Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Picture Is Worth...

Some of you have been asking me to post some of my Everest trek photos. Below is several thousand words worth...
Here I am standing in front of a "gompa" a Buddhist monastery.
This is a "lenticular" cloud surrounding Mount Nuptse. Lenticular means "shaped like a lens." These clouds are found at high altitudes.
This is a view of Mount Everest from Kala Patthar (18,500 feet), our highest point on the trek. Everest, seen faintly between the two clearer peaks, is often shrouded in clouds.
This photo was taken atop Gokyo Ri (17,500 feet), another high point on the trek. Mounts Everest, Lhotse and Nuptse are in the background.
This is one of the dozen or so steel suspension bridges we crossed. While they look dangerous from a distance, I thought the were very safe.
This is a Hindu temple in Durbar Square in Kathmandu. The "pagoda" style architecture originated in Nepal.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Himalaya High

My three week trek in the Himalayas came to an end two weeks ago and the magnificence and majesty of these mountains is still sinking in. Sometimes, my time there seems like a distant dream and I wonder, "Was I really there?"

I have so many amazing memories of this trek, it's somewhat overwhelming. Yesterday, I finally got around to downloading the photos from my camera and took some time reliving the people, places and scenery. The photo above is atop Goyko Ri, a 17,500 peak where you can see Mount Everest, Lotse and Nupse in the background.

Over a week of this trek was spent above 15,000 feet in altitude. I've only been above that altitude once (in Peru) and spending so much time that high was challenging in terms of eating, sleeping and breathing.

Even with these challenges, spending this time in the "rooftop of the world" was exhilarating. I don't believe I could ever get tired of seeing these giants of mountains towering over us. When we were at our highest point, Kala Patthar (18,200 feet), Everest still loomed above, more than 10,000 feet higher!

This was definitely a high point in my life and, literally, an authentic "mountaintop experience." These kind of experiences can feed one's soul for months and even years. Time will tell how long this high will last-- right now, I'm just enjoying it.