Update: Monday 11th April,
8pm. Everest Base Camp, 5,350m
(EST is 9 hours 45mins behind Nepal)
We bless the climbers and win
a hockey game
Today we took part in a very
special ceremony to bless the climbers, Sean, Dave and Harold. The stone altar
that we had built was decorated with colourful prayer flags that flapped in
the wind as the ceremony took place. It was almost two hours long and was led
by a 67 year old lama who burned juniper in a small fire in front of the
altar. Everyone was involved and we threw rice over the climbers and sipped
beer to protect them and celebrate them.
Last night there were more
avalanches and cracking ice; the wind was so fierce that it almost lifted our
tents off the ground. It made sleeping difficult as the tent walls were
cracked and buffeted by the elements
This morning, in calmer
weather, a good crowd of spectators came out to watch the highest game of ice
hockey in the world. The ice rink on the glacier, or “glink”, was in excellent
shape; the conditions were good; and the puck was flying. Canada played a team
from the Rest of the World which included players from Australia, Nepal and
Gerry Gaetz opened the
scoring for Canada with a goal after just 16 seconds.
Refereeing the game was our
head sherpa, Tsherling. Although this was his first refereeing engagement he
did an outstanding job and had as much fun as all the players. He called a lot
of penalties and a lot of time was spent in a crevasse, which doubled as the
penalty box. But it was all played in great spirits. The game was interrupted
by there yaks at one point which decided that they needed to cross the rink
and one of them even watered the ice surface for us. Who needs a Zamboni when
you have yaks to help you out?
Canada eventually won this
record-breaking game, 21 - 13.
Dr Burgess’ research is going
well and he thinks he’ll be completed within the next day or so.
The first group of us will
leave Base Camp on Tuesday lunchtime and hike back to Gorak Shep. The party
will include Gerry, Howard, Nicole, Lisa, Yvan, Katie, Keith and myself. The
rest of the hikers will leave on Wednesday, but not before Dave gets up at
4.30am and tackles the icefall with a couple of sherpas!
We’ll leave behind Sean and
Harold who will continue the preparations for Sean’s summit bid.
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