Category Archives: Nepal

Everest 2013 Expedition from Tibet Side

When you hear that someone has reached the top of Mount Everest, you may assume that he or she climbed the Southern Route used by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953. After all, this route – which begins with the Khumbu Icefall in Nepal and then proceeds through the Western Cwm, up the Lhotse Face, and to the summit via the South Col and the Hillary Step – is used by more climbers than any other path. There are, however, 14 other routes, and most of them are more difficult than the most popular way.

This is the case of the North Ridge Route, which begins in Tibet. This route has become almost as popular as the South Col route, but is somewhat more challenging. As Eric Simonson of International Mountain Guides explains, not only is the North Ridge technically difficult because of its terrain, but it also requires some particularly careful, even counterintuitive, planning. First of all on the North Ridge climbers spend a lot of time on steeply sloping shale and ice, and “it’s tough to get your crampons into that stuff!” To make matters more difficult, the geography of the North Ridge requires the final camp to be at a much higher elevation than the final camp on the South Col. The result, says Simonson, is that


Another challenge posed by this route is the long traverse along the North Ridge on summit day. The guide explains that “this means you are covering a lot of lateral distance, which really comes into play on the descent“. Here’s where careful planning becomes so important. Because so much of a climber’s time on the North Ridge is spent negotiating sloping rock and ice at the highest altitudes, he must make sure to have plenty of oxygen and energy for use on the difficult descent at least as much as needed to ascend to the summit. Basically, says Simonson, “you have to have enough gas left in your tank (both literally and figuratively) to make the descent. You can’t afford to burn more than 50 percent of your reserves going up, because you’ll definitely need the other half to get down”. The most common problem he’s seen with climbers on the north side is that they underestimate how long it will take them to make the technically difficult, traversing descent to camp from the summit, and they run out of oxygen before they reach the camp. Overall, he explains, “the prolonged time spent at higher altitudes and the time it takes to do that traverse in both directions catch a lot of people off guard on the North Ridge”. Sometimes, it seems, knowing that “it’s all downhill from here” isn’t much of a comfort”.

Expedition description and Calendar

The Drive to Base Camp
A total number of 8 climbers in this small and exclusive Expedition Team will meet in the capital city of Nepal, Kathmandu where we will stay in the beautiful boutique Courtyard Hotel located in a quiet area of the tourist district of Thamel. After a few days in Kathmandu processing our Tibet group visas and obtaining our climbing permits we drive to the Nepal Tibet border at Kodari where we enter Tibet. We pass through the immigration formalities once in Kodari and then a second time in Zhangmu before officially entering Tibet

Monday 8th April 2013

to Thursday 6th June 2013

Once the immigration formalities have been completed, which sometimes can be lengthy, we start the drive towards base camp. We spend two nights each in the towns of Nyalam and Tingri for cautious acclimatization before arriving on the final day at Old Chinese Base Camp.

Climb Strategy

We follow a cautious acclimatization schedule at base camp spending several nights before taking our first trip up the East Rongbuk Valley and walk on the East Rongbuk Glacier towards advanced base camp. We plan only to trek up to advanced base camp a maximum of two times and this includes the summit push. The walk from base camp to interim camp takes around 4-8 hours.

Our schedule usually sees us walk to interim base camp where we spend two evenings and then continue to advanced base camp. We rest at advanced base camp for several days before tagging camp one and returning to advanced base camp. The walk from interim base camp to advanced base camp takes around 4-8 hours where the camp sits at the foot of the North Col.

After more acclimatization days at advanced base camp and the progress of the fixed ropes being placed towards camp two, we climb to camp one where we spend the evening and then in the following days we climb towards camp two reaching an elevation of roughly 7,500-meters before returning to the North Col. We spend a second evening at the North Col before returning to advanced base camp.

The summit push will see us make our second trek up the east Rongbuk Glacier to advanced base camp where we will spend two or three evenings waiting for a favorable weather report. We then climb to camp one, two and three respectively before leaving for the summit from the high camp late in the evening
All climbers and Sherpas will be using supplementary oxygen from camp two and return to camp two.

