The route has changed from my journey 10 years ago. In 2005, I remember walking into the glacier area and going up and down over a series of small crevasses and glaciers. Now the route was more elevated as Base Camp has also moved due to the constant environmental changes in the landscape. If anything is for certain, it’s that nature will constantly change. We were supposed to have a gradual increase of about 250mts/820ft and we all felt it. Our group of 16 had to spread due to the various trekking speeds in all of us. I was nervous watching the weather and the winds and checking on the ones who were farther behind. I stayed with our slowest group of girls giving the frequent rests, keeping them hydrated and letting them how close we were. While it was easy to see the end of the road and Mt. Pumori in front of us, the constant ups and downs through the rocky terrain, along with the altitude, made it quite challenging. After 2 ½ hours we saw the first 1/3 of the group reaching Base Camp.
As we got close to Base Camp, Amy, one of my dearest friends and former co-worker of eBay, started singing “Lean on Me.” The lyrics completely got to me and I started crying. Even before the start of this journey in Lukla, this whole experience has been incredibly emotional for me. To keep a promise and an unexplainable vision had taken such a big toll on me that I completely broke down the night I left San Francisco in a way I hadn’t experience before. And now this humble dream and vision was becoming a reality. It took 10 years in the making and many ups and downs to make it happen. At many times I was ready to give up and quit.
And here we were a group of 16 with the magnificent sight of Mt. Everest before us — and we had all made it! Exhausted but elated we all hugged and kissed each other. We were all so moved that couldn’t hold back, so I let all the emotions come through.
My young courageous girls stood stunned gazing up at at Everest. Here they were, their dream had come true, unlike many of their dreams that had been shattered by empty promises. Here on Nov 22nd, 2015 they were able to stand proud and strong. And so the picture and selfie festival started. We put together the beautiful prayer flags with all what we wanted to leave behind and for all that we wanted to bring into our lives. A new beginning for many of us; a new way of leaving so much of the painful past behind.
The prayer flags were so beautiful that as we took group shots we grouped them all together and both our fearless leaders Maya and Shailee held them while all of us got in the middle. My amazing friend Lisa Kristine took the official group shots and many of us brought our logo’s and others for the picture fest.
As the wind started picking up, we left Base Camp,with the amazing sight of Mt. Everest looking as imposing as ever. I gave it a tearful look,knowing I’ll be returning soon.
As we made it back to Gorakshep, everyone was beyond exhausted. The cold had picked up, so some of us had to sit in front of the yak driven heater for over 45mins to regain our body warmth. Food was ordered as were lots of hydrating liquids. Everyone had given all they had and after dinner we had a very emotional and beautiful circle of sharing our experiences on what this journey had brought into our lives. I was really taken by the stories that were shared by everyone in the group. As I stood up, I was unable to keep a calm face and again broke down and openly cried as I shared what this journey had meant to me, the significance of being here with the amazing young women, the powerful mountaineers and the special friends from San Francisco, and what it had taught me. A truly special moment full of love. We all embraced at the end and headed to crash.
Treat for the nite: Knowing everyone felt truly happy on their accomplishment and my heart unable to sleep filled of happiness and joy and the word of the day – gratulation