Sitting at sea level three years later, it all feels like a dream. We left Darjeeling by jeep and rattled our way towards Sikkim on roads that would make the worst streets in New Orleans feel like the world’s smoothest highways. We hiked through valleys and over glaciers for four days to the base of Khangchendzonga. One day a snowstorm blew through and we sat huddled around a stovetop warming our bodies and souls with hot Tibetan Chhaang. When we emerged from the hut, the clouds had descended into the valley below and we climbed a nearby peak. Nobody said anything when we got to the top. We silently let the Himalayas’ unrivaled beauty and fierceness wash over us as prayer flags waved in the wind.
The trek continued the following day as we marched ever closer to Khangchendzonga. We set up camp at 17,000 feet. When the sun dropped, so did the temperatures. We awoke at 3 AM and it was cold enough to freeze a yak’s titties. The stars illuminated our path and our guide brought us to a vantage point where the full glory of the world’s third-highest mountain would be visible. The sun rose and the day’s first sunlight hit the tip of Khangchendzonga as we stared on in awe. It was majestic as fuck.
That experience is something that nobody can ever take away from me. Shiny new cars eventually break down and end up in the junkyard; clothes get ripped to shreds; iPhones become outdated. But the memories you have from doing epic shit can never be thrown away. Buy experiences, not things.