- Acclimatization is important. The first few days of the climb is adjusting to the high altitude and environment. The last few days is grappling with vertical climbs and snow. Mabagal na sa umpisal, pabagal na pabagal pa sa ending.
- Training and orientation on alpine climb. How to deal with glaciers, hypothermia, falls, storms, etc. These are new to me. There really is a risk to life. The trainors and the seasoned ones provide guidelines to minimize the dangers.
- Food is different. Not your usual delicious tasting fares but basic staple food with regional influence.
- It is ok be with a porter. No pride involved here. All a climber brings is his personal effect. Yet in alpine climb, it still is a heavy pack.
- No race to the top. You have to pace yourself for the 2-3 week climb.
- It is expensive, very expensive. You rent equipment, you pay your porter, you pay to enter.
- There's no fun. After all the hard work a day, no good food awaiting at the camp dampens the enthusiasm.
- A tropical climber needs a training, weeks to acclimatize to the high altitude.
- The trainors' expertise is their familiarity and their adjusted lung power. There is no better credential than their summiting to the Mt. Everest. After all the orientation, it's a lot of on the job training.
- The Himalayas is a remote place. Places are named for the purposes of identifying landmarks.
- It is quite lonely at the top.
Why am I doing this to myself? For the pride? Or simply to complete because it is there? Now it seems I understood a bit of what Sir Hillary meant. Slightly clearer after Manali, coming from me, a guy who has known only tropics all my life. The drive though continues even if there is no sheer delight yet. For now.
It is fun to be in the company of Pinoy.
Welcome back. The team is fortunate to have Art Valdez supporting them.
-Tochs. first posted in peyups.com and palmc egroups. Sept 2004