“Both Sides of Everest” - By: Roger Drake “On top of the world” – Nepal and Tibet offer more than Mount Everest: Climbing in Research – Water Quality & Sanitation Roger has been fascinated for most of his life by Mount Everest, faraway places like Tibet, Buddhist culture and mountaineering. Those passions came together when he was able to visit both sides of the world’s highest peak. In 1994, as a researcher, he went with Eric Simonsen’s International Mountain Guides to Tibet base camp, where they built a toilet for the expedition that was a prototype of one later built at Camp Schurman on Mount Rainier. Roger went again on the Everest Environmental Expedition of 2000 to the Base camp in Nepal where he tested drinking water quality. These trips offered close examination of at least two highly disparate cultures. One is the dangerous, competitive and highly focused world of high-altitude mountaineering, and the other is the centuries-old devout Buddhist lifestyle of the high Himalaya, which flourishes in Nepal and Tibet despite persecution by the Chinese government. About the presenter: His work for the National Park Service at Mount Rainier provided the background he needed to complete environmental projects in conjunction with these expeditions and allowed him the satisfaction of giving something back to the natural environments and cultures on the north and south sides of the peak. Drake retired in 2007 and presently lives near Port Angeles.