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Commentary; David Breashears commentary; Mt. Everest  

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Conversation; David Breashears conversation with Tsete-Ahm; Mt. Everest  

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NPR/NGS Radio Expeditions
11 Apr 2001

    Geography
  • Nepal
    Locality
  • Namche Hill
    Latitude/Longitude
  • 27.81556   86.71667
    Channels
  • Stereo
    Sampling Rate
  • 48kHz
    Bit Depth
  • 16-bit
    Recorders
    Microphones
    Accessories
    Equipment Note
  • Stereo=1; Dual-Channel Mono; Stereo

NPR/NGS
RADIO EXPEDITIONS
Show: David Breashers: Everest Journey
Log of DAT #: 2
Date: April 11, 2001

ng = not good
ok = okay
g = good
vg = very good

02 O:45 It¿s late afternoon and I¿ve stopped for a rest near 10,000 feet near the steep trail that ascends Nange Hill and eventually ending at the base of Mt. Everest. It¿s been a long day and I¿m tired. It normally takes two days of hard walking to get to where I¿m sitting now, but I¿ve done it in one. It seems the excitement of being back in the Himalayas has gotten the better of me, although I can¿t see any of the peaks right now, looking up from the my vantage point I can just see a thin grey cloud that¿s covering the mountains.

RETAKE: 1:45 I¿m going to do this in paragraphs with long pauses it¿s all meant to be used for the same purpose.

TAKE 2: 2:05 It¿s late afternoon and I¿ve stopped for a rest near 10,000 feet near the steep trail that ascends Nange Hill and eventually ending at the base of Mt. Everest. It¿s been a long day and I¿m tired. It normally takes two days of hard walking to get to where I¿m sitting now, but I¿ve done it in one. It seems the excitement of being back in the Himalayas has gotten the better of me, aww shoot!

Try it again.

2:43 It¿s late afternoon and I¿ve stopped for a rest near 10,000 feet near the steep trail that ascends Nange Hill and eventually ending at the base of Mt. Everest. It¿s been a long day and I¿m tired. It normally takes two days of hard walking to get to where I¿m sitting now, but I¿ve done it in one. It seems the excitement of being back in the Himalayas has gotten the better of me, but looking up from my vantage point I can¿t see the high peaks as they¿re obscured by a low grey cloud.

My day began at seven am when I climbed aboard a twin otter? airplane heading for the Kumba region of Nepal, the sherpa homeland and the gateway to Everest. In the plane were nine Americans, a Nepalese, A German, an Australian, and a person from New Zealand all on their way to go trekking in the Kumba, and me a trekker on a very different journey. For my airborne companions this will be their first trip.
(I¿m worried about these levels, I¿m going to turn this down)
4:03 For my airborne companions this will be their first upclose glimpse at the Himalayan giants. For me, most of the peaks are as familiar as the mountains of Wyoming, where I grew up.

I¿ve come here on the fifth anniversary of the 1996 Everest Imax filming expedition, for which I was the leader and the film director. 1996 was the year of the infamous tragedy when 8 peopled perished in early May in a fast moving storm. I want to reacquaint myself with the sight and smells and sounds of this place and understand what was gained and what was lost during those difficult days in May and also to see the familiar faces of old friends along the way.
2 pickups. 5:05 Our flight path was 75 miles due east. From my seat on the left side on the airplane I peered out a small oval shaped window and noted the peaks forming the world¿s highest horizon. Men-loon-say, Gari Shan-kur, Noom-bore, and many others.

Beyond the towering Himalayan wall is the plateau of Tibet, desolate and windswept, below is Nepal, forested and green. Gazing down I could see layer upon layer of terraced fields lining the steep valley walls and at times I could even trace the footpath followed by Hillary and Tenzing in 1953 as members of the British Mount Everest expedition. What took them twelve days to traverse on foot, took us 45 minutes by air.

