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Adventure

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As a pilot, I’ve enjoyed the ability to fly to interesting places. However, every so often less than adequate weather will leave you stranded somewhere waiting for the overcast to lift, fog to boil off etc. One of the most common causes of accidents in general aviation is untrained pilots inadvertently flying “into the clouds”. It is almost always lethal to pilots who aren’t trained for it. Without external visual references and a visible horizon…

Since 2007 I’ve been lucky enough to be a member of a volunteer mountain search and rescue team in South Africa. We are tasked with helping authorities with technical mountain rescues as well as search and recovery of missing people in wilderness areas. Few places can provide one with better lessons in leadership than those where lives are at stake. There are five aspects of leadership under rescue situations that I believe provides some insights…

End of expedition, Kathmandu, 11 December 2009 I’ve been in Kathmandu now for a couple of days again, after the always-exciting flight out of Lukla. Beers has been drunk, and some great dinners had in Kathmandu’s finest local restaurants. After spending a month in such a remote area, it took a while to get used to the mad traffic and bustle of Kathmandu again.  At least the Hotel Shanker provides old-world colonial style peace and…

Monday, 7 December 2009 So after leaving Namche I met up with the rest of the team again at Thame. It was good to be walking again, and I felt healthy and keen on the challenge of Parchamo. We overnighted in Thame and moved up to Parchamo base camp the next day. It was a stiff hike, gaining more than 1000m in altitude to get us to base camp at 4900m. Parchamo base camp is…

Monday, 30 November 2009, Namche Bazaar After Pheriche we moved up to Lobuche base camp – the only team there. I was still struggling with a chest infection. To put it a different way, when the others were climbing at 6000m, due to reduced oxygen update capacity, I was effectively climbing at 7000m – and for that I was simply not prepared. This was not just the common Khumbu cough. In the end 2 of…

“Summitted Island Peak at 10am local time, Monday 23 Nov. Back at basecamp, and too tired to write more. More to follow tomorrow. Did this one for my friend Michael, and will give more info tomorrow.” Thursday, 26 November 2009 After the summit we spent the night at base camp and then moved down to Dingboche the next day. From Dingboche we move to Lobuche base camp via the settlement of Pheriche. Pheriche has been…

18 November, Dingboche, 4:13pm We left Namche Bazaar and the very comfortable Khumbu lodge early on the 16th for the walk to Deboche. The Khumbu Lodge is where many of the big expeditions like the 96 Everest IMAX one stays and has also been frequented by Jimmy Carter and Robert Redford. We were trying to make good time in order to attend a puja ceremony at the Tengboche monastery along the way. This specific puja…

14 November, Namche Bazaar, Khumbu Valley, 3400m, 2:45pm We took a flight out of Kathmandu on Friday the 13th (!), waking up very early to be at the airport before dawn. Like most things in Kathmandu, the airport is chaos, but with the help of the local agents we use, we moved through rather swiftly, and got on our own chartered Twin Otter plane to fly us to Lukla.  The landing at Lukla is something special. …

Kathmandu – the name always sounded exotic to me, and it certainly didn’t disappoint. I’ve been here two days now, and I’ve seen incredible things. I flew into Kathmandu with the sun setting over the Himalayas (Alaya – “home/abode of” Hima – “snow”). When you realize that we’re still at cruising altitude, and you’re looking sideways at the mountains, you feel truly small, and I have to admit, somewhat nervous about climbing them. The airport…

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. — Mark Twain I won the parent lottery, and mine took me to discover the mountains of the Western Cape before I could even walk. It has always been a place…