Everest! A Trek to Base Camp/Kala Patthar and Back – November 2011

November 2011

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will fall off like autumn leaves.” – John Muir




The best view of Mt Everest is from the summit of Kala Patthar, 18,400 ft.

Click on the image above to go directly to the documentary video:  Everest! A Trek to Base Camp and Back 2011 (HD 1080i)  YouTube Logo Cropped

“I was sitting on the summit of the 18,200 foot Kala Pattar in the mountains of Nepal. The tallest mountain in the world, Mount Everest at 29,029 feet dwarfed the surrounding Himalayan mountain peaks. I was in the middle of a near-complete circle, a bowl surrounded by the highest mountain peaks in the world. To see this view was for me a lifetime high, likely impossible to ever match in whatever time I have left on this earth.” – Willie Grové

The best view of Mt Everest is from the summit of Kala Patthar, 18,400 ft.


Click on the thumbnail to go to the Blurb.com Bookstore where my book,  Everest! A Trek to Base Camp and Back is available for purchase.

Click HERE to see all Everest videos in the Everest! A Trek to Base Camp and Back – 2011 Playlist in YouTube Logo Cropped

Click HERE to see all my videos posted on YouTube Logo Cropped

Below are 10 Posts of this adventure mainly posted while trekking to Everest and back.

1. Everest!

2. Everest! Update 1 – Three Days in Kathmandu!
3. Everest! Update 2 – Stuck one more day – in Kathmandu – Chances of the climb diminishing!
4. Everest! Update 3 – Last chance to get to the mountain.  3,000 Hikers Stuck in Lukla!
5. Everest! Base Camp Hike Update 4 -  Day 1 and 2 of the Trek – The Six Pack and the Mountain of Destiny… 
6. Everest! Base Camp Update 5 -  Day 7 - Made it to Everest Base Camp!  – 17,700 ft. 
7. Everest! Base Camp Trek Update 6 - Kala Patthar - 18,192 ft.
8. Everest Base Camp Trek Update 7 –  Day 7 to Day 12
9. Everest Base Camp Trek Update 8 – Stuck in Lukla; Escape from Lukla; Four Cold Showers in Kathmandu
10. Everest Base Camp Trek Update 9 – A Wedding At The Top Of The World

My group consisted of Kent Stuckey, Columbus, Ohio, Pete McIlroy, another friend from Columbus and his friend, Roger Verney from near Boston Mass.  Kathy and Al Wilson from Indianapolis rounded out our group.  They summited Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania with me in 2oo8.

I sometimes ask myself the question, “Why do I want to do this apparently crazy stuff.  Roger Verney analised this over a beer in a local Kathmandu bar one afternoon.  He said “I think you want to do this because you thrive on achievement”.

I agree, but there is more.  Yes, the physical challenge, the adrenaline, etc.  But I think what really makes me do it is the SPIRITUAL high from an adventure such as this.

Every year when I go ski out West, it takes me several weeks to get down from the euphoria.  I climbed Kilimanjaro in 2008, and I still can hardly speak of that experience… I am still high on it.  This Everest adventure, having discovered my own physical, emotional and spiritual limits, will remain a highpoint for the rest of my life.  So, maybe it is best summarized in this poem I came across some time ago by Robert Cramer.

“I Climb to be Free”

“Have you ever watched an eagle held captive,
fat and plump and full of food and safe from danger too?
Then have you seen another wheeling high up in the sky,
thin and hard and battle-scarred, but free to soar and fly?
Well, which have you pitied the caged one or his brother?
Though safe and warm from foe or storm, the captive, not the other!
There’s something of the eagle in climbers, don’t you see;
a secret thing, perhaps the soul, that clamors to be free.
It’s a different sort of freedom from the kind we often mean,
not free to work and eat and sleep and live in peace serene.
But freedom like a wild thing to leap and soar and strive,
to struggle with the icy blast, to really be alive.
That’s why we climb the mountain’s peak from which the cloud-veils flow,
to stand and watch the eagle fly, and soar, and wheel… below…”
 –Robert Cramer

