Episode 175: Hiccups & Demons

You Learn Something New Every Day. We may have visited Everest’s Kangshung Face, but the trek isn’t over. We still have to get home!

Today we dismantled and left Camp Mango, my little home for half a week. The rest was a real pleasure, but it was definitely time to move on and keep exploring this wild portion of Tibet. It snowed last night so our departure was met with a sort of winter wonderland. Camp Mango was actually at a fairly low elevation of only around 14,000 feet (4270m) so in order to leave it’s box canyon we had to ascent. At higher altitudes you typically get more snow so the route out of camp was blanketed with the white stuff. Beautiful.

Along the way I became afflicted with a persistent case of the hiccups. No big deal, I get them all the time; a trait inherited from my dad. What I didn’t know was that at least two very disparate cultures apparently have identical views on hiccups and their meaning! Both Nepali and German folks say that when you get the hiccups it means that someone is thinking about you.

So I guess I’ve got that going for me.

Later on we made it to our camp at the base of Langma La, the high pass we’ll have to summit tomorrow morning. This is one of the most beautiful campsites we’ve had on the trip. It’s a very rocky mound next to a high lake and you can tell it’s a place of some importance because there’s a large stone hut here. It’s also very cold. Perhaps the coldest so far on the trek.

The most interesting aspect of this campsite, though, is something Pemba told me tonight. After dinner he walked up to me in a very serious mood. He told me that if I heard a scratching at my tent tonight, do not unzip the door no matter what. The lake and this area are inhabited by demons.

Uh oh, you don’t think a demon have me the hiccups, do you?…

Jon Miller

Total Running Time: 30:32