Shop Eddie Bauer: Men Women Kids Outerwear Gear Sale
First Ascent Guide Melissa Arnot Returns to the Himalaya
Posted on October 15, 2009

First Ascent Guide Melissa Arnot Maps JourneyFirst Ascent guide Melissa Arnot returns to the Himalayan Mountains after her successful summit of Mount Everest last May. Over the next 21 days, Melissa and photographer Cory Richards will attempt to summit three mountains in the Khumbu Region of Nepal, each rising above 20,000 feet. The expedition requires good weather, sound health and the motivation to cover an incredible distance over technical terrain. Follow Melissa’s Himalayan expedition here on the Born Out There Blog. -EB Editor

October 10, 2009
As the plane touches down on the runway, half a world and 20 hours away from the place I started, the excitement begins. I loved Nepal the first time I came here in 2008, and each time, it feels a little more like home.

It does take a little time to acclimatize to the culture. I adjust to people carrying baskets with chickens in them down the street while others carry bed mattresses on the back of motorbikes. Katmandu is the over-populated center of one of the poorest countries in the world. It is crowded and loud, but not at all in an annoying way. Buddhist and Hindi are the dominant religions and that certainly shapes the culture as much as anything, which is beautifully obvious right now in the full midst of the National Nepalese festival Dashain. The shops on the streets have flowers strung in the windows and the mood is generally very content. This festival, which occurs after the rice harvest, is known for its emphasis on family gatherings, as well as on a renewal of community ties. I only have a few moments to take in the wonder and speed of Katmandu before getting started on planning our expedition.

At breakfast, Cory Richards, my climbing partner and photographer and our outfitter from Sherpa Shangri-La, Jiban Ghimire pour over maps of the Khumbu region and discuss price for permits and logistics. It is important that Cory and I have a good schedule that allows for acclimatization to the altitude while still allowing us to summit three peaks in the next three weeks. It is ambitious and will keep us moving almost every single day. On my past Everest expeditions, there were a lot of “rest” days and down time. That will not be the case this trip, as we will be covering a huge area of the Khumbu region in a very short time.

The little topographic swirls of the map, tell me a story of where we are heading. I can feel the excitement of a new expedition brewing. Between buying permits, grocery shopping, and packing our First Ascent Maximus duffel bags there is so much for us to do; yet all the while we’re fighting the brutal jet lag of a 12-hour time difference.

The anticipation of exploring new areas and climbing at high altitude seems to win over the increasing tiredness of jet lag. Tomorrow morning we will make our final peak selections, and catch an early flight to Lukla to begin this adventure. That is, if our plane departs at all, due to the weather being less then ideal lately. We are keeping our fingers crossed that our expedition will start tomorrow, our timeline is very important to accomplish our goal. For now, I cannot worry too much since we still have yet to make a final decision about the mountains we will attempt to climb! Hopefully our next dispatch will come to you from the beautiful Khumbu Valley, with a final itinerary in hand.

Author: - Thursday, October 15th, 2009

  1. liquidsky

    The foot feels the foot when it feels the ground.

  2. jeffdossett

    Go confidently in the direction of your dreams, live the life you’ve imagined.” Climb safely and take good care of each other.

  3. TravisMiller

    quite a journey! looking forward to your updates…

  4. kitcourt

    Go gently, be safe, and have fun.

Write A Comment

Sorry, no posts matched your criteria.