Wednesday, June 22, 2011

6 days to go

It's hard to describe the excitement of these days. The base work has been done, now I need to remind myself that it is show time and I should simply enjoy every bit of it. The coach reminded me to stick with the second slowest climber in the group, because feeling too strong could push me to do "too much, too early" and put my body under strain. Progressing too fast could be dangerous up the mountain. I have gone through the technical refresher on knots and medical base knowledge about symptoms and "prevention" of AMS, HAPE and HACE (High Altitude Pulmonary/Cerebral Edema).

Mentally I am ready and I have started the process of visualising the camps and the different days of climb. Modern technology (e.g. youtube video, google search engine) is really helping the process of preparing the trip: visualisation of different camps, and different routes has never been easier; and knowing the background of the other climbers and reading my team leader bio is just one click away.

The main doubt in my head is about the weather conditions. Will the weather hold up, or will my summit attempt being ruined by 3 days of intense snowing at camp 3 (@6,800m)? I do not know what will happen, but like someone told me "I do not worry about things I control because I do control them, and I do not worry about things I cannot control, because I cannot control them".

Thursday, June 16, 2011

13 days to go - Mustagata, Xinjiang

13 days to go and counting: in the evening session of yesterday I climbed for 1h, raising 1890m, moving horizontally for 8km. Constant 8km/hours output on an incline of 24.9% average, average heart rate of 176bpm. The legs were shaking, I could barely stand, but nothing could take the grin off my face. It felt great not to give up to pain, to feel the muscle around the knee burning and yet hang in there for one more minute, one more km and then keep pushing even more. It feels good to train knowing that I can push myself harder than the 99.5% of people around me, not because I am physically stronger, not because I am better, but because I am mentally committed to what has become my mission of being ready for Everest in 2014. It is nice and exciting to feel inside that I am peaking now, both physically and mentally, less than two weeks from the trip. There is a feeling that I cannot describe in words, but it’s like everything is finally falling in the right place, at the right time, and make me feel like every drop of sweat was worth. I feel strong and most importantly, I feel happy.

Ultimately, the God of the Mountain will decide if I can summit, but I leave knowing that I have done everything I can to be ready to take that one chance to make it.