Trip report by site editor Rick McCharles.
Over the Kongma La 5535m (18,159ft)
I heard plenty of warnings about the 9hr crossing. But in perfect weather … if you are already acclimatized to altitude, it’s only moderately difficult.
One of two access trails climbs quickly up and away from the Nuptse Glacier. And away from “teahouse trekking”. There are no facilities along the way. This is true high altitude wilderness.
I loved it.
It starts with an easy grassy valley walk. And ends in “… a lunar landscape of icy lakes and frozen ridges …”
I scrambled part way up a ridge of Pokalde Peak 5806m (19,048ft). As you can see, it’s not difficult.
This is not the route used by most trekking peak groups, however. (I didn’t want to get in trouble for not having a “trekking peak permit”.)
What a view from on high!
I lingered long at the pass 5535m (18,159ft), so late that I was the last trekker to cross that day.
The descent from the pass is the most difficult part of Kongma La … scrambling frozen loose scree for 2hrs Yuck.
I could have just barely made it down to the village of Lobuche before dark … but I’d heard bad things about those guest houses. Lobuche is a messy, littered place, the least appealing of any accommodation I saw in the Khumbu region.
Instead I set up the tent above 5000m.
Wish me luck. It’s going to be COLD.
see all photos from day 11
… on to days 12-13