Episode 125: A Sherpa Sense Of Humor

Yes, Definitely A Snow Man. We woke up this morning in Dingboche to a rest day and John Fera’s birthday. We had already planned to throw a small party for John but our staff had something more “festive” in mind.

The first thing we noticed after waking up were red balloons tied to the top of every tent in our camp. Then Sonam handed out writing paper to everyone so that we could jot down a nice birthday greeting for John. Once we gave our notes back to Sonam he hung them around the inside of our teahouse as decorations along with colorful paper streamers and more balloons.

I thought to myself, “Wow, what a sweet thing to do for John. These guys are incredibly thoughtful.”

Little did I know that the entire guide staff had built another gift for John in back of the teahouse. There was some snickering emanating from the teahouse as some of the participants had already discovered the other “gift.”

Megan and I had yet to see what the sherpas had built so we grabbed our cameras and walked out back to discover a kind of snowy shrine to John. They had placed a string of multicolored foil letters on the ground that spelled out “Happy Birthday!” They had also written “John Fera” and “51” in the snow. It was all very nice.

Then we noticed that next to this snowy shrine was a snowman dressed in a cowboy hat. Once we walked a bit closer it became evident that this wasn’t your average snowman. Nope, this snowman was, er, complete.

Yes, the sherpas had built John an anatomically-correct snowman, and judging by their laughter they thought it was the funniest thing they’d ever seen.

Now that’s part of the “Everest experience” you won’t see on The Discovery Channel…

Jon Miller

Total Running Time: 33:12