How do you express passion?
How do you explain reason to events only you have encountered?
Having navigated my small plastic kayaks down the rivers of EVEREST and K2 I wish to share with others some of the thoughts, feelings and emotions that come from such an act. More will come as I get near to returning to the great mountain - a solo trip this time, a double run on the tears that fall from Everest.
Gazing up the valley from the Rongbuk monastery in Tibet the majestic peak of Everest (Sagamartha) showed herself through the parting clouds. Beside my small tent sat a small plastic kayak still wet from the river.
Sat against the wall of the monastery I could not help but choke on the emotions that had built up. All the trials of the past had lead to this moment I had finally become the only person to have kayaked down all the rivers that flow from the great mountain.
The Arun in Nepal. A trip littered with problems not least the encounter with Maoist rebels and the sound of gun shots. Eighteen months later I trekked into Namche Bazaar to run the Dudh Kosi river. In the enforced boundaries of Tibet I had managed to ride the last of the three rivers that flow from Sagamartha. Droplet tears fell down my bearded face. As the realisation of what I had done swept over me.
I had not been alone on any of these river, kayaking with great friends. But each river had been a different team. I was the only constant on all three expeditions. Even now sitting alone, looking out of the rain stained window of my cottage I find it hard to identify with what I have achieved.
Those that ask often look blankly into mid distance as I reel off story after story. How do I rationalise what I did? How will those that listen understand the private thoughts. In the telling all bravado and ‘extreme experiences’ seem to emanate from the words although this is not the reason. Through the re-telling it is hoped that the perception of ‘extreme’ sports offer more than just an adrenaline filled lifestyle.
This is a journey for myself, a solo quest, I know that I will find the truth. That moment when you are with your god. The moment when the devil of your mind runs away and hides in the memory.
It is this time, the place I must force myself to go, that I crave. I want to know myself, to deal with my own whim, without the pull of peers, or the ties of blood. I ache to know the feelings of the night, when the dark sky forces sleep and the dreams grow cold in the soul.