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Corona Update Nepal

Best Peak Expeditions

Abhishek Subedi July 13, 2020

Nepal is considered one of the best adventure destinations in the world. Nepal’s geography packs an extremely varied landscape into a small area. The immense contrasts in altitude and climates found here support a spectacular mix of lifestyles, vegetation and wildlife. Nepal is probably the only country in the world where you can climb the highest mountains in the world. The core of the mountain complex known as the Himalayas ‘ abode of snow’ is the youngest and highest mountain system of the world. The name is based on the Sanskrit words, “Him” means snow and “Alaya” means abode. The 800 km stretch of the Nepal Himalayas is the greatest in the world with eight peaks that rise above 8,000 meters, including the highest in the world, “Mt. Everest”. 

Ever since the country opened its peaks to climbers in 1949, the Nepal Himalayas has become a great theater of mountaineering activity and the drama of success and failure have provided impetus to thousands of men and women to meet the ultimate challenge. In Nepal, there have been 423 Himalayan peaks ranging from peaks above 6,000 meters to Mount Everest 8848 meters for foreigners. Nepal’s Himalayas have been an attraction to many climbing devotees, philosophers, adventures or researcher lovers. Expedition typically refers to a long journey or voyage undertaken for a specific purpose, often exploratory, scientific, geographic, in high mountains. Expedition in Nepal submits to climb high Himalayas as Mt. Everest, Mt. Kanchenjunga, Mt. Lhotse, Mt Makalu, Mt. Cho oyu, Mr. Manaslu, Mt. Dhaulagiri Mt Annapurna, Mt. Amadablam, Mt Pumori, Mt Nuptse, and many others.

1. Mount Everest Expedition

The Sagarmatha (forehead of the sky) in Nepali is known as Mt. Everest throughout the world. With an altitude of 8848m, it is the highest peak on earth. The South face is recognized to lie in Nepal whereas the North face is in China’s autonomous state Tibet. This world’s highest peak was first officially measured in 1856 during the Great Trigonometric Survey of British India government and then known as Peak XV certified with the height of 8840m. With a simple technology and the distance from the mountain, the height was determined with really phenomenal accuracy – only 8m off from the current value of 8848m.  The exploration of Mount Everest has a long and varied history – from the first recognition of the peak, to the attempts of Mallory, Irvine, Norton & co and eventually the successful attempt of the British and the impressive solo ascent of Reinhold Messner.

Best Peak Expeditions

About the Mount Everest Expedition

The name of British Surveyor in 1856 was Sir George Everest- the General of British India during the survey period and a somewhat infamous character. Tibet and Nepal were closed to foreigners at the time, so it is reasonable to assume that local names of the mountain were unknown.  The name of the highest peak was chosen in his honor, although not without controversy even at the time.

The first climbing attempts were not possible until the 1920’s and they ended ultimately in disaster. Success came only in 1953 from the South side on the very same route you’ll be taking for this expedition.  South route is technically a trekking route with a little objective danger once past the Khumbu icefall, a part of few crevasses and Seracs bridged by ladders, a couple short ice cliffs around camp 3 and rock sections protected with fixed lines. There is an obvious danger of high altitude sickness complications and changeable, unpredictable mountain weather.

The Khumbu Icefall is a steep glacier with obvious implication of large crevasses and treacherous unstable Seracs making navigation complicated and riddled with high objective danger of falling ice. This is the most dangerous part of the climb. At the beginning of the climbing period, climbing Sherpa set the route through the icefall installing ladders across crevasses and along vertical Seracs ice walls for efficient and easy climbing. These arrangements make climbing of the Khumbu icefall possible, efficient and relatively safe, especially early morning before the sunrise, when the ice structure is well frozen. Khumbu icefall is very dangerous in the afternoon due to its western aspect. 

Camp 1 (6000m)

It is located on the top of Khumbu icefall; it is a desolate and exposed place mainly used as a rest and transition location on the way to camp 2 (6400m). The glacier between camp 1 and 2 flattens but there are still large crevasses close to camp 1, which are also fixed with ladders.

Camp 2

It is located in a lateral moraine at the bottom of west ridge. It is a very safe and sheltered location with tremendous views on Lhotse. All companies set-up their main climbing camp for the duration of the climbing period with tents for individual climbers, the kitchen and dining tents. Camp 2 is the main acclimatization camp and the base for camp 3-acclimatization climb and the final summit attempt.

