Tag Archive for: puja

Team after puja ceremony

Garrett Madison phones in from Everest base camp to provide the details of today’s puja ceremony which blessed the team and provided prayers for safe passage on the mountain:

Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the Madison Mountaineering Everest and Lhotse expedition.  Today’s April 18th and we had a wonderful day today.

We had our puja ceremony where we gathered together in base camp and had a Buddhist Lama come up and ask the mountain for safe passage.  It was a very nice ceremony and a beautiful day here – warm and sunny with some singing and dancing after the ceremony.  We had a restful afternoon and a nice dinner and a good movie tonight – a comedy – and now we’re heading to bed.

Everyone’s doing well here at base camp and tomorrow we’re looking forward to a foray up into the Icefall to climb up a couple of hours and check out the route and then back to base camp.  The weather is looking good, the team’s doing well, and we’re looking forward to another great day here is base camp.

Puja day in Everest base camp

Puja day in Everest base camp

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Puja Day:

 Yesterday was our Puja ceremony in base camp. Our whole team of climbers and Sherpas took part with a Buddhist lama. They ask  permission for the mountain to grant us safe passage. After the blessing was complete and our Puja ceremony finished, we commenced with some dancing and traditional Sherpa / Nepali music. Then, our whole team walked down to the helicopter pad in base camp to reconstruct the helipad. Our team of climbers & Sherpas, 40 men in total, worked for 2 hours to carry rocks and gravel to the helipad .They level the surface in preparation for the helicopter flights to transport the loads of equipment for the rope fixing project . i.e (ropes, carabiners, ice screws, etc.) from base camp to Camp 2 on Mount Everest.

Today at 6 AM we awoke to a cloudy sky in base camp. But, soon after the clouds burned off and the weather was suitable for flying. We transported all of the equipment for the rope fixing project (750 kg) from our base camp to the helipad . Until then waited for the AS 350 B3E helicopter to arrive. By 8:30 AM the helicopter arrived and the first load went up to Camp 2 where our climbing Sherpas had been waiting anxiously for the helicopter to land. And, unload the equipment.

They had arrived earlier in the day and already scouted a suitable landing zone for the helicopter . They were communicating with us in base camp by VHF radio regarding the weather conditions at Camp 2 . Additionally, the expected arrival time of the first helicopter load. In total 7 flights were made from the base camp helipad with equipment for the rope fixing project. This will be deposited in our Camp 2 where our Sherpas will collect the equipment. Afterwards, they will begin rope fixing up the Lhotse face towards Camp 3 on April 19th. As, Tomorrow April 18th is a ‘black day’ in memory of the 2014 Khumbu Icefall tragedy that took the lives of 16 Sherpas.

Icefall Training, and Rope Fixing Update

Our team of climbers is currently training in the lower Khumbu Icefall today practicing ascending vertical fixed ropes, rappelling, and crossing ladders. They are training for the preparation for our climb to Camp 1. The weather is nice and we are excited that everything is on track so far for Everest 2018!