July 30, 2008

Into Thin Air

While in Nepal trekking up to Everest Base Camp it felt appropriate to read Jon Krakauer's "Into Thin Air". I was not attempting the same physical feat of the author, but I did traverse the same paths up to the base camp, which gave me familiarity with the first few parts of the book. The version of the book that I read included an additional section at the end which offered the author's rebuttal of another book covering the same events. The inconsistencies seemed to focus mostly on the portrayal of people in the book versus the over arching series of events that happened. With that in mind the experience and horror captured in the book was mesmerizing.

The book mentions many times that getting up is easy, the hard part is getting down. The fatigue and oxygen deprivation experienced by climbers reaching the top leaves them ill equipped to make the equally challenging descent back down to camp 4. Amateur climbers combined with what to me felt like hubris on the part of various people in the face of a severe storm resulted in one of Everest's most deadly events. Jon's prose quickly engaged me in the action and his easy storytelling at times almost made me think the book was a work of fiction. Alas the events are true and many exceptional people lost their lives on Everest that May of 1996.

If I ever had any vague thoughts of summiting such a peak this book cured me of any such notion. I don't pose the spirit or mentality he alludes to in the book that has driven so many others to attempt and succeed at climbing Everest. While my drive and curiosity carried me to Nepal and higher than I've ever been, I was happy enough to gaze upon Everest without feeling the need to summit it.

Tags: books everest nepal

July 30, 2008

Nepal Photos

I've finally finished going through all of my Nepal photos and have put them online. My next effort will be to go through and comment them, but don't hold your breathe on that. All told I took almost 1000 pictures and culled that down to about 650 by weeding out the blurry and bad. Nepal made for some challenging shooting with the frequently overcast and changing weather conditions. I'm sure some of the photos could use a little touch-up magic with Photoshop but that's stepping a little outside my standard photo expertise.

Tags: links nepal photos

July 30, 2008


While I'm still in a jet lagged stupor, I am back home. In summary, the trip was phenomenal. The varied Nepal landscape was a lush rich green fed by the first rains of the monsoon season. It made for hiking in cloudy mornings and rainy afternoons but the weather cleared during our summit of Kala Patthar and provided mesmerizing views of Everest along with the other almost countless peaks in every direction. I've got over 700 pictures I need to wade through so it will take some time to get the photos online but I'll try to get a few up in the near future to wet your appetite :)

Tags: nepal trip

June 10, 2008

Off to Nepal

Tomorrow I leave for an extended vacation trekking around Nepal. I don't expect to have any connectivity while I'm there so be advised any email or comments will be delayed even worse than usual. See you in July!

Tags: life nepal trek