Alan Arnette left today (actually a few days ago now since I started this blog post) for KTM. He plans to climb Lohtse after a successful Everest summit in 2011 and K2 summit just last summer (2014). You can follow his dispatches by clicking on his name above. Alan is a really nice guy and offers the climbing community and the climbing followers the best, most accurate new reporting from Everest each year. Please take the opportunity to see his blog page and support his Alzheimer's initiative if you have the means. Good luck Alan! Climb on.
Jim Davidson left last week and is awaiting fair weather to get out of KTM and fly into Lukla. He spent the past few days in Kathmandu probably getting mentally prepared to head off to the Khumbu valley and the trek into base camp. Cheer him on as he treks up to basecamp and climbs Everest. I followed Jim's preparation via his Facebook page and know he climbed enough to prepare well for Everest. Good luck Jim!
Paul Devaney (aka the Irish Seven Summits) left last Sunday to complete the 7th of the "7 Summits." Check out his website and the great graphics he posted (click on his name for his website). What is not to like about an Irishman climbing? I met Paul in Namche last year while he was nursing a cold. Wish him the best and follow him on twitter. Paul is a nice guy who has many interesting stories. Perhaps he will regale us with a few during the climb. Go Paul!
John Carney leaves in roughly 3 weeks to climb from the North side (Tibet). He had two prior attempts called off due to unexpected events - once in 2012 and then last year (2014). I can't wait to celebrate his successful summit back in DC when we return. Perhaps we will see each other on the summit - gaining access from opposite sides. John earned it and I know he will pull this one off.
Finally, I leave in roughly 3 weeks - a bit later than that actually. You can follow me and my daily whereabouts here on my blog. My SPOT posts google map links directly to this blog and then, via IFTT, the blog post and links get sent to my twitter and facebook accounts. When possible, I will upload photos and updates to the blog, however, the blogspot software remains unreliable. On the bright side, the Nepali government - via Ncell I presume - are rumored to offer wifi at basecamp and, perhaps 3g service. When and if those connections are available, I will send updates and pictures. Also, I intend to call my wife Kathy with daily or maybe every other day updates from my Sat phone. By hook or crook, you will be able to see where I am in Nepal. My next post contains my itinerary and some pictures of my packing ordeal. Stay tuned for that to be posted shortly (within a few days).
Informal send-off this weekendIn lieu of having a large send-off like last year, I decided to just have an informal get-together at my house in Fairfax, VA. Please feel free to stop by next Saturday (between 9am and 8pm) and chat about whatever suits your fancy. By next Saturday, I intend to be fully packed so there won't be much to see in terms of equipment. You will see my two basecamp duffels packed and ready for the airport.
The primary reason I chose to skip the formal send-off was due to several factors...
1. I never felt like I accomplished my goal so another send-off seems forced and unnecessary. When I return, we will party. For now, I intend to keep my nose to the grindstone and focus on my objective.
2. My life is a bit hectic these days with packing, working, and cleaning. An informal send-off puts a little pressure on me to finish cleaning before I head off to Nepal. Kat will appreciate that incentive and the outcome. Right Kat?
3. The Auld Shebeen (Mick and Domo) were gracious enough to squeeze me in last year and this year but I don't want to take advantage of their friendship. Again, when I return, we will have a helluva party at the pub. Block out a Saturday afternoon in mid-June. Heck, block out all the Saturday afternoons in June. I return on June 12th. At my bash, I will show pictures of the climb.