Pure Randomness!

Pure Randomness!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Everest Base Camp Trek, Day 2

We braced ourselves for the long and arduous trek. Chhiri had warned us that the trek is going to get really difficult in the afternoon. I do not know whether the my fellow trekkers wondered whether they will survive the day, I did. But I was ready to take it from moment to moment and kick the shit out the day. It was a climb from 2610 mtrs to 3480 mtrs, almost a km of vertical climb. The trek started out like the previous days, a little climb up and then a little down and then a stretch of plain. The whole day the accompanying music was of the chirping birds and the gushing of the Dudhkoshi river. 

Dudhkoshi river flowing past a resort


Most of the time we walked along the river while climbing up, down and ahead and many times crossing it over tall long steel hanging bridges. I forgot to count the number of bridges, but it felt like we were continuously moving from one mountain to another over these bridges, throughout the climb.

At times we had to wait at the end of a bridge for up to 10 mins till all the mules carrying load from the other side could cross the bridge.
Rakhi, Lakpa, Preeti and Chhiri, waiting for the mules to pass
The morning walk was a walk in the park, which made me wonder how difficult can the afternoon walk be. Oh! I was in for a rude shock. After lunch Chhiri informed us that another 40 mins more we would be walking in similar conditions. I always led the group in the morning, almost pushing the lead guide to be with me instead of waiting for the rest of the group. That gave me enough rest stops as there were points where we regrouped fully before continuing.  After that 40 mins or so The Climb started, man, was it steep! The oxygen levels had dropped and I could feel that in my lungs and sometimes in my head. The initial climb was done with gusto, without falling behind. Slowly the younger ones in the group overtook me and went ahead. The competitive streak in me shook its fist at me to climb faster, but my body wouldn't listen. I stopped after every minute to catch my breath for 30 seconds. It was more physically excruciating than anything I had ever done in my life. My calf muscles cried out loud in pain and every ounce of weight on me made its presence felt. With much difficulty I held on to my camera, resisting the temptation to throw it into the river. 
Encounters of a spiritual kind

When I started on my journey to Kathmandu I had thought that refusing to hear the concern of friends and family would be the hardest thing I would be doing. I would be proven wrong multiple times through the rest of the journey.
Not many times we were reminded of the earthquake till then. But here the small boulders were perched high on the hill as half the hill was lying down. We were asked to run across the path which was hardly walkable, as there was no guarantee that the boulders wouldn't come loose upon us while we were crossing. And run we did.

Trekking through the landslide
I climbed bistare, bistare (slowly: the only word of Nepali I learnt during my month of stay in Nepal) and I kept calculating in my head how many more hours I needed to climb like that. The lack of form of R and sprained leg and altitude sickness of P meant I wouldn't be at the end of the pack. I panicked a few times when P went ahead of me, but I claimed my middle position soon enough to relax and climb again, bistare, bistare.
We met a French couple coming down from Base camp. The girl said she has some really bad memories of this particular climb, this being the worst of all days. It soothed me. I knew if I survive this day, I do not have to worry about the rest of the climb till the Base camp. There would be the challenge of Kala Patthar, but we would face that when we reached there.
Resort where not many tourists can reach, that is the irony.
The leading trekkers were waiting when we reached a small check post and were they a little disappointed to see us approaching so soon after they stopped. They were looking for a slightly longer rest. A big map of Namche Bazaar made me feel that we are at the entrance, almost done. We haven’t had any water sources for the last 3 hours or so and I was running on a 1ltr bottle full of water and conserving to last till the next source. I finished what ever was left and filled the bottle, ate some snacks and started again. It was not that done, it was another one hour when I managed to drag myself up the last climb to our hotel for the next 2 nights. 
Since the next day was our acclimatisation day, we were looking forward to a shorter climb and then rest. With the days climb I felt I deserved 2 days of rest before I could climb further. I plonked myself next to M and N who were cheering me till then from the dining room window, that dining room which will hold us during the rocking event the next day! I joined them in waiting for P and R and cheering them when they appeared. We settled down to some hot tea and well earned rest after 7 hours of climbing. 

8 comments :

  1. Wow this looks mighty splendid!!

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  2. Reread and redid the climb in my head... I can't wait to do it again!

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  3. Reread and redid the climb in my head... I can't wait to do it again!

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