At Derapuck, our first overnight camp, we rested well and got up early to undertake the hardest journey of our lives. The second day’s travel was 25 kilometers, crossing Dolma pass, the highest mountain pass in the world. This pass is at an altitude of 5750 meters above the sea level. Some of us decided to ride on a horse back while others decided to walk. By God’s grace the sky was
very clear and the weather conditions were good. After trekking for about 2 kilometers on flat land, we reached the base of a tall mountain. Our path crossed over this mountain to the other side. The road was extremely narrow and through difficult terrain. Only a single person or a horse could walk at a time. With scant oxygen in the air, it was very difficult to climb. We had to stop after each step, take a deep breath and then take the next step. Even the horses had to stop often to breathe. On several occasions, I actually had to get down so the horse could walk. We had to constantly sip water to stay hydrated.
Finally, after 4 hours, we reached the top of the mountain and rested our exhausted bodies for a while! The next part of the trek involved downhill travel. The descent was so steep that horseback riders had to get down and walk so the horses wouldn’t fall. After trekking for a while, we saw a holy pond called Gourikund. The water was very clear and still but it was difficult to get some due to the steep slope and rocks. But one of our sherpas was very kind. He descended down to the pond very skilfully and brought the holy water back to us. Our day was made and the hard journey suddenly seemed all worthwhile!