Alpinist 49

Dreams of Worlds Unseen

Posted on: February 27, 2015

Takaki Nagato searching for a route between the subpeak of Badal Peak (ca.6100m)and the higher summit of K7 West. Steve House, Vince Anderson and Marko Prezelj first climbed K7 West in 2007. In 2014 Nagato, Katsutaka Yokoyama and Ryo Masumoto arrived to try to link the two points. [Photo] Ryo Masumoto

July 2010. The airplane had just taken off, and through the window, a nighttime view of Islamabad spread before my eyes, its lights sparkling through a dark void, bright as a field of stars. In addition to the feeling of loneliness that marked the conclusion of this expedition, a sense of relief enveloped my chest, like a soothing heat. Perhaps the unexpected mix of emotions arose not only from leaving the fever and noise of the city, but also from ending a long journey from North America to Pakistan that began sixteen months ago.

A few days later, I would climb in Japan again, for the first time in a long while. There, in my home country, I would meditate on all of nature's familiarity, and remember. I would smell the humidity of the earth and the moss; the soft sunlight would plunge through the abundant branches of beech and southern hemlock trees; the low thunder and the warm, damp wind would warn of distant rain showers.

I needed time to rest.

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