Kyajo Ri

October-November 2006

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In October 2006, I returned to Nepal for the 6th time, with the goal to climb Kyajo Ri (6186m), a peak located a few kilometers west of Everest. This climb was guided by Kathy Cosley and Mark Houston. Ang Karma (Windhorse Trekking) organized the logistics. In addition to Kathy, Mark and me, the climbing team included Matt Scott (also from Stanford) and Emery Dameron (from San Francisco). The photo below shows Matt (left), me, Kathy, Emery (center right) and Mark (right), along with our support staff from Windhorse Trekking.

Some pictures on this site have been taken by Mark and Matt. Mark′s website contains many other photos.

 

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Our trip started and ended in Lukla. We began with an acclimatization trek around Kyajo-Ri, through Gokyo lakes (and an ascent of Gokyo Ri, 5360), Renjo Pass (5345m), and Thame (shown with blue dots in the map). Our approach and ascent route of Kyajo Ri is shown with red dots. To get a full resolution map, click on the map.

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Landing in Lukla

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A log of the number of trekkers per year and month entering Sagarmatha (Everest) National Park

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Namche Bazar, the ′capital′ of the Sherpas

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A view of Everest from the hill between Namche Bazar and Khumjung

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Autumn colors on the trail near Phortse Tenga

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A first view of Kyajo Ri from Machhermo

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View of Cho Oyu from the village of Gokyo

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View of Dudh Pokhari (one of the Gokyo lakes) while climbing Gokyo Ri, with the village of Gokyo on its shore and Cholatse in the background

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View of Everest while climbing Gokyo Ri

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Frozen prayer flags at the summit of Gokyo Ri

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View of Dudh Pokhari while ascending Renjo Pass, with Everest in the background

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Renjo Pass

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View from Langden village

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Terraces along Bhote Kushi river, near Marulung

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Another view of Kyajo Ri (West face). Here, we can see the line of our ascent (just above the 45dg line in the snow)

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Woman in Thame

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Boudhist paintings along the trail between Thame and Samda

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The canyon of the Thesebu Khola river at Thamo village. The trail to Kyajo Drangka, the hidden valley to the south of Kyajo Ri, is on the right, much above the canyon.

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Mende village and Kongde Ri in the background

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An Impeyen pheasant (Nepal′s national bird)

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From Mende, the trail climbs steeply above the canyon of the Thesebu Khola river

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A view of the trail

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Kyajo Drangka, the hidden valley to the south of Kyajo Ri, when we arrived. We set up our base camp there

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Our base camp

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The first headwall at the end of Kyajo Drangka, on the way to high camp

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Kyajo Drangka seen from the top of the first headwall

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The valley above the first headwall. Kyajo Ri is the peak in the middle. The second headwall on the route to high camp is at the end of the valley slightly to the right.

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Looking at the previous valley from the top of the headwall

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High camp with Kyajo Ri in the background. Our route will traverse the glacier on the left, then ascend to the pass, and finally climb Kyajo Ri. The last section is mostly on snow.

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Another view of Kyajo Ri (and the pass on the left). We did the final push to the summit on November 1st. The round-trip between the high camp and the summit took us 16 hours non-stop (10 to reach the summit and 6 to return to the camp).

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Crossing a rock section below the pass

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Reaching the pass

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At the pass

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View toward the summit from the pass. The view is somewhat misleading: it took us about 6 hours to reach the summit from there!

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Kathy and I above the pass

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Matt and Emery just above the main rock section

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Still climbing... More and more clouds

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Kathy and me on a steeper section

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Kathy and I getting closer to the summit

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Emery and Matt at the summit

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Starting the descent: Kathy lowering me down, with Mark watching

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After the ascent of Kyajo Ri we returned to Lukla and flew to Kathmandu. We had three more days in Nepal, so we went to Chitwan National Park (a first for me). These are some photos of this short trip.

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