Island Peak Cybercast

11/1/06 Kathmandu
This is the final cybercast for the Yak-it-tee-Yak Dung Dodgers!!  I would like to congratulate all of the trekkers and climbers for a great trip full of many laughs and great fun in the Khumbu.  I will mention some of the highlights of the trip.  First on the list was the cultural.phpect. Getting to know the Sherpa that were working with us and their friends and family on the trail was enriching and fascinating.  With their Everest summits totaling around 18, we did not have any questions left unanswered.   Next was the amazing beauty of the Himalayas.  Everyday seemed to offer us another day of something new and truly unbelievable both culturally and scenically.  Last night, our Halloween, we visited a traditional Nepali restaurant where we sat on cushions on the floor and watched several dances including a Yeti and Peacock appearance, very entertaining.  Unfortunately I am not able to post anymore photos at this time.  Everyone finished up their last minute shopping and flew home today with a bit of both sadness and joy.  One last thanks to all of our listeners, friends and family.  Thanks for following our trip!! Namaste!!

10/30/06 Kathmandu
Namaste, Winslow here again for the Yak-it-tee-Yak Dung Dodgers on the 30th of Oct.  We have safely arrived in Katmandu where we are experincing cultural shock.  Things are very busy and loud compared to our previous surroundings.  The flight out today was absolutely amazing as we could see the snowy peaks of the Himalayas for miles. Watching helicopters and planes at the Lukla air strip was fascinating.  The turn around time is about ten minutes, and helicopters are refueled by hand jugs.  After a relaxing afternoon, we enjoyed a festive dinner at the Rum Doodle where we designed our Yeti foot (photo coming later)!! Tomorrow we will visit the Durbar Square filled with historical significance and perhaps do some shopping in Thamel (the tourist district).  We will send one last message then and a few photos as well. Namaste!!

10/29/06 Lukla
Hi., This is Winslow with the Yak-it-tee-Yak Dung Dodgers. It is the 29th of Oct., and we have happily arrived in Lukla after a ten mile hike with about 2400 feet elevation gain and 4000+ft. descent.  After three pretty long days of hiking down, we are a bit tired but very celebratory as well. Tonight we played games with the team and support crew, including teaching them how to do "The Wave"!  This provided us lots of laughs that brilliantly bridged the language barrier. On the hike today we took it slowly enjoying our last day in the Khumbu.  After lunch we had a long nap below a beautiful waterfall while basking in the sun.  Tomorrow we are scheduled for a morning flight back to Katmandu.  We are experienceing mixed emotions of sadness and joy as we are bringing closure to our Himalaya journey, but looking forward to a long warm shower and seeing our loved ones again. Until tomorrow, Namaste!!

10/28/06 Namche
Namaste, This is Winslow calling in for the Yak-it-tee-Yak Dung Dodgers on the 28th of Oct.  We have arrived in Namche Bazaar where we are happy and clean!  It was another beautiful day in the Khumbu, and we enjoyed being able to hike quickly at 12,000 ft. with much less effort than on the way up.  This morning we stopped at the Tengboche bakery again to soak up the beauty, coffee and pastries.  We will hike to Lukla tomorrow and fly to Katmandu on the 30th.  Perhaps we will begin our celebration tonight of a fabulous and safe journey through the Himalayas.  The photos are of the Island Peak summitters smiling in between heavy breathing.  Thanks for keeping up with us. We send lots of love to friends and family. Namaste!!






10/27/06 Dingboche
Hi this is Winslow calling in for the Yak-it-tee-Yak Dung Dodgers on the 27 th of October.  Today we hike from Island Peak basecamp all the way down to Dingboche at 12,600 feet, a descent of 4000 feet.  We are back in the Rhododendron forest, where the temperatures feel warm and the air feels rich.  On the hike we saw two herds of Himalayan Tahr, similar to mountain goats, scaling the rock ledges above us.  We also witnessed a Yak jam where we patiently waited for several yak trains to pass before our yaks could continue.  The bridge crossing confused our yaks culminating in a brawl that was successfully deescalated by the yak guys.   It was a long day of hiking which we descended in one day what took us three days to go up.  That's it for today, talk to you tomorrow, Namaste.