The Route

The climbing begins by following the trail out of advanced base camp leading to the gear depot. Some teams leave their heavy mountaineering boots; crampons and axes at this area. We then walk over the flat section of the glacier to approach the foot of the north col. Fixed ropes will be in place and we climb slopes up to 45-degrees before reaching the halfway point up the col. The first aluminum ladder crossing a crevasse is short and the route continues culminating with a short steep slope just before the second longer ladder crossing a deep crevasse before arriving in camp. The climb from advanced base camp to camp one takes between 4-8 hours.

Camp one sits on the North Col between the Everest North Ridge and Changtse. The route continues along the North Ridge using the fixed rope and the terrain switches from the snow ridge to easy mixed terrain at 7,500m (24,600ft) where we continue to our camp two. This is one of the longest days on the mountain and takes between 5-10 hours.

Camp two is located on the North Ridge and the tents are erected on platforms constructed from loose rocks. This campsite is very exposed and receives strong winds. Most climbers, if not already, decide to use their supplementary oxygen from here onwards. The route continues up the ridge before traversing diagonally right across the North Face and then takes a more direct route into camp three. The climb from camp two to camp three takes between 3-6 hours.

Summit day will start early and the route heads on moderate terrain with one technical rock section to pass before arriving on the Northwest Ridge. The ridge is narrow and is followed passing the first step, the crux of the climb, the second step with its two ladders in place and the third step before climbing the summit pyramid and then traversing a rocky section to the snow capped summit. The climb from camp three to the summit takes between 7-11 hours with 3-5 hours for the descent to camp three.

Mi aventura en el Himalaya – Diario de la Expedición

Dia 1 de la expedición: Estoy en un albergue en Monjo de camino al Campo Base del Everest, esperando la cena. De momento todo perfecto. 2840m de altitud, 15km


Dia 2: Namche Bazaar a 3440m en el Parque Nacional Sagarmatha hogar del Everest. 800m de ascenso, 11km, 3C sol. Mañana subo 400m y vuelvo a bajar para aclimatar


Dia 3: Sigo en Namche Bazaar. Para aclimatar he hecho 800m de ascenso acumulado, 830 descenso, 16km. 6C sol. Increibles vistas del Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse y por primera vez he visto una pizca de mi pico Island! Mañana asciendo 400m hasta Tengboche despues de descender 800m. Gracias a todos por los ánimos!


Dia 4: Tengboche 3720m. 740m de ascenso acumulado, 240m descenso, 16km, 9C nublado. Un dia duro y me encuentro muy flojo… Mañana subo 400m hasta Pheriche


Dia 5: Periche 4220m. 890m de ascenso acumulado, 520m descenso, 15km, -1C nublado. He subido hasta 4570m y por primera vez he visto mi pico entero, es precioso!


Dia 6: Lobuche 4860m Un día durísimo con vientos gélidos y ascenso hasta 5000! 1600m de ascenso acumulado 914m descenso, 12km. La falta d oxigeno es un suplicio


Dia 7: Campo base del Everest 5364m el sitio más lindo del Planeta! 580m ascenso acumulado 340m descenso 13km. Estoy agotado pero feliz por lo q he contemplado

Mañana escalo mi primer pico en el Himalaya, Kala Pattar 5545m pero estoy sufriendo mucho y tal vez tenga q cancelarlo y esperar a mi Pico Island. Gracias todos


Dia 8: Hoy escale Kala Pattar 5545m y he descendido a Dingbuche 4325m para reponerme antes de atacar mi pico Island. 622m ascenso acumulado 1175m descenso 20km

Hoy he escalado mi primer pico en el Himalaya 5545m. Nunca pensé q sería tan duro pero las vistas te arrancan lagrimas mientras te esfuerzas por inhalar oxigeno


