Photographer's Note

This is the view down the Imja valley towards the Sherpa villages of Pangboche, Khunde and Khumjung from high on the SW ridge of Ama Dablam just below Camp 2 at 6150m. This is what I saw during the following night when I had to get up to go to the toilet.

Above my head the unearthly roar of the jetstream thundered and surged, it was as loud as a jet engine and made the hair on the back of my neck stand on end. Nagging at the back of my mind was the thought that I had many hours of difficult climbing between me and safety, I could not make this all end without considerable effort and stress. In the valley to add to the sense of remoteness I could see the lights of the houses in the Sherpa villages far below.

I hadn't slept properly for days. Each night I would toss and turn trying to get comfortable on the uneven rocky ledges, dozing off then quickly waking up with a start, short of breath, feeling panicky and claustrophobic.

Mountaineering is addictive. Pushing yourself up against your limits makes you feel alive, more alive than anything else I have done. But you cannot push against these limits without sometimes going over them, frightening yourself silly and swearing to yourself that you won't ever do this again. But the payback is huge. You are rewarded with moments of unsurpassed clarity and joy and you get to visit places where only your skill and will power can get you to and hopefully get you out of. In equal measure I have seen sights that astound: the most beautiful sunsets, massive avalanches, perfect clear days surrounded by rock ice and snow; but I have also had long hours of pain and effort, been scared out of my senses and been unsure that I would get out alive.

Mountaineers don't climb mountains because they are there but because the experience brings out the essence of what you really are.

Jaap, bartove, bfly, RGatward, ChrisJ, colinb marcou esta nota como útil

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Additional Photos by Richard SG (escher1) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 30 W: 5 N: 240] (1268)
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