Climbing Stok Kangri
It was one of those moments in life that definitely count as strange and vie strongly for the title of strangest. I was halfway up a steep ice and snow covered slope, leaning forward and thinking every move carefully because this was really slippery and really steep and one small slip would send me sliding all the way to the bottom of the slope that I had climbed laboriously over the last hour. Just a few feet to the right of me, an ice axe lay in the snow, abandoned. I didnt have an ice axe with me and was now calculating if the sideways movement to reach the axe was worth the risk of slipping. Far below me, I could just make out the shapes of half a dozen trek mates who had abandoned attempts to climb the slippery slope. Above me, halfway to the ridge at the top, lay M., holding on tightly to a small rock projecting from the snow. He was stuck there for the last half an hour at least and his screams had quitened down to a whimper now. Above that on the ridge, there was some movement against the skyline and I could suddenly see the back of one of our trekmates. His bright red jacket blew a little in the wind and I could suddenly see he was an inflated dummy actually and that a fair was on at the top of the ridge. There were clowns, balloons, shops, a merry-go-round and a ferris wheel. Great, I told myself, I will be up there soon, joining in the merriment and getting something hot to eat. Like I said, it was one of those moments.