I’m back in Kathmandu after a successful ascent of Ama Dablam. More on that later. Here’s the story of the four day journey from Rolwaling up and over Tashi Laptsa, one of the most challenging passes in the Himalaya, and down into the Khumbu. You know you’re in the Himalayas when the passes are 19,000 ft!
L to R: Buskar, Purna, Rajendra, Babu Ram and Furtemba devouring some good luck cake on our last night together in Na. The next morning, we said goodbye to Rajendra and Buskar and headed up the valley.
Two British women paraglide into Na on an acclimatization day
American guides Nik and Mark were awesome company in Na. They made three stylish ascents in Rolwaling, capped off by Chukimago.
With Furtemba and Mingma Gyalje, two of the finest high altitude climbers in the world
Tsho Rolpa, a terminal lake, is one of many in the Himalayas prone to glacial outburst floods. One here in 1986 was very serious to my understanding, and increased glacial melting due to climate change is expected to make such flood events more frequent and severe in the future.
Babu Ram walks into Chukima camp, with Nachugo behind.
Dust at the head of the Rolwaling valley is from a massive and active landslide
Furtemba crosses active landslide on the way to our high camp below Tashi Laptsa. We kinda ran:
One of the finest places I’ve spent a night:
Purna and Babu Ram ascend ever steepening glacial ice with outrageous loads:
Furte borrowed my axe to chop steps for the porters
We donned crampons for the final few hundred meters up Tashi Laptsa. I was glad to switch to mountain boots as my toes were violently cold.
Descending Tashi Laptsa was tricky and arduous
Descending some of the coolest glacial polish I’ve seen:
Furte whipped up one of the best high altitude meals I’ve had. Super spicy potato curry with Tibetan fried bread:
Babu Ram’s basket was toast
Coming into Thengbo was spectacular
First view of Ama Dablam, our next objective
The trails of the Khumbu are like highways!
Namche Bazaar, the largest settlement in the Khumbu valley:
Oh yeah, Mount Everest…
Signs warn us of glacial lake outburst floods (GLOF). I think it would help if the sign explained what the hell GLOFs are.
Everest (behind) and Lhotse (R), the world’s highest and 4th highest mountains. I made it about a thousand feet higher than the prominent Yellow Band without oxygen on Lhotse in 2013.
Pasang Tenzing, Furtemba and Leslie take a break on the way to Pangboche
Furtemba, brought to you by Ray Ban, Black Diamond, Mammut and Sportiva:
Everest and Lhotse catch the last rays of sun from Pangboche
Another privileged opportunity to meet with and receive blessings from Lama Geshe, the highest ranking Lama in the region. Once again he laughed at my “Nepali name”
Ama Dablam. Our route was the right hand skyline:
Spinning the prayer wheels at Pangboche Monastery after our visit with Lama Geshe
Pasang walks to base camp
Ama Dablam base camp is so comfortable and beautiful. Nicest base camp ever!
Not to mention the outrageous comforts (welcome mat!) in our camp. Ascent Himalayas for the win!
Tawoche from base camp: