Through The High Himalayan Tundra
Leaving Gorakshep feels like going home since I knew that I was slowly descending the elevation. After two nights of having difficulty to sleep, I finally descended from over 5000m towards 4830m altitude in Dzongla. It was an easy walk, I walked fast and reached Dzongla in less than 2 hours from Gorakshep. The headache I had seems leaving slowly when I reached Dzongla, descending 300m in altitude from Gorakshep. It was an easy walk, not much climbing. I was slowed down only by the beautiful view, the landscape is filled with towering mountains which always catch my eyes during the walk. I stopped for a few minutes to watch the beauty of a green colour water of Chola lake which sits at 4590m. I climbed a big rock and sit comfortably on it, taking a good rest, keep admiring the beauty of Chola lake with my eyes and let my mind flying away freely, welcoming and entertaining any idea that came to my mind.
I took a good rest upon reaching Dzongla, but not long after I sat still doing nothing there, the headache came again. It seems that the headache came when Im not moving my body. So I spent the day drinking a lot of hot water to keep my body warm and to prevent myself from getting sick. Later that night, I heard rumours from the Sherpas, saying that there were two Spanish climbers were stuck at the peak of My Chola, the big mountain that stands in front of us. They climbed two days earlier and successfully reached the summit but they said one of them might be injured and probably already dead while the other climber desperately tried to come down the mountain in the middle of the dark. Everybody saw one headlight from the climber who attempted to descend the mountain.
The next morning, everybody thought that both of them were dead since the weather was really bad. Massive thick clouds blinded everything and visibility was probably less than 50 meters. Rescue helicopter tried to fly in but had to turn back since the clouds were too thick. But it was all written, like every other creation… the dark clouds had to obey the plan of the master of the universe, the cloud disappeared just two hours later and the helicopter finally flew to find the two climbers. Everybody were clapping happily in Dzongla when the helicopter managed to rescue both climbers, they were both alive and I witnessed how good the Nepali rescuers are in rescuing both climbers in the mountainside. The Nepali rescuers were really brave gambling their lives rescuing the climbers while the helicopter pilot was really skillful to fly the helicopter in such difficult terrain and environment.
I felt relieved when I saw the helicopter was flying away heading south towards Lukla carrying the two injured climbers. But again it reminded me on how vulnerable we all are. Climbing to the peak of a mountain might be easy for someone fit and well prepared. Yet after celebrating the victory at the top of the mountain, the happiness is mixed with a feeling of fear… the fear of descending the mountain. Most accident cases happen during descending… not the ascend. One single wrong step could be fatal… and unlike the virtual world, there is no undo button in this “real world”. We think we are controlling everything in life… being independent from the Source… we think we are controlling our destiny.
But when we meditate and think deep about the subject, we control nothing. Not a single stone have the power to move except through the the will of the One. Most of the time, we dont even control our breathing, our blinking eye or even while swallowing our saliva. We dont even control the bloodflow inside our body… and we dont even control each step while we are walking or running. While hiking here on the Everest trail, I was always being careful with my step yet sometimes, I stepped wrongly and fell down, almost sprain my legs. Then I walked slower, putting more concentration on each of my step yet sometimes, I fell again… Things could go really bad for me if anything bad happen for me on the trail. I cant afford to pay for a helicopter rescue if accident happen to me in the middle of nowhere. If anything happen, its either I have to stay strong and keep walking towards the nearest village or I have to be carried by a donkey… which are the only option I could afford.
I stayed in Dzongla doing nothing but taking a good rest from hiking and the headache I had since the weather was bad the whole morning. It was cold especially at night where the temperature reached about -10c for a few hours. Thank god I had my winter clothing that I used in the Arctic which kept me super warm all the time. I woke early the next morning, had a heavy breakfast and started walking as early as 6 when the first light hit the Himalayan sky. It was quite a tough journey where I had to climbed all the way to 5420m crossing the Chola Pass but the walk was beautiful.
The weather was good, the clouds were hiding, giving ways for my eyes to witness the beauty of the high Himalayan tundra from the pass. I also walked through an unexpected but short snowfield at the top near the pass. I had no crampons which makes it quite difficult to pass since it was slippery and steep at some parts. Sometimes I had to kick hard with the edge of my shoes to bury the front part of my shoes inside the snow which help me to grip harder while walking through the steep and slippery area. When reaching the top of the pass, there were so many hikers taking a rest at the top coming from the opposite direction which is from Thangnak. Many were shouting celebrating their victory reaching the top so again I didnt spend much time at the top plus it was very windy. So I quickly descended the steep mountain and continued the walk for another two hours to reach Thangnak.