Two weeks ago in Kathmandu I bought a local beer at the corner shop in Lazimpat. The young man who owned the "mini 7 Eleven" (about the size of a closet) had a great command of the English language. We spoke about the Bryan Adams concert the following evening and how the $100 tickets were twice the average monthly Nepali wage. I asked him how the government is faring and how tourism, the big driver of the economy is doing. Things are looking up. Lots of Chinese and south Asia tourists, yet fewer Westies.
The gift shop next door was owner by Amrit Satyal and his brothers. He invited me in. Not really in the market for thankas (Tibetan paintings) or other fine curios from Nepal, we sat at the table and talked about the world. Conversation is a gift and a my favorite evening entertainment.
On the table was a copy of Joe's Alaska guide. All of a sudden the room was quite and a chill went up my spine. I looked at the book and it was inscribed to Amrit and his brothers.
Ends up Joe shopped at the store and Amrit helped Joe organize his climbs. We spoke of Joe's death and he shared with me the end of the tale in Kathmandu.
Dave transported his body back to Kathmandu. Which from the physical aspect is daunting. The China border at Kodari must have been a test of patience. Joe's parents flew out from California and the Stayal family was very helpful. They had dinner with the family.
The Stayal family organized the cremation of Joe's body at Pashipatinath, the traditional pyre for the Hindus. I imagine it was a pretty heavy scene.
While teaching Sherpa vo-tec this winter several climbers who had been with Joe expressed how much they liked Joe and what a fine person he was.
Thought Joe's close friends and family might find solace in this small story.
~c & Amrit at the New Mandala Thanka Art Gallery. Feb 11
Joe Puryear scholarship is born Sherpa Adventure Gear, based in Kathmandu, has launched a grant honoring American climber Joe Puryear, perished one year agor while opening a new route on Labuche Kang, in Tibet. A 7 years old Sherpani was chosen among a pool of 30 kids from Namche Bazaar for full primary and secondary education granted by the scholarship.
Gottlieb and Puryear were present on Rainier when a good bro of ours died from an asthma attack at Emmons Flats near Camp Shurman. Puryear entertained me and a friend inside the ranger hut with a can of Guinness and a bottle of wine from the rangers stash. That was their first tragedy for the rookie group of rangers in 1996.
Puryear was a badass nice guy. Crazy Joe, you are missed. Thanks for all your help. May the Lord be with you all who are survived.