Abanish Kayastha, Ashay Thakur, Basant Amatya, Bijay Gauli, Edward W Hausman, Jeevan Timilsina, Jeff Rick, Kanchan Raj Pandey, Kapil Pandey, Rupesh Karki.
Kanchan Raj Pandey
Edward W Hausman
Kanchan Raj Pandey, Rinesh N Bajracharya, Shukra Shrestha
Rinesh N Bajracharya
Edward W Hausman
On Sunday, February 17th the employees of Deerwalk Services set off on their weekly hike, and I, the newest member of the team, was invited to join them. Though we’d initially intended to set off in the early morning, some of the group had had a late night in the office, so we scaled back our ambitions, slept in, and decided to leave at noon from the Deerwalk campus to give the night owls some time to rest. There were twelve of us in all, including Jeff Rick—on loan from the Lexington office—and we had our sight set on Nagarkot, a small peak known for its spectacular views at sunrise and sunset.
We piled into the van and set off through the busy streets of Kathmandu, east through Bhaktapur and up into the mountains. As we drove higher and higher, the road grew narrower and terraced fields gave way to lush coniferous forest. After a series of tense negotiations it was decided that the majority of us, myself included, would take a moderate hike of roughly two hours and the remaining three—whose anonymity I have elected to preserve—would simply be driven to the bazaar near the summit to relax and further recover from the previous night’s labor.
As we drove higher and higher, the road grew narrower and terraced fields gave way to lush coniferous forest.
I am glad I chose the hike, as our ascent afforded gorgeous views of the Kathmandu Valley and the surrounding farmlands. The path was well worn and rarely steep, so we climbed up through a series of small villages with relative ease. The chickens, goats and occasional cows that we encountered along the way paid us little mind and the some of the locals were good enough to provide us with directions when, for whatever reason, we lost sight of the path.
In due time, we had reached the bazaar and rejoined our erstwhile companions at a small restaurant whose name unfortunately escapes me. We made ourselves comfortable, ordered some beer and soft-drinks and settled in for a short rest before attempting the summit. But what had been a clear day in the morning had slowly turned cloudy, and from our perch atop Nagarkot it was clear that rain was already falling in Kathmandu.
The clouds above grew darker and darker, and, just as our meal arrived, we were overcome by a hailstorm. Though it could not have lasted more than half an hour before turning to rain, the marble-sized hailstones quickly turned the mountain’s slopes white. We watched from the veranda or took pictures on the porch, and the more mischievous among us made snowballs. By the time we had finished our meal and our drinks it was already getting dark, and we abandoned what would have been a cold and muddy hike to the summit in favor of returning to the city.