8000 Meters Facts
and Dawa summits Mt. Baruntse alpine style, one push from the base camp!
This autumn season, i was able to climb Mt. Baruntse, a 7244 m. (or maybe
7129 m, as in official documents!), a snow and ice summit near Makalu and
Everest, in alpine style, one push from the base camp! I did this climb in a
2-men team with Dawa Sherpa, a very strong 8 time Everest summiter and a
record holder of north to south Mt. Everest crossing in 20 hours in 2006!
After a worrying waiting out period of 2 days in Katmandu airport to fly to
Lukla (because of thick fog- and with a really nasty air crash in Lukla
involving 18 tourists killed!), at last we were able to take a helicopter ride
by 10th October. Following some organization, we set off from the Khumbu town
of Lukla (2800 m) with our 25 porters by 12th October. Following the same
magnificent trail to Mera Peak in Hingku valley (Chutanga-3400 m, Chettra-La
pass 4500 m, Chettra- wa, 4100 m, Kothey 3500 m. Tagnag 4300 m, Mera -La pass
5400 m), we first climbed the popular Mera peak (6440 m) by its crowded north
glacier route, a walk-up really, for acclimatisation purposes in 19th October.
The ascent took us 5 hours from Mera-La pass. The same day we descended to
Hongku valley to Kongme Dingma camp (4700 m) to rest. Continuing up the
Tibet-like Hongku valley to Seto Pokari camp (5050 m), we arrived at the
Baruntse base camp by 22nd October in very good and finely cold, settled
weather. The base camp was in a lovely spot, by a glacier lake and with a full
Himalayan view, at an altitude of 5450 m.
Following a full day of rest and organization, finally we climbed up to the
West col of Baruntse (fixed lines, 45-50 degrees hard snow) and made our high
camp in 6100 metres in the great glacier plateau of Baruntse, with a full view
of Makalu. By the early hours of 25th October, Dawa and I moved up to the
south west ridge of Baruntse, which is a snow and ice route. The route is not
decidedly difficult, interspersed with steep steps and with only technical
difficulties at around 6750 m-7000 m., necessitating a careful and precise
climb.. Crossing sharp and steep summit ridges, we arrived at the summit
before midday (around 11 am), with severe wind and cold as below 25 degrees C,
with a majestic Himalayan view of Everest, Lhotse, Kang, Makalu, Cho Oyu and
Shisha! Descending the route, we packed up our high camp and were at the base
camp before sunset same day- completing the full ascent in less than 2 days
from base camp to base camp, thus making a nice alpine style climb, which i
enjoyed fully. So we closed our circuit by crossing the Amphu Laptsa pass
(5840 m) back to Khumbu valley, to Dingboche, good old Namche and Phakding and
were back in Lukla by the 3rd of November, only to wait for the fog to lift
off to fly to Katmandu, with hordes of people waiting anxiously to fly!
Finally, by 6th November, we are safe and well in Katmandu , already
celebrated the expedition in Rum Doodle! Great Thanks to my friend Dawa Sherpa
and all our trek crew! Tunc Findik
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