Komi had Tsering and me on standby for the first flight out. A lot of standing around and the next thing you know in comes the plane and we are on the tarmac. This time the plane lands and with the fastest turn over you have seen, we are sardeens once again in the flying tin can.
There was a bit more of a view them when we left KTM nearly a month ago. I definitely got a better sense of the immense size of the Kathmandu valley.
Arriving, we are greeted by the ever-jovial Jiban. Jiban is THE MAN! Check out this Outside Magazine profile on him: http://www.outsideonline.com/outdoor-adventure/climbing/mountaineering/The-Fixers-Fixer.html Jiban is the coolest and most connected guy in Nepal. It was great to be able to spend so much time with him yesterday and today at the Yak and Yeti. Many good stories and laughs.
Once back at the Yak, I found myself with a whole day to kill by myself. 10:30am too early to start drinking beer? Not by my Nepali watch, it isn't. By 12:30 with three or so 18oz'ers of cold Kathmandu brew down the hatch, an afternoon nap was looking pretty good.
But just then Jiban reappears with a one, Mr. Steve Richards in tow!! I'm totally blown away. Steve hopped a helicopter at Everest base camp in the morning about the time I was leaving Lukla, and then was able to catch a flight directly following from Lukla to Kathmandu. Physically much more efficient than my 3 day, 35 mile, 9,000 ft. elevation drop trek down. Hats off, the man's got style!
Leslie can spot movie, TV, and sports stars. Me? I can spot Mountaineering stars. A couple tables over at lunch I see David Breashears. If you have seen the IMAX Everest film, you have seen his work. Perhaps the world's finest high altitude mountaineering film maker and photographer, Mr. Breashears is a legend. I chatted with him for a few minutes and told him that both Steve and I had enjoyed his photo exposition that was set up in a large tent at base camp, "Rivers of Ice." (http://www.glacierworks.org/). Very nice guy, he was headed back up to BC.
For dinner, Steve and I capped off the trip the same way it started with pizza and beer at local favorite, Fire and Ice Pizzeria. This morning after dropping me at the airport, Steve emailed to report he had found Shangri-la in Kathmandu and it's called the Hyatt Regency. I think he called the Yak and Yeti a Motel 6 and the Hyatt a Four Seasons. That should make his two extra days that much bearable. The man needs to be pampered. :-). But after climbing to Camp II on the world's highest mountain, I would say he has more than earned it. You have my unending respect, my friend!!
Only two more hours to kill before my hop to Korea.