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Everest Permit Signed (August 31, 2010)

Current Position
Position Date: 2010-09-01 01:45:05
Position Latitude: 27.75
Position Longitude: 85.3333
Position Distance from Pole: 3738
Nautical Miles, 4306 mi, 6922 km

A busy street in Thamel in Kathmandu.

I am still trying to figure out if I am jet lagged or not. My theory is that, because of such a long flight, I passed through my normal zone of travel tiredness back into my regular schedule. Still writing this, I am a bit tired after a long day.

I woke up early to take a short walk around Kathmandu. Early mornings, I've found from a previous visit to India, are a bit calmer with less traffic and fewer horns. Later, Tshering Nima and Tshering Dorji from Himalayan Trail Blazer and Trekking stopped by to pick up some of my expedition gear that I had repacked. I managed to squeeze four Sierra Designs tents (one of them a 12-person base camp tent) into on Seal Line pro pack - a nice feat of compression if I don't say so myself.

Later, Tshering (Nima) picked my up on his motorcycle for another maniacal adventure through Kathmandu's motorways to the Nepal Ministry of Tourism. In a previous discussion with Tshering, he suggested we might have to do a bit of 'negotiation' but after a short briefing, everything seemed fine. We received permit #7.

'Lucky number 7,' the official blurted with a surprising level of candor. I had been watching him slowly untying the rope that held together all of our papers in a thick file. The comment had caught me off guard as I was thinking about subtle differences like the different ways a file could be bound together.

'Lucky 7,' I replied trying to channel extra luck into the weeks ahead.

I met our liaison officer who will be making the trek into base camp with us and checking to make sure all is on the up and up. There was an odd mix of cordiality and formality in all the proceedings. Laughs followed by standard government statements. Besides our permit, I received a nice bag with a poster, ceremonial scarf, maps of Nepal and the 2009 Nepal Tourism Statistics book. Paging through my bounty later in the evening, I decided I would save this light reading for later - especially Chart 9: Gross Foreign Exchange Earnings from Tourism Sector by Fiscal Year, 2047/48-2065/66.

Many people have asked me about trash on Everest and part of our meeting at the Tourism office was to go over the rules and regulations on the mountain. Everything that goes up the mountain with us will be coming back down.

It has been good to spend more time with Tshering and the rest of the team from Himalayan Trail Blazer crew. They have been infinitely helpful. Yesterday, as we all waited for an afternoon shower to end and motorcycle back to my hotel. Tshering simply said, 'Eric, I'll get you a cab'.

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