Camp 3 (7200m)

It is located on a small ledge on the Lhotse wall. One has to cross the glacier to the right side before 40 deg. 600m climb on the compact snowfield. The route is safe with a couple of short less than 3m ice cliffs, which climb Sherpa’s set up with fixed ropes. Camp 4 (7950m) located at South Col is the last camp; it is easily accessible by majority of climbers without supplementary oxygen. There are two rock sections to navigate before camp 4: Yellow Bands interlayer marble, Phyllis and semi schist rocks and Geneva Spur, an anvil shaped rib of black rocks; they are again set-up with fixed ropes. 

This is when the climb starts, the last section of the southwest ridge. It is steep mostly on the snow with some rock sections at the Balconies, a nice resting platform. The entire route is set up with fixed ropes, which is crucial for safety of all climbers, who are all affected by altitude with low energy and impaired judgments due to oxygen deprivation in the brain and muscle tissue. From the south summit there is a knife edge southeast ridge with dangerous overhanging cornices; the most exposed section of the climb between 3050m Kangshung face and southwest face and Hillary step at the end, a series of imposing rock steps often bypassed deep in the snow, a serious avalanche danger.

2. Annapurna Expedition

Annapurna, the first-ever 8thousander peak to be successfully climbed, is in the list of the tenth  world’s highest peaks. The mountain was named after a Hindu Goddess of food and grains: Annapurna which is derived from Sanskrit words ‘Anna’ meaning food and ‘Purna’ meaning full. Although Annapurna I is the deadliest mountain above 8000m as it has the highest fatality rate, this mountain is the first-ever 8thousander to be climbed. Maurice Herzog and Louis Lachenal were the pioneer mountaineers who introduced the Mt. Annapurna by successfully scaling the peak in 1950, three years before Mt. Everest was ascended.

The Annapurna massif is 55 kilometers long including numerous peaks that are protected under Annapurna Conservation Area. The massif is entirely located in Nepal and is surrounded by Kali Gandaki Gorge on West, Marsyangdi River on East and Pokhara valley on South. The Annapurna Region got popularity only after legendary mountaineer: Colonel Jimmy Roberts introduced the details about this region in his journal ‘Mountain Travel” in 1965. Trekking on the base camp of the Annapurna I is an equally fascinating and marvelous endeavor.  

Best Peak Expeditions

About the Annapurna Expedition

The fascinating mountains and forest areas make Annapurna region one of the popular destinations and most enchanting spots on this planet. Mount Annapurna climbing is one of the most dangerous mountains to climb with high risks of avalanches. All the route possessed severe difficulties for climbers to overcome with huge ice cliffs and seracs. Hence, previous experience of peak climbing with a good physical condition is highly recommended for those seeking to achieve the summit of Annapurna. Annapurna  expedition offers you magnificent views and high mountains within Annapurna Sanctuary.

After achieving the summit you will descend following the same route back to base camp. From the base camp, you will retrace your steps following the same trail passing through Lete, Ghasa, Tatopani and trek towards Beni. The memorable and ultimate adventure of Annapurna Expedition ends with a drive from Beni to Pokhara and another drive from Pokhara back to Kathmandu.

3. Mount Ama Dablam Expedition

Ama means mother and Dablam means jewel. Ama Dablam is beautifully adorned by two ridges of snow joined by a hanging glacier that looks like the jewel, just as the traditional necklace worn by Sherpa Women with a pendant hanging from it. Not only is the mountain itself magnificent, from the summit of Ama Dablam, there are stunning views of Everest as well as Nuptse, Baruntse and Pumari, Lhotse Shar, Makalu and Cho Oyu.  The exciting trekking to base camp winds through the Sherpa homeland above Tengboche monastery. The trail to Ama Dablam base camp branches off of the well-worn path to Everest Base Camp. It follows the original line of ascent on the South West Ridge. The rocky trail becomes increasingly snowy nearing the approach to the summit of Ama Dablam.  

The summit offers spectacular, spell bounding views of mountains such as Mount Everest, Lhotse, Island peak, Makalu, Khumbu among many others although the South-west route up this sacred piece of ice-covered rock is most common. Ama Dablam Expedition is technically a demanding climb, however, it is truly worth it. The journey of Ama Dablam Expedition commences from а beautiful flight from Kathmandu to Lukla. After this mesmerizing flight, the trek continues to Phakding and then through а steep hill to Namche Bazar. 

