Posted by G. Stowe Talbot on Aug 20, 2019
Flag Salute & Invocation by Brad Cornwell
Visiting Rotarians: None
Guests: Heather Flaherty (Chuckanut Health), Brett & Debbie VanSteenwyk (Paso Robles, CA)
Sept 10th will be a visit from our Canadian District Governor.
The three Bellingham clubs have been planning a joint Rotary evening event for Thursday Oct 3rd - details coming soon.
Lesa Ferguson with an update on an upcoming fellowship wine event (at Bellwether, $95/ticket) to take place on Saturday October 19th - stay tuned for more details!
Eddie with an update on Docks for the Kids; we are closer to the signed MOA with the City.  BMI is our contractor and Anchor Marine the designer/consultant.  Financially we are getting close.  Installation expected this fall / winter!
Two club service events:
  1. Sept 21-22 SeaFest volunteering at the event;
  2. Oct 5th small pairing renovation project at the VFW.
Bucks in the Bay
  • Brad Cornwell sad bucks daughter back off to college after an August here at home;
  • Bill Geyer thankful bucks for Books for Zimbabwe!
  • Curtis sad that son Jonny heading back to college east coast;
  • Harte missed meeting to go catch some salmon (Seward, AK) caught his limit!
  • Brent Walker with instructions how to sign up for Amazon Smile - half a percent of every $ purchase will go to charity of your choice - in this case it can go to BBRC Foundation!
  • Bob Moles back from Craig, AK where he caught a lot of salmon, comments on former member Cy Linberg who was here last week up from FL, next week the Honduras coordinator from Pure Water coming for visit;
  • Bob Gorman fun to see Jonny Dye and his own son get together;
  • Steve Brummel invitation to all to come to Viking Night Friday Sept 13, also did some backbreaking remodeling projects;
  • Mark Turner was at a gathering last week and accidentally stumbled upon a rare flower that he had long wanted to find and photograph (Western Oxalis?);
SAA by Mark Turner
Fines for misc. fines, and history trivia.
Lance introduced our own Harte Bressler, who talked about, and showed slides from, an epic trek to base-camp Everest that he completed this past May with his wife, daughter and son in law. They hired an experienced guide service, Ian Taylor Trekking, and the group included a dozen or so other people.
They first flew into into the big city of Kathmandu, Nepal. The city is still recovering from an earthquake the occurred back in 2015. The next part of the journey is a short plane ride into a very dangerous and short runway in Lukla, the closest airway to the mountain.  After some recovery there, they headed out on foot for the 10-day / 50-mile trek up to Base Camp Everest.  
The trail was very precarious in places. They saw many porters carrying heavy and awkward loads delivering to the villages along the route.  Yaks were also everywhere, packing loads too. Harte’s group was asked to walk slowly to avoid getting sick, and it was smart advice.
Harte showed photos of Ama Dablam - a very beautiful mountain peak on the way to Everest.  Photos.  Everyone in the group adapted well to altitude, but some experienced problems with coughing.  Twice a day the sherpas measure the guests’ pulses. Harte developed sinus problems on the penultimate day, and they determined that he needed to leave ASAP, to avoid the onset of possible coma and/or death.  The team ordered a special “high altitude” helicopter from Lukla, and it arrived literally within the hour to whisk him back down the 50-mile valley.  Doctors met him in Lukla and traveled with him in another helicopter into Kathmandu, and then an ambulance to the hospital. His wife, daughter and son in law stayed behind.  Harte recovered quickly but was grateful that the doctors had recognized the problem in time and had arranged for such a speedy evacuation.  
Harte talked about the two separate tent villages at Base Camp: One for the trekkers (short term inhabitants) and one for the climbers (who are usually there for a few months).  The climbers stay separated from the trekkers to lessen the possibility of contamination from the newcomers - the climbers are already vulnerable to illness from the altitude.
Harte also talked about the growing problem of overcrowding on the summit attempts. (NY Times article)
For the privilege to attempt a summit, the typical climber now pays over $100,000 to the expedition companies and sherpas, and Nepal is loath to part with that kind of revenue coming into the country.  Also we are seeing more and more unfit and underprepared climbers at Everest, and that also has contributed to the growing rate of fatalities.
Mark Turner wins the raffle. Again.
Respectfully submitted,
Stowe Talbot;