Steamboat Springs resident George Barlow has climbed the highest peak on five of the seven continents. This month, he begins a trek through Nepal to Lhotse, the world's fourth-highest mountain. Barlow's expedition will climb the shoulder of Mount Everest on the way to the 27,940-foot summit of nearby Lhotse. Watch for periodic updates on Barlow's progress in the Pilot & Today.
Namaste! ('Welcome' or 'hello' in Nepalese). Well, I've made it to Kathmandu. After 24 hours in the air, I'm finally here. Some much-needed rest is in order.
This town of 2 million is full of crazy rickshaw drivers, beautiful temples and all kinds of smells. Smells of wonderful food that may or may not be safe to eat. So, we only eat at places we know are safe.
We have made our temporary residence at the Nepa Hotel. A very nice, yet simple hotel in the heart of the Tremal District, which has lots of climbing shops. They have everything you'd need to climb a mountain here. A group of North Ridge Everest climbers will depart for Lhasa today, and the rest of us, south side climbers, will depart at about 4 a.m. April 6. Wow, that's early. We will fly from Kat to Lulka, a small town that is the launching point for trekkers and climbers up the Khumbu Valley to Everest Base Camp.
Our leader, Daniel Mazur, has put together a very large group of climbers. Seven of them will be climbing the South Col route up Mount Everest, and 19 climbers will go up Lhotse. Thirteen of the Lhotse climbers will be departing April 6, and the others will catch up later.
I'm meeting all these folks for the first time. Like me, the majority of them are first-timers to 8,000-meter peaks. All are very excited about this opportunity to climb this very difficult peak. Also, we have 12 trekkers who will be escorting us to Base Camp. It's a very large group after you add porters, climbing Sherpa, cooks and staff, and yaks.
I have elected to climb with a very successful, not yet famous, high-altitude Sherpa. His name is Nancha Naru Sherpa. He has summited three 8,000 meter peaks seven times. I hope to learn a few things from this very personable man. I also hope to gain strength and wisdom from his years of experience and maybe, just maybe, my first 8,000-meter peak.
We had a group meeting this morning in the hotel and went over gear, techniques and shared stories. I also learned that the cost of receiving e-mail is very expensive. So please, do not send e-mails to me. I'm sorry for this. I will continue to send group e-mails, hopefully on a regular basis, but please, do not reply.
For now, I wish you all well. Thank you for all supportive messages, and I'll be in touch soon.
Waving from the top,