Published: April 1st 2007April 1st 2007
"A person needs at intervals to separate from family and companions and go to new places. One must go without familiars in order to be open to influences, to change" Katharine Hathaway
Over my travels, I've been fortunate to be able to travel with alot of great people. I've travelled with one of my oldest and best friends, my cousin, some of my closesf friends from the Hammer and even an ex-girlfriend. As my trip approaches its final month, I felt that it was time to go off and do something completely on my own, kept company by only nature. I feel that there is no better place to do such a thing than at the worlds largest mountain. I feel that climbing up Mount Everest will allow me some great time for some reflection on my trip, get away from the smouldering heat in S.East Asia and most importantly, look ahead to the future....this was written March 28th.
Made it safely to Nepal (after spending one night in Bangladesh...Bangladesh is, well to be honest "a bit FU#*ED")...this place is amazing....so cool to actually be here after reading so much about Kathmandu (capital of Nepal and gateway to Everest)...anyways...cant see Everest from here, or anything really cause the city is dusty...but I can just picture how huge and beautiful the mountains are on a clear day here. I had originally intended on trekking up to Everest base camp, which is a journey in itself. 2 weeks of difficult terrain, and close to 100 km of walking. Well, once I got here I met a few people who are planning on making an attempt on the summit in a few weeks. The more I spoke with them, the more they thought I'd be able to do it. I know it sounds crazy to summit, but I figure..."when in Rome!". The biggest problem that I had was deciding if it was financially feasible. Most of my remaining assets were all tied up in stocks and bonds...fortunately these were quite liquid and I've sold all of their underperforming asses and paid the thousands of US dollars required to attempt to summit. While it is very expensive and obviously very dangerous, only 6 people have died in the past year and the weather patterns right now look to be perfect. The sherpas have made great paths to the top and all you have to do is buckle in and follow their beaten path.....There are a few technical elements, but I will be trained on how to do that on other smaller peaks at lower elevations on the mountain, and ofcourse I'll be buckled in. While I dont have all that much climbing experience, I did get a B plus in grade 11 gym class in the rock climbing segment. There will also be some very large and dangerous crevaces I'll have to cross. They tell me the best advice with this is to just close your left eye to maximize balance and ensure short sighted vision and slowly tip toe across. Much of my $$$ has gone to buying crazy gear and equipment to ensure safety. I dont even know what I've bought, nor how to use it, but again...they say that they'll train me as I go. Oxygen levels past base camp 3 will be about 35% and oxygen tanks will be provided at base camp 2 if needed....it will take about 5 weeks total in order to become fully acclimatized, so I have pushed back my returning flight to Toronto until further notice and have cancelled all will have cancelled all pending job interviews. There is
communication to the outside world on Everest and you can send out faxes from Base Camp 1 and 2, so I will be sure to keep everyone posted on my safety, but seriously, dont worry, its no big deal....but if you dont hear, just remember... no news, is good news
. This trip is super expensive but they assure me that they will not allow me to summit if there is any danger of not returning safely, because the Nepalese Gov't cant afford the bad press anymore. If I don't make it to the top they ensure me that they can digitally cut in and enhance my face to convince others that I made it. They even said they can touch up my nose and throw a Canadian Flag in the background for a few extra rupees.
Today I had to have my physical and also had my anaroebic/aerobic breathing tested...my VO2 is very high, however my vital lung capacity is a bit below average. My red and white blood cells are both on par as well. I really just hope asthma doesnt become a problem. Travellers Diahrea, could also pose a big problem, especially getting all of those layers off in time...not to mention the lack of water to wash myself up with....crrripes...now that I think of it, maybe I should rethink this whole thing.....oh quit being a baby Bonker....
Like I said...all safety matters will be taken care of, so Mom, Dad, seriously.....dont worry....and the Canadian Embassy is informed of my trip as a backup. If anything goes wrong, I'm sure they'll send in someone.
Anyways...I better go get some rest. I leave tomorrow.
P.S- APRIL FOOLS!!! BAM!!!
I obviously won't
be attempting to summit Everest which is 8,848 Metres above sea level. I am however leaving to climb up to the first base camp which is about 5500 Metres above sea level and where the oxygen level is at 50%. The trek is very safe and the biggest concern is Altitude sickness. The best (and only) cure for altitude sickness, is descending back down in order to acclimatize. I met a guy at the airport named "OTO" and he and I have hired a guide named "Dharma" to take us to base camp. Dharma (a guy) has done the trek 20 times himself and seems really nice. THe trek itself takes 2 weeks assuming everything runs smoothly and we fly into Lukla airport, which is 1800 metres up on Everest. The walk is still about 100km, but we will be going at a comfortable speed in order to acclimatize. I'm not worried at all and havent been so excited for anything in a long time....maybe ever!? It will also be nice to not have to see my fantasy hockey team continue to crumble. They held 1st place in "the pool" for a good 4 months and have now fallen to 2nd place.....choke artists....damn you Peter Forsberg...damn you!