DAY 14: SUMMIT AND BACK TO KHARE
It’s an extremely long day, as we have a very cold start at around 2 – 2:30 am. We will set off roped up in teams. You will need to carry your ice axe and wear crampons as we ascend the wide, open glacier, avoiding the few crevasses. The terrain here is not very steep but the going is very slow due to the altitude.
As dawn approaches the trail starts to ascend steeply to the east of the left-hand ridge before swinging right on easier ground to approach the summit.
As we approach the summit we will rest at a col whilst the sherpas fix a safety rope to the bottom of the last part of the summit climb.
The last 50m to the summit is the steepest part of the climb. We will need the jammer for this last section – it is steep and makes the climb more challenging. The sherpas will fix the rope accordingly and help you up this section.
(Please note crevasses here change from year to year and rotes do change slightly each year).
Once at the top, the views from the sun rising over Kanchenjunga in the east, past Makalu to the plumed Everest Himal in the centre and Cho Oyu further west, make every painful step well worthwhile.
Descending this steep section will involve abseiling from the summit and we will use the fixed rope back to the col. From here the descent is usually quicker, although we will still be roped as care must be taken because of crevasses. We descend back down to our base camp and further down to Khare.
After a long but rewarding day, returning to a lower altitude (5000m) means that we should all sleep soundly.