Choosing Love over Fear....

Hi Friends,

I just enjoyed a cheese pizza and a coke in Gorak Shep-YUM! We are leaving for Camp 1 of Everest tomorrow and will spend one night there, then move on to Camp 2 and spend 2 nights there and then head down to Base Camp. This will complete our first rotation on the mountain.

Yesterday we took a walk through part of the Ice Fall and made it to the second ladder. It was the magical maze of snow and ice I remembered and super excited to get up to Camp 1 tomorrow and getting this climbing show on the road! 

Earlier this week we went up to Pumori Advanced Base Camp (5700m) for an acclimatization hike as well and got some pretty sweet views of Everest from the North and South side, Nuptse, and Lhotse.

I am currently reading two books, Aleph and May Cause Miracles. Both books have an awesome message of choosing fear over love in all situations in life. They have been more applicable than ever up here. Today on my hike up to Gorak Shep, I also came across a cute little heart shape rock, that now will go home with me and serve as a reminder of this important message. I have been fortunate to have met some really great people from other climbing teams while here, mainly from Argentina, Brazil, and Spain. I love hearing about some of their other adventures and get tips about what might work up above as we go higher. I have also been able to practice my Spanish! :) My Portuguese is still lacking...lol. I love it because it is always great to have new friends to go and do climbs and other fun things with, so I very much look forward to keeping in touch with these new friends. 

There are many amazing things about being on Everest and on this journey and there are also somethings that are not my favorite about Everest versus other climbs. I love meeting new friends up here, pushing myself to new limits, taking in these amazing views, and being surrounded by some world class adventurers that keep you humble. Meeting legends up here is pretty awesome and hearing their adventure stories even more awesome. On the other hand, there are a lot of egos up here and some folks unfortunately have ego without reason to. There are some folks up here that have never really climbed anything before, yet decide that Everest will be their first.  There are others that get overly competitive and take it upon themselves to put others down to make themselves feel better, this is unfortunate especially in a team dynamic. As one of the few women climbers up here, it is also interesting to share stories and the comments we may have come across so far.

This is when this message of choosing love over fear becomes so important. Knowing who you are, what you stand for, why you are here, and knowing you have prepared as much for the journey ahead and open to what nature and God decides for the outcome. I have already had to block out a lot of noise and not very nice comments by others that sadly are making this climb about a competition against others, verses a challenge against themselves.

This climb I have always felt is much more mental than physical and that staying with a good attitude and mindset and believing in yourself and what you have done to prepare is critical. I wish the naysayers the very best and hope they can find some peace up here and also some self awareness. I think that is one of the  best gifts of this experience, but I must be honest it is hard sometimes not to take things to heart or personally, it's part of the game up here unfortunately. SO I am so grateful for the messages from the books I am reading, for they keep my mind happy and healthy and constantly reminded that love and kindness conquers all :)

I feel my best when I am climbing and any nonsense from down below goes away and it is just you and the mountain. This is why I CANNOT wait to get to Camp 1 and Camp 2. I have met my Sherpa JangBu and he is awesome and I know I am going to learn so much :) It will likely take 4-6 hours to get to Camp 1 tomorrow morning through the Ice Fall and we will leave at 5 AM.

Below are some photos from the week! A highlight was our Puja ceremony, which was very special, spiritual, and ended in a great celebration! It is awesome to also see how much this event means to our Sherpas and how they would not go up the mountain until after this blessing. The end of the Puja ends in a festive celebration, and we sang, danced, and had a few toasts :) We also got our faces smothered in bread flour by the Sherpas and that was quite fun :)

Well, until next time, and hope to share some cool pics from Camp 1 and 2! Here is a map of what lies ahead as well!

Big hugs,

G