Sunday, October 14, 2007


Still on our way down from the Everest Base Camp. After a night in Pangboche (3,900) we trek all the way to a very nice and almost tourist free called village of Khumjung (3,800 meters). An up and down that lasted for 8 hours. It has been a really strenuous day, especially for Jake. He had a kind of altitude sickness withdraw. On the way up he had to take some Dyamox pills to fight the altitude sickness. But of course on the way down he didn't take them anymore. And there is when he became really weak. But a part of this, what really impressed me were the owners of the two teas houses where we slept. These are the two guys. The first one holding his kid. The second one preparing a tea for us in the kitchen ...The amazing thing about these two guys is they both summit the 8,848 meters of Mt. Everest. Both of them did it 4 times. Here a picture in the tea house in Khumjung ...They did work as climbing Sherpas in expeditions and help their "customers" to go up there. In average for 1 Western World Climber there are 10 Nepali people working. Could be simple Sherpas who are carrying food to the base camp, cooks or climbing Sherpas. They are the guardians, all the way up to the summit. Nobody can really make it up there without Sherpas. And the climbing Sherpas are not really making a lot of money. Something like $15,000 per 3 months expedition. Not a lot if you think that they are risking their lifes. Above 8,000 metersthere is called "Death Zone". If you step into it, you don;t know if you will ever be abck. There is so little oxygen up there that even with the oxygen bottles it is really hard to breath (i.e. these masks are using a mix of external air and oxygen in the bottles). I ask to both of them if they will do it again, if they will summit again the Everest. And both of them told me the same ... "If I could I would stop, but I really want my kids to go to a good school in Kathmandu. So I think I will have to do it again". Difficult to judge such a statement. To me this is really love. The truth s that for the people in the mountains this one of the few jobs that will allow their kids to go to good schools and have a future far away from the mountains. And maybe, once they will leave the mountains, they will embrace a modern lifestyle full of nonsenses and they will never be able to be as happy as their ancestors ...

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