Nepal Trip ~ Day 4: Day of Ascension and Reflection


Day 4: Day of Ascension and Reflection

Good morning day. Today we begin—this is the day of ascension. We arrived to the bottom of Makalu early and here we were held at base camp until all of the other teams arrived so that we could begin our trek. The daily schedule of climbing is 4 hours in the morning, a lunch and rest break, then another 2 to 3 hours in the afternoon. The leaders are incredibly flexible they understand that each climber must honor their pace. And for me personally I am not trying to injure myself. These first few days are about acclimating. Our team color is orange. I have decided that for the first hour of every morning I will remain quiet, observe everything, and use this time for my daily meditation and prayers. Today I am carrying Courtney with me, in my ears I hear the words of a Green Day song, “On my own… here we go…” as I begin this trek I wish she could see this view. I wish she was here. It is absolutely incredible.

Vedanti gave each of us a role. Talika was in charge of communicating with base camp for periodic weather updates and check-ins. Dhriti, was second in command and would be the leader at the back of the line. Bhanupriya was this bright light who during the walk would just tell stories or lead us in song as we began. Chandani was put in charge of the end of each day, ensuring that all the members of the team were comfortable at night. She also led us in our evening prayer and meditation. Hasita kept everyone smiling; her smile can lift anyone’s spirit. Yamuna was selected as my partner, a Sherpa, Vedanti told me to stay close to Yamuna in case I lagged, that she had much to teach me since she is an accomplished mountaineer and lives in Nepal permanently. Before we began the ascent Vedanti led us in prayer, we each offered our climb to someone in particular. She dedicated the team’s climb to Joëlle Brupbacher, a swiss woman who died of acute mountain sickness in her tent at Camp 3; several years ago, she was just 33-years-old. Then we chanted, “We are the WARRIORS of LIGHT!!!” As we began the days climb.


We began moving up the mountain today at 7:00AM. I felt so amped. So excited. So ready and I was all smiles… until that first hour anyway. I was quickly out of breath and nauseous. I was offered oxygen early which I accepted. The women were very kind to me. they understood that this was my first time climbing Makalu and so they were extremely patient and loving with me. I can do this! My prayer for today is that I pay attention. That I not injure myself. That I watch my every step and listen closely to my teammates… keep my energy up and remember to breathe.

I have been thinking a lot about my life plan… my vision… my dreams… my goals. What is “The plan”? What is this greater plan? I understand that there is an order to things… but sometimes things feel so out of order…

It’s so strange how easily I rest here. I feel so at peace… I feel so grounded. It may have something to do with the women on my team. They each possess incredible healing gifts. I understand why they climb together. There is no ego… no competitiveness. The women each genuinely love and respect one another. This is the greatest gift I have been given. No one is withholding anything that could serve another. There is no one leader. They all lead. This is my lesson and reminder for today. I am reminded that I have been given so many gifts and blessings and opportunities that should be shared. And so now I will learn how to do this fully without feeling like I am completely left on empty.

Today I dedicated my climb to women everywhere who are afraid of taking that necessary step forward! This is for YOU!

Creator I give thanks for this day. Now I rest.

Namaste~ And so it is~ Aché

Note to readers following our journey: Now that we have begun our climb I will not be posting to facebook as often. Please follow my blog at the top of the page. Thank you for your love and well wishes.

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Note to newcomers accepting the writing challenge! You can begin the challenge at any point. There is no right or wrong way to participate. You are not being graded or judged. This is a gift we are giving ourselves. So be gentle during this process. We are about to climb a mountain, YO! Remember that. Remember we must be present. Release all self-defeating thoughts. You can do this. I do want to remind the new climbers that no matter what day you decide to join the challenge please begin at the beginning. It’s important to prepare! Please remember to post your daily responses in my comments on my blog. Sending you all love. See you at the top of the mountain.

With all my love,

7 thoughts on “Nepal Trip ~ Day 4: Day of Ascension and Reflection

  1. All eyes were on us. Anil took us to meet the other group of climbers and when we were in full view, you could tell something was off. We were definetely the tourists, the questionable pack. Claudia and Brandon’s climbing get up made them appear more like astronauts rather than people who were about to climb the 5th biggest mountain in the world. Mr. Chen looked like he was about to film some mobster scene. He hadn’t bothered taking off any of his jewelry. The mobster was going to climb as is. Diamond pinky rings and rock in ear to go with his gear. Tweedledee and tweedledum had matching everythings. Matching coats, hats, knapsacks, neon Pumas and thick purple climbing rope. It was hard to take them seriously. The only thing that was different was the names on their bags. Zion and Kamala…..So they have names. And then there was me, more pretty than durable. My boots were meant for climbing but more as a conversation piece. They were super colorful and had golden spikes underneath. If you let me tell it, these were aphrodites shoes. Believe it. My hat had two puffy balls that droops to the sides and whenever I would put it on, my best friend Marlene would break out in song, “I rock rough and stuff with my afro puffs…”

    Old school hip-hop.

    I’m missing her now….now that we seem to be the center of attention. Peter noticed the look on my face and came over to my side, leaned in and said, “if we were all the same, this would be a very boring world.”

    He smiled and behind him so did the sun. The sun poured its warmth on the cold stares. It painted the ground a glistening mustered yellow, the same kind Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz walked on. I believe the sun only shares that yellow when something magical is about to happen and I think Anil and Peter were on the same page because once they saw it they stepped on it and announced it was time. We walked past the other climbers who still stared but remembered the bigger picture. They waved at us and wished us well. The groups chanted in their native tongues as the outcasts marched up into the mountain. Later we learned from Anil that the lyrics chanted were songs and prayers sent into the sky so that the Gods or whoever was out there would guide us away from danger and into the arms of the great Asmita Thapa.

    An hour later we had seen more earth than what was thought possible. The animals we encountered seemed to yield and bow there heads as we walked through their nooks of the mountain. The air controlled itself in response to the inexperience that surely oozed out of our pores into the nostrils of la gran Madre Naturaleza. It was crazy how everything surrounding us, protected us or so it seemed. Claudia nearly fell twice but every time she did something appeared that helped her fall or prevented her from falling. A branch miraculously appearing, grooves on the ground for traction instantly developing and birds swooping down in flight, warning her of loose earth beneath her feet.

    Even Anil noticed it. He said his mother used to tell him about Makalu’s protection, that he had seen it during many climbs.

    I noticed my feet were starting to hurt. That has always been my case. My feet just always hurt. They are always sore. After listening to Anil, I stopped for a few moments and closed my eyes and prayed, prayed to Makalu, “Let me make this. Let me finish this. Let my feet finish this. Allow me. Amen.”

    Is that what you say at the end of a prayer to a mountain?
    Amen again anyway.


    Im so upset. I cant hide from age. Everything about me is fragile, aging. My heart, my thoughts, my feet. I thought the challenge of this climb would keep me focused but it is only making me dig deeper into the pool of avoidance. Ive avoided for far too long but it rises with me every morning and lays down with me every night and now, it walks with me. Heavy. Lead in my shoes. Mercury in my feet. It’s time to stop, touch base with me. I’ll ask Peter about our breaks in a little bit. This must be Cassie. This must be papi. This must be Makalu. It’s time to stop, for now.


    1. I find your team quite interesting. They are very different…. I wonder who they are, why they are here. What they came to learn… I loved your reflection and my favorite quote, if we were all the same this would be a boring world.


  2. Just wonderful. Thanks for sharing this. I am especially blessed about the spirituality, and with the love and respect of the team. So amazingly beautiful.


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