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The Climbing Club • View topic - Nepal Solukhumbu trekking 2011

The Climbing Club

at the University of Washington
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 2:01 pm 
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UW Climber
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Location: Zurich, Switzerland
In October and November of last year I spent 4 weeks trekking and climbing in the Everest region of Nepal. The trek involved climbing Mera Peak and Island Peak/Imjatse and crossing a high alpine Amphulapcha pass.

After meeting in Kathmandu we flew to the tiny airstrip at Paphlu (2413 m) where we meet the kitchen crew, porters, and sherpas. During the first few days we moved through forested areas and gradually made our way up to higher elevations which gave us a change to slowly acclimatize to the higher altitude. The first highlight was the climb of Mera Peak (21247 ft) after which we left the well-worn trekking route and dropped east into the remote Hungku valley.

We continued north over Amphulapcha pass (19177 ft) which was quite a challenge for the whole group. Not because of the altitude (in the meantime we were well acclimatized) but because it is one of the more difficult regularly travelled passes in Nepal. One ascends a series of seracs on the south side and rappels down the north side for a few rope length. This is not a problem for reasonably fit and properly equiped people but it's quite an endevear to do such a pass crossing with 25+ heavily loaded and ill equiped (tennis shoes, no harnesses, no crampons) porters and crew. Luckily, in the end everybody made it, nobody got hurt, and not a single bag disappeared in one of the many crevasses...

The Amphulapcha crossing had brought as directly south of the Everest-Lhotse massif. The next highlight was to climb Imjatse/Island Peak (20305 ft). Seen from far away Island peak doesn't look like a real peak but more like a speck in the middle of Lhotse's huge south face. But it is indeed a peak on its own right. Standing on it the views are absolutely stunning with Makalu, Ama Dablam, and numerous other Himalayan peaks. To the north one looks directly into Lhotse's north face which rises to nearly 28000 ft.

After climbing Island peak we re-entered civilization and really enjoyed the hike along the popular Everest trekking trail with its many lodges and restaurants (mmh, Yak steak!) via Tengboche and Namche Bazzar to Lukla.

I've posted a few pictures below. Also, on my website there is a number of 360-degree panoramas:



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Cheers from Zurich
Daniel

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Porters resting

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Dawn after a cold night

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Porter resting

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Below Mera La

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Descend of Mera Peak

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Crossing the Amphulapcha

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Crossing the Amphulapcha

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Ama Dablam at night

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Makalu

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Climbers on Island Peak


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 9:42 am 
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Longshanks
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Wow. Those are some amazing photos! looks like a good trip!


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 9:56 am 
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Mountain Rhombus
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Beautiful!

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 2:03 pm 
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Dr. Crevasse
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Hey Daniel, Sorry for not getting back to your email. I was glad to hear you were able to make the trip happen and your injury didn't keep you from climbing. Your photos are incredible!! Makes me want to go back to Nepal for some actual climbing this time. I especially like the interactive panorama from the summit of Island Peak. I remember staring up at the daunting south face of Lhotse in awe for a number of hours from Chukkung Ri. Is Ama Dablam next on the to do list?

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 1:55 pm 
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Cap'n Wingspan
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Phenomenal! Seeing photos like this makes me wish I had a real job and made lots of money so I could afford something more than just-barely-not-a-bum status and go see things like this.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 6:59 pm 
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Longshanks
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 10:31 pm 
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UW Climber
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Awesome photos.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 1:04 am 
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Cap'n Wingspan
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 9:27 am 
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Dr. Crevasse
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You could also go to work in Europe and then lament when you only get five weeks off for vacation when you start a new job. Not that I know anyone who's done that. :D

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 2:47 pm 
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UW Climber
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Sure, the five weeks off for vacation I get in Switzerland certainly help with trips like this. Although I must mention that on my previous job in Germany I did get six weeks off... :( And you should see what the French get... :shock:

Jim, no, Ama Dablam is not on the list. I just cannot get used to the thought of spending weeks in high camps just to climb one mountain. A trek like this with one or two trekking peaks is much nicer and less risky: even if for one of many reasons (altitude, sickness, weather) one cannot summit one can still enjoy the trekking. I'm contemplating doing something in South America this year, perhaps Patagonia.

I'm attaching a few more shots below.


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Trekker looking toward Mount Everest and Lhotse's huge south face

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Island Peak base camp with tents and yaks

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Climbers on Island Peak with Makalu in the background

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Climbers on Island Peak with Baruntse peaking through the clouds

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Mount Everest, Nuptse, and Lhotse seen from Tengboche

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Ama Dablam between clouds


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