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 Alpine Ascents International Cho-Oyu Cybercast, Tibet (26,906ft/8,201m)

Dispatch Three: 9/9/01  4:20pm, Nalaam, Tibet

Hi everybody it's Todd, we're in Nalaam right now at 11,500.  We've been here, this will be our second night.  It's been great, everybody's in great health and is doing well.  Nalaam is a great village, it's kind of interesting because you know you go from Nepal which is very kind of Hindu, Buddhist, and then you climb up a mountain, as soon as we cross the border and climb up 2,000 feet up a cliff we are living in the world of China and the influence it has on Tibet.

Zhangmu is a great town, we ended up spending an extra day there, because they had no jeeps to drive us, they seem to be a little short on supplies here right now.  but we had a great time, it was good for us to spend another day at 7,000 feet and we enjoyed Zhangmu.  And the next morning we took a mini-bus at 6am, and drove up a very very narrow road, overhanging just chopped out of the side of the cliff so the waterfalls go over the top of the car and it was an amazing drive, we did a lot of it in the dark, and the last half hour or so in the sunlight, and drove to Nalaam.  And Nalaam is a great little village, it has grown a lot in the last five years.  When I first came here in 1989, there was one house that was kind of a run-down shack, and five or six years ago there were a few more buildings and now we get hot showers and reasonable accommodations, it's great for the middle of nowhere.  The town has grown a lot , and it seems like trade has increased a lot between China, Tibet and Nepal, so it's been quite busy and fun too.  Looks like there will be several teams on Cho-Oyu, so we'll see how busy that will be be when we're there.

Everyone's good here, everyone's very, very healthy, we did a hike up to 13 and a half thousand feet today, and everybody did great, and we all feel good and we just had showers and we're going to have dinner here shortly.  We'll be heading off tomorrow for Tingri which will probably take us 5 to 6 hours, we'll actually go over a pass which is just at 17,000 feet and then drop back down to 14,000 in Tingri.  We're looking forward to that, we'll see how much Tingri's changed in the last few years.  

Still a lot of Tibetan houses here, even though the Chinese have built it up quite a bit, it's good to see, at least on the surface that the Chinese are letting the Tibetans live their own lives and do things that they used to do, somewhat. We saw a few monks when we visited a monastery today, a small one in town, but it was quite nice, and a lot of Tibetan people feel great at least. to be happy to be growing their food and their yaks, I guess because there is a lot of wealth here that you know everyone is prospering and I think everybody is getting on fairly well together, at least on the surface.

We were going to go visit a public school today, and it was not possible, they turned us down at the last moment, we made arrangements yesterday, and they just said politically it was not appropriate for us to do that, so we did not.  So again, we still deal with the politics of China in Tibet.  It is beautiful here though, and I can't tell you how good it feels that we're able to have hot showers and everyone is very very healthy so we've got a high outlook and everybody's psyched to head off to Tingri tomorrow. The best to all of you from Nalaam.

Todd Burleson

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