Link Dhaulagiri Expedition 2002
March 23, 2002: Namaste Mountain Friends!
is alive and kicking! Our team arrived in the
hectic Kathmandu airport on Friday, March 22nd.
Mike Lindaas and I boarded our flight in Seattle,
WA the pilot got on the intercom and announced,
"Sorry folks for the delay but it seems that
our jet is a little overweight this morning, we'll
need to unload some of the cargo and we'll be on
our way". Mike and I looked at each other and
knew exactly what was going to happen.
guess what wasn't at the Kathmandu airport? That's
right, only 2 out of our 9 duffels arrived. But
that's okay, another expedition was missing 17
duffels. So today, Sunday, March 24, Mike, Lhawang
and I will be returning to the airport to retrieve
our gear. The rest of the team will be enjoying a
second day of visiting the sites of the city.
the team will be putting the finishing touches on
packing up, and then we depart on a 15-minute
flight to Pokhara. We spend a day in Pokhara, so
we'll talk with you again real soon ... Jeff
Justman (aka JJ)
March 24, 2002: On the day of our arrival to
Kathmandu the jet lag settled in and we tried to
catch up on some much-needed rest. At the dinner
meeting everyone was nodding off as Robert was
trying to tell us what the plans were for the
following day. Finally he gave up and called it a
night and we picked it back up the next day.
following day was our first full day in Kathmandu
and we spent it as any group of climbers and
trekkers would; we went sight seeing and shopping!
For most of us, this is our first time in Nepal so
everything is just amazing. We went to two places
yesterday, the Monkey Temple and Boudhanath and
ended up wandering around just gazing at the beauty
of both the Temples and the people. We ended up
sitting on a rooftop at Boudhanath eating lunch
and just contemplating that we were actually
sitting in Kathmandu. You could look from the room
top and see a few snowy peaks deep in the
distance; the peaks seem to just give a hint of
what lay ahead.
sat talking about how all these people were
surrounded by such beauty but they didn't seem to
notice. They went around on their daily tasks not
bothering to notice the striking sights that lay
right before them. As I thought about this I began
to see that in myself. Living in the Bay Area I
normally concentrate more on the negative than the
positive, because it's there. I'm going to have to
work on that. The guides have all been busy
setting everything up for the rest of us, which
has given us time to go out and enjoy the city.
Shopping seems to be a favorite past time.
Everyone is making sure they get that perfect gift
for that special person. We leave tomorrow and
everyone is really excited to get moving. This is
really cool. Dan Bridges
March 25, 2002: It has been a hectic morning
as the team is putting the finishing touches on
packing and getting ready to leave for Pokhara.
Last night we enjoyed a great meal at New Orleans
in the Thamel district of Kathmandu. Live music
was blaring with tunes from B.B. King to Bob
Marley. The band even dedicated a song to the team
for good luck. Appropriately, it was Pink Floyd's
"Wish You Were Here".
are definitely looking forward to our 15-minute
flight to Pokhara. It will be nice to have a
change of scenery. After a day in Pokhara, we will
head to Lomsom to begin our nine-day trek into
Dhaulagiri Base camp. Satellite phones and
computers have been tested and all systems are a
go. Robert met with Elizabeth Hawley who keeps
tabs on all the statistics and "going ons"
in the Himalayan climbing world. It will be
interesting to see if any other teams will be on
the mountain this year. Everest will see
expeditions by the dozens this spring; we may be
the only ones to enjoy Dhaulagiri. As for right
now, I need to go and make sure I have enough
socks. Talk to you again soon... Jeff Justman
March 26, 2002: We have been in Pokhara, Nepal
for a day and a half. This morning we gained our
first glimpse of the Himalayas. The Annapurna
range was peaking out in the morning sun. The team
spent the day wandering the streets of Pokhara
sightseeing. The children in Pokhara added to our
experience. They enjoy being the subjects for
pictures. I think what they liked the most was
seeing their image in the digital camera once the
photo was taken. Their giggles have been the
highlights of our experience in this wonderful
thought the people in Kathmandu were nice; Pokhara
is the same. Tibetan women show beautiful jewelry
and trinkets. I feel guilty turning them down when
I realize they are selling me something I would
buy in the States for $20 and they are selling it
for only $2. However, as my Mom taught me, you
can't buy everything. Tomorrow our flight to
Jomsom departs very early at 5:30AM. Upon arrival,
we will spend the day putting the final
preparations for our trek into Dhaulagiri Base
camp. Until next time, the team all says,
"Hi" to family and friends ... Keep
Climbin' Jeff Justman
March 27, 2002: Early this morning, Dhaulagiri
came out of the clouds for the first time. Since
the mountain was still there, we jumped in a small
prop plane for a scenic flight over the Annapurna
Himal. After landing in Jomsom, we arranged our
gear again and settled into our new hotel.
Generally, tourists do not visit Jomsom; this
makes it a more cultural experience for our team.
I am struck by how friendly the people are to us.
They always smile and say, "Namaste"
when you walk by.
views here are incredible with 7000-meter peaks
touching the sky. At this elevation, it seems the
sky is getting darker blue by the moment. Robert
mentioned, "From all the villages in Nepal
that I have been, these are the best mountain
views I've ever seen." Today, the team will
trek around Jomsom, which is at an elevation of
8900 ft. We depart tomorrow for our first big day
of trekking towards Dhaulagiri Base camp. Enjoy JJ
Tilicho Peak, 7140 meters