May 28th, 2007 by Firat
From a series of dispatches from the Alpine Ascents 2007 Everest Expedition team.
A big hello from sunny and green Namche Bazaar. It’s around noon and people are out and about with shorts and flip flops on! Summertime has certainly come to the Khumbu.
Most of the team is here in Namche today after arriving yesterday from Pheriche. Various routes to Namche were taken by the team. Todd went over the Cho La into the Gokyo valley and spent 2 nights en route to Namche. He should show up in the next couple of hours here. Ellie, Amy Bullard, Tony, John and myself all took the high route out of Pangboche and came here via Phortse and the Mong La. Vern, Amy Beaton, James, Jeanne and Werner all came via the normal track through Tengboche. Everyone has gathered here waiting for Lakpa Rita and the rest of the staff in order to have a large final party tonight at the Panorama Lodge. We’re all looking forward to a last night of dhal bhat, beer, chaang, tongba and off course music and dancing. It should be a hell of an ending. Unfortunately Firat and Bill had to high tail it out quickly and Jeanne left Namche this morning in order to catch her international flight home.
The past couple days everyone was been recapping the excitement of summit day and the difficulties of such a long and demanding expedition. It’s been a great time of enjoyment through reliving it all from afar. The monsoon crept close a week or two ago and blanketed Namche Bazaar with rain. We showed up with perfect timing as the weather has turned nice and Namche is spring like with greenery everywhere. It’s a spectacular time to be here spending our last couple of nights.
We had 21 members of our team on the summit on May 22nd. It’s quite a number. Everyone is extremely happy with the success this year. It’s been a special one. Every member of our team including our Sherpa came down from the summit healthly, safe and in good style. No need for rescues, help from outside or late night epics. That is the way it should be done. Unfortunately it doesn’t always happen that way.
The day after we returned to BC from the summit, Lakpa Rita and I went back up the mountain to bring down the body of Pemba Doma who died in a fall on Lhotse. She was an important part of the Khumbu community and especially Namche Bazaar where she was from. She was a competent climber and fellow sponsored athlete with Lakpa Rita for Sherpa Adventure Gear. She was the first Nepali woman to summit Everest and return safely. A fairly common small slip in bad snow conditions ended tragically. Hundreds of Namche locals had gone to Tengboche Monastery to wait for her body to arrive via helicopter from BC in order to take part in her cremation and accompanying ceremony. From all accounts it was a touching and important ceremony for all. The Namche community returned yesterday afternoon en masse. Pemba Doma was a wonderful woman.
We’re all thankful for our safety this season on the mountain as well as appreciative of the highs and lows of an expedition such as this. We will celebrate all of that tonight with our incredibly dedicated Sherpa staff. They are the heart of the expedition. Start the music!
We’ll be in touch in another year…
all the best,
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