6:00 OK That¿s the end of the first piece I¿m going to try it again Caroline and make some changes:
You can see what I¿m hoping to do is to just set up the piece. I¿ve come here, I¿m traveling, I¿m in the mountains, they¿re big, and all sorts of people come here. Me and the people in the planes. That¿s what I¿m trying to do and I¿m going to try it again. Take 3 or 4 here whatever it is. Here we go again:

6:46

2:43 It¿s late afternoon and I¿ve stopped for a rest at 11,000 feet near a steep trail that ascends Nange Hill and eventually ends near the base of Mt. Everest. It¿s been a long day and I¿m tired. It normally takes two days of hard walking to get to where I¿m sitting now, but I¿ve done it in one. It seems the excitement of being back in the Himalayas has gotten the better of me, but from my vantage point I can¿t see the high peaks as they¿re obscured by a low grey cloud. But I can look across the valley and see a number of large waterfalls cascading across the steep rock cliffs. I think you can even hear them in the background.

My day began at seven AM when I climbed aboard a twin otter? airplane heading for the Kumba region of Nepal, the Sherpa homeland and the gateway to Everest. In the plane were nine Americans, a Nepalese, a German, an Australian, and a woman from New Zealand, all on their way to go trekking in the Kumbu, and me, a trekker on a very different journey. For my airborne companions this will be their first up-close glimpse at the Himalayan giants. For me, most of the peaks are as familiar as the mountains of Wyoming, where I grew up.

I¿ve come here on the fifth anniversary of the 1996 Everest Imax filming expedition, for which I was the leader, and film director. 1996 was the year of the infamous tragedy when 8 peopled perished in early May in a fast moving storm. I want to reacquaint myself with the sights and smells and sounds of the place and try to better understand what was gained and what was lost during those difficult days in May. PICKUP
9:04 And also to see the familiar faces of old friends along the way.

Our flight path was 75 miles due east. From my seat on the left side on the airplane I peered out a small oval shaped window and noticed the peaks forming the world¿s highest horizon. Men-loon-say, Gari Shan-kur, Noom-bore, and many others.

Beyond the towering Himalayan wall is the plateau of Tibet, desolate and windswept, below is Nepal, forested and green. Gazing down I could see layer upon layer of terraced fields lining the steep valley walls.
PICKUP: 10:02 At times I could even trace of the footpath followed by Hillary and Tenzing in 1953 as members of the British Mount Everest expedition. What took them twelve days to traverse on foot, took us 45 minutes by air.

OK Caroline I¿m going to try it again: Test, test, test one two three, that seems like a good level right there. Nice proximity to the mic I hope, such a novice at this.

10:39 I¿m a filmmaker and a mountaineer, (sorry Caroline I just had a thought) sitting here, with this microphone in my hand, I realized I¿m utterly and completely ill-equipped to try and tell this story with audio only. I¿m a mountaineer and a filmmaker and a moutanieer first. Mountaineering was my great passion in life and I became involved in filmmaking to earn money. Thankfully, and much to my delight, the two, mountaineering and filmmaking have gone hand in hand for a wonderful career for the past 25 years. But I¿m used to telling stories with pictures, small pictures on television and big pictures on the giant IMAX screen. Of course we also use words and words are an important part of the story. But I generally start with images and let them tell me where to go. In fact using the IMAX camera on Everest, we rarely recorded sound. Not only because the camera makes such a racket that you would hear it, on the audio tape, it was just impractical, our team just wasn¿t big enough.
So here I am, a man whose used to telling stories mostly with images sitting on a rock, trying to tell a story only with words and natural sound. So all I can say is, let¿s see what happens.

12:40 It¿s late afternoon and I¿ve stopped for a rest at 11,000 feet near a steep trail that ascends Nange Hill and eventually ends near the base of Mt. Everest. It¿s been a long day and I¿m tired. It normally takes two days of hard walking to get to where I¿m sitting now, but I¿ve done it in one. It seems my excitement of being back in the Himalayas has gotten the better of me. But from my vantage point I can¿t see the high peaks they¿re covered in a thin, low gray cloud. What I can look across the valley are several waterfalls cascading down a steep rock face. I think you might be able to hear them, their faint dim in the background.

My day began at seven AM when I climbed aboard a twin otter? airplane heading for the Kumba region of Nepal, the Sherpa homeland and the gateway to Everest. In the plane were nine Americans, a Nepalese, a German, an Australian, and a woman from New Zealand, all on their way to go trekking in the Kumba, and me, a trekker on a very different kind of journey. For my airborne companions this will be their first up-close glimpse at the Himalayan giants. For me, most of the peaks are as familiar as the mountains of Wyoming, where I grew up.

