Monday 2 April

I woke up at 7.00am and after breakfast we rolled out for Namche Bazar. Several times when I looked up the hills and valley I said to myself  ‘there was no way we were going there’ but miraculously after an hour or so we found ourselves on a higher place than before. It was approx 18km and it took us about 7 hours to get to Namche bazaar. 40 minutes before we arrived I thought we were lost because for several hours we had been hiking in these small villages and voila there is this big village with lots of houses, fancy shops and whatever you can mention.

There are ATM and shops you can buy a wide range of brands of clothes and gear for mountaineering. There are internet cafes, coffee shops, pubs and at 3400 metres. We stayed at Khumbu Lodge where there is an internet café or you can pay 300 rupees (approx $3.5) for half an hour with your own laptop or smart phone.

I think I am acclimatized. I had a good night’s sleep last night. On the previous 2 nights I went to bed with a headache and woke up with one. I did drink water last night and I went to bed with no headache and woke up with none.

It was Puja day today, a special ceremony or ritual performed by Lama from Pheriche. Sherpas won’t go to Camp I without attending this special ceremony and they encourage members to participate. It took about 1hour and after the ceremony there is activity of smearing wheat flour to each other’s chins and cheeks as sign of long life. It is a nice day so far, sunny and clear. Everyone believes it is because of puja day. We tied a note of prayer around our neck. I went ahead and took some photos for First Ascent and AC.

After lunch we had another gear check for tomorrow rehearsal on the icefall. I will be getting another rehearsal because I have never used crampons, ascending or descending ropes or walked on a glacier or climbed ice walls. Everyone has either brand new or better equipment than I have. My rented boots are worn, quietly worn, and had to be glued in several places including the sole and sides so water cannot penetrate. They may order another pair because Mike is unhappy with the look of the boots. So tomorrow is the day for everyone to get to know better the climbing and walking on the icefall. Then on 14 April we will do ladder crossing. Yes, I mean those aluminum ladders; they put them as bridges on crevasses….

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