THE LONG ROAD TO EVEREST
By Mathew & Kate Ediger
Everyone has heard of Everest. It’s the highest point on the globe. When the opportunity came to us to go to base camp we jumped on it. We’ve been on many mountain adventures but none like this. We were thrilled to explore another country filled with culture and challenge.
The road less travelled appeals to us, so we opted for the additional 7 day trek that followed the original trail of Sir Hillary and Norgay. As we walked on a very unmarked, rugged trail we couldn’t imagine the two of them slashing their way through such terrain so long ago! This 90 km trail to Lukla is steep, slippery and very sketchy! This section usually just gets flown over, leaving this place very raw, and untouched. We didn’t realize until after that by adding this part to our trip we experienced the most cultural and rewarding experience of the entire hike. Because this was the road less travelled, the Nepalie people were thrilled to see you, beautiful children running up to you just to look at you as you pass through their mountain village. It truly felt like you were on this incredible journey and they were there to cheering you on!
Once we reach the touristy road to EBC we were culture shocked at how commercialized it was. It became a game to pass the tourists that had fresh legs just off of the plane! The surrounding mountains were breathtaking, even more so then Everest itself… But everyone had that same goal in mind to get to base camp. It becomes such a goal that people ignore serious signs that their body is telling them they are climbing too high too quickly.
With nearly seeing a woman die in our hut the night before reaching base camp Matt and I truly questioned what the purpose of climbing these mountains were? You start to feel small, a mere spec on this earth when you see these mountains, even at the base of it at 18,000ft.
We reached Base camp on day 16 and of course were excited to have reached our goal but we were more thrilled about the experiences along the way knowing all the challenged we just faced together.
This long 220km hike taught us more about ourselves then we could have ever imagined. We learned to enjoy each others company to the fullest and to be fully present in the moment. We live in a world with so much distraction. Social media at the touch of our fingers keeps us from engaging in meaningful interaction. People are afraid of silence and to just be alone with themselves. The moment you take yourself out of your comfort zone, simple little things like running water, heated rooms, soft beds etc. you truly realize how great you have it at home.
This trip deepened our love and respect for the mountains and each other. To top the adventure off we came home to find out that Kate was pregnant the whole time! Dumbfounded by the news, and the fact that I just conquered the hardest hike of my life one month pregnant truly put a whole new funny twist on our adventure! We can’t wait to continue our mountain adventures in a new and exciting way! What a neat Nepalese souvenir!