Island Peak Cybercast

10/21/08
Team Living the Dream. Hello friends, family and others following our journey, it was a mostly restoring night in Dingboche with plenty of oxygen. Several members of the group were awoken in the middle of the night with screaming yaks and people fighting next door. Robert and Gopal tried to restore the scene to silence but to no avail. We started up our ascent to Island Peak Base Camp today at 16,700 feet, our acclimatization is progressing as we no long hyperventilate drinking one sip of water. The landscape changed today from fall covered bushes down in Dingboche to more of a moonscape morainal terrain up here at Island Peak. Base camp is cold and dusty but the landscape is amazing (…transmission break…) We met people from all corners of the world on the hike up, this trek is truly a world of nations. Tomorrow we will practice ascent and descent techniques followed by a summit night. Namaste – Alexandra aka power monkey.

10/20/08
Hello everyone this is Team Living the Dream checking in from the village of Dingboche, elevation 14,375 feet. After a hardy breakfast this morning we left Gorak Shep and spent the next four or so hours heading to Dingboche. We are still healthy and we are enjoying the somewhat thicker air which should help us sleep much better tonight. One of the main highlights today was being able to take a shower as it has been several days since our last shower and it will be several more days until the next one. We are excited tomorrow to head up to Island Peak Base Camp. We hope all is well at home and we will update you again soon, thanks for following our adventure - from Jeff.

10/19/08- (Everst Base Camp Group)
Greetings to family and friends,

Ruth and I enjoyed a last dinner with the climbers in Pheriche where we celebrated Ruth's birthday (29 again, and again, and yet again). We left the next morn for the return trek through the Khumbu to Kathmandu. The weather was perfect and the views of Everest were stunning for our days on the trail. We have arrived safely in Kathmandu. It was an honor to walk along side Lapka, who's knowledge, skills, and professionalism are unsurpassed. What an extraordinary man!! A spectacular trip and we are looking forward to reuniting with family, friends, and pets,,,Namaste.

Melinda

10/19/08
Hi folks, thanks for tuning in to Team Living the Dream, we are here calling in from Gorak Shep 16,900ft. We awoke in our tents to frost on the ground, in our tents and on our sleeping bags. After a big breakfast of granola, eggs and blue berry pancakes the sun hit our little valley, time to rally. Our trek led us through the lateral moraine of the Khumbu Glacier, we were so close to Nuptse that we could have reached out and touched it. After two and half hours we reached Everest Base Camp. We lunched inside the infamous Khumbu Icefall, before lunch was over John, the ice doctor scouted a route on the icefall helping to make Roberts dream of touching the seracs a reality. Before long we were all standing on a serac with plenty of pictures for our loved ones. We are all healthy and missing you all.

John enjoyed the night last night with a snoring orchestra on both sides of his head accompanied by sleigh bells from a horse roaming in the night. Robert reports that he was dreaming of Santa. Robert has reminded us a couple of times how the lack of oxygen makes things feel much, much colder he, is now using his big down jacket that he thought was a ridiculous thing to bring. Tomorrow we are heading down to Dingboche and then the next day we will head up to Island Peak Base Camp. We are looking forward to the next stage of our journey, Namaste. (Tonights cybercast was prepared mostly by John).

10/18/08
Hi this is Team Living the Dream, this morning we left Lobuche and paid a brief visit to the Italian Research Center and then continued up the Khumbu Valley up to Gorak Shep at 16,900. It is noticeably colder here and the afternoon was cloudy and windy, this didnt stop Winslow and the staff from playing with the slackline. We left for Kala Pattar at 3:00pm and it was not looking favorable, the strong breeze and thick clouds almost dissuaded us. Fortunately Winslow pressed onward and upward and the sky began to clear as we approached the summit, Everest, Nuptse, Ama Dablam and a host of other peaks were completely clear. We spent at least forty-five minutes on the summit taking photos and admiring the view. The descent was even better as the sun slowly set, turning Everst and Nuptse golden, every picture taken was a prize winner and just when you thought that it couldnt get any better, it did. We had a great dinner of burritos and lemon cake dessert by candle light while wearing our down coats and off to bed early. Happy birthday to Patty. This cybercast has been prepared by Robert. Namaste.

