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November 2002

Jan.

Nov. 18

The mighty Himalaya from West ColAustin, Texas - 250ft above sea level
Greetings, folks, from Gary Guller! We have just returned from a fantastic pre-Team Everest climb in Nepal. We started in the mighty Arun Valley, ascended to the 17,000ft+ base camp of Makalu, the world's FIFTH highest mountain, and, if this wasn't enough, continued right over 3 of the toughest passes in the high Himalaya, each over 20,000ft, before finally descending the Everest region. I have to say, it was so exciting seeing Everest again and knowing that in a few months, the whole team - in body and in spirit - will be making this awesome journey.

Thanks to all who have hung in there with us for your support. We are all getting pumped up about our departure next March. There are loads of exciting events planned before we leave. But we still need financial support to fulfill all our goals here at Team Everest' 03 and the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities.

Please find below some excerpts from my personal diary written whilst on this latest trip in the Makalu region of Nepal. Hope you find this interesting...

October 28 - French Base Camp, 17,000ft +
Hard trekking today on the glacier moraine. Broke the 17,000ft barrier this morning, and definitely noticed the reduced oxygen as we negotiated the moraine. Followed the upper Barun glacier all day. Tomorrow, we'll have a rest and acclimatization day, making a short climb, but returning to sleep at the same altitude. This will aid us greatly as we prepare for our ascent over the 19,680ft Gary, Ganesh & Kumar Trick or Treating at 16,500ftSherpani Col in a few days. Must recheck all rope and climbing hardware tomorrow. Beautiful weather, but getting cold at night. Clouds holding off until late in the afternoon, slight wind - nothing too dramatic, but must always keep in tune with the weather. Really need good weather for the passes.

We're all still smiling every time we see each other as we all still have make-up on our faces from celebrating an early Halloween last night. Too funny - all the porters, Sherpas and the team dressed up with masks and painted faces and costumes. Good sign that we are all feeling so good at 17,000ft!

November 04 - Amphu Laptsa, 18,000ft +
Wow, what a day! After a beautiful, but cold start early this morning, we found great conditions on Amphu Laptsa - I've never seen the pass in such good condition. The snow and ice ramps leading to the top of the pass were in perfect condition, just perfect - sun shinning, very little wind - one could almost forget just how high we all were. But it surely doesn't take long to remember - ha! As soon as you pick up your pace, you're reminded very quickly!

Everyone is commenting about our proud display of the Texas flag and our Team Everest '03 banner, wanting to know more about the expedition. I surely have no problems explaining in detail the message behind Team Everest '03 Texas at Baruntse base campand the work of CTD.

November 14 - Kathmandu, 4000ft
Back now in the hustling and bustling city of Kathmandu, safe and sound. To all the team members that made this such a great trip - Auger, Catherine, Nick, Nelson, Nima Dawa, Porba, Cherrta, Norbu and everyone else - thanks! Hopefully, next spring, I'll look from the summit of Everest and see our route over the last 28 days. I miss each of you already. It truly takes team work to make trips like these succeed. We started as a team, stuck together and succeeded. Cheers! Gary

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