By Marshall Thompson
Today Apa arrived safely at Base Camp. He was surprisingly full of energy and ready to get home to his family as soon as possible. I appreciate his attitude because I can’t wait to see my family as well. I’m planning on leaving tomorrow morning so this is going to be my last blog post from Base Camp. While it seems like a dream to be going home after Apa’s amazing 20th summit, I have to admit that I will miss it here. I will miss the random conversations with friends from Finland, India, Nepal, Canada and the U.S. as we huddle around a gas heater after dinner. I will miss watching the morning sun illuminate the tip of Mount Pumori and turn the white snow gold. Most of all, I will miss living at the feet of the Goddess, Chomolungma. It’s obvious, however, that it’s time to go. The glacier seems as if it might melt away completely any day now. My tent now sits on a pinnacle of ice that gets smaller every day. A small stream near the foot of our camp has now carved a deep icy tube into the glacier that is filled with frothy, cold water. When I first got to Base Camp, large rocks stood on pillars of ice like strange stunted trees. The rock protects the ice beneath it from the sun while the rest of the glacier melts around it. One day, Dawa Steven and I tried to topple a particularly precarious rock. Despite several minutes of our best pushes and kicks, it would not budge. I went for a walk today and found that the rock had finally fallen under its own weight and the heat of the sun. Somehow, this seemed appropriate. It’s time to go. In three days, Apa and I will fly from Lukla to Kathmandu – out of the Himalayas and into the smog and heat of the city. There will be parties, meetings, and press conferences, but it’s only a week-long hurdle that must be endured. Then we’ll finally be on our way home to Utah. We both miss our families very much.