Kyajo Ri Expedition, Nepal • October 15 - November 9, 2007

This October we were back in Nepal for another trip to Kyajo Ri! Joining us were Minx Fuller from Palo Alto, Pamela Bjorkman from Pasadena, and Connie Garrett from Bozeman.

Other Recent Trips


The Cast of Characters in Base Camp. From left to right we have: Lakpa (one of our two kitchen helpers), Kathy, Mark (in need of a shave) Rajan (our second kitchen helper) Pasang (our cook), Connie, another Pasang (our Sirdar), Pamela and Minx.


As with all trips to Nepal, this one began in Kathmandu. We had allowed a "rest/organize/get-over-jet-lag" day at the start of our trip, and besides meeting the aforementioned needs, we also took some time to explore the city. This is Bouddhanath, a buddhist stupa and beautiful spot at sunset.


The Lukla airport, and the start of many an adventure. Fortunately, we were able to fly in on our planned date, even though a few days prior, the airport had been closed due to bad weather.


Tea house life can be pretty comfortable. Minx, Kathy and Pamela order lunch in Khumjung.


Namche Bazar, at about 11,300 feet in elevation, is the economic hub of the Khumbu. Most trekkers spend at least a couple nights here to acclimate and enjoy the comforts of the "big city" before heading up into the more spartan, internet-free, villages above.


Prayer flags above Namche.


We often spend our Namche "acclimatization day" taking in a pleasant walk up to Khunde and Khumjung, two smaller and quieter towns some 1000 above. From the hills nearby we had great views of Mount Everest, Ama Dablam and surrounding peaks. In this shot, Lhotse is the big peak on the right and Tawache pokes through the clouds on the left. Everest is hiding in cloud just left of Lhotse.


Himalayan Tahr near Phortse Tenga, day 4 of our acclimatization trek.


Sunrise, and our first view of Kyajo Ri from Machermo. This is not the side we climbed!


We continue our trek, arriving in Gokyo, 15,600ft or 4750m, on day 6. We spent 2 nights in a tea house here, climbing nearby Gokyo Ri (5357m, 17 570 ft) during our "rest" day.


Gokyo Lake, looking up towards the Renjo La (pass) which we'll cross the following day.


Prayer flags and Cholatse from the moraines above Gokyo.


Crossing the Renjo La. The track was a bit snowy and slippery on the south (descent) side, but we had a beautiful day.


At the end of a long day of pass crossing, we arrive in Lungden.


Continuing our trek on day 8, we leave Lungden and walk pleasantly downhill to Thame.


On this day, we got our first views of our route on Kyajo Ri. Our intended climb ascends the obvious snow and ice ridge that leads from the saddle on the right, to the summit. Our approach is made more reasonably from the other side of the peak.


Coming into Thame.


And on the following day of the trek we pass a monk in Mende, touching up a beautiful stupa with a fresh paint job.


Finally we leave the beaten track and head into our Base Camp. The "gals" on day 11.


Our comfortable Base Camp. Our only complaint was the shortness of the daily exposure to sunshine. High walls to the east and west made our daily opportunity for sunbathing and laundry quite brief.


Kathy and Minx go for a stroll around the grounds.


Towards the end of our time in Base Camp, the fog began to roll in on a daily basis. Though cold, it made for some evocative views.


After several rest days, and a day of load carrying, it was time to move up to Camp 1. Here, we are looking back towards Base Camp (on the right side of the flat valley) and on out towards India.


Camp 1 at about 5350m or 17,550ft.


After a day or either rest or fixing a bit of rope above (depending on who you were) we move up to Camp 2.


Camp 2, located at about 5700m, 18,700ft. Fortunately, this camp received sun right at dawn. But, not so happily, lost it at about noon.


And the next morning, our summit attempt. This photo shows Kathy on pitch 4 of the technical climbing. Far below we can see the trail between Lungden and Thame, familiar terrain.


Connie pauses to catch her breath on the same pitch.


Unfortunately, summit success was not to be. The lateness of the hour, and the intense cold (toes were going numb) suggested that we return to the safety of our Camp 2. So, tied to an ice screw at about 6020m, 19,750ft, we decided to turned back. Kathy, Pamela and Connie smile for the camera.


Kathy rappelling down the mixed section of pitch 2. Beautiful weather but cold and windy.


And the fog rolls in again in Base Camp.


Pamela and Minx on the hike from Base Camp to Namche and warm showers.


After our time alone on the peak, Namche seemed even bigger and busier than before.


Yak bell souvenirs for sale in Namche.


Trekking down the "Big Hill" to Lukla.


And a fond farewell in Kathmandu.



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