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Abi Peak Climbing

Abhishek Subedi July 31, 2020

Mt Abi (6097m.) is situated in the Khumbu Himal range located in the Mahalangur Solukhumbu region of Nepal. The mountain is also known as Cholo and Kangchung from the pass that reaches it – the Kangchung La. Mountaineers planning to climb the 8,000ers, consider Mt Abi as a perfect training mountain for ice climbing and high altitude acclimatization. Mt Abi requires careful ascent due to the technical ridges towards its peak. This peak was first issued a climbing permit in 2002 and although it is classed as moderate, it has been climbed less than 6 times. The recognized route is Lukla-Merala-BC. 

Abi Peak Climbing is one of the attractive peaks that form the Khumbu Himal Range. The peak is also located in the south of Lobuche East along with the Mahalangur Himalayan range in the Khumbu region of Nepal. Climbing of Abi Peak Expedition does need a moderate level of ice climbing skills as the ridges heading towards the summit of the peak consists of a few technical sections. But, Abi Peak or Mt. Kangchung is also considered as a perfect training peak for practising ice climbing. And acclimatization is much needed for climbers planning to climb peaks over 8000 meters.

Abi Peak Climbing

Besides, the trip also includes a hike up to Gokyo-Ri for breathtaking views of Mt. Everest, Mt Lhotse, Mt. Makalu, Mt. Cho Oyu and other surrounding peaks. Additionally, we head towards the crossing of one of the popular and challenging Cho La Pass at 5420 meters on your return journey after achieving the Abi Peak Expedition summit.

Day 1 Fly to Lukla and Trek to Phakding

The trekking will start with the flight from Kathmandu to Lukla airport. Lukla airport offers you with lifetime experience as it is one of the dangerous airports in the world. The runway of the airport lies between the two hills which is the difficult runaway for the experienced pilot also. Its airfield is at high elevation and the difference between the two ends of the runway is about 60 metres. From here trekkers will begin their trek to the Phakding with green landscape and view of Kusum Kangaru. The trekkers will stay at the guesthouse here and enjoy the evening and night time with the local cuisine and dinner. 

Abi Peak Climbing

Day 2 Phakding to Namche Bazaar

From Phakding trekkers have to cross the river to reach the valley. The trail is near to the river valley with beautiful blue pine and rhododendron forest. After crossing the Dudh Koshi at Benkar , trekkers can get the sight of snow capped peaks of Kusum Kangaru and Thamserku. It is only the short walk to Monjo where trekkers gather around to have lunch. From Monjo , National Park is about a short distance. In the hours of daylight the walking is a little problematic and is an uphill way to Namche bazaar. The trail now goes to the generally flat terrain, crossing back to the right bank to the meeting point of the Bhote Koshi and Dudh Koshi Rivers.  The trekkers have to walk through the large suspension bridge.   

Day 3 Rest at Namche Bazaar

Acclimatization is very crucial at higher altitudes to avoid mental or physical sickness and to ensure the successful climb of Abi Peak. Besides, Namche Bazaar is an extensive market town where there is always something to see and places to explore. For acclimatization, you can hike up to Khunde Hospital which was set up by Sir Edmund Hillary, or an hour’s walk up to Syangboche at 3800 meters for best views of Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Ama Dablam, Thamserku and Kusum Kanguru. There are good views from the National Park Centre and the Museum which is located just above the town.

Day 4 Namche Bazaar to Dole

After spending a good rest day at Namche Bazaar, the trail heads all the way up to Khumjung, a picturesque village which also has its own Gompa at the top end of the town. From this point, you can enjoy excellent views of Thamserku, Kantega and Ama Dablam. Soon after leaving Khumjung our trail climbs to a large chorten on top of a ridge. The trek from the top is a downhill journey down to Phortse Tenga and from there you will start to climb steeply through the dense forest towards Dole.

Abi Peak Climbing

Day 5 Dole to Gokyo Lake

From Dole, the trail climbs along the side valley and passes through several summer settlement areas to arrive at Machhermo. From Macchermo we head towards the lakes of Gokyo. The trail is a gradual descent following the meltwater rivers of Ngozumpa Glacier. Then, you will start to climb steeply into a valley, passing the first of the five lakes of Gokyo. You will soon arrive at the second lake and the third lake which is also known as Dudh Pokhari. You will head towards its eastern shore, the settlement of Gokyo for your overnight stay.

