Site Update Notifications and Expedition Dispatches

This is home for site notifications and dispatches from Alan's expeditions plus updates on Memories are Everything Alzheimer's fund raising activities. Alzheimer's is a devastating disease and the true cause of the disease is unknown. Researchers are making great progress but more is needed. And there is hope.

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September 2007 Archives

September 2, 2007

What Time Is It, anyway??

Kathmandu! What a city. After leaving Colorado early Thursday morning, I finally arrived in this wonderful city. Nothing has changed. The last time I was here was in 2003 for Everest. The arrival at the airport was what I expected - organized chaos. I had checked my bags through from Denver to Kathmandu via United and Thai airlines. Yes, I live dangerously. But one was 63lbs and the other 55 so I really had no choice. In Bangkok, they assured me my bags were on my Thai flight but the anxiety was still there until I saw the red one poke through the hanging straps on the conveyor belt. But where was the black one?

Continue reading "What Time Is It, anyway??" »

September 3, 2007

Lhasa, Tibet

We made it to Lhasa! After an early morning start we made the short trip to the Kathmandu airport for our 10:30 flight on Air China to the capital of Tibet. I guess it is a commentary on modern times and Jamie's organizational skills since our travels went quite smooth. The 2 hour flight on an Airbus 320 was punctuational and comfortable. It was somewhat cloudy over Nepal so we had limited views of the Himalayas but one 8000m Hill was poking through the clouds. I was excited to see Lhasa since it has so much history. To be honest, I wasn't sure what to expect. Was it the old city of legends or was it a modern Chinese city full of commerce and wealth?

Continue reading "Lhasa, Tibet" »

September 4, 2007

Special Announcement: The Rest of Everest interviews Alan

Just before I left for Nepal and Tibet, I was interviewed about my Road Back to Mount Everest: Memories are Everything. Jon Miller, who runs the website The Rest of Everest has become the leading source of Everest content via Podcasting. His weekly episodes are followed by literally tens of thousands loyal viewers.

When he learned of my Journey he generously offered to do a special edition and thus this one. My sincere and deep thanks to Jon for helping get the word out about Alzheimer's.

Here is the direct link to the interview

Climb On Jon!


The Potala, Home of the Dalai Lamas

What a day! This is why I wanted to come to Lhasa. We made two visits to scared places: Norbulingka, the summer home of the Dalai Lamas and the Potala, the winter home of the Dalai Lamas. Both places were inspirational and gave me new insight into the culture of the Tibetans and the Buddhist religion. It is completely impossible for me to share with you via this dispatch what I saw and learned so I encourage you to research these places on the web or even better plan a visit here! However, here is a brief overview and some pictures of the outside since no photography is allowed inside the Palaces.

Continue reading "The Potala, Home of the Dalai Lamas" »

September 5, 2007

Lhasa: a city of multiple faces

Another great day in Lhasa. After a rainy night the air was cool and fresh as we left for our last day of sightseeing. Today we visited the Jokhang Temple and the Sera Monastery. The difference being that a Monastery teaches all subjects from religion to geography to science where a Temple focus on mostly religion. Both were great visits as well as seeing more of the people of Lhasa. Again, it is not possible for me to share everything I saw and learned but here is a brief overview.

Continue reading "Lhasa: a city of multiple faces" »

September 7, 2007

To hear this Shisha Pangma

To hear this Shisha Pangma 2007 audio dispatch, just click on the play button. Thanks for listening and following me on The Road Back to Mt. Everest: Memories are Everything. This is about more than just climbing mountains....

Climb On!


September 9, 2007

The Friendship Highway: Shigatse

Yesterday, September 6th, was a travel day towards Base Camp. We left Lhasa around 9:00 AM taking the paved Friendship Highway to Shigatse. The altitude is 12,795, a nice gain from Lhasa at 11,000'. The road was mostly smooth but huge potholes had the driver making quick moves. Also the oncoming traffic seemed to view the center line as a guideline not a rule so luckily there was a decent shoulder to use as an additional half lane when needed. Finally we shared the road with tractors, the ubiquitous Toyota Land Cruiser, tourists buses, goats and cows. It was a long 7 hours! The terrain is very rugged but

Continue reading "The Friendship Highway: Shigatse" »

From Tourist to Climbers

Today's, September 7th, drive from Shigatse to Shegar can best be characterized as speed up, slow down. While the Chinese have invested tens of millions into improving the road systems, the roads were riddled with deep – 5 feet – holes marked by rocks. Landslides created more blockages with house size rocks strewn across the highway and then there were

Continue reading "From Tourist to Climbers" »

Finally: Shisha Pangma Base Camp!!

We made it! We left Shegar around nine for the last leg of our journey to BC. It was a great leg! The scenery was amazing as was the trip back in history. We left the semi reliable cell phone coverage - yes we were having cell phone coverage all the way from Lhasa - no idea what the roaming charges will be - to a land where they built 10 story signal towers out of mud and straw to stay in touch and to warn of impending attack.

