They will grab hold of every part of you, into the smallest cell and memory. They change your life and they don’t let go as you try to leave them behind. There is something very special about the Himalayan mountains. It’s an experience that lasts a lifetime. Before the trip I thought of it as ‘just a job’. Sure I love my guide job, Nepal and the mountains and my friends there, but I thought that Everest had finally let go of me. I was wrong. It might sound strange, but I could feel it’s presence and soon as we landed.
It’s not all about the mountains. I think it’s my 9’th time in Nepal, and I should be used to it by now. But the magic of the country and the people isn’t something you get used to. The compassion and honest thoughtfulness is overwhelming. The rest of the group felt the same. It’s great to travel with first-time-Nepal-visitors and see the country through their eyes and impressions. The main reason I want to come back to Nepal over and over again is because of my Sherpa friends as well as the environment. I climbed Everest with Chhiring Dorje Sherpa, and he is one of the most amazing people I have ever met. He is my role model and good friend. I want to climb mountains just to climb with him. I want to climb mountains to be in the base camp and hear the wind in the fabric of the tent, to be in my sleeping bag reading a book, and to go exploring with my camera while the body is adapting to altitude. I want to climb mountains because I like to be on the move, hiking every day for hours. I love the simplicity of walking in nature. My wish to climb mountains doesn’t have much to do with conquering or standing on a summit.
Last year I lost a climbing friend on mount Everest. I found myself looking for his memorial stone amongst the other lost souls. When he walked this trail to the mountain last year he didn’t know he wouldn’t walk back down. Eventually I found a big flat stone, carried it in my backpack for a few days and then wrote a memory for him. Chhiring performed a small ceremony and I think it helped.
I was lucky to have a very strong and positive group to work with. Up to Everest base camp they are probably the strongest group I have had on that altitude. They listened well, was breathing good and followed advice, but it doesn’t help against infections and bacteria in the stomach. Some had to give up. 7 of us ended up on top of the mountain Island peak 6160m. I was there trying it out 12 years ago and it was like climbing a totally different mountain. It had changed by a glacier and icefall into a totally different and fun experience. Walking a ladder across a crevasse is always refreshing!
Before the climb we hiked to Everest base camp and up Kala pathar. It’s said to be one of the most beautiful hikes in the world. I agree because of the view and sceneries, but I think there is too many people on the trail. I will not guide this trip again. I prefer the more remote treks and mountains away from the crowds, wifi and noise. Next year I’ll guide for my partner Bergans Turglede and look forward to doing diffferent kinds of hiking and climbing trips in Nepal.
When you hike you have time to think. You might even think better than usual. The mountains might remind you about important things. I realised I have been goal-less for some time. Since I tried to learn to fly paragliding and hurt my shoulder the focus has been on rehab and getting my house boat in order. Now I want to get back on development track, more performance than just training. I have been waiting for a insight. Suddenly I saw it clearly in the sky. Helicopter. I want to be a helicopter pilot. I have always wanted to. When I sat in one of the mountain heli’s I realised it’s time. I look forward to a new adventure; flying.
Below is a few photos from the last weeks in Nepal: Camera Olympus OMD Mark II