Island Peak for novice climbers

April 11, 2014

Island Peak

Island Peak

 

Known as the Himalayan Kingdom, Nepal has 1310 mountains which range from over 5500 meters (18,090 ft) to 8848m (29,028ft) above sea level making it a popular destination for mountaineers all over the world. Among 33 officially opened trekking peaks in Nepal, Island peak is the most popular peak as it offers all novice climbers and trekkers an exhilarating climbing experience and is often considered as the first step for any climbers prior to their summit attempt of giant peaks in the Himalaya.

 

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Swiss Climber’s Feat Honored Despite Lack of Proof

April 10, 2014

After 20 hours of climbing alone, navigating an 8,000-foot ice wall and surviving an avalanche that nearly knocked him off the mountain, Ueli Steck of Switzerland reached the summit of the south face of Nepal’s 26,545-foot Annapurna last Oct. 9. Eight hours later, he walked into the base camp.

In doing so, he became the first person to successfully climb Annapurna’s south face, perhaps the most technically challenging climb in the world, and notched one of the most impressive conquests in the history of mountaineering.

However, the challenge didn’t end when Steck returned to base camp. After overcoming one of the most difficult feats in his sport, Steck had to overcome doubters, who claimed that he had no proof of his climb. Steck didn’t have a photo of the summit; his altimeter had broken during his ascent; and he hadn’t used a G.P.S. tracker, all of which are accepted means of documenting such a climb. All the climbing world had for proof was Steck’s word.

Despite the controversy, last Saturday evening in Courmayeur, Italy, Steck, 37, was awarded the Piolet d’Or, mountaineering’s highest accolade, which honors the most impressive mountain climbs of the previous year. Ian Welsted, 42, and Raphael Slawinski, 47, of Canada, also won the award for their first ascent of K6 West in Pakistan.

What made Steck’s feat particularly remarkable was the manner in which he climbed Annapurna, largely considered the most dangerous mountain in the world to climb, with a 38 percent fatality rate.

Early in the ascent, Steck’s partner deemed the face too risky, so he left Steck to continue up the mountain alone. In his final push, Steck carried only a pocketful of energy bars, a bottle of water, a headlamp and a rope strapped to his back to supplement his ice axes and crampons. (He used the rope only to rappel down sections of the descent.) He didn’t sleep. He didn’t employ supplemental oxygen, commonly used when climbing over 25,000 feet. Nothing affixed him to the mountain, meaning one small misstep would have most likely meant death.

“That’s an incredible amount of tenacity and skill to pull something like that off. That guy changed the game with that ascent,” said Mark Allen, 35, of the United States, who was also nominated for the Piolet d’Or, along with his climbing partner, Graham Zimmerman, 28, of New Zealand and the United States, for the route they pioneered on the east face of Mount Laurens in Alaska.

To put Steck’s accomplishment into perspective, two weeks after his climb, the French team of Stéphane Benoist and Yannick Graziani repeated Steck’s route up Annapurna’s south face with a few variations. It took them eight days round trip. Benoist lost all of his toes and the tips of several fingers to frostbite, and both men had to be evacuated by helicopter.

As tremendous as Steck’s accomplishment was, it was also mired in controversy. Steck didn’t have a photo of the summit, he says, because his camera was knocked out of his hand by a small avalanche that nearly swept him off the mountain during his ascent.

Christian Trommsdorff, chairman of the Piolet d’Or organizing committee, received several emails from “Swiss-German and German alpinists and journalists” questioning the veracity of Steck’s feat and his Piolet d’Or nomination.

Ultimately, the other Piolet d’Or nominees and judges had no doubt that Steck had accomplished what he said he did. He gave a detailed description of his route to the judges, which was corroborated by Benoist and Graziani. Photographers at the base camp tracked his progress until nightfall with a telephoto lens, and sherpas reported seeing the glow of his headlamp just below the summit.

“It’s not an issue,” said Allen. “I think it happens a lot. People lose images. There’s a lot of integrity in the climbing community, and there are very few examples of people who didn’t achieve what they claimed to achieve.”

Steck was not surprised by the controversy that had enveloped him.

“There’s a lot of jealous people. It’s the downside of fame, of being successful.”

Other jury members weren’t pleased with Steck’s decision to leave his partner and continue on the climb alone. Team spirit, or “the brotherhood of the rope,” as it’s called in American climbing circles, is a central tenant of mountaineering.

As a result of the controversy surrounding Steck’s climb, the Piolet d’Or committee is contemplating modifying the criteria for selecting the nominated and winning climbs.

“A bit more verification and emphasis on brotherhood of the rope would be my suggestions for improving the list of criteria,” said George Lowe, the president of the 2014 Piolet d’Or jury and a prolific American mountaineer.

“It’s not an issue,” said Allen. “I think it happens a lot. People lose images. There’s a lot of integrity in the climbing community, and there are very few examples of people who didn’t achieve what they claimed to achieve.”

Steck was not surprised by the controversy that had enveloped him.

“There’s a lot of jealous people. It’s the downside of fame, of being successful.”

Other jury members weren’t pleased with Steck’s decision to leave his partner and continue on the climb alone. Team spirit, or “the brotherhood of the rope,” as it’s called in American climbing circles, is a central tenant of mountaineering.

As a result of the controversy surrounding Steck’s climb, the Piolet d’Or committee is contemplating modifying the criteria for selecting the nominated and winning climbs.

“A bit more verification and emphasis on brotherhood of the rope would be my suggestions for improving the list of criteria,” said George Lowe, the president of the 2014 Piolet d’Or jury and a prolific American mountaineer.

With his solo speed climbs of the north face of the Eiger and the Matterhorn in Europe and now Annapurna, Steck embodies an emerging trend in climbing called “fast and light” alpinism, a style of mountain climbing that promotes rapid, technical ascents using a minimal amount of gear and support.

