Sunday, May 4, 2008

"View is here, wish you were beautiful"

Have to give Jeff A. credit for that one, but I'm still laughing from it. :)

How do I even begin to describe this amazing place on my first (and possibly last) blog entry?! The sheer scale of the Himalayas is unlike anything on earth. Routinely I find myself gazing at a ridgeline 5-10k ft above me, only to see the clouds pass and expose a 25k+ peak towering above it. Most people (me included) have named our favorite thus far: Ama Dablam. It's apparently one of the toughest to climb and has an unmistable profile - steep ridgelines leading to a completely horizontal summit spanning 50 ft (or so it appears).

I've lost count at the number of bridges we've crossed as we zigzag across several raging rivers. One in particular was a suspension bridge that must have been over 100 ft above the river. The bridges however, are very well built and could easily handle many times its peak load on any given day.

The credit however, goes to the porters that carry the loads for us to have luxuries such as heated food and internet connections. One of the more noteworthy loads I've seen was a man carrying (by Wheels' and my estimate) 8 5-gallon jugs of diesel fuel. As if the load at that altitude wasn't enough, try walking in an inescapable cloud of diesel fumes. We also saw several people carrying 6 5/8" sheets of plywood appx 3' x 8' on their backs. No, there were no typos in there. I can only imagine what it was like carrying that "sail" when crossing the suspension bridge at 100ft in the air!!

Today is our rest and acclimatization day in Dingboche. We all did a 1-2 hr hike to get the lungs working, then came back to tea house at a little over 14k ft. We are going to try and surprise Laurie tonight with a deep fried snickers bar. After seeing the cooks' facial expression to my explanation however, who knows what we'll end up with. :)

Hope to be able to post again, but not sure about internet availability higher than this!


1 comment:

Keith Cowing said...

Please make certain that Sabrina gives Scott *BOTH* bags of chocolate covered expresso beans that I sent along with her ;-)