ASCENT OF LOBUCHE PEAK 6119 metres
Khumbu valley and region…
27/10/19 to 16/11/19
Located among Nepal’s Khumbu peaks and standing at 6119m, Lobuche Peak occupies a privileged position. It is slightly more technically difficult than Island Peak, sees far fewer ascents and is within the grasp of a large number of mountaineers. The summit is reached via a succession of 45º snow and ice slopes, equipped with fixed ropes, and a small rock step, which finally gives access to a splendid and long summit ridge. As well as incredible 360º views it is notable for being encircled by four 8000-metre peaks.
Set against Cho Oyu, Everest, Lhotse and Makalu, it was been mostly overlooked by the crowds of visitors to the valley. But it will certainly satisfy the most demanding of Himalayan mountaineers.
Our approach route, via the Gokyo lakes and the crossing of the Cho La (5520m), provides for optimal acclimatisation.
The ascent to the summit requires mastery of basic mountaineering skills, especially crampon use. We average around six to seven hours of walking per day, away from marked paths and over uneven ground, with height gains of over 1000m. The sections at altitude require basic knowledge of mountaineering techniques.
Length: 21 days
Carrying: Only what you will need for the day
Accommodation: Hotel, lodge, tent
Guides: 1 French Mountain Guide + 1 high-altitude Sherpa
Group size: Maximum of 6 participants
D1/ Flight from France to Kathmandu
Arrive in Kathmandu. Settle in hotel. Free time then dinner together, meet the local team, and discuss details and formalities regarding the trek.
D3/ Kathmandu - Lukla (2850m) - Phakding (2660m) or Monjo (2835m)
We take off from Kathmandu for Lukla early in the morning, with magnificent views of the Himalayas (flight under visual flight rules therefore can only take place in good weather conditions). Organisation of loads with porters and Sherpas. Start of Lukla-Phakding or Lukla-Monjo stage of the trek depending on what time we land in Lukla. Getting to Monjo on this day means a shorter stage to Namche the next day. Night in lodge.
3 to 5 hours walk. A: 170m or 350m. D: 200m.
D4/ Phakding or Monjo - Namche Bazar (3440m)
Switching from the right to the left bank of the Dudh Kosi, the path is cut into the rock and is surrounded by crops and climbs steeply up to Namche Bazar, the capital of Sherpa country. There are numerous small shops and Tibetan souvenirs available from the market (Saturdays). Night in lodge.
6-7 hours walk. A: 1175m or 975m. D: 345m.
D5/ Namche Bazar - Khumjung (3860m) - Namche Bazar
We use this day to explore the villages overlooking the capital of Sherpa country. We climb up through a small forest to Syangboche. From these heights we get our first views of Ama Dablam, Everest, Lhotse and the whole of the upper Khumbu valley. We pass through Khumjung and Khunde. There is the opportunity to visit Hillary High School and Khunde Hospital, two establishments built on the initiative of Sir Edmund Hillary. Return to lodge.
5-6 hours walk. A: 330m. D: 330m.
NB: This day can be less energetic if you prefer.
D6/ Namche Bazar - Phortse (3800m)
On leaving Namche the path climbs above the houses to join a line of ridges. We cross a small pass and descend to the village of Khumjung. From here there is a superb view of the stately Ama Dablam. We continue to Phortse. Night in lodge.
6½ hours walk. A: 860m. D: 580m.
D7/ Phortse - Machermo (4400m)
Ascending the Gokyo valley, the path initially passes through a beautiful rhododendron forest enlivened by waterfalls. Stay in village of Machermo. Night in lodge.
6 hours walk. A: 1220m. D: 500m.
D8/ Machermo - Gokyo (4750m)
This morning takes us from hamlet to hamlet. We gradually discover new mountains, notably Cho Oyu (8143m), which forms the border with Tibet. We arrive at the superb Gokyo.
Here the mountains are reflected in the calm waters of the lakes. Night in lodge.
5 hours walk. A: 480m. D: 120m.
D9/ Gokyo - Gokyo Peak (5360m) - Gokyo
The day is devoted to the ascent of Gokyo Peak (Gokyo Ri). The route, via the south side, is easy.
We return to the lakeside and our lodge, which lies in a mountain cirque considered by some as more ‘aesthetically pleasing’ than the Everest valley. Night in lodge.
