October 8th - Old Friends in the Khumbu

This is Wally Berg calling in from the trail. It is still mostly cloudy skies but as we began the trek towards Pheriche, Ama Dablam cleared and revealed herself to us, really an awesome sight; towering above us as we crossed the Imja Khola and trekked into the village of Pangboche. All of the trekkers in this group; Dafna, Amelie, Mark and Steve continued to be exceptionally fit and I can see day by day, they are more and more into the Khumbu (unintelligible).

Pangboche is quite an important village for Berg Adventures trips this autumm. You will know this well as we continue the dispatches. When we first arrived in Pangboche, we stopped at the lodge run by Ang Temba, and his wife was there. We have seen Ang Temba a few times since we got to the Khumbu, he is working busily right now with National Geographic, working with the photographer who is getting the material for next spring’s issue of the 50th anniversary of the first ascent of Everest.

Ang Temba will be the Berg Adventures Sirdar, or head sherpa for our Everest climb next spring. (He was also the Sirdar of the 2002 National Geographic Everest 50th Anniversary expedition)

We also stopped a few minutes later by Nima Tashi’s house, many of you may remember from 1998 dispatches; from my Everest GPS expedition; Nima Tashi was key on the success of that trip. He and I are old friends, I remembered in particular after I climbed Lhotse in 1990. Nima Tashi summitted Everest and we flew back to the States together and spent a week in Seattle at Scott and Jean Fisher’s house. Old friends, we had a lot of adventures since and I am sure many more to come.

At Nima Tashi‘s house we had a really great experience of dropping by as the family was doing a pooja, in other words there were 4 Lamas who were praying, chanting, ringing bells, preparing butter lamps and praying for the village and the family as we sat and drank Tibetan tea or salt tea. What an interesting way of passing some time in the morning.

We always meet a lot of friends and find out much about the climbing adventures coming up in the Khumbu area as we trek up the trail. This morning in particularly, I ran across a good friend of mine, Megan Carney - an extreme skier from US now residing in Chamonix - we caught up along the trail and she told me about her plans to ski Everest next year and as preparation she plans to ski Cholatse this fall. I am looking forward to watch Megan progress with this adventure in Cholatse this coming week.

Now we are going into Pheriche, we have met some medical students from US on the trail. Mark and Steve in particular were very interested to catch up with these meds students. They are doing a study in Ginko Biloba versus Diamox as an aid for acclimatization, as many of you know Pheriche is the home of the Himalayan Rescue Association Clinic; our lodge is adjacent to that clinic. We will be in Pheriche for awhile for sake of acclimatization, catching up with news from the expeditions and seeing old friends. I will give you reports from Pheriche in the next couple of days.

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