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Today I’m High on Life. And a mountain.

Kicking off two weeks out and about to Everest Base Camp

Post-trek retro-preface (1/15/11): Maggie’s and my journey on the Everest Base Camp trek was what we wanted: to know whatever it is to hike along amidst the high Himalaya. But it was also a bizarre series of ups and downs and intensities that I would love to detail in a clear and entertaining narrative, and I’ve got detailed accounts and commentary in my journals to attempt so.

But this photo-a-day blog somehow doesn’t feel like the right forum, and I just don’t have the time to do it justice. So for now I’ll post photos and excerpts from those two weeks but just wanted to note (maybe just for myself) that they will hardly convey the guts of the trip, which was unexpectedly amazing. I think we both hoped and expected it to be amazing, but not in the ways it was.

My clarity of mind is questionable any day, but the evolved concoction of chemicals, beliefs, and behaviors that keep me forward would surely have been hobbled without Maggie’s uniquely supportive company. So, that’s my brief shout-out to Maggie and bummer note that despite our excursion hardly comparing in hair-raising horror to a Krakauer article, for us it was densely intense, but I’m not yet able to present it remotely coherently yet.

So then, let’s get into the Way Back Machine and hope Sherman doesn’t spoil things for everyone…

I never tire of pedestrian suspension bridges. It’s like a utilitarian bouncy castle for adults. And this goofy-angled, sheer-faced shot to me exudes the offset excitement of our arrival in big-mountain country.

Oh, like you've never used a soccer ball as a feedbag

After six hours of flight delays this morning, departing Kathmandu’s domestic airport finally at half past noon (flight scheduled for 6:15) on one of only three Twin Otter flights (out of 20 scheduled) to our trek’s 9,200-foot starting point in Lukla, everything was just a delight, fanciful, and enthralling.

Hundreds of boring photos snuck onto my memory card. It wasn’t the most scenic Himalayan scene imaginable amid cloud cover, but it felt like it. Just because we’re here. Today was a 230-meter descent, a charming fairytale of forest, clouds, stone wall corridors, and a few quaintly horrific toilets, ultimately arriving at a lodge with precious porcelain squatters. I’m all for roughing it, but these beautiful bad boys make me want to chug some Nescafe.

Kathmandu to Lukla. Lukla to Phakding. It’s a good start.

Photos from EBC Trek Day 1

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