Today we had our Puja - a formal ceremony conducted by a visiting Monk to seek a safe climb of the mountain. We all attended, Sherpas, trekkers and Climbers. This is also a celebration with tea, beer and food. I decided that coke would be enough for me at this altitude. Fantastic to be involved in this very old tradition which included the smearing of rice powder on our faces to signify we will all meet again when we are older so will return safely from the Mountain. Setting of prayer flags, throwing of rice and chanting was also part of the action.
I haven’t yet mentioned one very special Brazilian that was a trekker to Base Camp with our team. Joao is a cancer survivor and although I don’t know too much of his history as I don’t speak Portuguese and he doesn’t speak good English, I do know he is a double amputee. He trekked the 65 uphill kilometres with a prosthetic leg and one lung. Super human effort. Unfortunately he could not make his own way down due to the rubbing of his prosthesis and had to helicopter out. I mention this now because the chopper arrived in the middle of the Puja and there was a very brief and hurried goodbye. His parting words, in good English, to me were “this ceremony is for you”. I can’t say I wasn’t moved by his comment. He is an inspiration. We watch as he flew overhead waving to us from the helicopter.
Gazza has now also flown down in his dream chopper flight. He got his front seat too. Thanks for coming Gazza - see you at Stanwell Park paragliding in a couple of months.
The Puja was followed by an official meet the team. Our climbing Sherpas have all been at the summit before, some many times. This is comforting. The team members, those being guided account for 5 only, a very small team. There are 4 Brazilians, one on this 4 attempt of the summit, one who has summitted before and is on his second attempt without oxygen, and a couple on their 1st over 8000 metre mountain. The 5th climber is …….. guess who. There will be 11 in total on our team. Additionally to this Marcus will be accompanying us to camp 2. Both camp 1, just above the ice fall, and camp 2, in the western cwm will have support staff in the way of cooks etc. this is the highest point that a helicopter can get. From there we are on our own.
So tomorrow we will be doing ice climbing training on the glacier which will also include ladder crossings in preparation for the Ice Fall crossings, then the following day it’s off to Loboche Peak, a days walk down the valley, for acclimatising to the approximate height of camp 1 at just over 6000 metres.
Loboche Peak in the background (snow covered higher mountain) taken a few days ago on the way to Loboche village.
Well, tomorrow the icefall training. The view of the icefall from our camp. Till next time. Stay safe everyone
Everest Base Camp
PS. Thanks for all the comments on Face Book. Great to stay in touch.
PSS. Happy 3rd Birthday to SiSi Moxey- my gorgeous granddaughter
Just got sent through this photo in at the Easter Show