Long and Winding Road

Flights from Kathmandu to Lukla trickled out but as the morning progressed word came from Lukla that the clouds, wind and weather had once again moved in and all flights out of Kathmandu were suspended. Days worth of climbers and trekkers were backed up at the domestic terminal along with goats, chickens, fuel, flour, salt and tons of provisions for all the expeditions and no one was going anywhere.  We sat and waited along with everyone else while Karma Babu our Kathmandu liaison guru worked his magic.  Like any other project manager, his cell phone is attached to his ear.  Here we are in Nepal where there is nothing even close to modern conveniences yet everyone seems to posses a cell phone!  As the hundreds of passengers reviewed their travel options and planned on returning to their all too familiar hotel rooms our little team was quickly escorted through the jammed terminal stepping over bodies and crates with hens to an awaiting helicopter – the one and only remaining flight of the day heading for Lukla!  We are on our way!  Because of weight restrictions we were only able to take a small backpack with enough supplies for three days.  Now I write from Namche Bazaar two days travel out of Lukla still waiting for all our gear to arrive but jubilant to be here and feeling great!

Writing or even getting to a computer requires commitment and perseverance as altitude is now a factor and our “tea house” is on the upper most level of a city built on the side of the mountain.  Seems all the computers are way down at the bottom.  Tom and I headed down with me mumbling the entire time about how much work it was going to be to get back to the tea house.  But we are here and will be for the next two days resting up to move up.  We anticipate reaching base camp in another ten days, slowly slowly!  Or as we are constantly reminded, “paulie paulie” as is the adage of the climber. 

Time to go put our feet up after a half hour trek (Tom says for us it may be 45 minutes after three wrong turns getting down here) We ended up in someones potato patch a few minutes ago.  Oh yes, I need to remind you that altitude can make you slower in all regards including mental capabilities.  Tom and I hope to be back before dark.

Namaste from Namche!

Climb On!


6 Responses to “Long and Winding Road”

  1. 1 Todd April 6, 2009 at 10:40 am

    Wendy we all are thinking of you here in New Hampshire..

    I have been following my old skiing friend Peter Whittaker on his trek up to base camp. For all that would like to see what Wendy is seeing as she treks to base camp, Peter has daily videos on his website.. http://www.blog.firstascent.com .

    I have found this fascinating to watch video clips of what Wendy and all of the other climbers are experiencing from day to day… climb on Wendy!! Todd

  2. 2 Sheryl April 6, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    Slow and steady, girl, that’s the mantra (though not for me today, Pixie dragged me huffing and puffing through east gloucester this morning. Keeping up with her will either make me stronger or kill me–stay tuned!)
    God Bless Karma Babu…keep the magic comin’!! Thinking about you everyday…
    Sheryl 😉

  3. 3 Sheryl April 6, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    P.S. Thanks Todd, Peter’s blog is a great way to see first-hand (or is it second) all the places Wendy has talked about. Sheryl

  4. 4 Jen April 7, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    Yea! That’s exciting news, and I’m glad Tom made it for the trip. It sounds like you are doing well, you are constantly in my thoughts! Love, Trainer Jen

  5. 5 Brooke Barnes April 8, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    Hi Everyone from Namche,
    Brooke here…I just wanted to let you all know if you want to see pictures of Wendy and our adventure as we move to Everest Base Camp and beyond check out our photos at http://www.mountain-link.com/adventures/seven_summits/Mt_Everest/Mt_Everest_Slideshow/. We will be posting photos and dispatches as we move along.
    I have been given the unique opportunity to meet many of Wendy’s friends over the past few years and greatly appreciate your love and support. We love reading all your comments so keep them coming!

    Much love coming from Nepal,
    Brooke Barnes
    Mountain Link Guide

  6. 6 Carol April 8, 2009 at 11:11 pm

    Keep up the good work. Take care of yourself – and listen to Practical Magic.

    I am thinking of you every day and I keep telling my students in Fit-At-Any-Age about your journey. I told them that if they feel like complaining about their aches and pains to think of you and “suck it up”



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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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