Proponents of this fast-and-light style say that it minimizes exposure to risk because a climber spends less time on the mountain. Advocates say it is a cleaner and purer style of mountaineering because equipment isn’t left on the mountain and because high-altitude porters or supplemental oxygen are not used.

Steck, who is defined by his penchant for daring feats, said he likes risky climbing “too much.” He has spent some time in the months since his climb on Annapurna reflecting on his feat and has decided to modify his approach to climbing.

“If I keep going like that, I’m going to kill myself,” he said. “So I really have to change my approach a little bit, find different objectives, projects which are maybe not as risky, but maybe are more physical.”

“Projects,” he continued, “that aren’t super dangerous, but are still hard to climb.”

He wouldn’t give exact details about his next project, but he did say that he has his eyes on the north face of K2, a 28,251-foot-high peak in the Himalayas that sits on the border of China and Pakistan.

source: The New York Times, 04 April 2014

Top 10 mountain expeditions for this spring

April 9, 2014

Possessing eight of the 10 highest mountains in the world, Nepal is one of the best destinations for mountaineers. Including world’s highest peaks over 8000 meters, there are numerous such other mountain peaks that also attract the attention of mountain adventurers from around the world towards Nepal. Going for mountain expedition is a terrific task and hence choosing the best season to summit over them extremely matter. The top 10 mountain expedition trips favorable to embark in this spring in the Himalayas are introduced here chronologically.

1. The Mt. Ama Dablam Expedition leaves a mountaineer a lasting impression on many as it is perhaps the most stunning mountain along the popular trekking route to Everest Base Camp. The Pyramid shaped Amadablam (6,812m) is located to the south of Everest. The stunning peak stands above Thayangboche monastery. The mountain derives its name from the glacier lying on its Southwest face. The glacier looks like a jewel box hanging on the neck of the mountain, hence the name Ama Dablam, literally meaning ‘The Mother’s Jewel Box’. The standard ascent of Ama Dablam is made via the South-Western Ridge, the same route followed by Ward (UK), Bishop (USA) and Gill (NZ) in the first ascent of the mountain in 1961. Hence, if a mountaineer likes to make a great walk in the Everest region and capture the lasting adventure experience reaching at the zenith of Mt. Ama Dablam the spring season will be the most favorable time for him or her.

2. The Mt. Pumori Expedition is a fantastic trip for mapping out the Khumbu region and the Everest Base Camp. The peak was named “Pumori” by George Leigh Mallory, apparently means “Unmarried Daughter” in the Sherpa language. The climb is very popular as an introductory qualifying climb of Everest by many adventurers. The pyramid-shaped and gorgeously looking Pumori peak (7,161m) dominates the skyline behind Kalapatther, which looks like a cluster of rock on the Pumori Southwest ridge. The climbing is rated Class 3 in YDS (Yosemite Decimal System), which defines the climb as a scrambling with increased exposure. This mountain climbing adventure too is packed with fun and excitement in the Everest region.

3. The Mt. Baruntse Expedition provides an unbeatable mountain adventure experience. Mt. Baruntse (7,129m) situated between Everest and Makalu is another Himalayan peak attractive for climbing due to its location, classical symmetrical beauty and relatively accessible to climbers. Baruntse being located away from the standard trek route has been a very quiet peak, however, it is rapidly gaining popularity due to classics like Pumori or Amadablam being overcrowded by commercial operators. It was first ascended by Colin Todd and Geoff Harrow on 30 May 1954 via Southeast Ridge, which became the normal route. From climbing aspect, it is an accessible climb with tremendous views of Everest, Makalu and other peaks in the Khumbu region. It is one of the top mountain expeditions to grab the considerably off-the-beaten climbing experience in the Himalayas.

4. The Mt. Lhotse Expedition is an extremely difficult climb and rarely attempted peak in Nepal. Mt. Lhotse (8516m) is the fourth highest mountain on Earth, but it is best known for its proximity to Mt. Everest. Lhotse is however famous for its tremendous and dramatic south face. The south face of Lhotse raises 3.2km within 2.25km horizontal distance, making it the steepest face of this size in the world. Lhotse has 3 summits, main summit at 8,516m, Lhotse Middle (East) at 8,414m and Lhotse Shar at 8,383m. An early attempt on Lhotse was made by the 1955 International Himalayan Expedition and the first successful summit was reached on May 18, 1956. This trip too falls in the category of top mountain expedition trip as it really tastes the climbers’ adventure stamina.

5. The Mt. Cho Oyu Expedition takes a traveler to the peak of one of the world’s highest 8000er mountains. Despite being the 6th highest mountain in the world, Cho Oyu (8,201m) has the highest success rate among the world’s fourteen 8,000er Himalayan peaks. The ascent to the summit is short and direct, with a few small technical sections which can be climbed safely. Cho Oyu lies about 20 km west of Mt. Everest on the Nepal-Tibet border. An Austrian team first climbed Cho Oyu in 1954 followed by the Indian and German teams in 1958 and 1964 respectively. Cho Oyu consists mainly of five ridges – Northwest, Northeast, Southeast, Southwest, and West with the Jabula Glacier on the north, Lanba Glacier on the south, and Gecongba Glacier. This expedition is highly recommended for a preparation for an attempt on Mt. Everest (8,848m). The comparative ease of access, lack of objective dangers and generally uncomplicated terrain makes Cho Oyu Expedition the most attainable mountain peak of the world. The mountain expedition being one of the top trips in the Himalayas caters an excellent opportunity for climbers to extend their experience to extreme altitudes.

