The fictional team is back home. Thanks, to everyone who followed this story and thanks especially to those who made a donation to one of the guides who will distribute all the money to their climbing Sherpas.
In the real-world. there were 51 #Everest2020 summits this spring, all Northside: 8 Tibetans rope fixers, 8 Chinese survey team, and 14 Chinese nationals supported by 21 Tibetans. Congrats to all. Latest summits in decades due to deep snow. New altitude measurement expected in a few months. Thanks to Mingma G for the updates.
Virtual Everest 2020 – Support the Climbing Sherpas is a joint project of Alan Arnette and several global guide companies. Our objective is to entertain Everest fans during the Coronavirus spring closure and raise money to help the Climbing Sherpas who are not working this spring. While there will be accurate historical references, this series is a work of fiction. Names, characters, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. Please join us by making a donation using the links below plus by adding your Everest experiences in the comment section.
“I can’t believe that really happened.” Snorer said to Old Man. “Hell, I’m not sure it did!” he joked. “Yeah, made it look easy, NOT!” Buddy chimed in, adding, “Hardest thing I’ve ever done.”
The team celebrated their Everest summit over a dinner of yak meat, potatoes, green beans, lentils, and tomato soup. Chuldim made a cake for them. With icing, it read, “Congratulations! Everest Summit May 25, 2020”
Girlfriend trying to smile, simply offered, “I miss him.” Sitting next to her, She smiled backed and said, “I know, you will see him soon.” Guide arranged for a helicopter flight from Base Camp to Kathmandu so Couple could be reunited. The rest of the team would trek back.
Boyfriend was recovering in the Kathmandu Medical Center. All of his vital signs were good, and the doctors told him he would be released in a day or two.
The team began the trek to Lukla the next day, spending nights in Periche and Namche. It took three days to get there. The weather was good, but the monsoons were looming. They caught a Yeti Air flight and landed in Kathmandu only five days after summiting Mt. Everest. Most had booked flights home over the next few days. They passed by a customs sign at the airport and smiled at the simplicity of Nepal.
Guide and Dawa stayed at Base Camp to help take the tents down and pack everything into plastic drums. Fifty yaks would arrive the day after tomorrow to take it all to Gorak Shep where most of the gear would be stored until next season. Some of it would go to Kathmandu to be used on Manaslu or Cho Oyu in the autumn. The Sherpas were diligent in leaving the camp spotless.
“What a group, Dawa! Thank you for all your help, especially with Boyfriend. I don’t know what I would have done without you.” Guide told his Sidar. “You’re welcome. I am glad it all worked out. But it was touch and go at times.”
Guide called all the Climbing Sherpas, cooks, porters, and support staff together. “I want to thank each of you for a great job these past two months. From setting this camp in late March to keeping everyone fed and watered throughout the expeditor, for hauling all our stuff up the mountains and for climbing with us and keeping us safe. A very special thank you to those who helped rescue Boyfriend and support Old Man. Without your dedication, expertise, and professionalism, we might have not summited, and perhaps lost a couple of people. So while it’s only words, please know that from my heart, I thank you and am proud to call you my friends.”
He passed out the tips. The members had been very generous, and the extra money was appreciated.
The road from the Kathmandu domestic airport terminal to Hotel Kathmandu felt strange. She had gotten used to the quiet of the Himalaya, the lack of cars, and all the trappings of modern life. Despite the WiFi, movie nights, and sat phone calls home, She found it peaceful, relaxing, and a welcome break from her job and home duties.
She slept most of the flight home. She was tired. On her other climbs, She had been tired, but this one was different. It was longer, more physically demanding, emotionally draining, yet with unparalleled in satisfaction. She smiled as she drifted off.
Loner and Dutch said goodbye at the airport as they boarded planes for different cites. Buddies flew together back to their homes. Old Man and Snorer ended up on the same flight to their connection in Dubai where they went their separate ways. Couple had already flown home, now engaged. “Look! Everest!” Girlfriend said. “Boyfriend, glancing out the airplane window just smiled, “Beautiful. I’m so proud of you.”
The plane landed so smoothly that She didn’t wake up. “Welcome home,” said the flight attendant, softly touching her shoulder. She gathered her carry-on bag and walked out the Airbus 330 door and onto the jetway. She cleared security, smiling at the Customs Officer who said, “Welcome back.”
Her two duffle bags were waiting for her besides the luggage carousel. She found a trolly and loaded them on, politely rejecting an offer of help from a buff young man. “I got this.” She told him. It was all she could not say, “I just summited Mt. Everest, I think I can handle my gear!” She smiled inside.
The automatic door opened, and there they were, Husband, Daughter, and Son. They held a sign up with huge letters:
“Welcome Home Mt. Everest Summiter!”
