November 20, 2015
Dear Family & Friends:
After repeated attempts to change my flights home, I gave up and resigned myself to stay in Nepal until my original departure date on November 23. But, I opted for a change of scenery and moved to Pokhara, about a 25-minute flight from Kathmandu.
Pokhara is a small resort-type city built alongside Phewa Lake. It is much cleaner and less populated than Kathmandu. The single, main street is lined with shops, bars and restaurants. There is a paved walkway around the lake, which provides for a quiet, peaceful and serene afternoon stroll. I am staying at the Landmark Hotel, which appears to be the best in the City. I’m on the top (5th) floor in a room that shares a really large patio area with only 2 other rooms. I have a great view of the lake, and, on a clear day, I can see the famous Annapurna Mountain Range. My room rate is $45/day.
Last year, I spent a few days in Pokhara before my North side Everest expedition. That’s when I tried out paragliding and zip lining. Great fun, but I don’t plan to do that again on this trip to Pokhara. I spoke with Sharon this morning and she asked what I plan to do in Pokhara. I didn’t have the heart or nerve to tell her I’m mapping out new routes up Burke-Khang. The key is to find a way around those virtually impenetrable defensive emplacements on the summit ridge. Maybe an assault from the Chinese side? Take on the South Face? Or, first climb Burke-Khang’s neighboring peak, Hungchhi, and then traverse across the Col and sneak up on the BK summit from the West? Bring dynamite and blast away the cornices, crevasse and ice wall (no, I couldn’t do that to my namesake)? Rappel to the summit from a chopper? The possibilities are endless, and I love to dream.
When I’m done plotting a BK strategy, I think I’ll rent a motorbike and explore the countryside.
All my teammates (both climbers & trekkers) are home except Paul & Denise who took a side trip to Malaysia. Everyone is doing really fine, and I’m very happy about that.
I have a lot of photos and video footage to sort through when I get home. I can’t wait to share this with you. The views up the Gokyo Valley and across the Ngozumba and Guarana Glaciers were stunning; and Burke-Khang itself put on an impressive display of power and grandeur. The media won’t do any of this justice, but I think you will enjoy it nevertheless.
I’m starting to get feeling back in my fingertips.
Well, that’s all for now. I’ll be back to you as events unfold.