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Author Topic: 28th April: -Waking up in a fairytale, the queste for an unknown destination.-  (Read 5997 times)


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The 28th Nate, Lorenzo and I went for a little walk down to the Rongbuk monastery. But  during our trip we felt we had mysteriously been transported to the missing link between Tolkien's Lord of the Rings and Stephen King's parallel Dark Tower worlds.

Therefore, following is my view of that day, inspired by our shared perceived reality of that day and the above works of art....

Lorenzo thinks I am (a little) mad to write and certainly publish it, as people will surely be convinced now we totally lost our minds :-)
Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn, so read it at your own risk and maybe enjoy it even!
Nothing to do with climbing, but a slight view into the dark corners of our oxygen deprived minds ;-)

-Waking up in a fairytale, the queste for an unknown destination.-

Our fellowship started in good spirits. Young Nathan, Don Gariano and I left our borough in search of enlightment at the mysterious Rong Buk monastery where according to the Ancient Books of Mostly True Memories, we would find The View of What We Left Behind.

The moment we left our quarters the wind gods decided to point us the way and the Mother Goddess of the earth send down a chilly Sagarmathan wind to decide our course for us. After crossing the dangerously open Base plateau and the following Street of Torturous Salesmen without much delay we were drawn to the Giant Fields of Boulders, bypassing the treacherous switchbacks of the main track that had taken our forefathers to Rong Buk in search of The View.

The Boulders were in a good mood today, we were allowed to pass without delay and saved at least a Moon of traveling time when we entered the main track again.
Suddenly we noticed a sign next on the right:
"Great Scolar Pedma Sambhava's  Magic cave", pointing up towards a series of small ruins covered with prayer flags, which we had not noticed before. Even though they were besides our track, it felt important and we were drawn  towards the shady ruins.

The Great Scolar appeared and welcomed us, telling us he had been waiting for our fellowship. He took us down do his magic cave underneath his house. Don Gariano, who is not fond of dark confined spaces since his adventures in the Ligurian Caves of Hell, volunteered to stand Guard outside instead.

The perfectly square entrance to the cave appeared pitch dark and endlessly deep from above, but the moment we conquered our fear and dropped our legs into the black hole, small but stable ledges started to appear beneath our feet and we could safely lower ourselves in a small space filled with relics from the past. The Great Scolar did not say much, but took our hands and fitted them onto a spot on a rock on a far corner of the cave. My hand fitted exactly and in the opposite corner 7 oil lamps started to flicker..

He let out a low pitched grunt and showed us the small pathway to the 800 year small old Buddha statue in a glass cabinet. The scolar's face seemed to freeze, all emotion and colour gone and though it was hard to see in the dim flickering light, the Buddha's small eyes appeared to blink briefly but surely. Just when I turned to ask Young Nathan if he had seen it as well, the Scolar's face coloured up the room and his eyes seemed brighter than humanly possible, a widening grin exposing his last 3 remaining teeth.

'Come, you are ready for the tests of knowledge and enlightment' he said, though his lips did not move, and pointed towards the exit of the cave which seemed brighter and larger.
We passed Don Gariano, who was guarding from the roof, and were led into a seemingly endless series of avalanche debris with rocks varying from fine sand to house-sized.

The Scolar showed us many rocks that appeared regular, but on closer inspection were covered in signs from ancients Buddha's.
'To appreciate life and find your way to the light, your fellowship has to enter and exit the Womb, and experience the pain your mother had to go through when showing you the world' he said, pointing to a maze of pointy rocks, separated by a small sandy track. We climbed down into a dark but wide cave, wondering what to do next. The Scolar just pointed towards a tiny speck of light at the far end of the cave, seemingly just big enough to let a squirrel out of the cave.
We turned to eachother, and Young Nathan stepped forward. He always travelled light and as I was carrying the bag filled with Magical Devices to capture The View of What We Left Behind, we decided he would take the test.
He crawled to the end of the cave, squirmed himself between some small boulders and partly dissappeared. Just when we thought he was stuck, a strange wind passed through our hair and the small opening was empty again, Young Nathan had passed!

We climbed back out the other way and found Young Nathan standing on top of a huge rock, confused but happy.
For our final test the Scolar took us to what appeared as a huge pile of avalanche debris rocks in all colours. He told us to pick up 2 small rocks, one black and one white without telling us why. He pointed at my luggage and said that it would not be possible; fortunately Don Gariano was not looking forward to this test and gladly offered to guard it while we were going in.

We scrambled to a small hole and just before we entered the Scolar turned gently and whispered:
"Be careful, already 8 people died in here..."
Young Nathan and I turned to eachother, but before we could even exchange our thoughts we the Scolar had dissappeared into the small hole and I quickly followed him. We crawled through some narrow chimneys until we appeared into a small cave, barely lit with day light entering through the cracks in the wall.

He pointed to our hands and took out the black rocks. "If you are not of good heart, you will not exit this cave and follow the black powers down to where no-one has ever returned from..."
While saying this he threw the black rocks into a corner of the cave where the daylight did not reach. We expected to hear the rocks hit the bottom or back of the cave, but they simply vanished, no sound telling us how deep this cave actually was...
We placed the white rocks on a pile of similar stones, with blessed scarves all around. "If you are of good heart, you will see your stones again.."

