Last December, on my way to go trekking in Nepal (see the Archives of this blog), I stopped over for three days in Bangkok, Thailand. I have just posted my diary entries of my impressions of those few days. These include comments about Bangkok, Khao Lai National Park and a visit to the River Kwai.
To read about my experiences, go to the archives section on the right and scroll down to the December entries.
In the news today is the story of two more deaths on Mt Everest. This time it was experienced Australian climber Lincoln Hall who died while descending from the summit of Mount Everest. Fellow climber Thomas Weber also died after turning back from an attempt to reach the summit.
This comes only a few days after the controversial death of a British climber, left to die by other climbers who allegedly made no rescue attempt. This group of climbers included double amputee, New Zealander Mark Inglis. Mark has received sharp criticism from Sir Edmund Hillary, the first to successfully climb to the top of the world.
To read the story on ABCNews Online click here.
Good news: more recent updates from Everest have announced that Lincoln Hall has, in fact, survived and is receiving medical attention.
To read about my trekking adventures in the Everest region last January, go to the Archives section on the right and scroll down to the January posts.
Last week the world was admiring the feats of Mark Inglis of New Zealand, the first double amputee to reach the summit of Mt Everest in Nepal. It has now transpired that Mark was not quite the hero everyone thought he was. Sure, he is still the first double amputee to reach the top of the world. That in itself was a truly remarkable and gutsy effort, and I still admire him for his courage and determination.
Where were the True Heroes?
On his way to the summit Mark passed English climber David Sharp some 300 metres below the top. David was in serious trouble, ill-prepared, poorly equipped and sheltering under a rock with no oxygen and almost dead. Mark – along with some 40 other climbers that day – ignored the plight of the dying climber. Sure – they were all courageous, gutsy and had achieved a remarkable feat in reaching the top of Everest. My gripe is this – did they ALL lack basic human compassion for the dying man. No-one, it seems, made any effort to rescue the dying climber.
What all climbers and trekkers in the Himalayas quickly realise is that this is some of the most demanding terrain in the world. Add the extreme altitude and you have a potentially lethal cocktail. Any weaknesses, or lack of application or preparation are quickly revealed – often with swift and deadly consequences. When I was trekking in this region in January (see the Archives section of this blog) our trekking group saw the body of a Sherpa being carried down past our lodge. Even the locals are not immune to the problems of high altitude.
To read more about this tragic event read the article on ABC News Online by clicking here.
The opening of a new section of the Lavender Federation Trail was an event that didn’t come to my attention until I read about it this week in our local paper, The Murray Valley Standard. This is of particular interest to me because a part of the trail goes past about 500 metres north of our home. I walked about 20km of this trail in my preparations for trekking the Himalayas in January of this year. (To read about my adventures trekking in Nepal, go to the Archives section on the right and then scroll down to the January 2006 entries.)
This walking trail is called the Lavender trail after Terry Lavender, founder of the South Australian Recreation Trails Incorporated (SARTI). Terry was instrumental in forging the establishment of many walking trails throughout South Australia. His untiring efforts are being continued by many who have grasped his vision of a countryside criss-crossed with walking trails.
The section from here in Murray Bridge to Mount Beevor was opened in 2002. The second stage from there to Tungkillo was opened in 2004. The latest section to Springton was opened recently by Terry Lavender’s widow, Ann. This brings the total length of the trail to 105 kilometres. The current secretary of SARTI estimates it would take four days of comfortable walking to complete the walk. Eventually, it is hoped that this walk will reach as far as Clare in the mid-north of South Australia. The fourth stage from Springton to Truro is in the planning stage.
For more information about the Lavender Federation Trail click here.
Changes are happening in Nepal to bring about a solution to this troubled nation. Today the newly convened parliament has voted to curb King Gyanendra’s power. It has removed his power over the armed forces.
It will also tax the royal family and will even give Parliament the right to decide on the royal succession. The king’s unpopular rule over recent times has caused many demonstrations over the last month or so.
You can read about my adventures in Nepal last January by going to the Archives section of this blog.