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The countdown to Nepal

Sara Lingafelter
Sara Lingafelter
4 min read

This photo (click through for more breathtaking images… it was hard to choose just one…) is courtesy of Hidden Creek Photography. Peter, with HCP wrote up a “tips on trekking” post for me with that, and other brilliant photography included (more on that below), but I wanted to put the beautiful image right up top.

The countdown is on, with the days ticking past dizzyingly fast. Training has taken a backseat to packing, though I’m still getting on the treadmill for long, low-intensity “hikes” to help break in my boots and to manage stress; I’ll probably get in a high-intensity workout this weekend, but for now, I’ve been feeling like I need rest rather than high-intensity. I did have a fantastic climbing night at the gym on Monday… I haven’t been climbing as much as usual, but when I hit the bouldering wall I felt better than I have the last few weeks (the travel immunizations have had me pretty fatigued) and after my mountain skills training, bouldering felt positively like a walk in the park. Moves that would ordinarily take extra commitment, or that I’d be afraid of, I whipped through like they were nothing… it’s funny how different experiences can have such a sudden impact on your perception of risk, and risk tolerance.

That came back to bite me a bit later when we’d switched to topropes and I was working out a sequence and cracked my knee into the wall so hard everyone heard it. That lead one of my climbing mentors, Brad, to amble over and start telling cautionary tales of injuries just before major trips… point well taken. I dialed it back, and, will keep things pretty dialed back between now and our departure in six short days.

Six days.

Holy cow.

The boxes of gear are still rolling in… bless my dear peeps at my mailbox place, and the friends who are helping me stay on top of the mail pickups. I unpacked a huge box from Hanesbrands last night, mostly stuffed with Expedition Hanesbrands clothing but with a few little treats thrown in for the trip, and a giggle here and there. The itty bitty scree gaitors with the Hanesbrands logo on them might be the cutest mountain gear I’ve ever seen… I’m going to giggle every time I see them. The last boxes arrive tonight, I think, and then the packing (and whittling down) in earnest begins.

I also have my last round of travel immunizations tonight, I hope, assuming that the pharmacy gets in more of one of the vaccines. The immunizations have knocked me for a bit of a loop… but I’m starting to feel more like myself. One more round, then hopefully by the time we’re trekking, I’ll feel all back to normal.

A highlight of all of this has been the opportunity to speak with other Nepal travelers and trekkers and climbers. I’ve been amazed at the generosity people have displayed when I start asking them questions… After finding relatively little information about Pumori at first, the last few weeks have been incredible.

Randomly, I picked up one of my favorite climbing books… Leading Out: Mountaineering Stories of Adventurous Women and read a few chapters. Then I flipped to the pictures, and what did I see… pictures from a 1989 womens’ expedition to Pumori. I looked online to see if I could connect directly with any of the women and found Lynne Wolfe. Lynne is a mountain guide and avalanche instructor based in Victor, Idaho. She summited during that 1989 womens’ Pumori expedition, and generously spent time on the phone with me sharing stories, tips, information about the peak, and her advice with regard to the trek and being a climber in that place. I am so excited to have connected with Lynne, and look forward to keeping in touch.

Also, a Twitter friend, Peter must have spent an hour or more on a response to my “You’ve trekked in Nepal? Do you have any tips?!” inquiry. Thankfully, he put his email into a blog post, which I might have to read a few times to internalize… but which makes my eyes well up with adventure and excitement and anticipation every time I read it.

I’ve got to hit “publish” and get off the ferry… I’m getting questions about how to keep track of me while I’m in Nepal, and I don’t know exactly the answer yet, but I’ll let you know when I do! I’ll post an update here with details as I have them, and I’m looking forward to getting some of my girls hooked in so that they can keep the home fires burning at rockclimbergirl.com while I’m gone.

As part of that, another Twitter friend, Rebecca, is going to attend a Bloggers Summit sponsored by GORE-TEX as a representative of RockClimberGirl.com. Rebecca blogs at Calipidder.com, and is both my foot twin, and a fellow beer drinking outdoor girl. Rock on, sister. In preparation for the Blogger’s Summit, if you have any questions for the fine folks at GORE-TEX, please post them below in the comments!

I’m also gathering more anecdotes from users about SPOT locator coverage and performance in Nepal. Anyone want to chime in? Please do so below!

Sara Lingafelter

Sara (Grace) Lingafelter takes steps forward and backward toward a right-sized life on a daily basis.