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July 28th: Dead Women’s Pass: 16kl  

Today was the big day. It was going to be a 11 hour day climbing up and down two passes. I was either going to make the 13,800 foot pass or would be a dead women myself. We were starting from approximately 12,300 which may not seem like a lot of elevation but at that altitude and the rise it was tough. Well, I am writing this so I made it but not without going through some of hardest physical and emotional times along the way.

They woke us up at 5:00am, breakfast at 5:30am and started walking by 6ish. This picture shows the pass we are heading for over my left shoulder. Look for the boob with the nipple.  Oh, sure it looks close enough…… 

At about 9am I reached the pass. Chino was playing music, the family was cheering and my roomie came down to meet me with a snickers bar.  Once you reached the top we received a pin for our hats by Omar.

A quick rest, a few pics and then down we go. We had another 2 hours of a rocky trail before we would stop for some soup.

On the way up when ever a Wawqi was passing us you had to stop  to let them pass – and of course yell out Allillachu Wawqi to them – Hello Brother!  Going down was a bit different because on top of carrying 50lbs on their backs in addition to navigating the rocks they like to run down. We could keep walking but had to stick to the mountain side as they ran by. Just……..unbelievable to see their agility and strength.

There were so many times I would look back and see where I came from.  It was true amazing what Mr. Peru (ask me about that) and I did — I mean we all did.  My F-A-M-I-L-Y.

Down that side of the mountain and then a nice lunch was waiting for us at around 3:00pm.   The goal was to get to our campsite before sundown and all we had left was a more gentle 2 hour hike to our 11,300ft campsite.  It was amazing and a little scary at the same time. It was on top of peak proving the most glorious views. It was very cold and we were tired.

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We all hopped in our tents to rest and get ready for the cold night ahead. Dinner at 7:00pm, bed by  8:30pm. I did it. We did it, as a family does – supporting and loving each other……um, hate to interrupt this wonderful moment of celebration to tell you that we were just told that we are waking up again early, early, early to climb up a hill to see the sunrise.  La la Salama…….

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