It’s done now. I had to do it. There’s no better explanation. I met many other people on the trip who felt the same way. We are not alone.

It’s a feeling of peace. If I’d failed to get there, I’d be planning my next attempt right now. I have no desire to go higher on Everest but I admire the people who do. This was enough.

George Mallory had the best known (and possibly the best) response to the question “why do you want to climb Mt. Everest”.  It was simply “Because it is there.” George Mallory and his climbing partner, Sandy Irvine, disappeared on Everest in 1924, on my birthday. Mallory may have been the first to summit the mountain.

Borrowing further from the diligent Suburban Sherpa, whose Mallory research pointed me here, I’ll finish with this:

“The first question you will ask and which I must try to answer is this, ‘what is the use of climbing Mount Everest?’ and my answer at once must be, ‘It is no use’. There is not the slightest prospect of any gain whatsoever. Oh, we may learn a little about the behaviour of the human body at high altitudes, and possibly medical men may turn our observation to some account for the purposes of aviation. But otherwise nothing will come of it. We shall not bring back a single bit of gold or silver, not a gem, nor any coal or iron. We shall not find a single foot of earth that can be planted with crops to raise food. It’s no use. So, if you cannot understand that there is something in man which responds to the challenge of this mountain and goes out to meet it, that the struggle is the struggle of life itself upward and forever upward, then you won’t see why we go. What we get from this adventure is just sheer joy. And joy is, after all, the end of life. We do not live to eat and make money. We eat and make money to be able to live. That is what life means and what life is for.”



EBC October 20, 2011

Prayer flags on the garage

This was inevitable. Didn’t count on knocking the ladder over while I was on the roof, though. Fortunately the neighbor’s 4 year old is pretty sharp and went to get his dad for me. The only thing missing is adding the eyes on the garage roof. Marriage may not survive that.

Long Cycle

Don’t let anyone tell you the world is a small place. At least if you’re 6’3″ and flying home from Kathmandu. The world is a very, very large place and riding for 5+7+7 hours in an airplane is a lousy way to spend the better parts of two days.

Slept in our remarkably clean, warm, soft bed until 5am when it seemed like time to get up. Fetched a cup of coffee from the Keurig. Unsealed the duffle, searched for the longest possible wash cycle (we don’t seem to have a ‘biohazard’ setting), and let ‘er rip. Yes, that is a two hour and fourteen minute wash cycle.

English breakfast

Landed uneventfully late Thursday night, took a quick shuttle to the hotel, took a shower, and was out in a nanosecond. After going without for over a week, showers fascinate me and I don’t miss a chance.

Now *this* was an English breakfast.

Made my way back to the airport for a 4pm flight. Tried to move it up but was not able to.

I’ll have a sheik and fries with that

I somehow had expected the Doha airport to be more upscale. They are almost finished building their new one, which might be better, but the food court here looked like a weak version of what you would find on a UK motorway.

This time through I opted to pay the $40 for entrance into the Oryx club, a quiet place with comfortable sofas, fresh food, good coffee and wifi. The four hours went quickly.

To the Kathmandu airport and off

After our banquet, we filtered back to the bar in the Yak and Yeti, but it got loud and quickly tedious and I said my goodbyes.

I was first to leave the next morning…a 7am driver was taking me to the airport. Coming down to breakfast, expecting to eat alone and just slip away, I walked into the restaurant at 6:30 and found Tara and Chris waiting at a table for me. An act of kindness that meant more than they could have known.

Sagar took care of all the details at the airport, pointed me in the right direction, and it was the start of another 5+7+7 hour set of flights. No joy.


Final Night in Kathmandu

Deana had arranged a final banquet at what seemed to be a large estate in the middle of the city. It was behind a tall wall and we had no idea it was there. Being the final night of Tihar, one of the two largest festivals of the year, the city was alive with candles and a combination of marigold leaves and paint on the sidewalks, inviting good spirits into peoples’ houses and businesses. Even the dogs got flower necklaces on this day.


Thanks Steve for the champagne.  You have class!


embassy tour

from across the intersection you can’t see the little signs on the tall wall that indicate ‘no photography’ in the vicinity. but the soldiers can see you. one well armed man came out of the compound, escorted us across the intersection and inside the security area where we were scanned, patted down, ushered into a back room with 2 way mirrors, and questioned about why we were videoing.
we gave the honest lame story. they took down our information, photographed our cameras, let us delete the videos and let us keep all our everest trek pictures. then after about an hour they released us.
fortunately it turned out to be the american embassy.
(no pictures accompany this post.)