Isn’t it about time to start up hiking again? Well, we all have taken an atrophy break for a few months, but with the warmer weather (above freezing, woohoo) I’m getting the earliest signs of spring fever. When I wake up in the morning I don’t have to break through the ice on my blankets, and my shampoo isn’t frozen any more. I feel a light buzz of adrenaline now that the sun sets later and my legs are anxious to go run around the block. I’m in a wide valley surrounded by mountains, and I always look up and imagine hiking to each of the many peaks. However, the snow is still pretty thick and the temperatures still must be as cold as my apartment, so I don’t plan on any hikes up there just yet.
There are still a lot of regions in the world where the temperature and the snow levels are high enough to make a mountain hike pretty enjoyable right now. I probably won’t be making any new excursions to exotic lands right away, but I do have my eyes on starting up a hike in the nearby mountains. Considering all of the fun we have up in the mountains in modern times I imagined for a moment what our ancient predecessors in this region thought of the wintry mountains. Having some composite material snowboard and gore-tex gear can make a day on the slopes a lot of fun, but just imagine if you only had fur and skins to make through the chilly days. I don’t imagine slipping down a steep slope on ice and snow would have been very much fun, and you’d learn a lot more respect for nature.
That reminds me of how the Sherpa people live in the Khumbu region, where they still use pretty rudimentary tools and materials to get by in their daily lives. They appreciate and respect the land where they live and the dangers around them give them humility. It’s amazing to think that hiking through the Himalayas is a part of every day life, and all the hard work and struggling are not just part of a vacation for them. They also don’t have the option of getting sedentary and out of shape, so I feel pretty guilty how I’ve been so lazy. Over our month-long trek in Nepal last Fall we all got in very good shape, and it was a great feeling every day to reach our hiking goals. Time to get going again.cold wear heritage hiking landscape mountains Sherpa society snowboarding steep trekking