I peaked at 18,514 feet, watching sunrise gild the crown of Everest — one fat king in a room full of (to be honest) far lovelier ladies. The next day, after crossing/crawling the treacherous Chola Pass, I came to rest on the frozen shore of Gokyo’s third lake. I hadn’t seen a wheel in two weeks.
As a child I’d spin the globe and, through some mysterious magnetism, always lay my finger on the jut of the Himalayas. Some homeward knowing said to me, ‘Here is the center of things. Here is the lookout of the world.’
Now the dream is come true. Stone and ice giants hold court above as Ages flicker by below. Only the silence is more massive, filling the valley, the sky, and every intervening space. I hold my breath — and the only sound in the world is my heartbeat, small and feelable, in all that vastness.