A short summary of 2 months carrying down garbage by our Sherpa team during the Mt Everest clean up expedition last Spring…!
While most Everest summitters around the Globe are slowly getting back to their ‘normal’ life again, the organizers of the EEE cleaning expedition are still fulltime occupied with their successful expedition last spring. Coming Friday a press conference is scheduled to share their results, past and coming activities with us all.
In the mean time 60 pictures of the clean up activities have been selected which will be exhibited next month in one of Kathmandu’s major art galleries. Apart from that, Nepali artists and 1 French artist have started to blossom their creativity to make something extraordinary of the garbage that was brought back to Kathmandu. Their ‘rubbish art’ will be available to show from coming November. For those who are in Kathmandu this November, come and have a look…! (address details will follow)
Barely landed in Holland a Dutch newspaper called to write and publish an article about the cleaning expedition Namgyal has organized last spring.
For those who can read Dutch, have a nice read! For those who can’t, it also contains some of our pictures NRCNext_0610
Recent summit attempts of teenagers have caused a lot of debate in the climbing community. In 2001, sixteen year old Temba Tseri Sherpa (Nepali boy) became the youngest climber to summit Everest, although he lost a few fingers and toes because of frostbite. Last spring (May 2010) the record was taken by Jordan Romero, who ascended World’s highest mountain at the age of 13!
As a response to the tendence of taking very young climbers above the Death Zone (plans were already there to bring a 11-year old next spring), the China Tibet Mountaineering Association (CTMA) has issued new regulations since 2 weeks for climbing Mt Everest. As from June 10th (2010), two age limits will be set to climb Everest from the north side: a minimum age of 18, and a max of 60. Exceptions can be made for climbers providing positive medical records but 16 will still be the absolute lowest limit according to CTMA.
The CTMA’s decision was welcomed by the Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA), who already set a minimum age of 16 after Temba’s summit push. In Nepal the maximum age to climb Everest is not restricted.
Pro or con? Let us know…
Some time has passed, so several updates to give you!
The second team indeed summited May 23rd, while sweeping many Kgs of mainly old rope, tents and oxygen cylinders. In total 1800kg has been brought down to the BC, apart from the 2 dead bodies which were brought to and picked up at camp 2.
Of this pile of garbage, 1000kg of disposable rubbish has been left in Namche where it will be processed. The remaining 800kg has been flown back to Kathmandu last week.
Interesting detail… May 29 the Hillary-Tenzing marathon has been held; all the way from BC to Namche. Several runners did show their valuable support to this clean up expedition by taking a special designed bag with them, loaded with 2 kg of ‘our’ garbage. Two of our Sherpas (Pasang C and Kurma) even joined these running heroes, showing that they are real athletes… They were actually the only two who had ‘ran’ from 8848m all the way to Namche ! So from here, we would like to thank all ‘garbage pickers’ for their prestige!
The coming weeks art students will make some interesting pieces and creatures of these materials and exhibit the result in a local gallery. We’ll keep you updated where you have to go!
Also, 100 pictures of the expedition and rubbish will be shown at an exhibition soon from now. The exact dates and location… you still get it from us.
This month, National Geographic has printed a special edition focusing on water problems seen all over the world. One of Namgyals stunning pictures taken from the summit of Mt Everest (overlooking all main glaciers in the Khumbu and beyond) has been chosen to support the text of one of their articles. The article titled ‘The Big Melt’ points at the fact glaciers in the Himalaya feed Asians greatest rivers, serving as freshwater lifelines for 2 billion of people. However, ice and snow started to decrease rapidly…
In the meantime we went to the ‘Highest Dental Clinic of the World’, as they call it here. Every equipment is donated, from dental chairs, plastic gloves, to (almost expired) anesthetics. The charming wooden lodge-style clinic almost vanished away 2 months ago due to a huge fire at the neighbor’s place, so they had to search for the still usable tools. Everything non-usable stuff in developed countries can be sent to here and you know what…? It’s still really good; we are throwing too much away!
Anyway; good and bad news; Armand’s problem was so severe that they actually didn’t want to do more than providing antibiotics, which means that we will go up again to give it a try.
Since my teeth never give any problem (knock knock on oak wood; or do only the Dutch understand this habit ?), I didn’t insure them, which means that I’m free as a bird where to do my check ups. So why not here?? For the first time in my life I heard enthusiastic Ohhhs and Ahhs, pretty nice ego lift (although it’s something so uncontrollable as the hardness of your enamel ) After some scratching, showing their own jaws (…) and my first polish treatment ever we went; me with a real Hollywood smile
Further spend a (Nepali) fortune on painkillers and several antibiotics to fight the viruses which happily nested in my lungs and nose and let the BC know they can expect us around May 7 or 8 again. We are pretty done with counting the raindrops here and have the feeling that the treatments have booked their first success!
So… next update from the BC!
Stuck at the national airport for 30hours, we finally were able to fly to Lukla; the main start of expeditions and trekkings in the Khumbu/Everest region. Starting to feel very unlucky at that time, we now can say that we must have been very happy to actually have been able to fly, finally! All our possible flights were cancelled, some of them while boarding (how demotivating…) because of too much wind, cloudy weather, a nonfunctioning radar system and a broken antenna. Not a good thing if you ask me… !
e past 2 weeks Armand and I scheduled a ‘boot camp’; crossing fully packed 3 valleys linked by high passes. The route was beautiful and the result was there: we reached Gorakshep (the last village before Everest Base Camp, EBC) completely fit, strong and hungry (Yes! Good sign on altitude).
On week further since the last update, but project wise suddenly we’re much further.
It was badly needed though; several proceedings stopped or were canceled.
There have been negotiations with a TV channel, specifically focused on Everest news, to make an appealing documentary to broadcast the piece to at least 15 countries. Potentially very interesting of course for both parties… However the negotiations finally collapsed on (what’s new) money. During the project a lot of parties, organizations, NGOs and individuals were positive after being consulted to sponsor. Some became very inspired and excited to cooperate or even had approached the team themselves to get involved. However, when it comes to payments, it’s peoples nature to become less and less enthousiatic, like the exciting thrill is suddenly gone. We’ve seen and still experience this most of the time and start to get used to it. Nothing is final, up to the first paisas, unfortunately!
The coming 72hours will be very important for the breakthrough of this Clean up Expedition Project.
The project have been waiting for a very long time to get support from the Ministery of Tourism; a major prerequisit for the main sponsors to secure their support. Quite a struggle! Although always to be expected, it still surprising how much urge for power and individual visibility is involved, even in these kind of charity programs (or maybe better to say especially!). Anyway, although not completely confirmed, the Ministery has agreed to proceed in their support (yes, step by step, little by little; it tests your patience ).
Anyway, the main sponsors have now agreed to start their first payments these days. Excellent news, since many equipment and services for which deposits were paid, can now be finally collected/arranged and paid off. It enables the team to send the first 1000kg to Lukla already early this week.
At this moment we are waiting with 4 persons to fly to Lukla, to secure the first arrangements. Have been hanging around unsuccessfully at the national airport already the entire day yesterday, and continue hoping, reading, even more reading today. Hope to bring you the next news for a higher altitude!
Also upcoming is the press conference for this Clean up initiative. Already scheduled for weeks before, but now ready for the Big Bang… To be expected Tuesday; stay connected!