I¿ve come here on the fifth anniversary of the 1996 Everest Imax filming expedition, for which I was the expedition leader, and film director. 1996 is the year of the infamous tragedy, when 8 peopled perished, in early May in a fast moving storm.
PICKUP 14:48 1996 was the year of the infamous tragedy when 8 people perished in early May in a fast moving storm.
I want to reacquaint myself with the sights and smells and sounds of the place and try to better understand what was gained and what was lost during those difficult days in May.
And also to see the familiar faces of old friends along the way.

Our flight path was 75 miles due east. From my seat on the left side on the airplane I peered out a small oval shaped window and noted the peaks forming the world¿s highest horizon. Men-loon-say, Gari Shan-kur, Noom-bore, and many others.

Beyond the towering Himalayan wall is the plateau of Tibet, desolate and windswept, below is Nepal, forested and green.
PICKUP: 16:02 Gazing down I could see layer upon layer of terraced fields lining the steep valley walls. At times I could even trace of the footpath followed by Hillary and Tenzing in 1953 as members of the British Mount Everest expedition. What took them twelve days to traverse on foot, took us 45 minutes by air.

13: 1636. Hi Caroline it¿s David well of course who else would it be. I¿ve decided that the only way I could really do this, is to treat you as a very close family friend, or relative, or loved one and tell you a story. A very important story to me. And so, I hope you don¿t mind that, and I hope you don¿t my often mentioning your name into the microphone to be recorded on the audio tape. You might find it annoying as I try these, to record these thoughts over and over again. But I¿m just starting now, but by repetition I will grow better at it and more proficient, I hope. So brace yourself for another attempt at the introduction to my journey.

17:44 It¿s late afternoon and I¿ve stopped for a rest at 11,000 feet near the steep trail that ascends Nange Hill and eventually ends near the base of Mt. Everest. It¿s been a long day and I¿m tired. It normally takes two days of hard walking to get to where I¿m sitting now, but I¿ve done it in one. It seems the excitement of being back in the Himalayas has gotten the better of me. But from my vantage point I can¿t see the high peaks because they¿re obscured by a thin gray cloud. What I can look across the valley are several large waterfalls cascading down a steep rock face. I think you can hear their faint din in the background.

My day began at seven AM when I climbed aboard a twin otter aircraft heading for the Kumbu region of Nepal, the Sherpa homeland and the gateway to Everest. In the plane were nine Americans, a Nepalese, a German, an Australian, and a woman from New Zealand, all on their way to go trekking in the Kumbu, and me, a trekker on a very different journey. For my airborne companions this will be their first up-close glimpse at the Himalayan giants. For me, most of the peaks are as familiar as the mountains of Wyoming, where I grew up.

I¿ve come here on the fifth anniversary of the 1996 Everest IMAX filming expedition, for which I was the expedition leader, and film director. 1996 was the year of the infamous tragedy, when 8 peopled perished, in early May in a fast moving storm.
I want to reacquaint myself with the sights and smells and sounds of the place and try to better understand what was gained and what was lost during those difficult days in early May. And also to see the familiar faces of old friends along the way.

Our flight path was 75 miles due east. From my seat on the left side on the plane I peered out a small oval shaped window and noted the peaks forming the world¿s highest skyline. Men-loon-say, Gari Shan-kur, Noom-bore, and many others.

Beyond the towering Himalayan wall is the plateau of Tibet, desolate and windswept, below is Nepal, forested and green. Gazing down I could see layer upon layer of terraced fields lining the steep valley walls. At times I could even trace of the footpath followed by Hillary and Tenzing in 1953 as members of the British Mount Everest expedition. What took them twelve days to traverse on foot, took us 45 minutes by air.

21:20 OK Caroline what I¿m going to do is go back to my, comfortable place, a different place than this and see what I¿ve done and see what it sounds like, and I might have to do this again, tomorrow. The first time, in fact I¿m so tempted to try it once more and have you go my God don¿t do it again David, don¿t I¿ve heard enough. I¿m going to try it in a different tone and just get a fellow of what that¿s like.

