~ Introduction ~

How many arguments had we had? I had lost count. I hated arguing with Li, but the simple truth was that I hated the idea of not climbing the mountain more. It was undoubtedly a selfish ambition. Li said it, my dad and sister both said it. My mum didn't say it, but that was just her way.

I think the arguments started mainly because of another selfish act on my part. I foolishly said that I would be prepared to do something other than climb Everest, if my father or my girlfriend Li could find something sufficiently awesome to do instead. To their credit they came up with some wonderful suggestions. All these suggestions are stored in a scrap book by my bed, for after I come back from the mountain. I gave them both false hope, mainly to buy myself some time, and stop the incessant nagging: "Don't you know how difficult it's going to be...the route you are taking is too dangerous...you're not fit enough...etc." All good points.

Once it became clear that I would not be placated by other adventures, the arguments started again. And this time there was tears and shouting. Even some from Li.