Friday, January 20, 2012



Just wanted to send a quick update. I am still in Kathmandu, Nepal
but will be heading to Italy on the 25th of Jan for a family ski trip.
I cannot believe I have been away from the States for a year already,
time sure flies. When I think of the places I have been, the things I
have seen and the people I have met, I have to admit the last year has
been really amazing.

Most recently, I did the Langtang trek and then the Tamang Heritage
Trek. The Langtang trek was a 3 day walk up the mountain to a place,
Kanjin Gompa at 3,800 meters. I stayed there for three nights and did
2 day trip hikes. One was to the top of Tsergo Ri, a 4,980 meter
mountain, and the other up the valley. The day I went to Tsergo Ri was
one I will remember for a long time. I got up before sunrise and was
up to around 4,000 meters before the sky finally turned the beautiful
blue/red/pink/purple of sunrise. As the colours started to fade, the
sun hit the mountain peaks and turned them a vibrant red. So although
it was freezing cold, -8 degrees C according to my thermometer, it was
well worth getting up early. As I continued up the mountain, I thought
for the first time, and probably the last, a guide would be nice about
now. Denis and I were the only ones around and although we were
following some footprints in the snow from a few days before, it was
evident that the person before wasn't really sure where to go either!
Nonetheless, we continued up the mountain, over snow covered boulders
and up steep, snowy trails. It wasn't easy and, despite my year on the
road, I guess I am still a little bit of a worry wart. I kept thinking
that one of us would twist our ankle with a misstep on one of the snow
covered boulders or that the clouds I saw way off in the distance were
going to suddenly drop 6 feet of snow on top of me! It all worked out
though and a few hours later when we were heading down the mountain we
met a group with their guide. Luckily we were able to follow their
path down the mountain avoiding the treacherous snow covered boulder
section i was so worried about! The nex day was another early morning.
However, because we were down in the valley the sun did not since on
us until after 11:00, my thermometer read -15 degrees C until about
10:15!! Furthermore, after walking three hours up the valley, I was
somewhat disappointed at the viewpoint. It was only 100 meters above
the valley floor and there were a few glacial morains (ridges left
over from moving or melting glaciers) around that were much higher and
I imagined offered a better view. As I am sure you would do to, we
scurried up the snowy morain to check out the view. Although it wasn't
as nice as the one the day before, it was still amazing. There were
snow capped peaks in almost every direction and then the river flowing
down the valley. As it turned out, the going up was easier than going
down. I was again worried that there would be some sort of a
catastrophe, mainly that I would cause and avalanche/ landslide type
disaster as I slid down the side of the ridge, however, no such
disaster occurred thankfully. Lastly, we did the Tamang Heritage trail
which goes through less visited villages and you get to see Nepali
people who do not often interact with tourists. What I noticed most in
these villages was when a person said "Namaste" (Hello) the always
took the time to put their hands together and bow their head too.
Whereas in more touristy places although people say it, it does not
seem sincere or genuine. Yet along Tamang you would pass an elderly
person carrying 35 kgs on her back and she would stop, put her hands
together, bow her head slightly, and say, "Namaste"; a beautiful sight

Well, I guess that is all for now. Hope you're doing well and I love
to hear about how you're doing too!


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