November 18 - The Days Leading to Ama Dablam Base Camp

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The days since we left the Lobuche High Camp on the 15th have been rewarding, relaxing and full.  Now it is November 18th and we are at Ama Dablam Base Camp.  The satisfaction of a beautiful and successful summit on Lobuche Peak is still with us of course.  On the 15th from that high camp at 17,000 ft (5181m) just below the Lobuche summit we descended all the way to Pheriche at 14,000 (4267m) ft for lunch.                          

Grant and Maegan at Lama Geshi’s house after being blessedPheriche of course is a familiar stop for us on all our expeditions and treks.  We have a lot of friends there who we got to visit.  Food at the relatively lower elevation and the thick air at 14,000 ft was particularly satisfying.  We moved on to even nicer territory though, we moved on to Ang Temba and Yanzing’s lodge in Pangboche and we enjoyed the nice beds and private rooms there and the hot showers and that cozy, comfortable and scenic dining room upstairs.

The morning of the 16th was really a special one for us; we went to visit Lama Geshi.  Don receives his Khata blessing scarf from Lama GeshiLama Geshi in Pangboche, near the monastery is one of the most learned and respected man in all the Khumbu and his blessings have been a significant part of our climbs and endeavors in the Khumbu for years and years.  He is especially important to Maegan on her efforts on the BAI Everest 2003 trip, his blessings before her climb meant a lot to her and when she decided to come down before going all the way to summit and skiing and didn’t feel right about it she returned to find the Lama Geshi was telling her that he had been having bad dreams about her, which affirmed to her that she had made the right choice on the mountain that year.

Jeff receives his Khata blessing scarf from Lama GeshiHe is a man who has a twinkle in his eyes, a beautiful smile and laughs out loud all the time.  He conveys a lot of wisdom, respect for the mountains and he always leaves us a message wishing us the best for success in all our endeavors in our lives.  He leaves us with a glow actually every time we see him; we feel that we have truly been blessed.

After we left Lama Geshi, we spent a lot of time with him and after we left we went to the Pangboche monastery.  Once each year all 108 sacred text in the Pangboche monastery are read and this is going on now.  Forty monks are working on this and we enjoyed just watching and Yanzing serve tea to them to keep their throats wet as they read these texts all day long.  It was really quite a fascinating scene.

Then we went to see our climbing sherpa Da Sona’s family, he lives near the monastery and that was really a warm and special time for us as well.  The 16th in Pangboche was a great day.

Da Sona's beautiful family, one daughter, three boys and his wifeYesterday the 17th we moved to Ama Dablam Base Camp, only a two hour walk from Pangboche and we were treated with brilliant views of Ama Dablam as we came into camp.  Today the 18th as we are packing our loads to move higher on the mountain we are seeing light snow.  It is kind of a nice day to sit around and drink tea which we are doing.  Tomorrow will be the Pooja, the Lamas will come up here before the Sherpas go on the mountain to give them blessings, we’ll be part of that as well.  Now Ama Dablam lies before us.  We have got plenty of time, we are having a great time together and everyone is very healthy.

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Our objective:

Ama Dablam
Nepal Himalaya

22,494 feet
6857 meters

First Ascent:

March 13, 1961
Barry Bishop
Wally Ramanes
Mike Gill
Mike Ward