6. The Mt. Nuptse Expedition passes through the most sought after adventure destination of the world. Mt. Nuptse (7,855m), the beautiful mountain peak in the Himalayas, is situated in the Khumbu Himal just south-west of Mount Everest. Nuptse the neighboring peak of Everest shares the glory of the Everest Massif. From Tengboche it appears as a massive wall guarding the approach to Everest and joined to Lhotse. Its steep west-face drops down more than 2,300 meters to the Khumbu-glacier. One of the interesting features of this mountain is that its south face is 2,500 meter high and five kilometers wide. Mount Nuptse was first ascended by British national -Dennis Davis and Nepali national- Sherpa Tashi on the north-ridge on May 16, 1961. The name ‘Nup-Tse’ originates from the Tibetan language, meaning ”West-Peak”. This Himalayan expedition is suitable for those mountain climbers who are in search of the ultimate mountain expedition in the high Himalayas.

7. The Mt. Everest Expedition walking through the tallest mountain region of the world takes a climber to the summit of the highest mountain peak of the world. No doubt, climbing Mt. Everest leaves the sense of most adventurous person on the planet. The South Col route on the Nepal side of Mt. Everest is the way taken by Sir Edmund Hillary and Late Tenzing Norgay Sherpa, who successfully climbed the top in 29 May 1953 registering their names as a Hero of the adventure world. To scale the tallest peak in the world, one must have extensive climbing and mountaineering experiences. While following the footprint of legendary trail to Mount Everest (8,848 m), one can capture the true essence of being one of the most adventurous persons in the world. This climbing adventure is for those mountaineers who like to create a different legendary history in the world of mountain climbing.

8. The Mt. Manaslu Expedition, one of the top mountain expeditions for this spring, reaches to the peak of Mt. Manaslu (8,156 m). Manaslu, the eighth highest mountain in the world, is a part of the Mansiri Himal in the Himalayas. The peak is located about 40 miles east of Annapurna. The peak’s long ridges and valley glaciers offer feasible approaches from all directions. The name Manaslu is derived from the Sanskrit word Manasa and can be roughly translated as mountain of the spirit. It is the same root word as that for Manasarover, the holy lake near Mt. Kailash in Tibet. Just as the British considered Everest their mountain, Manaslu has been always regarded as the “Japanese mountain”. The eighth highest mountain was first climbed in 1956 by a Japanese expedition. Hence, participating in this mountain expedition a climber can reach to the top of a world famous mountain peak of the world.

9. The Mt. Annapurna Expedition, the top mountain expedition suitable for the spring season, leads a climber to the peak of the 10th highest mountain in the world. Annapurna is a series of Mountain peaks with a long massif of about 55 kilometers in length, of which Annapurna I is the highest peak with the altitude of 8,091 meters. The Annapurna Range is located east of a great gorge cut through the Himalaya mountains by the Kali Gandaki River, which separates it from the Dhaulagiri massif. The main summit stands to the west of the Annapurna Sanctuary. The other major peaks of the Annapurna range are Annapurna II (7,937m), Annapurna III (7,555m), Annapurna IV (7,525m), Gangapurna (7,455m) and Annapurna South (7,219m). It is a dangerous mountain expedition and hence only suitable for those ones who like to create a history of passing through a daunting mountain route to the top of the 10th tallest peak in the world.

10. The Mt. Makalu Expedition apart from introducing the rich biological and cultural treasures of the Makalu-Barun region of Nepal takes a mountain climber to the zenith of the 5th tallest peak in the world. Mt. Makalu (8,462m) is situated in the heart of the eastern Himalayas albeit being located just 14 miles east of Mount Everest, it is somewhat isolated. This trip’s greatest attraction is, a climber passes traverse through the Barun valley of the region. The Makalu region, in particular the Barun valley, is the home of pristine forests and alpine meadows of Nepal. Within the wide range of altitude and climate, the region contains some of the richest and most diverse flora and fauna of Nepal. Although the region is little known to the world, the expedition to Mt. Makalu leaves an unforgettable mountain climbing adventure experience.

The above mentioned the top ten mountain expeditions are the cream trips in the world of mountaineering in the Himalayas. One can even embark on these trips in the autumn season as it is the second popular peak climbing and trekking season in Nepal. But, the glory of climbing to the top of the mountain peaks in the Himalayas specifically in the spring season gives one unprecedented level of mountain climbing experience.

Conquering mighty Himalayas in Nepal

March 19, 2014

Considered as the ultimate “Himalayan Utopia” by trekkers and mountaineers worldwide, the mysterious land of Nepal offers some of the greatest trekking and mountaineering expeditions. It is a magnificent experience for any mountain climber to stand on top of a Himalayan peak, especially so in high Himalayas which are abundant in Nepal. It offers one a sense of achievement and a sense of pride. In 1978, Nepal Mountaineering Association designated a number of peaks throughout Nepal as ‘trekking peaks’ which has allowed climbers all over the world to ascent the Himalayas.

Island Peak Climbing

Mountain climbing in Nepal is favorable for those who are physically fit but have no prior climbing experience to those with fairly high climbing experience. For novice climbers Mt. Ama Dablam, Mt. Chulu, Island Peak among others would be an ideal choice whereas for those with experience, Mt. Everest would be supreme. While ascending the mighty Himalayas, one can experience transcendence as Edmund Hilary once said, “It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.” Himalayan Glacier offers you numerous climbing choices. You can choose among mountains below 7000m, above 7000m and above 8000m to make your next climbing destination.

Just visit http://expedition.himalayanglacier.com/expedition-grade.html and secure yourself a mountain expedition to relish forever.

