The Everest Base Camp Series: Wonderings - Sarah
Worried isn’t really the right word… that seems far too strong. I’d rather consider it ‘I’m mentally preparing myself’ or ‘things to keep in mind’ when thinking about our impending trek to Everest Base Camp, now just less than four weeks away. Compulsively organized, I’ve categorized my concerns:
As someone who’s only been to altitude a handful of times domestically, I’m concerned about how I’m going to feel while trekking the Himalayas. The arduous days of hiking are a physical challenge in and of themselves, but the lack of oxygen brings a whole new dynamic that isn’t something I can really, truly prepare for. Sure, an altitude mask can offer some insight into the feeling I’ll have and maybe even build up my lung strength a bit, but in my mind, that’s not the same thing. To combat that concern, I’m working my tail off to get in the best shape possible before I leave. I’m sure I’ll be fine.
The tea houses we’re staying in will offer some evening reprieve to days of answering nature’s call in the vast wilderness; yet, they offer only traditional squat toilets. Thankfully, I’ve done at least a few thousand squats over the last few months at the gym, so I’ve at least got that going for me. I was thrilled to hear the news that we can expect restrooms to be furnished with toilet paper - saving our left hand, as Nepalese cultural standards would have otherwise called for. SCHWEW.
I still have a lot of stuff to buy for this trip – a water purifier, a sleeping back liner (I haven’t decided if I’m bringing my own bag or using one that’s available for rent), a rain shell, a few more baselayer pieces and trekking poles, just to name a few items. Luckily (shameless plug warning!), my thoughtful colleagues at Yellow Wood maximize the small footprint upon which we exist and has nearly everything I need.
Mostly, I’m just over the moon, let’s get this going, feel like it’s Christmas Eve – type excited. Here’s a short-list of what I’m most looking forward to:
- Exploring Kathmandu. As a first-timer to travel in any Asian region, I’m really looking forward to immersing myself – even for a short time – in the Nepalese culture.
- Crossing (and photographing) several suspension bridges along the way
- Tengboche Monestary. I have tremendous respect for the Buddhist culture and very much appreciate the resilience of this monestary, which has been rebuilt twice – once after an earthquake in 1934 and once after a fire in 1989.
- The mental and physical challenge of the journey
- Feeling small. If you’ve ever ventured into a vast region, you’ll likely know what I mean. There’s an intrinsic peace I feel from simply existing in a vast landscape. The profound grounded-ness and connectedness I experience is incomparable and it truly fills my soul.
- The euphoric feeling of reaching Base Camp... and capturing my most epic heel-click yet (Instagram: @heelclicks.sehnsucht)