Best Peak Expeditions

About the Mount Ama Dablam Expedition

It passes through the charming villages since it offers the mind-blowing scenery: Pheriche, a place for proper acclimatization. At an altitude of 4570 m, the Ama Dablam Base camp is located in а grassy plain. Retracing the same path, through slate houses, warm, welcoming inhabitants, and raw untrodden areas brings an end to this incredible expedition over one of the most difficult among the below 7000 meters peaks in the world. 

The exciting trekking to base camp winds through the Sherpa homeland above Tengboche monastery. The trail to Ama Dablam base camp branches off of the well-worn path to Everest Base Camp. It follows the original line of ascent on the South West Ridge. The rocky trail becomes increasingly snowy nearing the approach to the summit of Ama Dablam.  The best time for this expedition is in the late autumn season when the weather is cold but fairly predictable. Spring season is also possible. The route is less slippery underfoot during colder weather. 

4. Mount Dhaulagiri Expedition

Dhaulagiri (8,167 meters) also known as White Mountain is the seventh highest mountain in the world. Among the most popular 8000 meters peak for Himalayan expedition. It forms the eastern anchor of the Dhaulagiri Himal. A subrange of the Himalaya in the Dhaulagiri Zone of north central Nepal. It lies northwest of Pokhara, an important regional town and tourist center. Across the deep gorge of the Kali Gandaki to the east lies the Annapurna Himal, home to Annapurna I, one of the other eight-thou sanders.

The massif of Dhaulagiri extends from the Kali Gandaki River to Bheri. Bounded on the north and southwest by tributaries of the Bheri River. Mount Dhaulagiri massif is a famous mountain range in the Annapurna region. Dhaulagiri I is the seventh highest mountain in the world. The name of the mountain comes from two combinations of Sanskrit words. “Dhwala” meaning “dazzling, white, and beautiful” and “Giri” meaning “mountain”. Dhaulagiri I is also the highest point of the Gandaki river basin. Annapurna I lies 35 km east of Dhaulagiri I. Similarly, it has been creating the world’s deepest gorge- the Kali Gandaki Gorge, between these two mountains. The Kali Gandaki River flows through the gorge. The sudden rise of Dhaulagiri I from the lower ridges of the terrain is spectacular. With few trekkers visiting the area, Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek is an off-the-beaten-paths trekking journey of the region. 

Best Peak Expeditions

About The Mount Dhaulagiri Expedition

The Dhaulagiri massif includes the mountains of Dhaulagiri III, IV and V. Furthermore, the main Churen Himal, east Churen Himal, west Churen Himal, Dhaulagiri VI and VII, Gurja Himal, the False Junction Peak, Peak Hawley and the Hiunchuli Patan. On clear weather, the peak of Dhaulagiri I is also conspicuous from northern Bihar in India. Moreover, it rises from the Kali Gandaki River is quite notably impressive. Along with the south face of the Gurja Himal in the same massif. Its location is also responsible for creating rain-shadow zones in the areas adjacent to the mountain like Mustang and Dolpo. The blockade of rain clouds by the Dhaulagiri massif creates dry and arid environments in Mustang. It results on corroded hills and a badland-like environment.

Mount Dhaulagiri is also a very popular Mountain range in the Annapurna. And its sight from the Lake-side city of Pokhara is also a grand affair.When Dhaulagiri was first discovered in 1808. Similarly, it was thought to be the highest mountain in the world for the westerners. It remained as the highest peak for 30 years before Kanchanjunga took its place. Dhaulagiri justifies a magnificent peak rising as a giant shoulder of shining ice and snow. The South and West faces of Dhaulagiri both feature massive drops; each rises over 4000 meters from its base, and each has been the site of historical climbs.

The peak was first conquered in 1960 by a via North East Ridge which has been the normal route of ascent for most of the climbing to date. Kurt Diemberger, Peter Diener, Ernst Forrer, Albin Schelbert, Nyima Dorji and Nawang Dorji, members of a Swiss/Austrian expedition, firstly conquered Dhaulagiri expedition on May 13, 1960 via North East Ridge, which has been the normal route of expedition for most of the climbing.


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