Saribung Peak Climbing

December 27, 2013

The 27 days Saribung Peak Climbing journey, a newly explored but popular trek, encompasses the remote regions of Nepal Himalayas – Jomsom, Mustang “Hidden Valley”, Nar-Phu Valley and many other landmarks of Damodar Himal in the company of majestic mountain sceneries, diverse cultures, and geographical variations. The Saribung Peak (6,387m) close to the border of Nepal and Tibet lies in Damodar Himal. Though the peak climbing journey is very much pleasant and easy at times the climbers have to cross the high passes like Saribung La over 5,600 meters and many other. At some sections, the trail even passes through the off-the-beaten-tracks and thereby results into the summit of Mt. Saribung. In over all, the panoramic mountain vistas form the top of Mt. Saribung, journeying through the rugged landscapes, and encountering the very much primitive culture of the region bring you an everlasting adventure experience in your life.

Day to Day Itinerary

Day 01:  Arrival in Kathmandu (1,300m)

Upon arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, we will be warmly greeted by a representative from Himalayan Glacier. After completion of immigration formalities, we will be transferred to Hotel Shanker or a similar category hotel. At leisure time, we can either visit at Himalayan Glacier’s office site where we can meet with our trekking guide or roam around the streets of Thamel – a tourist hub in Kathmandu. In the evening we attend at a welcome dinner organized by Himalayan Glacier on our reception which will be accompanied by a Nepalese cultural program. (D)

Note: B refers to Breakfast, L refers to Lunch and D refers to Dinner

Day 2: Kathmandu Sightseeing Tour

The Kathmandu sightseeing tour covers the several historical and spiritual landmarks of Kathmandu which are also enlisted in UNSCO World Heritage Sites list. The guided tour at first takes us to Hanuman Doka Darbar – a historical palace square in Nepal. Then the tour covers Pashupatinath – one of the most sacred temples in Nepal. Next, we will be at Swayambhunath – a famous Buddhist temple which is also recognized as Monkey Temple. In the froth place, the city tour includes the sacred Buddhist sites-Bouddhanath – one of the largest Stupas in the world. After strolling around the tremendous treasures of Kathmandu, we will come back at Himalayan Glacier’s office site where we attend a pre-trip discussion with our trek leader for the upcoming adventure. Overnight at Kathmandu. (B)

Day 3: Kathmandu – Pokhara Bus Drive: 6 – 7 hrs

It will be a tremendous bus journey commencing at 7:00 am in the morning from Kathmandu. The bus journey to Pokhara passes at first through Trisuli River till to Mugling and then the route bends toward Pokhara. The scenic journey passing through greeneries and mid hill villages reaches in Pokhara.  Pokhara is an attractive tourist spot in Nepal which also popular for pristine lakes and trekking junction among domestic as well as international visitors. Upon reaching the lake city, we will make short sightseeing tour of Pokhara with our guide. Overnight in Pokhara. (B,L,D)

Day 4:  Pokhara to Jomsom Flight and Jomsom to Kagbeni Trek (2,800m): 3 – 4 hrs

The early morning flight lands us in Jomsom from where we begin our trek towards Lubra passing through the trail over Kaligandaki River. After visiting at Bon-Po monastery at Lubra, our upcoming trail continues till to Eklebatti. Then the trail with one hour’s walk links us with Kagbeni. At Kagbeni, we visit at the red-painted Gompa which is believed to be about 1000 years old. Overnight at Kagbeni. (B,L,D)

Day 5: Kagbeni to Tsaile (3,100m): 5 – 6 hrs

This section of the trek continues around three hours till to reach at Tangbe village over the bank of Kaligandaki River in the company of beautiful landscapes, the Buddhist Chhörtens and Maniwalls. Then one hour’s walks brings us at Chhusang village at where we can have lunch. After the lunch break again the journey continues over the bank of Kaligandaki River. While in this part of the trail we can see 16 caves above the tunnel of Kaligandaki River. Next, the trail goes steep upward to connect us Tsaile – a small village with a fantastic view of Nilgiri Himal and the Kaligandaki River. Overnight at Tsaile. (B, L, D)

Day 6: Tsaile to Ghiling (3,570m): 6 – 7 hrs

The trek of the day begins following through an unstable trail to reach a small pass on the trail and from the pass the trail moves forth to reach at Samar village – it will be the village for lunch break. After lunch, the onward journey reaches at the Chungsi cave monastery. The site of the monastery is so incredible that its environment is sufficient to inject a feeling of spirituality into the mind and hearts of travelers. Next, the nearly two hours’ steep ascent brings us at a monastery where Guru Padmasambhava meditated in 8th century. From this site our journey moves forth to reach at Syangmochen Village and then the trail links us to Ghiling – a small village on the trail where we can see a big Chhörten and two Gompas. Overnight at Ghiling. (B,L,D)

Day 7:  Ghiling to Tsarang (3,560m): 6 – 7 hrs

This part of the trip takes us into the center of Mustang passing through Zaite Village and crossing the Nyi-La Pass (4,020m). After crossing the pass, the steep downward trail leads to Ghami village and then the trail crosses a small Khola. Walking on the edge of small stream we can see the longest Mani Wall in the Mustang region – painted with vertical stripes of white, red and black. Then the mountain journey again marches a long steep ascent to a small pass and then descends gently to Tsarang village. At the village, we can move around a huge Chhorten in the entrance of village, an Old Palace and Tsarang Gompa. Overnight at Tsarang. (B,L,D)

