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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

There is no such thing as a true catastrophe....a quick change of plans

One of the people I admire most in life - Lee Sechrest - patiently advised me through graduate school and often said "there is no such thing as a true catastrophe."  Those words had little impact on me then but they ring true today.  I believe it now - not just as a trite saying to brush off unforeseen problems but really as a truism in life.  Today, I got a simple message from Dan Mazur that read......
"We are very sorry to have to inform you that due to unforseen circumstances, you will not be allowed to go to Tibet this spring. I am very sorry about this. The Tibetan mountaineering government authorities informed us of this today, and the reason they gave is that they are unable to grant entry permission to Americans who have never been to Tibet before now. This seems like an extremely lame reason to not allow you in. We are very upset about it. We spent all day on the phone with the Tibet office and they are not going to budge on this. They are unable to grant entry permission to Americans who have never been to Tibet before now. This is not their choice and is being forced on them by other branches of government. We are very sorry."
Dan went on to say that he would welcome me on the Nepal Everest expedition for a hugely discounted price (a small additional charge from my current expedition fee).  I jumped at the chance so I am now climbing the South Col with the hordes of others.  Summit Climb is a first class outfit and I am thrilled to be part of Dan's climbing expedition.

Am I disappointed?  Nah.  I still get to climb.  Was I looking forward to Tibet and the North Col?  Sure.  I wanted less crowded climbing conditions.  The upside is that I get to climb with my pals John Carney and Dan Mazur.  I see this change as a net gain.  If the Chinese government doesn't want my money then I will gladly part with some fun coupons to benefit the Nepalese.  There are far more near-catastrophic things in life than having travel plans change.

The climb is on!  The party is on too.  Come join us at the Auld Shebeen this Saturday from 3-9pm.

Thanks Lee for giving me the right perspective.