Somehow snow in the trees make for a nice start to the day. We woke up Friday morning to a gentle snowfall. The trees were loaded and the ground was white. But the yak trains had already marked the trails as we left our teahouse for the next village.
We continue to move up valley. Everyone is in good health and we are right on schedule.
The clouds have covered our views of Everest and Ama Dablam but that makes for a cooler trek. The trail is crowded and sometimes a traffic jam occurs with porters, yaks and climbers all sharing the same narrow dirt path.
Yesterday we visited Lama Geshi for a Puja at his home. This was the fourth time I have visited him. He looks a little older but he still has that gentle nature about him. There are many teams moving up valley at the same time so it was crowded in his home. We all went into a room together and sat on blanket covered benches. Lama Geshi’s daughter translates for him. The room is cold nad Lama Gashi wears a down jacket over his crimson robe.
The ceremony is very detailed. First he takes a thin yellow or red string and places it around our neck. Then we give the silk scarf to his daughter with an offering in it. He says a brief prayer and the scarf is placed back around our neck. We move to the bench and sit quietly while he does the same ceremony with all the other climbers.
The Lama then begins to chant prayers for our safety and permission to climb the mountain while tossing rice into the air and occasionally ringing a small bell. The entire ceremony last about 20 minutes. Today he must have blessed over 100 climbers and Sherpa.
I am always touched by this ceremony. In the quiet moments, I reflect on why I am here and what this means to me. This climb is special as all of you know. There are many distractions this year but I remain optimistic and focused.
As we continued up valley the clouds played hide and seek with the sun but soon the clouds won and the snow started to fall while we reached our high point thus far of just over 14,000’. We will continue towards Base Camp after an acclimatization day.
I want to send a shout out to all the students at Ms. Allen's class at Eastern High School, Mr. Garcia at Bolz Jr. High and Mr. Schauer at Weber Jr. High. Thanks to all of you for your continued support on the Alzheimer's fund raising and for sending your positive thoughts to me. I hope to speak live with you soon. You are the best!!
Remember Memories are Everything