The recommendation for high elevation climbing is to hike high and sleep low. Pushing our bodies a little more on this day, we hiked to a high ridge above the town. Topping out at 5000 meters, the ridge offered amazing aerial views plus sweeping panoramas of the Himalayan range.
To reach this high, we tracked a hard, long and steep path up the ridge. Focusing on each switchback, I chose a focal point and slowly made my way from hill top to hill top.
When the trail became increasingly steep and breathing difficult. I’d pause, rest and then resume hiking in what was dubbed the “prayer pose.” With my hands clasped in front of me, my thumbs through the chest strap of my backpack, I clambered my clunky boots up the mountain.
Finally reaching the last stretch, we bouldered over car sized rocks that formed the knife edge peak.
At the top, small rocks stacked like Nepalese Jenga juxtaposed the mammoth peaks in the background – Amadablam, Island Peak and Nuepse – and made me feel even tinier.
This summiting may have prepared our lungs and bodies for the days ahead, but it also left our mouths hung open wide in awe and drooling for more.