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My Passion from the Mountain

I had gone online (via modem) to find that there was a 5 star Radisson Hotel in Kathmandu with a pool on the roof. And I found the lodge where we could be lifted via a very old helicopter that would port us up to where we could view Everest. Soon we would be sitting on a wooden deck with a safety rail and hot tea. All of this just outside a huge dining room, with a big old wood burning potbelly furnace and lodging just down the hall. Oxygen tanks would be available to all. It appears that oxygen conditioning is better done one day at a time. Altitude acclimatization is essential for high climbing. Once you get to the region of Namche Bazar (12,700 ft) is air is 25% thinner than at sea level. Climbing slowly and drinking a lot of water would become essential.

The thoughts, dreams and ambitions faded, as I never put my body into the project of my mind. As time filed itself away I watched twin buildings hit the ground in New York. Quite obviously, the first week in October of 2001 was not a good time for travel.

Janice Held
Janice - 1999

Time began to travel quite rapidly and I began to dismiss the possibility of ever seeing Sagamarta, the mountain known to the western world as Mount Everest. I was now too old, too fat, too lazy, and too damn out of time. Give it up!

Then in the summer of 2006 a new neighbor told me that she was going to Base Camp of Mount Everest in October. I dropped my hose and stopped watering the garden while screaming in my mind "Could I go?" (Would she let Me.)? Could I go? (That too fat too old thing.) "Could I go," were the words that fell out of my mouth on the very next exhale. Carol didn't think that it would be any problem at all. I called my oldest daughter, Paige, and she wisely said, "Well, Mom, what's your greatest fear?" My reply was certain, I might be too old, too fat and I'd get left behind. She foolishly pondered my dilemma and offered to going along as my travel companion so that I could have my experience of a lifetime and not get left behind.

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