Why I am Thankful…

I am gratified that I had the strength and endurance to complete this adventure.  I am even more gratified for the priviledge of living, working and serving in the United States of America.  An experience such as this adventure reinforces this appreciation; an appreciation expressed in the Thanksgiving letter I sent to my clients and friends after I returned from Nepal:

Wednesday, November 23, 2011 2:59 PM

Subject: I am Thankful…

Many of our clients and friends know that I returned on Monday this week from an incredible adventure – a 14-day trek (I should say “climb”) from Lukla , Nepal , to Everest Base Camp, 17,600 ft. as well as a summit of Kala Patthar, 18,240 ft. the next day. You can read my blogs and see some videos and photos HERE.

This was a grueling adventure for a person my age – an adventure of a lifetime. I am thankful that I had the strength to reach my goal – physically, mentally and spiritually. This was the most difficult adversity I have ever overcome and the greatest challenge I have conquered.

I learned much in the 14-day climb, trek, hike to Everest Base Camp and back. I learned about myself and my companions. I learned about human endurance and human suffering. But most of all, I learned patience, persistence, and PACE. Apart from staying healthy among the hardship of cold temperatures, the potentially lethal effects of altitude sickness (AMS), the dry, dusty air, hydration and nutrition, pacing oneself on an adventure such as this is likely the most important component to reach the goal.

Some trekkers dash up the mountain, just to find that in the end they are exhausted, spent. I found that, by setting my pace on a daily basis – not too fast, not too slowly – regardless of the steepness of a 1,000 foot climb or descent, whether we were at the mountain top or along the Dudh Kosi river deep down in the Khumbu valley, determinedly, steadfastly adhering to my PACE was what finally saw me through this adventure. Because of this, not only did I make it, I actually was STRENGTHENED by it. Physically, emotionally and spiritually.

My journey reminded me that this is our goal in advising our clients regarding their lives, their finances and their goals. Investing is not a sprint, it is a marathon. Planning for the long term cannot be determined by the daily ups-and-downs, but rather by steadfastly, determinedly establishing our goals, setting the course, and keeping the pace.

After almost 48 hours’ travel from the incessant pandemonium of the traffic in Kathmandu , the foul air caused by the polluting tuk-tuks, thousands of scooters, motorcycles and other vehicles noisily tangled up in perpetual gridlock in the narrow, dirty streets of this incredibly crowded city, I said a quiet prayer of thanks as my flight glided into Port Columbus. I was looking down on the organized, clean suburbs surrounding Columbus , the orderly flow of traffic in the tidy streets and the air free of pollutants from unmitigated foul emissions from vehicles, with no disease-causing animal and human fecal dust mixed in with the smell of thousands of Yak-dung fires in the air.

I am Thankful…

And I said Thank You! Thank you for America and our imperfect system, for a government that’s all broken and contributing to the economic and investment volatility, and for a tax system about which we all complain from time-to time. Because I know that those wonderful, friendly, open and caring people I met in Nepal , in the mountains from village to village, with no roads, no heating, and questionable sources of food and water, and the throngs of humanity I saw in Kathmandu, would give their left arm to live in this dysfunctional society, the United States of America .

I am Thankful…

… for the privilege of living, working and serving in this country. Each year, we here at Grové Financial Group, try to make a difference in our community because even though we live in the best place in the world, there is a great need in our country. Rather than sending Holiday cards, we support community needs which are important to us. One such cause is Christine’s Christmas, an event about which you have already received an email from me.

I am Thankful…

… for YOU, our client, and for the opportunity to serve you.

I am Thankful…

… for my family and my friends, and for the opportunity to spend a day with them tomorrow to reflect on our good fortune in our beautiful, wonderful country, state, city, community, home.

With gratitude, I wish you a very blessed Thanksgiving 2011.

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