14: 22:01 It¿s late afternoon and I¿ve stopped at 11,000 feet for a rest near a steep trail that ascends Nange Hill and eventually ends near the base of Mt. Everest. It¿s been a long day and I¿m tired. It normally takes two days of hard walking to get to where I¿m sitting now, but I¿ve done it in one. It seems my excitement of being back in the Himalayas has gotten the better of me. But from my vantage point I can¿t see the high peaks above as they¿re obscured by a low gray cloud. What I can look across the valley PICKUP: 22:42 are several waterfalls cascading down the steep rock face. PICKUP In fact I think you can even here their distant din in the background.

My day began at seven AM when I climbed aboard a twin otter aircraft heading for the Kumbu region of Nepal, the Sherpa homeland and the gateway to Everest. In the plane were nine Americans, a Nepalese, a German, an Australian, and a woman from New Zealand, all on their way to go trekking in the Kumbu, and me, a trekker on a very different journey. For my airborne companions this will be their first up-close glimpse at the Himalayan giants. For me, most of the peaks are as familiar as the mountains of Wyoming, where I grew up.

I¿ve come here on the fifth anniversary of the 1996 Everest IMAX filming expedition, for which I was expedition leader, and film director. 1996 was the year of the infamous tragedy, when 8 peopled perished in early May, in a fast moving storm.
PICKUP 23:58
I want to reacquaint myself with the sights and smells and sounds of this place and try to better understand what was gained and what was lost during those difficult days in May.
And also to see the familiar faces of old friends along the way.

Our flight path was 75 miles due east. From my seat on the left side of the airplane I peered out a small oval shaped window and noted the peaks forming the world¿s highest skyline. Men-loon-say, Gari Shan-kur, Noom-bore, and many others.

PICKUP 24:43 Beyond the towering Himalayan wall is the plateau of Tibet, desolate and windswept, below is Nepal, forested and green.
PICKUP: 16:02 Gazing down I could see layer upon layer of terraced fields lining the steep valley walls. At times I could even trace of the footpath followed by Hillary and Tenzing in 1953 as members of the British Mount Everest expedition. What took them twelve days to traverse on foot, took us 45 minutes by air.

At that¿s the end of that:

15| 25:20 (Ambi- people talking in the background)
This is a group Danish, Japanese and Czech trekkers in a trekking lodge.
(People talking in foreign languages and clanging of dishes¿people walking around¿lot¿s of movement¿sounds like people eating and drinking¿.an occasional cough¿.
28:00 ¿and that¿s enough of that.¿
16| 28:05 OK, Caroline, I¿m approaching some lodges where I know some of the Sherpas. I haven¿t seen them for a few years, four, five years, so I¿m going to go in and see if I can get a nice little greeting, similar to the, thing I just did, a few hours earlier with Chumba, so let¿s just see how that goes. And stand by.
17| 28:44 Bell ringing. This is a yak walking by. Bells *****KIND OF COOL****
Yaks in the village of Namche. Very short.
18| 29:20 OK, Caroline, I¿ve changed gears for the minute here, the main I went to go see, he seemed quite busy at the moment, so I¿m going to do a walk through town recording the sounds as you walk through a basically, the narrow streets and alleys of Namche. And just what it sounds like these down with my feet on the trails So that would be the lead in, the effects, the natural sound lead in to this meeting with my friend Septum. That¿s a pressure cooker. 18| 30:00
Ambi¿.Footsteps¿Ringing¿.foreign language¿water in a bucket¿.sneeze¿ constant footsteps¿hacking cough¿footsteps¿.

19| 32:05 OK Caroline, that was take one of walking through the village, but I¿m going to different footfall proximity. That mic was about 18inches of the ground. But now I¿m going to increase the level and hold the mic about 3 feet off the ground and see if we can¿t get a better balance between the feet and the background sounds.

20|32:43 AMBI: yak bells¿FX 32:53 horse neighing and bells¿walking¿ talking¿walking 33:50 FX bells

21| 34:20 OK Caroline I¿m done with that little bit of natural sound and I¿ve switched over to the omni mic for this meeting with my friend and I hope he¿s there. He¿s my old friend Tsete-ahm. And I¿m going to walk into his lodge and see if he¿s if he¿s there.

