Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Porter Hotel

Adam and Alan decided to hike ahead of the family one day. They arrived late at the teahouses and they were all full so they had to stay in the porter hotel. They thought they were lucky because they had the room with a window. They were wrong. All the smoke from the cook stove drifted up and into their room, the beds and ceiling were too short, and there was no room for their backpacks. In the morning after a terrible night's sleep Adam reached over to open the door to get some fresh air and his bed collapsed. These are the kinds of things that make you thankful for small pleasures.

Mt. Everest update

I just recently sent an update to our web designer and advisor Susanne. She will be updating the Mt. Everest section of Expeditions and adding some new pictures. I also plan on changing the homepage picture every few weeks. I am even awed by some of our pics. I just finished a photo album to show to friends and people who may be interested in having us speak to their group. Sorry we are taking so long to do everything but the presentations are not our main job. Once we get everything organized and get caught up with our normal life things will definitely progress more quickly.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Our First Presentations

Alan has done two presentations to date. One for Toast Masters and one for the company he works for, Hatch in Mississauga.
Hatch really laid out the red carpet for us and we are very thankful for all their support. Alan did an excellent job talking about our adventure and showing a lot of our best pictures. Everyone had their own little story to tell (accompanied by pictures) at some point in the presentation so it was a family affair. Lots of good questions during the Q & A period after the presentation. They really made us feel like celebrities.
Dan did a presentation for extended family and friends at the cottage. The family always wants to hear all the details and see lots and lots of pictures so Dan's presentation was much longer than Alan's. We had an intermission with dessert half way through. The family was awed.
Presently, we are looking at potential dates and venues in the Barrie area. If we get a good response we will expand our area.
I will continue to keep this blog up to date. Ask questions and make suggestions. This is a learning experience for us.
We all strongly feel we have a wonderful story to tell.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Do we write a book?

We have been approached by several people to write a book. There have been lots of books written about Mt. Everest and with the internet and modern communication you can certainly get lots of information about climbing and the mountain. So if we do write a book what do we write about and who writes it? Is the story about the adventure on Mt Everest? Is the story about the family and how we as a family came to climb Mt. Everest? Is the story about the heart stopping moments on each of the 6 mountains we have climbed? Who will write the book? One person? The family? A ghost writer? Do we want to open our lives to the public?
If anyone is still reading this blog we would like your opinion.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

The Chinese again

The Chinese have decided to restrict the number of people who can climb Everest on the Tibet side in the future. They have also strongly hinted that they will close the mountain for 2009 to remove the garbage.
In my opinion, the Chinese are trying to appear progressive and environmentally conscience but in reality they are really just trying to further their own political agenda. It is oddly coincidental that 2009 marks the 50 year anniversary of the Dalai Lama's forced exile from Tibet. Furthermore, China has not shown any concern for the environment to date. In Tibet, there is major deforestation, dumping of nuclear waste, and lots of mining going on (http://www.mounteverest.net/news.php?id=17375) - far greater environmental concerns than tourist garbage.
I have to ask myself the question who will be removing the garbage - the Tibetan sherpas?

Pollution on the mountain

There definitely is a pollution problem on the mountain. They try to hide a lot of it from the tourists but we came across piles of empty plastic water bottles, tin cans, paper etc. The people that live in the country are the worst polluters. A lot of the people on the mountain are just trying to earn enough money to survive so the environment is not high on their priority list.
I think Nepal pays the sherpas $60.00 to bring down the old oxygen cylinders. Infact, our family was told to leave their empty cylinders behind. This is a way for the sherpas to earn extra money. Our outfitter encouraged people to use purification tablets or a water filter rather than buy bottled water.
In Nepal, the average yearly wage is $50.00 U.S. The developed countries are more environmentally conscience with their reuse, reduce and recycle programs but then they can afford to be. I am not making excuses for the tourists. There should be a pack in/pack out policy and maybe Nepal will adapt that in the near future or at the very least a garbage fee with the money paid to porters to bring the garbage off the mountain. The problem is what do they do with it once it is off the mountain?