Costa Mesa, Ca.
January 11, 2016
Dear Family & Friends:
I hope your 2016 has started well and will finish in spectacular form.
I culled through thousands of photos and hours of video to prepare a short movie of our Burke-Khang expedition late last year. You can watch this 37-minute movie by clicking on the link at the end of this message.
This expedition was one of my favorite mountain trips. Burke-Khang is located in the fabled Himalaya mountain range between Mt. Everest and Cho-Oyu. Like Mt. Everest and Cho-Oyu, Burke-Khang is a border peak since it sits on the border of Nepal and Tibet. Our expedition began with a fun-filled, although arduous, 50-mile trek from Lukla to the foot of the mountain deep in the Gokyo Valley in Nepal. As you will see from the movie, the views were breathtaking.
Burke-Khang was my most challenging mountain climb, harder even than Mt. Everest. The vertical pitch of the climb was consistently in excess of 75 degrees and the rock and ice climbing above Camp 1 were, at times, technical. The summit ridge was described by our veteran Sherpa line-fixing team as the most dangerous they have ever encountered in the Himalaya because of cornices, crevasses, seracs, avalanche risk, unstable snow and 90 degree concave ice walls. They described the conditions on the summit ridge as “terrifying.” You can read my account of our summit day in Bill’s Articles.
My plans for the future are uncertain. I would like to return to Burke-Khang to finish the expedition, but this will require some serious route planning unless conditions change on the summit ridge, which is a possibility. I’ll keep you informed.
watch in full screen mode
Watched the whole movie as soon as I saw the post! What an amazing adventure and achievement for the entire team — and especially that 73 year-old they were all so proud of. It helped knowing in advance that you all made it down safely. Great camera work in challenging conditions! Thanks for sharing. Don’t venture up again too soon. I’m still breathless.
Wonderful chronicle of your adventure, Bill. Well done. Was a very poignant moment when you, clad in your Ollie Power cap, recorded the decision to abort. The emotion in your voice was evident. Nay, your adventure was a success on all levels, despite not setting foot on the summit, 500 feet away. We salute and applaud you and your team!
I’m struck by how much Gokyo has developed since trekking there early in 1992, when only one stone “guest lodge” was available. Your excellent photos and video make me want to return.
Warm regards for the New Year. k;-)
I have never shared my thoughts, but I will this time because the video made you feel like you were there and I want to share how much I have enjoyed your expeditions. I think it is amazing that you do this at your age. Thank you and may you have many more wonderful expeditions.
Very exciting! I teach an ESL class at CalTech for spouses of international students and scientists. I just got a new student from Nepal. She knew all about the American named Burke. She was as amazed that I knew you as I was that she knew about you. You are a very brave man and you have a very patient wife. I love following your adventures.
I was astonished, astounded, stupified, by the adventure you and your hearty band of climbers
undertook last year in the quest for the summit Burke Khang. I can’t grasp the bravery, sense of
adventure and sheer joy you all must have experienced on this risky yet rewarding endeavor.
Truly inspiring. Truly: Ollie Power!!
Awesome video and story. Thanks and Praise to the living God for wisdom and a safe journey and return. Keep strong.
A truly amazing adventure that you can be very proud of. Thank you for sharing it.