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Tag Archives: Sherpa

Inspecting the Gabion Cages in Phortse with Passang, Kumar and Lakpha.

Clouds calm and peaceful in Phortse.

Timex in Kathmandu. Cool stuff!

Dick Bass of Snowbird was celebrating the 25th anniversary of his ascent of Everest.

The Maoist Party had a Big Party on the 1st of May.

Young idealists.

After May Day ion Kathmandu I went to the mountains. The Zorral (mountain goat) is protected animal in Sagamartha National Park.

This is a detail of Alex’s memorial rock. Always to stop by and make tribute. This I do….

Damien & Willi Benegas, Cory Richards and radish @ Everest Base Camp. At 17,500 feet air is thin.

Dave Hahn and I climbed Everest in 99. He summited # 12 this season. Way to go Dave!

Russell Brice & Passang Tenjing Sherpa at Base Camp. Russell is the moving force behind HimEx, an Everest guiding concern and Passang is my friend from the Khumbu Climbing Center who helped with the Extreme Ice Survey.

Passang, Adam LeWinter, Cory Richards and me set up time lapse cameras to monitor glaciers in the Mount Everest region. We also compared images from 50 years ago. Guess what? The glaciers are melting.

A self portrait with the south face of Ama Dablam in the background.

The edge of the Nare Glacier near Mingbo Pass. Looking at the glacier polish of recently exposed rock was awesome. Smooth as a mirror.

Passang Tenjing, hi mom and grandmother! Passang’s dad climbed Everest in 1971. passang has climbed it 9 times. His grandmother is 85 and is a beacon of good energy.

Thanks for visiting and see you soon!

March 27, 2008 | Katmandu

Katmandu on a winter’s night is a unique place. People are tucked away in their houses, the aroma of charcoal braziers mixes with the humidity drifting up from the terai. Even with 4 million people in a small valley, there is a hint of the exotic. Perhaps I have read too much Rudyard Kipling and I imagine my self-alive 150 years earlier. With no jet aviation let alone the internal combustion engine mounted to four wheels.

Perhaps this is it . . . my love for nature and the outdoors. I’m perpetually trying to get back to a place and time that is a compilation of my imagination’s best moments. Well,if that is what it is I certainly don’t mind.

I’m in Katmandu for the fifth annual Khumbu Climbing School, a vocational training program for the high altitude climbers of Nepal. The climbers that are with me are here to share their expertise on climbing with the local Nepali people. Our goal is to make climbing (guiding) on the tall peaks safer for the Sherpa – the ones who do the majority of the work and suffer the most of the consequences.

The Khumbu is a special place. The Sherpa people that live in the region are super friendly and have a balance in living with nature. Their villages are within the Sagarmatha National Park – which means they live close to wild places. Land that is arable has been tended for centuries, coaxing potatoes and barley from the sandy soil. It seems the only wildness we find are the high mountains, rising tall above the villages and monasteries. Is it possible that there is actual wildness in these mountains or is it merely a postcard backdrop to a human landscape?

Certainly it isn’t the wilderness one comes to think of in Alaska or Siberia, where human impact is far away and passing when it arrives. But it isn’t the urban landscape that covers much of our delicate planet. Hidden in the steep canyons are tall pine trees, home to squirrels and birds. In the under story one can see the occasional musk deer or if one is lucky and patient a snow leopard. As a climber, the cliffs and peaks call me with their unexplored and mysterious faces and ridges. Here, far above where grasses grow is the stark, desolate wilderness of the high alpine. Trapped in perpetual cold, clad by snow I find my greatest joy being in these high mountains.

Knowing there is wildness, just beyond, in places my imagination can visit and my eyes report upon, is what sustains my drive to be in the woods. The finest moments of my life – from being with my grandfather on the upper Tuolumne River fly rod in hand as a wide eyed six year old to standing on the summit of our shared planet as an incredulous 44 year old – are inextricably tied to the wild. Without it I wouldn’t be who I am.

And if we extrapolate this to the bigger picture, what would our world be without wilderness?

– Conrad