10/26/06 Island Peak Summit
Hello this is Winslow calling in with the Yak-it-tee-Yak Dung Dodgers on the 26 th of October.  On the 25 th we prepared for the summit by training with a fix line and packing for the summit push.  We left at 2am and arrived at 10:00am. The group described it as difficult, relentless and exhilarating at the top.  We had perfect weather with shooting stars through the night, a beautiful sun rise on Ama Dablam and spectacular views from the summit.  We had very cold temperatures in the morning and scorching temperatures by the time we reached the fix line.  There was bit of a traffic jam as it was very crowded on the line.   By the time we were off these fix lines we witnessed large spindrift off the summit ridge.  The weather held until we reached camp thirteen hours later when it then promptly began snowing.   Everyone did great and was very excited by tired after a long day of climbing.

10/27/06 Kathmandu
Last cybercast of Everest Base Camp Trekkers.
The three trekkers Charles, Pam and Ann, began their final day of hiking [8 hours] with blue skies and enthusiasm that we would reach Lukla by evening.
An unexpected but extra ordinary event occured that afternoon, when we smelled smoke and suddenly saw women, children guides [our own Lakpa] all running down the trail to the stop the smoke. On arrival we saw basic firefighting techniques using soil, pans of water and bare hands to extinguish the fire. They then dismantled the remains to prevent the spread to the adjoining guest house. Witnessing this community effort solidified what we had heard about the Nepali sprit.

After an hour delay on plane, we departed Lukla for Kathmandu. The weather was clear providing beautiful for the 40 minutes flight. We arrived to hot showers, soft beds and a delicious farewell dinner at historic Rum Doodle.

Type by Jiban Ghimire

10/24/06 Island Peak Base Camp
Hi this is Winslow calling in for the Yak-it-tee-Yak Dung Dodgers on the twenty-forth of October.  We woke up this morning to an absolutely beautiful day, the mountains are glistening white with beautiful new snow and we are heading up to the Island Peak Basecamp.  Tom was not sleeping well up here so he is going to head back to Dingboche, the last village that we were in.  We have been borrowing his phone because ours has not been working so you won't hear from us for a few days, we will call again on the 27th and report how the Island Peak climb went.  The trekkers are heading to Namche today and they maybe able to send out an email and a few photos from there.  Everything is going well and we looking forward to our time up on Island Peak. We will talk to you in a few days, thanks for tuning in.

10/24/06 Namche
Greetings from the trekkers. We were sad to leave our climbing buddies but will be wishing them a successful climb. The three trekkers however were very happy to be heading down to warmer temps. We encountered a raging snowstorm for the four hour hike, which was not what we expected for a four hour descent.What a difference two weeks makes in the appearance of this beautiful monastery village Tengboche with a covering of snow. We awoke to blue skies and difficult icy trails on our second day down to Namche. Both porters and trekkers were doing all they could to remain upright. The day improved midmorning and we enjoyed beautiful hiking weather that allowed us to savor the views and walk. We are keeping our fingers crossed for our long haul tomorrow to Lukla. Cheers, Ann, Pam and Charles (The Three Trekkers)

Group shot from base camp.

These Yaks were the missing ones who caused delay in departure in Pheriche.

10/23/06 Dingboche
Hello this is Winslow with the Yak-it-tee-Yak Dung Dodgers on October the twenty-third. Last night was quite interesting as locals were celebrating the Tihar Festival, there was chanting, singing and a Hindu rave party lasting through the night. In addition a pack of wild hounds joined in the celebration. Other than that we slept well at this lower altitude which is still higher than Mt. Rainier. It was sad saying good bye to the trekkers after a morning relaxing in Dingboche. We had a pertinent departure, the trekkers went right and the climbers went left. We had good laughs while teaching the Nepali Staff a dice game and a card game. We saw the natural risk taking tendencies of these multi time Everest Summiteers. As usual for the fifth day in a row it has been snowing since the time we arrived here at 2:00 pm. Until tomorrow, Namaste.

