Most of the time, trekking isn’t what we expect. Either it’s easier than we thought it would be, or we get five blisters and end up in pain even on a flat path. Sometimes the weather turns on you and you sleep in a puddle every night and at others you are surprised at how the sun is at its perfect temperature, making even a rough uphill journey a joy.
It is clear that trekking always teaches you something. Maybe it’s that you hate it and would rather never go on a walk again, or maybe it’s that you were just introduced to your lifelong passion and you have many peaks in your future. You could have learned that stakes should be at a 45 degree angle and it’s best just to store them in a bag rather than spend many cold mornings looking for them. Or maybe you learned that you can do anything, even the things you had convinced yourself you couldn’t.
These are some of our reflections on the good days, the hard days and the many things we learned while trekking. We wished you were there with us, but are so thankful for this beautiful experience and that we can share it with you in this small way.
The best day was…
walking half alone and half with just Krishna Dai because I could enjoy the trail and wilderness and go at my own pace. I arrived at camp first and all the porters were proud of me since I had been struggling the previous days. My mindset was in such a good place in Thulosefru.
playing cards with local kids after they graciously helped us put up tents.
watching the sunrise over the Himalayas in Nagathali.
the day of the summit. As a leader it really makes me happy when I feel like we have made the right decisions about safety and health.
the Nagathali sunset and cozy reading time.
was the day Em, Beck and I stayed behind at Gosaikunda instead of going to Surya Peak. We hiked around the sacred lake and talked. It was so much fun and I felt so connected to them and the lake.
visiting the healing sacred lake of Gosaikunda and learning about the story of the lake’s creation from the God Shiva from a Nepali trekker named Shiva.
The hardest day was…
eating a BRAT diet.
when I got in my head and although I was physically fine, I was unmotivated to trek and didn’t see the point.
Surya peak. It was both physically and emotionally demanding. I had to overcome my fear of rocks, snow and high altitude.
the first day of hike going up the mountain stairs and realising I overpacked my bag.
when we hiked up to Singompa. I didn’t believe I could make it to the end and already had one blister on each heal. In the end, though, we came out at the place and I felt so accomplished.
Something I learned was…
how little I need to be happy in the present.
that I love trekking and rock scrambling and want to pursue similar expeditions in the future.
that I love the mountains and want to meditate in Nature for as long as possible.
about village and mountain life and how people live without easy access to a lot of stuff and live closer to the earth.
the impermanence of trekking.
that sometimes you have to do things you currently don’t see the point of doing.
that hiking and camping in the Himalayas is nothing like backpacking in the West.
that no matter how tough or cold nights are, mountains are where I feel the happiest.
how strong I am, but physically and emotionally.
how to enjoy the journey without focusing on the destination. I learned not to dwell on the past and the future and how to enjoy every moment like it was my last.
about different Himalayan aromatic plants and ethnobotany.
how big of a role my mindset played in making it to camp each day. The trek was easier and so much more enjoyable when I was in a positive headspace.
sometimes it is ok to turn around and not make it to the top. We all have personal limits and 5200 meters isn’t for everyone. I need to listen to my body more.