We followed him through narrow passages, and every time we thought we really could not fit through the passage to the next cave and might have to return, we emerged into another small cave, by now completely void of daylight, so we could only avoid the many blackholes leading to nowhere by the sparse light of his single dying torch. After a while he told us to stand still, while he put out his torch.

Dark. Darker than Dark. Silent and Darker than dark could ever be in anyone's wildest imagination.
If there would ever be a place where the Silence of Dark could be heard screaming, it would be here, in this cave, deep down below the Obvious World..

"This is how it feels for eternity if you are not of good faith and heart" were the words with which he broke the screaming silence. He lit his torch again and left the cage at the far end.
At one point the passage ways became so small that Young Nathan wanted to return, but there was no way we could have found our way out again, and the Scolar seemed to slide through the passageways without any effort, so we had to rush to follow him.
We ended up at a dark wall and wondered where he could be when we saw the dim light of his torch several meters above us. There was no other way out but to climb up a narrrow chimney, straight up and almost pitch dark. The walls were slippery and Young Nathan and I had to use our rockclimbing skills taught when we were young by our old teacher Walter before he Turned Bad..

We arrived at a small plateau with endless drops on all sides, but at the end I noticed something I had no idea I could crave for so much:  daylight...
We went through one last passage and suddenly were in the White Rocks room again, again noticing the rocks we placed before.
"You have passed.", the Scolar simply said and slid out through a crack in the side wall.

When we told Don Gariano about our trip through the Dark Cages of Good Hearts, he told us we had only be gone for 20 minutes. But Young Nathan and I were totally convinced it had taken us several hours!
We said goodbye to the Scolar and continued on the track, but somehow it had changed. The road had leveled, the sky had greyed flom blue and the Sagarmathan wind hit us from behind with fresh and bright snow.

Somehow the wind seemed to clear the road in many ways. All the strange creatures we met in the next few miles were coming towards us, but suddenly backed off when getting close to our Fellowship of Three, hiding their faces from us. We escaped the Riddling Twins of Twighland and even could withstand the moisture sucking wall of Wibaut, which is known to mummify unwarned travelers withing seconds...

While the snow was getting successful in freezing our movements to a speed close to zero, we finally reached the walls of a small enclosed space filled with humans. Rong Buk!
We entered the sanctuary and heard a strange noise behind a green door.
I slowly opened it to find an old woman slowly turning a huge prayer wheel, while sitting kneeled on the floor. She did not say anything, but pointed me towards a small box, on which I placed myself. I helped her turn the prayer wheel, which was many times bigger than herself.
After a while, she nodded and I left the room.

We continued across the courtyard and entered a small room where two monks were chanting, one of them playing huge cymbals, the other a giant drum.They acknowledged our presence but did not stop their chanting.

While the snow kept on falling in the courtyard where several woman were collecting and bundling some kind of long straws, a small boy came up to us and stopped a few feet away. He moved his head from left to right and back repeatedly.
He looked us all in the eyes and suddenly stopped his movement.

"There" he said, pointing to a red building on the other side of the valley.
We looked towards where he was pointing and when I wanted to ask him what he meant, he was nowhere to be found, and there were no tracks in the fresh snow.

We crossed the meadows filled with snow covered Yaks, towards the red building which was open but earily deserted.
After inspection of a huge hall which looked like a dining hall where conversations of the past still could be heard, Don Gariano found a way leading out to a small balcony facing The Way We Came.

I unpacked my bag with Magical Equipment and prepared the contents for what I was expecting to come.
And yes, 5 minutes later, the snows suddenly stopped, the grey sky parted and the entire horizon was filled with the astounding image of a huge mountain, partly covered with fresh snow. Dreamed about by many, coveted by more, seen like this only by the few who took the effort of the Journey. We had been living at it's feet, too close to be able to see it and unaware of the beauty that had been within our reach all along. We had to leave it behind to see it in all its glory.

This was the end of the search of The View of What We Left Behind. We had found it and the View was the greatest reward we could ever get for the hardships our fellowship had been through. I captured it and am now able to pass the Magic on to new generations of Seekers and Finders, hoping to inspire them to leave their comfort zones and find and protect the hidden treasures of our world.





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Scary stuff Harry!!!  I'm not surprised "Don Gariano" stayed outside the dark cave, although I am surprised he is still with you after the telling of this story - I would have thought his instincts would have told him he was in the presence of a jibbering wreck whose ramblings are akin to those who have strayed and wandered lost high on the South Col!!  ;D

Keep taking the tablets Harry, lol!  :D

Lorenzo, please don't let that experience detract from you wonderful and eloquent audio blogs  ;)

Gosh, but you guys are lucky being out there - I would really be having fun out there with you folks, even if I didn't make it to the top (great comradeship!!).  Keep it up (and also your spirits) and look out for the real signs of hypoxia.

Best wishes, Colin

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Incredible experiences, Harry - you really must write a book when you get back.

Webmaster for Lorenzo's Everest Audio Blog
KMi, The Open University
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