Thanks for all great feedback! It means alot to me and especially during the expedition. I promised more great images from the expedition. Have a great time watching more details now! Just some short notes first.
Its amazing to sense the large contrast between Nepal and Sweden. Normally people expect you to say that you are so fortunate to live the lives we do in a country such as Sweden. However, there are always different views on life. I remember seeing poverty and misery, but also happiness and a stress-free environment amongst the Nepalese people. The mountains are very special to most Nepalese people and its an asset to them that they take care of. Visiting Nepal provides new perspectives on what you do and see around yourself. To me, Nepal pulls allready now, these mountains are real magic and I am so excited for the next upcoming event in October!
The pictures below are arranged from lower altitudes to the summit of Yalung Ri. Our journey from Kathmandu to our first trekk-point was an exciting drive with two off-road vehicles. Upon arrival to Singati we reached an altitude of 1300m. This was also were a truck broke down and stopped our way forward. So, our trekk started 10km earlier compared to our plan and we walked from Singati. We spent the night in a lodge in the little village of Jagat. At this point we were only some 20km from the Chineese boarder. Lots of trucks were driving around this area due to a Chineese Hydropower station being built in the area.
Drive from Kathmandu to Singati.
Our first real trekking day started in the village of Jagat next to the Tama Koshi Nadi River. Our first trekk-goal was to ascend to 2700m altitude in the first day. Chhiring Dorje Sherpa and Annelie Pompe were our expedition leaders and they both kept the team extremelly happy at all times.
2900m altitude. Gaurishankar – 7.134m is the first real large mountain that appears to us in the Rolwaling Valley. Its so big and awesome. To the Nepaleese the mountain is very special since its a holy mountain and according to he local tradition it shouldnt be climbed. But, despite this, several expeditions have ascended Gaurishankar the last years.
Arriving to the village of Beding was a fantastic experience. Beding is the central village for three locations in the Rolwaling Valley. Depending on the time of the year, people move together with their Jaks where they currently find pastures. We also visited the local Monastery in order to receive blessings from the local Lama. The visit became very personal since Chhiring Dorje Sherpa had a personal message to the local Lama. Parts of the income from the expedition was handed over as charity to the Lama by Chhiring. In adddition to this the expedition members had the opportunity to hand over some personal gifts for the school. This would enable the rebuilding of the school that was damaged in the earthquake last year.
Conditions are very different compared to Sweden and I believe we could help more. This carpenter is crushing gravel by hand in order to produce 30-40 mm size gravel for the concrete floor in the school being rebuilt. The three Sherpas Pasang, Norbu and Anpurba are real great guys! Most of them had a track reckord of 10 times on Mt Everest. One evenening Chhiring and Pasang had “story-time” for the team. They recounted there experience on K2 in Pakistan where they saved one another. This mountain sounds really scarry to me and hearing the story from these two heroes is thrilling over a cup of ginger-tea in the Himalayas.
3500 m altitude
Probably you wont recognize the little Red Panda in the tree below. But – check the circle – we were so excited from this all of us. We also visited a Lama that lived in total isolation very high up in the mountains during one of our acclimatization trekks.
Altitude 4000m. Mount Chhobutse, 6899m is a very special mountain. On the steep ice-slops of the mountain a gorilla alike face has appeared over time – the face looked quit frightening! Nepaleese legend says that its ok to climb the mountain but if you fail, this means unluck in the future and if you succeed it means luck. I spent some time trying to figure out how I would access the mountain – if doing so… Arriving in Na (or Nagaon according to the map) brought us to 4.200m altitude. This altitude would serve as a two day acclimatization level. During both days we climed up to the 4.600m altitude when visiting the Rolwaling Glaciers. Chhiring was very concerned about the fact that the frozen lake could move the barrage that had been built by the Nepaleese government. If the barrage would give way to the 160m deep and 8 km long lake a disaster would hit the Rolwaling Valley.
When I approached the Northern Rolwaling Glacier at 4.500m with mixed ice and gravel I realized how dangerous it might be walking around in this area. Potholes can be seen and falling down in such an environment isn´t option!
Early in the morning we left our camp in Na and started our ascend to Yalung Ri Base Camp at an altitude of 5.000m. We covered 800m during 5 hours this day. This is where the weather changed into real winter with snow.
We started the summit at 04:00 in the morning. Two members of the team descided to stay in the Base Camp of various reasons but this was a very brave and responsible decision far more difficult to take than just going on with the summit. Personally I was in good shape and had a good night of sleep during the summit night. Even though the temperature was down to -15 degrees the tent was really good. The Marmot sleeping bag finally came to the proper usage because it had been rather hot in the lower altitudes.
Chhiring and Annelie hade planned for a very high security for the team as we approached the glacier of Yalung Ri. We had one Sherpa per team member.
Altitude 5.630m Yalung Ri peak! The weather was outstanding and conditions couldnt have been better!! At this altitude the relative oxygene rate is 50% compared to sea level. This is what it looked like when I turned around sitting on the Yalung Ri peak – a scarp cliff 400m right down, we were all secured by ropes.
Thanks to Maths Nilsson for the peak-image!
Looking back at this expedition creates lots of emotions. I learnt alot both about climbing and things about myself.
Continue following the blogg – eventhough this part has come to an end. Hopefully I have inspired someone to start an adventure! I will now focus on preparing for the October-2016 and April-2017 event. Its very exciting to prepare against the 7000m peak next year and the blogg will target training, breathing techniques, equipment etc.