Settling in back at home, photos & plans
Nick Grainger speaks to everyone at our party. Photo Lucinda Burgess
Paul, Mary and Fiona with pictures from our trip. Photo Lucinda Burgess
Paul & Fiona at the wedding of their good friends, Jacci and Luke. Photo Tracy Bond
Hi everyone - Fiona here,
I really can’t believe we’ve been back from Everest for over a month now – the weeks have just flown by. But at the same time, Everest already seems a lifetime ago. It’s amazing how quickly you can settle back into your normal habits and creature comforts.
Putting photos on the web site
Our insurance claim has now come through so I’ve finally had my laptop replaced – which makes it a lot easier to write an update, and more importantly to start organising our photos. So I’m pleased to say that we’ve now started to put more of our photos on the website. You can access these through the “Our Photos” section on the menu, or by clicking here http://www.adlers.com.au/photos.php. Some other climbers have also given us permission to put their photos on our site, so these will be coming soon. We’re also happy to provide the high resolution versions if anyone is interested – I know a couple of people asked about these for screensavers etc while we were climbing.
The party we had was great fun. Thank you to all those that came along to help us celebrate – there were more people in our house than we have ever had before! It was great to way to conclude this Everest adventure that we’ve been working towards for so long. Having a party was something we’d been planning before we left – one of those things to think about and to keep us motivated when times got tough.
Since we’ve been back, we’ve been busy catching up with friends and family. Good friends of ours, Jacci and Luke, just got married and we had a fantastic time being part of their wedding.
Trying to keep fit!
We’re also trying not to get too lazy so have been out cycling again. However the second time I went for a ride I managed to have a fall. It’s ironic isn’t it – I get up and down Everest without incident and then back home, I go out for a ride and have a reasonably serious accident! Fortunately it was freezing so I had lots of layers of clothes on, and someone who saw the incident drove me home. But I did twist my knees badly and these were initially very painful but are now slowly healing. My bike was fairly mangled but has now been fixed up so I’ve been out for a couple of rides since then (but only with Paul – I’m still working up to going out with a bunch again!) I’ve also been getting into Bikram Yoga – which I love. It’s a structured form of yoga done in a room heated to around 37 degrees Celsius (99F) to allow for deeper stretching. It’s nice to have more of a balance of different exercise types and it’s also amazing how much more enjoyable it is now that we’re not constantly exhausted from doing so much training.
What to do next? Everest again for Paul?
Otherwise, we’ve been spending a lot of time brainstorming for ideas on what we should do next. For the two years leading up to our Everest climb, our total focus was on our business and on climbing Everest, and we really hadn’t thought much beyond that. So now we find ourselves unsure of what to focus on next – and we do need an income relatively soon! It’s not a bad position to be in but it is a surprisingly unsettling feeling. Paul’s also still thinking about whether to climb Everest again and if so, when to do it. On one hand it might be better to try again while he is still fit and doesn’t have to start back at square one, but on the other hand, it means another huge chunk of time where he’d have to be pretty much committed only to climbing. He’s planning to wait another couple of months before making a decision.
In the short-term though, we’ve decided to go away travelling – but this time with my parents. It’s not that we feel that we particularly need a holiday, but we’ve been talking about going away together for quite a while now and while we’re not caught up in a business and still relatively flexible with our time, we figure that now is a good time to go. We’re heading over to see some of France, Spain and Portugal and then spend about a week coming home via the United States where we’ll visit Paul’s brother Tim and his wife Inna, as well as a few of the people we were climbing with. So with only a few weeks before we leave, we’re spending a bit of time organising accommodation and other things.
The web site
We have been so humbled and encouraged by the popularity of this website, we’ve been thinking about ways to keep this forum useful and up & running. I can't begin to tell you how inspired we were by the comments that various readers have made and are starting to formulate some rough ideas about how this type of technology could be used to help other people - so stay tuned over the coming few months. We will be putting some more information up about our training, gear and retrospective thoughts about our overall preparedness. This might be useful for future climbers.
