Randy Milch and Jamie
Long overdue webcast, seems as if time just flew by. What a great 10 days its been with Randy and Mike, just fantastic routes and great company.
Report from Zermatt and environs. Day 9, 4 climbs down. As the enslaved goat-boy brings his caprine charges clanging down the picturesque Zermatt strasse, we tend to our various post-climb wounds. Here?? s how we got them.
Glover, Milch and Pierce meet up in Chamonix. Bright sun accompanies our first rock climb, in Barberine. Is it 11 pitches? 8? We don?? t know, but it was a fitting first taste of the French rock. Milch obtains literally countless gobi?? s. A nice trench in the right knee. Oozing sores on the fingers. He is unaccountably happy. Glover climbs like a tram . . . constant, ever upward. Pierce keeps telling us we?? re done for the day when we?? re not. Nothing can compare to the ice cold mountain water in the horse trough when were back down. Nothing.
We?? re off to Mt. Blanc. Glover a first timer. Milch on a grudge match. Weather turns sour as we go up. Getting to the Tete Rousse hut is nothing. They?? ve redone the sucker, and the new, in-doors, lavs are well worth the trip. Next day we?? re up the Gouter face to the Gouter Hut. It?? s the same. Weather has turned very bad. It blows and storms for much of the night. We?? re up at 2. Were up and over the Gouter Dome in a howling horizontal wind. We kneel at the summit. 8 hours later we?? re back in Chamonix. One important note: Gore-tex has a very low friction co-efficient. When Pierce suggests you go slowly when glissading down a very steep snow field, he strangely means it. Pierce leaves ice-axe on the Mountain in a vain attempt to slow us down.
We drive to Zermatt. We do a ?short" climb of the Rifflehorn. Takes all day. Milch gains more Gobi?? s. Next day we?? re on the way up the M-horn. (BTW, this ?Matt" guy must have been a real popular guy around here.) At the Hornli Hut, Glover meets the ?other" guide (?Ivan") that will take him up. Pierce and Milch decide to climb up part way to meet them coming down (really a clever stratagem for sleeping late). Glover makes the Matterhorn Summit in great style. On to dinner. We?? re eating all of the Swiss specialities tonight.
Long time coming...
I'm back in Beijing. A fantastic trip to Everest Base camp via the North. Much to write about, and will. For now I'm trying to hoop a flight to Munich, not looking good, but will continue to try.
Here is a photo of the whole group enjoying the thin air!
Getting a chance to get up so close to the Potolla Palace was quite amazing no doubt. The whole group was led through the main Tibetan Monastary yesterday by a Tibetan Monk. It was truly incredible to learn about so much of the culture and religion. Tenpa our guide slowly and carefully had to describe things in a manner that does not include any information about the devastation of the Cultural Revolution, and I didn't want to ask to many questions, even though we all had many. We still learned so much. The neatest moment cam when we went to the 14th Dali Lama's summer palace where I was able to see so many things I had read about in the book Seven Years in Tibet by Heinrich Harrer. The car the English had give the young Lama, and the radio from the Russians, all so incredible.
Today were taking tours of more holy sites, then tonight I've arranged to see a traditional Tibetan Ceremony that not many western guest ever see. It was worth the effort, and know it will be rewarding. We leave towards Everest tomorrow AM, and everyone is excited to be moving out of Lhasa and on to our next phase of this trip.
So far everyone is healthy, but obviously since it was a big jump in altitude-a few folks have had some issues with the altitude. I believe everyone after today will begin to be at full strength and ready for walking into base camp at 17,000 feet.