Ready to take your climbing to the next level on an expedition of a lifetime? The Himalayas. Since time immemorial, these colossal peaks with their vast web of rugged, isolated valleys and distinct ethnic groups have been the aspirations of alpinists and mountaineers the world over.
The Colorado Mountain School’s Lobuche East Expedition brings you to the heart of the Khumbu region of Nepal, surrounded by storied Himalayan giants such as Everest, Pumori, Nuptse, and Lhotse. This 24-day adventure gives the option of technical climbing at high altitude, along with one of the most spectacular high-altitude approach treks in the world. Climbing in the Himalayas is a technically challenging and rewarding experience that can take your mountaineering skills to the next level; they are also a unique opportunity to gain insight into Buddhist and Hindu cultures that are home in one of the most ruggedly beautiful and dramatic mountain ranges in the world.
The Lobuche Expedition begins in Kathmandu, an ancient crossroads and a gateway to another world. We spend the first two days settling into the country, visiting Buddhist and Hindu temples, and assembling gear and permits for the upcoming adventure. We then take a mountain flight to Lukla, right in the heart of the Khumbu region. From Lukla, we trek along ancient trails that weave between Sherpa villages and monasteries. The 8-day trek to Base Camp allows us to acclimate to the progressively higher elevations and gain a unique insight into the culture and lifestyle of the Khumbu region.
As a warm-up hike before climbing Lobuche East, the whole group ascends Pokalde (19,049’), surrounded by stunning peaks at an altitude just over a thousand feet shy of Denali (20,310’), the highest peak in North America.
We establish base camp for Lobuche East at a beautiful alpine meadow at 16,240’. The nearby glaciers provide an opportunity to review alpine skills and tighten up our technical systems on our roped-teams. A stunning hike to High Camp (17,716’) prepares us for a one-day push to the summit the following day. The climb itself involves glacier travel and steep alpine ice up to 60°. On summit day, the steeper parts of the climb are normally secured with fixed lines. Following our ascent, we retrace our way through the monasteries and villages of the Khumbu back to the airstrip in Lukla to return to Kathmandu for a well-deserved celebration.
While trekking in the Khumbu, all of our gear will be carried by porters and yaks. Participants trek and climb with daypacks containing their daily essentials (jacket, water, sunscreen, etc.). On the approach, we stay in local tea-houses and in comfortable four-season tents. All meals are prepared by our expedition cook and kitchen staff, combining the amazing local cuisine with American and European favorites. Hygiene and food safety is given a premium by the highly trained staff, who have worked innumerable successful expeditions in the Himalayas. We spend our time in Kathmandu hosted in modern hotels with hot water, toilets, and a gracious staff.
Climbers joining this expedition should have taken a 5-day Mountaineering Course with CMS or an approved comparable course with another guide-service, or have ample personal experience camping, using crampons, ice axe, and climbing glaciated peaks. Prior experience above 15,000’ on such trips as the Mexico Volcanoes, Ecuador Volcanoes, Mont Blanc, or similar types of expeditions is highly recommended.
Participants will have a better experience and be able to participate in all the planned activities having trained cardio-vascular strength through uphill hiking, running, cycling, or mountain biking, as well as a daily regimen of core-strengthening exercises such as push-ups, pull-ups, squats, yoga, cross-fit, etc.
What makes this trip unique? There are a handful of top-quality Himalayan expedition companies and a plethora of lower quality outfitters to choose from. The weather, your ability to acclimate and function at altitude, the itinerary of your trip, and the attentiveness of your guides are the four main factors in your chances for success. CMS is not a cookie-cutter, mass production company. We don’t send multitudes of people up the same mountain over and over again. Colorado Mountain School offers a unique opportunity to climb in the Himalaya with our guide Japhy Dhungana. Raised in his native country of Nepal, Japhy has extensive experience guiding and climbing across the Himalayas, and in addition to his skills as a rock and alpine guide, you can rely on him to translate the invaluable local cultural knowledge and languages for you with ease. All of our guides are highly skilled and bring a wealth of experience; they are fun, intelligent, worldly, educated, certified, and they provide an unsurpassed level of attention to their clients.
Day 1-3: Depart the U.S. and arrive in Kathmandu. Tour Kathmandu.
Day 4: Trek briefing and preparation day.
Day 5: Fly to Lukla (9,468’), trek to Phakding (8661’)
Day 6: Trek Phakding to Namche Bazaar (11,286’)
Day 7: Rest day in Namche Bazaar and local excursion
Day 8: Trek Namche Bazaar to Tengboche (12,696’)
Day 9: Trek from Tengboche to Dingboche (14,468’)
Day 10: Rest day in Dingboche
Day 11: Trek from Dingboche to Lobuche (16,108’)
Day 12: Trek from Lobuche to Gorakshep (16,929’)
Day 13: Acclimatization hike of Pokalde (19,049’) and down to Lobuche Base Camp (16,108’)
Day 14: Trek to Lobuche East Base Camp (16,240’), alpine skills review
Day 15: Trek from Base Camp to High Camp (17,716)
Day 16: Summit Lobuche East (20,075’) and back to Base Camp (16,240’)
Day 17: Summit contingency day
Day 18: Trek Base Camp to Pheriche (13,920’)
Day 19: Trek Pheriche to Tengboche (12,696’)
Day 20: Trek Tengboche to Monjo (9,219’)
Day 21: Trek Monjo to Lukla (9,468’)
Day 22: Early morning flight back to Kathmandu
Day 23-24: Return to the U.S.
· $1,050 deposit due with an accepted application
· Balance due 120 days before Day 1 of trip
Expedition Cancellation Policy:
· A non-refundable $100 application fee will not be refunded from your initial deposit.
· 100% (minus application fee) will be refunded 120 days prior to trip start.
· 50% (minus application fee) will be refunded 91 to 119 days before trip start.
· 25% (minus application fee) will be refunded 46 to 90 days before trip start.
· 0% will be refunded 0 to 45 days before trip start.