Day 6 Hike to Gokyo Ri

Today you will accomplish an early morning hike to Gokyo Ri, one of the finest viewpoints in Everest region for mesmerizing views of Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Cho Oyu, Makalu and several surrounding high peaks in Khumbu region. After about two hours of uphill trekking, you will reach the top of Gokyo Ri at 5340 meters and enjoy the beautiful sunrise view over the world’s towering mountains. You will spend some quality time at the top before descending down to Gokyo. Then you will spend the rest of the day exploring the beautiful glacial valley of Gokyo.

Day 7 Trek to Dragnag

You will have your breakfast at Gokyo and start following the trail that heads northeast towards Dragnag. The small village of Dragnag is located at the shore of Ngozumpa Glacier. Of all the glaciers in the Everest region, the most impressive one is the Ngozumba which you must cross to reach Dragnag. The trail offers magnificent views of high mountain valleys and panoramic views of surrounding snow-capped high peaks. Gradually crossing over the glaciers you will arrive at Dragnag.

Trek to Dragnag

Day 8 Trek to Abi Base Camp

From Dragnag you will gradually follow your trail that ascends gradually towards Cho Lo Pass. You will follow a small trail that heads north before arriving at the top of the pass. The trail is mostly snow-covered, icy and slippery so you may have to use crampons. You will continue your trek until you arrive at a good campsite, where you will set up your Base Camp. The Sherpa crew will quickly set up the camps and make necessary preparations for setting up camps at higher altitudes.

Day 9 Base Camp to High Camp

Today you will leave Base Camp and follow the trail that climbs over a loose rocky trail often covered with ice and snow. In some sections, you will have to make use of fixed ropes and crampons. Moving one step at a time you will arrive at a good camping site at 5610 meters. The Sherpa crew will do all the hard work of shifting and setting up the camps. 

Day 10 Summit Abi Peak and Back to Base Camp

Today is the day you all have been waiting for. Fully equipped with all the necessary climbing gear and properly acclimatized you will start early with the vision to reach the summit before noon, as the strong winds after midday might create obstacles in reaching the peak of the technically demanding Abi Peak. Following the footsteps of your experienced climbing experts, you will overcome several technical sections and head towards the summit. The tiring climb to the summit is rewarded with splendid views of Mt Everest, Mt Lhotse, Mt Makalu, Mt Cho Oyu and other high peaks in Khumbu region of Nepal. You will spend short quality time at the summit before descending down following the same route back to reach the base camp.

Day 11 Trek to Dzongla

After successfully accomplishing the summit of the rarely climbed Abi Peak, you will retrace your steps and follow the same trail back from the base camp. You will arrive at the main Cho La Pass trail and head towards the crossing of Cho La Pass at 5,420 meters. From the top of the pass, you will gradually descend for about two hours to arrive at Dzongla for your overnight stay.

Day 12 Trek to Pheriche

Today is a pleasant day of trekking. From Dzongla you will continue on your return journey gradually descending from the high alpine valleys and entering into the subtropical vegetation. With great views of surrounding high peaks in the Everest region, your trail heads back passing along several summer grazing pastures to arrive at Pheriche. 

Day 13 Trek to Tengboche

Leaving Pheriche you will trek on the main EBC trail to arrive at Pangboche for having lunch. After Pangboche you will follow the trail that is mostly downhill trekking towards Deboche. From there you will gradually climb to arrive at Thyangboche.

Trek to Tengboche

Day 14  Trek to Namche

Easy walk along the Imja Khola, short climb to Tengboche, descend Pungki  Thanka and complete steep to Kyangjuma, and easier trail to Namche.

Day 15 Trek to Lukla

This trekking trail follows a sandy path with strenuous walk. The trail is full of views of landscape and some mountain scenarios. The trekkers can explore Lukla bazaar and local shops. You can also celebrate your successful trekking with special brands of drinks.

Day 16 Flight from Lukla to Kathmandu

Fly from Lukla Airport to Kathmandu Airport and enjoy the panoramic views of snowy mountains from the window of the plane.

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