Lions en route to Nepal
Posted by Mark Gunlogson/President
Some 30+ hours of travel from Seattle I arrive in Kathmandu, tired, but happy to be on my way back to the Himalaya after a fifteen year absence. From my first trip some twenty years ago I expect to see many changes, from a Nepal without a king, the emergence of a Maoist movement, an upsurge of tourists to this mystical place, and Kathmnadu bursting at the seams.
In 1990 my friends and I traveled to Nepal intent on making some lightweight alpine style ascents on some lesser known peaks — all in good old-fashioned dirtbag style. On the long flight this time around I reminisce on those days fondly when free drinks and taking magazines and a pillow from the plane, both of which made it to base camps in the Himalayas, seemed like we pulled off some great caper; and then there was the challenge to see how many days we could live on just ramen noodles. Ahh, youth.
Now, nearly 50, with a carry-on bag filled with all sorts of electronic gadgetry for blogging, tweeting, facebooking.…., I sit patiently in the Bangkok airport boarding area watching Animal Kingdom on the big screen, musing how different this trip will be. I almost laugh out loud when they say, a continent away, that the wildebeeste sleeps while standing up for about four minutes at a time and that lions copulate up to forty times in twenty-four hours — and I’m tired from sitting on a plane for a day and a half. But, however jaded I sometimes feel after some 30+ years of chasing adventure and climbing, I know that the spark will once again be ignited.
View from Island Peak
Last guided by Mountain Madness in the early 90’s, this trip will take us to Mera and Island Peaks and offer a remote climb in the Himalayas. From the village of Lukla, the standard starting point for Everest climbers and trekkers, we’ll travel east into the wilderness of the Hinku and Hongu valleys. From the summit of Mera we will see five of the six highest peaks in the world before we descend into the cirque that surrounds Island Peak, the last objective. From there it’s back to civilization and the trek to Lukla. Stay tuned.
- Mark Gunlogson