Well we’re back.  Wrote a lovely blog entry only to have it self delete two minutes ago when the power once again went off here in Kathmandu.  I write from a cyber cafe surrounded by the smells of incense and the Tibetian chants.  I love the familiarity I now feel.  I figured out this morning that I will be in Nepal three times within a one year period.  Almost more than I am in either Boston or Boulder!  A clarification on the wall in front of me- I see art work and sancrit, “namastse” spelled two ways with an ‘a’ and with an ‘e’.  I am not a particularly good speller so seeing it spelled several ways only adds to the confusion.

This morning our expedition was registered with Elizabeth Hawley.  For those not familiar with Ms. Hawley, she has been keeping the statistics on all the Himalayan expeditions since 1963.  She is now a formidable 84 years old and keeps all the records on all the climbing expedition, a remarkable feat!  She has two employess who track us down, set up a meeting and gather all the information, our route, our ages, our experience. It has also been confirmed that Tibet is closed to the world and we will not be climbing Cho Oyu.  Baruntse it is and we will be leaving the day after tomorrow.  We now await the end of the monsoon season.  But as climbers waiting is always part of the experience.  I had to wait 8 days to get off of Vinson so waiting here in Kathmandu for the rains to subside is not unusual.  We had discussed trekking to Lukla then on to Baruntse but were informed about the leeches that are invasive between Kathmandu and Lukla.  Leeches!!!  after my little incident with that spider in Boulder you can forget about leeches. Guess these little suckers (I’m being literal here) are part of monsoon season.  Every two seconds I jump up and start checking for them. I took two showers yesterday and plan at least the same for today.

Karma Babu is our Sherpa here in Kathmandu. He is like a project manager, he oversees all the logistics.  Dawa Tensing will once again be my high altitude Sherpa.  Babu will be the lead cook and heads up the logistics once on the mountain.  We will also be joined by little Nema Sherpa, the youngest of our team at 18.  Think of him as a trainee.  In addition we will have about four more who help with carries and set-up.  It is a complex and involved process.  Next March we will have even more in addition to another high altitude Sherpa an Everest team is huge.

We are using this climb as a training for Everest complete with oxygen although not needed at the summit of Baruntse.  I’m certain to have lots to say once I get on that regulator.  Tomorrow will be final preparations and in the afternoon I am taking a spiritual tour of the region- something I am very anxious to do.  There is so very much to learn and experience and as comfortable as I now am here I still have only begun to scratch the surface.

Last night Brooke and I were eating a Neplaese pizza, I guess that is what you would call it when there was a huge bang, sparks flew everywhere and everything went dark.  In true Nepalese style no one appeared terribly concerned.  Everyone just waited while I was sure we were going to die.  A few minutes later the lights came back on and life in this far off region started up again.  Yup, I’m back and so when the same thing happened a few minutes ago I didn’t flinch.  I love it here!

Climb On!


3 Responses to “OM”

  1. 1 lisa September 1, 2008 at 6:08 pm

    Hey you

    great to read your posts. glad you are safe and leech free. Be safe and climb well.

    love you lots

    Lisa xoxo

  2. 2 Charlotte September 2, 2008 at 2:41 pm

    Hey Wendy: all best wishes from Downeast Maine where Alan and I are sailing right now hoping that the remnants of Gustav will remain South. I’ll be following your progress and wish you godspeed. Leeches will suck your blood but will not give you any disease. Just yukky. Not clear whether you’re going to Baruntse or not. Wish I could join you!! hugs from afar and be safe. As they say in Austria: Berg Heil! Charlotte

  3. 3 Jen September 3, 2008 at 11:36 am

    Safe travels – stay away from those leeches!
    🙂 Trainer Jen

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September 2008
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About Wendy Booker

In June of 1998, this 55 year old mother of three was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS after experiencing balance problems, blurred vision and numbness on her left side. When first diagnosed, Wendy was devastated. But it took very little time for her to transform anguish into inspiration. She immediately turned her hobby of casual running into a continuous pursuit and has now completed nine marathons.

Mountain climbing became the next conquest. Wendy learned about a team of mountain climbers with Multiple Sclerosis who were attempting to climb Mt. McKinley (Denali) in Alaska. With no previous climbing experience, she dedicated a year to hard training and set off with them in 2002. Although weather conditions prohibited the team from completing, Wendy attempted the summit again in 2004 on her own and she succeeded!

The feeling of accomplishment she experienced propelled her next aspiration: to climb the highest mountain on each continent. Just five years later, Wendy Booker has successfully reached the top of six of The Seven Summits – Mt. Kilimanjaro, Mt. McKinley, Mt. Elbrus, Mt. Aconcagua, Mt. Vinson Massif and Mt. Kosciuszko. Mt. Everest, the highest mountain on earth, still awaits for 2010.


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