Monday, October 08, 2007


Seventh day of the Everest Base Camp trekking. After one dya of acclimatization in Dingboche, today we are going up again. From Dingboche (4,400 meters) we will go to Lobuche (4,900 meters). And after yesterday dizziness because of the thin air, I am really scared that today will be a though day for me. So I decided to take it easy. An other golden rule in high altitude is "Stay at the bottom of the group. There is no rush to get up there". So, I did. And it work out. It was a very nice hike. No rush to get up there, and my body liked it. The most interesting place that we visited during our trek is a memorial area for some of the people who died up here in the Everest area. The area is spotted with these memorial structures done by piles of stones. Really impressive to see. There are a lot of them, this is just a small section ...

... and these are some of them close by. Of course you look at them, and you wonder how that could have gone wrong. And you know that their dream was just to hike these mountains. And the mountain took their life. And you don't know if they were just hikers or they were climbers. I guess a mix ...

I don't know any of these people, but one. Scott Fisher. He was one of the best climbers ever. And he died here on the Everest on the 10th of May 1996. He was the lead of a commercial expedition that tried to summit the Everest. Most of them actually summit it. Scott himself did summit it, but he never made it back. He died there. Other 7 people died with him in the same day. I know all this story because it was part of the story in the book "Into Thin Air". Again, if you want to have an idea of what is like climbing the Everest, try to read it. It is really well written. It was good to read it, because you really appreciate the value and the challenges of climbing such a mountain. And you really understand that the mountains are unforgiving. You can't make many mistakes up here. You life as a climber, but also as a hiker are very dependent from the environment. A black cloud can become a blizzard, and if you don't have the right equipment, or if you lost you team your life is really in danger. People really die in the mountains. You have to respect them. You can think that it is other people to die, but this is not always true ... at the end of my trip, when the top of the Everest was just a memory in my mind, I happen to read a newspaper and I found this short article that I would like to share with you. This girl was just 27. She was french. She came to Nepal, like me, for some trekking. And she never went back. She died here. Probably it was altitude sickness. Maybe she underestimated some sign that her body gave her. Who knows. For sure the mountain is unforgiving, so if you go out there, please ... remember that it is much more powerful than you and learn to respect it.

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