Archive for April 9th, 2010

Puja Ceremony – An Update from Wendy… April 9th

We have been officially blessed, having partaken in an impressive Puja ceremony overseen by a Lama and all our Sherpa team.  This is my third time participating in a Puja, and they never  lose their impact.  To be sitting in a circle listening to the chants, drums and cymbals overshadowed by these incredible mountains and the bluest sky as prayer flags flutter and incense sends the blessings to the heavens is pretty inspiring.

One of those magical moments when all is right in the world.

Puja Ceremony just below the Khumbu Icefall

Puja Ceremony just below the Khumbu Icefall

Great footage of our climb can be seen at http://blog.firstascent.com/.

25 year old Leif  Whittaker is climbing Everest in honor of his father Jim.  Jim Whittaker was the first American to summit in 1963.  His climb with RMI is being documented… great viewing.

Climb On!

Wendy

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Hello from Everest Base Camp!

The latest RMI Dispatch from Wendy’s Guide, Seth Waterfall…

April 9, 2010
17,575 ft.

This is Seth saying hello from Everest Base Camp!

This is the team’s second full day at base camp and we’re steadily getting our communications gear online. We’ve got a large solar array and we are able to power all of our communication equipment completely by the sun. As you can imagine, though, getting several computers up and running for email access is not a trivial task at 17,500 feet in the heart of the Himalaya. That said, all of the planning and hard work that my boss, Jeff Martin, and our Basecamp Manager, Mark Tucker, have put in is paying off and we’ll all be able to email and call our families and friends shortly.

It’s not all about the modern conveniences here though. We’ve also been busy becoming a part of the base camp community. Last night we paid a visit to the Icefall Doctors and the Himalayan Rescue Association. RMI and First Ascent have made generous clothing and gear donations to the Icefall Doctors this season and last. Last night we dropped off new climbing clothes for ‘the docs’. Those guys work extremely hard at establishing and maintaining the fixed ropes and ladders through the icefall so that the expeditions can focus on the upper parts of the mountain. It was great to be able to show our appreciation by giving them brand new climbing gear.

After visiting the Icefall Doctors we dropped by the HRA to visit the medical doctors at base camp. We had a few clothing items from First Ascent to share with them as well. The HRA is a full medical clinic that is open to anyone here at base camp. This allows expeditions to pool their money to fund the clinic as opposed to each expedition brining their own doctors. The doctors at the clinic usually conduct some kind of research and this year they are working on treatments for the notorious ‘Khumbu Cough’. It’s nice to know that there is work being done on a treatment for the painful cough; I just hope that no one in our expedition becomes part of the study.

We’ve also started to think about heading up the mountain. Today we had our Puja. This ceremony involves a blessing by a Buddhist Lama and the raising of our Puja Pole. It is also a big party and folks from around base camp dropped by to help us celebrate. Our camp is now laced with prayer flags and we have all been blessed and are now free to move up the mountain. This is most important for our Sherpa team as they do not enter the icefall until after the ceremony. Now that we’ve had our Puja we will spend several days practicing for the icefall and upping our acclimatization. Then we’ll be ready to start our first rotations up into the Western Cwm. Wish us luck!

Seth

The full moon rises behind the serrated ridge of Lhotse and illuminates the Khumbu Icefall and Basecamp

The full moon rises behind the serrated ridge of Lhotse and illuminates the Khumbu Icefall and Basecamp

Just Talked to Wendy…

Hello everyone,

This is Trish, Wendy’s publicist.  I just got off the phone with Wendy and wanted to give you a quick update.

First and foremost, all is well.  The team has arrived at Base Camp and they’re getting settled in.  Wendy should have internet access again later today and will post a blog entry herself.  For those of you who follow Wendy’s climbs often, you probably remember that she has gotten sick every time she has gone to Nepal… Yep – you guessed it – she’s been sick again!  No worries, a course of antibiotics and she seems to be on the mend.

Dave Hahn has a pretty tight schedule laid out for the team and Wendy will really be busy for the next few weeks while they are acclimatizing and getting ready for a summit attempt.  We’ll stay in communication every few days and I’ll try to post an update for you when she is unable to.

Thanks to all of you for your support of Wendy’s mission.  Climb on!

Trish


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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.