10/22/06 Dingboche
Hello this is Winslow calling in for the Yak-it-tee-Yak Dung Dodgers on the twenty-second of October. At five-thirty am Tom, Kate, Larina and Bob reluctantly climbed out of their tents. Clouds were taunting us and looked to be building but half way up Kala Pattar it cleared to reveal fabulous views and all directions including looking up at the big one. It was a good thing for me too as I thought I might have a revolt on my hands, considering that it was quite cold at 5:30 and there was three feet of snow on the ground and hiking up for no views did not sound appealing to anyone. We met the rest of the group for lunch in Lobuje and descended down to Dingboche at 14,500 feet. It seemed like the million mile march. The second half of the day was a bit like withering heights as we traversed a long distance across foggy, desolate, high tundra terrain. Once again it started snowing and hasn’t let up since we got to camp. We are happy again with this day in the Himalayas, that gave us the brilliant sights of Everest, a descent to slightly thicker air and a delicious celebratory cake. We are looking forward to a half day together as a group before the trekkers head down and the climbers head up. Namaste

10/21/06 Everest Base Camp
Hello this is Winslow calling in for the Yak-it-tee-Yak Dung Dodgers, we hiked up to Everest Base Camp. There were a couple of teams up there, one that had just summitted Everest and a Korean Team hoping to climb Lhotse. By the time we were on our way down we were hiking down in horizontal snow and a whiteout and it pretty much hasn’t stopped snowing since. So we may not get a good view on Kala Pattar tomorrow but we will see. Everyone is doing well, kind of tired after the hike today but in good spirits and we are feeling okay. We are looking forward to getting down to a lower camp and maybe a little less snow and hopefully warmer temperatures. Everyone was real troopers today and was real happy to be up at Everest Base Camp today. Thanks for tuning in we will call you tomorrow. Namaste

10/20/06 Gorak Shep
Hello this is Winslow with the Yak-it-tee-Yak Dung Dodgers, it is the 20th of October. Today we hiked up to Gorak Shep where we are experiencing rigorous mountain conditions with cold temperatures, blowing snow and another night under the wild Himalayan sky. On the hike up we saw an avalanche on Nuptse, the long Khumbu glacier and the very broken Khumbu ice fall. As it was cloudy all day we moved our Kala Pattar hike to the day after tomorrow in hopes of clear skies. A few members decided to do the jaunt in the wind and snow and enjoyed the hike despite the weather. Evening entertainment consisted of our group learning Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes in Nepalese and then singing it to our support group, strange things can happen at 17,000 feet. Everyone is doing great up here at this altitude and we are looking forward to visiting Everest basecamp tomorrow. We are hoping to see a group of Everest summiteers who are coming down off the mountain. Life is great here in our Himalayan world, Namaste.

10/19/06 Lobuje
Hello it is the 19 th of October and this is the Yak-it-tee Yak Dung Dodgers.  We awoke again to blue skies this morning and four missing Yaks.  They were found hours later, down valley, looking for better grass.  The terrain again changed drastically today leaving us feeling like we were walking on the moon.  After lunch we climbed through a tough section to a climbers' memorial that was very humbling.  It was cold, cloudy and windy leaving a solemn eeriness in the air.   It was interesting reading about the climbers and Sherpa, we recognized several names including; Alex Lowe, Scott Fisher and Babu Chiri Sherpa.  By the afternoon Lobuje was covered in snow as we experienced our first blizzard of the trip.  At Lobuje (16,100 ft) we completed the high altitude part of the study where we received heart and lung sonograms, all participating members passed the test with flying colors. Other members of the trip are also doing very well.  I forgot to mention yesterday about the newest member of our group, Flap, the dog who was tagging along but we were all sad as he choose not to do the moon walk to Lobuje today.  It is again a clear starry night and we are looking forward to heading up to Gorak Shep tomorrow and hiking up Kala Pattar for some views of Everest and surrounding peaks.  We will talk to you tomorrow.  Namaste.

10/18/06 Pheriche
Hey this is Winslow with the Yak-it-tee-Yak Dung Dodgers and it is the 18th of October. This morning we hiked up to 15,600 feet, a gain of 1,700 and everyone was doing really well and enjoying 360 degree panorama views of the mountains. This afternoon we went to the Himalayan Research Association where we enjoyed meeting the volunteer doctors there and sat in on a lecture about altitude. Several members of the group are participating on an altitude research project between here and our next camp. The weather today was a typical sunny day with afternoon clouds that brought an atypical small hail storm. Now it is getting clear, leaving us with a starry night. On the food end of things Gopal, the cook, left us impressed with California Rolls including ginger, wasabi and soy sauce and lemon bars for dessert. Another bonus of the day was coming back to clean laundry, drying on the rocks and bushes, hand washed by two of the girls in our support group. Tomorrow we will hike up to Lobuje at 16,100 feet. Thanks for tuning in as always, Namaste.

