‘Tomorrow, it is’, I tell myself while I patiently contain my bottled-up nervousness and excitement that has driven me for days. And, as I go about the mundane chores while trying to focus on the now, the snow-clad mountains appear clear across my mind’s canvas and they stay put as I go about my tasks, one after another.
As the flight took off from Mumbai, I watched the skyline with an eager heart and an anxious mind. It was coming, I was going to climb to the top of the world – Next stop: Kathmandu. At Kathmandu in Nepal one realises the obvious dip in temperature, here I readied for my next stop Lukla - the most dangerous airport in the world.
What could be the most important thing while climbing to the tallest place in the planet? I’ve been asked many a times. Let me tell you, everything is important, one miss and you have to take ten steps back, maybe twenty.
So, is it about perfection then?
No, climbing the Everest is a journey to knowing your STRENGTHS so well and building them to the best of your ability. It’s all a game of STRENGTH.
Everest is one of the coldest places on earth. Besides that, the air is so thin on top of Mt. Everest that without acclimatization one can pass out and die in a short span of fifteen minutes. What difference does less oxygen make to humans? Our bodies need oxygen to make energy. Without it, our muscles will eventually seize up and die. The less oxygen our tissues receive, the more likely we’ll experience altitude related sickness.
A glorious sun set over Camp 2 of Everest, filling the snowy mountains with yellow orange hues and I watched in wonder. Ah! the delights of climbing a mountain, I thought, there could never be a dull moment here. As I admired the space around me, I braced myself for another cold night. Climbing inside my tent, I tried to keep warm and thought about how many changes I saw each day. I had mentioned in an earlier blog that here in the mountains every step is a change.
We started from the South Col (Camp 4) at 8.30 pm on the 17th of May, an incredibly beautiful night. Climbing through the night, tirelessly, through darkness, wind and some heart-stopping moments. And then, I witnessed the most spectacular sun-rise from the far east just as we approached the South Summit. In that moment I was there, my dream in front of me – the tallest peak on earth! The whole mountain seemed mine and I belonged only to it.
Very few are lucky enough to reach here, but it isn’t just luck, it is a lot of hard-work, determination and most importantly- STRENGTH!
How does it feel to be up there? A question I will be asked countless times over the next few months, probably years. What can I say, it isn’t just one unanimous feeling that roars through your heart, it is a gathering of many moments, trials and wonders that holds you, up there.