Kathmandu and Moving to Tibet

My impressions of Kathmandu so far: arriving after 30 hours on the road (or in the air rather), being tired, in a new place, wondering why I am here, being exposed to a foreign culture, all that added together was not fun. The first day and night I was afraid to walk on the street, go to a shop, without being told exactly where to go or actually going with someone. I felt very much out of my element. However, by the next day it was all different, I had a sleep, took some time to walk around and get to know the area, found out the people were not all that bad, etc. So now it’s not that bad of a place! Definitely a decent place to meet and start an expedition.

So what’s been happening in Kathmandu so far with all our group? We’ve been organizing everybody, we’ve had gear checks to make sure everyone has all the right equipment, picking up some last minute items in town, team dinners to get to know the other people, etc. The people in our group are actually split into climbers of two different mountains, 13 of us heading up Cho Oyu and another handful heading up Shishapangma. We’re all climbing with the same company so we will all be travelling to Tibet together and acclimatizing together there in the next couple of days. We had a big group meeting after breakfast today where we went over the details of all the trip into Tibet, some of the interesting details I will
list below:

– We depart tomorrow morning (3rd Sep) at 4:00 am.
– Getting to the border by road can take 4 hours or maybe 20 or more. 4 if the roads are good, and who knows how many if there are washouts (which are likely, we are still in monsoon season here), at which point we have to stop, unload the bus/trucks, carry everything over the washout, load it back into another bus/truck, drive to the next washout point, repeat. Apparently this was done 5 times in one of the previous expeditions, we’ll see how much we have to go through!
– Crossing the border means unloading everything, having porters carry our equipment over a bridge, and loading up new cars/trucks.
– No pictures are allowed to be taken on the border.
– We should be ready to maybe see Tibetans getting arrested/beaten/interrogated for attempting to cross into Nepal illegally. I personally hope none of that goes on while we are there.
– Staying in Tibet means staying at a government-dictated hotel. They tell us where to stay, what to eat. That’s communism. Apparently the hotels there are really bad, dirty, we are told to bring our own
sleeping bags and not use any of their blankets.

Those are the main points that I remember.

I’ll try and post an update from Tibet, apparently we can expect internet access there, and let you know how good/bad it actually was.

On the updating note, I had not anticipated updating this blog during our actual climb, but it might just be possible to send out updates every once in a while, so I will do my best to do just that. In case there are no updates here for a while just know you can always rely on going to www.summitclimbnews.com and getting some of the latest information there. Oh, and by the way, if you don’t want to check here for updates you can sign up to get an email when I post an update, just click on the link at the top right of the main page under Pages titled “Want Email Updates For New Posts?”

Take care and see you soon!

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