By Renan Ozturk
Took the short 2hr flight from Kathmandu, Nepal to New Delhi, India this morning. It is a step up in heat, humidity and pollution from K-DU: 100 degrees F, 100% humidity, 100% smog...
Aside from trying not inhale the fumes and drip sweat on my ipod this part of the journey is all about the "duffle shuffle". This funny expedition dance ritual involves the shifting of heavy gear between bags to fulfill the specific packaging requirements for the different legs of travel necessary to reach the high himalaya. Usually the sequence goes: 2-3 days of planes--> 2 days of 4x4 jeeps--> 7 days of horses/porters/yaks--> then BASE-CAMP. Each stage might require a re-shuffle and its key to conserve your energy during the process.
This leg of the trip my "shuffle" was an attempt to avoid the ever increasing excess baggage charges that have become a large consideration when trying to pull off involved international expeditions. Entering the plane today I was able the carry on about 100lbs of gear including the "New Dome 8", the largest tent The North Face makes. In the near future I could see climbers having to pre-cargo ship gear like the old days because of such rising cost. Many someday we could even pull off a petroleum free expedition!
So. I sit here sweating and waiting for Jimmy and Conrad's to arrive........... Just as lassitude strikes, I get a surprise visit from expedition veteran and TNF climber Kevin Thaw!!! He is a great mentor when it comes to all these logistics and is also mid-shuffle on his way to meet up with Peter Croft and Mark Synott. Small world when you run into a friend half-way around the world like this. Their team is aiming for a wild new line on Kishtwar Shivling in the Jammu Kashmir which is a very remote region of the massive mtn range that is the Himalaya. They should have a blog going as well through the north face site.. Wishing them the best!
Thanks for reading, more soon.. ~REO