Thursday, December 20, 2012

Nepal2012 Hogus&Paul Summit Gokyo Ri

Today would be a day of mixed emotions. We would climb Gokyo Ri together then split into a trekking team and a climbing team. Each team would then pursue their own journey for the next 8 days and hopefully reunite in Lukla. We were each enthusiastic about our own journey yet quietly apprehensive of our personal limitations and challenges. We were excited yet concerned for those on the other team ... having lived with them 24 hours a day for the past 3 weeks, and knowing their goals, motivations, and vulnerabilities. We stopped for a team picture, then started our climb.
The climb from Gokyo to Goyko Ri is a consistent slope of 39%, with an elevation gain of 570m (1,871ft). Not a technical climb but it does require persistence and a gritty mental attitude. 
Looking back and down, we can see Gokyo.
After many hours of methodical 'mountain slow' climbing, we reached the summit of Gokyo Ri (5360m or 17,585ft). Prayer flags snapped in the wind, wafting prayers to the gods.
There is a feeling of elation when reaching a summit ... after meeting the challenges and overcoming the apprehensions. For some, Gokyo Ri was a bucket-list item, for others it was conditioning and acclimatization for higher summits to climb over the next few days.
But we quietly contemplated what it took to reach that summit:
  • Power in legs to climb a vertical of 570m (1871ft) ... with 50% oxygen to our bodies.
  • Mental grit to force the body to keep moving, while suppressing doubts on personal abilities
  • Overcoming Altitude Sickness symptoms of screamer headaches, lethargy, nausia (fortunately I did not suffer these on this climb)
  • That aggressive and competitive spirit that will not tolerate a quit or a retreat
From the summit vantage point there were spectacular views of Mount Everest, Choi, Pumori, Lhotsi, Makalu, Tabuche, Cholotse, Nuptse, Tansi, and Tamserku.

Hogus and fellow-ostomate Paul proudly showed their ostomy gear, then quickly zipped up to protect sensitive body parts from the biting cold wind.
We CAN live ordinary lives ... even extraordinary lives.

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