At Everest Base Camp with our guide, Lhakpa and assistant guide.
“I was older then, I’m younger than that now.” Bob Dylan
In 2002, Americans weren’t traveling much while the U.S. was still reeling from 9-11. Nepal was in civil war. The government had a tenuous hold on power as Maoists controlled the sparsely populated countrysides where tourists like to go trekking. But my wife, Marla likes to say “do it now, while you can” and we traveled halfway around the world to go trekking in the Everest region. Our trek lasted 16 days and took us over 18,000 feet three times; at Gokyo Ri, Cho-la Pass, and Kala Pattar. Gorak Shep sits below Kala Pattar, a round mound standing 5,545 meters in a sea of giant peaks that offers a classically awesome view of Everest, Lhotse and Nuptse. We stayed one night at Gorak Shep, where we were out of breath just from rolling over in our tent. And although Everest base camp wasn’t on our itinerary, Marla convinced our guide to take us there, just a few kilometers up the trail at 17,600′. Other than a rock table, there were no signs of the temporary climbing village constructed on the glacier during peak climbing season in May. Just a beautiful glacier of whitish-grey stone below the Khumbu Icefall and the biggest mountains in the world. This picture takes me right back to that trek, the most ambitious of our travels, and reminds me how “do it now, while we can” holds meaning in our daily lives and our adventure life.