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Gavin Bate Everest 2002 Expedition

Dispatch Two

MARCH 27, 2002: British North Ridge Everest Expedition 2002

LEAVING FOR KATHMANDU: There's something overwhelming about packing the last few bags to go on a trip to climb Everest. It's no day trip ! Months, weeks and hours of work and preparation, and just the amount of thought gone into it, and now here I am loading up the car to go to the airport. 350 kilos of kit in 7 barrels is sitting in Kathmandu now, 43 kilos of oxygen bottles arrived from Vienna yesterday after a last minute drama when they nearly didn't arrive. Sunday morning was spent on the telephone to an Austrian cargo official trying to get it moved ! My support trekkers meet with me today at Heathrow, they too are excited about their journey to the Base Camp of Everest. Will Canning from Northern Ireland is already in Kathmandu having flown in from Sydney yesterday. And I thought I'd only have one small bag to take with me this time on the plane - ha ! more like three bags of 20 kilos each. Scared ? Excited ? Nervous ? Happy ? Well, a bit of everything I guess. To be honest it's been days of very little sleep, organizing the expedition but also leaving Helen and Chris and Richard with my company Adventure Alternative in good order. We've got so many exciting trips coming up and there's a shedload of preparation for it all. So many good luck messages from friends and well-wishers. It means so much. Who knows what the coming weeks will bring, but it's nice to know that people are rooting for you. Keep your head, I say to myself. Thank you everyone. There was a famous mountaineer called Alex Lowe, a very gifted man who sadly died, who once said that the best mountaineer is the one having the most fun. I'm not sure I fit into his definition of a mountaineer, being just an enthusiastic amateur myself, but I do plan to have fun. I hope you'll have fun reading about our small adventures in the coming weeks. If nothing else, it's nice to know we're not out there just for ourselves.

all the best, 

Gavin Bate
EVEREST NORTH RIDGE EXPEDITION 2002

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Gavin, Helen and Chris discuss last minute communications logistics in Leeds (very serious!).