- ac·cli·ma·tize |əˈklīməˌtīz/|
To habituate, or become habituated, to a new climate, place, or situation.
Another definition is: “today you can only go so far.” When you are alpine climbing — moving deliberately ever-higher into the sky — the human body is able to gain only so many thousands of feet in elevation each day. If you move too quickly, you will rush the process and get sick. Your breathing changes. Your head spins. You have chosen a new world above the clouds, and in that new world there are new rules.
So we walked slowly. We breathed slowly. We shared pages from torn apart paperbacks, we drank tea steeped from fresh mint leaves, we rinsed our clothes so many times that we forgot the smell of detergent. Every evening I unrolled my sleeping bag higher than it had ever been and awoke the next morning further from my comfort zone than I’d ever chosen.
Around each bend in the trail was something strange and raw; on the horizon the sun glistened on glaciers like teeth against the sky. The wind tussled our hair. And, ever-slowly, we started to listen. Slowly.
Hinku Valley, Nepal.