It took 45 days. For 45 days, Ang battled with Everest’s rocky, icy, peaks as he climbed alongside his friends, quickly learning that the weather must be on his side if he was to successfully complete the journey. Ang reminisces on the moments, and sometimes days, of rest and waiting, to acclimatise and find the precisely perfect window of opportunity to continue the expedition. Stories were told, jokes were shared and dances were learnt, all in the true spirit of Nepali optimism, as the top of the world waited patiently for their arrival.
In the final climb to the summit, Ang recounts how his complex relationship with Everest resurfaced, telling Henry, “I had some feeling of trespassing to somewhere I didn’t belong, the mountains are home to the Gods”. Despite the mental battle he faced, the physical challenge was more pressing, and instead he focussed on putting one foot in front of the other, inching closer to a moment he never thought would come.
In the hours before the expedition was complete, the group’s path was lit with the glow of an almost full moon, in Ang’s eyes it was as though he was being guided by the God’s, a subtle, and deeply personal, nod of their approval, spurring him on for the final stretch. Come morning, the skies had cleared, and endless blue vistas filled the horizon as Ang stood with the world at his feet.
There is not much for Henry to say, instead he listens, and watches, as Ang’s eyes dart back to a moment so fleeting, yet so immortal in his mind. A lifetime of apprehension, reframed in just 45 days.
Back in Phaplu, with the distant hum of children in the bike park and a new group of guests checking in at the Happy House, Ang is resting after an arduous expedition. He returned from Everest safely, leaving nothing but footprints behind; and taking with him, a renewed vigour to protect and showcase Nepal to the world.