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 Alpine Ascents: Island Peak & Kala Pattar

Hi, this is Winslow calling in for team “Better late than Neverest” on the 19th of October. We slept in, having breakfast at 7:30 instead of 6:30. You may tired of hearing this, but we had another gorgeous day. It was again 25* today and everything was covered in frost including the yaks. We took an acclimatization hike up to 16,700 feet with a total gain of 2,900 feet today. The group continued to be stunned by the majestic high peaks that surround us in every direction. The views included Cho Oyu, Island Peak, Nuptse, and Makalu, to name a few.

Many members reached their personal high point. I did hear one description of the steep switch-backing trail as brutal. Dave M was in heaven as we did a little scramble through some boulders to reach a lovely lookout point and I can’t tell you how excited Dave H was, as well. A few more highlights of the day were Todd reciting poetry and seeing an eagle with a 4 to 6 foot wing span soaring in the cold breeze that was blowing across the ridge. I have to mention the food today as we are continually surprised at what the staff produces at 14000 feet on the stove. We had California rolls for lunch, pizza for dinner, and cinnamon cake for dessert. Tomorrow we head up to Lobuje, now putting us three days from Everest base camp. A few folks are fighting off a cold that seems to be making its rounds in the group. Yet everyone’s spirits are high and the acclimatization is going well. Thanks for tuning in. We’ll chat again later. Namaste.

10/18/07: Hi, this is Winslow with team “Better Late than Never”. Today we woke with perfectly clear skies at a brisk 25*F with brilliant views of Everest, Lhotse, and Ama Dablam. It stayed clear all day today- a first for this trip. We enjoyed views of island peak as we climbed above tree line and crossed a beautiful high plateau. The group exhibited their advanced yak dodging skills on the narrow trails. We arrived at Pheriche at 2pm in time to sit in on a very interesting high altitude lecture at the Himalayan research center. Half the group got in hot showers as well. The group is doing a great job learning Nepali as we have a word of the day each day. So far, they know how to say “no problem”, “its a beautiful day”, “its delicious”, “maybe” with a Sherpa nod, and “what are you going to do”. Everyone is feeling well and complaints are non existent. Thanks for tuning in. We will talk to you soon.

10/17/07: Better Late than nEverest

Hello friends and family, We are having the time of our lives up here in the Khumbu. It has been a spectacular day. We are now in Tengboche enjoying the views of Everest, Lhotse, Ama Dablam, and Kantega. We induldged ourselves at the Bakery with donuts, chocolate cake, and brownies. Then we visited the Eco Center for shopping, a lesson in Buddist history, and a video about the Tengboche monastery. Some people went into the beautiful monastery for the afternoon ceremony as well.

I wanted to add a very nice part of our day yesterday which was seeing Lhakpa Rita's and Kami Rita's parents house. We enjoyed tea and a special blessing from them.

We are now only 20 minutes from our next camp in Deboche, a lovely small village in the Rhododendron forest.

Tomorrow we will enjoy a hike to Pheriche where we will stay for 2 days. Everyone is doing well. Though a few people are battling some cold symptoms, they have not let it slow them down.

Lots of love to family and friends!

Namaste! Winslow

Earlier: We had another wonderful day today hiking to Namche Bazaar. We saw our first views of Everest and Lhotse, it is hard to describe how grand it is. Everyone made it up the Namche hill with no problems. I have not even a headache to report so far. We arrived by noon which gave us time to shower, hand over some laundry, and explore downtown Namche. We are having a great time, and we are looking forward to traveling to Thame tomorrow. We will keep you posted. Lots of Love to our friends and family. Happy Birthday Brent! Namaste! Winslow

Bridge over the Dudh Khosi

Everest and Lhotse on the trail to Namche

We have a team name! We are team "Better Late than nEverest"!! The day began with a very greatful, but extremely packed helicopter ride. Some of us in the back had six inches between our noses and the seat in front of us, and it was a group initiative getting everyone on board. After a safe landing we rejoiced our arrival to Lukla. I have been impressed with this group as they have embraced the Buddhist philosophy of accepting what you have and letting go of what you have not! In addition, all the time, seeing the bright side of things inspite of a four day delay.

Here are two quotes of the day: "This is the most beautiful inhabited place I have ever seen!!" and " YEAH!!!"

The team has been thoroughly moved by many things including the neatly tended fields, the colorfully painted houses, the abundant flowers, and the beautiful smiling children. Animals that we encountered today include two monkeys, several dogs, multicolored chickens, a snake, yaks, horses, goats, and cows. We hope to see the Yeti on our journey to come. I should mention as well that we are not going hungry, as we have had five fabulous meals today. Namaste!!

View at Dhulikhel

Kids in the Khumbu

Hiking along the Dudh Khosi River

Bridge to Namche

Lukla airport with our Helicopter in the background

In the Heli

10/12/07: This is from both groups as we are now on the same schedule. It has been another crazy day trying to fly to Lukla today. We left Dhulikhel mountain resort this morning and camp straight to the airport. We played many games such as dodge ball, keep away, and hacky sac. Then we did yoga in the parking lot, and then we played some cards and read our books. We had lunch, and we are still waiting. We have chartered a helicopter, and we should be boarding in a few minutes, so hopefully we can land tonight and begin our trek. Everyone is holding up well considering the amount of waiting we have endured. Yesterday we were able to do some sight seeing and shopping, and then had a wonderful journey into the countryside for the evening. Hopefully the next cybercast will be from Lukla or Phakding in the Khumbu. Namaste!

Hello friends and family, We are still in Kathmandu on a delay of two days now. There may have been a problem with the first cybercast as I have not seen it posted. So I will announce again the team members consisting of 10 climbers and 3 trekkers: Al Aldrich, Linda Comeau, Sam Casoria, David Meston, Elaine Cidzick, Geoff Heigh, Dave Haag, Al Hinrichsen, Bruce Hinrichsen, Todd Vieregg, Tim Archer, Vic Pedersen, Jaye George, and myself Winslow Passey We flew toward Lukla on the 9th and ended up landing on a beautiful plateau in a town called Rumjatar. We had tea and biscuits, and returned to Lukla as the clouds socked in the runway. It was described by one from Lukla as so bad that the crows couldn’t get off the ground. We felt fortunate for this scenic flight and country tour, but then we spent the rest of the day in the airport only to return to the Yak & Yeti. The group has become quite proficient at packing and unpacking. We are starting to recognize all the airport staff, and we have given out copious amounts of baggage tips. The airport highlight was the cart races with the Australians and the South Africans. We are happy to announce that we won, and have Geoff (the pusher) and Dave (the rider) to thank for this success. Many members enjoyed bargaining in Thamel for gifts this afternoon while others enjoyed the poolside at the hotel. We had a lovely dinner this evening in an outdoor garden setting with live Nepali music and dancing. We celebrated Allen's birthday (from the other group) as well. We will head back to the airport in the morning for round three, with the other group on round two, so we are hoping for good weather. More news to come , hopefully from Phakding which is where we will spend our first night in the Khumbu. Namaste! Winslow



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