The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. — Lao Tzu
I returned to Everest Base Camp today by helicopter after a bit of drama and uncertainty with the weather in Namche Baazar. There was a brief conversation about walking, but I think that was driven more by nervous energy than anything else.
The stage for a summit attempt is now set. The acclimatization rotations are completed and a weather window identified. Camps are established, the fixed lines put in, and oxygen cached up high.
It is almost time to go.
Tonight will be our last full night in Base Camp before the summit bid.
The thought of climbing to the summit of Mt. Everest at over 29,000 ft can be overwhelming. So I am being disciplined to only contemplate the summit bid in small increments:
- The Khumbu Icefall to Camp 1 then the long push to Camp 2.
- Rest and recover in Camp 2.
- Cross the Bergschrund on the Lhotse Face, climb over the ice bulge, make it to Camp 3.
- Cross the Yellow Band, traverse the Geneva Spur, then the big push to Camp 4.
- Rest and recover at Camp 4. Stay warm and hydrated. Try to eat.
- Then the push up the Triangular Face to the Balcony, then the South Summit, across the Southeast Ridge, the Hillary Step, and on to the Summit.
- Then get down safely.
Today I am thinking in segments and preparing for each step in the journey. I can visualize each segment to the point that it feels real and present.
It is almost time to go: one step, one segment, one day at a time.
Happy Mother’s Day from Everest Base Camp!