Pumori and Puja + Mt. Sinus

posted in: Uncategorized | 7

These past few days have been characterized by a couple of challenges. First is my sinus issues that are consistent, if nothing else. Everyone has some form of Khumbu cough. Any mucous production for me ends this way. I am debating whether to treat with antibiotics because it affects acclimatization.

But, I did take my first shower in two weeks. Man, was I disgusting. It involved a 5 gallon bag of cold plus one gallon of boiled water, a tent, a hose and a bar of soap. #bestshowerever.

Yesterday, we made a run up to ABC on Pumori with the group. We climbed almost 2k feet. This saves us one trip through the icefall. It was a big workout for the team.IMG_20180422_121042080

Today was our Puja ceremony. No climbing is supposed to take place until the Llama and all Sherpa pray to the MTN “gods” .  Team members place climbing gear boots, crampons and whatever they wish to have blessed and the ceremony devolves into a drunken bacchanal.

I do not participate in Puja ceremonies but try to do so in a respectful way. This is the third one I have declined in my Himalayan climbing career. I figure that I have broken enough commandments in my life that this is one I can walk away from. I respect our Sherpa and their culture. They don’t necessarily understand and neither do many of my team.  But in the end, we must each do what our conscience allows. I am appreciative of our hard working Sherpa.  They still brought me a Coke and I joined them when the ceremony was concluding. It’s all good.

We don’t have camp 1 fully established so a few more days remain before our first foray into the ice fall. We are building red blood cells and I walked around Basecamp during the Puja and met Mike Hammil. He is a legendary Everest guide who tolf me his team hasn’t really done much more than us.

So all in all, things are normal here. I have a lucky coin that Kelly Bailey gave me, a lucky braided charm from Bri, a lucky autographed handkerchief from all my students at MA and lots of other important items to get atop Sagarmatha.

Thanks for your thoughts, good vibes, comments and energy. I really feel it. (Wait till you hear what Laurel has been doing in Chitwan, I’ll let her write about it)

Namaste .  John

Ps, my friend, Neil Murphy just completed his ski up to the North Pole. Very proud of you Neil. Rock on

7 Responses

  1. Myers

    You should have taken you banjo up there with you.

  2. John

    Good idea, Myers. But 18 lbs is a deal breaker. Plus, I need a good fiddle back up. Know anyone?

  3. John Davis

    John, I have a trumpet I’m sending to base camp for you to leave at the summit along with the other items you mentioned. Thanks for asking!! 🙂 But seriously, sending you all good wishes, my brother!

  4. AJ

    We can have a summit celebration next time you me & Laurel are in the backcountry. Rooting for you every day my friend. Summit, John, Summit.

  5. Kelly Bailey

    So good to hear from you John! I hope all your lucky charms work!!! As always….prayers for your safety!

  6. UL

    Thinking about ya, brother! Hate to hear about the sinus infection, but that seems to be your lot in life whenever you venture “off piste” so to speak. Sucks, use your best judgement, but treat it if you can. You’ll need your strength for the climb.
    To the Summitt!!