Nepal trip ~ Day 3: Team selection, Today I met and Reflection

Day 3 ~ Team selection, Today I met and Reflection

Today more people have joined the expedition and the energy is incredible. There are climbers and hikers of all levels. Many teams climb Makalu for sport, others climb these mountains as a yearly spiritual experience. Today I met a 70 year old woman who is the leader of the Hindu team, a group of seven women who have been hiking and climbing together for many years. She shared her story at dinner tonight, telling us that she comes yearly ever since her 30th birthday. Vedanti’s body is amazing she’s in better shape than me. She has four daughters none of which have ever climbed with her—she shared stories about what she has learned about herself. She told me that in life – it doesn’t necessarily get easier you just become better equipped to deal with all that life throws at you. She told me that climbing for her is like going to church. As she climbs she reflects on the past year and all that she has experienced. That with every breath and every step she releases everything and everyone that doesn’t serve her. She releases every bad experience or ill word spoken and by the time she reaches the top she has let go of everything. That at the top she finally feels lighter. All the weight is no longer carried when she arrives. When she reaches Makalu’s peak she arrives to a place of complete peace, gratitude, understanding, compassion, forgiveness and love and at that very moment this is the moment she chooses to carry with her into the next year. When she arrives to the top of Makalu this is when she says HAPPY NEW YEAR!

She is such an inspiration this beautiful Hindi woman with long white braided hair.

WOW! The people I have met so far are absolutely amazing. There are so many stories like hers and I am just taking all of it in and tomorrow is THE DAY… tomorrow we arrive to the bottom of the mountain and begin.


We spent the day checking our equipment and sharing stories about why we decided to leave all of the comforts of home and all those we love. Some people shared their desperate need to get away, to get away from their lives. I connected to this woman Laura who shared that she felt like her life had no purpose, that she felt empty and without meaning and she wanted and needed to prove to herself that she could do this. There was a sense of urgency for her to complete this climb. This journey was about shutting down all of those external voices shitting all over her dreams. I felt all that she shared at my core… I felt like she was reflecting back to me everything I was feeling and my reasons for being on this journey. There is a part of me that needed to run away because I am sick of waiting. I am so tired of patiently waiting, and praying, and hoping and holding onto my faith and deep desires… it’s no longer enough. I need something else. Something larger to believe in. something to remind me of why I am here and what I am called to do. I needed to take action and it needed to be something drastic. And a month away is just what I need. And what I need most is to do this ALONE! But as I look up at these Himalayan’s I take a deep breath and pray that I can do this… SHIT! What have I signed on for?

Creator, Mother, Father God, mis Orishas, mis guias espirituales, mi angeles de la guardia, mis muertos… I need you with me now more than ever, stay with me, clear the way for me, breathe into me everything that I need. Ready my heart and keep me strong. Fill me with love. Walk ahead of me clearing the path of all obstructions. Thank you for this day. Protect me and guide me always. Namaste ~ Aché ~ and so it is.

Oh yeah! I forgot to share… tonight when all the new climbers were asked to pick teams from a lottery I lucked out and landed the exact team I wanted to walk with. I am on Vedanti’s team, the Warriors of Light!


5 thoughts on “Nepal trip ~ Day 3: Team selection, Today I met and Reflection

  1. Day 3: Travel to the base camp/cabin – check equipment.

    After an hour and a half of scenery and getting to know the other climbers we finally arrived. There were four other vans parked in front of the cabins where we also now stood. The doors opened and everyone began fetching their belongings and making their way off the bus. Mr. Lee Chen got off first. During the ride he told us this would be his third time climbing Makalu. He was very cocky and boldly told us to ask him any questions during the trek if we felt at odds with the guides’ instruction. Then there were the two women who sat next to one another and only spoke when someone spoke to them. Mostly they responded with one word responses.They initiated nothing. They did a lot of smiling and nodding, so much so that I began to wonder if they spoke any language at all. They didnt even speak to each other though they were related, had to be. There was no doubt. They had the same oval face, pointed nose and whiskered chin. I watched them and kept thinking of offering my services to shave off the hairs. That was nice right? I mean people don’t just go around offering to shave anyone’s unsightly beard for free right? So that’s nice right? To help them out in that way, right?? It was the nice thing to do, right?

    The woman next to me was the complete opposite. Her name was Claudia and she was from Guatemala and had recently become homeless. Her hair was a shiny jet black, held neatly together with a bling brooch and every three minutes she’d comb the loose strands with her manicured fingernails and touch up her one long braid. She didn’t go into the details about being homeless. It was as if it didn’t bother her one bit. She said it as casually as one announces dinner on a Sunday afternoon. All she told us was she was climbing in hopes of finding her grandfather’s hidden treasure at which time Brandon Prince, Mr. Sierra Club magazine himself, no older than 23 maybe, looked up and said to her, “you’re never going to find it mom. This is so stupid.” I didn’t know they were together until that small outburst. I mean I had sat in between them the whole ride and they never poo nice spoke to each other.

    In the main lobby of the cabin we all checked in and were introduced to our two main guides, Anil and Peter. Anil made an announcement of the gear we should take, packing light and the rules and regulations. Would you believe under the unfavorable and unsafe things to do he actually mentioned sex? Can you say party pooper? I mean, I didn’t have it in mind that I would but now that it’s forbidden…..I just couldn’t believe it! Come to think of it, he too could use my shaving services. THAT to me was unfavorable. Unexceptable.

    After settling in I left my room with my backpackon, my boots retied and double knotted, a shaving razor and condoms….so there Anil! I rebel. I left some of my clothes in the room to make room for two water bottles, the journal and climbing gear. On our way out, Peter was in charge of handing us lightweight sleeping bags and a mini flashlight. He smiled when he handed one to me, welcomed me to Makalu and asked if I had any questions before we headed out.

    And I did, I remembered Asmita Thapa and asked for her. He stood quiet for a moment and then looked at me intensely, coming closer and whispered, “she is here.”

    I looked around and said, “where?”

    Again in an even lower voice he said, “she is here. You will see.”


    I followed after the rest of the climbers but my mind was preoccupied with Peter’s response. I wanted this to be a peaceful adventure. No tricks, no nonsense, no guessing games. This is suppose to be a stressful endeavor but Peter’s words and way of being concerned me. I wanted to scribble my frustrations but already the road was too bumpy to write and walk at the same time. I now regretted no taking my hand held tape recorder.

    I turned around and looked at Peter who quickly shoo-ed me away with a hand gesture to just keep moving. He didnt do it in a rude way but in a ‘don’t worry sort of way.’ But still I pleaded with my eyes but he looked away and helped Claudia adjust her sleeping mat instead.

    The vast mountain came into full view as we walked around a waist high boulder. The sight was frightening but it was also magical. It didnt feel nothing like being on the same planet. We were definetely not in Kansas anymore. I was not in Kansas anymore. I had to stop with the games and silliness. Forget the whiskers and sex. This was big. It just got real. I closed my eyes and said a quick prayer, showered my lungs with the clean air and follow Anil and the crew.

    Alicia, I love your day 3 and I love your warrior.


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