From the summit of Lunag Ri
And suddenly it’s just a few more steps. In front of me lies the summit spur of Lunag Ri.
I can still remember well how Conrad and I sat by our tent at advanced basecamp in 2015. With binoculars in hand, we wondered if this granite tower visible from below was actually the summit. It was just one of the many questions that came up when we first set out to attempt the first ascent. That was four years ago now. A lot has happened since then, and that’s exactly what makes these final steps so special.
I traverse the last few metres over wind packed snow that sticks to the granite on the Nepalese side of the mountain.
Even though my head is full with the impressions that I absorb every moment up here, my thoughts are somehow empty. The knowledge that I must not make any mistake is constantly present and dominates all other feelings. It results in an intense, almost exhausting concentration – a feeling I know only from other solo ascents in the mountains.
Then the short wave of emotions is over, and the knowledge that I should descend the mountain as far as possible today takes hold. I’ve achieved my goal and the descent is upon me – as I’ll have only fully succeeded when I’m back down again.