Jan/Feb 2019

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Shadow and Light: Surviving a Himalayan Tempest

Some trekkers unplug entirely, while others put priority on Facebook and overwhelm village WiFi networks with photo file transfers. The toughness of the trail unleashes emotions, and experienced guides are not altogether surprised to see their much taller clients, mostly of European stock, explode into tears. And sometimes the calamities are more physical. When a client in another group was having trouble with her hiking boots, a 3 Sisters guide donated hers and walked for two days in her client's shower shoes. Young, fit Israelis, who catch the wanderlust after completing mandatory military service, were disproportionately represented and commonly trekking without guides. Whatever the motivation for being here, there's subtle pressure to move forward. Rooms at teahouses fill up, and solar-heated water goes fast, especially during October's high season.

Nate Ferguson


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