And why, again, would I want to do this?
You get to see jagged mountains reflected in smooth glass lakes, to climb snow-covered passes that reveal valley after valley, and to traverse glaciers like fields of lacerated ice. To cross swinging rope bridges strung with tattered prayer flags, to learn to pass crumbling Buddhist monuments on their left out of respect. To sit cross-legged on the cold floor of a Himalayan monastery and listen to the monks chanting, and later, to sit around the cast iron stove of a cosy tea house and hear conversations in a dozen languages. To see the locals strap heavy loads of consumer goods to their heads and overtake you up the mountain, to stop complaining about the cost of toilet paper and chocolate in the upper villages. To take endless photos of shaggy yaks and Sherpa children with red, windburned cheeks; to film your turboprop plane flying off the edge of a cliff at Lukla, the world’s most dangerous airport. To develop a deep respect for nature as well as a newfound appreciation for hot, running water.