After Hours

Daily update: Summitting Kala Patar

In this bonus dispatch, Bruce Andrews relates the experiences that he, Mike, and Gerry shared as they summitted 18,400-foot (5,608-meter) Kala Patar.


4/21/00
Loboche, Nepal

Hello there, everyone!

Bruce Andrews here, feeling pretty special that I'm able to write a little something for the project.

Well, today was an exceptional day, with one exception: Dave was down in Loboche recharging his batteries and wasn't able to take part in the climb of Kala Patar. We missed you up there, Dave.

The day started off very overcast and not very exciting. Mike, Gerry, and I decided to attempt Kala Patar, an 18,400-foot (5,608-meter) peak. Depending on the weather and health, we would make the decision to continue up or go down. Fortunately, as we ascended to new heights for Mike, the weather began to break, and the "Mother Goddess" herself started to shine. Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, and Pumori were out and showing their stuff. Beautiful blue skies with a giant snow plume coming off the top of Everest made for wonderful photos and memories.

A big congratulations to Mike and Gerry for pushing through today and summitting Kala Patar.

Simply amazing scenery! Everest Base Camp looks incredibly packed, and the constant roar of avalanches off the Nuptse face and the Khumbu Icefield provide constant entertainment.

After acclimating at the summit for a number of hours, we began our descent. Tired and cold, we trudged on towards our camp at Loboche. Mike and I were traveling together at this point, when out of nowhere, Mingma Gal Gei (one of our cook boys) came around the corner with hot lemon tea. This, I will tell you, was a pleasant surprise, considering we were in the middle of nowhere—an hour and a half from camp! Mike and I devoured the lemon tea and got on our way again with Mingma Gal Gei. Mingma Gal Gei and I have worked together on past expeditions, and he is one of my all-time favorites. From that point on the trail, he got my Walkman and requested one of my favorites, The Jerry Garcia Band. Mingma went strolling into camp with us, jamming to tunes and flashing the brightest smile you can imagine.

Back in camp now, Dave is doing better, and we are all looking forward to traveling over to Island Peak tomorrow. Hopefully health and weather will continue to improve.

All for now from Loboche,
Bruce Andrews
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Bruce Andrews is an AMGA-certified rock guide. He guides and instructs at all levels and disciplines of rock and ice climbing and mountaineering. With over ten years of guiding experience, Bruce has led courses and guided expeditions to Mexico, Alaska, Ecuador, Bolivia, Argentina (Aconcagua), Chile (Patagonia), and the Himalayas. He has also made major ski descents throughout the Rockies and on expeditions to Alaska and the Cascades. As a co-owner of the Colorado Mountain School, Bruce oversees program and staff development, and he's the overall expeditions coordinator. Bruce possesses degrees in wilderness leadership and in Spanish language and literature.

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