I’ll be off for my Grossglockner trip in just a few days from now, but I thought I could already share a bit of information on the next trip – which is actually due in under 12 weeks from now: Baruntse.
The mountain is perhaps not as popular in the Sagarmatha National Park area as some others like Everest, Ama Dablam, Lhotse, Nuptse or Island Peak. Baruntse in fact lies just beyond the borders of the national park, but is so close that you can almost count it as part of the NP. That said it is still one of the most massive mountains in the area and one of the quietest too because of its remote location.
My trip there will be a full paid expedition organized and run by SummitClimb who is one of the few organizers out there who do regular Baruntse expeditions. The full expedition will last 34 days, 28 of which will be spent either trekking or climbing. The remaining 6 days will be for orientation in Kathmandu at the beginning, one day in Lukla and the last two or three days will be left for shopping and celebration after the trip in Kathmandu. How much extra time we will have after the expedition will depend on whether the weather and other conditions are favorable for us. In any case, it is quite a big and long expedition: crossing the Greenland ice cap also takes the same 28 days and sking all the way to the South Pole takes only twice as much time. OK… I admit that the conditions could be bit more harsh on the Antarctica, and climbing almost any 8000m peak takes nearly two months, but still. Don’t spoil my triumph!
The full trip will be approximately 128km long and include roughly 12.000m uphill and downhill walk. For some comparison, it would be somewhat the same as climbing stairs to the 4000th floor. Just try and see how it goes 😀 Along the route we will pass Zetra La, Mera La and Amphu Labtsa La passes and see mountains such as Ama Dablam, Makalu, Peak 41, Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and Lobuche. These and many, many more high mountains in the area. I’ve put together a Google Earth file where I have put the whole trip path [urldisplaymode=nomap] both in one whole route path and also as day-by-day paths.
On the first part of the trip, up till Mera Peak, there are few tea houses on the way, but after that there is nothing really there until we reach Chukkung two weeks later. The whole time in the mountains, we will be sleeping in the tents provided by SummitClimb. Nowadays they provide each member an individual tent, so I will have ample space and privacy. Only while in High Camp at Mera Peak or at Camp 1 and Camp 2 on Baruntse tents will be shared. Also there will be a dining tent and a toilet tent available almost throughout the trip, so we don’t have to squat behind a boulder to do our business. Furthermore, all the meals will be cooked by our sherpa cooks except in the Camp 2 on Baruntse. There we will cook our own expedition meals and melt our own drinking water from snow. So, there will be a lot of service along the way – almost a nod too much, but I’m sure I won’t be complaining 😀
This was just a short “teaser” to give some idea what will happen on the Baruntse trip. For a better eyeful you can check out some of the pictures and videos taken on other Baruntse expeditions. You can’t really argue that those don’t look pretty freaking awesome, can you?
That was it for now. Three more nights and I’m off for Grossglockner 😀