October 27 - Two Monasteries, a Yeti Scalp and
Ang Temba’s House in Pangboche

Wally Berg reporting. We left for Khunde at about 8:30 AM. Our first stop was the Khumjung Monastery. Ang Temba took us inside and after we stood quietly and admired the beautiful art and the peaceful coolness of the inside, we took a look at the famous “Yeti Scalp” that has been kept at this monastery for decades. The story goes that the Scalp came from a Yeti that was found near Nangpa La on the Tibet border.

Brent Bishop at Barry Bishop MemorialDuring our expedition this month we will be referring frequently to the first ascent of Ama Dablam, which was done by Barry Bishop and others in March of 1961. Barry’s team managed the first ascent of the same route that we will attempt as a part of their research, exploratory and climbing projects on the 1960 – 1961 Himalayan Scientific and Mountaineering Expedition. Sir Edmund Hillary was the leader of the expedition. One of my favorite things about the team, which was comprised of scientists as well as mountaineers was that Marlin Perkins (yes, the same Marlin Perkins we all remember from Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom) was along.

I have a photo taken by Barry of Marlin wearing the same Yeti Scalp from Khumjung from the October 1961 National Geographic.

These days the Yeti Scalp is kept in a locked glass case, so we were on able to try in on for size as Perkins did so many years ago.

We arrived in Tangboche for lunch. Tangboche is always a special place for climbers passing through on the way to the big peaks of this area. After lunch we sat through a prayer session conducted by the Tangboche Rinpoche, now well into his 70’s. He is the same Lama who met and blessed the first American Expedition to Everest in 1963. After the prayers were over, our entire team went out to the memorials on a secluded ridge behind the monastery for some of the members of the ‘63 climb. Jake Breitenbach’s which reads, “Long live the Crow”, Lute Jerstad’s memorial, and of course Barry Bishop’s memorial (above), with the inscription, “And Away we go…”

Ang Temba and FamilyWe had a few quiet moments with “the boys”, before we moved on from Tangboche to Pangboche, where we will be staying at the lodge of Ang Temba and his wife Yangjing. Their two children, Tshering and Denzan Yangtee are home from school for the Nepalese Dasain Holiday period.

As many of you know Ang Temba will be the Sirdar or head Sherpa for organizing and running the Berg Adventures Everest 2003 climb next spring. When we get to Pangboche we will also hook up with Nima Tashi, who will be busy getting our Base Camp for this season’s Ama Dablam climb established.

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