Dispatch from the Razor's Edge, the Blog of Michael Stephen Fuchs
Dispatches tagged as:
3PoET (23)

Since there's zero chance of me producing proper dispatches of the Nepal trek until after I've finished this little series of books I'm working on, herewith a few highlight photos (republished, i.e. rescued, from facebook) with brief commentary....   (read more)

I have come to realise that it is absolutely, urgently critical that I gain mastery in controlling my mind appropriately. Absolutely everything depends upon it: my happiness, my human goodness, my commercial & artistic success, my ability to be some kind of force for good in this world....   (read more)

Plus Days N+1 Through N+4: World's Most Dangerous Airport Madness, Back to Kathmandu (1400m), Kicking it in Kath, Olgapuri Children's Village, and Trek Wrap-Up...   (read more)

I give Aakash one of my cards, and tell him his will live forever inside my copy of the Dalai Lama's book. "As a bookmark?" he asks. "As a reminder." Then he hefts his pack, goes out the door, and climbs the stairs, heartily and mellifluously singing the bit of song he's been happily and unashamedly solo'ing on the trail since the beginning......   (read more)

It's all gravy now. No peaks, no passes, no climbing anything. Late wake-up calls, coffee breaks. O2. And bragging rights: EBC trek? Annapurna? We did the 3 f*&^ing high passes of Everest....   (read more)

The Imja River Valley on the other side of the pass is the most beautiful place I've ever seen. A crushingly long and hard pass-crossing day. But also, perhaps, my best day....   (read more)

The approach to the summit was a proper knife edge, culminating in a knife *point*. With a sheer (and sure to be lethal) drop inches off my right elbow, I was won over. And at 5545m (18,192 feet), it was the almost certainly highest I would ever get outside a pressurised cabin - not just a personal elevation record, but a permanent one....   (read more)

Getting here involved crossing a moraine - a vast lunar wastescape of boulders and dust, left after a glacier blasts through - in a freezing howling wind, then out onto the ice fall, which is like some Nordic conception of hell done in ice rather than fire. To come here is folly......   (read more)

Darby noted that all the people we passed today looked like EBC trekkers who had been on the trail two days, and were basically shell-shocked by the instant-immersion Nepal Himalaya experience. Me: "Amateur hour."...   (read more)

Climb. Coldest I've ever been. Fingers hurt like hell, toes following suit. "Hey, remember 14 hours ago baking in the sun on that bench in 30 degrees? Me, neither." Also, it turned out there was a freaking glacier at the top of this pass, which was devastatingly beautiful - and would shortly prove to be nearly as deadly......   (read more)

Last morning in Gokyo. And then off we set - for today's crossing of the largest glacier in Asia......   (read more)

I stop on a wall, and stand facing the mountain-setting sun. Long harsh flashes of light skitter off the lake surface, while the water laps at the shore, and muted yak bells tinkle tinnily in the distance. Everything is very vivid, and dark brown hills and bright white mountains huddle protectively around....   (read more)

In purely physical terms, this was a doddle compared to yesterday. The big differences were we that were still mentally crushed from yesterday; the payoff from this was a fraction of what that had been; and we'd had to cross the pass to continue the trek. But this? Really, I don't think it was abundantly clear to anyone why we were doing it......   (read more)

Here's what you need to know about the first pass-crossing day, up and through Renjo La: * It's basically 1000m of ascent - straight up. * At the top (17,585 feet), there's roughly half the oxygen in the air as at sea level. * There is nothing - absolutely nothing - between our starting point of Lungdum and our destination of Gokyo. It's either complete the day's walk, or die on the mountain....   (read more)

Just so we're clear, 4400m is 14,436 feet - shit-gets-real territory. And we'd actually be climbing up above 4500, on Aakash's latest little end-of-day mandated acclimatisation stroll. (That bastard. :) But, that would be then. Right now, it was another completely glorious late-autumn morning dawning in the Khumbu....   (read more)

The walk up to the monastery, with all the mane, and prayer flags, and stupas, and the two valleys plunging down below us to either side, and the ice-capped and still sun-spotlit peaks smiling down on us from above, is completely magical......   (read more)

We had gone from 1440m to 3440m in two days, which was a hell of an elevation gain. Today we'd be climbing up to 3880m, hanging out there for a bit to acclimatise, then coming back down again. And it was a gorgeous day for it - the main reason one treks this region Sep-Nov is the blemishless skies, riven by the snowy 8km peaks......   (read more)

