Saturday, March 5, 2011

EBC Trek Day 9...

Today was the number 2 goal-Kala Patthar, the mountain (hill, actually, according to the rule I told you) from which the view of Everest is most grand and mesmerizing. Due to the geography of the mountain mass to which Everest claims the highest altitude, you cannot see the peak from Base Camp itself. On a clear day, you may see it from the path towards EBC. But not from the base. Thus, every trekker climbs Kala Patthar to see the monstrosity. And guess what? I DID IT! It is the only solace I have in this ridiculousy disheartening end to our uphill climb. Luckily, the weather was clear today, and I was certain we would have a spectacular view of the top of the world.

The climb was tough, seemingly never ending. We were tired, and I tried to quit at least three times, saying "Let's just take a picture and go home!" But, again, Srin wouldn't let me quit...or maybe he wouldn't let me let him quit. Who knows! Up and up we went, having to climb numerous meters before even being able to see the peak to which we aimed. Finally, God-willing, we summitted. 5555 meters. That's high. Over 18,000 feet. I couldn't believe I had made it and was staring at the top of the world. Sagarmatha-head of the sky-as they say in Nepalese. Although the gushing winds stole some of my enjoyment (the kinds of winds that could whip you off of the peak), nothing could take away this momentous feeling. 8 years I waited to accomplish this climb. And I had done it. After many pictures, we descended as I yelled over the gushing winds "We have to go now!".

The descent was mostly easy, save for the winds once again. They were so strong that one gush knocked me to the rocks, slamming me like a rag doll. I braced as I heard the next ones coming, sitting down and taking cover like we learned in school should a tornado roll through. As soon as we got low enough, the winds did not hinder us. We made it back, tired but fully satisfied at our accomplishment.

Our daily stats:
Start Location: Gorak Shep
Time Started: 7:30 AM
Altitude: 5140m

Destination: Kala Patthar
Time Reached: 11:45 AM
Final Altitude: 5555m

Time Back to Gorak Shep: 2:00 PM

Total Distance: 3km each way

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