Multimedia Journalist/Photographer

The Inertia

“One step forward. One more step forward.” I talk to myself, trying to make at least a little way forward. The silence around me is deafening — all I hear is my own wheezing breath and muffled footsteps falling heavily on the tiny stairs carved into the cliff. My heart is beating like a bird gone mad. After three more steps, I stop for a quick rest. As my head spins and temples throb, I desperately try to catch my breath and inhale as much air as possible. However, my body doesn’t listen. My strength evaporates like smoke.

“One more step.”

I sit down after making one more difficult step.

When I knew I was going to the Himalayas, I understood it was going to be tough. But this brought new meaning to the word “tough.”

My two companions, Paulius and Andrius, were so eager to travel to the main camp at Mount Everest that they convinced me as well, although I was never too fascinated by climbing mountains and summits in the first place. I always preferred oceans.

But here I am sitting all alone a few dozen meters from Renjo La passage (5400 meters) I understand I have no other choice than to keep climbing up.

We started the hike in Jiri village, that we reached journey in a small bus which looked like a folded soda can. Then passed Lukla, Namche Bazar and turned towards Gokyo lakes. After that, visited Everest Base Camp, climbed Kala Patthar (5550 meters) and went back down to Lukla.

In two and a half weeks, we experienced all four seasons. We met tons of locals, true highlanders who spend their entire lives in little mountain houses. They patiently posed and tried to look as best they could at the sight of a camera. We came back feeling reborn, stronger, different.

Want more of the Himalayas? See additional photos from Berta Tilmantaite on her website, And don’t forget to follow her on Instagram.


Only the best. We promise.


Join our community of contributors.