Over The Top!!!

Trip Start Jan 08, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Nepal  ,
Thursday, December 1, 2005

The people who had stayed at Base Camp had started their climb disgustingly early and had reached High Camp before the sun! I was sooooo glad we'd done that climb yesterday. It would have taken me forever in the dark. The huge pack of us that had stayed at High Camp were mostly in the dining room by around 5.30ish, all admiting to having practically no sleep and feeling like shit. I was glad I wasn't the only one.

Our first 500 metres was gently lit with a beautiful sunrise. Just as I was taking some photos, Rhian (a Canberra girl) was saying she wasn't feeling the best and as we rounded the corner she fainted. I stayed to help Dylan put her in a more comfortable position and waited for David to discover I wasn't following him. He soon came back and Dylan decided to retreat back to High Camp to rest.

The climb was difficult and as we slowly made our way upwards I felt increasingly horrible. Nausea was setting in and my head was banging. I usually love snow but as I was feeling so green it wasn't much fun. There were poles about every 50 metres so we'd set them as our rest points. We stopped a lot.

Mostly everyone passed us but as they say - at your own pace. It's not a race. We saw a few people being piggy-backed, which confirmed we weren't alone in feeling the affects of the altitude. It was gorgeous though and I was disappointed at not being able to play in the snow more.

I got my hopes up at each rise, thinking we'd reached the pass, only to be let down at another expanse of snow. It was never ending!

We finally reached the top of the pass. We knew it was the top because of the big sign saying - 'Welcome to Thorong La Pass 5416m'.

It was amazing being there. I almost cried! I couldn't believe I'd climbed so high and walked so far. We didn't know whether to laugh or cry. I collapsed in the snow for a well deserved rest. It was quite overwhelming.

The bunch of Canberra boys with their Dads were there and they let us borrow their Aussie flag for our snaps. We didn't bother with a celebratory cup of tea. I don't think my stomach could have taken it anyway.

We'd heard that the trail down was icy and very slippery. We wished we had cramp-ons and I was extremely happy we'd decided to invest in poles. We fell loads and sometimes I couldn't be bothered getting up so I slid down some sections. I almost lost David over a very steep ice ledge at one point. I was also thankful for our gaiters and wet weather pants as we had sections of thigh-deep snow.

It took for-bloody-ever to reach the snowline and I was quite grateful for it but we still had another hour until Muktinath.

We passed some people being assisted down and heard of others who'd had to be carried.

We finally reached the very welcoming village of Muktinath by about 5.30pm. There was a lady-boy hanging out of the doorway of the Bob Marley Hotel and we found all our mates in the hotel next door. I was so glad to dump my bag and retire to the very inviting warmth of the dining room. We all sat round the table chatting about anything other than trekking! David celebrated with a bottle of Nepal's finest - Everest beer.

At that point I was happy to never do that again.
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