Achieving the impossible (EBC part 2)

I said in my last post that my motivation for completing the Everest Base Camp trek changed mid-way through.

By 2015, my life was, to put it mildly, a train wreck. Without going into any details, I had hit a bottom and become utterly desperate, spiritually and emotionally bankrupt. At some point during the trek to EBC, my motivation for completing the trek shifted. No longer was it merely an awesome thing to do that seemed so cool; instead, I wanted to complete the trek so as to bring hope and inspiration to others who have been where I was 3 and a half years prior. To show people who struggled the same way I had struggled that IT GETS BETTER. It gets SO much better. For the past few years, I can honestly say that I have begun living a life beyond my wildest dreams: 3.5 years ago, completing a trek like Everest Base Camp would have been completely impossible for me, not even on my radar. Today, however, it’s a reality, and I remain filled with gratitude for it and the many other gifts that I have received.

After reaching Namche Bazaar and spending an additional day there to acclimate to the altitude, we continued on and up a rather steep slope and past the monastery at Tengboche, choosing to rest in Pangboche (3,985m altitude). During this hike, the weather took a turn for the worse and began drizzling. I felt overwhelmed by anger and self-pity, exhausted and out of breath, resentful that instead of glorious views of the snowcapped Himalayas, I was instead greeted by grayness and clouds. In Pangboche, I had my first hot shower in several days and experienced true Nepalese hospitality and generosity. The lady who owned the hut, a friend of Hem’s (my guide), invited us into her kitchen, where she gave me salted butter tea, potatoes from her garden (with a delightful lime sauce), and homemade momos. Her motherly kindness plus my self-care via the shower was a soothing balm on my deflated spirit.

20180605_193433^ my newfound Nepali mother

20180605_133442^ inside the meditation area of the Tengboche monastery

The next day, we pressed on to Dingboche (4,410m).

20180606_122857^ Mountains in the distance.

20180925_002225.jpg^ Soon, trees began to be replaced by small, gray-green shrubs and grasses. At some points, I was curiously reminded of when I went hiking in the Sinai as a teenager. I think this building reminded me of Saint Catherine’s Monastery.

20180606_132900^ Buddha’s eyes of compassion and wisdom, gazing out over the land

20180606_121456^ Dingboche village. The landscape here is otherworldly.

Dingboche is typically where trekkers spend a second day to acclimate to the altitude. However, as I was feeling perfectly fine, we opted to press on early the next morning.

20180909_235630^ Looking back over a river flowing away from the Khumbu glacier. Pity about the clouds.

20180909_235904^ We passed memorials for the deceased.

20180925_004131.jpg^ If I didn’t know any better, I’d think we were on another planet.

20180925_003458^ Lobuche village (4,940m). Here, breathing has become noticeably more ragged, and it’s an effort to walk up a single flight of stairs. It doesn’t feel right, looking at this picture, to remember that the temperature wasn’t much above freezing. While we were here, it snowed.

It is now Day 6 of the trek. We’re making excellent time. We stay overnight in Lobuche, and I mentally and emotionally prepare myself to reach Everest Base Camp the next day.

To be continued….

 

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