10/16/08
Namaste friends and family thank you for tuning into our trip, we continue living the dream. After another luxurious breakfast in Pheriche at 14,200 ft, we headed to the mountains for an acclimatization trek to 15,500 ft. On our way up we came upon a couple of hermitages for the monks and a sneak preview of Island Peak and Baruntse in the background. We got back to Pheriche to an amazing Japanese lunch of miso soup and california rolls prepared by our awesome team of Sherpas led by Gopal. I am taking the opportunity to acknowledge the five star service provided by the Sherpa staff worth mentioning; the minty hot towel before dinner, Yaams smile and Yaam and Deepaks readiness to seat us. Afternoon highlights included a visit to the Himalayan Research Center where they gave a lecture on the latest high altitude research and the affects of high altitude on human physiology, some of us volunteered to participate in a study on the affects of ibuprofen on altitude sickness. We are heading up Loboche tomorrow, we are still looking for a basket to get Winslow in as she is getting heavier and heavier as we go higher... hehe. Tashi Delek from Alexandra.

10/15/08
Hey Folks this is Team Living the Dream, we awoke to a good frost on and in our tents at Deboche at 3,820 meters. We are in the heart of the Rhododendron forest deep in one of the most spectacular gorges any of us as ever seen. The yaks were still sleeping when Winslow and Jeff lead an upper body and ab workout though Jeff petered out by the time the pull ups began. We knew that it was time to go when the yak bells started chiming and Robert sprinted out the gate, as usual leaving the rest of us in the dust. We continued our acclimatization trek awed by the fairy tail scenery and the graciousness of our Sherpa guides and hosts. We have been lucky that the weather has been crystal clear so far, we headed straight towards Mt. Everest looming above.

The highlight of the day was a customary visit to Lama Geishe from Pangboche, trekkers and mountaineers alike make the pilgrimage to be blessed by the Lama. Ruth, Alex and Malindas prayer flags were blessed by the Lama so they were relieved that they will be bringing back part of the Khumbu with them. One by one the Lama bestowed his blessings on us, shaking hands and pressing foreheads with the larger than life figure as he presented us with a scarf for protection and good fortune in our lives. We were also witness to a rare event, the marriage of two climbers who trekked to the Lamas remote temple to exchange their vows, we were all inspired. Today has been our highest single gain of altitude to date; everyone is in high spirits. We want our loved ones to know that we miss them very much, we are safe, warm and taken care of.

Thanks to John for writing this cybercast. We are now in Pheriche at 4,240 meters, Namaste.

10/14/08
Namaste from Team Living the Dream, we crawled out of our tents this morning to Thaserku, Kangtega, Ama Dablam and Everest, the sky was clear and the view was truly spectacular. After another great breakfast from Gopal and his staff we left Khunde for Khumjung where we toured the Hillary School and found a picture of Lakpa Rita Sherpa as a school boy. The trail descended to Phunki Tenga where we enjoyed a picnic lunch in the sun. Afterwards we climbed up to Tengboche where we had great views of Ama Dablam and Everest just before the clouds came in. Crossing the hill in Tengboche revealed the famous and awesome view of the upper Khumbu Valley that neither words nor camera can do it justice. We enjoyed donuts, chocolate cake and lemon meringue pie at the bakery and Robert was craving some vegemite for his fresh french bread. We visited a museum in Tengboche and then walked down to our camp site in Deboche. It is such a treat to arrive at your camp sight and find the tents erected and your bags lined up in front, the Sherpa people are always smiling and make us feel very welcome, we are truly living the dream. Thanks to Robert for writing this cybercast and thanks to all of you guys for following our journey. Tashi Delek.


