A journalist observes life in the far north.
I had been lying awake for about an hour when the wake-up call came at 4am. We are expected in the lobby by 5:15. Most of our gear is packed and ready after a flurry of preparations last night. I look forward to getting started on the trek. I haven’t gotten exercise in about a week and my body feels stiff from traveling and sleeping on a strange bed.
Last night, we hung out with members from another trek/expedition and met the first sherpa to climb the Seven Summits. I asked the sherpa, who I am told is famous, which summit is the hardest and he said Denali because climbers must pull 75 pounds on sleds behind them. But he said Everest, in which porters carry up the gear, is also quite hard because of the intensely high altitude.
I have been debating whether to take some tablets that would ease a possible high altitude headache because I will be traveling from about 10,000 feet to 17,000 feet, which is the same height as high camp at Denali. I am a bit intimidated because I remember talking to Alec from Denali’s high camp and his breathing sounded like Darth Vader.
A few words about the rest of our expedition. There are 28 climbers and a handful of trekkers. They are from all over the world, including Mexico, Japan, the U.K., Norway and South Africa. About a half dozen are American and there are some women.
I have to hurry off the computer now. Alec wants to pack it up. I hope to write posts from the countryside. Cross your fingers for me.