We cannot help but become giddy alongside our two dozen guides and porters. The combination of lower altitudes (more oxygen) and the final day (a shower and a real bed) awaits this final, long, ten-hour day of hiking.
The bond we share makes us brothers and sisters. Erased are the astounding differences in our cultures and the separation of homes 10,000 miles apart. Everything we have known is different, yet we are the same. We are brought together by the Great Himalayan National Park and the Heroes Climb.
Before we say our final goodbyes, we will celebrate with a ceremony befitting of the bond we shared. We struggled past adversity while breathing in pristine air in a poetic setting. By day we gazed across rolling hills sliced open with jagged towers of rock piercing the blue sky. By night, the stars revealed the infinite distance between us and the meaning of it all: profoundly significant and simple at the same time.
The moment is what matters. The climb is what takes us through to the next moment. We are all brothers and sisters defining what it takes to be a hero to those we love.
We ventured into this expedition to learn about ourselves. To test our resolve through climbing past the challenges we face. The journey within becomes the most courageous mission of all. We are not heroes. We simply climb towards awareness.
We climbed for the heroes among us, for those we’ve lost and especially, for the heroes we are honored to grace us in the future.