We had a very short trek today of just under 3 hours, with quite a gentle, easy trail by Himalayan standards. Bobby struggled from the start, and seems to have lost a bit of his composure and conditioning. He is finding it difficult to adjust to the altitude and as a consequence his leg strength is weakened and balance is off. Despite these physical conditions, Bobby was determined to make it to Pangboche, and we made it, albeit slowly, needing to stop and rest every 5 to 10 minutes.
It is truly difficult to comprehend the enormity and severity of climbing and trekking at this altitude, until you experience it first hand. Even with the mental and physical challenges highlighted during our leadup, Bobby felt the journey would be far less demanding than it has. In his own words, “I made it too easy in my mind, and it definitely isn’t easy. It is really tough.”
In his current shape, Bobby needs to rest and regain his strength, eating good carbs and rehydrating. We are going to assess his condition after a few days to determine if we continue higher or work our way back to Lukla. Regardless of the decision, Bobby should be immensely proud of his efforts. Already this has been a great learning curve for Bobby, and once he returns home, he knows what is required, in order for his dream to continue. The mountains will always be there, and as far as this being a training run, it has been extremely beneficial experience, providing him a true insight into what is expected. He now knows what is necessary in order to succeed in this environment.
I and all of the team seriously doubt that anyone with Bobby’s level of MS, would ever have reached this point in the Himalayas, sleeping at almost 4000m. It is quite incredible when you think about it, and whatever he achieves from here just adds to the enormity of his conquest.
Bobby was also blessed yesterday when we arrived by Lama Geshi, the head Buddhist Lama in the region. Bobby also gave him his photo of Lama Geshe Doga, who he has been carrying with him in his backpack. He now feels spiritually enlightened and uplifted by the blessing. Bobby is in good spirits, knows what he needs to do, and is confident he will be strong again in a few days.