22|34:57 (DB) ¿Hello Tsete-Ahm.¿
¿Hello, how are you? Nice to meet you, it¿s been long to having seen you.¿
¿Yeah, I haven¿t been up here for four or five years. How¿s everything?¿
¿Everything is running good and I¿m fun. So when you going up?¿
¿ I¿m on my way to base camp, we¿ll see. Little bit tired I came up from Looklah today and it¿s been a long day. But I¿m glad you¿re here.¿
¿I just got back from States, and I hope that you have a good season. I saw, it might be a big expedition coming in here.¿
¿How many expeditions are upon Everest this year?¿
¿Around like 10 or 11. Then there¿s like three groups that to Hote-es-sheer, Unom-dublin, Mock-ka-loo. Actually there¿s a lot of expedition. But not much tourists like usual. Because of the, the airflight is very expensive for the tourists, and the airport is still under construction so they finish maybe one or two months.¿

¿Well, your shop is full of just about a little everything from the United States and Europe. I guess business isn¿t that good if the trekking season isn¿t really as strong as it normally is.¿

¿Yeah it is because, but mainly, I import everything from States. And then because so many shelves we have here but everything sells the same things, but I think I can make better opportunity things to give to shopper and to tourists¿¿

¿Yeah, I mean over the years, we¿d come up here into Namchain usually we¿d buy used mountaineering gear, mountaineering gear that you had purchased from expeditions on their way out. But I¿m looking over here in your shop and there¿s gear from Mountain Hardware, there¿s smart wool socks, there¿s Duracell batteries, there¿s beautiful Analgean water bottles, there¿s all kinds of medicine and oxygen bottles, and compasses and over here, uh-oh, when did you get that¿ there¿s a washing machine, what are you doing in Namche bazaar with a washing machine?¿

¿I have this since from four years, because we got electricity and then I can a laundry service for the tourists, that¿s my other business here in this town. So I¿m the only one whose got a washing machine actually here.¿

37:34 ¿And I assume that the trekkers, who you refer to as tourists, that the trekkers come here and are quite happy to give you their laundry and have it washed?¿

¿Yes, since like after when the go, up, for 10 days or 12 days they come with the dirty clothes and they are happy to do that. They come very clean and like back home.¿

¿Is it expensive?¿

¿Umm, it¿s expensive to pay for the electric bill and¿¿

¿But what about the charge to the tourists?¿

¿The charge is maximum for one dollar a piece, that including dry and wash. Maximum is one dollar.¿

38:29 ¿Do you have a dryer in here that I¿m not seeing?¿

¿Yes, that¿s the one, that dryer. Yeah, so actually, you know, I should have this laundry service for a different place, but you know for me it¿s also expensive to have another place, so everything in one place is quite easy for me.¿

38:50 ¿Well you¿re quite the entrepreneur, I mean this little shop, it¿s only about 15 feet, 20 feet wide and only about 8 feet, 6 feet deep and look what you have in here. Food everywhere, and socks, 15, 20, 30 pairs of socks, carabiners, FX carabiners, and ice axes here on the ceiling, and gloves, even a few things from Tibet. Fox wool hats, frying pans, crampons, trekking sticks, vodka. Who buys, the vodka?¿

¿Umm, local people. Some shepherds, and then we also have Ultimator Watches from Sensko.¿

¿Ultimator watches, brand new headlamps¿ And what do you get from the Tibetan traders who come over the Nanpallah with the..?¿

39:45 ¿We get a Yak bell. Can you get the yak bell. And then we bring the carpet, and some Tibetan jewelery things also(ambi bell). That¿s the yak bell. And then, we have all Tibetan things. And for the local people we get the dry meat, salt and there are so many, some cheap clothing you can by for ten dollar for sweater, shoes, and it not very good quality but it¿s very good for the shepherd people.¿

40:33 Yeah, a lot of the stuff in here, like these jackets here they¿re expensive. Trekkers don¿t like to spend a lot of money. These pile jackets have got to be 80, 90, 100 dollars. How much is that jacket there?¿

¿That, we sell here for a hundred and thirty each. Around 130 dollar, that¿s like 9,700 rupees. Which is cheaper than the REI shop in the United States. So many of the things are lower than the States price, because I am selling lower the price.¿

