This Is Why We Do It: Makalu

“Going to the mountains is going home.”


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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From Boots to Fuzzy Slippers: Makalu

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


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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“Belief? What do I believe in? I believe in sun. In rock. In the dogma of the sun and the doctrine of the rock. I believe in blood, fire, woman, rivers, eagles, storm, drums, flutes, banjos, and broom-tailed horses…”

After arriving in Khadbari, the small town we are starting our trek from, I was finally able to breath a sigh of relief. The air was clean, the water unpolluted, and best of all, people actually smile here! Something I have realized again and again throughout this adventure is that people who live in the mountains (or even foothills) seem to lead much happier lives. Maybe it is because they are closer to nature, or maybe it is because their lives are harder and therefor, they are more grateful, but whatever it is, it is always a relief to get out of the flats and back into a world of laughing and friendly people.

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