Puja was yesterday. What a gorgeous day. It had snowed a bit the night before but the sky was clear blue. The lama arrived the night before and was setting up at around 8 in the am. We ate breakfast and then gathered around the altar while he sang some Tibetan scripts.
Pujas are necessary for Sherpas to climb. They won't without one. The purpose is to ask the mountain to allow to climb her. We also bless and pardon the tools we'll be using on the mountain (ice axe, crampons, tools, etc).
The ceremony itself is always a beautiful thing to watch and really gets me appreciating where I am. But the fun starts after. The Sherpas go around to each of us making us do shots if Sherpa rum. Ouch. Then the bottomless cups of Chang circulate (rice beer), and finally the beers. It's 9am and we're made to aggressively drink. Again, ouch.
The Sherpas did their little Sherpa dance, we drank, socialized with the team, then passed out in our tents.
Rest day today, although the Sherpas went up to camp 2 to carry some loads. Hats off to them. BEASTS! We will head out into the ice fall tomorrow for or first foray. Nothing crazy, maybe an hour or two deep and then we will come back. Just to get out climbing legs going.
Let the climbing begin!'