In 2005 I joined a trek along the Singalila Ridge, a series of drainages that run from the glaciers on Kanchenchunga, the third highest mountain in the world. The trek covered 15 days at altitudes up to 16,000 feet.
Our gear was carried by porters and dzoes, a cross between a yak and a cow, being milder tempered than the pure yaks. Even so, one of our dzoes was very frisky and would take off bucking and running every evening the moment his pack was unloaded. Once he nearly trampled us while we were having our lunch.
A typical day consisted of hiking bfrom 4 to 6 hours with elevation changes of 1500 to 3000 feet. Temperatures dropped into the teens at night, but during a warm day it was possible to hike with a short sleeved top. Nights were difficult, extrememly cold with no heat source other than a hot water bottle. Baths were infrequent. The rivers are too cold and we tried not to bother the camp crew by asking for additional hot water when they already had so much to do.
Treks like this are difficult for me. The joy is not in the daily struggle, but in the sense of accomplishment in the end. One learns to appreciate the simplest things in life...turning on a light switch or getting hot water from a faucet...now that is living.
~ Terry Armstrong