Home > Travel > Day 7 – Kalapathar

Day 7 – Kalapathar

Night was as cold as it gets and also sleepless. I don’t know if it’s cold or high altitude but I have trouble to close my eyes. As I try to fall asleep my breath slows down but there is brain already signaling that doesn’t have enough oxygen so I have to speed up my breathing and it goes on and on. I only fall asleep about 4am but I have to wake up at 5. Of course I cannot and Agasta is knocking on the door wakes me up instead.


Everybody else is sleeping. Even the owners. All over the place wherever they can rest their head. I quickly dress up shaking from cold. I even postpone the breakfast so we can be on our way asap. Plan is to reach Gorak Shep (5200m) under 3 hrs, have breakfast and tea and then hit Kalapathar at 5545m. Luckily weather improved. It is still very cold but it cleared up and all of the sudden I saw all the mountains around which were hidden behind the clouds yesterday.


I was especially pleased by Ama Dablam, by far my most favorite mountain. Also Nuptze was very clearly seen and somewhere behind it is the Everest hiding. We go fairly quickly. This part leads us in a flat valley in the middle of all these giants. They are magnificent as they are so close. It’s fairly overwhelming feeling. On my right side there is Khumbu Glacier which to me seems big but according to Agasta it’s only half size to what it was 30 years ago.


In 2 and half hours we spot Gorak Shep not too far below us. Bad news. We have to descent so it mean on the way back when I am gonna be probably dead tired I have to climb this back. Anyway, we managed to get there under 3 hours as planned. Dining room was heated. It was nice and warm and I felt like sleeping. I had my breakfast and also coffee and I chat to some Aussie guy from Sydney. 10 mins later they wish me good luck and we are on our way to Kalapathar summit. It is the place with probably best view of Everest at least from Nepal side.


There is more than 300 m to climb. It takes me 2 hours. The hardest workout I ever had in my life. I didn’t even dream it is gonna be this hard. At some points I had to stop every 5-10 meters, catch the breath and then continue. I just continuously repeated to myself don’t give up, don’t give up. After 2 hours of climbing I finally reached the summit. At 5545m it is tiny compared to Everest but it is as high as I probably get in my life. It’s much higher than tallest mountain in Europe or as high as tallest mountain in Africa. We congratulated to each other with Agasta. Well for him it’s nothing new. It was his 201st Kalapathar climb. Anyway he said he didn’t met too many people who did it in 6 days from Lukla (meaning tourists, sherpas can probably do it in 2 days). I felt dead tired but really proud. It wasn’t very smart thing to do it without any acclimatisation days but I had no time to spare and since I didn’t have any high altitude symptoms we decided to give it a go. There were a few people who couldn’t really believe that I did it. Yes I did but cost was high. I was at the end with my physical strength. I had only little reserve to get back to Lobuche.


Weather was very nice, clear and sunny. But also at that altitude there was a strong wind and it was quite cold. I tried to take as many pictures as I could but any extra movement like changing position or changing lens was costly. I was breathing really quickly and I felt quite weak too. After 45 mins on the summit we started our descent. It went so much faster but since snow was looses and also some rocks we had to be extra careful. It was taxing especially on tights and by the time we reached Gorak Shep I was going forward only by momentum.


And trek back to Lobuche was still ahead of us. After refreshment and lunch we were on our way. Right after Gorak Shep the steep climb as I mentioned previously. But after that it went quite fast. I was somehow able to put myself on autopilot and I was just moving forward by some unknown force. I was in no mood to enjoy the surrounding and weather was getting worse anyway. By the time we reached Lobuche temperatures dropped to zero and it was snowing again.


I only remember the room was very cold. I somehow managed to change to dry clothes, slip into sleeping bag, zip it and rest I don’t remember.

Categories: Travel
  1. Brano
    June 7, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    we need moooore ….
    Excelent reading Riso.

  2. admin
    June 7, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    Thank you šŸ™‚

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