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Home and Here We Go!

Mon, Jun  14, 2010 - By Pete Vordenberg

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Directly after the final world cup in Sweden I took off from Stockholm for Kathmandu, Nepal. On the first of June Barb and I arrived back in the US. In Kathmandu I wandered the raucous streets for a few days before catching a flight to Lukla and walking up to join my wife at the Himalayan Rescue Association outpost in Pheriche. For the next few months we worked at the health clinic seeing roughly two-thirds Nepalese patients and a third trekkers and climbers. The locals were charged about 50cents for a visit and drugs were basically free. Foreigners paid 50 dollars per visit and a very little for drugs. Their visits were also generally accepted by insurance agencies so basically the trekker/climbers and their insurance companies paid for the local people's health care. We saw between 6 and 21 patients a day some deathly ill. Most common ailments were altitude related. Three people died of altitude in our region just in the few months time we were there. Two of them died alone on the side of the trail. The town where we were living was at 14,000 feet.

Here Barb gets ready to pull a tooth. Smiles all around.

Of course we also did some climbing and hiking of our own.

Here climbing on a small mountain (just over 20,000ft) in a sea of mountains.

And here somewhere just above Jiri with our medical assistant and friend Bhuwan on the far left and a porter in the middle. This guy has 65kg and a long way to go. It took us 6 days of 6 to 10 hour a day hiking to cover the distance from Pheriche (where we lived) to Jiri (the nearest road) with basically no weight. This guy has almost that distance to do with 65kg of stuff. Tough. The front picture is also somewhere above Jiri... the trails here are not hiking trails they are walking roads linking all the towns and all scattered homes and farms to each other and the outside world. Good and people go by foot - either by human or donkey or yak. We didn't see a car or talk on a phone for 2 months.

Besides spending time up in the mountains we enjoyed a long walk out through the hill country where we could really see a lot of Nepal. Here a goat is sacrificed at a Hindu temple. The temple runs red with the blood of chickens and goats every Tuesday and Saturday. The meat is later eaten. There was a Buddhist monastary about half an hour walk from this Hindu temple - that both religions were practiced side-by-side and without problem, was common.

Yak and Mountains.

This begins a new season. NCCSEF is moving fast to build and support even more projects in the pipeline this year. Last year was a great success with J1, World Juniors, U-23 Worlds and OPA cup being partially funded by NCCSEF. Please donate to support US Skiing.

Today the National Training Group began their camp in Park City with a time trial up Agony Hill in Salt Lake. I'll post pictures and results today after the double pole session or sometime soon. Meanwhile the USST had their first camp in Bend, where the weather was cold and wet but the skiing and training top notch.

Hope you all are training well and enjoying it.

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