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Just for Fun No C&C will be given: The Road To Shangri-La: The Final Part

fahim mohammed

Well-known member
The Road To Shangri-La: The Final Part

This shall be the last chapter of this series.

I pick up the narration at a height above from where I had said ' let's go ' and put my gloves on.

I am at 5700 meters. That is pretty high, .The air is thin and getting thinner with every meter we climb.

Fahim is having breathing difficulties. He has blisters on his feet. Frost bite on his face. All of us are tired. He more than most.

How high is 5700 meters?

Here are some figures to put things in perspective...

Ben Navis, Scotland, is 1344 meters.

Mt. Olympus. from where Zeus looked down on us...2917 meters.

Pikes Peak, Colorado ,4300 meters.

Mt. Rainier, Washington, 4400 meters.

Matterhorn in the Alps , 4480 meters.

Mt. St. Elias, Alaska, the second highest peak in North America is 5500 meters.

Don't check Wikipedia. I know. I have been to all these places and some.

The climb is much harder now, not by the meter., but with every step. We have been walking and climbing over the land of the glaciers, the land of the moraine. Glacial ice millions of years old. Granite and ice. Have a fall and my skin will be punctured, sliced.


In the haunting stillness of the night, I think I hear voices.

The Guardians! Whispering with disdain.

A mere mortal, I hear them say.

But I whisper back. Have not I, a mere mortal, left Zeus behind at 2900 meters?

We are a party of six. Tan, his wife, two of Tan's closest Sherpa friends, Fahim and I.The route we have taken this time around is less travelled. It has been arduous. Back breaking. Testing my endurance. Challenging my spirit.

I have much higher to go. The going is painfully slow. The Guardians watch.
I can feel it.

We are at 5800 meters and climbing. Climbing...over on the other side of the ' small ' rock on your extreme right. Slowly...very carefully, and painfully.We avoid a small avalanche.


The Guardians of Shangri-La do not give up their secrets easily.
They test you...to the limit; and then some more. And then a little beyond.

The sun sets over the peaks of Shangri-La. There is a majesty all around. A grandeur I had not witnessed before. A grandeur words fail to describe.


A new day..another climb. Fahim needs oxygen. He is very tired. His breathing causes us concern.

We are at 5910 meters. We stop.

Mt. Logan, Yukon, is around 5900 meters.

Fahim wants me to continue. Meanwhile, he and Raj intend to initiate their descent.

' You are better than 6200 meters Ayesha ' ,Fahim says. ' You are better than Denali '.

I know I am. I am good for further than another 300 meters climb.

I look at Fahim...then at the peaks that surround us. I can hear the Guardians whisper.
' A little further ' say the voices..' and you are there '. ' Do it '. ' It has been your dream '.

We have been on this journey for a long time. One month from Kathmandu.

But Fahim and I started another journey; 37 years ago.

The Guardians have their codes; We have ours. They open the gates of Shangri-La for us both..or they don't open them at all.

One gate was never an option. Never shall be.

Yes, I came close..very very close. Could almost touch it.

I heard a voice.

A voice, not a whisper. I listened carefully. I smiled.

I removed my gloves. Hung them on the ice cones.
' Thank you ' , I whispered back.

Fahim glanced at me, I put on a new pair of gloves. He understood.

One last look..


Held Fahim's hand and started on the toughest part of our journey..the descent..5900 meters. The Guardians test you..and then test you some more. Test your body and then your soul.

' let's go ' I said.

John Angulat

pro member
It has been an honor and a privilege to accompany you and Fahim on this journey.
It would also be an honor and a privilege to meet each of you someday.
I hold fewer in higher regard.

fahim mohammed

Well-known member
It has been an honor and a privilege to accompany you and Fahim on this journey.
It would also be an honor and a privilege to meet each of you someday.
I hold fewer in higher regard.

John, we only travel with friends. We count you amongst them.
You have been with us on our journey. The honor and privilege has been ours.

Our kindest regards to Maud and yourself.


Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
The Road To Shangri-La: The Final Part

This shall be the last chapter of this series.

Not so, Ayesha and Fahim! The last chapter you are living right now. Whatever you do is altered by that physically taxing and emotionally dazzling task you set yourselves, through planning, training, acclimatizing and finally making the climb and then that ultimate sacrifice when soul won over ambition.

You reached the spiritual heights above the rest of the world, where glaciers carved art, where angels fly and human souls only dream about. Such are the heady mysteries of Shangri La. You did it; .... and together!

Every stage, each glance, the struggling and the decision to go back together has tempered your beings. This had recalibrated and refines the foundations of values you built until this time. From now on, your assumptions, attitudes, inferences and metaphors will reference all you gained from this epic journey.

I'll even wager that even how you hold your grandchildren will change. After all, you've been to been permitted to view from the perspective of angels, the treasures granted in trust as a heritage for all our grandchildren. May that wisdom of the angels give us all peace in the new year.