May 20, 2008

An unexpected call

My friend Gombu Sherpa rang me today from 7000m on Everest. He's General Leader of The First Inclusive Women's Sagarmatha Expedition 2008 Climbing leader is Pemba Sherpa, who's made the fastest ascent of Everest.

Gombu was our kitchen boy in 1983 when with a friend I attempted a first ascent in Kanjiroba Himal in W.Nepal. Since then Gombu has overcome more challenges than even Michelle Obama to provide for his extended family and his home village in the Khumbu Himal by becoming a very serious mountaineer, leader and teacher. When I meet him occasionally in Kathmandu or London or Wales I am refreshed. We are hoping to go back to our 1983 target in the near future and try again. He could carry me up like the Yogistani porter in The Ascent of Rum Doodle. His voice today was crystal clear, as tho he were next to me.

Here's a shot of Lhotse's South Face. Everest's top, with a plume of snow flying in the Jet Stream, is seen low behind at the left :

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