At the top of Dolma La Pass, North Western Tibet [5,944m/19,500ft]
After a terrible episode of HAPE and onset of HACE forced me to abandon my plans to reach Kala Patthar (5,644m/18,519ft) and Gokyo Ri (5,357m/17,575ft), I was devastated. All those days of waking up early to prepare myself mentally and physically seemed nugatory, and that I had turned back just four days from the summit was extremely disappointing. Upon returning, I set up a personal goal to reach 5500m (18,045ft) by the time I turned 30.
On June 29th, 2010 at 10:13 AM China Standard Time, after hours of strenuous trekking through switchbacks in predawn hours, I reached the highest point of Dolma La Pass in North Western Tibet, PRC and exceeded my personal goal - an elevation of 5,944m (19,500ft). Here I am seen tying the prayer flags at the summit, a custom that originated from Bön regilion that is thought to have predated Buddhism. Bön people believe tying prayer flags at the mountain peaks and high ridges lets the wind carry your prayers to the gods.
As I descended slowly, the elation of fulfilling my goal disappeared and I started to feel in satiated. Now my new personal goal is to reach 6,500m (21,325ft) by the time I turn 35. My next attempt will be Mera Peak (6,476m/21,247ft) in North Eastern Nepal.
P.S: My dad took this picture at the top. A feat I consider incredible in itself considering the 58year old man has never climbed above 2,897m (9,500ft).
Canon PowerShot G9, f/4.8 @ 44.4 mm, 1/640, ISO 80, No Flash
© Shrinidhi Chandrasekharan 2010