Tashi Laptsa

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

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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.



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Dust at the head of the Rolwaling valley is from a massive and active landslideimg_5940 img_5948

Furtemba crosses active landslide on the way to our high camp below Tashi Laptsa. We kinda ran:

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One of the finest places I’ve spent a night:img_5980 img_6084

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 arduousimg_6108



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 toastimg_6122 img_6124 img_6129 img_6135 img_6138 img_6139

Coming into Thengbo was spectacular


First view of Ama Dablam, our next objectiveimg_6146 img_6148

Thame:img_6151 img_6158 img_6161

The trails of the Khumbu are like highways!img_6166

Namche Bazaar, the largest settlement in the Khumbu valley:img_6168

Oh yeah, Mount Everest…img_6170 img_6172

Signs warn us of glacial lake outburst floods (GLOF). I think it would help if the sign explained what the hell GLOFs are.
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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.img_6178

Pasang Tenzing, Furtemba and Leslie take a break on the way to Pangbocheimg_6183

Furtemba, brought to you by Ray Ban, Black Diamond, Mammut and Sportiva:img_6190 img_6206

Everest and Lhotse catch the last rays of sun from Pangbocheimg_6208 img_6211

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”img_6214 img_6218

Ama Dablam. Our route was the right hand skyline:img_6219 img_6220 img_6221

Spinning the prayer wheels at Pangboche Monastery after our visit with Lama Gesheimg_6223 img_6226 img_6233 img_6235 img_6241 img_6242

Pasang walks to base campimg_6243

Ama Dablam base camp is so comfortable and beautiful. Nicest base camp ever!img_6249

Not to mention the outrageous comforts (welcome mat!) in our camp. Ascent Himalayas for the win!img_6250

Tawoche from base camp:

4 thoughts on “Tashi Laptsa

  1. Garrett Heath

    Wow, that Ama Dablam peak is unbelievable! Like the Welcome mat touch in front of the tent at camp too haha.

    Also, update from the NCAA XC scene here this morning in case your interested — Stanford men 2nd, women 5th at NCs.

  2. Liz S.

    All of us from yoga have been thinking of you. Thank you for taking us all on this journey through your blog. Such breathtaking scenery.


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