Lhakpa Ri Expedition is a superb objective which should appeal to climbers looking for a 7,000 m summit in a famous location. The visit to Lhasa, the overland journey across the Tibetan Plateau, the trek in the footsteps of Mallory and a climb with awesome views of Everest, are the ingredients of a very special expedition. It will also give a life-long impression of Tibet and its people and an insight and deep respect for the achievements of the early Everest pioneers
The mountain is one of several peaks that line the east flank of the East Rongbuk Glacier. The summit is a prominent three-sided pyramid which drops to the East Rongbuk Glacier to the west, the Kharta Glacier to the east and falls steeply to a tributary glacier of the Kangshung to the south. The slopes from the Rongbuk an Kharta Glaciers are relatively low angled and are linked by the Lhakpa La pass (6,849m), which is just to the north of Lhakpa Ri. It was from this pass, in 1922, that Mallory and his team mates first saw the East Rongbuk Glacier, an event well documented in mountaineering annals. The most climbable 7,000m peak in the world ! Lhakpa Ri is an ideal objective, remarkably positioned just across the glacier from Everest. It shares the historic route up the East Rongbuk Glacier and is climbable by a relatively safe and straightforward route. It is just over the milestone altitude of 7,000m, making it higher than anything outside Asia and is probably the most climbable 7,000m peak in the world.
Climbing Lhakpa Ri involves a similar itinerary to the initial phase of an expedition to the North Ridge of Everest. From Kathmandu, we fly to Lhasa and spend several days in what was the "Forbidden City". Then there is an incredible journey through Tibet, along the Friendship Highway before turning south to the Rongbuk Valley below Everest. We spend time acclimatising at base camp before making the two-day hike to advance base camp (ABC), at about 6,300m.
The ascent follows a shallow, snow-filled depression on the southwest flank, ascending low-angled snow for 600m, which steepens at mid-height to around 30-35°. After gaining the crest of the ridge close to the Lhakpa La, we turn south and follow the snow ridge to the summit.
After returning to base camp, we complete the remainder of the Friendship Highway, driving along the northern side of the Himalaya range, again with views of Everest, Cho Oyu and numerous other peaks. The road eventually descends to the Friendship Bridge, where we cross into Nepal and continue to Kathmandu.
Day 1 : Arrival Kathmandu.
Day 2 : Kathmandu.
Day 3 : Fly Kathmandu (1400) - Lhasa (3660)
A Tibetan guide will receive you at Gonggar Airport. Once you are done with the immigration formalities, you will be escorted for a 1.5-hour drive along 93 km road to Lhasa lying at an altitude of 3660 meters. At your hotel in Lhasa you reach your hotel where you will be serviced with best facilities and moreover you will have sufficient time for acclimatization for the forthcoming Lhakpa Ri mountaineering expedition.
Day 4 : Sightseeing Lhasa
Foremost, your tour begins with a visit to SERA MONASTERY. An experienced tour guide also working as an interpreter escorts you to this preserved monastery of white-washed walls and golden roofs. Equally adventurous and exciting tempo builds up while touring NORBULINGKA, the summer palace of the Dalai Lama. JOKHANG TEMPLE is another important sacred site which unravels more deep seated mysteries of Tibetan Buddhism. Visit to BARKHOR MARKETS can be quite a change from other visits as you roam around the city savoring every tiny detail from stall hawkers coaxing their clients to purchase their goods to exhibition of Tibetan culture, custom and tradition. Eventually, you experience invaluable insights during your visits to POTALA PALACE and DREPUNG MONASTERY. This 17th century POTALA PALACE offers an awesome view of entire city and also has private quarters of the Dalai Lama, numerous grand state rooms and chapels. Ancient history has it that Drepung Monastery which was built in 14th century used to shelter around 10,000 monks but as now there has been quite a declination resulting in only few hundreds. Tibetans’ respect and belief are immensely knotted with this monastery.
Day 5 : Shigatse
Driving about 250 km via direct route, you will arrive in Shigatse, the second largest city in Tibet. In Shigatse, you can roam around the local bustling market and visit TASHILHUNPO MONASTERY, one of the largest functioning monasteries in Tibet. At the end of the day, you make an overnight stay at a best available hotel.
Day 6 : Xegar
Following the Friendship Highway, you drive past small town of Lhatse and Gyamtso La [5,220m] amidst the barren landscape. The trail then luxuriates through monasteries and nomadic herders’ camp. Further ahead, the trail makes way to plains. After hours of driving, eventually you arrive in Xegar where upon finding a suitable accommodation you will spend the night.
Day 7 : Rongbuk
Basking in the enchanting vistas of Shishapangma, Cho Oyu, Menlungtse and Gauri Shankar, you will head southwards crossing Pang La pass at 5150m. Having driven 68 km, you eventually reach Rongbuk at 5000m and thereon, spectacular sight of Mount Everest becomes visible. Your support crew will cook delicious three course meals, hot soups and prepare comfortable camping site with Mt. Everest gleaming right before you.
