Friday, March 30, 2007

Getting It Done

Jerry Mika, base camp co-manager, describes the logistics of sending nearly 1,000 pounds of Everest gear, packed into 15 waterproof bags, to Kathmandu with Apa Sherpa and
Lhapka Sherpa.
"You just gotta know how to pack it right . . . There's over $80,000 worth of gear in there. There are 8,000 meter (26,247 foot) suits that are $2,000 apiece. That's just the suits, specially made by Marmot," an outdoor clothing company, which is among the climb's sponsors.
Then, there are 18 tents. And extra clothing layers for the climbers who will be going in layers, "dressing up, dressing down" for temperatures that can drop to 50 to 60 degrees below zero, and even lower when taking into account wind chill, Mika says. And high tech communication gear that the base camp managers will take with them to Kathmandu.
"It will take 32 yaks and about 24 porters to take up the gear (to base camp). Apa and Lhapka will be gathering extra supplies there as well. You've got, just in our group, about 11
people. That's quite a few people to feed for two months."
When all's said and done, the expedition will have cost nearly $120,000, he says. With the help of the Sherpas' experience, Mika, an outdoor industry insider, has been working to pull
together the gear, while base camp co-manager Roger Kehr has been handling the communications equipment.
"In most cases it takes one year to three years" to plan an Everest expedition. "We started ours in January."
Mika also opened Karma Outdoor Clothing Co. in Salt Lake with Apa in November. And the two base camp managers have been helping the Sherpas adapt to Utah, "taking care of family, taking care of business, parent teacher conferences, driving school. ...
"You just gotta get it done. It's going to happen. It's a big project. It's taking all of my management skills."


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