This week Chris and Bridget arrived home from their extended holiday. After leaving us in Nepal (where they got engaged) they went on to visit India, Norway, London, New York, Toronto and Hawaii – it sounds like an amazing trip. We’ve been making the most of seeing them in the last few days because they’re moving up to Sydney to live at the end of the week.
Hope everyone out there is doing well,
Posted by: Tim Adler on July 12, 2006 01:32 PM AEST
Nice post guys. Looking forward to seeing you in a couple of months.
Posted by: Heath Warren on July 12, 2006 02:16 PM AEST
Thaks for the update Guys...Fiona sorry to hear you had a bit of a serious fall and I am sure Nat would love to hear about the 37 degree yoga thing, she is currently doing "Baby Yoga" with others from her mothers group. Hope we can catch up in person some time soon..if you are interested I can send you a few photos of Jemma or a little web cam video to say hi.
Well done on your Everest!
Heath & Family :)
Posted by: MC on July 12, 2006 07:19 PM AEST
Thanks for the update...great idea to travel with your parents, Fiona. My husband and I traveled all over the Mediterranean region with my parents last October and it was an experience I will always treasure. Have a great time and enjoy your visit with Paul's brother & his wife, Tam & Dennis and the other fellow climbers you will be visiting.
Coincidentally, I followed the climb of a friend from Italy, who summited via the north side of "E" this year without mishap. Approximately one week later, as he was driving in a jeep in India, he stepped out of the vehicle and into a five foot hole and injured himself! So, you are not alone!!! I hope you are healing well...you certainly are on the right track with your exercise program. I'll look forward to the next "Adler installment". MC
Posted by: John C., USA, TN on July 12, 2006 11:16 PM AEST
Great to see that you all are doing well. Simply AMAZING are the pictures so far and we are looking forward to more of pictures of your climb.
Thanks again for your hard work and sharing your adventure and experiences.
Climb and play safe.
Posted by: Jill U. in Dallas, TX on July 13, 2006 12:04 AM AEST
What an unexpected treat to see a post from you guys! I'd just about given up on hearing from you again. Thanks so much for continuing to let us be a part of your post-Everest lives. Please, if you come to the U.S. and are even NEAR Dallas, TX, let us know because we would give our "eye teeth" (a Southern U.S. saying) to see you. I suggest that one source of income that would be a blessing to you and to us would be a book about your adventure to Everest. ANYTHING Everest will sell - and with your talent for writing it would be a best seller. Those of us you read ALL adventure books are hungry for a new one (I've read every book that has been written in the last 10 years having to do with Everest). Another suggestion for you to consider is a website business of some kind. I'm sure you will get MANY suggestions. I will continue to monitor this site and the site you mentioned, interested in what you guys are doing.
Posted by: Anne Munro on July 13, 2006 12:36 AM AEST
Hi Paul and Fiona,
Fiona would you mind looking at your other email address as I sent you an email there last week and I would be interested in your reply.
Posted by: Dena Lasater on July 13, 2006 01:24 AM AEST
I still look forward to hearing about your adventures--and thanks for staying in touch since returning home. Too, too bad about your bike accident, Fiona. Do hope you are healing well. Kennette Hayter (from our treking group) does the "hot" yoga, and I would like to try it. Please let me know what dates you will be in Colorado (Denver or Colorado Springs areas) and in Seattle--so I can
show you the best of what these areas have to offer. Yes, I agree with Jill about the book idea. During your climb, my friends and I discussed how your journals (with little editing) could be a best-seller. You filled us in on all the details so that we could enjoy every step of the way with you--even friends who had never hiked or climbed got into your experiences because you described the background stuff that one does not really know about, and in such an up-beat, positive way (like when Paul had a bronchial infection and slept with warm packs under his neck.) Bud Allen also wrote about life on Everest in such an interesting and entertaining way.
I wish you positive thoughts and energy as you try to make the right decision during the next couple of months, Paul.
