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Prayer flags above Dingboche. Lhotse and Island Peak in the background.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Climbing the 8th highest peak in the World, Manaslu, Nepal

My trip to climb the world's 8th highest peak, Manaslu in Nepal.

Journal Entry 1   August 29/30, 2011

Hello Family and Friends,

The preparation is now over and I am about to board my plane for Hong Kong and then on to Kathmandu. This has been a very hectic and life-changing week for our family. Our oldest is a college senior and has moved into his first apartment with friends. Our youngest will begin her freshman year in residence on campus. Both attend university in San Diego. It is a big change, having an empty nest.

This morning Patty and Chris drove with me to San Juan Capistrano to meet two great friends from my Everest trip, John and Ryan Dahlem. I watched John give a very moving Everest talk to a local high school football team and then we traveled to the Dahlem's home where his wife, Sioux, welcomed us with a beautiful dinner. After a relaxing evening they drove me to the airport where we said our goodbyes.

I spent several hours at the airport finishing up some final loose ends from work and now the airline is announcing that I need to board the flight. (It is now almost 1 a.m. PDT.) This is one of the times of my long trips where I always have very mixed emotions.  On the one hand I'm excited for the upcoming adventure, but on the other I am sad to leave my family and will worry about them until I'm back home again.

Stay well and be safe,

Journal Entry 2  August 30, 2011
I am in Hong Kong now. I had a nice flight and was able to sleep lying down flat for eight hours. I feel remarkably well. The food and service was outstanding. I will spend most of the 8+ hour layover time completing obligations for work.

Journal Entry 3  August 31, 2011
I arrived in Kathmandu on time last night, whistled through first in line for immigration, which is fantastic.  Kathmandu's airport is pretty slow and disorganized and I have stood in line for an hour on previous trips. My bags arrived soon after, I found my driver as I exited the airport. Since it was both a holiday and late at night, there was almost no traffic.  Phil Crampton, our expedition leader, met me at the hotel where we sat  chatting less than an hour after my plane first touched down. This must be some kind of record.

Journal Entry 4, September 1, 2011
I love Kathmandu.  It is as exciting as ever.  I walked around a little this morning getting in the swing of things, caught up on my work obligations and now I will be handling a few last minute errands for the climb.
Phil Crampton is very nice and a competent leader for our trip. During our conversation I learned that he is from England, but lives in New York.  He has owned a restaurant there for 15 years and believes that quality food is critical to the success of a climb and I whole heartedly agree. Here's hoping we eat well!
Thanks for following along.

Journal Entry 5, September 14, 2011
Well, after much effort by several of the team members plus Phil Crampton, we finally have a working Internet connection and some battery power. Base camp is very well set up although it has been very cloudy, foggy, and rainy.

We began our trek to BC with a very bumpy ride and then a hike that was virtually unbearable.  It was super hot and humid. I couldn't drink enough liquids and was very dehydrated for six days. I am much better now that we are in a cooler place.

Yesterday we did a carry up to Camp 1 and it was quite a long day. BC is at 16,000' and C1 is at 18,700'.  I made the trip in just under five hours, and was able to skin 2/3 of it. As I skied down the top section was very nice, but the lower section was horrible - hard and icy mounds everywhere, lots of crevasses to avoid,  with mud and rocks on the snow, etc.

Tomorrow we are heading to C1 to sleep and then to C2 the following day. The third day we will be able to do a "touch and go" to C3 and then descend all the way to BC. That will be a long day!

Be safe,

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