Everest Base Camp Trek: Tucker and Team Visit Lama Geshe

Posted by: Mark Tucker | March 27, 2012
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest BC Trek
Elevation: 13,950'

We woke to a bluebird day and enjoyed a view of Ama Dablam while we ate breakfast. But bluebird often comes at the cost of warmth, so after a breakfast of (oh, you already know what we ate) we bundled up and hit the trail.  The first part of the trail lead us through a forest of evergreen and rhododendron and sloped downward to a bridge across the Imja Khola. Once across the bridge the forest gave way to scrub and the trail started up. It was easy to overlook the effort of climbing with stunning peaks vying with chortens and Buddhist memorials for our attention.

Mid-morning found us in the village of Pangboche. Our plan was to visit the Lama Geshe for a blessing and we arrived just as he was finishing up his morning clean-up and relaxing in the sun. We spent the next hour with him. He performed the blessing ceremony and we shared a cup of yak butter tea with him. I would gladly experience the ceremony again; but once is enough for yak butter tea. I should have taken Mark’s advice.

Personal note: I have been accused of being a Buddhist shaman in another life and I swear the Lama Geshe and I had a connection.

Leaving the Lama, we wound our way through the village with views of walled fields below us. The trail was punctuated by many memorials for climbers and Sherpa. It was a reminder that the mountains belong to no one and that we are here as their guests. It is with respect and caution that we must undertake this trek and climb.

We stopped for lunch in Orso at a small place with a delightful sun room overlooking the valley. It was there that we met a man who was apparently suffering from AMS that was waiting for a helicopter to take him to a lower elevation. He said he had been waiting for about four hours already and his local guide was off trying to sort things out. It was impressive to see Mark assess the situation and take action. He had the guy drinking electrolytes, pressure breathing and forcing food down in no time. Within 20-30 minutes he was sitting up saying how much better he felt and talking to us. The helicopter showed up a couple minutes later which was impressive on a whole other level. In either case, both Kim and I feel lucky to have such a competent team leader.

As has been the pattern in the afternoons, the weather rolled in so we beat feet out towards Pheriche. It was a short hike, but included an appropriate amount of up before we rolled down into town. Not long after we arrived the other RMI team rolled in. We’re now one big happy RMI family - if only for the night. —John

A big shout-out to Ms. Barnes 5th grade class today!  We are taking a lot of photos of erosion for you.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker receives a blessing from Lama Geshe.  Photo: Kim Kim, John and Pemba Sherpa on the trail with Mt. Everest behind.  Photo: Mark Tucker

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