Newsflash: After a long hiatus Backpacking Badger has appeared on the radar yet again - unconfirmed reports that she was close to reaching the summit of Mount Everest were quickly quashed - although she is reported to have endured Siberian temperatures, which were confirmed by an actual real-life Siberian with appalling teeth...
Happy New Year everyone!
Yes, it's been a while - but I've now thrown out my trekking shoes (quite literally) and given away my gloves, so it looks like I'll be closer to the radar from now on, and hopefully a little bit warmer...
It's been an epic 6 weeks of Himalayan panoramas, so my first list of 2010 gives thanks to those mighty mountains with my top mountain experiences:
· Spending Christmas Day with my lovely adoptive Sherpa family at the foot of Mount Everest - who massively softened the blow of missing home with their amazing hospitality and delicious home-baked chocolate brownies.
· The kaleidoscopic and mesmerising sunset I experienced with my Dad at Muktinath in the Annapurna range. The clouds burned and transformed second by second from warm orange to fierce pink before slowly fading to grey.
· Waking up and feeling like a 5 year old as a foot of fresh snow blanketed the quaint village of Phortse on the way back from Everest Base Camp. Smoke piled out of the chimneys of snow-swept stone village houses which were backed by a cobalt blue sky and the early morning sunshine. Picture postcard heaven.
· Being witness to one of the most incredible panoramas I have ever seen on top of Gokyo Ri in the Everest region: The highest peaks in the world rise sharply and unevenly out of the horizon while Everest - a huge pyramid of black rock - effortlessly soars above the rest.
· Drinking warm tea and munching away on a Snickers bar while soaking up the astonishing views of the Annapurnas and Dhaulagiri on Poon Hill.
On my way back from Everest Base Camp I heard some tragic and very very sad news about a good friend back in Oxford. Home feels very far away at times like this and being away from my family and friends has been particularly difficult over the past two weeks. I'm thinking about everyone in Oxford and at school lots, while still resolving to make the most of this amazing adventure I'm on.
The next leg of the journey takes me to Hong Kong, then into Southern China from there, where I hopefully won't need any warm clothing of any kind…
Hope all's well in Blighty and that you haven't all disappeared under a sea of heavy snow… xxx