Wednesday, May 07, 2008

News From the Top of the World

The Olympic torch reached the top of Mount Everest today. I'm truthfully not very interested in the Olympics being held in Beijing, but as a longtime reader of Everest lore I enjoyed following this particular story.

The climb has been cloaked in secrecy, and there are concerns that climbers who have been kept off Everest during the torch's journey will not be properly acclimated to the altitude when they attempt the summit. Nepal has kept the South Ridge route closed while the torch ascended the North Ridge route from Tibet. Climbers on the South Ridge often go back and forth from Base Camp to the various camps dotted along the route to the summit, gradually building their endurance, but when the route reopens climbers may be anxious to immediately head for the summit. Due to harsh weather, ascending Everest is typically only attempted in April and May.

My favorite story of this Everest season, however, is about an enterprising Sherpa who has figured out a way to bake at Base Camp -- a very difficult challenge between the effects of extreme altitude and the difficulty of transporting equipment and ingredients to camp.

1 Comments:

Blogger nepalwriter said...

Sherpas are very creative and industrious. One of my Sherpa friends was the first to bring an oven to Namche and Khumjung to build a bakery.
Sherpas are the true heroes of Everest. Without their assistance, very few would reach the summit. To learn more about this amazing tribe, read Beyond the Summit by Linda LeBlanc. Details of Sherpa culture and religion are interwoven in a tale of romance and high adventure. The story has something for everyone: a love affair between an American journalist and Sherpa guide, conflict between generations as the modern world challenges centuries of tradition, an expedition from the porter’s point of view.

Below are selections from reviews. To read the complete ones and excerpts go to www.beyondthesummit-novel.com

Beyond the Summit, is the rare gem that shows us the triumphs and challenges of a major climb from the porter’s point of view. The love of two people from diverse cultures is the fiery centerpiece of a novel that leads its readers through harshly beautiful and highly dangerous territory to the roof of the world. Malcolm Campbell, book reviewer

Conflict and dialog keep this gripping story of destiny, romance and adventure moving from the first page to the last paragraph. LeBlanc has a genius for bonding her readers and her characters. I found I was empathizing in turn with each character as they faced their own personal crisis or trauma.
Richard Blake for Readers Views.

A gripping, gut-twisting expedition through the eyes of a porter reveals the heart and soul of Sherpas living in the shadows of Everest. EverestNews.com

A hard-hitting blend of adventure and romance which deserves a spot in any serious fiction collection. Midwest Book Review

LeBlanc is equally adept at describing complex, elusive emotions and the beautiful, terrifying aspect of the Himalayan Mountains. Boulder Daily Camera

LeBlanc’s vivid description of the Himalayas and the climbing culture makes this a powerful read. Rocky Mt News Pick of the Week

A rich adventure into the heart of the Himalayan Kingdom. Fantastic story-telling from one who has been there. USABookNews.com

This is the book to read before you embark on your pilgrimage to Nepal. The author knows and loves the people and the country, and makes you feel the cold thin air, the hard rocks of the mountains, the tough life of the Sherpa guides, and you learn to love them too. This is a higly literate, but also very readable book. Highly recommended.”
– John (college professor)

Memorable characters and harrowing encounters with the mountains keep the action moving with a vibrant balance of vivid description and dialog. Literary Cafe Host, Healdsburg, CA

This superbly-crafted novel will land you in a world of unimaginable beauty, adventure, and romance. The love story will keep you awake at night with its vibrant tension and deep rich longing. Wick Downing, author of nine novels

Such vividly depicted images of the Everest region and the Sherpa people are the perfect scenario for the romance and adventure feats narrated. It’s a page-turner, so engrossing you end up wanting to visit Nepal! Not just novel, but perfect for those seeking to get acquainted with the culture of this country.
By Claudia Fournier (América, Bs. As., Argentina)

Available through Barnes and Noble, Borders, amazon.com, Chesslerbooks.com, and the web site

11:32 PM  

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