Hugo's blog

May 8 Island Peak (Imja Tse)

 
Hugo, Doug, Lottie and Ade were all up, dressed and ready by 01:30. We had coffee or tea and a bowl of porridge each and left just after 2:00 am with Dendi and Gyalzey. Nima came too, but he was carrying a bag with our heavy mountain boots that we would use on the more technical section of the peak.
The true steepness and difficulty of the terrain was soon apparent as we looked up for the stars and saw instead a train of headlamps from the other teams who left before us. Looking like stars in the sky, we realized the work that lay before us and started our climb.
 

May 7 Short hike to Island Peak basecamp

 
Today was supposed to be an easy restful day as we prepared to climb the highest mountain of the expedition: Island Peak. After a late breakfast we packed up and left the lodge to walk the few miles to Island Peak Basecamp. On our two previous big mountains we had camped alone in isolated valleys but this was completely different. Island Peak is probably the most popular mountain to be climbed in Nepal. It was first climbed in 1953 by an Everest expedition who used this peak as a preparation for Everest.

May 6 - Pokalde Ri

Rising early at 04:00 Hugo, Doug, Ade, Dendi, Gyalzey and Nima set off to climb Pokalde. Lottie decided to rest in camp. Pokalde is a very tall and steep rock spire that soars nearly 20,000 feet into the sky. Gyalzey was the only member who had climbed this peak, so he took the lead running out the rope for the team to follow. Some very real rock climbing was involved, but eventually everyone stood together on the tiny summit for pictures. For our porter Nima, this was the first mountain he had ever climbed and therefore a very special occasion in his quest to become a climbing Sherpa.

May 5 - Kongma La

 
     Today’s plan was to leave Gorak Shep after breakfast and head back down the Everest BC trail towards Lobuche. Before breakfast Doug took advantage of our location to climb most of the way up Kala Patar, the hill next to Gorak Shep. Here he was able to take some pictures of Everest in the clear morning air. Kala Patar provides the location for the iconic shots of Everest that are most often seen on posters and websites.

May 4 base camp to Gorak Shep (16,900 ft)

 
Lottie's Report: Today was hard - not the hardest I've done so far, but I was tired in body and mind. It was a three and a half hour walk to Gorak Shep, which is a bit of a detour off our route mainly for us to visit Everest base camp to get that tick in the box. [keep reading...]

May 3 high camp - climb Loubuche East.

 
Lottie's report: 3am start and I'm already flapping! I couldn't quite decide on jacket-socks-clothing combination, but we were ready to leave by 4am. We set off on a sharp climb out of camp and I immediately overheated. [keep reading...]

May 1 Dzongla to Loubuche Base Camp

 
A report from Lottie: A relatively easy short walk today, but the traumas of the Chola Pass had got to me and I was right out of "man-up juice" (thanks Jane for that phrase!) I really felt that if anything was going to be harder than yesterday then I just couldn't even attempt any of the big peaks ahead of us.  [keep reading...]

April 30 - Dragnak to Dzongla across the Chola Pass

 
Report from Lottie:
The first time in 5 days we've had any form of communication. We had to get from one valley to another over the Cho La Pass which at it's highest point is 18,500ft - did I say climbing Gokyo Ri was the hardest thing I've ever done? Well it pales into insignificance compared to this! The climb started out fairly well, a slow and steady climb up, before the path gave way to huge boulders we had to clamber over. These ranged in size from a terrace house to a family size car: it was completely unforgiving and utterly exhausting.
 

Gokyo Ri

 
Our first peak climb started early with tea at 4:45AM. The day was breaking fast with a full moon hovering over the mountains and lake- very beautiful and quiet. The climb up Gokyo Ri was relentless, and the group was put to their first real test. We slowly climbed up and up on a rough track that snaked up the mountain.
 

Dole to Machermo and Gokyo Ri

Lottie's description of our trek:
 
Day 5 - Dole (13,800ft) to Machherma (14,600ft)

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