I hovered in a dream-like state, my body wracked with pain and slipping from sleep to waking and back again as evening approached and the temperature dipped lower. Despair began to set in as I contemplated another long, cold night alone on the mountainside.
I witnessed fellow climbers perish. I heard many screaming for help at the top of their lungs. Sometimes, I stopped dead in my tracks.
The top of Mount Everest was just 100 meters before us when the Sherpa behind me tapped me on the shoulder. Time to turn back, he told me, and I agreed.
I became a Sherpa, leading climbs on the mountain because we were poor, and I had to provide. Climbing Mount Everest is how I support my family.
Never say to me that you are too old to learn something new. Age is only in one's head, and I want to live.