In November 2016 Ian Edmund and Heather McClure from Scotland accompanied by 9 of their best associates came to Nepal. They came a long way purely to attain their long-yearned dream of getting married at the base of the world's highest mountain, Everest. Who would have ever thought that I would have the privilege to lead this marvelous wedding group? It was undeniably a task of great honor and integrity. The spiritual Everest wedding trek would be a moment of great delight that we all would cherish. The trip overall together with so much entertainment and excitement with all the laughter and interchange of abundant stories.
We first met at the airport and anyone could literally comprehend the cheerfulness on their faces of arriving in Nepal (their destination). You could feel the exhilaration of their upcoming task. From their arrival in Kathmandu, till they departed, we were to be together for the next 17 days. There was adventure and hilarity from the very first day. Once we realized their objective, we started organizing things that we could do best for such an exclusive occasion. The spiritual Everest wedding trek was indeed an exceptional occasion which was certainly our first time as well.
We All Set Off With much Excitement:
The group justly took a thrill-seeking venture for their auspicious wedding ritual which was indeed very courageous and spiritual – HATS OFF. Soon we took off to Lukla, considered the world’s most thrilling airport, with much excitement and impatiently waiting for the special day to arrive soon. We trekked through the legendary trail that eventually led us to the first destination of Phakding. The next day's walk to Namche Bazaar was remarkable, though a long walk the group made it in a very good time.
The acclimatization excursion the next morning was definitely rewarding for everyone. It started off with great weather and the first view of Everest with its neighboring peaks that opened right before us was phenomenal. The next day's walk to Khumjung, 'the valley inside the clouds' was another highlight that unfolded miraculously as usual. The team, without doubt, did enjoy the visit to the monastery and had a thrilling experience to witness the "Yeti Scalp" and its Legends.
Wedding Group Approaching the Ceremony Destination (Base Camp):
We headed over 3700 m/ 12,139 feet from Khumjung towards Dingbuche 4350 m/14,271 ft. This lovely town is yet another fascination completely fenced by majestic peaks. The famous Island Peak and its beautiful valley with its pleasing persona appear right before you with its splendor. The next day acclimatization literally demands you to climb the small challenging but worthy hill to the North of Dingboche. It offers grandiose views of the world's 5th highest mountain Makalu and numerous other massifs that surround you.
Soon walking into the alpine terrain away from the tree line we all got to Gorakshep 5200 m/ 17,060 ft and everyone in the group did amazingly well. The entire team made it to Everest Base Camp 5360 m/ 17,585 feet without much effort. Everyone, especially Ian and Heather (the Groom and the Bride) was utterly enthused over the happening that was about to materialize the next morning at 5545 m/18,192 feet.
All of us got up pretty early the next morning not to miss the picturesque sunrise view from Kala-Patthar, the peak at 5545 m. Despite the steep-demanding switchback ascend all the way to the summit; Kala-Patthar delivers the most extraordinary view of Everest and the other abundant towering peaks around. Since the joy of the main objective of climbing all the way here was looming practically very near, I hoped no one actually felt much altitude pressure in that thin-air environment. All of us made it to the summit with a SMILE of a great sense of Achievement.
Soon we (ourselves and the associates) set up a platform in a picturesque Himalayan meadow. This platform was perfectly positioned right before the remarkable backdrop of grandiose Everest for the ceremony which was phenomenal. The banner that read ‘Ian weds Heather’ was set. The excitement progressed in our staff eyes who stood with the holy scarf and material for the local ritual. Doug Gibson conducted the ceremonial initiation which was very divine. This initiation incorporated all the assurances (between bride and groom), speech (from their associates), and exchange of rings. Shortly after that, we performed our traditional Nepali-Hindu ritual with a holy scarf, vermilion, and reading mantras. The Everest Wedding Trek was indeed a life-changing experience for all of us.
Thanks to Ian and Heather and their Entire team of associates.