Pemba – The Real Story

Pete wrote: “Important fact number one: Pemba? WTF is up with that name? Short answer: Brad’s sherpa on Everest. I think they were in love. Brad is the boss so he makes these calls. Long answer: check back later for Brad’s inevitable counter-post.”

Yeah, it’s inevitable that I write back to this.

To clarify, Pemba and I weren’t in love. It was a very one-sided deal. I told him up-front that I wasn’t built that way, and also that I could never bring him back to the States. While Pemba didn’t break my heart, he did break parts of me. A word of warning: Never teach a yak-herder to slam-dance; they take it very seriously, as evidenced by the number of times we Americans were launched through the wall of our own cook-tent cum dance-hall. To this day, hearing the Violent Femmes brings flash-backs, mostly of bruises long since healed.

I’m serious about the slam-dance warning. Ask Mark Twight. He was there. I’m sure that Francine has pictures still, too.

Also, Pemba wasn’t a Sherpa. He was a Tibetan yak-herder. It’s a completely different culture altogether.

Another interesting thing: Pemba’s an amalgam. He’s mostly an individual Tibetan who lived with us in Base Camp, but there are a lot of different memories all blended together. For instance, the actual Pemba didn’t slam-dance.

Have I ever mentioned that Coors Light was a sponsor of our Everest expedition? Yep, we had pallets of beer. This explains the decades-long hangover, and the extended memory loss, also.

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