¿Motorola talk-about radio?¿

¿Yes.¿

¿Hey you¿ve got this washing machine sitting right here in your shop, let¿s turn it on. Is it ready to go?¿

¿Umm. (crank, crank ambi) I can turn it on.¿

¿But it was running a few minutes ago, I think.¿

¿Yeah, it¿s¿.¿

(pause faint sound)

41:28 ¿So is this the new sound of Namche a washing machine?¿

¿Yes, yes, I have been using this for four years, and actually I have two dryer and two washing machine.¿

¿Well, Namche¿s changing a little bit isn¿t it? Well, look in here, you have, you must have 25 or 30 down jackets and beautiful gortex jackets from mountain hardware. I¿m glad to see you¿re using mountain hardware and¿¿

¿I tell the mountain hardware people that I can sell real things in Nepal. Because we have so many copies, of like Northface, Patagonia, which is made in Nepal by small family. Everybody put¿s Northface, so people don¿t. For the money it¿s good for the trekkers. It¿s a, for the money it¿s good for the trekkers, they can spend 10 for the jacket and 10, 15 dollars for the Gortex jacket but it¿s not really Gortex. Still it¿s a Gortex level. So people, it¿s better for paying that type of money. And then people who are interested in buying the real gear and using for real expedition, they¿re happy to pay for that real gear.

¿Well, this is quite impressive. You know, 20 years ago when I came through here, you were just a young boy. And this is really wonderful to see that you¿ve done so well and that your business is so prosperous and congratulations.¿

¿Thank you, thank you¿.You¿ve really done..¿

43:03 ¿Yeah, 15 years before we had so much used gear, that was expedition, they had a sponsor and they give it to the shepherd, and then the shepherd sells to us and then we sell again for the tourists and that¿s when it was very cheap here. And now the shepherd doesn¿t get any gear from the members. They get only money. So you don¿t find good gear here.

43:37 Yeah, the old tradition was that we brought all the gear for the Sherpas, sleeping bags, boots, jackets, pants, gloves, mittens, headlamps, helmets, crampons, ice hacks harness, and in the past 10 or 12 years, we just now give an equipment fee of 1000 two hundred 1000 five hundred dollars. So the Sherpas don¿t have all this extra equipment to sell here. But you¿ve umm, boy you can get anything you want here. There¿s a Gregory duffel bag, there¿s a lot gear from Europe in here.¿

¿So mostly, I¿m selling Northface, actually I am picking up every small item that people need here. Like handwash sanitary things, and we the iodine tablets for water. We sell butane propane gas from MSR stove. Actually, you can find almost everything in Namche.¿

44:32 ¿Let¿s go back out here, because I have to get moving, I still have a little ways to go here. Let¿s see, what can I buy from you? What do we have here? What can I use from my trip. There¿s my favorite. How about a snickers bar? How much is a snickers bar?¿

¿That¿s 60 rupees, it¿s like a dollar.¿

¿Let me try that again Tsete-Ahm because I had the microphone in the wrong place.¿

45:00 Let¿s go back out to your counter in front, because before I go I¿d like to buy something very very useful and important to my trip. Let me think here¿ what did I need.¿

¿We have a Snickers, bar, Snickers, chocolate?¿

¿There we go perfect, perfect, can I have a snickers bar?

¿Yeah sure that¿s 60 rupees.¿

¿60 rupees? What¿s that about a dollar?¿

¿It¿s around like 90 cents.¿

¿Why is it so expensive?¿

¿Cause the transportation in Kumbu is very, very expensive.¿

¿You have to fly it up here, or else in comes in the porter?¿

¿Fly up to Looklah, and then carry up by porter, and then we have to pay like a dollar for one kilo from Katmandu to Looklah.¿

¿That¿s alright, that¿s fine, that¿s not really expensive, I was just kidding. So let me have one have one Snickers bar and then I will get on my way. How much is this?¿
(ambi money sounds)

¿That¿s 60, this is 10?¿

¿Did you say 60?¿

¿Yep.¿

¿Well, I¿ll be coming by your shop on the way down. I¿m going to keep today a few more hours up there. Is there anyone up there that I know on any of the expeditions?¿