Dia 9: Comienza mi aproximación al Pico Island y no tendré cobertura para seguir enviando sms a Facebook. En 3 o 4 días informare del resultado. Desearme suerte


Dia 10: Después de una noche de nervios y preparativos en Thukung 4770m, hemos montado el campamento base a 5140m. Mañana nos movemos al de altura a unos 5500m


Dia 11: Campamento de altura 5500m. Un día muy malo con muchísimo viento y ahora nevando. A la 1am saldremos para intentar cumbre. Muchos nervios, a ver q pasa


Dia 12: Lo conseguí! Hoy día 21 a las 9.30 de la mañana he hecho cumbre en el Pico Island a 6189m de altura. Ha sido el trabajo más duro de mi vida con 11h d escalada continua por la noche y con gélidas temperaturas pero me siento muy feliz. Gracias a todos los q me habéis animado. 5 días y estaré en casa

Dia después de hacer cumbre: Filete de yak y cervezas Everest para celebrar el exito de lo q considero la experiencia más exigente y apasionante de mi vida. Desciendo a un ritmo durísimo de 2000m diarios en 8h, pero pronto estaré en casa y con una sorpresa para mi familia y amigos q son lo mejor q tengo.


Dia 13: Luckla, con el espiritu alegre por el chang y tumba preparados por una humilde familia Sherpa, esperando coger una avioneta de vuelta a la civilizacion

Ultimo día de la expedición: Estoy en Khatmandu después de un vuelo de película en una ruinosa avioneta. Hoy por primera vez leo todos vuestros comentarios desde un cibercafé. Hasta ahora solo podía actualizar mi estado via sms, pero no podía leer vuestros comentarios. Estoy muy emocionado así que he decidido regresar a casa un día antes y prometo escribiros a todos para agradeceros vuestras palabras de ánimo. Físicamente estoy hecho pedazos, pero anímicamente me siento mejor que nunca. Muchas gracias de corazón…


The Island Peak (6,189m) is located at the heart of Khumbu region and it’s a popular climbing peak in the Everest area. Island Peak was the name given to the mountain in 1952 by Eric Shipton’s who thought it to be reminiscent of an island in a sea of ice. It was renamed “Imja Tse” in the early ’80s, though its original name is still more popular. This adventure with Island Peak trekking and climbing will take me into the heartland of the Khumbu Valley, Everest Base Camp (5,357m) and Kala Patthar (5,545m). The journey begins from and comes to conclusion at one of the most famous airstrip in the world, the Lukla Airport in the Everest Region.


Day to Day Itinerary:

■ Day 01 (Tuesday 08 March 2011) – Flying from Dubai to Kathmandu, Nepal

■ Day 02 (Wednesday 09) – Sightseeing and preparation

■ Day 03 (Thursday 10) – Flight from Kathmandu to Lukla

■ Days 03 to 09 (Thursday 10 to Wednesday 16) – Trek to Everest Base Camp

■ Day 10 (Thursday 17) – Visit Everest Base Camp

■ Days 11 to 12 (Friday 18 to Saturday 19) – Trek to Island Peak Base Camp

■ Day 13 (Sunday 20) – Island Peak High Camp

■ Day 14 (Monday 21) – High Camp to Summit and back to Chhukung

■ Day 15 (Tuesday 22) Reserve day

■ Days 16 to 17 (Wednesday 23 to Thursday 24) – Trek to Lukla

■ Day 18 (Friday 25) – Fly to Kathmandu

■ Day 19 (Saturday 26) – Fly back to Dubai


Detailed Expedition Itinerary:

Day 01: Arrival Kathmandu [1,350 m]

Upon my arrival in the Kathmandu airport, I will meet with the organization I hired to do this Expedition. After completing all custom formalities (Visa, etc) I’ll pick up my luggage before getting a transfer to Hotel Shanker. After check in I’ll hang around in the city, and visit some tourist offices for climbers. In the evening I have been invited to a “Welcome Dinner” at a traditional Nepalese Restaurant.


