Everest trekking 2018

Last year my trek to base camp from Tibet was part driving and part trekking due to the Chinese restrictions but it was still bloody hard and the altitude sickness on the final leg nearly defeated me. I really thought, after stringing my prayer flags on a pole to flap blessings to the Gods and placing ladybugs in honour of my Beautiful Girl and Kyle, that I could well die right there in the shadow of the the highest mountain in the world. The hike is tough but the rewards immense.

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by Kimm Fearnley
Bournemouth, Bournemouth, United Kingdom,
Created on 1 May 2018

Last year my trek to base camp from Tibet was part driving and part trekking due to the Chinese restrictions but it was still bloody hard and the altitude sickness on the final leg nearly defeated me. I really thought, after stringing my prayer flags on a pole to flap blessings to the Gods and placing ladybugs in honour of my Beautiful Girl and Kyle, that I could well die right there in the shadow of the the highest mountain in the world. The hike is tough but the rewards immense. 

So why the hell am I here again..On a tougher, 14 day trek? All walking - not a support vehicle or a donkey in sight!

It really isn’t for the faint-hearted.

The hike is tough but the rewards immense. 

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Tue, 05/01/2018
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ROOFTOP RECOVERY, LONG HOT DAYS, REFLECTIVE MOODS . .

2

It’s 5am here in Kathmandu and this crazy bustling city is on the verge of erupting into the usual morning riot but for now, from my bed, through the open windows all is silent other than the birds announcing the day and the odd sleepy dog barking half-heartedly.  Gentle light filters through my curtains and I gratefully feel the only cool air there is likely to be today on my naked skin. 

 

Kathmandu nights are too hot for clothes and bed covers.

The incessant whirling of the ceiling fan above me is almost hypnotic and lulls me in and out of sleep, carrying me back in time through disjointed dreams and fitful rest. 

 

This guest house with its white painted walls and pretty orchids lined along the garden wall is a sanctuary - from the dust, chaos and the noise but also from my adventures in the mountains. 

It’s not a true adventure until something goes badly wrong.  .  . 

 

I have lost track of the days, of time, as my body forces me into sleep. My mind shutdown, unable to read or to write. 

Reluctant to talk.

Just resting.

18.5hrs of sleep in one stint - yes I dozed in and out and sent the odd message but I was in a place of beautiful, ethereal delirium. 

I dived fully into the deliciousness of it.

 

Drinking water by the litre, leaving food aside, listening to what my body is asking for to heal itself from days of too little oxygen and the final night before the rescue where my body and spirit both thought it was over. 

We are usually pretty well attuned - it’s the way of a yogi. We train ourselves to listen and respond. To take to our mat to find strength, answers, responses, healing, wisdom and growth.

Usually my body speaks clearly. 

But these past few days I have had to listen for it to whisper, the life force quieter, much quieter than before. 

I am quiet. 

Very very still. 

Water and breath - that’s all I need. 

 

Water is a valued resource here in Kathmandu, earthquakes, poverty, unstable governance all make the things we take for granted back home deeply precious. 

In hospital, in my delirious state I wandered to the tap and drank just as I would at home - I paid for it soon after with sickness that set me back and dehydrated my already wrung out body. 

 

As for breath.  .  . 

Unlike the fresh, clean mountain air, here in the city there is dust. So much dust and traffic pollution. Millions of motorbikes, cars and buses rumble through dusty, quake-damaged tracks they call roads. 

Most people wear masks. 

I have had to wear mine now too. 

 

I am no longer coughing blood but my breathing is slow and my heart rate and blood pressure low -  80/60 they tell me but it means little to me except I know I am tired. 

 

I have had plenty of time to reflect on the days since April 28th. 

The joys of the energy and stunning landscape of the Himalayas, the sense of achievement walking 8 hours each day, the yaks - murderous as they may be - the weathered faces of those who live in the mountains. 

The simplicity of their lives. 

Then the cold, the snow and harshness of the climate above the tree line. 

Blindingly bright glaciers, landslides, deep crevices, narrow mountainside tracks. 

Suspension bridges high above exquisite turquoise rivers of icy water. 

The sound of bells strung around the necks of donkeys, yaks and horses warning us two-legged creatures to get out of the way. 

 

The strong, short porters running up and down mountains carrying unthinkable loads of goods and packages on their backs - a thick strap on their foreheads to help steady them. 

There is no other way. 

 

There are other creatures in the mountains. 

We heard tales of snow leopards and Yetis. 

Then there are the mountain Goddesses, monks, mystery and chanting from crumbling monasteries, stupas and prayer flags fluttering in the wind. 

 

At each overnight stop there would be a round wood burning stove in the communal dining room and we weary trekkers would gather to get warm and dry our clothes - exchanging stories of our day and listening to the Sherpas tell tales of lucky escapes, doomed flights, land slips and quakes. 

 

I think back to my rescue and the unreal moments that occur during such events. 

Bimba calculating the amount of oxygen left (not much) against the number of hours before the helicopter could land and setting the flow to make sure there was enough to keep me alive - praying to the gods as she left.

 

The second helicopter ride through incredible scenery down to Kathmandu and the wild ambulance ride to hospital through the crazy, lawless traffic that makes this city like no other. 

Sirens blazing. 

I’ll-fitting curtains like tiny table cloths flapping in my face.

Manchester United Football sticker on the back window. 

 

They kept me overnight in the hospital - I was too weak to resist. 

But sleep never found me on that plastic, sticky mattress in the half-cleaned room. 

 

The next morning I was surrounded by people with clipboards all wanting to speak first. 

All seemingly wanting a slice of any insurance payout that may be on offer. 

Too much talking. 

Too much noise. 

I needed to get out.  .  . 

 

Back at the guest house I began to recover. 

Washed and clean I took to the roof.

It was nudging 40C

 

The sky was clear and pollution was low, the sun hot, healing. 

I am a sun child. 

A sun sign

Leo. 

The sun never seems to burn me it only seems to heal me. 

A few tears of relief roll down my cheeks. 

I am missing my Beautiful Girl. 

I nearly went to her that night on the mountain but it seems it wasn’t time - I am not sure how I feel about that yet. 

I wasn’t scared of dying - I wasn’t scared at all -  I just didn’t like being so vulnerable.  

 

Being vulnerable, I realise, is probably the one thing that scares me. 

I am used to being strong.

Independent 

 

 I still feel a little “soft” - I want my boldness back in all its full, purposeful, firm-striding glory.  .  .

But for now I have to lay back .  . 

Be still and listen. 

To my body, 

To the street outside. 

To others who care for my well-being. 

 

I am due to go to India soon but may cut short my trip - India is harder , I guess it comes with wealth. 

 

I still love this wild, falling-down place and it’s contented, sweet people sonI will lay still, hushed in the heart of the city until I feel ready. .  .  . 

I want to thank everyone who has donated - I have more than £3000 for Gabriel but still a little way to go to reach my target. 

I know I was a breath away (literally) but if you can forgive that and still wish to donate here is the link. 

 

If you want to donate to Gabriel’s op here is the link .  .  .

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/kimm-fearnley2

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Dana Amma-Day

Gosh what a journey you have been on. Thank you for sharing your story and for helping others. Really moved by your Just Giving campaign will donate and share. Lovely to meet you here Dana x

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Kimm Fearnley

Thank you @Dana Amma Day (Dana-Amma-Day)@ . Lovely to
Meet you on here too and thank you for your support. X