¿Yes, there are many of them up there that you know. Bob Wahcheery he¿s still with the expedtion group. Apah is there.¿

46:38 ¿Bob Wahcheery is there, he has the record for climbing Everest in 15 or 16 hours. And Apah, I think Apah Sherba has climbed Everest 8 or 9 or 10 times?¿

¿He climbed 11 times.¿

¿11 times to the summit of Everest?¿

¿Yup, he¿s the most what do you call it. Apah like 11 times. Usually we have like an Ungreetah type sheppah, like he¿s getting old. Apah is the next Sherpa..¿

¿Ungreetah was the first to climb Everest 10 times, but he¿s retired and now Appah.¿

¿Appah is coming up. He¿s around like 35 years old. He¿s still¿¿

¿11 times to the top of Everest, well he might reach 15 or 16.¿

47:29 ¿I guess he will go around 20 times.¿

¿Better him then me. Well look it¿s just really great to see you. I¿m so glad you were here. A really important part of my trip back up here to Nooncoomboo.

¿I¿m glad to talk to you and whenever I see and I hope to see you again for lunch or dinner at my home.¿

¿Let¿s try that again, wait till I push the mic over to you.¿

¿We¿ll I have to get going now, but it¿s really great to see you, I¿m so glad that you were here. A really important part of my trip back to Nincoomboo is to see my old friends and maybe when I come back down, can we have dinner or something.¿

¿Yeah, I am happy to do that, so when you come back, come to my house and we have a dinner or breakfast or whenever you have a time, and we can talk more and have a nice dinner in my home.¿

¿OK, see you in a couple of days 4-5 days.¿

¿And you have nice time, and hope to have a good time in Kumbu and see you again.¿

¿See you soon bye.¿

¿48:55 OK, Caroline that was a little long and maybe you¿ll find 10 or 15 seconds in there that you like. I¿m going to get some sound of the washing machine going, so you can have that, because that is a very different and new thing up here in Namche, in the Kumbu.. A 10 day walk, well a one week walk from Katmandu at least or a 75 mile flight in the Watsoo.

Here we go:
49:33 Washing machine FX

50:30 Here¿s the new sound of the COOMBOO 50:38 ****GOOD WASHER MACHINE SOUND FX*******

51:01 And with the lid closed FX Washing Machine.

51:36 Caroline, I¿m on the trail and I¿m about to reach the point from where I first saw Everest in 1979, so I¿m going to get a bit of huffing and puffing on my way up and we¿ll start.

52:07 Huffing and puffing and walking ambi. 52:43 whoo, there it is¿.huffing¿¿
52:50 I¿ve just reached the point on the ridge 11,500 feet from where I first saw Mt. Everest in the spring of 1979. I was a member of an ABC TV film team. On the way to Wamma Lablam And we hoped to document the second ascent of that peak. It hadn¿t been climbed since the early sixties. Wamma Lablam is an absolutely stupendous and formidable tower of rock and ice. Rises above 10,000 feet above the valley floor to a height of about 22,500 feet. But my eyes were turned to Everest 20 miles away.
Standing by my side was Martin Boist, one of Great Britain¿s most renowned mountaineers. And I was almost trembling with excitement to be standing here with him. I could only dream of going to Everest, Martin had actually been there.

He had been a member of the 1975 PICKUP.
He had been a member of the 1975 British southwest PICKUP
54:29 He had been a member of the 1975 British southwest face Everest expedition. And they had pioneered an immensely difficult route, a new route, up the mountain. The first summit team had been successful and Martin was a member of the second summit attempt and he had always been impatient and had left the high camp early, ahead of the other members. But a short way from camp, he had met a bitter disappointment. His oxygen setup had failed, and he¿d lost a crampon and he had to return to the high camp in his words howling with frustration. But the other three members of the summit team Pertemba Sherpa, Peter Boredman, and Mick Berk had continued on. Pertemba, and Peter Boredman had reached the summit ahead of Mick and saw Mick on their way down, just below the summit. The weather was still reasonable and he was heading up. But a storm came in and that was the last anyone ever saw of Mick Berk.

OK I¿m going to try that again. British Southwest face of the Everest expedition.

