Calm before the storm: High Camp

October 27, 2013

Earning the right to be successful

Our participants have prepared well and taken no short cuts. This is Day 15 of their leadership program in the Nepal Himalaya. For them, it all comes to this. That’s why they have come to Mera Peak High Camp: rock and ice at 5800m. Their summit still lies high above them.

They believe they have earned to right to be successful. They have worked hard the past two weeks. They have prepared carefully – even when they saw other teams around them take short cuts: they have taken none. They have also tested their capacity for resilience, courage and judgement. In their own way, each of them begins to feel like a leader.

Undistracted, we can reflect

It’s a beautiful and silent place. The air is very thin and movement takes effort. Everyone seems to take longer to do things. They’re more mindful of everything around them. Himalayan giants Everest, Lhotse, Cho Oyu, Makalu and Kanchenjunga glow as the sun leaves us for another day… and bitter cold sets in.Sea level’s distractions are far away. Our summit is in view.

In this remarkable environment, for each of us personal reflection comes easier. And from that reflection we get answers that help us get stronger.

It is hard to breathe and hard to sleep. We all gather what we can and shuffle between out tents that snap and flutter in the high breeze. Did I say eating is hard? It is. We all lose our appetites as the altitude increases. We re-fuel against our will: it becomes almost impossible. Resilience tested: again.

Tomorrow, the peak.

By Nick Farr & John Carruthers