Day 8: Tsarang to Lo-Manthang (3,840m): 7- 8 hrs

There are two trails that pave the way for Lo-Manthang.  If we follow Lower Trail then it will take 4 -5 hours to reach the today’s destination.  But, it is advisable to go through Upper trail though it takes 7 – 8 hours to reach there. It is in the sense that the Upper Trail allows us to explore the Lo-Gyakar-Ghar Gompa. Ghar Gompa is one of the oldest Gompas in Upper Mustang built by Guru Padmasambhava – the founder of Tibetan Buddhism in the 8th century. After visiting the monastery, we continue our trek to reach the Chogo-La Pass (4,230m) – the highest point in this region. Next the descending trail paves the way for Lo-Manthang – the ancient wall city of Mustang. Lo-Manthang was the walled capital of the Kingdom of Lo from its founding in 1380 by Ame Pal who oversaw construction of the city wall and many of the still-standing structures. Lo is the culturally and linguistically Tibetan northern two-thirds of Mustang District, while the southern third is called Thak, the homeland of Thakali people who speak a different language and have a synthesis of Tibetan and Nepalese culture. Overnight at Lo-Manthang. (B,L,D)

Day 9: Acclimatization Day

It will be the acclimatization day in the forbidden Kingdom. We have two options to explore the landmarks of Lo-Manthang. Either we can visit at Chhoser Village which will take 7 – 8 hours or choose to hike 2 -3 hours to Namgyal Monastery. Both are nice hikes for acclimatization purposes. The hike to Chhoser Village rewards us the sites of many caves and a cave monastery. Later in the day we can explore the other monasteries in Lo-Manthang. Overnight at Lo-Manthang. (B,L,D)

Day 10: Lo-Manthang to Yara (3,900m): 6 – 7 hrs

This section of the trip leaves the Lo-Manthang village and within 4 hours’ journey we will be at Dhi Village. Then the trail descends down to a small stream from where the trail climbs up to reach at Yara Village. The journey will be accompanied by the sights of innumerable caves at the stone walls. Overnight at Yara.  (B,L,D)

Day 11: Yara to Luri: 3 – 4 hrs

This short part of the trip moves to the site of Luri Gompa. At Luri Gompa, we will visit at two monasteries. At first a short steep ascent brings us to Luri Cave Monastery (4,005m) – the oldest and most famous cave monastery in the Mustang region which was constructed in the 15th century. Inside the cave we can see a big Old Chhorten, a highly sacred religious text and many images and statues of Protectors and Deities. In the second place, we will visit at the other monastery which is situated below of Luri Cave Monastery.  Overnight at Luri. (B,L,D)

Day 12: Luri Gompa to Ghuma Thanti (4,600m): 5 – 6 hrs

After discovering Luri Cave Monastery, the trail descends through the gorge to join the main trail Yara – Ghuma Thanti. It will be a fantastic walk from hilltop to hilltop through the pastures. At 4,780m, the mountain trekking route crosses a wide grassy plateau offering fabulous views of Mount Dhaulagiri. The trail continues climbing up to a pass (4,940m) and descends to Ghuma Thanti – a place built for sheltering the Buddhist pilgrims going to the sacred Damodar Kunda Lakes. Overnight at Ghuma Thanti. (B,L,D)

Day 13: Ghuma Thanti to Namta Khola (4890m): 7 – 8 hrs

At first the trail of the day reaches to a pass at 5,320 meters from where we can have tremendous views of the Dhaulagiri and the Annapurna I. Secondly, the trail makes a steep descent to the bottom of the Parche khola. Then in the third section, the trail climbs up a long steep slope. In the fourth place, the trail makes a long crossing from hilltop to hilltop till to reach a pass at 5,490 meter. The high pass on the trail offers us the clear views of Mt. Dhaulagiri and Damodar Himal. While moving ahead from the high pass, the trail brings the sacred site of Damodar Kunda. At this site we observe the sacred and pristine lakes situated in the yard of Damodar Himal. At the holy spit you can locate a small Hindu shrine and a very old Buddhist Chorten. After enjoying the must see attractions of Damodar Kunda, our journey moves forth towards Namta Khola. Overnight at Namta Khola. ( B,L,D)

Day 14: Namta Khola to Saribung Base Camp (4,950m): 6 – 7 hrs

The mountain trail of the day passes through a high altitude route and the landscapes that resemble like the Tibetan Plateau until reaching at Saribung Base Camp. Overnight at Base Camp. (B,L,D)

Day 15: Acclimatization day

Enjoy the acclimatization day by exploring the surrounding hills of the Saribung Base Camp. The acclimatization day helps you prepare for the further climbing journey. Overnight at Base Camp.  (B,L,D)

Day 16: Saribung Base Camp to Camp I (5,730m): 5 – 6 hrs

This section of the mountain trails include walking on the moraines of en route glacier and hard snowy trail. The mountain trail journey will be accompanied by views of the Khumjunggar Himal (6,959m), and the Damodar Himal. Overnight at Camp I. (B,L,D)

Day 17:  Camp I to Saribung Peak (6,346m) to Saribung Base Camp (4,950m): 8 – 9 hrs

It will be the day for reaching to the peak of Saribung – the ultimate and highest point of the trip. Early in the morning, the trek starts to climb the summit of Saribung and then the journey descends down to Saribung Base Camp. From the summit of Saribung we have outstanding scenery of Gyajikang, Himlung, Bhrikuti, etc. Overnight at Base Camp. (B,L,D)

Day 18: Saribung Base Camp to Saribung Pass (6,042m) to Nagoru (4,400m)

At first the morning trek leads us to cross the Saribung Pass and then the snowy trail steeply descends down till to reach a small stream on the trail. Next, the trail following through the stream connects us to Nagoru. Overnight at Nagoru. (B,L,D)

Day 19: Nagoru to Phu Gaon (4,080m): 5 – 6 hrs

The journey from Nagoru passing through the Tibetan resembling plateau in the company of fine views of barren valley and snowy peaks reaches to Phu Gaon. This is the exact location where we will be in the midst of the unique Lost or Hidden Valley. In the valley we can explore the culture, natural diversity, and religious practices of the ethnic groups like Lama, Gurung and Ghale. Besides this, we can trace out how people make their survival depending on agriculture, animal breeding and seasonal migrations in such remote location or in the hidden valley. It will be also the day for exploring the Tashi Lakhang Monastery – the very old Buddhist Monastery listed out of the 108 world’s great Buddhist Monasteries; it is supposed to be the last monastery constructed by Karmapa Rinpoche. Apart from exploring the cultural avenues of the lost valley, the valley also offers us a great view of Himlung Himal and other snow peaks in the region. Overnight at Phu Gaon. (B,L,D)

