Day 5: Last night in Kathmandu

Today I finalized all shopping: spare expedition mittens and headlamp, camping pillow, five different NF expedition bags, and snacks for the trip to BC. I’ve also managed to print out Marc’s photo I’ve got from Mikel yesterday 🙂

I’ve closed the day having dinner with Nelson, my climbing partner for Miami, and Markus the Camera Man from NY. The story about this two guys is very interesting.

Nelson is a top guy who already climbed Everest from South side in 2011 but had to turn back few meters below the summit due to a failure on his oxygen mask. Before starting the expedition only three of us shared emails, and one of the was Nelson. He has a Spanish girlfriend and is extremely friendly. The most interesting thing about Nelson is that he is the Memory Champion in USA. Yes, our memory man! Give him two bricks of poker cards and he will memorize them in less than a minute. There is a Memory World Championship and he is very close to its best mark. He started playing memory games as a hobby, and after he became the USA Memory Champion he decided to make this hobby a way of living. He is currently a “Memory Consultant”. He works with people and corporations delivering workshops on his techniques to store information. He also works for be biggest manufacturer of memory systems for mainframes. He runs demonstrations worldwide and participates in all sort of TV shows in the States. For this expedition he has some sponsors, and he will run an experiment to see how his ability to memorize things gets affected by the high altitude at Mt Everest. And the most exciting thing is that his experiment will be filmed and a documentary produced by a company in New York.

And this is where our Markus from NY comes into the story. Markus is such a cool guy! I wish he could make it with us all the way to the Top, but I’m not sure he has the required level of fitness 😛 Markus is a talented photographer and camera man, and he runs a company back home specialized in producing documentaries all around the world, and filming advertisements for top firms. Markus is happily married and we had so much fun when we asked him about his experience shooting for the top models of Victoria Secret, LOL. I won’t give any details since we were all under the effects of the Everest beer, and I have to respect the so called “professional secret”. His wife must be very proud though, since he always behaves and keeps a very professional attitude while at work 🙂

The initial plan for the documentary was to have a professional camera man joining us on the climb, accompanying Nelson all the way to the top. But due to late notice, Phil could not get another American in the Chinese group visa. Therefore the final plan is to have Markus training Nelson and two Sherpas that have just been hired for the specifics of the filming. Getting visa for two additional Sherpas was an easy task, and that brings a huge benefit to the whole Altitude Junkies Team. Phil has set a condition for these Sherpas to be treated as regular ones, meaning when they are not filming they will have to work on regular tasks with the rest of the crew. AND something very cool is the we’ll be have full disclosure of the footage for private use. I hope they film me when I’m about to reach the summit and while on the Top! This is such a great deal, Phil is a genius 😉

After we finished dinner we grabbed some drinks from a grocery shop, and headed back to the hotel to enjoy the last night Kathmandu. Nelson purchased a set of giant singing bowls that morning and he was so excited, like a kid with a new toy. Few hours after we illicitly occupied the bar at the hotel and switched from beers into all other forms of alcoholic beverages. Now we are proudly called the Altitude Drunkies 😀

I hope the Gods of the mountains protect us from all sort of dangers including the abuse of alcoholic drinks at the Chinese Everest Base Camp 😛

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