A New High
Since I won't be beating this elevation PR in the foreseeable future, it's worth marking the occasion. Tashi Lapsha at 18,881 ft. (5,755m)!
Besting my previous PR of 14,433 ft. on Colorado's highest peak, Mt. Elbert, and my latest PR of 17,090 ft. on Ishinca Pass set earlier this year in Peru. And all it took was a 6,500 ft. vert day from Thame. A memorial day to say the least.
As a double reward, I also set a new elevation PR for camping. A memorial night I would have preferred to pass on though.
When I think about Nepal, I mostly think about high mountains and high elevation. One aspect I don't consider much is the jungle. But shit is brutal. One day I'm sweating buckets down low in the jungle, the next day I'm getting snowed on up high in the mountains. The stark contrast in terrain in Nepal is pretty wild.
But hey, at least the jungle is monkey country. And monkeys are fucking cool!
Still, in my opinion, jungle hiking is the hardest part of the GHT. The mountains? I take care of business there like a boss. Because mountains are what I do.
Traveling to a far land to undertake a major hike is always intimidating. Especially since I tend to go big on my first visit to a new region. But once I start hiking, it just feels natural. The mountains may be different, but hiking is still hiking.
However, the Himalayas are proving to be different from the rest.
After a short flight from Kathmandu. A two-day Jeep ride. A five-day hike to 5,143 meters. I was finally at the start of my trek - Kanchenjunga Base Camp.
I think feeling intimidated is perfectly reasonable when standing beneath the third highest peak in the entire world. Just damn.
The Holy Land of Hiking
There was never any doubt that I was going to make this trip. I have always felt that any serious hiker just had to make this prigrimage. To the mythical land on the other side of the Earth. To the rooftop of the world. To the hiking kingdom of Nepal.
It's been a long time coming, but the time has arrived. As my thru-life begins to come to a close, it seems appropriate that I visit the Himalayas this year. The year I spent gasping for air on a daily basis in the Andes and Rockies. It's only right that I end it breathless beneath the almighty - Everest.
Colorado Report Card
Well, that was hard.
But it was the kind of hike that I had hoped for: hard, scenic, and alone. I thought I knew Colorado, but there are so much mountains! My goal was to summit at least 100 peaks during my loop. The official result: I killed it!
148 13ers plus 6 14ers and 1,500 miles in 80 days (5 zeros included). Not too bad in my opinion.
However, I did earn myself a demerit for making one consequential mistake that sent me home for a week. That's a day I'm still trying to forget. But from the brink of a season ender, I came back though.
Overall, the hike was a success! So...