Day 20: Phu Gaon to Meta (3,560m): 5 – 6 hrs

This section of the climbing trip descends down at first at Kyang passing through a narrow valley on the trail. Kyang offer us the sites like the ruined forts of the Khampa settlement. Jhunam, Chyakhu and Kyang are such places where Khampa refugees from Tibet once captured and lived illegally. Witnessing these places, our journey continues till to reach Meta. The journey will be accompanied by the very spectacular view of Annapurna II and Lamjung Himal. Overnight at Meta. (B,L,D)

Day 21: Meta to Koto (2,600m): 6 – 7 hrs

Initially, the trek of the day for a while goes through steep downward trail and walks through a pine forest passing many small streams and charming water fall near the Dharmashala on the trail. Our peak climbing trip at this section also comes across many suspension bridges before reaching at Koto. Overnight at Koto. (B,L,D)

Day 22: Koto to Dharapani (1,860m): 5 – 6 hrs

The first part of today’s journey passes through the small villages till to reach at Timang in the company of Pine forest on the trail. While moving forth, the trek will be accompanied with a short glimpse of Mount Manaslu and other snowy peaks. The next section of the trail steeply drops down to Danque from where we follow the level trail till to reach at Dharapani.  Overnight at Dharapani. (B,L,D)

Day 23: Dharapani to Jagat (1,300m): 5 – 6 hrs

This section of the climbing trip walking along the Marsyangdi River crosses and re-crosses suspension bridges over the Marsyangdi River. While continuing the trek, our journey at first arrives at Kotro and then reaches at the Tal village. From Tal, the next section of the trail while following through the rocky track at first drops down to the river and again climbs up through a dense forest area to reach at Chyamje. Passing through Chyamje, we will eventually reach at Jagat Village. Overnight at Jagat. (B,L,D)

Day 24: Jagat to Bulbhule (840m): 5 – 6 hrs

Our journey today initially walks down through a rocky trail till to reach Syange at where we can view a very pretty water fall. Then the upcoming trail follows along the Marsyangdi River until reaching Bulbhule. This is the place where we end the trekking section of the trip. We say goodbye to mountain trails. Keeping the memory of trekking experience we prepare for a bus or jeep drive in the forth coming days. (B,L,D)

Day 25: Bulbhule to Kathmandu: 6 – 7 hrs

In the morning after loading all the equipments, the bus journey passes alongside the Marsyangdi river which will results into Bsesi Sahar. Then the undulating road again passes through the cultivated terraces, forest, and green hills. The bus drive will be accompanied by the sights of Manaslu, Ganesh, and the Annapuran Himalayan range in the north distance. Eventually the scenic drive stops in Kathmandu where we will be transferred at our Hotel. Overnight in Kathmandu. (B,L,D)

Day 26: Free day in Kathmandu

We can meticulously enjoy the taste of Kathmandu in the free day. We can either taka complete rest in our Hotel and concentration for upcoming trip to homeland or walk around the streets of Thamel for souvenir shopping or even we can stroll around nearest areas of Thamel. In the evening, we will have to attend a trip completion celebration dinner with our adventure team. The celebration dinner will be hosted by Himalayan Glacier. Overnight in Kathmandu. (B,L,D)

Day 27: Final Departure

This relatively time consuming Saribung Peak Climbing adventure comes to an end today. Before 3 hours of scheduled flight, a representative from Himalayan Glacier transfers us to the airport. On way to home, we have plenty of time to plan our next adventure trip in the Himalayas. (B)

Two escapades aim at conquering Island Peak on business suit, but with a beautiful cause

December 24, 2013

When we think of mountaineering, people wearing heavy jackets full of down, waterproof and breathable trousers, hiking boots etc come to our mind.

However, this may sound you wacky but it is true that two escapades are aiming to conquer Mt. Island peak (6189 meter) of Nepal, on their business suit this winter at a time when the mercury has fallen below minus 25 degree Censius, but with a cause.

The young adventurers from Australia, Danny Roberts-Clarke and David Grech, are attempting Mt. Island, also known as Imja Tse, with a mission to donate an orphanage with the fund they raise.

Talking to The Rising Nepal, David shared that the idea for suited escapades came from a trip to Nepal in 2012 to visit Everest Base Camp.

“It was during this trip that it became clear to me. I am so fortunate to have the time and opportunity to partake in these amazing things while so many others will never get the chance. From that moment onwards I decided that for every unique adventure I took part in, I would do my best to raise money or awareness for a local cause.”

He said that they had been to the Base Camp on their business suits for 19 days of trekking. “We had 3 business suits, 2 business shirts 5 ties and a briefcase,” he said.

“I hope to use this inaugural suited escapade to inspire others to challenge themselves whilst also showing that in doing so we can always help those in need.”

Asked about the risk during the adventure, he responded, “At 6,189 metres in the Himalayan winter with temperatures reaching -25°C a thirst for adventure and a worthy cause is all that is driving them.”

These two escapades are going to donate $ 40,000 to a children school in Pokhara, Kaski.

“We are raising money for a new building to house around 30 children in Pokhara, so that they may have a safer and healthier environment in which to live, learn and grow,” he said.

These young students have already participated in scores of charity works in many countries, including their homeland Australia.

Lauding their charity and adventure works, Danny said that it was their duty as a foreign tourist, whose flights may have cost more than a local’s yearly salary, to give back to the local people.