Yak in the Moonlight at Khunde


Entering Khumjung with Ama Dablam behind

10/13/08
Namaste, the Everest Base Camp group and Island Peak group are pleased to announce that we will now be known as Team Living the Dream. We are really getting to know each other quite well. We have been having lots of fun despite all of the uphill death marches that Winslow has been taking us on, I am amazed that we have had enough energy for dice games, jig saw puzzles, dodging the stampeding yaks, charades and the mafia game. I guess all the hard work is paying off and we are getting stronger and well acclimatized, it is a good thing because we have all had to take turns carrying Winslow; when she is not barking out orders and complaining how uncomfortable she is on our backs, she is busy sulking away under some rock or trying to steel our food. As a group we do see some great leadership potential in her and we hope that she will come around soon. All joking aside, we are having a great time, we arrived safely and healthy in the village of Khunde today where we able to visit the hospital built by Sir Edmund Hillary in 1966. This clinic serves over 10,000 people in the Khumbu Valley, it was quite a treat. I thank Winslow and all the members of Team Living the Dream for allowing me the honor of writing todays cybercast. Tomorrow we will trek to Tengboche, thanks for following our adventures, Tashi Delek- Jeff.


Bridge to Namche


The Hiking Trail


Home in the Khumbu


Ama Dablam Pokes Her Head Out


Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and Ama Dablam


John and Jeffro Standing Above Namche


Morning Himalayan Views


Mani Stones


Thammserku Comes out

10/12/08
Namaste from Namche Bazaar!

We have had a lovely day in the Khumbu. We awoke to totally clear skies with the stunning peak of Kongde Ri out our front door. After breakfast we hiked up to the museum where we were blessed with gorgeous views of Himalayan peaks in all directions. We caught our second view of Everest just behind Lhotse and Nuptse. We had our first experience of Ama Dablam which is such an unforgettable peak towering alone yet in the center of so many peaks. Other surrounding peaks were Tom Sur Ku, Kusom Kang, and Kumbila “God of the Khumbu”, a holy peak above Namche). We are truly enjoying the beautiful weather and great visibility.

Next we toured the Sherpa Museum which has great photos, and articles on the history of climbing in this area. It brings to mind how strong and amazing the Sherpa really are. Everest could not be climbed without them. It would be nearly impossible to be here and not be influence by this culture. So our appreciation for their work is increased as we recognize the challenges they must overcome. During a slide show at the museum, it was exciting to see photos of Namche in the winter with 3-4 feet of snow on the ground.

After lunch we had free time to roam around Namche which has a certain charm all on its own. Members enjoyed buying locally handmade gifts. Alexandra regretted not being able to capture a photo of the yak train and porters weaving through the tourist in the shopping district.

Another bonus today is having activation of our cook staff, as our food was a day behind getting here from Kathmandu. We had to eat in the lodges at first which is just not the same! We were immediately grateful at lunch today to have a delicious layout by Gopal, our head cook.

Tashi Delek!

Winslow

 

10/11/08
Namaste! We have safely arrived in Namche Bazaar at 11, 300 feet. Everyone is doing well! The weather today was ideal, and we thoroughly enjoyed the hike. We crossed many of the sturdy but swaying bridges adorned with prayer flags and katas (the white scarves given as blessings and then tied to the bridges for good luck). On the hike up the slightly less than grueling Namche hill we caught our first inspiring glimpse of Everest towering through the clouds. Though it was just a teaser of a view it was inspiring none the less. Some common themes we are talking about are how outstanding the whole experience is out here. There is just no way to put into words the sights, sounds, smells, and the smiling people of the Khumbu. It is surely spectacular beyond imagination. We are too busy taking it all in to come up with our team name just yet. Tomorrow we will slowly hike above Namche to the Everest view hotel, visit the Sherpa museum, and roam around downtown Namche. Thanks for keeping track of our journey!

