on the North side of the mountain. It’s largely a ceremonial title, but I was honored to be asked anyway. So, I will be meeting with officials at the Ministry of Tourism later in the week to go over the expedition.
Love & blessings to all,
North Side Team
Mr. Orlando Castro from Mexico
Dr. Atanas Skatov from Bulgaria
Mr. Krystian Oleksiak from Poland
Mr. Ryszard Pawlowski from Poland
Mr. David Kline from Hungary (the only person I know)
Ms Edina Torak from Hungary (I think this is David’s girlfriend who is not climbing)
Mr. Victor Bobok from Russia
Mr. Victorov from Russia
Mr. Baidya from India
Mr. Mukherjee from India
Ms Arnot from the USA
Pasang Sherpa from Nepal (I believe he is climbing with Ms Arnot and they are attempting a double, starting from the South side
Bill Burke from the USA
Mingma Sherpa, my 2009 Sherpa, is Sirdar for the North side team, so I am happy for him and for me since I will be spending lots of time with him this season.