Hello, this is Rob Chang,
Director of ECFACE 2005 checking in from Katmandu.
Well it has been a busy few
days since my arrival back to Katmandu. After my descent off the mountain and
heli-vac to the CIWC Clinic, my check-up disclosed PE and CE and an eye issue
too. I've been recouping here and have a few thoughts about this season.
Its been good to see other
climbers here, making it back and sharing the stories of all the adventure
that was prevalent on Mount Everest this season. Unfortunately, we still are
getting news of hardship and tragedy on the mountain, but most of us veteran
climbers are glad to see this long and tough season near its end.
Last night I had dinner at
the Rum Doodle with Mark Tucker and MM's Willie Benegas, and the discussions
and conversations were light - which after many of occurrences, were much
This season obviously
heralded in the latest summits ever on the South side, and of course, managed
to take the lives of no less than 5 climbers, but as Everest can be, it is
still a serious endeavor that brings out the best in people too.
It was a great observation
and learning experience to see other teams try to work so hard to coordinate
unlike in the past - and in some respect, a few key players always make it
happen - some real credit should be given to these guys, as if they didn't
make the initial moves, maybe none of us would have gotten to the top.
My summit with Ang Pasang on
May 31st, along with the historic summit of my Sirdar, Apa, my fellow team
member John Gray and Dawa Sherpa will be one of the crowning points of the
short 17 year climbing career, but one poignant and crucial thing not to be
missed was that there are always leaders, and there are always followers.
Those who lead on the
mountain - helped make success a reality this summit season. I remember when
I asked Apa if we were going to get a shot at the summit, and when he replied
"maybe Everest needs a rest this year" I became skeptical. But one of the key
ingredients to mountaineering is partnership and camaraderie, not just amongst
your own team, but with others, and to this end, I would like to thank all the
teams, especially Mountain Madness (yes still owe for crab Chris), Jagged
Globe (thanks for the meat), Shauna Burke and Gary (great salami), IMG and
Mark T (laughs, bday, scotch and weather) AAI (Willie, Nellie, Vern and
stories/beta) and all those others that brought together a sense of what
climbing Everest is really about.
With the tragedies and
mishaps being magnified in the media worldwide, one view seldomn shown in
those "aftermath" reports of avalanches, crevasse falls, helicopter crashes
were the depth of the friendships that are developed between our teams and
their individuals, even when we have differencing views...(sorry about the 10
pickets Willie B).
This is a key part of
mountaineering that shines, and I hope all the teams that are still coming
down, a safe return to Kat...... Rob
Everest Climber, author and
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