RICHARD C BLUM chairman of Blum Capital Partners and of the American Himalayan Foundation, led the 1980 Everest East Face Expedition and has maintained a long connection with Nepal and Tibet. In 1998, the Dalai Lama awarded him the Truth of Light Award for his charitable support of the people and environment of the Himalaya. ERICA STONE is president of the American Himalayan Foundation, dedicated to education, health care, cultural and environmental conservation work in Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan, and with Tibetan refugees. She has an MBA from Berkeley. BROUGHTON COBURN has spent two of the past three decades in the Himalaya working in development, conservation, writing, and filmmaking. He is the author of five nonfiction books.