4-5 hours walk. A = D: 610m.
D10/ Gokyo - Ngozumpa lake (4990m) - Gokyo - Dragnag (4700m)
In the morning we hike towards the magnificent lakes lying at the foot of the imposing south face of Cho Oyu (8188m). Return to lodge. In the afternoon we traverse towards the foot of the Cho La. We cross the snout of the Ngozumpa glacier. Night in the hamlet of Tarnak (Dragnag), at the foot of the Cho La, which we cross the following morning. Night in lodge.
Lakes and foot of Cho Oyu: 5 hours walk. A = D: 350m.
Traverse to Dragnag: 2½ hours walk. A: 215m. D: 235m.
D11/ Dragnag - Cho La (5420m) - Dzongla (4840m)
A steep slope containing a path leads to the pass (5 hours walk). As a reward for our efforts, a new valley opens up in front of us, with new views of Ama Dablam. Easy descent (short safe section over glacier) towards the hamlet of Dzongla. We climb up towards Lobuche village and Lobuche base camp. Night in lodge.
6½ hours walk. A: 1000m. D: 660m.
NB: The Cho La can only be crossed in good weather and without fresh snow cover. Your guide will be the sole judge of the safety of the conditions.
D12/ Dzongla - Lobuche base camp (4800m)
This is the final descent as we join the main valley leading to Everest. We climb up to Lobuche village and Lobuche base camp. Night in tent.
3 hours walk. A: 300m. D: 200m.
NB: Depending on the team’s fitness we can complete the Dradnag-Lobuche base camp section in a single stage to give us a complete day of rest before climbing Lobuche Peak.
D13/ Climb to high camp (5290m)
On leaving base camp we climb rapidly as we near the middle of the valley and a boulder-strewn area, which we cross easily. We now follow a path across a scree slope to a rock bar. We reach the high camp, which is ideally placed on a plateau with a small lake, at the foot of the final section of the route. Night in tent.
3 hours walk. A: 490m.
D14/ Ascent of Lobuche Peak (6120m) - Descent to base camp
An early morning start is required for summit day. We follow a system of rocky ledges and ramps that gradually lead to the start of the final ice-covered slopes. As we gain attitude the steepness of the climb also increases, reaching 45º in the final section before a final flat area, the ‘false summit’. The summit ridge now leads easily to the summit of Lobuche East. The stunning view of Taboche and Cholatse, which we enjoy throughout the ascent, now opens up into a 360º panorama over the Himalayas. Night in tent.
9 hours walk. A: 830m. D: 1320m.
D15-16/ Lobuche - Pangboche - Namche - Monjo
Descent of the beautiful upper Khumbu valley. Stunning views of Ama Dablam and Thamserku. Night in lodge.
6 hours walk. A: 500m. D: 2000m.
D17/ Monjo - Phakding - Lukla
We already know the route, as we followed it on the way in. Night in lodge.
7 hours walk. A: 695m. D: 1285m.
D18/ Flight Lukla-Kathmandu
Our flight is dependent on the vagaries of the weather and we may be delayed by a day. This is why we always include an extra day in Kathmandu before our flight home. Transfer to hotel in Kathmandu and free afternoon. Night in hotel.
Free day. Your guide is on hand to help you organise your stay during this free time in the Kathmandu valley. Your guide can also arrange a city guide for those who would like a guided tour of Kathmandu. Final meal all together in Kathmandu.
D/20 FLIGHT & DEPARTURE from Kathmandu…
Depending on the flight times, we will transfer in the morning or the afternoon to the airport for our flight to France.
D/21 … France
Arrive in France. If on a morning flight we arrive in Paris on the evening of D20.
NB: Walking times are given as a guide only.
A: vertical height gain. D: vertical height loss.
Depending on the conditions, your guide or mountain leader may have to change the programme.