Continue reading "Finally: Shisha Pangma Base Camp!!" »

September 11, 2007

Base Camp Life

It takes a few days to really appreciate the life at Base Camp. Once you arrive, there is the buzz of meeting new people, figuring out the tent situation and of course, staring at the objective. From BC we have a clear view of Shisha Pangma.

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September 13, 2007

A Look in the Eye

What does a look in the eye mean? We have been at Base Camp for four days now and I have gotten to know the local Tibetans fairly well by now. There is the quiet yak herder who looks you in the eye hoping to sell his knife or yak collar. The young girl who is famously shy and avoids the camera. The little one who joyfully plays jump rope with us and then the others.

Continue reading "A Look in the Eye" »

September 15, 2007

Advanced Base Camp

The snow gently fell on my tent as I quickly crawled in after dinner. Off with the down jacket, then the fleece jacket and next the polypro top. On with the clean soft wool top. Now, off with the down pants and the trekking pants and the dusty trekking socks. On with my cherished merino wool socks I bought in New Zealand a decade ago. They are only worn on expeditions inside my sleeping bag. Now for my wool cap to keep me warm and into my down bag. Ah. In spite of the rocks under my tent, it felt good to lie down. Except for the pungent odor that reminded me a room at Old Grandmother’s.

Continue reading "Advanced Base Camp" »

September 17, 2007

Glacier Soldiers

The Ravens glided over ABC using the updrafts like the experts they are. Soon there were ten or more staring down as the Sherpas spread four strings of prayer flags in each direction from the central alter. It is said that Ravens are good luck at a Puja. One by one each team member arrived as did the cooks, yak herders and any one else associated with our expedition.

Continue reading "Glacier Soldiers" »

September 20, 2007

Shisha Pangma Auido Dispatch: At Camp 1

Alan describes being at Camp 1.

To hear this Shisha Pangma 2007 audio dispatch, just click on the play button. Thanks for listening and following Alan on The Road Back to Mt. Everest: Memories are Everything. This is about more than just climbing mountains....

Climb On!


September 22, 2007

Shisha Pangma Audio Dispatch - at 7000m!

Alan describes what it is likea t 7000m on Shisha Pangma.

To hear this Shisha Pangma 2007 audio dispatch, just click on the play button. Thanks for listening and following Alan on The Road Back to Mt. Everest: Memories are Everything. This is about more than just climbing mountains....

Climb On!


September 25, 2007

Update from

I spoke to Alan this morning (Monday) and he has asked me to post an update since he is unable to send out any dispatches. There is a problem with the communication equipment at advanced base camp and they are not sure when it will get fixed. They are unable to send or receive any emails. Alan wanted all of the family and friends of the climbers to be aware of this problem so you would not be worried when you did not hear anything.

Everyone is safely back to ABC. It is snowing heavily and the temperatures have dropped. This is the beginning of a planned three to four day rest period.

I will continue to post updates whenever I have any news from Alan.

The Waiting Begins

Everyone is back at Advanced Base Camp except for Jamie who wanted to stay at Camp 1 and monitor the snow conditions. Every other team has also returned to ABC. The snow and low cloud moved in on Sunday night and we have experienced light to moderate snow since then. So with our acclimatization climb complete to 7000 meters, we are ready for our summit bid but ....

Continue reading "The Waiting Begins" »

Resending Alan's Last Dispatch of September 25 - The Waiting Begins

There was an error in the link for Alan's latest dispatch. I have been able to go in and grab it and get it posted. You will just need to look to the right where there is a blue box called ABOUT and click on the underlined - The Waiting Begins. That should take you to Alan's latest dispatch. You can also view it by going directly to the website.

September 28, 2007

Random Thoughts and a Plan

My eyes lock onto my heavy boots and sharp crampons as I take another step up the steep snow slope towards camp 2 on Shisha Pangma. Then another and another. The pattern continues. My breathing is controlled yet sounds like a steam engine. My stare is unbroken. Then something changes, the snow underfoot becomes less steep, the angle lessens, I feel the relief of the mountain on my gait. I look up.

Continue reading "Random Thoughts and a Plan" »

September 30, 2007

A Big Thank You and Choices

It is very difficult to express what I felt when I saw the email from Katie at the Cure Alzheimer's Fund. She told me that we had a record number of donations this week. I read the words and the names of some the donors: Paula, Troy, Nicki, Paul, Renee. I put the PDA down and sat crossed leg in my tent. I re-read the message. My eyes took on the thousand yard stare towards the snow covered hillsides. What is the emotion beyond appreciation? What is the feeling beyond satisfaction? How do you describe motivation and encouragement? How can two words be so insufficient? Thank You.

Continue reading "A Big Thank You and Choices" »

About September 2007

This page contains all entries posted to in September 2007. They are listed from oldest to newest.

August 2007 is the previous archive.

October 2007 is the next archive.

You can find more on the main index page or by looking through the archives.