Day 12 – Remembering my Mama Telle!

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I had a hard time sleeping through the night. Maybe the food from the evening before, or maybe the fact that is April 16th and the 3rd anniversary of my beloved Mama Telle’s passing. It was a little rough to get the day going, I think maybe subconsciously my mind was grieving the memories. Even though it’s been 3years ago, I do miss my mom terribly. As I looked at the open bright skies, and with the altitude, maybe this was a sweet blessing in cherishing her. If anything I was a little closer to heaven and a chance of maybe being closer to her beautiful spirit and soul.

A special moment with my beloved Mama Telle - April 2013, I was playing with her Oxygen.
A special moment with my beloved Mama Telle – April 2013, I was playing with her Oxygen Tank.

During breakfast the plan was laid out for us to practice alpine techniques to cross the Khumbu ice fall. This is a massive compound of gigantic elevated ice falls that separate Base Camp from Camp 1. As simple as the idea of crossing this compound might seem; it’s the Khumbu Ice Fall structure the reason many climbers head into Tibet and choose the North Side of Everest. On 2014, there was a massive avalanche on the Ice fall that killed many Climbing Sherpa’s and close the season; and last year in 2015, during the earthquake, the Khumbu Ice Fall prevented any climbers stuck on Camp 1 to make it to Base Camp and instead be daringly rescued by helicopter. Almost every single climber has described this massive area as one of the most difficult parts of Climbing Everest, so the appropriate practice was a huge relief for me.

As I started getting ready, I had the chance of connecting with the girls. So sweet to hear everyone’s voice. Shailee was sharing that everyone was already tired even though they hadn’t start the climb. Sweet to hear everyone’s voices and just to wish everyone a safe long journey up to Namche.

By 11am, it was time for us to head into an area close to us to practice our new techniques. As Mike and the rest of the climbing team had set up a little practice spot, I was a little nervous learning something new. Crossing the sample ladder seemed simple, though my biggest disadvantage, my tiny feet that could barely hold between each peg. It’d mean for me to be slow and pay attention and try balancing myself; certainly wishing my feet were longer and sturdy. Oh Well, you can’t win it all!

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Learning how to balance on ladders
Learning how to balance on ladders

Next, climbing up with an ascender up a steep ice wall and then learn how to repel using a figure 8 repeller on another steep wall down. If anything, nerves of steel are quite handy during this process. Done with that exercise, and another fun repelling one, this time using your arm as a repeller. Quite the “fun” ice circuit.

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We all took several turns up and down; brushing off techniques and others. After playing for around 2hrs, the final exercise, climbing up a ladder and then use the ascender off the ladder and climbing through the ascender and your crampons on a steep wall. This exercise takes a lot of balancing as once you are done with ladder, you need to transition into a vertical wall. My first try wasn’t very elegant and ended up hitting my thighs into the hard ice wall. Big Ouch! A little more practice using crampons was next.

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By 2pm it was time to head back into camp, all of us feeling a little tired. News as we arrived was that the Wifi was down. Oh well, alone time for me to connect and cherished the memories of my Mama Telle. She is such the role model for me and such the spiritual force that I’m truly lucky of cherishing all the amazing time I had with her. And now, asking her for her protection while I continue this incredible dream.

Dinner time came fast 6:30pm and instructions for the next day. We’d be attempting to climb part of the Khumbu ice fall for about 3hrs and then return for lunch. Early start at 6am and a good way of practicing. Per Mike, our planned moved to Camp 1 would be on April 20th, with a start time of 2am; so getting ready by 6 was a good practice.

No WIFI or connectivity to my girls, tired due to the journey though yet trusting they made it safely to Namche. Saying a prayer for the soul of Mama Telle and asking her for her protection on the ice fall.

Treat of the Day: Celebrating my Mama Telle in such a special place.