17 May 2006, A blaze of birthday candles, very tasty cake to ring in my 40 th-cheers..

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From Lisa Minne

Our Long hike up to Lobuche (16200 ft) yesterday ended in a blaze of birthday candles on this enormous and very tasty cake to ring in my 40 th-cheers to our amazing cooking staff!!

This morning we all awoke to frosted tents and sleeping bag zippers! The day quickly warmed as the sunshined on our ascent to Gorakshep (17,000 ft). This trail led us over long stretches of boulders fields, somewhat bleak + lacking in vegetation. But the 360 degree was striking! Pumori, Nuptse,Lhola, Changri, Khongmatse towered around us majestically making it hard to keep an eye on the rocky trail.

After a quick snack, we chased the clouds to ascend Kala Pathar (18,450) to see the South Col, West South faces of Everest. We hung prayer flags and at last the clouds parted to give us a majestic mountain!!! Along the trail up Kalapathar, we were better able to see Everest BC at 17,580 ft with numerous tents set up. This is our goal for tomorrow. But TODAY most of us went as high as we will ever be from sea level.

Missing you lots Masers- I know you’d be loving every minute of the fifth Joely, Thanks for the very big surprise. Mom! I am sure you had something to do with that to Dad. I got a 360* movie for you. Love and miss you all.