This demonstrates how much of an impact local charities supported by others can make in a community that needs their help.

Nepal is somewhere I have always wanted to visit. My father worked there as a guide for some time before I was born, and had always planned to take the family to see his spiritual home. We never got that chance, as he passed away in 2006 from a brain tumour, Danny said.

“This journey will bring me closer to him, and let me experience the place he loved so much,” he said.

Source & References

Pokharel, Y. 2013. Two escapades aim at conquering Island Peak on business suit, but with a beautiful cause. The Rising Nepal, [online] 22 December. Available at: http://trn.gorkhapatraonline.com/index.php/2012-10-16-04-54-48/6265-two-escapades-aim-at-conquering-island-peak-on-business-suit,-but-with-a-beautiful-cause.html [Accessed: 24 Dec 2013].

Go Extreme Mountain Expeditions 2014

December 1, 2013

Himalayas in the world have fascinating high mountains and glittering peaks to get the extreme pleasure of mountain expedition. The beauty, vastness, and mystery always have an everlasting appeal for those who venture in this vast Himalayan region for mountain trekking and mountain expedition. Eight of the world’s 14 peaks over 8000 meters including Mt. Everest (8848m), Kanchanjunga (8598m), Lhotse (8516m), Makalu (8462m), Dhaulagiri (8167m), Manaslu (8156m), Cho Oyu (8153) and Annapurna (8091m), are only in Nepal Himalayas. The listed top 8 extreme mountain expeditions for 2014 are presented here.

1. MT. EVEREST EXPEDITION

Mt. Everest Expedition

Mt. Everest Expedition

 

Mt. Everest Expedition, the top most mountain expedition in the world, has proved to be a yardstick of climbing achievement. Mount Everest, the world’s highest mountain, is the greatest challenge and one of the most famous mountains on earth. The mountain receives around 1000 summit attempts every year. The southern approach to Everest via the Khumbu Valley is popular among the climbers. Mt. Everest was first summitted in 1953 by Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and Edmund Hillary. Most of the mountaineers dream to reach the summit of Everest in their life time. Successful Everest Expedition leaves one with the sense of most proud and adventurous people on Earth. However, Everest expeditions encounter many seen and unseen obstacles including high altitude, harsh weather and even sheer exhaustion.  Hence, Everest is a deadly inexplicable, beguiling, and magnificent mountain.

2. LHOTSE EXPEDITION

The Lhotse Expedition, one of the top mountain adventures in the world, takes to the proximity of Mount Everest. Lhotse means South Face. Three peaks that make up the Lhotse massif are: Lhotse East or middle, Lhotse Shar and Lhotse. South Face of Lhotse is the most technical face of Lhotse. The Lhotse South Face is also one of the largest mountain faces in the world. The section during the climb, which has been unanimously declared the most dangerous, is the Khumbu Icefall. Both Mt Everest and Lhotse share the same base camp. In fact, Lhotse is a part of Everest massif itself. However, Lhotse is considered to be an independent mountain. After several unsuccessful attempts, the South Face was successfully climbed only in 1984.

3. CHO OYU EXPEDITION

Cho Oyu Expedition

Cho Oyu Expedition

 

Cho Oyu Expedition, one of the extreme mountain expedition for 2014, takes to the peak of one of the world’s highest 8000er mountains. Despite being the 6th highest mountain in the world, Cho Oyu has the highest success rate among the world’s fourteen 8,000er Himalayan peaks. The ascent to the summit is short and direct with a few small technical sections which can be climbed safely using fixed lines. However, climbing Cho Oyu is still a demanding undertaking, the mountain being one of the highest on earth. Cho Oyu lies about 20km west of Mt. Everest on the Nepal-Tibet border. An Austrian team first climbed Cho Oyu in 1954 followed by the Indian and German teams in 1958 and 1964 respectively. Cho Oyu consists mainly of five ridges – Northwest, Northeast, Southeast, Southwest, and West with the Jabula Glacier on the north, Lanba Glacier on the south, and Gecongba Glacier.

4. MAKALU EXPEDITION

Makalu Base Camp Trek

Makalu Expedition

 

Makalu Expedition, a must go extreme mountain expedition, summits to the fifth tallest mountain in the world. A close neighbor to Mount Everest, it lies in the northeast region of Nepal. It is relatively less attempted mountain.  Mountaineers need to have a lot of mountaineering experience including one attempt on an 8,000 meter to climb Mount Makalu. The first attempt on Makalu was made by an American team in 1954, but it was first climbed by a French Team in 1955. The mountain has two important subsidiary peaks. The route to Makalu Base Camp (4823m) involves a sustained steep slope with magnificent views of Makalu to the north.

5. MANASLU EXPEDITION

Manaslu Expedition

 

Manaslu Expedition, a must summit mountain expedition, climbs the world’s eighth highest mountain – Mt. Manaslu. Mt. Manaslu resides at the edge of one of the most secluded Himalayan valleys in the central-western Nepal Himalaya – Kali Gandaki valley 40 miles east of Annapurna. The Manaslu’s long ridges and valley glaciers provide feasible approaches from all directions culminating in a peak that towers steeply above its surrounding landscape. At least six different routes to Manaslu exist today of which the south face is the toughest in climbing history. The first attempt to Manaslu was made in 1953 by a Japanese team from the Budhi Gandaki Valley, however, the first ascent was made only in 1956. Actually, all the three peaks of Manaslu were first summitted by the Japanese.