Tashi Delek! (Sherpa greeting) Winslow

10/9/08
We had another day delay today, but things were so backed up that we did not have to go to the airport. So we spent another day relaxing and touring Katmandu. Some of us went to Patan Durbar Square, one of the three historic centers of the city. It was much quieter out today as it was the 10th day of the Daisan festival, and most places were closed. We saw numerous kites flying through the skies today as the kids were celebrating. We learned some very interesting history about Patan. This area was built during the Malla King era that was known as the immortal king. He told the people that he would not die until many impossible things happened such as the statue of Garuda (half eagle, half man) laying a diamond egg. One of the temples is carved from a single mass of rock with very detailed pictures and inscriptions. The hand carved wood here is as breath taking as the other pagoda style temples we have seen. We visited the temple where the women come to pray for protection of their husbands if they are married, and if not they pray to find a good husband. The boys come to check out the girls who are praying. We then had lunch on a roof top with great views of Patan, the Katmandu valley, and the surrounding peaks. Pictures could not capture the true essence of this busy landscape with all the kites adorning the sky.

Others relaxed at the Yak and Yeti and cruised the streets of Thamel.

We are scheduled to fly out tomorrow morning weather permitting! Namaste! Winslow

10/8/08
Hi everyone, We are still in Kathmandu. We did not fly into the Khumbu today as flights were canceled. We are hoping to fly in tomorrow. We did get to see some more of the amazing sites in town. After a wonderful lunch at the Thai restaurant, where we enjoyed eating in a courtyard full of trees, we visited the Kathmandu Durbar Square. The locals were lined up for a half mile to get into the Taleju temple. It is the highest bulding in town at 110 feet. It is illegal to build anything higher than this building. Here resides the goddess of war, Kali. Today they sacrifice buffalo and goats to appease her and avoid war.

There are many other temples here with very intricate wood carving done by hand. The Kathmandu temple is made from one single tree, and is thus named Kathmandu meaning temple of wood. There is a very lucky peice of wood inside that people rub to cure physical ailments.

The new Kumari, the only living goddess, was very popular today as well. She is just 3 years old. She will stay in a temple at Durbar square as the Kumari until puberty when a new Kumari is choosen. She is carried in a chariot around town during festivals. It is very lucky to see the Kumari.

Every direction we turned was breath taking. We then encountered the statue of the Bairab, where criminals were once brought to stand here and tell the truth. If here they were to lie, they would drop dead.

We will head to the airport again tomorrow to see what the day will bring. Thanks for being with us on our journey.

Namaste!


John and Sadhu


Durbar Square


John, Melinda, Ruth and Jeff at Teluja


Hanging at the Shiva Perbati Temple


The Bairab

10/7/08
Namaste from Kathmandu. This is Winslow Passey with the Everest Base Camp and Island Peak group. Everyone arrived on time with all baggage on hand. We had a lovely welcome dinner last night getting to know each other. It looks like we have a great team consisting of Melinda and Ruth going to Everest Base Camp. Continuing to Island Peak, we have Jeff, Robert, Alexandra and John.

Today we toured Kathmandu. We started at Swayanbhunath, the oldest Buddhist stupa in the world. The stupa sits on top of a hill over looking the Kathmandu valley, and it is colorfully illuminated with numerous prayer flags. It is also called the monkey temple, a nickname given by the hippies here in the 60's and 70's. Krishna, our tour guide, enlightened us all to the history and symbolism of the very detailed creation of the stupa. We explored the chakra bowls which upon striking vibrate and ring. When moved over the body it brings healing and clarification. Check out the photo of Jeff.

Next we went to Bodnath Stupa, the largest in the world. There are about 10,000 monks, and 20,000 Tibetians that live here. We found many interesting painting and gifts as we walked around this gorgeous stupa.

Along we continued to Pashupatinath, a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, the destroyer. The temple is situated on the Holy Bagumati river that mingles with the Ganges River in India. This is where the locals cremate the dead a custom believed to purified the body so they can go to heaven.

We then enjoyed lunch in Thamel and picked up a few last minute items. We are very excited to fly into the Khumbu tomorrow morning weather permitting.

Thanks for following our journey, we will keep you updated!

Namaste (Bessing the highest quality in you!) Winslow

 

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