My Dear Readers,
There have been quite a few blog updates recently, and, unfortunately, not enough posts of any substance. For that I apologize and offer you the usual excuse – I’ve been busy.
I was unable to visit Phakding and the festival at Pema Choling Monastery due to bad weather. Dorje, my friend, whose name you might recognize if you’re familiar with my mountaineering stories, went without me and returned with a wealth of photos and videos for me to start working on the charity project. It should be up and running towards the end of August.
After bidding good-bye to my beloved Kathmandu on the 6th of July, I returned to my home town, St. Petersburg, to have a chat with my employer about a new job opportunity. That I did, but found myself unable to accept the very tempting job offer: I cherish my friends, ‘my’ kids at Pema Choling and my Himalayan adventures too much to give them up no matter what is offered me. It’s sad, really, that I should care so little about my career and my extensive shoe collection based here in St. Petersburg, but I’m by no means a realist, and see no point in pretending otherwise. So, my flight back to Nepal is already booked.
Before I leave for Kathmandu again, I will travel to Kazakhstan to climb one of the world’s most beautiful peaks – Khan Tengri (7010m) in the mountain range of Tian Shan. I have signed up with a company called Kan Tengri Expeditions to join an international climbing team. The expedition begins in Almaty on the 22nd of July and should take just over 20 days. It will include such exciting activities as flying to base camp on the South Inylchek Glacier on board an ancient Russian chopper, climbing with unfamiliar people with approaches to mountaineering very different from my own, and, of course, my absolute ‘favorite’ – load-carrying: there are no Sherpas in the Tian Shan, and I will have to carry group and personal gear myself. Another difficulty I expect to encounter is the weather, very changeable in the Tian Shan. However, I believe, the main problem will have to do with the mountain itself – high, cold and more technical than I am comfortable with…
Drop by later if you’d like to read more about the Khan Tengri expedition, my impressions of Almaty and, of course, bad poetry :)!