Day 9, Part 2: Kala Patthar

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Over lunch, Dawa convinced me to try. My body was so, so tired – but believing it’s mostly mind over matter, I agreed to go. Thirty minutes into the climb, the trail flattens into a more-than-gradual uphill. At the official halfway point, I tapped out. “I’m done, guys. I’m out.” Watching the team walk away, I stuttered, considered continuing and – …

Day 9, Part 1: Everest Base Camp

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The last two days have been some of the most physically challenging of my life. From the sound of it, everyone else feels much of the same. Last night, the dusty burn of yak shit in the dining room chimney got the best of me. Paired with the severe exhaustion – I went to bed well before I could finish …

Day 8: We made it

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Today was magic. Granted, I’ve never been more physically exhausted in my entire life. But, magic none-the-less. We made it to Everest Base Camp. In the glow of 6 am, we started the days trek. 16 km. Uphill. Downhill. Flat. Totally not flat. Rounding the corner into Gorakshep was a much welcomed relief. But with less than an hour to …

Day 7, Part 2: Bathroom options

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Tomorrow will be hard. Very hard. But we didn’t make it this far to fail. I’m less than 24 hours from putting my feet on base camp. And, under 48 hours from starting the trek home. I’ll likely cry for both. I’ll cry to talk with Aaron in Namche. I’ll cry to facetime him days later in Kathmandu. I’ll sleep …

Day 7, Part 1: Everest mountaineer memorials

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I survived the wet hair. I did not survive the grilled cheese, however. I definitely panicked a bit when, after dinner last night, I had a disgusting visit to the bathroom. I certainly handled it the best I could, I think. Popped two Imodium. Survived the night. Then, chugged water and rehydration tablets this morning. Today’s hike was sluggish but …

Day 6: New underwear day

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We’re still in Dingboche today. This morning’s mini hike was amazing. Tough, but amazing. The higher altitude made sleeping through the night difficult. I woke up kind of grouchy and not really looking forward to hiking, but tossed on my clothes and went anyway. It’s new underwear day after all. How bad could it truly be? I’m glad I went …

Day 5: Locked in the lodge

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The land we’re hiking through is vast and ever-changing. We started in trees. Along water. Up rocky paths. Along cliffs. Through sand. And, today, as we crossed the tree line into barren rocky highlands. All the while, snow-capped peaks watch over us. Today is proving to be the hardest yet. We climbed to 13,817 feet – dropping to 57% oxygen. …

Day 4: Monks + introspection

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Namche was our home for 2 days. The rest day was hardly any rest. We hiked to a tea house with a stunning view of Mt. Everest. Sipping hot lemon water yet again, we soaked up the amazing world we’ve landed in. After, we visited a sherpa museum that explained tons about the local history, spirituality, etc. It was full …

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Day 2: The road to Namche

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Waking up in our chilly little room was a challenge, but the excitement for the adventure ahead quickly got the best of me. I got up, stashed my sleeping bag and started moving. Breakfast was quick. Then, after a fast pee in the hole toilet outside, I joined the group on the lawn to begin our hike again. The second …

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Day 1: Into the mountains we go

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I didn’t finish writing yesterday. I’d been a ball of anxiety all morning and – there we were – stepping onto the smallest passenger plane I’d ever seen. Suddenly, I felt calm. Those are the moments that make you smile in retrospect. The universe, in that moment, was mine and we’d surely be fine. Flying into sunrise over the Himalayas …