May 24, 2003 – OM1 and OM2 summit Kala Pataar

I’m calling you on the afternoon of May 24. It’s a beautiful, clear afternoon. I’m looking up at Everest. The summit seems very calm and clear this afternoon.

We’re in our camp at Gorak Shep at 16,800 feet (5120 m), alongside the Khumbu Glacier.

Peter and Min at Sherpa MemorialsYesterday we left Pheriche and we walked up to the terminal moraine of the Khumbu Glacier. We passed the memorials for all the Sherpa climbers and others who have been lost on Everest over the years.

We paused there and reflected for a while. It was a beautiful, reflective time with the mists swirling around the memorials.

Later we arrived at Lobuche, at 16,000 feet or 4875 m. As we always do, we had made reservation in advance at the Eco Lodge which has really nice rooms and in Lobuche that’s always really appreciated. We’re still trekking with Peter Hillary and Amelia. The Eco Lodge was quite bustling and crowded last night. ABC news was there and a number of people were down from Base Camp as well.

Peter didn’t get much sleep last night. He was in the room next to the ABC crew and they were up through most of the night filing a dispatch that I believe aired on ABC World News last night. Wally and Ganesh Rajm KasiThe crew was very apologetic to me this morning, but I had slept through the whole thing. Peter let them know a time or two that their work was making it difficult for him to sleep. But we all shook hands and departed this morning as friends.

We continued on to Gorak Shep, from where I’m calling you now. Along the way, I visited with my old friend Undersecretary Ganesh Raj Kasi from His Majesty’s Government Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation. Ganesh has been the Liaison Officer for the Japanese Team on Everest.

The two old men I keep talking about, that fierce pair “OM1 and OM2” Lloyd and Danu, continued on this afternoon after we arrived at Gorak Shep, and they climbed to the top of Kala Pataar at 18,700 feet (5700 m), just the two of them with Ang Temba along to do some filming.

Ang Temba filming on Kala PataarThey came down really joyous at what a wonderful time they’d had on the summit. These two “old men” are proving to be very strong on our trip, having summitted Kala Pataar this afternoon.

They each have daughters of approximately the same age. Lloyd has received word at how brilliantly his daughter Amber sang at her performance the other night and as you can see from that photo from Kunde, Danu’s young daughter is approximately the same age. These guys do great.

Peter is doing well with his acclimatization as well. He just didn’t feel quite as ambitious today so we sat in the sun in Gorak Shep and drank tea and enjoyed the scenery.

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