Day 02: Kathmandu [1,300 m]: Sightseeing and Preparation

After breakfast, I will enjoy a free day doing sightseeing. After some hours visiting popular sites of Kathmandu and doing some shopping, I’ll meet the climbing leader to get my equipment checked, prepare things as per need, introduce with fellow climbers, and getting a briefing about the trip. Overnight at hotel.


Day 03: Kathmandu – Lukla [2,800 m] – Phakding [2,652 m]

Early morning I get transferred to domestic airport and fly to Lukla. After an adventurous 40 minutes flight on crappy aircraft above breathtaking green and white mountains, I reach Tenzing-Hillary Airport at Lukla. This is supposed to be one of the most beautiful air routes in the world culminating in a crazy landing on a hillside surrounded by high mountains peaks. At the airport, we meet our other crew members while the guide divides and manages baggage to be carried by porters. We start our trek through the village of Lukla until we reach Phakding. Overnight in Phakding.


Day 04: Phakding – Namche Bazaar [3,440 m]

Trek starts in the morning after breakfast. The walk today has multiple crossings over Dudh Koshi River and magnificent view of Mt. Thamserku (6,608m) from the Benkar village before reaching the entrance of Sagarmatha National Park at Monjo, where our trekking permits are checked in order to keep record of trekkers and local trekking staffs as well. A descend walk brings us to Jorsale, the last village until Namche Bazaar. As we climb up hill towards Namche Bazzar, we enjoy a close view of Kwangde Peak, Kusum Kangaru, Mt. Everest, Lhotse and Tawache. Finally, we reach the village of Namche Bazzar, the main gateway of Khumbu region. Overnight in Namche Bazzar.


Day 05: Namche Bazaar [3,440 m]: Acclimatization Day

This is first scheduled ‘acclimatization’ day for this trek. Health experts always recommend us to stay active and moving during the rest day too instead of being idle. We either spend the time taking a day hike to Thame or visiting Khunde or carry out relaxed exploration of Namche Bazaar itself. Namche Bazzar is the main centre of the Everest (Khumbu) region. We also take a side trip up to Khumjung and climb up to famous airstrip at Syangboche. Overnight in Namche Bazaar.


Day 06: Namche Bazzar to Tengboche (3,870m)

After breakfast in Namche, we start our trek towards Tengboche enjoying superb view of Mt. Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Ama Dablam and close up view of Thamserku. The trail goes gradually down up to Kayangjuma. The path eventually reaches Sansa which is the major trail junction to Gokyo valley and Everest Base Camp. The track then follows through the pine forests and after we cross a bridge over Dudh Koshi River, to reach Phunki Thenga, a small settlement with a couple of teahouses where we have lunch before we reach Tengboche. Tengboche has the biggest Buddhist Monastery all over in Khumbu region. Overnight stay at lodge in Tengboche.


Day 07: Tengboche to Pheriche [4,200m]

We will cross a traditional and cultural Sherpa village Pangboche where we can see a close up daily activities of Sherpa people. After this, we make a gradual up towards a small hill while trail goes to wide mountain valley called Pheriche. Over night stay at Pheriche.


Day 08: Pheriche to Lobuche [4,930m]

After breakfast, we make a gradual walk-up to reach Dugla. Beyond Duglha we trek up the steep terminal moraine of the Khumbu Glacier. We ascend Chupki Lhara. By this stage the effects of the altitude will be kicking in and we can feel colder nights. Overnight in Lobuche.


Day 09: Lobuche – Everest Base Camp [5,364 m/] – Gorak Shep [5,170 m]

Take the trail to Everest Base Camp through the Gorak Shep Lake. Every year the trail changes due to the movements of the glacier. The walk is quite strenuous due to thin air in high altitude, until we reach the Everest Base Camp, where we spend part of the day. We get back to Gorak Shep for a good night’s rest. Overnight in Gorak Shep.


