The Ever-Changing Khumbu Icefalls

Ever-changing and full of uncertainty and risk, the path we pursue for our most aspired for aims means we must constantly assess and adapt each step, while always continually pursuing progress. Acknowledging that at times progress means pausing or going in a direction seemingly distancing one from where you are trying to arrive.

Embracing the obstacles, new perspectives the path provides, and also remembering to savor the steps and surroundings as you go all will create from the challenges of the course a sense of present value and empowerment – both which can fuel you further through the unforeseen difficulties you surely will encounter.

Our first rotation through the Khumbu Icefalls began by headlamp and several days later we descended in the reflective late morning sunshine and heat down a path seemingly completely different.

From the dark solitary shadows of ice we first met to glacial pools and weeping wet seracs overhead full of uncertainty as to their stability on our way down – we carefully weaved over, up, and down ladders, straddle stepping large crevasses while ever so softly navigating questionable snow bridges. Our gloved and mitted hands continually clipping our carabiner provided protection into the fixed lines should the ice beneath give way. This is the dance between climber and Khumbu.

Our second rotation approaches in the days ahead. Once again we will enter the Icefalls and again the path will be different, but we will carry the lessons and approach already learned to progress onward, as no summit of Everest can be reached absent respectfully entering the Khumbu Icefalls.

*featured image thanks to Rob Smith

Leave a Reply