Personal Accounts

Spring 2001 - Richard John

This visit started for me back in the October of 2000. I was having a phone conversation with  Papa John Bean) and Pheriche came up in the conversation - as it had done many times over the year. I jokingly said it would be great to help out and visit the site with him. Six months later I was getting off a plane in Kathmandu.

After an enjoyable curry it was time to get down to some serious sleeping. The follwoing day involved a logistics run around starting with breakfast in the gardens of the Kathmandu Guest House. This was the first time I met with Nima Sherpa. From there it was to the industrial area of town to arrange final fittings and shipping instructions for parts to be sent to Jiri to be flown up by helicopter to Namche and then portered to Pheriche.

The next day was spent in a taxi with Dendi Sherpa and Papa John. The ride to

Autumn 2002 Victor Last

During the pre season period from mid September to early October John Bean, ably assisted by his right hand man Nima Sherpa, returned to finalize the commissioning of the new plumbing and electrical services in the Clinic as well as rebuilding part of the end wall of the building.  He was accompanied by Vic Last and Richard Holland who had volunteered to decorate the refurbished building.  During the 3 days of frenetic activity in Katmandu assembling all the materials for freighting up the mountain, we made chance contact with the Clinic Doctors, American Eric Jones and Australian Peter ……. and his Taiwanese wife.

In a challenging 10 days on site the inside and outside of the building were transformed, with dawn to dusk attacks, paint rollers and brushes hardly stood still. Vic and Richard could not have completed the job without the able assistance of our 2 Sherpanis, Canchi and Chichi. Although new to the job their infectious enthusiasm, good humor, and willingness to learn made the whole experience fun, rather than the slog it could have been. The daily fashion show was their skilful use of polythene sheeting and muslin cleaning cloth to form the essential anti-splat outer layer. 

The Doctors who chose to come up a few days early were also “volunteered” and did sterling work as we played an intricate game of chess with wet rooms-dry rooms, sealed floors- wet floors.  The ultimate triumph was the final commissioning of the sit down loo and hot shower – after much fettling of pipes and pumps John and Nima finally came out of their hole in the floor and the bathroom was opened.

On the last 2 nights the alcoholic fast was broken with the arrival of Sandy Scott with the Jamiesons. We sat and enjoyed our drams in the comfort of the living room at 60 deg F with an outside temperature of minus 10 deg F. Eric Jones remembered the old days when it was often colder in the building than outside, a tribute to immense technical achievements of John and his team.

Having stolidly sworn all the way on the walk in that this was the last time he would make the trip, The Bean positively flew down the trail leaving all in his wake. The wind turbine, the enlarged building, and the comprehensive plumbing and electrical systems at Pheriche are witness to his enormous technical ability, commitment and dedication to objectives of the Everest Memorial Trust, and its gift to the Himalayan Rescue Association.


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