Thursday, February 19, 2009

Dudeman Met a Mountain Climber

Dad and Dudeman saw a presentation about mountain climbing today! Here is what Dudeman learned:

Dad: So, what is it like to climb Mount Everest?

Dude: Well, there is a good chance you could die in every step you take. It takes about a day to get from, like, one side of a gym to another. There's these things called crevasses and they go 200 feet down under the snow and they put ladder things so you can cross, and the guy who climbed Mount Everest, his boot had spikes on it and they got stuck in the ladder and he had to bounce the ladder to unstick his foot.

Dad: What do they have to do with their tents?

Dude: They have to put nets on their tents. Even with 6 men and all their gear, the wind up there is so strong it could blow everything away.

Dad: Is it hot or cold?

Dude: It's usually over 90 degrees. If it's day or afternoon, it's really hot. And since you're over every last cloud, you can see every star and there are shooting stars every 20 or 30 seconds.

Dad: What do they do if they have to use the bathroom?

Dude: They just poo in the snow, or pee in a bottle. No bathrooms!

Dad: How did they get up to the final part of the climb? Was it day or night?

Dude: It was night. He climbed from 8 at night to dawn the next morning.

Dad: What did they see?

Dude: Well, if you looked to their left, they saw 10,000 feet down, and if they looked to their right, they saw 9,000 feet down. And this was in the dark. All they had was moonlight. It was like this! (Dudeman turns out the lights.) I bet a lot of the men said, "I hope I make it down alive!"

Dad: What was that big pyramid in the photo?

Dude: Mount Everest's shadow. A perfect triangle.

Dad: What does it mean to be buried in the sky?

Dude: Well, if you're under 7 yards of snow, no one can dig you out and bring you back to your family. You just have to be buried in the sky.

Dad: Tell about how sherpas get their names.

Dude: They're named...well, every sherpa, their last name is Sherpa, and their first name is the day they were born so if you're born on Monday, you'd be named Monday Sherpa.

Dad: What wanders around in the streets of Katmandu?

Dude: Cows! Because the people there worship cows! And I love cows, too!

Dad: What do the sherpas use for fuel?

Dude: They take yak poop, and they stick it on their walls, and then when it's dry, they use it for cooking.

Dad: What did you learn about yaks?

Dude: They don't lose their antlers. And they like to knock you down and toss you off the cliff! And here is something else: Mount Everest grows about the rate of your fingernail. It used to be underwater. You could hunt for fossils on top of Mount Everest.

Dad: What was that guy carrying in that photo?

Dude: A huge rock from here to here, perfectly smooth, maybe about 1,000 pounds or so, and he was going to use it for bricks.

Dad: Do you remember what the mountain climber is going to do next?

Dude: The next thing he's going to do is row a boat from Australia to Africa.

1 comment:

Linda said...

To learn more about the Sherpas of the Mt. Everest region, read Beyond the Summit by Linda LeBlanc. Sherpas are the true heroes of Everest. Without their assistance, very few would reach the summit. Details of Sherpa culture and religion are interwoven in a tale of romance and high adventure. The story has something for everyone: a love affair between an American journalist and Sherpa guide, conflict between generations as the modern world challenges centuries of tradition, an expedition from the porter’s point of view.

Below are selections from reviews. To read the complete ones and excerpts go to

Beyond the Summit, is the rare gem that shows us the triumphs and challenges of a major climb from the porter’s point of view. The love of two people from diverse cultures is the fiery centerpiece of a novel that leads its readers through harshly beautiful and highly dangerous territory to the roof of the world. Malcolm Campbell, book reviewer

Conflict and dialog keep this gripping story of destiny, romance and adventure moving from the first page to the last paragraph. LeBlanc has a genius for bonding her readers and her characters. I found I was empathizing in turn with each character as they faced their own personal crisis or trauma.
Richard Blake for Readers Views.

A gripping, gut-twisting expedition through the eyes of a porter reveals the heart and soul of Sherpas living in the shadows of Everest.

A hard-hitting blend of adventure and romance which deserves a spot in any serious fiction collection. Midwest Book Review

LeBlanc is equally adept at describing complex, elusive emotions and the beautiful, terrifying aspect of the Himalayan Mountains. Boulder Daily Camera

LeBlanc’s vivid description of the Himalayas and the climbing culture makes this a powerful read. Rocky Mt News Pick of the Week

A rich adventure into the heart of the Himalayan Kingdom. Fantastic story-telling from one who has been there.

This is the book to read before you embark on your pilgrimage to Nepal. The author knows and loves the people and the country, and makes you feel the cold thin air, the hard rocks of the mountains, the tough life of the Sherpa guides, and you learn to love them too. This is a higly literate, but also very readable book. Highly recommended.”
– John (college professor)

Memorable characters and harrowing encounters with the mountains keep the action moving with a vibrant balance of vivid description and dialog. Literary Cafe Host, Healdsburg, CA

This superbly-crafted novel will land you in a world of unimaginable beauty, adventure, and romance. The love story will keep you awake at night with its vibrant tension and deep rich longing. Wick Downing, author of nine novels

Such vividly depicted images of the Everest region and the Sherpa people are the perfect scenario for the romance and adventure feats narrated. It’s a page-turner, so engrossing you end up wanting to visit Nepal! Not just novel, but perfect for those seeking to get acquainted with the culture of this country.
By Claudia Fournier (América, Bs. As., Argentina)

Available through Barnes and Noble, Borders,,, and the web site