Episode 147: “Meet Me In Kathmandu”

New Faces, Old Places. It’s so great to be back in Kathmandu and so cool to be starting this new Everest adventure! This is going to be the longest trip I’ve made back to the Himalayas since the original Everest expedition way back in 2003.

It’s wonderful to have this much time to spend here in Nepal and soon Tibet but I always miss my family when I leave home for these trips. Luckily I have so many new teammates to get to know on this workshop. I always enjoy getting to know new people and this is definitely an intense way to get to know someone!

Then, of course, I’ll have Chris Marquardt and Monika Andrae to help me chase away the homesick blues. In fact, they’re more than simply friends of mine. After last year’s trek to Everest’s South Side these guys are more like extended family!

I’ve said it a million times but I firmly believe that you come out to this part of the world for Everest but come back for the people. Those “people” consist of my fellow workshop participants as much as our friends on the Nepali and Tibetan staff.

Rounding things out this year will be Thilo. He’s turning into what I like to call our “frequent flyer” as I’m fairly certain he’ll attend every himalayan workshop we hold. It will be fun having him along on this new trek and we’ll surely have plenty of opportunities to reminisce about last year’s team.

I’m also extremely excited to return to Tibet for the first time in 3 years and to meet up with Lobsang. As you may remember, Lobsang was the Tibetan guide that Mountain Tribes hired for Scott Jacobs and I in 2007 when we returned to Everest’s North Side. Scott and I were only able to spend a week with Lobsang but we forged a lifelong friendship in that short time. we’ve spoken on the phone and emailed regularly since then but it will be so great to see him in person.

My Rest of Everest audience really met the challenge when I asked everyone to consider donating some funds to help support Lobsang and his family when the Tibetan border was closed in 2008 for several months. Lobsang makes his living from guiding tourists through his amazing country but if the border is closed that means no tourism. He lost the entire season in 2008 but we were able to make up that financial loss with the money everyone donated. He literally used the donations to keep his family fed and to make sure that his sister’s school tuition was paid.

I can’t thank everyone enough for showing so much kindness to this Tibetan family.

See? It all comes down to people. I guess my extended family is larger than I originally thought.

Jon Miller

Total Running Time: 38:28