Dates: 27/10/19 to 16/11/19
2019 PRICES: 4990.00 Euros per person
- Organisation and guides
- Half-board days 3-18
- Welcome dinner on the first evening (drinks not included)
- Picnics and group equipment
- Return transport during trek (KTM-LUKLA internal flight included) as well as that of the Sirdar
- 1 Sirdar and 1 porter per 2 people in lodge + 1 porter for hyperbaric bag
- Staff wages and insurance
- All airport-hotel/hotel-airport transfers in private transport
- Costs of local team and porters during trek
- Peak fees for Lobuche East
- TIMS card and National Park fees
- Portable hyperbaric bag (pressurised bag also known as Gamow Bag)
- Satellite phone (reserved for emergency use only)
- First aid kit
- 3 nights in single rooms with breakfast included in the SHANGRI-LA hotel
- 13 days trekking: accommodation and 3 meals in lodge
- 3 days camping with equipment: tent for 2 people with foam mattresses, 1 toilet tent, 1 kitchen tent and mess with table and folding camping chairs, food
- High-altitude equipment: fixed ropes, snow stakes
- 1 high-altitude Sherpa for the ascent to the summit
PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE
- International return flight Paris-Kathmandu
- Airport taxes
- Insurance - cancellation/premature departure/loss of luggage/legal and other assistance
- Visa fee payable on arrival at KTM airport
- Hot water for washing (costs incurred in some lodges)
- Entrance fees into temples, monuments and monasteries during the optional tour of the main religious sites of the Kathmandu valley (30-60€ per person depending on sites visited)
- Meals in Kathmandu (allow 35€ per meal)
- Possible luggage supplements on internal flights
- Any tips
- Anything not covered by the ‘price includes’ list
Reservation: 30% deposit made payable to the Compagnie des Guides de Chamonix. Balance to be paid 1 month prior to departure date.
Insurance: Participants must have insurance with repatriation cover. We strongly recommend that this includes cancellation cover.
We offer cancellation cover at a cost of 2.75% of the total cost of the trip plus insurance including repatriation and search and rescue cover at a cost of 2.28% of the cost of the trip. Rescue and repatriation insurance is obligatory. You can take out personal cover but you must give us the name of your insurer, your contract number, 24hr emergency number and amount covered by your search and rescue cover.
- Passport valid for 6 months after return date
- Visa is bought at the airport on arrival in Kathmandu
FOR THE TREK: Six to seven hours of walking per day away from marked paths and over uneven ground with height gains of over 1000m per day. Lobuche demands good levels of physical fitness and a bivouac at 5100m is also required. The final slope is around 40-45º for a height gain of 400m.
FOR THE CLIMB: You need to be competent walking with crampons, both on the ascent and the descent.
- FRENCH TEAM: A French mountain guide and member of the UIAGM, trained in accordance with the internationally validated criteria set out by the UIAGM (International Federation of Mountain Guide Associations), is with you throughout your trip to Nepal, on the trek and during the ascent of Lobuche.
- NEPALESE TEAM:
- 1 Sirdar, generally English speaking, is responsible for the organisation of the camps and employing the porters
- 1 or several Sherpa(s): future Sirdars (head porters), they ensure the team is comfortable, bring up the rear on the trek and climb, and help set up camp
- 1 cook when we are camping and, if necessary, assistant cooks/kitchen boys
- 1 high-altitude Sherpa for the final ascent of Lobuche
NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS: MIN 4, MAX 6
TRAVEL IN NEPAL:
- Majority of internal flights organised by Yeti Airlines.
- Minibus or private bus for land journeys.
- In Kathmandu: Hotel SHANGRI-LA (four stars single room)
- During the trek: Standard double rooms in lodges and two nights with two people sharing ‘dome’-style three-person tents for the ascent of Lobuche. We will be entirely self-sufficient with our own bedding, mess tent, table and chairs, and kitchen tent. Foam mattresses are provided for each participant.
Meals and drinks…
Dinner and breakfast in lodges. Midday meals are not just picnics but proper lunchtime breaks, which are relatively long owing to the preparation time. This long break during the ascent also allows our porters to have a proper meal, as lunch is the their main meal of the day. Lunch is mostly eaten in a lodge but on occasion we dine entirely alfresco. There is, however, less flexibility when we are camping, as the cook has to prepare the food for our group alone.
If you like, and this is strongly recommended, bring a few extra cereal bars of your preference.
Tea is served with meals. Other drinks, including mineral water, are to be paid for by participants.
Equipment… A complete gear list including administrative details is provided on reservation.
There are no direct flights or charter flights available from Europe to Kathmandu.