By Jenna McCarthy

Nepal 2023
Nepal 2023

Dear family, friends, lovers, and other platonic followers of Nepal 2023,

We woke up to snow much like the snow we wake up in Clinton, NY. I put on three pairs of pants today: long underwear, trekking pants, and rain pants. We also put on gaiters today to prevent the snow from getting into our hiking boots.

Today was the usual schedule: wake up at 6:30 AM for tea, eat breakfast at 7:30 AM, and start trekking around 8:30 AM. In that time, we pack two bags: the orange duffels the porters carry and our day packs which we carry, except today we also pack our puffers.

We get breakfast with tea and coffee. Will Kieger ‘23 jokingly says that we are “running on teasel.” Will proceeds to tell us a story about 3 pigs that hike Mt Everest…clearly, the altitude is making some of us a little loopy! For breakfast, we eat some potato soup which warms us all up and tastes very yummy - Eric Jamous '23 comments how this is his favorite meal.

We hike with our sunglasses on because the sun reflects off the snow, and the glittering white is blinding, making it difficult to see our surroundings. The majority of the hike before lunch is beside a river that is the color of glacier freeze Gatorade. We also saw a small avalanche which was some epic combination of crazy, scary, and cool.

When the sun comes out from behind the mountains, we start to heat up until we become uncomfortably hot. We stop momentarily to delayer, but the three pairs of pants stay on and sweat drips down our legs.

For me, this creates some cognitive dissonance: we slept in freezing temperatures, we woke up to snow on the ground, and there’s still snow on the ground underneath us, yet we are all sweating from the heat of the sun.

breakfast in Nepal

Dark clouds chase us to our lunch break at Machhapuchhre Base Camp where they catch up to us and envelope us. We continue to catch glimpses of the surrounding snow-covered mountainous terrain until the clouds swallow us whole. We fear that it will rain, but it holds off. We eat a roasted vegetable sandwich with white bread and piles upon piles upon piles of French fries. Yesterday, Andrew told us that the altitude might cause us to lose our appetites, but that does not seem to be the case with this group!

The rest of the hike lasted for about 2 hours. We were walking through a cloud and encountered far less people. Besides the crunching of the ice beneath our feet and the puncture of it with our hiking poles, it was silent. When we stopped for a break, there was a moment where we could hear nothing at all, and it was unlike anything I have ever experienced before in my entire life. Just pure silence.

Annapurna Base CampEventually, we made it to the NAMASTE Annapurna Base Camp sign (which, mind you, was my rose before the trip). As noted, I have been looking forward to seeing this since before we left America! It was an amazing feeling to realize how far we have come in just 5 days. Chondra, our guide, passed out celebratory Snickers bars, and we took a bunch of photos, including one with the Hamilton Outing Club sign.

Some of us are currently a little sunburnt, but what’s spring break without a little burn?


Jenna (“Mission accomplished”) McCarthy ’23


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