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Welcome to 2009

Sitting in a flash new coffee shop in Kathmandu checking my emails with free Wi-Fi internet. Boy has this place changed since my first visit in the ’80s!!

For those who are new to my despatches, my hope for this season is to climb Mt Shishapangma in Tibet and thereby complete my project to summit all fourteen of the world’s 8000 metre mountains. Those plans are still a little uncertain as the border into Tibet is currently closed and there is no clear guidance as to when it may reopen. So i remain hopeful.

I arrived a couple of days ago and have spent the time renewing and sorting my equipment which has been in storage here for the last year since my Makalu expedition. In a day or so I’ll start trekking in the Khumbu (MT Everest) region to acclimatise for a couple of weeks before returning to Kathmandu, meeting up with my climbing partner Hector Ponce de Leon, and heading for the hills. I previously summited Everest with Hector in 2004 and we climbed together again last year on Makalu.

My next despatch will follow my return from the acclimatisation trek in early April with any news I have regarding the border….

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