It is high noon on Monday, Nepal time, when the phone rings. Jiban Ghimire, our expedition agent, [www.shangrilatrek.com] has the news we'd been waiting for since we landed in Kathmandu five days earlier. "Your ski bags have arrived."
After five days of wondering whether we'd be able to proceed as planned with the expedition, our skis’ arrival delivered a jolt of energy we'd been sorely lacking. We ached to get to the airport and pick them up. Alas, Nepalis run a hard line when you're trying to excuse yourself from their party. We politely explain no fewer than three times that we have to be leaving before they actually allow us to leave. Finally, they adorn us each with a silk scarf and bid us farewell.