Getting ready for the mountains
It’s Easter and even though there are no Easter bunnies or eggs in Kathmandu, I feel like I am on an Easter egg hunt trying to catch the dozens of expeditions going to the various peaks this spring. You have guessed right – I am back in my seat as Miss Hawley’s assistant and the work certainly has not become less over the past nine years. Writing this down has just made me realise how long it has been that I have been working for Miss Hawley and the Himalayan Database.
After three months in Pakistan and another three months in Switzerland, which I both thoroughly enjoyed, it is great to be back in the madness of Kathmandu. And even though the air is filled with dust and pollution, I am enjoying the warmth of the sunshine while I am looking at the European weather forecast still predicting snowfall for the next few days.
Miss Hawley is on good form. She is turning 90 in November this year, however, she still goes out to see three to four teams per day and certainly keeps me on my toes! I have met several groups, most of which are going to Everest, however, there are also many expeditions venturing to other mountains, such as Kangchenjunga, Dhaulagiri, Makalu etc.
I have had the honour to meet some amazing people, such as Mr Miura from Japan, who at 80 years is aiming to break his own record to become the oldest person to reach the top of the world. He did exactly this ten years ago – a record that was broken in 2008 by Min Bahadur Serchan from Nepal, who climbed Everest at the age of 76.
Other than that we will certainly see a few ‘Firsts’ this season – well, that is if the aspirants are achieving on the mountain what they planned back home in the comfort of their living room. I will keep you posted on this.
As for myself, I will be flying to Lukla on 12th April and try and get to Everest base camp as quickly as possible to catch up with Russell’s Everst/Lhotse/Nuptse teams. I will then take up my job as ‘Billi the Blogger’, write the newsletters for Himalayan Experience and have a go at Nuptse, a 7,864m peak right opposite Mount Everest. If I achieve this feat, I will have done the classic horseshoe of Everest, Lhotse and Nuptse – but this is still a long way away, so let’s wait and see.
As for the time being I am excited to be going back to the Everest region, breathe the fresh air, be close to the mountains and the Sherpa people and embark on yet another climbing season!
Have a great spring – and for the Europeans among you I hope the weather will soon improve and warmer weather will move in.