“Namaste” from Nepal meaning Hello.
A survey expedition to the Himalayan peaks for a summit of Lobuche East at 20,075 feet with its rocky east face rising above the Khumbu Glaciers and less than 10 miles from the summit of Everest.
PROGRESS & ITINERARY:
4/13 – Left Los Angeles nearing midnight on China Southern Airlines for 21 total travel time to the other side of the world. Not bad considering how long it took Mallory & Irvine almost 100 years ago.
4/14 – After 15 hours, arrived in Guangzhou, China before our final 5 hour flight.
4/15 – Arrived in Kathmandu in the afternoon 11 hours ahead of Los Angeles. Once settled at hotel took a walk looking for a vintage ice axe and a bite to eat. No luck on the ice axe and went back to hotel and hung out before heading to bed.
4/16 – Headed to airport to catch 8:30 am flight to Lukla at 9,199 feet (3,440m). What a mess but all ended well with a private helicopter ride above the Himalayan range. More to come on this story. Meet our guide and two porters and after a late lunch trekked to Phakding at 8,562 feet (2,610m and yes down) taking 2 hours as darkness approached. First night is this unbelievable landscape.
4/17 – Left at 7:45 am to today’s hard trek to Namche Bazaar at 11,286 feet (3,440m). Trail bustling with many teams and porters, we stopped after 2 hours in the last small village for some egg noodle soup before the steep ascent to Namche Bazaar. A grind but stopped about half way up for our first sighting of Everest and Lhotse. Unbelievable! Arrived around 1pm in this historical city. Rest day tomorrow aside from a small hike above town to keep the legs going. Life is Good.
4/18 – Namche Bazaar acclimatization day. After a short hike above town for even a better view of the highest point of the world, rested with a beer and a shot of triple cask scotch in afternoon sun.
4/19 – Trekked from Namche Bazaar on a traverse until we dropped steeply to the valley floor of the Dude Kosh river then up again to the Tengboche Monastery at 12,664 feet (3,860m) for lunch and a quick tour of the monastery. Continued another hour and half dropping and then up again to our guest house in Pangboche at 12,930 feet (3930m) with a direct view of Amadablam. Great day and fully engaged in the expedition.
4/20 – Woke up early to a amazing sunrise with mountains all around and Everest peaking above the ridge. Warmed up with a nice fire fueled by yak dung before breakfast. Trekked to Dingboche at 14,271 feet (4350 meters) about half the distance of yesterday and only 2 hours. Looking forward to a relaxing evening and a rest day tomorrow.
4/21 – Today is our final rest and acclimatization day at Dingboche. Woke up early before breakfast to catch the morning sunrise with a hike above town to experience our first view of Lobuche. Snow started to fall in the late afternoon as we look forward to getting back on the trail tomorrow to the village of Lobuche 16,108 ft (4910m) also named for mountain we look to summit.
4/22 – Hit the trail early for Lobuche which I consider the final day of our expedition approach. From the village of Lobuche we are within reach of our 3 climbs including Everest Base Camp, Kalapatthar and Lobuche High Camp to Summit. Stopped in Thukla at 15,153 feet (4620m) for lemon tea before ascending to Thukla Pass where many fallen climbers are memorialized. Arrived in Lobuche 16,108 ft (4910m) in the early afternoon for a full day of preparation for the rest of the expedition. This is where the fun starts.
4/23 – Left Lobuche at 7am for Gorak Shep at 16,994 ft (5,180m). Decided to hang out and have lunch to let the clouds clear instead of dropping our gear and climbing straight through. Stepped on the trail around 11am in route to Everest Base Camp at 17,601 ft (5,365m). The weather was cloudy with light snow most of the way until the first large orange tents came into view about 15 minutes before arriving. The entrance had a large memorial decorated with prayer flags where lots of celebration and pictures were taken. We stepped down to the Khumbu glacier then trekked the entire length of camp which was much larger than expected. As we continued, the Khumbu Ice Fall came into full view as the weather cleared perfectly. We enjoyed watching dozens of climbers work down the ice fall until a few came out of the entrance just below us. What a remarkable day being in the presence of the highest mountain the world! The weather began to change and we turned around and heading back to Gorak Shep which is the highest point we will sleep on this expedition.
4/24 – Decided this morning to head down to Lobuche at 16,108 ft (4910m) for a rest day before starting the summit attempt of Lobuche 20,070 ft (6119m). Plan was to hike up to Kalapatthar at 18,225 ft (5555m) for a closer view of Everest however with the weather questionable and we will get a similar view on the summit ridge of Lobuche, I decided it was best for the team to get an extra day before heading up to Lobuche High Camp at 17,712 ft (5,400m).
4/25 – Woke up to a very cold morning and needed my sleeping bag in the middle of the night. Meeting the climbing guide at lunch before heading up to Lobuche High Camp at 17,712 ft (5,400m). Expect the tents to be even colder tonight as we wake up for a alpine start at 2am before our final push of the expedition. The Himalayans couldn’t be more beautiful.
4/26 – Lobuche High Camp to Summit 20,070 ft (6119m) and back to TBA: 8-10 hours.
4/27 – Contingency/reserve day
4/28 – TBA to Pheriche at 13,779 ft (4200m). 7 hours.
4/29 – Trek to Tengboche 12,664 ft (3,860m) – 6 hrs.
4/30 – Trek to Namche Bazaar 11,286 ft (3,440m) via Khumjung 9120 ft (2,780 m) – 5 hrs.
5 /1 – Trek to Lukla 9,199 ft (2,804m) – 5 hrs.
5/2 – Morning flight back to Kathmandu.
5/3 – Stay at Kathmandu.
5/4 – End the journey! Leave and arrive home that evening with time change.
Locally supported by Alpine Eco Trek
Alpine Eco Trek & Expedition is our licensed trekking company for this adventure. Founded by Ram Kumar, he brings 20 years of experience organizing heritage, cultural and pilgrimage tours, trekking, climbing and mountaineering expeditions in the Himalayan regions.