Day 10: Gorak Shep – Kala Patthar [5,545 m] – Lobuche [4,940 m]

We start early in the morning and, we need to get prepared for dark and cold temperature (-10 to -14 C). Plus there is always the likelihood of chilly winds. Familiar peaks such as Lingtren, Khumbutse, Changtse can be contemplated during several hours of an ascent to reach Kala Pattha summit (5,545m). On being back to Gorak Shep, we have breakfast followed by a gradual descending down to Lobuche for a good night’s rest. Overnight in Lobuche.


Day 11: Lobuche – Kongma La (5,535m) – Chhukung [4,730m]

After breakfast, trekking via Khumbu Glacier to Kongma La Base Camp (5,000m) continues ascending to Kongma pass. After gaining the Kongma La, we descend a gradual walks up the Imja Khola valley to Chhukung, a small summer settlement. Overnight in Chhukung where we make final preparation for Island Peak Climbing.


Day 12: Chhukung – Island Peak Base camp [5,200m]

The path from Chhukung leads fairly way climbing to the southern flank of the moraine from the Lhotse Glacier. The route to the Amphu Lapcha through the Imja and Lhotse glacier moraines leads to a wide valley flanking the SW side of Island peak. Overnight at Island Peak Base Camp.


Day 13: Island Peak Base Camp to High Camp [5,600m]

We move to Island Peak High Camp. Overnight in Island Peak High Camp.

We might attempt for Island summit in one push directly from the Base Camp where we spend two nights for acclimatization and training. It’s also easier for the porters to stay at the Base Camp instead of staying at a higher altitude at High Camp for a long time which might cause altitude problems.


Day 14: High camp – summit Island Peak – Base camp – Chhukung

Island Peak Ascent (6,189m): We begin our climb early in the morning, generally around 1 AM. In the beginning, we climb the rock gully. There are several short rock steps to climb before we emerge on the right side of the gully. The route then follows a ridgeline, which leads to an exhilarating and exposed traverse onto the snout of the summit glacier. We need to rope up for the glacier as it contains several crevasses. A steep snow slope leads us onto the summit ridge. After enjoying the summit views, and taking pictures, we descend all the way to Chhukung for overnight and to celebrate on our success Island peak climb.


Day 15: Reserve Day for Contingency

There is no such guarantee that we can get quite a favorable weather on our planned day for the summit (day 14), so this day is used as a contingency in case if we are unable to summit the Island Peak on day 14 due to bad weather condition or some other reasons


Day 16: Chhukung to Namche Bazar

This is a long trekking day. The Imja Khola joins the Dudh Koshi River a little above the Pangoche village. There is a famous gompa at Pangboche believed to have been the oldest in the Khumbu region. Descend out of the alpine dessert and back into landscapes of pine forests. The path leads to a steep uphill climb into Tengboche. Visit the Tenboche Monastery. Making a steep descent leads back to the Dudh Kosi river. The final steep climb traverses the hill side into Namche Bazaar. In case our contingency day remains unused and you want take today’s trekking in a relaxed manner, we can divide today’s long trekking into two days.


Day 17: Namche Bazaar to Lukla

The trail descends steeply downward so we need to walk slowly and under control as our shaky legs continuously battle the rocky terrain. After crossing the suspension bridges over the fast flowing Dudh Koshi and its tributaries the trail becomes more level and natural. Walk through the Sherpa villages’ noticing impressive faith in Buddhism and culture of prayer stones and prayers flag while we walk through the villages. On arrival at Lukla, we experience the culmination of a fantastic trek on a happy note with everyone back safe with smile on our faces. Overnight in Lukla.


Day 18: Fly back- Lukla to Kathmandu

We fly back to Kathmandu after our long mountain journey. The early morning flight drops us at Kathmandu. Time for shopping and exploring other areas of Kathmandu. We will be having a fantastic celebration dinner together for successfully completing the adventure. Overnight in Kathmandu.


Day 19: Farewell Friends