Berg Adventures International 2003 Everest Expedition

September 8 - Powerful moments with Pangboche Lama

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It’s the 8th of September. Today is the day that Brad Johnson flies from Colorado to Nepal, the final member of the 2003 Berg Adventures Everest climbing team. He’ll be on his way in a matter of just an hour or so to meet us in Base Camp in a few days.

Pangboche MonasteryI’m reporting to you from Pheriche. There’s been a soft, gentle rain this afternoon. Pheriche is green and there are yak bells tinkling all around. We’re having a nice day resting and acclimatizing. Each member of the trekking team, as well as each member of the climbing team that is here, has acclimatized superbly so far. Everyone’s relaxed and having a good time – no health problems whatsoever.

Yesterday we were at Pangboche, at Ang Temba’s house with his wife Yangzing. We had a really powerful experience in the morning for the entire expedition, as well as the trekkers who came along with us.

Lama GesuWe had an audience with Lama Gesu, who the 71-year-old Lama at the Pangboche monastery. He’s been a protector, a friend and an inspiration to some of my closest climbing friends over the years. The timing was very fortunate because Lama Gesu had been meditating for one month just prior to our arrival. Two days before we arrived in Pangboche he came out from the meditation and we sat with him in the morning. He has a wonderful sense of humour, a bright smile. He shared with us perceptions about our attitude toward the mountain and the way we should approach the mountain. He gave each of the climbers, as well as each of the trekkers, a special personal blessing. It was a really powerful moment for all of us. It was a great way to spend the morning with Lama Gesu.

Now, I’m at a very special place for me at the Himalayan Lodge in Pheriche. Ang Kantni is a wonderful Sherpa woman who, along with her family, has run this lodge for years, going back to 1989. I have always stayed here as I have approached Everest as well as when I have brought trekking groups into the area. A lot of rich memories here in this valley, here at Pheriche, for me.

Everest and Lhotse from Ang Temba's lodgeEach of the last two mornings, both at Pangboche and here at Pheriche, we’ve had the very auspicious sign of very clear weather with the grand mountains all around us. In particular, yesterday morning from a window in Ang Temba’s lodge, we did see Everest and Lhotse as well as Ama Dablam towering right above us in the village of Pangboche.

And this morning we saw Cho Oyu and Lobuche peak, which will be the goal of some of the climbers to prepare and acclimatize for Everest on this team. And also, many of the group took a hike up the ridge and took a look at Makalu and Island Peak off in the distance.

This is a great way to approach the mountain, to begin to let our bodies adapt. We’ve had a great time together, relaxing and laughing. Tomorrow, we’ll go to Lobuche and we’ll be approaching Everest Base Camp very soon after that.

The morning of Friday the 12th is our Pooja, the blessing ceremony. The lamas will come up from Pangboche and will bless us before we step onto the climb of Everest from the South Col Route.

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