Kalapatthar and Everest Base Camp : Finale
“Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So… get on your way!”– Dr. Seuss
Succesfully completed Kala patthar (5,550 meters) and EBC back to back within 5 hours.
The night at Gorakshep was marked by intermittent sleep. Could be because of heaviness caused by altitude or it could be the excitement of two back to back climbs the next day. Whatever was reason, myself, Nitesh and Naveen got up at around 4:00 AM in the morning. Our guide from Nepal, Raj was not going to accompany us, as he has to take the rest of the group to EBC. We were at our own.
We got down from the tea house, in the open field, towards Kalapatthar. But we not able to find the route. Naveen, has trekked Kala patthar earlier, and was sure that he will find the route quickly. Before he could find it all by himself, we saw torch lights, some 200 meter far. They were another group of trekkers going to Kalapatthar. And there we got our way too.
The morning was quite cold, with heavy snowfall happening around. We were climbing up slowly in the dark, taking small deep breath break after every ~30 steps. Low oxygen, snowfall, darkness all these were making the movement more difficult. Our speed was reduced because of it. And at this speed there was fair chance that we may miss the sunrise at the summit. Sunrise? Yes, provided the weather clears out.
After an hour of walk, we came across another group taking a breathing break. We asked local guide going with the group about the summit. It’s just 20% completed, is what he said. What? Just 20%. We must increase the speed, or we were definitely going to miss sunrise. Nitesh thought it would be riskier to increase the speed. We will run out of our breath. He decided to return so that I can go in my speed.
By the time, Naveen was already around 150~200 meters ahead of me. (It could be even less. The climb is so steep that it takes around ~ 3 – 4 hours to climb just < 2 km). I decided to catch up with Naveen. I shouted his name, and told I am catching up, Nitesh is going back. I was not sure if he heard it, and I started walking fast. Quite fast. By the time I reached Naveen, I was panting. And I could see that coming from Naveen. He yelled at me in whatever possible words he could remember, for risking out the climb itself. It was not a smart thing to do. Indeed.
Nevertheless, had a sip or two of hot water, gathered some breath. Luckily the recovery time was not that bad. Both heart and breathing rates slowed down and we started to ascend further. All in the sea of snow.
We continued at same pace for quite some time, and we were really struggling. At least I was. It was indeed a strenuous climb up. Soon we saw the group (who past us while we were looking for path earlier today), near the summit. We thought they were returning back from the summit but, no. They were still climbing.
As we climbed we realised that the last stretch of 300 to 400 meters was extremely difficult. We are out of breath, can we stop?
How art thou out of breath when thou hast breath― William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
To say to me that thou art out of breath?
There was no excuse and we started for the summit. And soon we were at the summit.
The excitement burst I went into, after reaching the summit can’t be explained. Naveen still get a good laugh explaining it to TrekNomads team. He calls it was a child like excitement. And I am not complaining.
Weather was still not clear, but we got fair view of Everest in patches.
We spent some time, enjoying the accomplishment. Breathing. Having the pair of eggs ( We had to skip full breakfast as we have to catch up with EBC group. So we carried the boiled eggs with us.) Took few pictures.
And started to descend for EBC.
And reached EBC without much of difficulty. Probably climbing up the summit, pumped up with more energy and re-charged us. But not before we crossed yak trains en route 🙂
And we could see the camps in near limit.
We were there, with the rest of the team. With our 🇮🇳
There we are – Unbreakable, team Oracle at EBC 🙂
And the complete team. Our guide Raj (at left of Naveen, in extreme right), deserves a special thanks for being patient for the entire trip.
The three musketeers who will be going together on more such trips with TrekNomads. Insha’ Allah.
After spending some fair amount of time, and not before shaking up Khumbu Glacier, we started on our way back to Gorakshep.
As we return, we had a last relook at the Khumbu Glacier.
We reached to tea house, put our name flag on the rooftop after having lunch.
And left for Lobuche. (Deviation from original plan : Plan was to stay two nights at Gorakshep, but as I said earlier we changed it. For sake of everyone. And couldn’t get a chance to re-climb Kalapatthar for an evening view)
Prologue-EBC | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 – Gokyo lakes | 6 – Gokyo ri Summit | 7 – Chola pass | 8 | 9 – Kalapatthar/EBC | 10 | Epilogue-EBC
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