It’s all about people. Knowing more than half the people in the group, I knew it would be a good one. I know that people affect each other. If they are all mostly optimistic with a flexible mindset, it will be a great group dynamic. If they have a great inspiring leader it gets even better. That leader is my great friend Chhiring Dorje Sherpa. He was the guide. I was the more technical feel-good assistant guide, ever grateful just to be in his presence. We also had a good cause as a charity expedition – we brought some economy and hope to this small and poor valley. We only saw a few other western tourists, but only on the way out of the valley. Our ascent of Yalung Ri was the first of this year.
An adventure will happen if you put people in magical surroundings, on a good mission with a great leader. This valley is Rolwaling. A remote valley you can only reach by a long jeep ride and a few days hike. After the earthquake this beautiful valley was cut of from the world for several months. It survived thanks to – people, resilience and willingness to help.
If you are tired of doing the same kind of vacations and trips, this kind is for you. This is different. This is remote, real, off the beaten track. This is nature partly still untouched by human beings. This is nature protected by mountain gods and guru Rinpoche. This is a valley where the history of tibetan buddhism left physical traces. This is where you make a change in peoples lives, and where your life is changed in the process. This is a kind of magic. This is where you can find peacefulness, friends, deep slow breathing, simplicity, freedom and learn to appreciate the small things in life. This is gratefulness.
This is not really about climbing a mountain, it’s about what happens on the way. On the inside. The answer to why we climb is somewhere between the base and the top of the mountain.
I have over a thousand photos from this trip. Much thanks to Olympus amazing new lens I tried; a splashproof 12-40mm f.2,8 used with my Olympus OM-D mark II. As usual my tough TG-4 as a backup.