Costa Mesa, Ca.
March 14, 2023
Dear Family & Friends:
The Everest climbing season is right around the corner. The Icefall Doctors are fixing lines on the mountain and the teams will be arriving in Kathmandu in early April. I thought this would be a good time to reprise some unique footage of Mt. Everest, Everest Base Camp, the Khumbu Icefall, Camp 1, the Western Cwm, Burke Khang and the fabled Himalaya mountain range. All of this footage was shot from helicopters.
This “Bill’s Wild Rides in the Himalaya” video file is divided into three parts.
In May of 2014, the Government of Nepal named a mountain after me in the Himalaya mountain range. The mountain is named “Burke Khang” (“Khang” is the Nepalese word for mountain). Like Mt. Everest, Burke Khang is a border peak since it sits on the border of Nepal and Tibet. Burke Khang is 22,775 feet high and is about nine miles (as the crow flies) from Mt. Everest. In April of 2015, I chartered a helicopter to complete a video reconnaissance of Burke Khang with hopes of identifying a safe climbing route. After completing the Burke Khang reconnaissance, the pilot flew the helicopter over Everest Base Camp since the Everest season was just beginning. The pilot buzzed Base Camp and then flew the helicopter all the way up the Khumbu Icefall to Camp 1 and the Western Cwm.
The first part of this video identifies the major Himalaya mountains at, or near, Mt. Everest and Burke Khang. The second part of this video depicts the 2015 helicopter flyover of Everest Base Camp. This footage offers spectacular views of Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Changtse, Pumori, Everest Base Camp, the Khumbu Icefall, Camp 1 and the Western Cwm. Sadly, just weeks after this video was shot, the Mw 7.8 earthquake struck Nepal and surrounding countries. The earthquake killed over 9,000 people and triggered an avalanche from Mt. Pumori that killed 21 people at Everest Base Camp. The 2015 Nepal Everest climbing season was promptly cancelled.
In March of 2017, I chartered a helicopter to compete another video reconnaissance of Burke Khang. The third part of this video depicts that reconnaissance flight as well as the return of the helicopter from Burke Khang to the airport at Lukla. This video provides stunning views of Burke Khang and the magnificent Himalaya mountain range.
I never tire of watching videos of Mt. Everest and the Himalaya and it always make me long for a return. Someday, I will return to my old friend Chomolumna, “Mother Goddess of the Earth.”
(pease watch this video in full screen mode)