Namaste! The USAF 7 Summits Challenge team made it to Nepal just after midnight on the 31st of March. We were able to hit the sack by 0230 after a five hour flight from Hong Kong (it was delayed 2.5hrs due to storms over HK) and waiting over an hour at Nepalese immigration. It’s now about 24hrs since we got here and the team is slowly recovering from the long trip and 12hr circadian rhythm shift.
Yesterday we ate breakfast outside side as the birds were chirping and the sun came up over the bamboo and wiry trees. The rest of the day was spent doing a task critical to our pre-depature risk management: gear checks.
While each trekker and climber already packed using a detailed gear list, it’s inevitable that something was overlooked, forgotten, or doesn’t meet requirements. So each small room became a mass of colorful gear spread out across beds, floors and chairs: sleeping bags, boots, crampons, jackets, long underwear, harnesses, cord, gloves, hats, goggles, snacks, medicines, electronics, water bottles, and many other items. The main goal of this: don’t get into the mountains and find something is missing/broken/unnecessary. It also gives us a chance to come together as a team and see what we can share among each other, therefore saving weight and repetition.
The wounded warriors (two Pararescuemen and one Combat Rescue Officer) are having a great time. After eating lunch, they headed off on a tour of the city while the climbers bought a little gear and repacked. Here is a SITREP sent out by one of the PJs. (Notice- there is a character in this photo called “Charlie”. He’s pretty darn famous in the rescue community. Charlie enjoyed the tour and is thinking about heading to the summit of Everest, but hasn’t made up his mind.)
The three of us had an epic day to say the least. After we left Rob Marshall and gang at lunch we did a city tour of the Stupa Boudhantah and ate at the Cafe Dew Drops overlooking the Stupa and market. We visited some incredible Buddhist temples, art schools, and shops. I got blessed by a Buddhist monk in the temple. It was sweet. Then we headed for the Hindu part of town to see the Pashupati Area which was unreal. There are so many diverse group that live so close together, each with their own customs and practices. We met some very interesting people including a Hindu Holy man who took pictures with Charlie. We ended the sunset day at the Temple of Monkeys on top of the city where you could see for miles. Gus and I went to the Thamel market for dinner at Jesse James Indian Cuisine. Rob Disney crashed. Anyway hope you’re guys’ day was excellent. I’m down for the night its about 2215. Catch you in the AM.