Oh switchbacks, you awful, awful, awful things you. For those that do not know, you have probably done this in a car, but the same goes for walking most of the time. When a trail is far too steep to hike straight up, the trail cuts back and forth across the face of a hill or mountain or cliff in order to ascend more gradually and over more distance. Same theory as a highway cutting through a mountain ridge. The worst thing about switchbacks in the Himalayas however is when you get about 3500-4000 meters and the trees abandon you. Then, the 29 switchbacks looming ahead of you are in plain site, mocking you as you struggle through each step.