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brad’s Travel Diary

Friday, 27 Jul 2007

Location: Rush Phari, Pakistan

MapWith every step my calves burn. No more than the last but enough to induce mind games of endurance. Key is to find a rhythm in breath and step, a sustainable pace which to focus the mind. From Bericho Kor we climb up, an insane 1000m ascent of goat track switchbacks, a test of dedication. Our reward is the arrival into another realm; an alpine pasture of sprawling green grass and wildflowers, a 360deg mountain panorama. Glaciers snake down from ice-encrusted peaks, countless mountains reach over 7000m shrinking to the horizon. At over 4000m we sit amongst the clouds, still with another 700m to ascend today. Mid afternoon heralds our arrival at Rush Lake (4700m) a circle of blue cupped in a mountain of rock reflecting a great alpine splendor. Fatigued, we make camp by the shore then retreat to our tents for a siesta. Sleep is hindered by restlessness, shortness of breath, anxiety. My altitude limited for today has been reached, possibly breached. I fight lethargy and drag myself to the lake, consuming water, a good 2 litres and give praise to the great rejuvenator. Vitality has returned. We sit around camp drinking ginger tea, I attempt to explain to Hamid the benefits over black tea when one is nauseous with a pounding head. Perhaps he gets it, or just nods out of politeness.