Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Blessings from the Lama

Since we last left you, we have gained 3,000 feet in altitude and the all-important blessings from the High Lama Gesche of Pengboche. He presented us with ceremonial Kata scarfs which symbolize good luck and safe passage up the slopes of Mt. Everest. Here we are at the Tengboche Monastery, the largest monastery in all of Nepal and prior to our ritual blessing by the Lama:

A German trekker apparently did not receive these blessings and found herself in very serious condition afflicted by HAPE (High Altitude Pulmonary Edema). If it wasn't for her good fortune to stumble in to our lodge which we shared with a group of doctors, she may not have been as lucky to have the benefit of a Gamow Bag. This pressurized inflatable chamber where she slept inside for the night, simulates a much lower altitude and very likely saved her life.
After spending a night at Debuche at approx. 12,300 feet we continued up to Dingboche yesterday at 14,250 feet. We are staying here at the Snow Lion Lodge which has magnificent views of Lhotse, Island Peak, and Ama Dablam. ...all from the window of our own private bungalow! (Being the only couple on the expedition has its fringe benefits). We had our first snowfall last night and woke up to sunshine, blue skies, and a pristine white blanket covering the entire valley.
We plan to stay here another two nights to aid in the acclimatization process, and prevent any Gamow Bag incidents. :) Pictured here with us are Temba Sherpa (red hat) and Wang Chuk Sherpa (blue hat). We are very fortunate to have these two hearty and personable guys accompany us on our expedition!

No comments: