April 3, 2009 Deboche, Nepal, 12,200 feet
Sitting in the small village of Deboche, a stone's throw below the spiritual heart of the Khumbu region, Thyangboche Monastery. This is a stunning little village, comprised of a handful of small lodges tucked into dense rhododendron and birch forests. Fifty meters from our lodge - the Ama Dablam View Lodge - is an ancient nunnery covered in moss and lichen and looking more like the abode of hobbits than of nuns. And, gazing over it all is the silent sentinel of Ama Dablam, easily one of the most beautiful peaks in the world.
It has been a wonderful journey thus far - a great team, a great expedition, a great project, and all in one of my favorite places in the world. To say the least, I cannot complain.
Peter Whittaker and I were speaking on the trail from Namche Bazaar yesterday about the draw of the mountains. While everyone has their own reasons for going to the mountains, I think most would agree there is a humbling element found in the high peaks that is absent in many other realms. In the mountains, I personally find myself grounded...the stresses and strains of our modern, frenetic life are put into perspective, and life becomes peacefully reduced to the absolute fundamentals: breath, walk, eat, live. James Ramsey Ullman, I think, was right: "In the truest and most profound sense, [the mountain way] is an escape not from, but to, reality."
Climb on, and follow our expedition at https://blog.firstascent.com!
- Jake Norton