February 8th, 2012 | 1 Comment »

Let me tell you, I realize I don’t deserve much, but I deserved business class the whole flight home.  I used air miles to buy my seat so bought a business class seat – and let me tell you… it was unbelievable.  Everyone calling me “Mr Powick”, “is there anything I can get you Mr. Powick”, etc, etc.  Each passenger has his/her own “pod”, incredible food, booze, seats go totally flat, big huge blankets and pillows, etc.  Unreal.  As well, seeing as i hadn’t really had a shower in over a month, I took advantage of having a 30min shower in every business class lounge at every layover on the way home.  It’ll be hard to going in the back of the bus – that’s for sure.

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February 6th, 2012 | Comments Off on in Katmandu

well, we made it to Katmandu, and surprisingly, so did my bags…

It was back to total mayem: pollution, people, noise, etc.  We had about a day in KTM until I headed back to the states – so it was time to clean up, pack up, get some food, and head out.

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February 6th, 2012 | Comments Off on Flight to Katmandu

After our long hike to Lukla, we were up early and managed to get on the first flight out to Katmandu. We were psyched.  Unfortunately the weather closed in and all other flights were grounded for four days.

It was crazy going from the white and solitude of a small village in the Khumbu to the sensory overload of Katmandu.

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February 5th, 2012 | Comments Off on Hike to Lukla

Well after a month of constant cold, long days, tons of hiking, trying to understand the amazing effort all the students were putting in at speaking English, and the constant stress of trying to ensure we didn’t kill anyone – we were anxious to head home.  Pete and I elected for the one day mega blast from Phortse to Lukla (note: it took us 3 days to hike in…) whereas the other Western Instructors opted for a more mellow hike out, taking two days.  It ends up that we lucked out as we got to Lukla in the evening, and made the first flight out in the morning, and unfortunately the rest of the crew ended up being stuck for FOUR days waiting for weather to fly out.  Yowsa.

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February 4th, 2012 | Comments Off on Advanced Class

Next up – the Advanced Class.  Now most of these ~30 students had taken the basic Khumbu Climbing Class previously and/or worked significantly in the mountains.  One student had 13 Everest summits under his belt, one had six but had never placed an ice screw and didn’t know how to rappel.  It was kind of horrifying, but that’s why we were there.  This was a great bunch of young guys, and with the smaller size, it was less hectic, so we really got to know some of the students and got to focus on teaching them the skills they would need to stay alive in the mountains.

 

After the eight day course covering more advanced ice climbing and rock climbing, medical training, ascending and descending fixed ropes, multiple rescue techniques, and the mandatory climbing slang terminology – it was time for graduation and an evening of celebration.

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January 27th, 2012 | Comments Off on A Day off – so we went hiking

The beginners course was over and we had about a day and a half until the “advanced” course began – and seeing as we hadn’t been hiking enough… a few of us decided to hike up to the next town, Pangboche, to get some sweet views of Ama Dablam, Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and Tawoche.  It was absolutely spectacular.

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January 26th, 2012 | Comments Off on LOSAR, Basic Student’s Exam and Graduation

Jan 24th was Losar.  Not the famous ice route just outside of Namche that I had intended on climbing, but can’t because of my elbow – rather the celebration of the Nepalise New Year (I think).  We had cake and drinks, and the lads put on quite the dance display…

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January 24th, 2012 | Comments Off on Basic Class is Under Way

Still in women’s long underwear, I was up early for the first of many hikes down the hill from Phortse, across the river, then up the hill on the other side to the ice climbs.  One thing about Nepal, there’s lots of up and downs.  Just like when my dad walked up hill both ways to and from school when he was a kid – that’s what it was like based out of Phortse – a big up to get to the ice in the morning, and a big up to get back to the village at the end of the day.  At least it was a good way to try to stay warm.  It’s cold in the Himalayas in January – who knew?

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January 10th, 2012 | Comments Off on Still no Bags

Well I’ve been in Kathmandu for 3 days, and my bags are still lost.  As in LOST – they have no idea where they are – Crazy thing is they found one out of four – which is weird. Regardless, it’s not super sweet.  On the bright side, I’m starting to feel a bit better, I guess 3 days of laying in bed is helping…

If the bags don’t show up in the next few hours, i’m headed into town to buy some clothes – and headed into the Khumbu tomorrow regardless.  Most of the other guys headed in yesterday already.  We’ll see what happens.

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January 9th, 2012 | 1 Comment »

Well after 45 hours of travel, we ended up in Kathmandu and are staying a great little place called the Mountain House Fund.  The bummer is that the night before I left SLC, i could feel myself getting sick with a cold, and I’ve gone down hill HARD.  That didn’t make the 2 days of travel any easier – that’s for sure.  And also, unfortunately, they lost all of my bags – so I’m here with just my carry on.  Luckily the rest of the boys here are loaning me jackets, drugs to battle my cold, hats, gloves, etc.

We were supposed to fly to Lukla today (jan 9th) but because i don’t have any of my stuff, we can’t go so the boys headed out to sight see around Kathmandu while i have stayed in bed for the last 36 hours.  We were hoping that my bags would show up today, and they sort of did – well ONE did.  Just one out of 4 – and not the one i really needed.  Bummer.

So the rest of the crew is headed to Lukla tomorrow – and I’ll have to wait until my bags arrive, then make my way with a few of the other local Sherpas to help get me there.  Everyone here has been incredibly help and nice which has been great – especially considering i’m feeling so terrible.  More to come.

note: there was a bit of clouds flying into Kathmandu so couldn’t really see the Himalayas too much – but the photo was taken coming in for landing…

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