05: Still Sick but Hiking Again – Abin Karhac, India

Gharoli-Patal to Abin Karhac

3 miles + 400 meters

I woke up the next day and went through the motions. I had no choice but to hike that day. So up we went. My body felt limp as we climbed past the cobblestone path onto steep tundra ridges and then snow fields. The wind whipped into me and post holing through the snow drained the little bit of energy I had left. I still had barely eaten or drank the past two days, and my pack was still heavy over sixty-five pounds.

Snow fields covered the trail. The path disappeared in steep ridges that might be better termed green rock faces.

We walked through them and I hoped I wouldn’t fall on the slippery snow. I felt too weak to self-arrest and catch myself from falling down the steep terrain below us. After hours of trudging, and stumbling through the trail we topped out on the brown ridge line. I could see the green dome Hari Run Ki huts below us.

Sick selfie, still cracked a smile.

We began to descend toward them and without the distraction of focusing on not falling, my stomach began to hurt incessantly. I unbuckled my hip belt as my belly swelled with gas. We tumbled into the huts to escape the blasting wind. As I fell in pain on the wooden floors, the green metal domes rattled in the gusts.

The wind forced us into the green huts, we swept out the rodent droppings and dirt. We didn’t see the mountain range that evening and I was delirious with pain.

Out of the wind in the Hari-run-ki huts.

We had climbed another 400 meters landing us at 12,000 feet, above tree line and staring at the most beautiful white pearl strand of massive mountains I had ever seen. But between stumbling outside to shit, almost falling down a steep snowfield once, and falling in mud a second time, I barely noticed.My stomach was distended, as hard as a basketball. I wondered if I was going to pass out the pain was so bad. I only had one dose of antibiotics left. Shouldn’t it have worked by now, I wondered.

I was delirious with dehydration. I stared out the hut door at the sun setting on the massive snow-covered peaks. Its beauty still struck a chord in my exhausted body.

I huddled into my sleeping bag with a hot Nalgene on my hardened belly, hoping for sleep and unable to think about the next day.

View of Trisul’s mountain range covered in clouds.

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