Update: April 11 - Pheriche
Just a quick note that our system is up and running again.
It's 6:45 am and we're off this morning to Lobuche. The team is healthy and
we will be in touch tonight.
All our best,
Earlier: Team in Pheriche
The team is experiencing some satellite connection difficulties today. They
are currently in Pheriche and will resume regular dispatches soon.
The Staff of Alpine Ascents
April 6 - Thame
Namaste friends, family and loved ones,
Sleep is coming easier now that the team is adjusting to the rarified
atmosphere. Of course, sleeping in the home of the most accomplished Everest
climber in the world may help to put our minds at ease as well. Pancakes and
eggs for breakfast also has a wonderfully calming effect on us. So, we were
in a delightful mood as we climbed up to the ancient Thengbo monastery above
Thame. This particular Gompa was established over 350 years ago by three
Tibetian monk brothers. Inside is an exquisite hand written library, ornate
murals and a multitude of religious relics and musical instruments. The
gregarious Lama prayed for our safe return and blessed each of us with Kata
scarfs and Shrudis (prayer strings). This ceremony was accompanied by his
drum and bell playing and affected us deeply as we meditated on the days to
Afterwards we scrambled up to the top of the ridge where we had some great
views up toward the Nangpa La and the mountains of the Tibetian border. The
tallest of which is Cho-oyu, a lovely peak that Ferat, Amy and I climbed
last October. I suppose you could call us “repeat ascenders”. It was then
our appitites called and we ran down to Apa’s for lunch. Our Sirdar and good
friend Lhakpa is originally from Thame so we were eager to visit when his
mother invited us all over for tea. Her home was a simple stone structure
yet it was filled with love and human warmth. It’s easy to understand how
Lakpa became such a wonderful man, one we have all become quite fond of.
The trekker went to the Gompa or monastery as well in the afternoon and
visited with Lakpa’s family. They will be calling in their own cybercasts
Stay tuned, Vern
April 5 - Thame: Tashi Delek
from Thame! Today the trekkers and Bill are taking an “active rest day” in
Namche with Pete and Ellie. They are visiting the Sherpa museum, taking hot
showers, shopping and eating. The shopping in Namche is really nice as the
friendly shop keepers are not aggressive like in Kathmandu and there are so
many yak bells, colorful homemade hats and socks, and carpets to buy as well
as all the useful things like cough drops and batteries. Many of us are
enjoying seeing friends we’ve made over the years both on the trail and in the
villages so there is much visiting involved along the way.
The Climbers walked to Thame today along an unusually flat contoured trail. In
fact there is no word in the Nepali language for flat. We lunched in Thamo on
Khumbu potato French fries and a spread of yummy food. The Khumbu potatoes are
famous because they taste like roasted chestnuts and are absolutely the bet
potatoes in the world. We would have been able to look up and see a lot of
peaks today including all of the peaklets on the south side of Cho Oyu but we
were treated to a refreshing and foggy day and didn’t get to see much far away
but were treated with the things close in. We saw miniature purple Himalayan
Iris and Tibetan Mastif mix puppies and about 5 Thar in a drainage that Todd
spotted with his super powered bow hunting eyeballs. Thar are like mountain
goats in shape and size but they are brown. They live with the same habits as
mountain goats and are impressive to watch climb up and down rocks. We also
saw a Danphe pheasant, the national bird of Nepal. They are iridescent and
green, purple, and white.
In Thame we are staying for two nights at Apa Sherpas lodge, Everest Summiter
lodge. The name is fitting for Apa who holds the record for climbing Everest
at 16 times. We have been treated here to a wonderful art showing of of
beautiful folk paintings Pasang made and the amazing thing is that he lost all
of his fingers when he was young when he got caught in a storm on the Nangpa
La while he was carrying for traders. Tomorrow we are planning a puja, a
Buddhist blessing, at the Thame Monastary. The first of several to come.
So that is what we are up to now. Really roughing it up high in the Khumbu,
enjoying every moment of it!
Be Well everyone and thanks for checking in with us!
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