Expressions like "global village" and "making distance irrelevant" have a new meaning for us after receiving almost realtime dispatches from the 14th highest mountain on the planet. Starting in late August, our youngest son, Mike Teger, was on the other side of the planet. He's climbed big mountains before, including the tallest in North America (McKinley), South America (Aconcagua) and Africa (Kilimanjaro--he says it's an "easy" climb compared to the others).
All the other times we resigned ourselves to his being out of touch for a while--sometimes for a month. But a laptop computer, a satellite phone and a Web site made Mike's climb up Shishapangma--one of the highest mountains in Tibet--different. We're not sure it was better from a parent's point of view--who really wants to know that your child is starting the final ascent up to an altitude of over 26,000 feet. But once you know the information is being posted, sometimes almost daily, you have no choice but to follow along, step by step.
If you'd like to look at what we saw over the past 6 weeks, visit 2005 Shishapangma expedition dispatches ( www.project-himalaya.com/dispatches/05-xixa-index.html ). Use the links on the left to see the pictures. Two of Sandy's favorites are a shot of the mountains from Kathmandu-Lhasa flight ( www.project-himalaya.com/dispatches/05-xixa-01.html ) and the last picture showing their base camp with moonlight lighting up the clouds ( www.project-himalaya.com/dispatches/05-xixa-05.html ). You can enjoy them knowing that Mike is down and safe after making the summit.