Day 9 – the day of the leech

the enchanted path

Altitude – up 800m steady

Weather – ‘here comes the rain again falling in my eyes like a tragedy, tearing me apart like a new emotion’ – Annie Lennox. In truth it was a bit better today. We moved through mist and cloud with brief rain.

Last evening I went for a moonlight walk at 2 am. There was a full moon and all the constellations were visible. In the distance were two large snow covered peaks (6000m range) reflecting the moonbeams. It was so magical and so perfectly clear that I wondered whether we should turn our clock around and hike at night.

We started earlier this morning because of fears of the rain. We used a new path that was enchanted. It rose up at a 45 degree angle into the rhododendron bushes again – red, pink and white. Unlike back home these are 20 feet tall and tower over you as you walk dropping their petals on your path. There were steep fall offs as we moved along the ridge after climbing 600m. I was partly grateful for the mist so I couldn’t see just exactly how far down it went. Dale spent a portion of the day walking with his umbrella looking like a real native, but eventually had to give in to his walking sticks because of the steepness of the path. I was walking behind him and noticed a leech stand to attention and attach itself to me. I jumped, startled, and brushed it off. The second one I was a bit more cool about – oh hey there’s a leech on me, no worries – and brushed it off. The third and fourth were just irritating. By the time I removed the 5th, I thought I should see if his/her siblings wanted some blood too.

We paused briefly for a packed lunch [yeah the goat is done, no more goat!]. We then climbed a further 200m to camp.The camp is built on multiple levels at 3600m high on the ridge in the clouds. There are three trails leading to camp – two established and ours [very new].

Ablutions are a real challenge here. The photos show the good and the bad. The ugly has been censored in case anyone is eating while reading the blog]. In the wild is easiest!

We experienced such a storm this afternoon that all we were missing were the locusts. My tent is officially a Noah’s ark. We dug trenches around all the tents to prevent flooding. The deluge was immense, hail included. I think it is official the monsoon is here – we were hoping for monlater but got monsoon.

Tomorrow another big day – steady up again to about 4600m.


the good throne

the bad throne

sunset in mist

4 Replies to “Day 9 – the day of the leech”

  1. I don’t know if we’re allowed, but I’d like to request photographic proof of your trials and tribulations. Big Dale digging a ditch in a hail storm would do fine – sorry dad. Well, I’m sure at very least there will be video, hopefully with dialogue.

  2. Hi Heather and all the team,

    I didn t have time to read your blog but I will for sure when I get back to Montreal ! There is too much things to do in Nepal to spend time on a computer…

    I hope your trek is going well.
    On my side, after being sick for 3 days, I went with my friend rafting near Pokhara and it was amazing. I m leaving tomorrow for the Langtang and Helambu trek. I hope to see you again in Thamel or in Kathmandu airport (my plane back to Montreal is June 11th at 3:45 pm).


    PS : I finally had my answer for med school : I m on the waiting list for UdeM so there is some hope…

  3. Wow it is great to see all the pictures and read your journey as you trek up the mountain. I hope everything goes well and Dave you are an inspiration to me , im currently on the heart transplant list and this whole trek is an inspiration , Dr. Ross your amazing and everyone else involved.
    Take great care , I wish you guys all the best , God Bless.

    -Rodrigo Freitas

  4. dale and team…still following every soggy step of the way. Peg well celebrated on her birthday..not a leech, nor piece of goat meat in sight..our thoughts are with u!!! fitz et al

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