Thanks again for sharing so much about your training, so that others know how to go about it. Very inspiring! Have you thought about becoming motivational speakers? (Then you could sell your book on the side!)
Please stay in touch and post your travel schedule!
Posted by: Tina Redmond - Seattle WA US on July 13, 2006 02:00 AM AEST
You are coming to the Seattle area! Oh my family would love to treat you to a dinner out. I have not done the climbing I planned to so this year. Paul inspired me with his wise decision and I am going to commit this year to training. I hope being in better shape will help to keep me safer. Then next year join a mountaineering club. Right now Mt. Ranier is the highest I think I can put my sites on but even with that so exciting. Please Email me when you are here so we can arrange a dinner out for you. You have changed my life so much for the better. Thank You. God bless!
Posted by: Bill Sims - Jax, FLA on July 13, 2006 08:42 AM AEST
Awesome photos...keep them coming. Also, your trip has inspired about 4 of us here to plan a trek to base camp in April/May 2007. We want to go when there is activity. Any recommendations on a good trek outfitter? Being from Florida, I usually have to stop to acclimatize on the landing of our staircase when I go upstairs to our bedrooms. I'm in good shape, but how much will altitude affect just on the trek to BC?
Posted by: Fiona Adler on July 14, 2006 11:11 AM AEST
Hi Dena and Tina - Great to hear from you. Unfortuantely we're not coming through the Seattle or Colarado areas on this trip. Would have loved to see you again Dena and to meet up with you Tina. Hopefully there'll be another time soon though. Paul and I once did a drive from Vancouver to San Franciso and absolutely loved the areas through there so will definitely be back at some stage.
Dena - you'll be pleased to know that a friend of ours has helped edit our video footage together so that we now have a short clip. We're hoping to get this up onto the website sometime soon.
Posted by: Paul Adler on July 14, 2006 02:48 PM AEST
I am thrilled that our trip has inspired you to go to Nepal. It’s really a very unique place in the world. If you have never been there before, I am confident that the sheer size of the mountains will amaze you. Photos simply can’t do this country justice, because in order to fit the scenery into a picture, you need to zoom out, so the mountains end up looking small. You are right about going to base camp in April/May because that’s when everyone will be there.
We also suffer from living at a low altitude; I think our house is barely 30 feet above sea level. How much will it affect you? It would be good to hear from some of the trekkers who came into base camp with us, but it really varies a lot between different people. The relative decrease in air pressure (and therefore oxygen) is actually greater at lower altitudes than up high. It’s not a linear relationship. Certainly for Fiona and I, it means that you feel the impact of a change in altitude much more between 10,000 & 20,000 feet than you do between 20,000 feet and the top of Everest. I am not sure if this is making sense! Anyway on a trek into base camp, you do need to treat the altitude very seriously, do some regular aerobic exercise over the three months before you leave, and don’t be pressured to go faster on the trek in than you want to. The benefit of going with a group of friends is that you can organize it so that you have your own guide and porters, allowing you to go at your own pace. If you want another rest day, then you can just stay put!
There are a great number of Nepalese based companies that will do a good job of organising a trek into base camp for you. If money is not so much of a concern, then by all means use a US based company. However they will invariably engage the services of a local company who will run everything, but you will have a Western guide accompanying you into base camp. Do remember that almost all the Nepalese guides speak excellent English and in my opinion will give you a more authentic and personal Nepal experience. It’s their home!
A good suggestion is to try to arrange your trip so that you can stay for a few days at base camp. There is no permanent infrastructure at Everest Base Camp, so if you wish to stay there, you need to use an outfitter that is running an Everest expedition. Asian Trekking http://www.asian-trekking.com are a well established local company who run expeditions to Everest every year. We met a couple of Australians on our trek in, and an American family on our trek out, who had used them to organize everything and they were very happy. I know that the American family had stayed for a few days at the Asian Trekking Everest base camp, so they certainly offer this service.
