This place is not for the faint of heart. You have to be prepared to sweat, shiver, stink, gasp, and consume ungodly amounts of rice.
This post, for lack of a more eloquent opening, is going to be all about food. It is generally a topic of struggle up here, probably due to the insatiable caloric needs and ever-diminishing appetite as we move higher. Meals are no longer social endeavors, they are full on labor. “Daal Bat” is the traditional Nepali meal, consisting of rice, lentils, and potato curry. Carbo-loading anybody? It comes with an insane amount of rice, and it takes all the effort I can muster to down it. The only way I can keep my energy up is to constantly snack throughout the day.
Rest Days are another beast altogether. Double breakfast is a requirement, along with gallons of ginger tea. Soup? You bet. Snacking in your sleeping bag? Absolutely. It’s both a friendly competition, and a dreaded pastime.
There is also what my dad calls “Delhi Belly”. If you’ve ever been to India, this is pretty self explanatory. If you haven’t, well, it’s also pretty self explanatory. You either have to ask for “Tato Pani”, which is boiled water, or sterilize cold water. There are dishes on the Teahouse menus that might as well say: “Order me if you want a stomach bug!”. Said items are: Tuna Yak-Cheese Pizza, Cheese balls with mustard sauce, Toast with “braked beans”.
But eating isn’t all pain and no gain. The thing about being here is you can eat AS MUCH CANDY AS YOU WANT. (Note: This is my strategy for getting more young kids into mountaineering. Use with caution.) Snickers, Bounty, Mars, and Twix bars are available in every village, but there is a lone standout that trumps all. Coconut Crunchies. These delicious crackers are essentially coconut flavored Nilla Wafers, and I have deemed them my power food. Our team has a wide range of power foods. Syd goes for macadamia nuts, Ty for Twix, Melissa takes the Cinnamon Bears, and Adam likes Snickers rolls. Now what is a snickers roll you may ask? It is a dough-covered, fried snickers bar. Adam wins the power food contest.
That’s it for now, but stay tuned for more high altitude brain induced posts. Keep in mind that I probably have less brain cells than when I started this whole blogging thing.