As we were getting ready to leave Phortse this morning, Panuru’s wife gave us each a khata ( white scarf) to wear to the monastery in Pangboche to receive blessings from the Lama. We left Phortse at 7:30am and it was uphill out of Phortse, with great views looking back at the village. Once again the path was clinging to the side of a steep slope, but with stone steps built into the cliff face. We had wonderful views looking across the Imja Khohe Valley to Tengboche, the old monastery there, and a clear view of Thamserku, 21,680 ft, rising from the valley behind Tengboche.
The Blessing Ceremony conducted by Lama Geshe
It took us 3 hours to get to Pangboche, the first thing we did was visit the monastery, one of the oldest in the Himalayans more than 400 years old. We came to see Lama Geshe to receive blessings for our expedition. He conducted a special ceremony, including prayers to provide us safe passage and success on our journey. Then he honored each one of us by placing the khata around our necks and an evil warding necklace. The 3 Everest climbers, Kevin, Brad and Ake, along with Panuru, their guide, received more blessings from Lama Geshe an important ritual for all mountain climbers. He told the 4 climbers that the most important thing to remember is to return home safe, the mountain will always be there. Lama Geshe’s Wishing Prayer is:
“Give up all intentions to harm others from your heart
And do your best to Benefit them all.
If each and everyone feels the Universal Responsibility to do so,
We will all enjoy the feast of PEACE!”
And as we walked along the path we were supposed to repeat this mantra in Sanskrit.
“Om Ma Ni Pad Me Hung Hri”.
It actually has a good beat to walk to, especially on the very steep sections when you wanted to forget about the struggle going up hill. We left the monastery feeling very blessed and that our journey will be safe.
Pangboche, 13,074 ft, situated high in the Himalayans, is inhabited mainly by Sherpas, and is mostly surrounded by farmed fields that grow vegetables for the lodges. We ate lunch at the Trekkers Holiday Inn Lodge and chatted with a Swiss couple who were on their way down from Base Camp.
We continued on to Dingboche, 14,800 ft, where we are staying for two nights at the Peak 38 View Lodge, for acclimatization. Dingboche is nestled into a small protected valley, the Chukhung Valley, surrounded by imposing snow-capped mountains. In 2011 the population was 200, the village relies heavily on tourists with lodges comprising most of Dingboche. One of the characteristics I liked of Dingboche is the miles of stone walls, built using the stones of different sizes that cover the entire valley. The stones are removed to plow the fields and end up piled one over the other creating miles of walls. Everywhere we walked it was between the stones walls. Our room at the lodge is very sparse but we share a toilet with Kevin and B-1 in the next room. The dining room is very large and we spent a lot of time here playing cards and eating…..