October 30, 2007 – Ama Dablam Group Arrives and Explores Kathmandu

Ms Hawley with Ama Dablam Team

When you travel this far from home it is not unusual to experience some change is sleep patterns. So, I wasn’t that surprised to see many of my fellow BAI travelers in the lobby before 6am. Some like me were there even earlier. Without a doubt we all soon adapt to the rhythm of the trail.

At 0900 we met with the iconic Ms. Elisabeth Hawley. Ms Hawley, or Liz has been the faithful chronicler of all climbing in the Himalaya since the very early days of National expeditions. She (or her staff) continues to interview climbing teams from around the world before and after their expeditions into the mountains. Jack was surprised to see a form that he had filled out for Ms. Hawley back in 2000 in her hands. She wanted to keep her facts straight. She has long been a friend of Berg Adventures and Wally Berg even took part in the meeting from the BAI office in Canada, via the internet. Before she left us today we all posed for photos in front of her ’63 VW Beatle.

Jack experiencing Kathmandu culture

Don Morgan joined our BAI trekkers for a tour of a Tibetan carpet factory owned by another friend of BAI Tering Dokar. This is a very informative journey through the back rooms to explore how these traditionally hand knotted carpets are made. It is one of the amazing things about a BAI trip. Even though we have a very difficult objective in the coming weeks we know the importance of soaking in the local flavour in the countries that we visit.

Don in front of the hotel ‘Yak and Yeti’

Keeping that in mind Jack O’Donnell and I spent the morning touring Durbar Square. This World Heritage site is packed with more temples than one can imagine. Twenty three temples in the space of a city block. Dating back to the Malla kings (1562 AD), the site shows clearly the blending of Hindu and Buddhist religions the are part of Nepalese life. The wooden temple of Kasthamandap (wooden house) is the meeting place, built from the wood of a single Sal tree, lent its name to the city of Kathmandu.

So, after all this we are taking the afternoon for a little rest and preparation for our planned flights to the mountain airport at Lukla early tomorrow.

Our objective:

Ama Dablam
Nepal Himalaya

22,494 feet
6857 meters

First Ascent:

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