The frosted tent fabric sparkles in the light of a torch beam where Brett sits hunched besides me in the cramped tent. He spoons a mouthful of noodles from his old army mug. I slurp my own tepid spoonful,which tastes a bit like chicken. Or is it mushrooms, or maybe beef? What does it matter? It is purely functional,fuel for the climb, a last attempt to stoke the furnace for the long journey ahead.We have moved beyond the world of sensual pleasure. In the Andes,there is no finesse: all that matters is survival. And yet, we still feel a great surge of excitement and pleasurable anticipation. We have been consumed by this wild,crazy,beautiful odyssey.
“We reach the top of Kilimanjaro and scream in triumph, knowing that something fundamental has changed inside of us. All our doubts, fears and uncertainties are left behind. They are left back there on the summit, rapidly evaporating like our footprints. All our imagined horrors have dissipated, leaving a new, more positive reality in their place.”