Submitted by climber on Sun, 02/17/2013 - 18:28
Submitted by Hugo on Sun, 05/26/2013 - 11:47
The Five Peaks Expedition is over and was a resounding success. All members are now home and adjusting to daily showers and wearing cotton again. We had some notable accomplishments to recognize on this trip:
1) Ade and Doug reached the summit of Lobuche East. This was the first Himalayan summit for both climbers and was a truly hard climb that they should be proud of.
2) When we climbed Pokalde we invited one of our porters to come with us and it was Nima Sherpa's first Himalayan summit - hopefully they'll be many more for Nima.
Submitted by Hugo on Mon, 05/13/2013 - 16:38
Kathmandu. This morning dawned with the most beautiful, clear skies and spirits were raised that we would get out of Lukla in one day - a rare event. After watching many planes arrive and depart, at 10:00 am it was finally our turn. We boarded our small twin engine Dornier 228 and took off without incident. The flight was very bumpy due to high winds and our pilot told us that we were going to be the last flight out of Lukla that day, phew! Made it!
Submitted by Hugo on Mon, 05/13/2013 - 16:36
Our last day trekking in the mountains began with goodbyes to our friends at the Zamling Lodge in Namche. We headed down the knee-shredding Namche hill and then began ticking off the villages in the valley until we got back to Lukla. It took seven hours of slow tired walking, the last two in the rain of a thunderstorm, a forewarning of the coming monsoon season that will end climbing on Everest and other mountains in a couple of weeks.
Submitted by Hugo on Mon, 05/13/2013 - 16:32
Pangboche to Namche. Today’s trek was described as " Nepali-flat". In other words we dropped, gained, dropped and gained again thousands of feet of altitude. The biggest descent was down from the beautiful village of Thyangboche to the river at Phunki Tenga and then back up the other side. The team was tired, but relieved to be in Namche again. Relieved because hot showers, free charging of electronics, good food and real coffee. Welcome conveniences made that much better after three weeks without them.
Submitted by Hugo on Mon, 05/13/2013 - 16:30
Our intention was to get up early and walk up the nearby hill, Chukkung Ri, but after standing on far taller summits on either side of this hill (Pokalde and Island Peak) no one was motivated or interested in a 04:30am start to climb what one member derisively called the "slag heap". Instead, we slept in and had a late breakfast. After breakfast the team began the long journey home. The first leg was from Chukkung to Pangboche. We were now back on the main route to Everest Basecamp and it was strange at first to see so many people.
Submitted by Hugo on Mon, 05/13/2013 - 16:28
We continued up the steep headwall until we reached the summit ridge. This spectacular knife edge ridge led to a tiny pinnacle summit. Here we congratulated each other, took photos and determined to start down as soon as possible to be ahead of the other groups of climbers, some of whom were inexperienced and careless on the steep ropes.
Submitted by Hugo on Sat, 05/11/2013 - 06:56
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.
Submitted by Hugo on Sat, 05/11/2013 - 06:36
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.
Submitted by Hugo on Sat, 05/11/2013 - 06:21
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.