Nepal Through the Lens: A Year of Memorable Moments Part 2

“If adventure has a final and all-embracing motive, it is surely this: we go out because it is our nature to go out, to climb mountains, and to paddle rivers, to fly to the planets and plunge into the depths of the oceans…”

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365 days of homestays, high altitude cycling, and beautiful landscapes throughout Nepal.

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This Is Why We Do It: Makalu

“Going to the mountains is going home.”

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Climbing and trekking in the mountains is more often than not miserable. It’s either too cold or too hot, it seems to rain all the time, and there is nothing to eat but rice so you are constantly hungry, especially for foods from back home. Even the simple act of peeing can suddenly be difficult.

So why do we, the crazy mountain lovers of the world, do it? We do it for the peace and quiet of living outdoors. We do it to leave behind the noise and stress of everyday city life, and to reconnect with nature. And we do it for moments such as these, beautiful snowy sunrises halfway up the mountain.

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Living in the Snow: Makalu

“Very few care for this laborious kind of pursuit, which is in no means lucrative. It is not everyone who can take pleasure in climbing hills which reach the clouds.”

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Starting out from what is considered the last settlement, the last town in which people live besides the sporadic tea houses set up for climbers, Kevin and I felt great. Though our muscles were a bit sore, Kevin had fixed his back problem by creating a bamboo frame for his backpack, while the fuzzy slippers I had been hiking in had given my painful blisters time to harden into calluses. We steadily gained over a thousand meters of elevation without hardly realizing it, that is, before we came to the snow. Though we only had five hundred or so meters left to gain for the day, we were slowed down immensely by the fact that we were walking up an extremely steep hillside completely covered in snow. I found myself more often than not using my hands and knees to push myself up through the most difficult sections, and joked that for every two steps up, I was sliding at least one down. Eventually though we spotted a decently sized cabin type structure through the clouds and snow and knew we had arrives.

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People On the Trail: Makalu

“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist. That is all.”

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We met many interesting people on the trail, climbers with more porters and guides than we could count, locals ferrying loads of clothes and soups into remote villages, and packs of donkeys being whipped along by boys no older than ten.

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From Boots to Fuzzy Slippers: Makalu

“Forget all the reasons why it won’t work and believe the one reason why it will.”

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We started out on our trek completely unsure of what we would encounter. Though I had tried to do some research online, the only information out there is from expensive tour companies who want to provide you with porters, cooks, and guides while charging thousands (for a trek we will do for less than a hundred). We had heard that the first few days passed through small villages, Sherpa villages, where we could occasionally buy food, but that for most of the trek, we were passing through high altitude uninhabited ground. There was suppose to be a small tea house every six or seven hours walking where we could get a meal we were pretty sure that the last few days had absolutely nothing. Plus, food up there was bound to be outrageously expensive as it had to be carried in. To prepare for this we packed a fair amount of food, enough to last us for lunch everyday and at least five breakfasts and dinners (as well as twenty packets of biscuits and a few other snacks). Our packs ended up being stuffed to the brim, and unfortunately, very heavy.

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