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Himalayan Culture Expedition: Up and up. Everest Base-camp.

My father Conrad Anker, receives a blessing and Khata Scarf from Lama Geshi, for safe travel in the mountains during the puja ceremony in Pangboche.

After attending two Puja’s in Pangboche, home of Lama Geshi, the go to guy when asking a blessing of safety when traversing the high peaks of the Himalaya, we set out and up. The Trek to base-camp is long in the sense that you must take your time to let your body become acclimatized to the lesser amounts of oxygen at each point along the trail. Our group spent nights after Phortse in Pangboche, Pheruche, Lobuche and then finally the long push through Gorak Shep up onto the glacier and into base-camp.

Cory and Olivia Richards don't mind the view of the mighty Amadablam along the trail to Pangboche.

It went from being warm and humid to almost the exact opposite in a day out of Pangboche. The nights brought a frigid blanket, and a dusting of snow from Pheriche up to base-camp. Although all the team members had been fine up until Pheriche, several people began to feel the effects of altitude, only natural to many visitors above 15,000 feet.

The dark expanse of Labuche Peak stands watch over our lodge under a cold and starry sky.

Our group was amped to say the least upon arrival in Everest Base-camp but it took us all several days to acclimatize and become used to living and sleeping at 17,500 ft. The base-camp setup was not exactly the “roughing it” sort of camping that I had known all my life in Montana. We arrived to the camp fully set up and a mess tent stocked with Heinz ketchup, dill pickles and Tabasco, all rare commodities in these parts. We situated ourselves and strung up the team flags of Montana State University, The National Geographic Society of course and the American flag.

Our team of climbers and trekkers lock arms for a group photo in front of our banners and the snowy specter of Nuptse.