6. KANCHENJUNGHA EXPEDITION

Kanchenjungha Expedition

Kanchenjungha Expedition

 

Kanchenjungha Expedition, an extreme mountain expedition, maps out the third-highest mountain in the world. Located in the Eastern Nepal the border of Nepal and Sikkim, Kanchenjunga is the most easterly of the 8,000 meter Himalayan peaks and consists of four separate summits – Main Summit, Middle Summit, South Summit and Yalung Kang or West Summit. Kanchenjunga was first summitted in 1955 by a British Expedition team. The three of the five peaks, the main, central, and south, lie on the border of Nepal and Sikkim, India. Other two peaks lie completely in the Taplejung District of Nepal.

7. ANNAPURNA EXPEDITION

Annapurna Expedition

Annapurna Expedition

 

Annapurna Expedition, one of top extreme mountain expeditions in Nepal for 2014, covers the top of Mount Annapurna (8091m) – the 10th highest mountain in the world. Annapurna, adjacent to Pokhara, was the first eight-thousander to be climbed. The four summits with the entire massif of Annapurna form the northern barrier of Pokhara Valley. The main summit stands to the west of the Annapurna Sanctuary. The mountain has glaciers on its western and north-western slopes which drain into a great gorge cut through the Himalaya by the Kaligandaki River. However, despite being the first eight-thousander to be climbed, Annapurna is still one of the least climbed 8,000er peaks. The reason is that all the routes on the mountain pose severe difficulties for climbing.

8. DHAULAGIRI EXPEDITION

Dhaulagiri Expedition

Dhaulagiri Expedition

 

Dhaulagiri Expedition, one of the extreme mountain climbing adventures to the seventh highest peak in the world, reaches to the top of Mount Dhaulagiri. Mt. Dhaulagiri lies on the north-west of Pokhara and south of the Nepal- Tibet border. Dhaulagiri was first climbed by the Swiss team in 1960 via the North East Ridge. Dhaulagiri, along with another eight thousander Annapurna, make Kaligandaki the deepest gorge. It is also one of the most difficult mountains in the world. Dhaulagiri is an interesting peak with more than six different routes. The normal climbing route is considered a reasonable climb with only short technical climbing sections and moderate avalanche danger. The South and West faces of Dhaulagiri both feature massive drops; each rises over 4000 meters from its base, and each has been the site of epic climbs. The tangled topography of twisting ridges, glaciers, and ice falls is crested by a stretch of thirty miles. Several pyramid-shaped peaks rise along the main crest. Four of the summits, numbered form east to west, rise above 25,000 feet.

10 best Mera Peak climbing facts

November 21, 2013

Mera Peak (6,461m), an exciting and scenically stunning mountain, is the popular and highest trekking peak in Nepal at Khumbu Valley. Situated on the edge of famous Khumbu Region and dominated by Mt. Everest, climbing Mera peak is an opportunity to all the adventure seekers who are physically fit. Climbing Mera Peak through Amphu Lapcha Pass offers you a lifetime adventure experience in Nepal. The 10 best Mera Peak climbing facts are shown below.

Mera Peak

Mera Peak

 

  1. Mera Peak is one of the finest viewpoints in Nepal. Mera Peak Climbing trip unleash an opportunity to all the experience trekkers and amateur climbers who dream and dare to stand on the Himalayan summit with a sense of great achievement.
  2. Mera Peak has 3 distinct summits and they are North Mera Peak (6,476m/21,240 ft), Central Mera Peak (6,461m/ 21,190 ft), and South Mera Peak (6064m/ 19890 ft). Generally trekkers climb to Mera Central although the highest one is Mera North. Due to huge crevasses and glacial changes happening there in the route to Mera North, it is safe to climb Mera Central
  3. The major peaks observable from Mera peak include Mt. Everest (8848m), Cho-Oyu (8201m), Lhotse (8516m), Makalu (8463m), Kanchenjunga (8586m), Nuptse (7855m) and Chamlang (7319m) amongst many others.
  4. Mera Peak stands to the south of Everest and dominates the watershed between the heavily wooded valleys of the Hinku and Hongu Drangkas.
  5. J.O.M. Roberts and Sen Tenzing made the first successful ascent of Mera Peak on 20 May 1953. The route they used is still the standard route. The honor of being the first to reach the true summit goes to the Frenchmen Marcel Jolly, G Baus and L Honills, who climbed Mera North in 1975. There are many other routes to the peak, but none of them are easy. Some of them require crossing very high and difficult passes. The path goes through the spotless Rhododendron, oak, silver fir, birch and Jennifer’s forest. On the way, trekkers can see Meera Glacier, beautiful alpine lake and traditional Sherpa villages of the Solukhumbu.
  6. Mera Peak climbing begins following a short and exciting flight to the mountain airstrip of Lukla and after continuous trek for days through the high and lovely valleys travelers get to the area of Mera. Although physically very demanding on account of the altitude, the climb on Mera Peak is not technically difficult as ascending snow slopes rarely exceed 40 degrees. The only qualification trekkers need to ascend Mera peak is they have to be physically fit and have an extrovert sense of adventure.
  7. Mera Peak has some crevasses around, and the way can be long and challenging. The trip from Mera La to the summit is steady with a spectacular mountain vista of the Eastern Nepal Himalayas.
  8. The ascend of Mera Peak is made from the Mera La pass (5415m) on the Northern Face, which joins the valley of Hongu to the Hinku valley. Mera Peak expands to the South of Everest and dominates the attractive and remote valleys of Hinku and Hongu of that region.
  9. Mera Peak offers a panoramic view of Chamlang, Kangchenjunga, Makalu, and Baruntse in the east and the peaks of Cho-Oyu, Ama Dablam and Kangtega to the west. Everest can be viewed to the north over the massive unclimbed south face of Lhotse and the Nuptse/Lhotse ridge. Under favorable conditions, it is possible to climb the peak and descend back on the same day.
  10. As there are no lodges in either the Hinku or Hongu valleys, adventure  trekkers need to be self-contained which makes it even more attractive to those in search of mountaineering adventure.