I'm not much of a climber in the cycling sense of the word. Other than Nepal last year which wilted me away, I've been too heavy to be a climber. But it got me on the topic of climbing to look back at the results... and funny enough, what I consider my crowning achievement of climbing wasn't on a bike, the bike was on my back. We froze at night, rose at 3am, and were hiking up a snow covered pass that topped out at 5,416m. I'd hiked for months on my treadmill at work with weights in my backpack, not to excel, but to assuage a degree of mortal fear. I've never been that high before, and it felt like one was on borrowed time at the top - you were both freezing and wasting - the relative permanence of one's existence just didn't extend there. But I'd never felt so alive as I did there marching up Thorung La in the snow. I'd say it was one of the best experiences of my life.
Bakke, sunshine, Himalayas framing Thorung La pass. Cold, beautiful, therapy of life.