Time always seems to get compressed as the departure date approaches. The logistics of getting packed are one thing, and wrapping up work is something else entirely. Much less chaos than last time… but still… too much chaos! I managed to leave a minimal mess behind, so there’s that. But, worst of all, there is never enough time to spend with my family. But, somehow, they stick with me through this crazy process.
I was so pleased to find that Greg and Josh, two IMG guides whom I know well, were on the same flight (to Seoul, then Kathmandu after an overnight layover). This is auspicious for sure!
Nothing runs as smoothly as we wish… In this case, my buddies Steven and Kim were stuck in Denver due to a massive, freak snowstorm that closed the entire airport. 70F the day before, and bluebird the next day… but for just that morning the mountain gods said NO to their plans. No worries, they will catch up with us soon. In fact, Kim got to stay with my family in Seattle for a night, and this worked out perfectly because she was willing to bring some new nose guards that arrived in the mail moments after I left… plus some aged gouda cheese that I forgot to grab from the fridge. We’ll see how it travels…
Flying in to Nepal was amazing. The plains of Bangladesh and India are totally flat… and then, out of the haze, the Himalayas rise like a jagged wall. At the center of the largest massif: Everest. More snow on top than I recall from last year, but tough to tell from this perspective. Auspicious, perhaps, to see the summit from eye level. Tall, cold, and beautiful… This will be epic.
How does Kathmandu look a year later? Much the same. We saw only a tiny snippet of the city, however, and so my impression may be very skewed. Certainly life seemed to have returned largely to its usual, riotous self. Perhaps more construction than I recall from before… and very bad air quality today, unfortunately.
Great time meeting some new teammates, and reconnecting with old friends, including my guides Justin and Emily.
I passed the gear check… then struggled to get the weight and balance right as I repacked everything. Most of my gear will go to Everest Base Camp (EBC) and sit there, waiting for me to arrive circa April 7. The rest goes into my trekking duffel, or into my pack. Weight is a real issue for the planes that fly to Lukla, so we need to get everything down to the lightest possible weight. No worries.
I had no net access for that first day, which was frustrating, not being able to easily call home. But, it was a busy day and there will be plenty of time to talk with my clan tomorrow. Sleep came swiftly, a blessing given the 12 hours, 45 minutes of jet lag.