Today was the big day and we are very proud that we did it !!. High Pass crossing is akin to mountaineering and requires that we finish the traverse of the pass and reach the final destination within stipulated time frames. There are no stops in between and pass crossing is a test of the heart and lungs while we ascend and a test of the knees as we descend.
We were up early today and after breakfast started our climb up the Renjo-La. This is a solid 2000 feet climb and at an altitude of 17500 feet can be really taxing. Mentally and physically it is one step at a time and sometimes one wonders why we undergo this self torture by coming to the mountains year after year. The feeling that we get after reaching the destination however explains it all. It is pure exultation.
We reached the top of the pass at about 11 30 am and had the best views of Everest that we have ever seen. The entire north and southwest faces and the west, northeastern and south east ridges are visible and most importantly Everest appears as it is..the tallest. In fact from Kala Patthar, Everest is slightly overshadowed by Nuptse. The great Mahakalu (Makalu) was also visible in the distance. We spent some time at the top and then descended almost a 1000 feet in half an hour followed by a long and winding downhill descent to the village of Lungden in the Thame valley. This area is one of the most desolate areas we have ever seen.
We are all tired after today's exertion but continue to remain in excellent spirits and health.