My trek to the base camp of Mount Everest was a long, amazing, difficult, and un-matchable journey. I’ve been trying to figure out communicate it, and I’ve decided to share about the final climb of the trek, up a mountain called Kala Patthar.
|On Kala Patthar, with |
Everest behind me
To begin, I can’t say I was feeling all that motivated to hike up 300 vertical meters at 5:30 am on a dark, blustery, sub-zero morning...but heck, I had spent eight days getting to that spot, I might as well pull it together for the last few hours. So, I forced myself out of my sleeping bag into the cold stale air of my room, yanked on my trekking clothes and boots, and descended the steep stairs of our teahouse to meet the rest of my meager crew that was climbing to the top.
The three of us made the climb virtually alone because the vast majority of the other climbers who were summiting Kala Patthar that day had left an hour or so before us in order to see sunrise from the top. Climbing without much company forced me to look to myself for motivation, and gave me a real sense of independence and drive. Up there, listening to my breathing, my heartbeat, and the wind, I felt like the mountain was mine.
At sunrise I was halfway to the top, panting like a dog on a hot day, and sat down to take a rest. I was alone, having left my fellow trekkers a little ways behind me. The moment was complete zen. There I sat, on that cold rock, watching the sun rise over the peak of Mount Everest. Holy crap, I thought. I’m doing this. I’m here. That’s Mount Everest, and I’m finally here.
But when Jerome caught up with me on my cold rock, he saved me from making that mistake. “We’re here,” he said simply. “Might as well go to the top.” And so, after splitting a small palmful of cashew nuts that I thankfully had in my pack, we did.
It was very, very difficult. We were moving at a snails pace, and were completely out of breath, but the closer we got the more real it all became. The rest of the way, I just focused my eyes on the prize. One foot, then the other, one foot, then the other, I kept thinking to myself. Just keep moving.
|Our awesome guide Buddhi and myself at the top|
|Jerome and myself celebrating and savoring our accomplishment|