Given its 12 hour duration, and the fact I was stuck in a window seat, my flight from Chicago’s O’Hare Airport to Doha, Qatar was surprisingly pleasant. Key to that was my ability to climb behind the passenger in the aisle seat, which meant I could come and go without disturbing (or incurring the wrath) of my neighbor. Climbing indeed has its advantages even in Civilization.
I also got a chance to watch Chasing Niagara, an awe inspiring documentary about a team of extreme kayakers “Falls Runners,” who traveled the Americas hurling themselves over astounding high and raging waterfalls in prep for an attempt to do the same with Niagara Falls. No spoiler alert here – just a ‘must see’ recommendation.
I’ll arrive Kathmandu too late this evening to do much other than check in, look for functioning outlets to charge up my electronics and grab a quick dinner.
Tomorrow, 9/19/16 I will begin the day with a visit to the Sri Mangal Dvip Orphanage in east Kathmandu. This is the site of one of the Climb For A Cause / Smile Tree supported oral health education and treatment projects. It is also the structure so badly damaged in the 2015 earthquake we had to stage a (successful) emergency campaign to raise sufficient funds to shore up the structure. Thanks to so many incredibly generous people, practices, and corporations, we were able to do so within a 24 hour period!
Following my visit to the School, I’ll be doing some last minute shopping for medications (Decadron, Diamox, Cialis) – to improve my ‘performance’ – at altitude, and oh yes, dental floss (can you believe i forgot to pack that? Somewhat excusable as my normal regiment involves a series of rinses and does not include regular flossing – issue is that a 30 day supply of the liquids is too cumbersome to haul up the Khumbu Valley).
With luck, I’ll be landing in Lukla early on the morning of October 20th, to begin my trek, first to Everest Base Camp (while en route delivering tooth brushes to several schools around Namche Bazar), then a summit attempt of Island Peak, and finally a push to the summit of Ama Dablam, to finish what I began in 2014.
How successful I will be posting from the Khumbu on my cell phone remains to be seen.
Stay Tuned and thanks again for everyone’s support and well wishes.