Bishop, California and Saddleworth based climber Kevin Thaw has just returned from a North Face sponsored expedition to the Himalaya that was successful on two counts. The climbing team comprised of Thaw, Conrad Anker, Pete Athens, Kris Erickson, John Griber and Abby Watkins with all but Athens successfully summitting Cholatse, 6440m, in Nepal's Solo Khumbu region. But before that with the US climber and Ophthalmologist Dr. Geoffrey Tabin and Dr. Sanduk Ruit they set up a number of clinics or eye camps in the region to provide high level eye care to locals including sight restoring cataract surgeries.
Kevin had this to say about the experience, “Ninety four people walked away from the make-shift Jiri clinic with restored vision. Arriving to the project blind or with only slight light sensitivity all then embarked their homeward journeys with vision sufficient for a driver's license. Miraculous was the only way to describe the scene and sentiment; bandage removal shone fresh colour and hope into many lives. One older Gentleman declared 'God has arrived'. Cliché I know but seeing the post -op patients granted me a refreshed sense of humanity and humility. My slight role rendered such positive feeling.
Also on this expedition there was a fully equipped media team from Serac Adventure Films and Outside magazine.
You can read the dispatches that were sent live from Nepal throughout the expedition at Kevin's website www.kevinthaw.com