Memories are Everything
Climbing Sherpa Support
Who, how much, and how often you donate is a personal decision. Maybe you climbed with one of the guides, or plan to one day. Perhaps you have followed them for years and want to support their Climbing Sherpa team, or maybe you support by geography – Nepali, American, Austrian, British, New Zealand. It’s up to you and will be much appreciated.
My sincere appreciation to those companies who accepted my invitation to join Virtual Everest 2020 – Support the Climbing Sherpas:
- Alpine Ascents International: Click to Donate to Alpine Ascents’ Climbing Sherpas
- Adventure Consultants: Click to Donate to Adventure Consultant’s Climbing Sherpas
- Alpenglow Expeditions: Click to Donate to Alpenglow Expedition’s Climbing Sherpas
- Furtenbach Adventures: Click to Donate to Furtenbach Adventure’s Climbing Sherpas
- International Mountain Guides: Click to Donate to IMG’s Climbing Sherpas
- Jagged Globe: Click to Donate to Jagged Globe’s Climbing Sherpas
- Madison Mountaineering: Click to Donate to Madison Mountaineering’s Climbing Sherpas
- Mountain Professionals: Click to Donate to Mountain Professional’s Climbing Sherpas
For an overview of the Virtual Everest 2020 – Support the Climbing Sherpas, please visit this post.
Previous Virtual Everest 2020 posts:
- Virtual Everest 2020 – Support the Climbing Sherpas
- Virtual Everest 2020: Leaving Home
- Virtual Everest 2020: Flying at the Summit of Everest
- Virtual Everest 2020: Weekend Video Update April 5
- Virtual Everest 2020: Hello Kathmandu!
- Virtual Everest 2020: Kathmandu
- Virtual Everest 2020: Exploring Kathmandu
- Virtual Everest 2020: The First Team Dinner
- Virtual Everest 2020: Lukla Drama
- Virtual Everest 2020: The Trek Begins
- Virtual Everest 2020: Weekend Video Update April 12- Guy Cotter Interview
- Virtual Everest 2020: Everest View
- Virtual Everest 2020: Blessing in the Khumbu
- Virtual Everest 2020: Leaving the Trees
- Virtual Everest 2020: Remembering
- Virtual Everest 2020: The Trekker’s Summit
- Virtual Everest 2020: April 18, Honoring the Fallen
- Virtual Everest 2020: Weekend Video Update April 19- Gordon Janow Interview
- Virtual Everest 2020: Settling into Base Camp
- Virtual Everest 2020: Puja at Base Camp
- Virtual Everest 2020: It Takes a Village
- Virtual Everest 2020: First Steps in the Khumbu Icefall
- Virtual Everest 2020: Weather Day and Tough Conversations
- Virtual Everest 2020: Weekend Video Update April 26- Lukas Furtenbach Interview
- Virtual Everest 2020: In the Western Cwm
- Virtual Everest 2020: Camp 2
- Virtual Everest 2020: Acclimatization at C2
- Virtual Everest 2020: Sherpas at C2
- Virtual Everest 2020: Difficult Times
- Virtual Everest 2020: Base Camp Life and Summit Schedules
- Virtual Everest 2020: Weekend Video Update April 26- Greg Vernovage Interview
- Virtual Everest 2020: Base Camp Tour
- Virtual Everest 2020: Doubts at Camp 2
- Virtual Everest 2020: Climbing the Lhotse Face
- Virtual Everest 2020: Storm at Camp 3
- Virtual Everest 2020: Back to Base Camp and A Narrow Escape
- Virtual Everest 2020: Weekend Video Update May 10 – Garrett Madison Interview
- Virtual Everest 2020: Summit Fever in Base Camp
- Virtual Everest 2020: Special Video Interview with Tendi Sherpa
- Virtual Everest 2020: Personality Clash
- Virtual Everest 2020: View from Pumori and Doubts
- Virtual Everest 2020: Summit Plan
- Virtual Everest 2020: Weekend Video Update May 17 – Ryan Waters Interview
- Virtual Everest 2020: Summit Push and Special Video Interview with Michael Fagin of Everest Weather
- Virtual Everest 2020: Weather Decisions and Video Interview with Simon Lowe of Jagged Globe
- Virtual Everest 2020: A Stormy Lhotse Face
- Virtual Everest 2020: Crossing the Yellow Band and Video Interview with Mike Hamill of CTSS
- Virtual Everest 2020: Trapped at the South Col
- Virtual Everest 2020: Summit Push Begins
- Virtual Everest 2020: Summit!!
- Virtual Everest 2020: Descending from the Summit and a Rescue
- Virtual Everest 2020: Climbers in Trouble on the Descent
- Virtual Everest 2020: Special Edition – Video Interview with Adrian Ballinger, Alpenglow Expeditions
- Virtual Everest 2020:Climbers Back in Base Camp