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  Mallory and Irvine The Final Chapter: Dispatch 2

Hazard, Mallory, Beetham and Irvine aboard SS California, Liverpool 29th February 1924, en route for Darjeeling © The Sandy Irvine Trust, UK.  Not to be reproduced without permission

Dispatch 2 4/8/2004: The gauntlet has been thrown; who will be the one to grasp it and run?

I have been in Kathmandu for a week and today was the 3rd day that we have had a “bundha”. These strikes pretty much zip the city up tight. No taxis, shops are closed and it seems as if commerce comes to a standstill. I guess that is the point; this multi-party strike is meant to bring focus to the situation here in Nepal. Mission accomplished, they certainly have my attention. The Bundhas make it difficult to complete last minute projects such as procuring gear, banking and other related tasks. The Sherpas are quite resourceful though and ways can be found to acquire the necessary materials for the journey to Tibet. The children seem to love the quiet time. The once crowded, chaotic streets become a playground and the cacophony of honking horns and sputtering engines is quickly replaced with smiles and games...it makes for quite the enjoyable stroll through Thamel.

Ailments abound here in KTM and you don’t have to look far to find someone suffering from respiratory or GI distress. My own ailment seems to be contact dermatitis. The hands are swollen and I look like I have poison ivy; it must have been something I touched.

The support we have received from Dan Mazur and his team has been wonderful. We all have goals that we want to achieve and everyone understands that patience, flexibility and cooperation are the best way to accomplish this. To the mountain we go.

Our plan is to leave KTM very early on the morning of Friday, April 9th (Happy Birthday Steve). There are many checkpoints along the way and we want to give ourselves plenty of daylight in which to travel.

Everyone is anxious to leave KTM and continue our journey. Everest and all of her challenges await us. She tasks us, the gauntlet has been thrown; who will be the one to grasp it and run?

Wish us well. TjW


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