Mt Everest, The Highest Place in the Planet Men Can Ever Walk
From the darkness… lead me to Light. From death… lead me to Immortality. From deception… lead me to Truth. From delusion, lead me to the Straight Path… and from the blindness, lead me to True Sight… the kind of sight that can make me look at every corner of this planet from the deepest ravine to the highest mountain through my eyes… and see through my heart pass the 70 thousand hijab (veils) that are blinding me from the Ultimate Truth, from the Source of all reason, from You oh Al-Akhbar (The Greatest), from You the Master of all souls, from You who are not bound by space and time ………………………………………………………….. and when the five senses and the mind are at still… and all reasons, causes and effects freeze and at rest, then the Supreme Path begins… My soul came back attached to my physical body early in the morning after a long night’s dream, before the sun started to give its light and warmth to the Himalayas, feeling so determined to walk higher into the thin air, to finally see with my own eyes, coming face to face with the Everest, the highest place men can ever walk or stand on this planet.
Leaving Dingboche walking towards the Everest Basecamp, I could still see the grand Mt. Ama Dablam on my right standing high and proud, crowned by the sun that was shining behind its peak, giving a marvelous view for the whole morning. The weather was really good, a combination of the beautiful morning sun and the blue sky giving a perfect mountainscape, forcing me to walk slower to enjoy the beauty during my walk and I couldnt stop snapping photos to capture the memory inside the memory stick of my camera. Once in a while, I walked pass Buddhist stupas and prayerflags, which reminds me that Im now walking at the roof of the world, the Himalayas. After Ama Dablam left my sight, other high snowy peak mountains came into my sight, mostly standing over 6000m… making it feels like I’m walking in a huge and grand gallery of snowy peak high mountains.
I could look at the stars at night trying to understand the meaning of huge but its difficult since the stars are too far away and its impossible to know the distance of the stars. But here looking at the mountains in the Himalayas, I could easily understand the meaning of huge. The mountains are so huge and I think I finally understand and grasp the meaning of it when comparing it with the village that sits below them. The village down below which is man-made look so tiny and weak compared to the surrounding mountains which are extremely huge and grand… reminds me on how weak we human are compared to our creator, the source of everything. Looking at the big mountains in far distance and compare it with us human who look like ants trying to walk or climb over it, making me to realize that the only characteristic we human should have is to be humble and always down to earth since we look too weak, miniscule and unimportant compared to the mountains. Yet some of us are filled with so much pride and arrogance which doesnt suit our appearance at all. Its just not natural. Proud is for the mountains, since theyre huge and grand. Then my mind began to think on a bigger scale, the mountains too should be humble comparing themselves to a huge asteroid that can destroy these mountains if it ever flies through our atmostphere and hit them… My mind then flew at a much larger scale, that the stars too should be humble because they just look like a dot compared to milky ways. In the end, every creation… from a tiny butterfly to a grand asteroid should be humble because we are all weak. My mind kept flying much faster than the speed of light in some mysterious realm while my physical body was walking in the Great Himalaya and my eyes were admiring those 6000m peaks.
I came across Thokla pass which sits at 4830m, filled with monuments of mostly climbers who died trying to scale the big mountains here including the Everest. Theyre being remembered as heroes here and books were written about their stories but the most important thing to me, it acts as a reminder on how small and weak we are. We might be strong, well prepared and fully equipped but the mountain is like a pretty young witch. They can be beautiful and seducing but can be deadly, they can kill men if they dont like them. All it’s elements can be against us human. The air.. the cold mountain air can weaken us slowly, the altitude makes us sick, lost control, lost appetite and constant headache, the rocks and ice and snow could make us slip and fall and break our legs and even kill us if we take one wrong step especially while descending, a drop of a small stone could start a deadly avalanche that could bury us alive and finally, the weather could just wipe us off, separating our soul from our body in a matter of minutes.
I walked fast towards Lobuche just to find out that most of the accomodation are full so I only stop there for a quick lunch. Then I continue further towards Gorakshep which sits at 5140m altitude. This is a mistake I made, by ascending too fast without proper acclimatization. Walking above 3000m, always sleep a night at every 500m of ascend and a full day rest for every 1000m ascend. But I walked over 500m a day from Dingboche (4410m) and the last time I had a full day rest was at Namche Baazar which sits only at 3440m. So there you go, I started to catch a headache when I was in Gorakshep. I even had problem sleeping the night since the headache I had was unbearable. The next morning I felt weak, but I woke up early at 5 to catch early breakfast and climb the peak of Kalapatthar (5560m). This is the best place on the Nepali side to see the Everest… and I just get to know that even on the Everest Basecamp we cant see that famous highest mountain since its covered by the other huge mountains in front of them which stands at almost 8000m. The climb to Kalapatthar was quite easy, took me slightly over an hour to reach the peak but it feels hell since I had constant headache which doesnt go away. When I came down back to Gorakshep, I took about 2 hours of rest in the guesthouse I was staying, battling against the headache that was getting stronger. Knowing that the headache wont just go away so easily, I then continued towards the Everest Basecamp which sits slightly over 5300m altitude. It would be an easy walk if it wasnt the headache, but with this kind of headache, it would be very difficult even to walk in a supermarket or a shopping mall.
I was happy to summit the Kalapatthar and reached the Everest Basecamp but there were too many people there just like in shopping malls. The difference is only that theyre not carrying goodies in shopping bags but instead a backpack, a walking stick and theyre wearing hiking boots. So I didnt stay long and quickly continued with the descent as its difficult to really enjoy the view when too many people were shouting at their friends guiding them how to operate the camera to snap their pictures showing peace sign at the top of the mountain. It only made my headache worst, so I basically enjoyed the journey much more than the destination. In this case, I could find a peaceful moment much easier in the bathroom in my hotel back in Kathmandu compared to the peak of the mountain. So I snapped a few pictures before going down so that one day I could show the pictures to my son and then my grandson telling them how I was battling with heavy breathing and ignoring the constant headache I had during the climb…