My Everest Story
Arriving at the first milestone gives me some encouragement. Things can only look up from here – I remind myself of my preparedness and hard work. Our trek is to commence soon, and it will take us to an elevation of 2,610m, to the quaint little mountain town of Phakding. We trek along the Dudh Kosi river, in a valley with enchanting views and pristine greens. I’m happy that the first phase of our acclimatization has finally begun.
The trek is relatively simpler and straightforward. My mind has started to get into the right headspace I need for my Everest climb.
We keep trekking to nearby villages for a few days, and I find myself in the Namche Bazaar on April the 7th. It is a thoroughly interesting place, Namche Bazar; we stay here for one day to let our bodies acclimatize to the new altitude. I take to acclimatization with enthusiasm – it can save lives. Human bodies need this “readjustment” time to get tuned to the new climatic conditions. Keeping this in mind, the next day’s trek takes us to Khumjung, also known as “Green Valley”, at an elevation of over 3,780m, and we move further up to Tengboche Monastery…and it is from here that I catch my first glimpse of the mighty Mount Everest. My hopes and dreams get a reaffirmation as my heart starts to pump fresh blood with an upsurge of eagerness and commitment. My life during the past decade had been leading me to this – this moment is mine. I capture the image of Everest in my head, and in my mind is engraved the sole thought of succeeding on my mission.
With renewed energy and a powerful sense of dedication, my team and I push further for acclimatization and summit Lobuche peak (at 4,910m) on April the 12th. I think back to my training and education that brought me here; I feel grateful for it. These harsh conditions warrant a certain know-how without which survival is impossible. I go over everything I’ve learned so far as we spend one day acclimatizing at Dingboche. Tomorrow, April the 14th, is the day we leave for the Base Camp – and that is where the real fight will begin. My mind is full of thoughts, gathering and filing away information I would need to survive this.
Everest Base Camp sits at a lofty 5,364m above the sea. I see snow speckled here and there and the weather is cold. My gear has arrived and my tent has been pitched. THIS IS IT. My time has come, my time has begun…and whether I like it or not, my clock is ticking. It is my own mind, my own capability and strength that will now decide if I return on my own two legs or on someone else’s shoulders.
I cannot see Everest from here, but my mind sees its peak, and on the peak it sees my two feet. I’m ready.