If what thrills you is sitting with a hundred strangers in a pile of garbage strewn about with empty, discarded oxygen tanks, amidst the remains of shredded tents, with flapping streamers of frayed prayer flags reminding you of how many who sat where you’re sitting failed to return, then Everest Base Camp is the place for you. But it’s not the place for me.
I’m no climber; I’m a hiker. And I have a fair collection of mountaineering literature by the likes of Maurice Herzog, David Roberts, Chris Bonnington, Joe Tasker, Peter Boardman and others. I’m in the thrall of the world’s highest or most difficult peaks, as much for their specific beauty as for the tales of triumph and tragedy that hover around them, hooked to each mountain top like a cloud plume blown ragged by a raging high-altitude wind. I would love someday to see Everest and Annapurna up close. Problem is, so does everyone else.
For me, the allure of mountains has always been about solitude and pristine beauty. That’s why when it came time to do a trek in Nepal, I chose to go to Kanchenjunga, “The Five Treasures of Snows”.
My dispatches from the road are full of interesting details. To sign up for my Dispatches Newsletter click HERE. If you have questions about where we went and where we stayed, post below and I will reply.