The idea of Adventures of Musa Masala: Climbing Girl of the Himalayas began when the two of the authors, Tatiana and Michael, were bickering over the last piece of precious chocolate cake, which had been painstakingly carried over a mountain pass in a raging snowstorm to boost group’s morale and wellbeing.

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Astounded by Tatiana’s insistence that she have the last piece of cake because, “I have to build up my energy to survive the season at Everest base camp,” Michael responded: “Did I not let the mouse live? Did I not sacrifice my needed sleep letting the smallest of nature’s creatures continue to thrive, even as it ran over my face? Yet you deprive me of the most basic of needs! I should have the cake, for I have given a gift to another, I followed the Lama’s teaching.”

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From the table next to them: “Why don’t you two shut up and write a book about it?! Do something for someone else for a change! Write a book and donate the proceeds to the Wongchu Hospital, and go away. We’re playing cards!”

Shamefully, they looked over at enraged Dr. Luanne Freer, the founder of Everest ER and the leader of the WMS trek. Red-faced and wide-eyed, she sported a pair of exotic, gold sparkly underwear on her head, a sign that the card game was not going in her favor. For the loser would wear them like a crown.

And so an idea was born, the cake was shared, but Luanne never got the shiny underwear off her head that night.