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Preparing for Nepal (March 17, 2011)

Thursday, March 17, 2011


I have been sitting here at the airport in Katmandu since 7am. Hopefully we will fly to Lukla at 10am. Although, no one knows when we will leave exactly. In the past I was annoyed by these types of things. But they no longer bother me. Now I simply prepare myself for these situations. In fact, I enjoy the feeling of patiently waiting, knowing that I will eventually get to Namche Bazar today.

I am happy to be here. For the past three months, my calendar has been packed with appointments. Every single hour had already been scheduled for me. But now that I am here, the only thing I can do is plan to schedule my time.

When we finally begin our flight, the air is misty. High over Katmandu, on the left hand side, the first mountains appear, but they are veiled, appearing unnatural. The shape of the mountains are usually very well defined when the weather is clear. This is exactly what I love so much about the mountains: clear lines, clear limits. Simple and uncomplicated.

It is so different from our everyday lives. Every day we make many decisions. These decisions come with consequences that we do not always see through, even though we must carry them with us. In the mountains it is nature which sets the limits of our decisions. Within these limits I can move absolutely free as an alpinist. There are many natural factors which I have no influence over. I can only accept them. But only by admitting that these limits exist, will we ever experience absolute freedom.

The bumpy flight finally ends on a runway in Lukla. Now I can move on foot at my own pace. I will go until I reach Namche Bazar. I am very motivated by the fact that I will soon begin my climb. First to Lobuche Peak, to breath in the thin air. Then, if the weather fits, to Cholatse.

I look forward to days ahead. I have a very excited time ahead of me.


Ueli Steck

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