See those boots? Those boots took me all the way to the summit of Gokyo Ri at 5360 metres above sea level. That’s seriously high. Not mountaineer serious but it will do me nicely. That’s you’d better take the altitude sickness medication high. That’s one foot in front of the other will get you there high.
See that tiny tiny village below? That’s Gokyo village. When I took this photo our kids were down there free ranging ..with 200 Nepali Rupees each to spend at the bakery. Four glorious hours with no parental supervision … just our brilliant porter Lukpa keeping an eye from a distance to make sure they didn’t get into serious trouble.
When we hiked into Gokyo (you can see the track beside the lake in the photo) I looked up and up at the path that zigzigged it’s way to the summit of Gokyo Ri which stands 500 metres above the village. I was so relieved to be approaching our destination after a long day trekking (and listening to kids complain about the trekking) but I was also dealing with the rising panic at the thought of climbing Gokyo Ri the next morning with Rob and our guide Utra. It just looked so bloody hard! Harder than anything I had tackled so far this trek. The anxiety started to rise as I went through all the possible reasons why I shouldn’t bother with this extra high point in our trek.
I knew though that it was in me to attempt it. I had proven to myself and to others around me that I’m actually pretty good at keeping on. My trekking style isn’t fast or flashy and , yes I am the turtle and not the hare but I get there. And being a parent crazy enough to take a 10 and 12 year old trekking I get there with the two of them running interference in the form of whinging, fighting, stopping right in front of me when I’m concentrating so hard on where I’m putting my feet….
We made our plan and went to bed in our cosy sleeping bags. I slept fitfully, as most do at altitude, with crazy dreams thanks to the anxiety about the morning and also the altitude tablets. I got up in the morning, dressed and ate breakfast and then I climbed Gokyo Ri. One step at a time. It was bloody hard work and we passed others who struggled with the altitude and had to descend. We kept on. We watched a helicopter fly up the valley below us and we fed a tiny bird cashew crumbs at the summit. We took in the incredible expanse of the Everest region ..including Everest herself. We took photos and sat in the beautiful sunshine and then descended 500 metres to see what the kids were up to in the village.
Bloody hell people! That’s Mount Everest in the background! I’m a 46 year old mum from Brisbane and I’m a friggin superstar! Who knew?
If you are thinking of trekking in Nepal ..and you should be, do consider the Gokyo trek as opposed to the more populated Everest Base camp trek. It’s bloody amazing. The BBC have summed it up quite nicely here and if you follow my blog I’m sure I’ll mention it again. xx