October 26 - Too Much Apple Pie?

Today began with a visit to the famous Namche Saturday Market, an unforgettable experience. There is normally nothing for us to buy at the Namche Market, but the timeless scene of goods being exchanged in the colorful, dusty streets of Namche with spectacular peaks as a backdrop, and with yaks, porters and people from various of Nepal's many ethnic groups milling around, is not too be missed.

Ang Temba did purchase a carpet that had been brought over the Nangpa La from Tibet via yak by one of the many Tibetan traders in town. He will take the carpet to his lodge in Pangboche, where we will be staying tomorrow night.

After the market we said goodbye to Lakpa Doma and our friends at the panorama Lodge. As we are becoming accustomed to when we leave a village now, we were presented with Khata, or silk blessing scarves, by Lakpa Doma before we departed. Expedition climbers, both Sherpas and foreign members know this honor well as they travel through the Khumbu toward their objective.

We trekked above Namche, past the airstrip at Syangboche. Our destination was the Sherpa village of Khunde, a special place to both Brent and I, and a place that was soon to become special to the rest of the team as well. Near Syangboche, we lay in a grass field and stared at Ama Dablam jutting into the blue Himalayan sky, not too far distant. After we reached our camp at Khunde, we hiked up on a ridge above town where Brent left a string of prayer flags at a memorial for a friend. By the time we reached the top of the ridge, afternoon clouds swirled all about, giving an air of mystery and beauty to this fantastic location. At times the tip of Ama Dablam would present itself through the clouds.

Ryland stayed high on the ridge by himself, soaking in the feel of this wonderful place and enjoying some solitude.

The rest of us headed to the bakery in the nearby village of Khumjung. I should mention now that Doug has the best appetite in this crew of hungry climbers. He has noted along with the rest of the crew that our Sherpa cook, Pasang, is extremely skilled. Of course, in places like Namche, other culinary treats are available as well and Doug made sure that he had one last piece of apple pie from one of the bakeries in Namche before we left in the morning. Doug did not know that there was a bakery near Khunde as well, but his second large piece of apple pie for the day was enjoyed without hesitation in the afternoon there.

We got back to Khunde just in time for dinner. And, wouldn't you know it, tonight was the night that our cook Pasang had chosen to show off his skill by making apple pie in his simple mobile kitchen. I can report that even Doug is not quite up to three apple pies in one day. He left a small piece of the last one on his plate at our dinner table in Khunde.

Ama Dablam 2002
BAI team:

Wally Berg,
Canmore, Alberta
Brent Bishop,
Bozeman, Montana
David Burger,
Boulder, Colorado
Garry Porter
Olalla, Washington
Ryland Gardner
Edwards, Colorado
Doug Frost
Santa Fe, New Mexico

Our objective:

22,494 feet
6857 meters

First Ascent:

March 13, 1961
Barry Bishop
Wally Ramanes
Mike Gill
Mike Ward