Hem Cho Oyu This is how it all started

This is how it all started

Mount Kinabalu - Borneo
Mount Kinabalu - Borneo

I’m a slow starter. At some point early on, in the mid-seventies, I got a lift up on a mountaintop in Gran Canaria. Or if it was just a high hill? Memory fails me a little. At this point in time, I did not at all, get the fascination with mountain peaks – or if it was the allure of sitting on a donkey who eluded me – I don’t know for sure. 🙂

Janne in Gran Canaria
Janne in Gran Canaria – lift to the top

After having tackled the conventional mountain hikes and youthful ski trips, any interest in mountain and nature died altogether when I passed my 20s, give or take.

But then IT happened. Completely unplanned, it was only a little side trip when I was in Borneo in the nineties, just before I turned 30. It was then that I decided to climb Mount Kinabalu.

Kinabalu summit
Kinabalu summit – my first high-altitude-peak

At first I didn’t get it this time either. Sure, it was beautiful and all that – but mostly tiresome actually.

But, then when the morning light came (Yes, we climbed up at night/early morning in the dark) and all of Borneo emerged in the light of the rising sun. That’s when it happened. In that moment I saw the light – both literally and in metaphorically.

Mount Kinabalu
Mount Kinabalu – view from the summit

In this moment I realized that this was a necessary part of my life. I didn’t want to live without it.

Mount Kinabalu
Mount Kinabalu – on my way up

I understood that all the effort (although in retrospect I consider this particular peak a Sunday stroll) came with a reward and not a bad one at that.

The feeling of sitting on a mountain peak, of being totaly, or sometimes extremely exhausted, that feeling of being at the top and everything else is below you, is magical in so many respects. The fact that the road there and back also tend to be just as magically beautiful or fascinating, does things even better.

I wish to everyone, their own mountaion peak – just to be part of the experience. In the end, if that mountain peak – to you – really is a mountain peak or something else doesn’t make THE difference. I think there are lots of ”peaks” around us. If we just look. If we see. If we dare. If we do.


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