Everest 2012

Gorak Shep

Currently in Gorak Shep, a very small but busy village and the last point of civilization before Base Camp. Tomorrow we will be arriving in Base Camp and getting ready to finally start the ascent of Mount Everest!

I have been trekking for 8 days to get here, it’s been great fun with some big highs and lows. I have been walking in with a trekking group from Saint James Place who are on a charity trek to Base Camp and have raised over 500,000 for their foundation! An amazing effort! They have been a lot of fun with their constant banter and daily awards for the ‘dong’ of the day where the ‘winner’ has to wear a yak bell all day, and the infamous yellow t-shirt awards which thus far I have managed to avoid! They have also been incredibly generous in donating over $1,000 to my ActionAid appeal… and all I had to do was show them my tattoo of the chickens…

My highlight of the trek came on Sunday morning, despite a lack of Easter eggs… it was a truly amazing day. Our head sherpa Dorjee took me aside in the morning before we left for our trek and said that when we arrived in Pangboche I would need to go and visit the Head Lama of the Khumbu to be blessed to climb Everest and then we would go and visit his family at their home in the same town. When we arrived in Pangboche the four of us that are climbing from our trekking team headed off with Dorjee to meet the Lama. This was a truly humbling and quite an emotional experience and definitely helped us reflect on what lies ahead. We then went to meet Dorjee’s family at his home. His wife, two small children and a collection of other relatives. They had also invited 6 Lamas from the town to come and bless us as well. This involved a 20 minute ceremony involving lots of chanting, horn blowing and rice throwing. By the end of this day I felt very blessed indeed!

Tomorrow is the biggest day of the whole expedition so far. Finally I will arrive at Base Camp and it will all get a lot more real. The SJP trekkers are staying at Base Camp for a couple of nights before heading back along the trail and I’m sure it will be quite sad to say goodbye, I have really enjoyed gettting to know them all over the last 8 days. When they leave we will venture into the Khumbu Icefall, maybe touch camp 1… However we will not sleep there until after the 18th April – This is when we are having our Puja ceremony which will ensure us safe passage on the mountain! All very exciting stuff! I will try to keep this up to date as well as twitter, however may get trickier as we get into the expedition! Hope everyone at home is well X.

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