We had a nice breakfast of yak cheese toast (as per usual) and were again amazed at the clear skies showing the ginormous mountains surrounding us. I had no clue the surprise that was waiting at the top of the day’s climb. We started out walking up the valley a little bit before heading straight up a steep hill. Part of this first hill was difficult due to the sand dune nature of the path. The ground is very sandy here and at some points we were walking through straight sand.
The uphills were soooo hard for me, especially at this altitude, and I persuaded myself mentally to just get to the next cut back in the path or that if I made it to the top of the path that I could see at the moment then we would be finished going up (obviously a huge lie but it got me through). It’s more of a mental game than a physical game for sure. We made it to the top of this first hill part and took a short break to take pictures of the beautiful panorama surrounding us before the clouds moved in.
We continued to walk up and up and up. The ground turned from sandy to very rocky. I was breathing so hard and had to stop every few steps to catch my breath. Just a few steps up caused me to pant as if I just had ran 3 miles. I knew my blood pressure was really high and my heartbeat was constantly pounding in my head, so I stopped a lot. Without oxygen I didn’t feel or act like myself. At one point I even snapped (and kinda yelled) at Luca and told him that if he really though I was going too slow he could climb up to the top all by himself (I promise I did apologize later when I realized how mean I was). In reality, Luca and Prakash were fantastic and always stopped for me even though they could’ve made it to the top in a fraction of the time.
We made it to almost the top and could chose 1 of 2 ways. We were very close to Chukhung Ri at a little more than 18,200 feet, but we chose the other direction due to the placement of the clouds and better view. The mountain view gave me an adrenaline rush and even though we’d been trekking straight up for 5 hours, I didn’t really feel too tired. After about 10 more minutes, we reached the amazing view point. Again, I was huffing and puffing so I took a moment to catch my breath and threw down my gear I had been carrying. The view was the most amazing I have ever seen in my life and the pictures do not do it justice.
Luca asked me to come over near to him and I thought he was going to have us get a picture together because Prakash had his camera and Luca’s camera out to take a picture. Luca told me to close my eyes and when I opened them he was on one knee, asking me to spend forever with him; of course I said YES! I was so happy and surprised!! We stayed here for a while until the weather started to become bad and we had to go down. I had a really bad migraine when we first got down but luckily it went away with lots of water and some snickers bars. We spent the rest of the day playing cards as usual, but so so happy! I love Luca more than I can explain and I’m so excited to be a part of this adventure of life with him <3