Saturday, April 18, 2009

CC: 5416m

As I dragged myself to the top of the ridge, wet and exhausted, I took a moment to catch my breath and see how far I’d come. Watching the eagles soaring by below me in the valley and looking up at the insane mountain views, I started to feel pretty pleased with myself. It felt like I was on top of the world. It had taken me an hour of steep uphill climbing from the base of the hill, but I’d made it! I decided to look at my map to see how far I’d come. I was up to 1300 meters - 500 meters higher than the start of the Annapurna Circuit - the trek that I’d started yesterday.

I think my heart broke just a little bit at that moment. I was set to be ascending to 5416 meters. My triumphant climb – not to mention two days of a steady uphill slope had taken me just 10% of the way to my final altitude

It was that moment that I realized what I’d gotten myself into. The Himalaya jumped into their proper perspective: a half hour run, but vertically toward the sky instead of along the ground; 10 CN Towers stacked on top of each other; the summit of the highest mountain in the Rockies plus an extra vertical kilometer; just a bit more of an ascent than from Everest’s base camp to its summit – and that was just as high as I was climbing, that height came no where close to the height of most of the mountains in the area.

Nothing to do but put your head down and keep walking.

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