Monday, January 7, 2013

Nepal 2012 Hogus&Paul Summit Kala Patthur

We awoke early from a cold sleep in an unheated lodge at Loboche and trekked to Gorek Shep.
We were concerned about our trekking team as we had not heard from them for almost 2 days and we knew they would have some struggles with the challenging Chola Pass. Of course they had not heard from us either and they knew we had set out to climb both Chola Pass and Kala Patthur. 
     We knew we were OK but we worried about them. 

     They knew they were OK but they worried about us
Later that day our guides would connect with cellphones.  We were relieved to know that everyone was safe.

We ate a breakfast at Gorek Shep then started our climb of Kala Patthur with summit at 5545m (18,192ft). This would be a vertical climb of 419m (1376ft) with slopes as steep as 50%. Kala Patthur is not a technical climb but it does require power and persistence. We were conscious of our Nepal 2011 experience where only 5 of 20 summited Kala Patthur.

Early on our climb we looked back to see Gorek Shep, then continued with our 'mountain slow' pace.

The Khumbu Glacier is below us. Boulders, rock, and scree is above us.

We stopped for a break, and were surprised at how comfortable a rock-chair can be.
Looking up it's still a long climb. You can see Pumori in the background.

As we near the summit, Hogus stops to admire the big mountain views.

A harsh wind blew over the Kala Patthur summit and the Prayer Flags flew horizontally.
We carefully climbed the small steep peak.

Mount Everest (Sagarmatha) is always a special view, as she is the highest point on our planet.
At Kala Patthur we are not at the top of the world ... but we can see it from here.

Hogus and fellow-ostomate Paul proudly showed their ostomy gear, then quickly zipped up to protect sensitive body parts from the biting cold wind.

The 3 Guest Climbers (totalling 190 years old) were pleased with the ascent. We had now climbed 200m (656ft) higher than Gokyo Ri and Chola Pass and forced our bodies to acclimatize to the 50% oxygen levels. And we had done this without Altitude Sickness symptoms and without anti-AMS medications. Of course our 2 Nepalese guides, Sanjay and Ganesh, had no troubles either. Kala Patthur was our last conditioning-climb and we were as prepared as we could be for our climbing goal of Island Peak (Imja Tse).

We CAN live ordinary, even extraordinary lives.

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