10/17/06 Pheriche
Hi this is Winslow with the Yak-it-tee-Yak Dung Dodgers on the 17th of October. We awoke to another cold morning with the Yaks cover in frost. The view of Everest was enough to warm us up. We crossed the famous bridge over the Dudh Kosi river, that has excellent views of Ama Dablam. We ascended today above the tree line to the high tundra to 13,900 feet to the village of Pheriche. Everyone is feeling well besides their soar fingers from snapping so many photos. Half of the group has already hit up the hot showers and we are looking forward to a rest day, besides the acclimatization hike that we are going to do here tomorrow. Thanks for tuning in again, we hope that you are all doing well and we send our love. Namaste.

10/16/06 Kunde
Hey this is Winslow with the Yak-it-tee-Yak Dung Dodgers, the 16th of October. Things have been sounding pretty cushy up here in the Khumbu but last night was a rough night. There were fierce demented dogs barking for hours, the Sorensons had yaks breathing heavily outside their tents and we awoke to two feet of snow, well maybe it was just frost on the tent but it must have been down to 25 degrees Fahrenheit last night. In days past I may have emphasized how good the food has been and forgot to mention that we have been cover around 3000 feet a day with all the ups and downs and around five miles of hiking. In addition last night the group struggled with the complexities of figuring out how to flush the heaping compost toilet. Somehow they are pulling through all of these challenges and still have enormous smiles on their faces. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit with doctor at the Kunde hospital which services all of the Khumbu region. The doctor was kind enough to answer all of our questions and we were impressed with the facilities. We also saw the Kunde high school and our first views of Island Peak. Thanks for tuning in. Namaste.

10/15/06 Kunde
Hey this is Winslow with the Yak-it-tee-Yak Dung Dodgers, it is the 15th of October. Pam said that she didn’t think that any thing could beat yesterday but decided that she was wrong after this morning. We hiked up to the four hundred year old monastery above Thame and on the way we saw outstanding views of Cho oyu and the surrounding peaks. We received a blessing for good luck symbolized with a Kata silk scarf. Next we visited Lakpa’s parents’ home for cup of endless milk tea and yet another very special blessing and Kata from his parents. We had a long hike to Kunde but decided that we could not complain considering Lakpa did this hike twice a day, six days a week, for four years on a bag of popcorn, just to go to school. Until tomorrow, lots of love to our friends and families. Namaste

10/14/06 Thame
Hey this is Winslow with the Yak-it-tee-Yak Dung Dodgers, the 14th of October. We awoke this morning to the dissipating clouds, slowly revealing the grander of the Himalayas, by 8 am all was clear. We cruised up to the view point where we enjoyed views of Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and Ama Dablam. Before heading to Thame we visited the busy Saturday morning market where the locals purchase food and goods. The highlight of the hike was the bridge crossing; there were three colorful Buddhist Paintings high on the rocks followed by a deep river gorge. The powerful river has sculpted the rocks, forming holes and arches as it rushes through. It is challenging to put this all inspiring creation into words. In addition we witnessed the lovely sunset glowing pink from the surrounding glaciated peaks just before the clouds moved up valley and left us standing in a blur. A local painting can afford retirement after visiting our group, he lost his fingers 30 years ago on Cho oyu and still produces beautiful work which everyone will now be bring home. We finished the evening with pizza and chocolate mouse and entertainment from the kids. Thanks for tuning in and we will talk to you tomorrow. Namaste.

10/13/06 Namche Bazaar
Namaste! We have added to our team name, we are now the Yak-it-tee-Yak Dung Dodgers!!  Athough, we have not been 100% sucessful in all of our dung dodging efforts.  Today we skipped our scheduled sunrise hike to view Everest because we were socked in with clouds.  We did enjoy a few fleeting views of the surrounding peaks, but no luck at an Everest view yet.  Exploring Namche Bazaar was exciting this morning.  Several people did some shopping, and the local bakeries were discovered offering hot cinnamon rolls and apple turnovers.  An afternoon jaunt up the hill took us to the new National Park visitors center and to the Sherpa museum.  This is where we enjoyed seeing an entertaining photo of a young Lhakpa Rita Sherpa.  Tommorrow we will check out the Saturday market here, and then continue up to the lovely village of Thame.  We are keeping our fingers crossed for a clear day, so we can see the Himalayas!  We will not be able to send pictures for a while, so you will have to use your imagination!!  More news tomorrow!
Yak-it-tee-Yak Dung Dodgers signing out!

