By Behnood Javaherpour
Some months ago, I challenged myself off the clothing and fashion industry, to a journey to Asia the Far East and the east of the Himalayas, accompanied with a professional team, had a successful ascent of the redoubtable Mount Everest. I, according to what has been mentioned in my background, alongside clothing and models’ design, had a preoccupation in my mind since childhood the mountains and mountainous regions and to challenge the conquest of peaks and heights. In this respect, the major and significant event that occurred in my life was the delightful journey and accompaniment, to Asia the Far East, the Far East, the peak and roof of the world and king of the world mountains, the Everest.
On my journey to Everest, by helicopter went directly from the deadly place of Kathmandu to Base Camp. That trip lasted 45 minutes and I stayed there for a day. A place so unknown and mysterious and full of unbelievable adventures. This duration of time normally would have taken two to five days, while for me due to zeal and enthusiasm for mountains and travel with this style and manner, the discovery became speedier. The normal path usually had been from Kathmandu to Base Camp, and from there on foot toward the peak. This time, the path from Kathmandu to the base was taken a bit luxuriously because I was taken by helicopter. This path from Kathmandu toward Base Camp was above terrifying heights. From there in accompaniment of a team comprised of the best of the professionals toward the mountaintop, the Peak, the Everest. This was a team of professional mountain climbers and mountaineers who being in their company was very informative and an honor for this humble wayfarer.
This team carried out this mission in twenty-three days. Other teams would have taken much longer, perhaps thirty-five to forty days to traverse this mountainous path, but our team because of professionalism and a fine ability for reconnaissance and pathfinding traversed that route in a much shorter time. It should be kept in mind that traversing that path in swift motion, is with the same proportion, a very dangerous undertaking because due to high speed the exactitude may be lessened and could have resulted in deadly errors. The very cold and mysterious nights of the Himalayas should also be taken into account and can have uncountable mishaps and miseries for the mountain climber and the team. Of course, this also should be mentioned that, had we traversed this path in other months, a very thick fog would have engulfed us and faced us with many difficulties and delays and definitely would have made this crossing for us with that speed impossible, and there were previous occasions when some groups of mountain climbers due to some simple error along this path had lost their lives and even their bodies were never found.
The team that I was part of, counted seventeen members. This number of mountain climbers in a group attempting to climb Mount Everest is far less in numbers as compared with other teams trying to make the same ascent. However, most members of our team had been selected from amongst the more professional of this sport. Each member had his own personal effects and of his Sherpa’s weighing 60 to 120 kilograms which would create a heavy burden for the mountain climbing group and made any move for them a hardship. This point should be mentioned that normally the required training for all these operations had been given long ago, and skills and know how to deal with these types of occurrences in a predetermined and managed fashion have become integrated into a mountain climber’s soul in a way that when ascending a mountain, the mountain climber should not encounter an unnatural and unpredictable event that he or she could not deal with.
This was true with our professional team, and all stages and consequences had been examined in detail before the ascent began.
The path to the peak of Mount Everest had five camps and these camps allowed the group members the respite needed for intermission and rest that leads to reinvigoration and recovering of energy. The group had assigned equally for all of us, one hour of rest at each camp for getting refreshed.
From the altitude of 6000 meters to the top of the peak seven oxygen capsules were consumed and because the ascent was carried out with speed, all throughout the ascent the oxygen mask could not have been taken off, because that could have very dangerous consequences and even may have led to death. High oxygen pressure would have shattered the lungs and sudden cardiac arrest would have ensued and could have destroyed the mountain climber and resulted in death.
On the return path from Base Camp to Lukla (a town in the Khumbu area of the Solukhumbu District in the Sagamatha Zone of north-eastern Nepal.), the feeling of returning alone was experienced. This path despite being the easiest route that can be traversed, as compared with the rest of the paths and other routes for the ascent to the Everest, also had other experiences that can be very interesting for every mountaineer and mountain climber. Anyhow, it took me, accompanied by a Sherpa, three days to traverse the route and path toward Lukla, three days which in ourselves were full of memories and hazards and unbelievably spectacular sceneries. Throughout this road back, fear overtook me on many occasions and I had to overcome it, a fear apart from the sight of many deep valleys and high elevations.
Also included, there were other elements and circumstances. The notable point in that route was that alongside errors arising from carelessness and speed, the caution and trepidation also could take the life of the human being. Aside from all these circumstances, other natural elements should also be referred to, and they are the obvious ones, cold and desperation.
This journey took place on personal expenses. The rest of the mountain climbers, from what was seen and heard, came through sponsors. At times, this journey, as mentioned before, was taken somewhat luxuriously, meaning that the use of technology, the helicopter, for part of the way, was involved in it and there was also the Sherpa who carried my belongings which included protein food and needed vitamins. It should also be acknowledged that people of that country are very poor and this is another reason for mountain climbers and mountaineers to bring along food more than the normal and sufficient food that rock climbers take with them. In other words, everyone should bring along their basic necessities of life, where death is too close to the human being and destructive elements and parameters are too many.
With regard to the kind of food that we took with ourselves on this trip, it was mostly potatoes and garlic and can be taken with rice. There is a local food there called “Dal” and it is very popular and is a cooked lentil soup normally taken as part of a meal called “Dal Bhat” that consists of steamed rice and “Dal”.
The journey was a very arduous one, a difficult and trying ascent, and the unbearable cold at nights, the darkness and the terrible cold alongside countless vistas of that realm, a mysterious journey full of secrets and riddles that happens to everyone trying that adventure, a journey that cannot be recommended, either to take or not to take, to go or not to go; however, only and only it is more suitable for those who seek to discover nature’s secrets and riddles and for the enthusiasts of nature and mountaineering, and it is not for the sensitive and fashionable designers, because the artist’s tender soul and sensitive nature will be subject to much torment along this path and much anguish and hardship would be inflicted on the astute, sensitive and cultivated artist. It should be acknowledged that one would think much of the name and presence of God in the heights of the mountains and God’s might becomes more manifest to the wayfarer. A might that definitely inclines the artist toward a profound peace and calm.
All that came to pass during the crossing of this path will soon be reflected in my Instagram page of Behnood. It is only hoped that even a small amount of the mysterious feel and the mood of such experiences and the spirit and disposition of that unknown, fearful, and intimidating realm can be conveyed to others. A mystical spirit that reveals the divine power of God with all its being and indistinct signs.