The last few weeks have been flying, especially the last few days. It's been crazy many things to finalize and get ready before I was leaving.
Last year’s expedition came to a sudden stop with the devastating earthquake in Nepal. As I was taking the decision to end the expedition I at the same time decided to come back this year. At the time I only agreed this with my Sidar Sherpa and I did not tell the other team members, for them it was not the time and place to start to think about it. It was simply too much going on around us.
The big earthquake was quite an experience - hard to explain to people who was not there. It somehow touches your soul and will be with me for the rest of my life. I choose to take with me the good parts of it.
I don't really remember when I set my leaving date to be April 3rd, must have been 1/2 a year ago or so. Truth is I did not buy the ticket before March 15th. Even then I was not sure if I could manage to get it all together to go. I just decided that if I was going I needed a ticket - so I got it. In the end I got it all together and was ready to leave at the date.
The planning and preparation for this expedition have been very different from last year. At first when I got back from Nepal I was in a sort of bobble as it all was so different from what we had planned.
My lunges were not happy with the fact that I've had to run on 5000 m elevation when the earthquake hit, so for 2-3 months they were giving me a hard time, until Hege a fantastic acupuncture lady helped me and got me ready. All tested out as a Guide for a fab group to Kilimanjaro in September last year. Lungs all god :-)
More or less instantly after I got back I had a friend who wanted to join me going to Everest this year. In total I had 6-7 great people who wanted to go with me, however in the end none of them could go.
So I had a board meeting with myself in the mountains of Hemsedal. Could I go alone? Do I want to go alone? Would it be safe to go alone as a girl? How would it be? - many things to think about, in the end I just decided - Hell Yes! I want to go this year, if it means going alone I'll do it. Also for the Sherpas it's very important, they need business as most tourist have deserted the country. So I do it to help them and I do it because I want to :-)
Preparing for me to go alone is different than for taking a team to go. In some areas less to think about, however many of the same things need to be in place and now I cannot rely on anybody else to have with them things I did not remember or think of.
Most people understand that you need to train, but I don't think they understand how much. Then there is all the gear that needs to be in place, the electronics/communications, mental preparations and not to forget the food. As with everything else - to be successful you have to pay attention to all the little details.
In addition there is some things that needs to be handled being away from home for such a long time also - e.g. post. Thanks to all my years as a consultant project management is in my blood.
This year I'm taking with me Hearts with the name of some really fantastic people who are contributing to help the local people in Nepal. You'll see the hearts along the journey with me. For me it's great to have these Hearts and the amazing spirits of this great group with me. You will all see updates about the Hearts during the expedition.
The Hearts in their travel-box and checking out the view from the rooftop terrace of the hotel :-)
There have been some challenges along the way, one of them is that I was in an accident. Not very big, but it set me back some weeks of training and as we speak I'm taped up a lite, but I'll be good. And to be honest getting all the finances in place is also hard - in the end it all worked out. Am really grateful for that!
Now I have arrived in Kathmandu and am sitting on the fantastic rooftop terrase of my hotel - will come back and tell you more about Kathmandu soon.