Great writeup! I particularly loved your description of the gear bazaar at Namche, that "come dance with me" peak, that spot-on description of Ms. Hawley, the permit meeting....

Brings back great memories. Sad to hear there is so much trash these days. When I was there a decade ago the only trash on the route was the toilet area at camp 2 - which some guys wound up bivying on with space blankets, to our amusement/consternation - and some old fixed rope, some of which we were able to chop and remove.

I am sorry you didn't give climbing the Yellow Tower a try on your first day. It can be climbed in boots with a pack by at least one Gunks 5.8 climber.... It's probably just as well, though, that you weren't higher in that storm.

We need to send you on more trips so you can write more trip reports. I'll make my first contribution to the RR TR Expedition Fund in beers.