Today was a brutal and challenging hike up to Namche Bazar from Padking. 7 hrs of 45 degree incline on uneven steps, to an altitude of 3,440m or 11,286ft.
Days like these remind me that challenging myself in new and exciting ways can be difficult but the payoff is beyond phenomenal. See pictures above....
The mystery of how a klutz like me is capable of avoiding accidents down 1000 meter crevasses must be good karma and all those balance exercises I'm always forcing you guys to endure. I know, I know--stop rolling your eyes. They really do work. If they weren't so mentally and physically challenging, I bet you'd be doing them all day without any arm twisting. So close your eyes and stand on one foot for 10 seconds. I dare you : )
Anyway, I digress. I'm always training, aren't I?
We hiked up this morning at 8am to the sun shining brightly over lamse bota, passing Buddhist monasteries. You could hear the monks chanting and the prayer wheels being turned inside by the ring of the bell each time the soul has been purified.
We passed by massive landscapes of the mountains with yak grazing next to our path. Dave, I'm including this just for you because you requested a pic of me nuzzling a yak. This is about as good as it gets because their horns are, like, 2 ft long. I'm pretty sure this big guy wasn't down for a nuzzle.
Everywhere you turn there is a beauty and it's easy to miss a step. Just when you think you're about to twist your ankle, your muscles kick in and your heart rate is elevated from the adrenaline of being somewhere so fantastic and you catch yourself.
Don't look down because if you fall it will probably be into one of the many Nepali people carrying 60lbs of rice on their heads. I saw kids as young as 12 carrying these heavy loads to their homes outside of Namche, so it's easy to appreciate the fact that I have not one but 4 grocery stores within walking distance of my apartment.
You look up and around again, because not much can phase you on a beautiful morning like today. Check out the pic below from Everest View Hotel. Lunch with my group (we're just 6 people, which is a great size.) I want to thank our guide Suman and Prem at Ace the Himalayas trekking group that put this whole itinerary together. We haven't even reached the top and already we are impressed by the food, accommodation and informative trekking guide and Sherpa porters. They all have been great. I also want to thank Shawn Thiele who is an outdoors rep and hooked me up with gear and especially this sweet day pack from #Kelty specifically designed ergonomically for a women's body. This pack absolutely fits like a dream and it's well balanced and adjustable for my body. If you're doing anything outside in the near future, I highly recommend #Kelty for the pack. In terms of what I'm wearing, I'm staying warm with #IceBreaker base layers and very warm fleece from the highly designed and fashioned #HardMountainWear. They just make my body look less bulky and not like other outdoors stuff. Also, the heat reflective gear I got from #Columbia has been a life saver.
I hope everyone is following their plan of exercise and you're challenging yourself in new and exciting ways (without me!). Don't forget to use this as an opportunity to test your ability to be self aware of your body; how you feel, how you're moving, how efficient your body is working. Do what I do when I see you first thing; ask yourself "how am I feeling today?" And don't let that answer deter you from doing a little something. Give your body a chance. If you're feeling great, push yourself. If you're feeling like I am today--hips, butt and back sore-- maybe today is your "acclimatization" day. I'm certainly practicing that on my day hike down from 3800m. My body was hurting but I took it in stride. Tomorrow will be different most likely and it's hard to feel bad when you're off the grid and there's so much beauty surrounding you on top of the world.
I hope you are all having a beautiful morning and challenging yourself in new ways too...
From Namche Bazar, Nepal (3440m)
Sent from my iPhone