This morning we has stellar views of Ama Dablam, Lhotse, and... Mt. Everest as we ate our breakfast. The weather pattern continued with clear mornings and then clouds coming in around lunch time. Ama Dablam grew bigger and closer as it poked out of the clouds on and off all day.
The trail was moderate and fun. We climbed up to Pangboche Gompa and hit the highlight of the day and perhaps the week. At the gompa we had a 30 minute private blessing from the Lama Geshi, the holiest religious man in the whole Khumbu. It was an amazing experience. The spiritual presence in everywhere in the Khumbu from prayers carved into rocks along the trail, to prayer flags and prayer wheels, to the occasional sutpas.
From Pangboche we dropped back down a bit to Shomare for lunch and continued on to our day's objective: Dingboche at 14,500 ft. To reach this we had one more hill of 1,000 ft. of climbing. I'm feeling great and all this up and down is actually quite enjoyable. I did a head to toe survey and everything is feeling great!! Loving every minute!
We will be here at Dingboche for two nights to help with our acclimatization. Tomorrow we will do a hike in the morning and hope to catch some great views. Right now Steve, Ben, and I walk up to the far side of town to the one Internet cafe with Wi-Fi. There is really no cell coverage here. It quite amazing that there is cell coverage at all in the Khumbu and it's a relatively new thing at that.
One more thing: with all the views, the great guides and staff, and the wonderful people that I'm trekking with, I must say the most impressive thing is watching the Sherpa porters at work. I can't believe how hard these guys work. They are constantly passing us on the trail with their 132 pound massive double loads borne just by a strap across their foreheads (no shoulder and waste straps). Many in sandals. And they turn around and serve us breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I, for one, am quite thankful!