9 Things Sherpa Mike Did on His Adventure in the Himalayas

In the fall of 2016, after hanging out in Kathmandu for a week, Sherpa Mike cozied up in his lady's pocket to undertake the Snowman Trek, a 26-day journey through the magnificent forests, valleys and high Himalayan passes of Northern Bhutan. Here are 9 things he experienced:

By: Stephanie Vezina + Save to a List

1. Sherpa Mike Visited the Chaotic, Vibrant City of Kathmandu, Nepal.

Rich in history and culture and well on its way to recovery from the 2015 earthquake, Kathmandu was a gem to explore.

Sherpa Mike taking calculated risks on the roof top of his hotel in anticipation for his flight to the Kingdom of Bhutan

2. Sherpa Mike Bagged His First Peak.

Bhutan considers its summits sacred and prohibits climbing mountains; therefore, it was never in Sherpa Mike's plans to climb anything to start with. In Nepal however, his lady let him bring his ice axe "just in case"; this resulted in a spontaneous ascent of what became a true test of Sherpa's grit and a great confidence builder for the weeks to come.    

Sherpa Mike at the top of "Everest", 650ml vertical elevation

3. Sherpa Mike Explored the Crest of Bhutan's High Himalayas.

Sherpa Mike would never admit that he didn't do any of the walking, being tucked inside a pocket most of the time. However, factors such as the high altitude, length, duration and remoteness of the Snowman Trek into Northern Bhutan made the journey strenuous for him as well. He was frequently rewarded with the most incredible vistas he could ever imagine.

Sherpa Mike photo-bombing a breathtaking scenery

4. Sherpa Mike Caught the Tail End of the Monsoon.

The Snowman Trek is optimally carried out during a small weather window between the end of the rain season in September and the arrival of snow later in October, blocking access through the passes. After being rained on for the first ten days, Sherpa suggested we rename the Snowman Trek to a more accurate name, the "Mudman Trek".

Sherpa Mike with his new buddies trying to stay dry

5. Sherpa Mike Put a Few Prayer Flags Up.

When crossing a pass, Sherpa Mike's ritual was to first throw a rock on top of the pile of rocks and shouting "lha-gyal-lo" ("may the gods prevail")! Then, he would solemnly put up a set of prayer flags for the benefit of the wellbeing and happiness of all living things.

Sherpa Mike looking for a spot for his prayer flags

6. Sherpa Mike Visited Some of the Most Remote Villages in the World.

Northern Bhutan is home to pristine villages such as Laya, Woche, Lhedi and Chozo, accessible only by foot over mountain passes and days away from the nearest town. Thinking of the ways Bhutan measures its "happiness" (preservation of the culture and the environment, sustainable development and good governance) instead of its actual wealth, Sherpa Mike understood first-hand what this inspirational concept meant.

Sherpa Mike attending the Royal Highland Festival in Laya

7. Sherpa Mike Contemplated the Meaning of Impermanence.

Standing on top of the world under a warm sunlight and gazing at a landscape that seemed to have no limit in space nor in time, Sherpa Mike suddenly realized that nothing lasts forever, not even the sun and the mountains. This made this particular moment extra special for him, as if nothing else mattered.

Sherpa Mike having a special moment

8. Sherpa Mike Contemplated the Meaning of Suffering.

On his journey in Bhutan, Sherpa Mike occasionally experienced suffering from physical and mental exertion. More importantly, he learned the central Bhuddist concept of "suffering" (Dukkha) as a result from our attachment to things that don't last. He vowed to read more about the Four Truths on his return home.

Sherpa Mike taking a break at 5,200m altitude

9. Sherpa Mike Struggled to Contain His Joy

When asked what it meant for him to visit Bhutan and complete the Snowman Trek, Sherpa Mike simply said: "this was the trip of a lifetime and it is an absolute honour to have been given the opportunity to be the first-ever lego mini figure to accomplish this feat. I wonder what the next adventure will be..."

Sherpa Mike feeling great about himself

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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