"Jesus, we just hiked up to that bridge we've been staring up at all day..." And soon after we were looking down at it - because it was actually two bridges: one high, one ridiculously high, the two together allowing us to climb and criss-cross our way up this increasingly steep and dramatic river gorge... and up into the Himalayas. It was also the most thrilling scene on the trek so far....   (read more)

Did I mention that, built by Sir Edmund Hilary, the runway slopes at 11 degrees - because, at an absurd 1,729 feet, it would otherwise be too short for anything either to take off from or land upon - and which also means one end is 200 feet lower than the other? And that one end of that runway is a sheer 2,000-foot drop-off - and the other a solid stone wall? This is not the airport of second chances....   (read more)

Making the best out of quite a lot of strung-everywhere electrical lines was a major, and somewhat charming, theme. It did rather offset the dirt, mud, noise, smells, and constantly almost being run down by scooters and small lorries, all of which were less charming....   (read more)

So, after four years of the usual routine of planning, debating, wangling, and negotiating, Mark begged off, Tim dropped out, and Darby convinced me to go anyway - just the two of us. Predictably, we decided to do the Three High Passes of Everest trek - the big one. This three-week epic passes through pretty much all the valleys, high passes, popular trekker’s peaks, and general glories of the Khumbu - the Everest Region of the Nepal Himalaya. We were going to get seriously stuck in....   (read more)

So, because I’m an idiot, I decided to try my first Crossfit session – six weeks before my Nepal trek. Even as we were walking down there, I idly wondered out loud to my friend, "Hmm, I wonder what the injury rate is among first-time Crossfitters…?" Well, 100% it turns out, regarding me. Yeah, I got injured....   (read more)

From 12 November 12 - 04 December of 2016, I will be trekking the Three Passes of the Everest Region of Nepal in the Himalayas (with the estimable Darby Kimball). I'm asking friends and loved ones to chip in a couple of bucks/quid to help provide health care, education, and a safe environment for the children of Nepal - one of the poorest countries in the world, further devastated by last year's earthquake, which left hundreds of thousands homeless....   (read more)

close photo of Michael Stephen Fuchs

Fuchs is the author of the novels The Manuscript and Pandora's Sisters, both published worldwide by Macmillan in hardback, paperback and all e-book formats (and in translation); the D-Boys series of high-tech, high-concept, spec-ops military adventure novels – D-Boys, Counter-Assault, and Close Quarters Battle (coming in 2016); and is co-author, with Glynn James, of the bestselling Arisen series of special-operations military ZA novels. The second nicest thing anyone has ever said about his work was: "Fuchs seems to operate on the narrative principle of 'when in doubt put in a firefight'." (Kirkus Reviews, more here.)

Fuchs was born in New York; schooled in Virginia (UVa); and later emigrated to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he lived through the dot-com boom. Subsequently he decamped for an extended period of tramping before finally rocking up in London, where he now makes his home. He does a lot of travel blogging, most recently of some very  long  walks around the British Isles. He's been writing and developing for the web since 1994 and shows no particularly hopeful signs of stopping.

You can reach him on .

THE MANUSCRIPT by Michael Stephen Fuchs
PANDORA'S SISTERS by Michael Stephen Fuchs
D-BOYS by Michael Stephen Fuchs
COUNTER-ASSAULT by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book One - Fortress Britain, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Two - Mogadishu of the Dead, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN : Genesis, by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Three - Three Parts Dead, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Four - Maximum Violence, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Five - EXODUS, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Six - The Horizon, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Seven - Death of Empires, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Eight - Empire of the Dead by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN : NEMESIS by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Nine - Cataclysm by Michael Stephen Fuchs

ARISEN, Book Ten - The Flood by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Eleven - Deathmatch by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Twelve - Carnage by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Thirteen - The Siege by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Fourteen - Endgame by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN : Fickisms
ARISEN : Odyssey
ARISEN : Last Stand
ARISEN : Raiders, Volume 1 - The Collapse
ARISEN : Raiders, Volume 2 - Tribes
Black Squadron
ARISEN : Raiders, Volume 3 - Dead Men Walking
ARISEN : Raiders, Volume 4 - Duty
ARISEN : Raiders, Volume 5 - The Last Raid
ARISEN : Fickisms ][ – This Time, It's Personal
ARISEN : Operators, Volume I - The Fall of the Third Temple
from email:

to email(s) (separate w/commas):
By subscribing to Dispatch from the Razor’s Edge, you will receive occasional alerts about new dispatches. Your address is totally safe with us. You can unsubscribe at any time. All the cool kids are doing it.