56:20 walking ambi

56:52 I don¿t long how long I¿ve been recording here we go sorry about that.

57:11 Walking and huffing ambi. 57:29 There it is OK.

57:39 I¿ve just reached the point on a ridge around 11,500 feet from where I first saw Mt. Everest from the ground anyway in the spring of 1979. I was on my way to Wamma Lablam, 22,500 foot peak about 10 miles from Everest.
PICKUP 58:14 I was a member of an ABC TV film team hoping to document the second ascent of the mountain. It hadn¿t been climbed since the early sixties. Wamma Lablam is an absolutely formidable and stupendous tower of rock and ice, rising about 10,000 feet above the valley floor. But that¿s not where my eyes were directed, I was looking at Everest about 20 miles away.
And standing here I was almost trembling with excitement, because by my side was Martin Boisten, one of Great Britain¿s most accomplished and renowned mountaineers. He was a member of our Wamma Lablam team. I could only dream of going to Everest. He had actually been there. And he pointed out to me this small black pyramid of rock peaking up above the Nipsee Lotsee Ridge. From this place you could only see the upper 1500 feet of Everest the rest of that mountains great bulk is obscured by lesser peaks.
1:01:02
Martin¿s team the British southwest face Everest expedition had pioneered an immensely difficult route, up the mountain in the fall of 1975. The first summit team had been successful and Martin was a member of the second summit team. He¿d left camp early that day ahead of the others, but only an hour or so from he¿d been met with a very bitter disappointment. His oxygen apparatus had failed, and one of his crampons kept falling off his boot and he had to return for the high camp in his words howling in frustration. The three members of the summit team, Peter Boredman, Mick Berk, and Pertemba Sherpa had continued on. And Pertemba, and Peter Boredman had reached the summit ahead of Mick Berk in reasonable weather. And on their descent they met Mick coming up just a few hundred feet below the summit. He continued up, and they continued down.
And that was the last anyone ever saw of Mick Berk.

1:02:20 I¿m on the move again, looking at Wamma Lablam, remembering my trip here in 1979. I actually wasn¿t supposed to be a member of the team. The team was already chosen by the time I heard about the expedition. And the team was filled with close friends and climbing friends, and filmaking friends I was only 23 and I found it absolutely unbearable that they were going to that mountain without me. I was just desperate to get to the Himalayas and get some altitude experience and meet the Sherpas and see Mt. Everest. So I began a campaign of begging and pleading shamelessly to become a member of the expedition and they were steadfast in telling me that I couldn¿t go. It was too expensive, there was no room. All very legitimate reasons, but I just couldn¿t stand the thought of not going there with Jeff Lowe and Greg Lowe and Tom Frost. And so I was very persistent, and so I persisted with my campaign. And finally they said look, we just cannot afford it, we¿d love to have you, it¿s just a question of money. And so that was it, I knew I had em. I had a little bit of money, and I said, OK I¿ll pay for my trip. And so that¿s how I arrived here in 1979 on this trail, that I¿m traversing right now. Because I paid for my trip, I paid to work for them, and I enjoyed every second of it every moment. I was sort of a Western sherpa you could say. I could change the film in the 16mm film magazines, I could hand the hand the lens and the camera to the cinematographer. So I had a certain usefulness in there eyes, and I wasn¿t about to let them down, because one always hopes that they¿ll be invited and perhaps paid a reasonable wage on the next trip. But I think mostly what was important to me was what I¿d learn along the way. I¿d learn how I did at altitude, Wamma Lablam is 22,500 feet. I would learn if I actually liked this place and if I actually wanted to come back to this place. I would see how an expedition was run. I¿d see how ropes were fixed and loads transported at high elevations. And just the overall dynamic of arriving in Katmandu, flying into the Kumbu, organizing the yaks and porters, setting up a base camp. An expedition is very organic and sometimes fluid thing, it changes shape and form along the way as one adapts to changing conditions. Of course we found out, that the course of an expedition can change overnight. In May of 1996. But mostly I wanted to be around cameramen. Peter Poloffian and Jonathan Wright, and Tom Frost and around the climbers Martin Boisten, Jeff Glowe and Greg Lowe, and see how they did it, and just watch. END?

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