A Journey Of Epic Proportions

DSCN1251Epic – that’s the only way to describe the journey I just took, no other adjective can possibly do it justice.

This trip required more of me than I’ve ever been called upon to give. Physically I’m shattered, mentally, I’m still trying to catch up. But how do I explain it to you? How do I put into words something so momentous?

Over a number of posts I’ll at least try.

This was one amazing place. Here in the Himalayas, the earth has pushed up these mountains creating valleys and peaks, green on the lower slopes and a moonscape once above the tree line.

A population has infiltrated this landscape and adapted to its guidelines. There are no roads, no vehicles, no wheels. If you’re going somewhere you walk, often days to visit relatives, if you need something it’s carried there, by people or yaks. Building and roofing materials, food, gas canisters, furniture, it’s all taken up manually.

Some of the tracks are in a reasonable and easily negotiated condition, more often than not you’re scrambling over boulders, climbing hillsides of loose gravel, slippery beneath your feet, or ascending hundreds of roughly made steps running with mud and yak poo.

As we got higher the altitude began to grapple with our bodies. Mainly sea level beings some began to feel the effects and need medication, all of us felt the lack of oxygen and understood that the only way to do anything up here was slowly.

The weather at this time of year is tempremental at best. The beginning of the monsoon season saw the clouds beginning to roll in during the mid afternoon and obscure our surroundings, by the time we reached camp the air was damp and the view generally non existent.

But then most mornings we would wake to a crisp, clear sky with the mountains overseeing our campsite. They surrounded us, they dominated, they were simply breathtaking. Our cameras clicked as we were struck by the beauty and the sheer awesomeness of what we were seeing.

How do you wake in a morning, in these surroundings and not be changed in some way?

Our whole group made it to Base Camp, a major feat in itself as approximately 30% of those that set off don’t make it that far.

That I’d made it overwhelmed me and it took a while, sitting on a rock gazing across the Khumbu Icefall that I’d seen so many times in pictures, for me to compose myself, dry the tears and actually be able to join in the celebrations and the photo opportunity.

Here’s just a sample of the squillions of photos I took, more to follow.

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Lukla - streets of mud!

Lukla – streets of mud!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And THIS is Mt Everest!

And THIS is Mt Everest!

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29 Comments

  1. These pictures are awesome! Glad that you could make it even though you are from sea level. I know the first time I came to boulder I ended up with a crazy bad headache. Nice post!

    Reply
    • Thanks George – I’ll never again complain about Perth being flat :-)

      Reply
  2. WOW I can not WAIT for more! take your time, you are doing great so far, and I am very proud of you!

    Reply
    • Thanks heaps Tony – when I look back over my photos and my memories I realise how awesome the whole experience was. It’s so great to have so much support from my on line friends :-)

      Reply
  3. Such a breathtaking beauty … pulsating of life inside the harsh surroundings.
    Thank you for posting and letting us glimpse it -:)!

    Reply
    • Thanks Daniela – it’s hard to come back down to earth and get back into routine after such an experience.

      Reply
  4. What a tremendous achievement that will stay with you forever and the photos are amazing. How tough are the Sherpa’s to carry such heavy loads. It certainly makes us appreciate our lives when we travel. Thank you for sharing it with us

    Reply
    • Thanks Pauline – those Sherpas are amazing and I certainly do appreciate life so much more now :-)

      Reply
  5. there are no words….just awesome.

    Reply
  6. The pictures are simply amazing! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  7. Lovely trip – congratulations on completing the trek! Thanks for sharing your experience, it brings back so many memories for me. All the best to you.

    Reply
    • Thanks Jillian – the memories I have will never leave me and I’m glad it brought back some for you :-)

      Reply
  8. Lovely photos and the memories stay :)
    look forward to more

    Reply
    • Thanks Gail – I don’t think you can really explain this experience to anyone who hasn’t been there – I know you get the message ;-)

      Reply
  9. Fantastic photos Pam – looks beautiful xx

    Reply
    • Thanks Viv – the mountains were amazing, particularly in the early morning sun.

      Reply
    • Thanks Jennifer – hadn’t thought of it that way but, yeh, it is a feather in my cap :-) Wow – I did it!!

      Reply
  10. So proud!! what amaaazzinng photos. well bloody done!

    Reply
    • Thanks Natalie, really good to hear from you :-)

      Reply
  11. I have just read your message of support on the Leeds Northern site. Thanks. I have also just linked into your blog, it’s really interesting, the photos are stunning? I will be looking for any tips and pointers for our trip in November, and the blog that I’ve been persuaded to do which is mainly read via friends on Facebook!! Congratulations on an epic achievement, I’m glad you enjoyed it and you all made it. ps My anxieties are the same as yours.

    Reply
    • Thanks Charles – the biggest thing is training, go up and down as many steps as possible, there is nothing flat about Nepal. It won’t be easy but it will be worthwhile. Good luck and I’ll be following your progress :-)

      Reply
  12. Epic indeed, Pam. This is beyond words. I had goose-bumps reading this and your pictures are AMAZING. Truly how does one “wake in a morning, in these surroundings and not be changed in some way?”

    Reply
    • Thanks for stopping by Tahira, it really was amazing and every time I look at the photos I can’t help but wonder where I go from here :-)

      Reply

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