It is a super late post! It took me exactly 365 days to sum up courage and heart to narrate the story of my first attempt to be in the Khumbu icefall. Yes, friends, I visited the Everest base camp last year with my husband. Let me start at the beginning right from my childhood, me and my brothers have been fascinated with adventurous activities. My father being a fitness enthusiast always encouraged sports and fitness He even kept giving fire to our adventurous whims too. If I have to share an example, my father would lift us up and throw in the river, that was his way of teaching us swimming and it sure worked, my brothers were inter School swimming champions.
Coming back to my dream, so right from my childhood I have been fascinated by Everest and have been singing a Bollywood song for Everest ” tera Mujhse Hai Pehle Ka Naata Koi yuhi Nahi Dil Lubhata Koi”. Meaning you are connected to me at soul level!
About 5 years back I saw the snow capped mountains and was thrilled beyond my imagination to see the Himalayas. So I am sure by now you have understood the intensity of my love for the mountain and it keeps growing on me. Since 2015 have started my journey towards fitness and also started trekking in the Himalayas accordingly I enrolled for my Everest base camp (EBC) Trek last year and planned it in such a way that I visit EBC on my birthday.
We went to Nepal, I conducted a workshop for fellow homeopaths, we met the fellow trekkers, and for me everything was just perfect. Me and my husband were in the best of our health. My plan was pretty simple one to enjoy the feel of being in the mountains and two to visit EBC and tick it off from my list. But I guess this wasn’t the plan of universe for me.
Today I wish to analyze and put it out of my heart as to what happened up there?
I could climb the mountain, but I was the slowest in our group, I wasn’t the last but out of 16 members I was among the last four, consistently among last four.
- I wasn’t as fit as the first person in our group.
- I can’t climb a mountain as if I am in a race. Period. I need to feel the mountain, hear the stream, and feel the chill of Mountain wind in my face.
- I NEED to talk to fellow trekkers. Take in their stories. Those stories are what makes a memory and not just rush to reach the tea house or a camping place.
I met amazing people on the way some examples:
I met Anna, 65 years, a retired professor from Belgium, she was on her 7th trip to Tengboche, she comes alone every year to a monastery at Tengboche, and it energizes her for entire year.
I met Jeffrey, 79 years, from Germany. He had come with his grandson he reached till Gorakshep which is at 5200 m. I can’t forget his face beaming with pride on his own achievement. When I told him I am a homeopath and I have a dream of visiting Germany our founders birthplace he invited me with such a gallantry I can hear his words even now he said “Germany would love to welcome you”.
I met Caroline, a young lady of 8 years, from Switzerland, she had come with her father’s sister and this little girl had climbed Everest base.
I met a team of 3 friends, returning after a successful climb of island peak. I couldn’t wait to get their names because by the time I met them I had fallen prey to the rat race. Was it just thin air or my fickle mind? I don’t know for sure. But it doesn’t matter now. By the end of the sixth day of my trip my team had written me off. They had no expectations whatsoever from me, I was getting affected by their body language too.
Our team leader, the head sherpa, had been on a different trip of his own. His soul Moto used to be to make a run for the tea house (our resting place for night), and crash with a bottle of alcohol. He didn’t care much about the ambition of his trekkers.
When we reached Gorakshep on the 9th day of our Trek, the entire climb was very steep, heavy snowfall, lack of visibility and high altitude made it even more challenging for first timers like me. Only solace was a young Sherpa, who stayed by my side and helped me in the climb.
By the time we had reached at about 5200 m weather had further deteriorated. In all the mix up, our team suddenly decided to leave six of us behind and go ahead to the Everest base camp, without informing us. I guess thin air, tired limbs and hypoxic brain makes people do weird things.
When the 6 of us left behind got to know about this, we were clueless, as to what to do now? With no proper guidance but only an ardent dream at heart, we embarked on a journey which we were so passionately wanting to complete.
After walking for about a kilometer or so, and gaining an altitude of about 100 more meters, just 50 or 60 m short of our destination our heart started sinking. With lack of a guide, our moral and energy succumbed and we took a decision of returning back to the tea house. Physically we could have done it, but the mental block was too hard to overcome, the feeling of abandonment overpowered the entire dream! Resultant is I haven’t completed my dream trek! The intensity of the loss even now is same as it was on 9th May 2017!
I do appreciate my personal highest so far which is approximately 5300 m which is not a small feat to achieve, but it still bothers me that I haven’t visited Everest base camp and I haven’t seen Everest from Kala Patthar!
I definitely have no grudge about the team. I strongly feel that there is a lesson for my soul to learn which I haven’t learnt so far. Today a year later, on my birthday I wish to accept this failure, and move on to take up new challenges in life. Will definitely go back to Everest base camp some day in life and will definitely complete my dream, this reminds me
“I WILL COME AGAIN AND CONQUER YOU BECAUSE AS A MOUNTAIN YOU CAN’T GROW, BUT AS A HUMAN I CAN.” – SIR EDMUND HILLARY
Here I need to conquer my own mind first, mountain will stay there as it is, and I will come back………