Altitude: 2617m – up about 2000 feet and down about 3500
Weather: Sunny 25 degrees
My mountain team – Dale, Dave, Brain, Suneet – safely on and safely off
My home team – L and E, Stel, Phyl, M and D, Stefan for making me strong enough, KVD for working out the pain Stefan caused
My PMCC/MOT team – without whom I would not have been able to do this trip. While I am chillaxing on this totally laid back beach holiday they are back home covering the practice…….you are too many to name, but your efforts are not forgotten
We woke up to an amazing three ring circus, Faulty Towers Bhutan style. In the small hut where we were staying there were all 5 of us in one room, 2 germans in the other, and 4 Americans camped on donkey doo behind the dwelling. Then there was the support staff for all three groups (so about 25 peeps) and > 50 ponies. All packed in to a space < 800 square feet (thought the ponies were outside going round and round) and including the family that lives there, their dog, cat, puppy and daughter……OMG. Unreal truly
Well what a day – just over 7 hours of hard trekking took us off the trail. It was a tough but good day to finish up on in terms of trekking. We left camp and climbed up about 2000 feet and then dropped down the other side about 3500 feet. We set up tents just below Gaza village. We are still sorting out some final details but likely will be heading home around October 7th.
There are an incredible number of people who have made this trip possible, and I know I can’t thank all of you individually so – a huge huge GROUP THANK-YOU!!!!
I do want to thank Ian – in an often cynical world you still make dreams come true – that is no small thing and I am eternally grateful.
I also want to acknowledge the talisman of Matt Antolin’s iron ring which is once again around my neck and boy did it serve its purpose. One more place you got to in spirit Matt!!!!!
I am often asked why do I keep doing these testyourlimits trips? Am I a glutton for punishment? Am I crazy (maybe just a little). I mean honestly who can say it’s fun to camp on a hillside day in day out, in rain and sleet, at altitude (with all the pain that comes with it)? Is it as John Muir said “the mountains are calling and I must go”? Or is it far simpler as Mallory said ‘because it is there’? Although I understand both of these sentiments, I don’t think they fit for me, but I do think it is a simple answer. For me, these trips are about hope. Hope that I will be strong enough and tough enough to face the challenge. Hope that I can endure.
Hope is such a powerful emotion. It is fragile and tenuous, yet timeless and enduring. Hope can lift spirits when nothing else is capable. I have seen that hope in my patients eyes. They hope we will find the right answer, the right treatment, the right device, the right donor in time to improve and save their lives. They continue to show and feel hope despite nearly insurmountable odds. They have taught me not to give up hope. I have taken this lesson to the mountains. We hoped we would get through despite the odds, though our challenges these past 2 weeks were on a much smaller scale then our patients face. We were unable to complete the trek this time, but my hope remains undiminished…..stay tuned