Hello, this is Rob Chang from
Everest Base Camp. We apologize it has taken us so long to update, but our
journey has been long, but we are happy to report climber John Gray, Base Camp
Manager Paula Stout and myself are finally here and are doing well.
A short update. April 3-5
After Namche, Paula Stout
went out to Thame while Rob and John ventured to Khumjung. We all had a great
time basking in the great weather and enjoying the great views of Ama Dablam
and the greater Himalaya. Paula had a special time in Thame with Apa Sherpa
and his wife at their lodge and she was blessed at the monastery there in
Thame. John and I had a great few rest days and were getting antsy to just
head up higher and get closer to the mountain.
We all have been greatly
enjoying staying in tea houses rather than tenting, as being indoors and off
the ground has helped our sleep and has kept us healthier and better rested
than in past expeditions here. Of course, once we are in Base Camp, the real
During the trek, we have all
learned to really watch how much we eat on our lunch breaks, at one time, I
ate 11 momos, (they are like pot stickers or vegetable type dumplings) and
then had only 1/2 an hour to rest before we began hiking again. It was hard
to hike on the full stomach to say the least above 10.000 feet.
On April 5, we pulled into
Tengboche, where the large monastery lies and we toured around and took in the
small museum and actually viewed inside the main monastery. It is an amazing
view to see such a testament of a living culture and to see how deep Buddhism
lies in the Himalaya.
April 6 we headed to the
village of Dingboche where the air definitely felt thinner at around 14,000
feet. We have been meeting many other teams that are climbing Everest this
year. From Spain, to the Czech Republic to Korea, it appears all corners of
the globe are represented.
April 7 and 8 - We hiked up a
few steep hills and found ourselves at the small outpost called Lobuche at
16,000+ feet. On the way up, we stopped at the Climbers Memorial where there
are many stone memorials commemorating the climbers lost to climbing and
trekking here in the Himalaya. As climbers, it is a very solemn place as
there are very notable names carved here - illustrating truly how mortal we
are when we are here attempting to climb the highest peaks on earth.
The small memorial I had left
for my sister that the monks at Tengboche had let me leave a few years back,
was still in a small pile after many seasons. A few tears shed, and I left a
very small stone my mother had given me to leave here for her, perhaps for her
to find some more grace and peace in her soul in knowing my sister's spirit is
truly here - as I have felt it many times trekking.
On April 9, we left Lobuche
and did the long and hard hike into Base Camp. We pulled in early afternoon
and found that Apa and our Sherpa and Cook Staff from Asian Trekking had done
a great job in setting up our camp in a great location as well as having our
own tents, mess tents, toilet tents, and even our shower tent.
We met our fellow permit
shares, Will Cross and Julie
Smith who are sharing our
logistics here in Base Camp. They are great company and we have lunch and
dinner and talk climbing and trekking into the early evening.
April 10 we awoke to high
winds and cold temps, but today is Puja day! This is a traditional ceremony
where we bring in a Buddhist Llama and spend the morning blessing our gear,
burning juniper, throwing rice and flour as offerings to the spirits, as well
as eating and offering cookies, sweets, fruits and many other items. The
Sherpas have made a stone alter that all these items are presented upon, and
then after many chants, they erect a large lodge pole almost 15 feet tall that
span many colorful prayer flags in five directions, some spanning over 75 feet
in length. It is spiritual to say the least.
And of course I forgot to
mention we drink some Chhang, which is Nepali rice millet beer home brewed
here in Base Camp and a can of beer for good luck (though we only really
sipped a little as being at 17,600 feet definitely isn't a good place to have
a happy hour).
Tomorrow we head into the
Khumbu Ice Fall for the first time. We have seen a huge avalanche right off
the shoulder of one of the passes adjacent to the mountain and are a little
self-aware that this will be our first step into the climbing realm.
After the 11th, we plan to
rest on the 12th and then plan to head up to Camp One on the 13th. Chuck and
Dan are right behind us and will be here this we to join in on the climbing.
More to come soon...... Rob
Everest Climber, author and
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