Is it lost? Some things just can't be replaced. These were some of the things that went through our heads as we filed the lost luggage forms after arriving at the Kathmandu International Airport late Friday night. All four of our expedition duffel bags went missing and without this gear the climb would be over before it even started. We were told that three of the bags were thought to be in Kuala Lumpur but they didn't know about the fourth.
Fast forward to Saturday night as I stood in front of the same baggage carousel watching with nervous anticipation as each and every bag emerged. Finally it happened, my first bag rolled out and I felt like I won the auction for Scott Fischer's ice axe all over again. The other three bags followed shortly after and being reunited with all of our vital climbing equipment meant we were back on track to fly to Lukla early the next morning.
Although this is our fifth trip to Nepal and also our fifth time flying into Lukla (which is ranked #1 among the most extreme airports in the world) it is still just as exciting to land here as it was the first time. After touching down on this short 1,500-foot runway carved into the mountainside, we all cheered and said our own private prayers of gratitude.
After a team photo, Denise and I along with Scott's ice axe began making our way north to the village of Phakding where we are now. Tomorrow we will continue upward to Namche Bazaar.