Friday, April 18, 2014
News from Nepal
Our second day here in Kathmandu greeted us with some tragic news in the morning. We learned there was a terrible avalanche that came down from Everest's West Shoulder in between Camp 1 and the top of the Khumbu Icefall. Our guide Dawa Gyaljen Sherpa happens to be on the board of the Nepal Mountaineering Association so he was an important part of the communications chain as reports began flowing in about how many people were involved in the avalanche. At first we heard 5 Sherpas were killed, and as the news came in throughout the day we learned that 13 Sherpas were killed and 3 were still missing. This is an unprecedented tragedy on Everest with so many killed in one devastating event.
While Dawa and Nabin managed the flood of calls, we got out of their hair and toured some of the famous temples of Kathmandu. First was the Swayambhunath or Monkey Temple, followed by the Boudhanath, the largest and most significant Buddhist monument in the world. It was fitting for us to visit these immensely spiritual sites while our minds were still absorbing the fact that so many Sherpas had just lost their lives. Our thoughts and prayers go out to their families and loved ones.
At 5:00 am tomorrow local time, we will begin making our way up to Lukla where we will begin our trek towards Everest Base Camp. This will be an exciting flight as it always is landing at an airstrip that the History Channel named #1 on the list of the 10 Most Extreme Airports in the world. Along with the fun & thrill of the adventure, there will also be a somber tone in the air as we get closer to the region where this morning's tragic avalanche occurred. Please be assured however that there will be no avalanche danger whatsoever along the trekking route we will be traveling. It may be a few days until we are able to post again but will update you on the progress of our Everest Executive Challenge as the journey continues....