When I summited Cho Oyu in 2009 (as the 4th Norwegian woman) it was the first time I laid my eyes on Mt Everest. It didn’t look that high from there... Cho Oyu is, 8201m, the 6th Highest Mountain in the world – so it’s “only” 647 meters left.
Coming back down to ABC (Advanced Base Camp) I was asked: “When do you come back so we can climb Mt. Everest together?”
At that Point it wasn’t a goal for me.
Second time I saw Everest was flying into Kathmandu in 2012, on my way to climb Ama Dablam. The Himalayas is impressive. Walking in the Khumbu Valley we could see her. From the summit of Ama Dablam we had a perfect view to her.
When a friend, while we were in Nepal, told me he was organizing an Expedition to Mt Everest and that he wanted me to join. I realized it triggered me, and when I got the email describing the expedition I immediately decided to go. I was in! I got that feeling where I just know, I’ll do it.
I knew most of the other people who were interested in going, so I was really looking forward to building this team and starting the journey of a lifetime.
4 months later I met my friend and he told me: “I’m not going”. At first I could not believe what he said, was it real?
It was – and it made me really, really sad - for about 1 day.
Then I made up my mind, I’m going anyway. Talking a about it we agreed that I’ll take over organizing the expedition.
In many ways it has been a bumpy road, I told you about my physical challenge and in addition we had to change our local team in Nepal due to a commercial operator. That resulted in a few people leaving the initial team. In the end we were 4 committed people going. Then something happened for one of them, so we’re down to a strong 3 person’s team. I’ll tell you who they are next time.
Last Easter there was a bad avalanche at Everest, the biggest accident of the history of the Mountain. That made us take a reality check, if we really want to go, or not. We do want to go.
What I often get is that people don’t understand it and ask: “Why climb Everest?” The best answer is what Arne Ness Jr. said when he came back from their Everest expedition in 1985: “For those who understand, no explanation is needed. For those who don’t understand, no explanation is good enough.”
Only 22 days until we leave - Still some things to prepare…