Who Knew Lakpa was a Phillies Fan?

First Glimpse of Peaks from Namche

Bridge to Namche

Young Monks-to-be Above Phakding

Yaks and the Waterfall

Winslow, Bob, Ann, Kate, and Tom above Phakding

Khumbu Rockstar

10/12/06 Namche Bazaar
This is Winslow calling in for the Dung Dodgers with highlights from the 12 th of October. First on the list is crossing a wooden blank bridge spanning the Dudh Kosi River, it sits 400 feet above with the river raging bellow, covered with prayer flags bellowing in the wind.   Second is making it to the beautiful Panorama Lodge up here at Namche Baazar today, at around 11,450 feet. Day two was a challenging day with an elevation gain of about 2,800 feet.  Hiking about 6 miles with the ups and downs included, we probably did around 3,000 feet today. Everyone was tired but feeling pretty well when got up here.  The group was quite surprised and shocked but pleased to find that we have rooms equipped with showers, pretty deluxe here at the Panorama Lodge.  Third today we enjoyed a delightful lunch in a flowered filled garden at 10:30 this morning with a sprinkle of rain.  On the trail today we got to witness basket weaving for the Porters caring baskets.  We also heard Nepali rock music which is the chink chink sound as they hand chisel bricks.  Tomorrow we are going to wake up early and catch a little sunrise view of Everest, hopefully up on the hill if it is clear out.  We will then spend the rest of the day relaxing and hanging out here in Namche.  We hope that everyone is doing well and we look forward to touching base tomorrow.  Namaste. 

10/11/06 Phakding
This is Winslow calling in with a lovely day today, people were blown way by the beauty (…transmission break.. ). We flew into Lukla had a perfect landing on the worlds shortest runway, that was a treat for everyone. We then enjoyed walking through a very lush tropical valley here, the gardens were in full bloom and its very green. We are staying in the town of Phakding this evening. Once we got here half the group hiked up to the Monasteries that were 1000 feet higher on the hill sides, where we had great views We were also able to enjoy some music and chanting by the monks up there. Everyone is doing well and we are looking forward to another day, tomorrow we will make our up to Namche Bazaar. Thanks for tuning in.

10/9/06 Kathmandu
Hello friends and family, All team members have arrived safely with all of their baggage! Things are starting off well for our journey here in Nepal.  We had a wonderful welcome dinner last night, and enjoyed a very memorable tour of Katmandu.  I would like to introduce the crew: Charles and Pam Sorenson, Bob and Larina Davis, Tom Flemming, Phyllis and Ted Mathers, Ann Giuli, and Kate Bartosh!  Guiding this journey is Lhakpa Rita Sherpa and myself, Winslow Passey! Today we visited the Tibetan Buddhist stupa, Swayambhu, also known as 'The Monkey Temple'.  From here we were looking down on the Kathmandu Valley that is home to 2.5 million, and looking up at the compassionate eyes of the Buddha that are painted on the large stupa.  From the top of the stupa colorful prayer flags drape out into the wind sending their prayers to the universe. Thanks to a warning from our city tour guide we avoided getting harassed by the monkeys, but witness a few who where not as lucky. Then on the other side of town we ventured to another important holy center in Kathmandu, Bodhnath, which is also a Tibetan Buddhist stupa surrounded by many monasteries.  It is amazing to witness in these areas the graceful blending of Hinduism and Buddhism.  We also witness the weaving of beautiful wool rugs, and several members found exactly what they hoped for from a wholesale rug manufacturer.  Next we headed to Pashupatineth a Hindu temple and holy river where they cremate the dead.  It was fascinating to learn about a culture so different from ours.  Here we also saw the sadhus, or holy men, with painted faces and dreds to their feet who were very willing to take a picture with us for a small price. Our guide informed us these were not exactly the real sadhus, but rather the tourist sadhus!  Now we are preparing for an early departure tomorrow, 5:00am, into the village of Lukla to begin our trek.  I think not everyone is quite adjusted to the time change of 10-12 hours difference, but we are looking forward to a good night's sleep!  Havin fun in the sun! Team _______! (well get back to ya on this one)

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