Berg Adventures International 2003 Everest Expedition

Wally Berg reports expedition underway in Kathmandu

This is the first dispatch from the Berg Adventures 2003 Everest Expedition. Leila and I arrived here in Kathmandu on August 26th, interestingly enough, the same day that Kellie Erwin and the BAI Kilimanjaro Lemosho Traverse team reached the top of Kilimanjaro. Kellie’s reports made it clear that as that team camped in the crater of Kili, they experienced some real challenges of acclimatization and sleeping at those altitudes. Not a surprise, because their elevation at 18,700’ or 5700m is virtually as high as our Camp 1 at the top of the Khumbu icefall will be on this expedition. Congratulations to that entire team that reached the summit of Kilimanjaro.

Maegan Carney arrives in KathmanduThey’ve been off on safari since that time, and here in Kathmandu Peak Promotions, Wang Chu Sherpa, Ang Temba, and a lot of other characters you’ll get to know well this season and myself have been working hard to get things underway. Garry Porter arrived the day after Leila and I, and the following day, the 30th of August, Garry and I went out to Kathmandu’s international airport and we met Maegan. She walked through customs with her duffle bag and her ski bags and a beaming smile having arrived from Chamonix ready to go after a year of planning, dreaming, training… she’s finally underway. She looked great, and her and Garry were happy to be reunited having last seen one another here in the Khumbu last fall.

The monsoon, the end of the monsoon season weather here in Nepal and Kathmandu is very warm. The air is clear from the hard daily rains that come – they never last very long, but when they do open up we have walls of water come down for a while. It’s actually very pleasant and very green.

On the 30th, Garry and Maegan left Kathmandu very early in the morning, got on the first flight to Lukla and were actually standing with their feet on the ground in Lukla prior to 7 a.m. On the second flight right behind them we had a lot of cargo. That plane had to circle the airstrip for a while, finally saw a clearing and landed. Each day since that time we’ve sent cargo out to Lukla. The expedition supplies are beginning to move up the valley.

Garry Porter and Maegan CarneyWe’re still here in Kathmandu getting the paperwork and everything in place for our permit. Things are going well and are in order, and it is confirmed that we will be the only team climbing Everest from the Nepal side – the only team doing the South Col route of Everest this year. This is a dream of mine come true, to have an “old style” expedition, you might say, on that route. The great thing about it is that everything we succeed at, all of our failures, what works, what doesn’t work is only going to be on us. And that’s what an expedition is about to me. We have a strong team: the climbers, certainly all the support trekkers and support staff on our trip you’ll get to know well, and most especially the Sherpas and the Nepalese. They’re all people you’re going to get to know well through these dispatches in the coming weeks. We’re happy to be underway, we’re working hard, and we’ll continue to report as we get things in place and the entire team moves up into the Khumbu and begins to approach Everest

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