Sunday, March 26, 2017

And so, the Great Adventure begins....

Well, here we go!

I boarded a late flight tonight for LA and will land there early tomorrow, Monday the 27th.  Hopefully I'll collect the 96 pounds of stuff that is checked in my two big 150L expedition bags and head over to Anders' house in Santa Monica.  He'll be asleep since he's coming off a 45-mile, 13,000+ vertical weekend session--plus his friends are throwing him a going away party tonight.

I can't believe it.  But us two posers are soon to be on our way to Nepal, where if all goes to plan, Anders will attempt to climb the highest mountain on our planet.

I've spent the last week, since Judy and I returned from our six-week residence in Santa Monica, unpacking, repacking and driving up to New York to deliver Kara's more fragile stuff to help complete her move to NYC (she loves her new job).  We had a nice visit with her and Alex and Rachel and then Judy and i attended to our various work tasks.  On top of that I spent my time in final prep for Anders' and my journey to Nepal and the great Himalayan mountains.

We had a nice visit with friends on Friday night and Judy and I had a wonderful dinner with Jen and her boyfriend Jim on Saturday night.  Then finally the time came for me to head off on this latest adventure....

And so it really does begin now.

Here's the plan:

I get into LA early Monday and Monday-Thursday, Anders and I will be going through all of our pre-game rituals making sure we have any and every thing we need to be successful in Nepal.  I plan to do 3 pretty significant hikes/climbs and if Anders' taper/training schedule allows we'll probably do some or maybe all together.  In any event, i want to top off my training as I've had a bit of a interruption with our migration across the country.  No worries though as i was able to hike/climb/trek/run for 31 of the 42 days we spent in LA so I feel like I'm very good to go.  I actually feel stronger than I was last year for Kili (which was very strong for me) and definitely prepared for the journey in front of us.    I'm a bit heavier, in part by design, as I'm sitting at 179 pounds this morning vs. the 168 that I left for Kili.  However, with a month + in the mountains, I think this will be to my advantage.  

Anders is in phenom shape, and he'll certainly need to be to go after the arduous agenda in front of us.

And what is that agenda?  Well, it's very fluid by its nature but here is roughly the plan ahead:

3/27-3/30  Anders and I final prep and training in LA

3/31-4/1  Travel to Kathmandu

4/2-4/10-14  Settle in.  Trek to Everest Base Camp (EBC).

Mid April:  Anders and I head to Lobouche East and hopefully to climb that 20,000+ mountain near Everest, Nupste and Lhoste, the later being the fourth highest mountain in the world.  Our climb on Lobouche, while paling in comparison to Everest, is a very significant challenge (at least for me) given its modest technical nature and significant exposure.  It was first climbed in 1984 and recently has become a somewhat "popular" acclimitazation option vs. another rotation through the Khumbu Icefall, for those seeking to climb Everest.

We would then return to EBC and Anders would turn his complete focus to scaling Everest.  I'll hang with him and probably tag along on some of the ice climbing/training he'll do in the lower icefall--should make for some great pictures!

Towards the later part of April, Anders will begin the necessary rotational climbs ever higher up Everest and eventually, I'll say goodbye and head down.  I hope to climb a second 6,000 meter peak--Island Peak--on the way down from EBC, but that will be a game time call as logistics may not allow it.

From there I head back home and Anders heads ever upward, hoping to to attempt climbing to the summit of Everest around the 3rd week of May.  He also is maintaining the option, after a successful Everest summit, of upon returning to the South Col, leaving for the Everest/Lhotse double, the same evening as summiting Everest.  I'm decidedly against this, but Anders will ultimately make the call.  As an aside, just 5 Western climbers have ever done this--climbing the 1st and 4th highest mountain in one more or less continuous push.

All of this is a bit overwhelming as you might expect but I'm sure the journey will be amazing.  I invite you to stop back here over the next couple of months to experience it with us....

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