This is the third time I've been to Kathmandu now. On other trips I've always joined the groups going to the major tourist sites but this morning I was invited to go on a bike tour outside of town with a couple of the other climbers. We were up and pedalling out of the city by six in the morning. The tour was a great way to get out of town and avoid the congestion and noise of the city - which can get on your nerves after a few days of it. We biked up into the hills outside of town and were treated with great views of the valley to the south of Kathmandu. Unfortunately the smog over the city blocks any views of the mountains to the north, which is where my thoughts are right now.
Tomorrow morning we fly up to Lukla where we will begin our trek up to Everest. For the next two weeks we will slowly make our way from 9000 feet in Lukla up to just over 17,000 feet at base camp. I'm really excited to share this experience with the rest of the trekking team. We will be moving really slowly, making sure everyone acclimatizes to the thin mountain air. We also want to enjoy the spectacular scenery of the Himalaya, so we'll wander slowly, stop when we want to and take lots of pictures and videos to share. I'm really excited that Tony is on this trip. His positive energy has already impressed everyone else on the trekking team and the group is fast becoming old friends.
This afternoon I spent some time up on the rooftop of the hotel thinking about the past several years and the challenges I've faced in the mountains. I'm feeling healthy and fit right now. I'm also feeling mentally ready for the climb - which is very important. I will be climbing with two other people I've climbed with many times before. John, my guide, has my complete confidence. He has a laid back personality, just like me, and is extremely safety conscious.
The other climber, Darrel, was on Everest in 2008. He didn't make the summit. He turned around near the top because he didn't feel he could safely make it to the top. I have a great deal of respect for him. He is a very strong climber and I look forward to standing on top of Everest with him sometime in May. When we do, we will both have stood on top of the highest mountain on each of the seven continents. Darrel was with me on Vinson and Carstenz, the last two summits I climbed. Darrel understands how important my No Guts Know Glory campaign is and he is extremely supportive. I feel very blessed to have a small, strong, safe and supportive team for this climb. Thanks for following along on the Great Comebacks® website. I will write more updates as we move up the Khumbu Valley towards base camp.
For more details, visit Rob's No Guts Know Glory Everest Expedition blog.