Here is a list of the main trekking agencies in Nepal: http://www.mounteverest.net/page/trekking/trekkingagencies.shtml
I don’t recommend this for everyone, but for the more adventurous and cost conscious trekker, you can just pre-book a hotel in Kathmandu and some flights to Lukla (Asian Trekking or another agency can easily do this for you). When you get off the plane in Lukla, many porters and guides will come up to meet you and you can just negotiate a rate direct with them. It worked very well this year for our friends Chris and Bridget, and we also did this when we were climbing in Nepal in 1996.
I hope this helps,
Posted by: Bill SIms on July 14, 2006 09:50 PM AEST
Excellent and helpful info. Thank you very much. We have our second planning meeting this weekend. - Bill
Posted by: Jorgen Kristensen on July 15, 2006 07:34 AM AEST
Dear Paul and Fiona,
Congratualations, we have followed you up and down Mt Everest with great interest. So glad you are both safe. Heard Fiona on the radio a couple of times.
Best wishes from Jorgen and Margareta Kristensen ( Jonas' parents)
Posted by: Liz - Upper Montclair, NJ USA on July 16, 2006 12:09 AM AEST
Thanks for the update! Always great to hear news from you. Enjoy your upcoming travels. Tara Luanne, my husband and I are on vacation for two weeks at the beach. Then off to Bonaire to SCUBA dive in August! :-)
Love all your photos and look forward to seeing more as you add to your website. Keep them coming!!
Posted by: Elizabeth-London on July 16, 2006 07:50 AM AEST
I'm sorry to hear about your bike accident, and I just want to say thank you one last time for sharing your incredible Everest adventure with everyone. I loved hearing about it. Have a good time travelling!
Posted by: Nick Grainger on July 16, 2006 12:41 PM AEST
Great to see the pics coming onto the site. Keep'em coming! And some video...?
Very well done altogether Paul and Fi. Many thanks for the opportunity to be involved. It was great.
Posted by: Ross Agostino - Armchair Mountaineer on July 18, 2006 04:00 PM AEST
I want to take this opportunity to thank you Paul and Fiona for the wonderful way in which you have opened the doors to your lives during and after the Everest adventure. This incredible unselfish gesture is, I am sure, unsurpassed in mountaineering circles, and should set the benchmark for future journeys of aspirant mountaineers or adventurers. The generosity you have displayed has touched alot of people around the world, and we are all drawn into your lives with amazing familiarity and humility. Where others may reserve their experiences for profit, you have shown us how these adventures truly belong to everyone and for everyone to share. Thank you for this gift and the manner in which you have delivered it. As I go through my own slides from when I stood on Kala Pattar and gazed up at the flanks of Everest, I can now have a better understanding of being on that mountain through the sharing of your experience and the unique way you have shared it and continue to share it. Enjoy your trip.....for yourselves!
Posted by: Jo in WI on July 19, 2006 02:07 AM AEST
So great to hear how you guys are doing. Sorry about your bike incident; glad you are recovering :). Enjoy your travels to Europe as well! If you do maintain a "travel log," please post the link here!
Posted by: Paul Adler on July 21, 2006 11:09 PM AEST
Hi Ross (AKA the Armchair Mountaineer), Thanks for all your messages while we were on the mountain. They were always very special and this one above is no exception. I know we keep saying this over and over again, but I think it was because of everyone’s messages to us that made it easy for us to write regularly and in an open and frank manner. It did feel like we were having a conversation with you.
Hi Liz, Thanks for the great pics of Tara. I’d be really keen to hear about scuba diving in Bonaire. Fiona and I love diving although we don’t get around to it as much as we would like. Living down in the southern part of Australia, the water is not as inviting as the tropical North. That said, there is some good diving around here, particularly if you like wrecks.
Hi Nick, Just working out where to host the video. Its about 13 minutes long and so we need a web host that can stream the file, rather than requiring people to have to download it fully. I think we have found something, so hopefully we will have it up in a week.