Continued....after everyone had crossed
The rapel down
After the long day crossing the passes we decided to have a rest day at Upper Baruntse Base Camp while our climbing Sherpas went up to help bring down the last loads from top of West Col (non essential items like extra food etc) and also to look in the crevasse for our tents. In the end they were successful in recovering two tents however four of my Mountain Hardwear Trango 3.1s were lost (these were new tents costing a total of US$3,000, ouch!). Luckily our Sirdar knew a Baruntse expedition leaving Base Camp that day and they kindly lent us two more Trango 3.1s so we had enough tents for rest of the trek.
After our rest day we walked to Amphu Laptsa High Camp, the trail descends to Baruntse Lower Base Camp and then follows rocky moraine into the upper
This was my first time crossing the Amphu Laptsa, I had heard from others how dangerous this pass is especially for porters so I wanted to fix as much as possible for safety and security. In fact the conditions were very snowy this year so we had to fix an extra 300m of rope lower down on descent where usually one walks out on a rocky trail.
The next morning the group left camp at 4.30am with dawn appearing as we walked up the rocky trail, it was a beautiful sight to see Chamlang and Baruntse tinged with the morning glow. The group made steady progress up to the top of the pass and the started the rapels on the otherside, it was certainly a relief to get off the ropes and start on the trail down to our camp near Imja lake.
There was no doubt the next day the group was tired however there was a strong sense of accomplishment as we had successfully crossed the three passes into the Khumbu and now there was an easy trail to follow to Lukla. Most people took their time walking down to Dingboche while reflecting on the last few weeks and enjoying the mountain scenery of the upper Imja valley with views of Lhotse Shar, Island Peak, Cho Polu, Peak 38 and further down the valley Cholatse and Taboche.
Of course none of this trip would not have been possible without our amazing Nepalese crew. Many thanks to our porters from Kharikhola (and a few also from Kathmandu), our climbing sherpas Chhongba Sherpa, Tashi Sherpa and Lhakpa Sherpa, our walking sherpas Dawa Sherpa, Lhakpa Chirring Sherpa and Ang Babu Sherpa. Thanks also to our cook Gombu Sherpa and of course our Sirdar Pema Tshiri Sherpa who kept the show on the road.
I would like also to thank Robin Boustead for his help and assistance in the organisation of this trek. If you are thinking of walking a section of The Great Himalaya Trail then you must get a copy of his guidebook Nepal Trekking and The Great Himalaya Trail by Trailblazer.
You might be interested to see some of the photos of this trek please click on link below to see Part Two with photos from Sherpani Pass to Khumbu:
If you have not already read Part One of my Trip Report I have copied the link below:
The Mountain Company is planning to organise our Makalu to Everest trek again in Spring 2012 so please get in touch soon if you would like to join this group.