A fairly poor nights sleep as my body adjusts to the time zone and my brain starts to process all the information needed for the next 60 days and after breakfast in the hotel it's a day of mostly admin and grabbing any last minute things from the shops.
Kathmandu has a chaotic beauty about it, the bustling streets full of bikes and cars all trying to get through the smallest of junctions simultaneously, horns blaring and seemingly impossible gaps used but with no anger, no accidents, like ants on the ground everyone busy getting where they need to and just fitting around everyone and everything to do it.
The streets of shops seem like giant jenga games with buildings piled on top of each other and every nook and cranny used for some form of enterprise or another, buildings seem to be literally falling apart in places with ancient temples taking space in between and newer glossy hotels, banks and malls filling in the spaces which have fallen down, street food sellers are everywhere and it's hard to walk past and not keep buying another tasty snack!
In the afternoon we did the Elite Exped welcome and briefing, expertly led by Nims with an impressive PowerPoint, Nims talked us through what to expect for the next few months, our one rotation acclimatisation plan - doing it "Nims Style" and Nims has been vocal in telling us “You will be climbing with minimum support, you will be carrying your own shit up the mountains, YOU will earn YOUR respect”. Things just got serious and it actually feels like this is happening now and excitement is starting to rise along with a sprinkling of nerves.
After the briefing I'd been appointed team leader for our group and had to go to the official mountaineering department to complete our declarations and sign for our permits, a few photos with the local officials and I've got our official permits to climb in my hands.
A team dinner at Maze completes the day and I manage to order the spiciest chicken dish I've ever had in my life that I'll probably regret later.
Early morning pickup for our 6am flight to Lukla so early night to try and catch up on some sleep if I can.