Vegas in July vs. Thaynboche in April
July 1, 2011. Las Vegas. 106 degrees fahrenheit Altitude: 2014 feet.
Fast forward nine months in the life of Karen Whelan:
April 1, 2012. Thyanboche, Nepal. 40 degrees fahrenheit. Altitude: 14,250 feet.
When people talk about two places being worlds apart…I think this is what they mean. Going from the Mojave desert to the Khumbu can hardly be more opposite. Though I grew up in the Great Pacific Northwest, I have lived the last 14 years here. Vegas gets HOT HOT HOT. But it does also get cold in the winter. We have even had snow from time to time. This very last winter seemed to be oh so cold and windy. But the house and office were both warm and cozy.
Once in Nepal, I will not see another hot day until I return. There will be 25 days of weather ranging from warm to very cold. Nights, though in tea houses, will be spent in a Big Agnes 0 degree sleeping bag with a sub 5 degree sleeping pad in an unheated room. Of course, the best night of all will be at Everest Base camp in a tent.
I am getting incrementally more excited about this trip and as the summer wears on and we eventually emerge from the heat to the late fall cooling, I will likely start to get some idea of what I am, at least in the lower elevations, in for!