It's hard to believe that just six days ago I was standing on the summit of Mt. Everest. Today, my world couldn't be any more different. Don't get me wrong, I am definitely enjoying a few physical amenities - a comfortable bed, change of clothes and even took a shower for only the second time in seven weeks.
There were many highlights from the trip down from Pheriche, but mostly it was a whirlwind recap in two days what had taken over a week to cover on our journey up. Along the way, we met loads of interesting people. The 'boys' continued to amaze with their signing and laughter as we hiked. Several even signed autographs for trekkers.
In Namche, we met with Terramar's Jeff Danzer who was the first (and only) member of any official welcoming committee that we might receive. I am proud to have Terramar as a supporter and have basically lived in their base layers for six months of the last year. Jeff's original goal was to meet us in base camp, but as we finished nearly three weeks early he is now on an adventure of his own and you can follow his progress on Terramar's facebook page.
We arrived in Lukkla yesterday afternoon to the warm greetings of all Tshering and the boys friends. It seemed like every few feet there was someone stop to greet and congratulate them.
In the evening Tshering and I had dinner together and talked about the climb and the team. With no more pressure to climb, we had a thorough debrief and evaluated the decisions that were made. We agreed that our success would not only benefit the overall mission of Save the Poles, and that it felt very good to bigger than something thant just ourselves.
Later, we joked about our cultural differences and personality quirks. We also talked about the types of people who have climbed Everest and some of people Tshering has worked with in the past. I confessed that while I had taken a shower in base camp, I didn't have any soap.
Laughing, Tshering finally added, 'you are not like any other American I have ever worked with on Everest.'
STP Everest - Day 44: To the South Col
October 21st, 2010