Everest / Alpine Expeditions

Return To Everest Update 30 March: Scott Parazynski: Everest Is Grumpy Today!

By Keith Cowing
Scott Parazynski
March 30, 2009
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Return To Everest Update 30 March: Scott Parazynski: Everest Is Grumpy Today!
Scott and one of the guardians of Tengboche Monastery
Scott Parazynski

Exploration is best achieved by pooling the resources, human capital and financial, of many. Our Internation Space Station program is a wonderful example of bringing together nations for a common purpose, taking advantage of the expertise each country has to offer, in order to do something extremely challenging. Although climbing Everest can be done without such cooperative effort, teams these days are often multinational, with wonderful results.

Our IMG team has members from the US, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Canada, the United Kingdom, Singapore and South Africa. Like on ISS, the common language is English, but the stories and life experiences each brings to the table is wonderful. As we trekked out of Namche Bazar this morning under clear skies, we rounded a corner and saw Everest way out in the distance. Brad, a South African climber, commented in his characteristic accent and parlance: “Everest is grumpy today!” — certainly not an ideal day to summit, with snowdrift and summit clouds sweeping off of the highest point on earth… I look forward to summiting with some of my international cohorts on a day when the mountain is in a better mood!

Today’s trek started comfortably enough, a few miles of nearly level walking, with a steep decline to a river crossing at Phunki Tenga (my second favorite Nepali village name, right after Phakding). Feeling in fine form today, I really stretched my legs and pumped up the Tengboche hill, in the lead with California Mike. We worked up a real sweat on the 2000 foot ascent, at one point sprinting directly up a section to bypass a long train of yaks on a switchback, but I never felt anywhere close to redline.

The monastery at Tengboche is strikingly beautiful, emblazoned in gold, and guarded by dragons (lions? drago-lions?) at the arched entry. We had hoped to receive our blessings from the Ringpoche (believed to be a reincarnated Buddhist lama) tomorrow at the monastery, but he’s currently in Kathmandu. Instead, we’ll travel in a few days time to another famous monastery at Pangboche for this blessing.

The weather has clouded over this afternoon, with high gusts off of the ridgeline. We’re staying in tea houses during our trek into EBC, as opposed to the tents we used last season, and I am particularly happy for a roof over my head tonight — cold rain would not be unexpected tonight!


Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA Space Station Payload manager/space biologist, Away Teams, Journalist, Lapsed climber, Synaesthete, Na’Vi-Jedi-Freman-Buddhist-mix, ASL, Devon Island and Everest Base Camp veteran, (he/him) 🖖🏻