Despite being born in Terai, I had a deep desire to get familiar with the hardship of mountains, and the beauty that accompanies the hardship. I had seen some snowy peaks from far away, but such moments had never satisfied me.
This February, however, I got a chance—to cross a snow-covered stretch of around 23 kilometres in Manang, a dream destination for all snow lovers.
I used to think that Manang is a far cry from the plains where I was born and raised in. I only had heard about the hardship that people experience while travelling in the district beyond the mountains. But my experience this time was a different story. The beauty that this place offers compensates the ordeals that you need to go through.
As we left Kathmandu in the morning, we reached the district headquarters Chame in the evening. Then we trekked to Humde, our final destination, on the second day. Sporadic snowfall forced us to halt our walk frequently.
We were travelling to participate in the second edition of Humde Ice Climbing Festival. Ice climbing was a major attraction for the tourists visiting Humde village in Ngisyang rural municipality-4 of the district. Around 40 persons, including Nepalis and foreigners, were participating in the event.
My first ice climbing experience was fun. At first, the steep hill scared me. As an ice climber, I was supposed to climb up 350 metres, steep uphill, and the entire route was covered in snow. However, I stepped forward, my confidence level also began to go up. A 160-metre uphill walk that I had done just before helped me acclimatise.
In the end, the trip proved to be one of the most memorable journeys that I had ever done in my life. The foreigners accompanying me commented that the place exactly looked like Switzerland. However, I was sad to notice that the government has failed to take benefits from such a mesmerising place.