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Mount Manaslu

Mount Manaslu

Always mental and physical preparation to climb any mountain is what makes me feel reassured and confident, and that I am present to the mountain with my mind, soul and body. Manaslu is the mountain that fits my goals and my time, but my expectations of the mountain and myself were very different than what I experienced. My expectations were that it would be easy and available based on what I read and my humble experience that preceded  Manaslu.

“Is it because we have done what is more difficult so what will come will be easy? From most experiences, the answer is “no,” because there are always circumstances and factors that make the situation different and not similar to the previous experiences”

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My expectation that I would be strong in Manaslu and that it would be easy for me to climb, broke from the start as soon as I had altitude sickness and anxiety took hold of me. I'm lying on my sleeping bag, my heart rate raised to 120, headache that doesn't stop, fatigue and weakness all over my body. All these symptoms are enough indicators that makes me doubt my ability to achieve my goal and to reach the top. anxiety began to control me and my feelings, at that exact moment I realized that I need help, so I asked some friends who I trust and have knowledge of these things. So, I can make the right decision which was to start taking the altitude medication that helps the body adapt, regardless of its side effects. At that moment, a friend of mine told me it was not the right time to feel ego and not take the medicine, because what was happening was making sense according to the circumstances I went through.

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Implementing what we know and realized is a test that makes us actually experience about the level of that awareness. I started taking medicine (Diamox) and with it, I began the journey to climb to higher camps. Usually, the body and mind take time to realize and adjust the level of heights that is heading to, with that the body will change all its function. The medicine did not give me full confident to keep going. However, I choose to surround myself with a circle filled with only positive people and energy. I used this strategy before and it worked. To be in a very large group of people to achieve same goal can have negative or positive effect at the same time. I always choose the positive side of it and stay away from everything that has a negative impact on me. 

Even when I walk alone with my Sherpa helper, I make that same circle for myself, so I don't lose my focus and I can control my feelings. with every step I know myself more and tell her that with every step I get stronger. This is what I have always assured myself with, that a feeling of strength or weakness is just a feeling, and that I can go on with both. My conversations with myself were endless, and with time passing by I am getting closer to the summit, and my presence in that place confirms this, with each new day I get out of my tent, I raise my head to look at Manaslu, and say yes, I will climb it, that daily confirmation of reaching the top, kept me firm and more stable.

The night of the summit was difficult and long, it took 16 hours to go up from the third camp and down to the main camp directly from the top, a very long night in which I did not realize if I was walking on slope or flat ground. I was lost between that feeling, is the oxygen I breathe from the bottle is the reason, or is it the deep darkness around us, It was a mountain so everything is a slope and I’m definitely going up and didn’t walk on flat ground, I dive in the snow a lot, I lift my feet up to get my feet out and take another step forward. The headlights make me think that the top is near to us but in fact it’s not. We are still climbing endless slopes, as if they were eternal. After about 10 hours of total darkness, the light began to shine into the world. What a beautiful slow moment when the light tries to shine on the world, does this view happen every day, or is it our reward only for the top?

 

I knew then that I was close, I began to fill with happiness and my steps are getting faster. I started to see some people heading down, then I made sure that I was very close. We arrived and the Sherpa asked me to wait because the summit can only accommodate one or two people, and the crowding there will be very dangerous. We waited and as we standing up, the feeling of cold became really painful especially at dawn. I moved in my place until it was our turn. The ledge is dangerous to the summit spot, I think I made it, leaning on the side of the mountain in the snow, because the other side has no extent, and the path hardly fits my giant climbing shoes. I started taking out my flag and raise it and bragging about that moment and asking for other clips and a video clip as well. We filmed all of them with some of those who were there. The joy was the same and the same feeling for everyone. I started to go down for someone else to climb the summit. We were back in a fast step, there were those who were still on the way to climb and those who preceded us down, and those who were laying down in the snow from fatigue and to rest, and unfortunately who was also dying, I do not know the truth of what happened to him but what I learned later that he died, my Serpa asked me not to Look and pass quickly from his side.

The feeling of success made me forget all the hours that exhausted my whole body, all the pain, stress and fatigue. We stopped to collect our things from the third camp and ate what gave us energy. We went down to the second camp and another stop in the first. I arrived at the main camp, limping in pain and unable to even stand. I couldn't eat, I just wanted to sleep. In the morning I left quickly, this is my habit, I can’t wait in the mountain after I finished my mission there. I came back with another bright picture of myself with the flag of my country, which was raised for the first time on Manaslu, the eighth highest peak in the world. I am very happy with another new experience in which I got to know more about myself.