Day 8 : Drive Rongbuk - Everest Base Camp (5200m)
Generally, trekkers drive from Rongbuk to Base Camp. But you can also trek along this route which will take about 5 hours. It is a 9 km walk along dirt road to the base of Mt. Everest where you will spend 2 days wandering around the base camp prior to heading up Everest Climbing route.
Day 9 : Everest Base Camp (5200m)
You get to spend an entire day at base camp to acclimatize and explore around. This boats your confidence and determination level in your Lhakpa Ri mountaineering expedition.
Day 10 : Trek to Camp I (5460m)
Trekking the Surreally sculpted Rongbuk Glacier you walk away from Everest Base Camp to Camp I for two and half hours or more. Camp I lies amidst moraine hills under picturesque yellow-orange granite cliffs. In the beginning the trekking route skirts the east side of the Rongbuk Glacier and opens into a flat area at 5270m. On the Southwest, Pumori at 7145 m nestled next to Kala Pattar comes into picture. After arriving at Camp I, you may wish to explore snout of the East Rongbuk Glacier lying just 20 minutes away from the camp.
Day 11 : Trek to interim camp (5760m)
The trail overlooks glacier-topped mountain as it roll from gravel mounds, mud plain to rocky moraine. Lying directly across from Far East Rongbuk glacier, Interim Camp can prove very beneficial for further acclimatization and super vantage point prior to trekking up to Camp II.
Day 12 : Rest day in interim camp
Complete rest keeps you highly fit and fully acclimatized. Additional exploration of the nearby location perfects your mind set and physical fitness for trekking to Camp II and climbing Lhakpa Ri.
Day 13 : Trek to Camp II (5970m)
It is about three and half hours or more to ascend from Interim Camp to Camp II. You will approach Camp II at 5970 meter as you near the south side of the glacier at the eastern end of the Changtse Glacier junction lying below huge cliff. Along the trail to Camp II you get to capture huge Seracs rising up to 50 feet above the surface of the glacier and endless array of mountain scenery.
Day 14 : Trek to Camp III (6340m)
As you march towards Camp III, you trek along moraine following the glacier to the right around the eastern flank of Changtse. Further ahead, you ascend a succession of hills as the glacier softens into smooth snowy ice fields carpeting the approaching ridges. En route you may spot several tent sites and discarded oxygen bottles. 1480 meter straight up from Camp III lies the Pinnacles challenging trekkers to explore its Mystiques. Its complexity has kept the northeast Ridge unclimbed for a long time. North Col lies at 7066 meter in the West connecting Everest’s Northeast Ridge and Changste. Through binocular you can see spectacular sight of striated rock summit of Everest extending above the Pinnacles to the southeast little more than 8000 feet (2400 m) higher than Camp III. Beyond Camp III there are gravel hills beside the glacier and you may trek along this trail for one hour provided that you are fully acclimatized.
Day 15 -23 : Acclimatization and climb
Five days of complete acclimatization keeps you physically and mentally fit to venture into your forthcoming mountaineering in Lhakpa Ri. You may indulge in exotic sightseeing at Raphu La situated at the foot of the remote north east ridge of Mt. Everest. This gives you a perfect vantage point to capture panoramic views of the north faces of Makalu, Pethangtse and the Kangshung face of Everest. Amid this enchanting alpine environment, you will continue climbing Lhakpa Ri. From the technical point of view, this ascent is quite climber-friendly and involves lesser risks. After six hours of safe Mt Lhakpa Ri mountain climbing, you reach at an elevation of 7,045m where you can sight Lhakpa Ri towering Tibet mountain range Mesmerizingly.
Day 24 : Base Camp
Now that you have savored the exquisite pleasure of climbing Lhakpa Ri, you retreat to the Base Camp. Yaks are easily available to carry you back. With the cherishing memories of your Lhakpa Ri mountaineering expedition, you overnight at the former campsite in the Base Camp.
Day 25 : Tingri
You will drive along verdant Tibetan Plateau through Pang La at 5,200meters amidst the panoramic view of snow-crowned peaks. You even get to glimpse a magnificent sight of Mt Everest and Cho Oyu en route. Eventually, your journey for the day concludes after arriving at Tingri.
Day 26 : Kathmandua
Early in the morning, you will leave Tingri on the 4WD land cruiser and en route pass through Lalung La pass at 5,050 meters. Enveloping the fond memoirs of Lhakpa Ri mountaineering expedition, you depart from Tibetan plateau towards Tibet-Nepal border from where you exchange goodbyes with your Tibetan guide and meet your new Nepali guide who will escort you to Kathmandu. 5 hours of scenic drive will take you to Kathmandu.