Archive for April 5th, 2010

A Blessing from Lama Geshe

RMI Dispatch from Jeff Martin…

April 3, 2010
13,950 ft.

Hi all,

We woke to another beautiful day in the Khumbu. Crystal clear skies and surrounded by magnificent mountains, including Ama Dablam in the morning light. What a sight!

It was our second night in Deboche, and the group is doing really well. After breakfast we started hiking along the Imja River, following its banks until the valley walls narrowed and we began the climb up to Pangboche. Pangboche is a small village, but a very important stop on our trek to Basecamp. It is here that the Lama Geshe gives his blessing for a safe expedition. Each climber receives a “kata” and blessing card and this is followed by his blessing. The tradition is for the climbers to take a picture holding the blessing card while on top of Everest and then mail it back to him. One whole wall is covered with pictures of climbers, spanning many years. To take part in this ceremony is an honor and gives valuable insight into the Sherpa culture.

After leaving Lama Geshe’s house, it was a short walk to the oldest monastery in the Khumbu. Though simple and basic, it has been standing for over 400 years!

Still traversing above the Imja River, the valley opened up and a junction in the trail marked the way to Pheriche. We are now all settled in for the afternoon at our tea house. Some are reading and playing chess and the rest of the team is playing Texas Hold’em. Tucker has been cleaning up the last few nights with the card games, but he is about to run out of luck…

Thyangboche Monastery

The spiritual heart of the Khumbu: Thyangboche Monastery with Khumbila rising behind.

Jeff Martin

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About Wendy Booker

In June of 1998, this 55 year old mother of three was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS after experiencing balance problems, blurred vision and numbness on her left side. When first diagnosed, Wendy was devastated. But it took very little time for her to transform anguish into inspiration. She immediately turned her hobby of casual running into a continuous pursuit and has now completed nine marathons.

Mountain climbing became the next conquest. Wendy learned about a team of mountain climbers with Multiple Sclerosis who were attempting to climb Mt. McKinley (Denali) in Alaska. With no previous climbing experience, she dedicated a year to hard training and set off with them in 2002. Although weather conditions prohibited the team from completing, Wendy attempted the summit again in 2004 on her own and she succeeded!

The feeling of accomplishment she experienced propelled her next aspiration: to climb the highest mountain on each continent. Just five years later, Wendy Booker has successfully reached the top of six of The Seven Summits – Mt. Kilimanjaro, Mt. McKinley, Mt. Elbrus, Mt. Aconcagua, Mt. Vinson Massif and Mt. Kosciuszko. Mt. Everest, the highest mountain on earth, still awaits for 2010.