Nearly Died In Beautiful Nepal

I went to Nepal when I was 21, as a gift to myself. I graduated college and got a great job in an art gallery, and their hiring policy gave me 2 weeks before I could start work. So I took a week and went to Nepal. Nepal is breathtakingly beautiful, thats for certain. When I was there I took the opportunity to visit a Buddhist temple, which was amazing. But I knew one of the things I wanted to do was go ice climbing. I've been rock climbing since I was 9, and when I was in high school I got it in my mind to climb the Himalayas. Well, climbing the Himalayas is a bit of a stretch for a non-professional, but I did find a tour that went climbing in the Langtang region. It took 3 days of driving and hiking to get to the spot, with 6 other climbers, 3 tour guides/translators, and 2 guy who I'm not quite sure who thy were. Sherpas, I guess.

We were climbing for 4 hours it happened. I had anchored my left axe into a patch of ice that must have been thawing, because it completely broke off. I was secure everywhere else, so it didn't do much but shake me up a little. I decided to dig my axe in on the right side, and when I dug my crampon into the ice it seemed secure. But that also broke away, and my crampon got caught on one of the jagged rocks underneath, and it turned my ankle sideways. It didn't break, but it twisted my ankle severely enough that I could barely walk afterward. The breaking of the ice underneath my crampon relieved the support from the ice above it, and a whole panel of ice sloughed off the rock, and sloughed me with it. I threw my left axe out and caught a good hold on the right side, Unfortunately, at the velocity I was going at, the sudden stop was enough to break my arm. I was hanging there by my axe screaming, and managed to dig my right axe in and hold myself up off the arm. Two of the guides rappelled down to me, checked if I was okay. I don't know how long it took them to get me down, I was in shock by then. They put me in a harness and lowered me to the ground about 85 ft.

My ankle was badly twisted and my arm was badly broken. Even then in the haze of pain I knew it could have been a whole lot worse. The tour guides constructed a rough stretcher and carried me to back to the village. In the village they had to find the only man with an automobile, who packed me into his truck with a ton of blankets, and one of the guides came with. It took about 2 days to get to a hospital, but luckily the driver brought plenty of rum and cannabis with him, so they kept me stoned and drunk to take care of the pain and make those 2 days bearable. I went home in a cast and a wheelchair. The ankle healed pretty quickly, but I was in the cast for four months, which was a pretty big detriment to my new job. I still wouldn't take it back, though, Nepal was beautiful, and I'm glad I was able to spend at least a little time coherent enough to enjoy it.
adventureolive adventureolive
22-25, F
May 24, 2012