Taplejung to Jiri (October-November 2012):

8. Hongu basin to Namche across Amphu Lapsta (3 days)

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The day following our crossing of Sherpani and West Cols we did a relatively short hike across moraines of the Hongu basin and moved our camp to the base of Amphu Lapsta col, where we spent our last night in a tent. The next day we crossed Amphu Lapsta (5845m) and reached Chukhung, where we slept in a lodge. We hiked to Namche in one more day. The ascent to Amphu Lapsta was particularly beautiful, with ice and snow forming an unusual staged arrangement of terraces. The descent from the pass offered stunning views over Lhotse (8414m) and its surrounding glaciers. However, there were three large guided groups crossing Amphu Lapsta on the same day as us, who had arrived from Mera La. So, there were too many people on the pass. Fortunately, Nyima Gyaltshen left very early in the morning to set up a rope for the descent and our much smaller group was able to complete the crossing ahead of the other groups.

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Across the moraines of the Hongu basin, with Amphu Lapsta in the background.

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The ice and snow ′terraces′ on the way up to Amphu Lapsta.

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View over Lhotse (8414m) from Amphu Lapsta.

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Looking back at the Hongu basin from the pass.

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The steep descent from Amphu Lapsta.

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Another view of Lhotse, with Island peak (6189m) barely distinguishable in the foreground.

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Cholatse (6335m) seen from the Chukhung valley.

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A nice smiling face in Chukhung.

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Summit of Ama Dablam lit by the morning sun as seen below Chukhung.

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Lhotse in the morning sun while descending from Chukhung toward Pangboche.

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A more classical view of Ama Dablam from Somare.

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Mountain goat along the trail.

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Since the beginning of this trip, we had seen very few porters (except our own). Reaching the main trails of Khumbu brings back familiar scenes of porters carrying all kinds of odd loads.

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High peaks seen through low clouds before reaching Namche.

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Upon reaching Namche, it became obvious that we were back to civilization. The hottest items on sale in the streets were TP (left), kleenex (middle) and tampax (right)!

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In the evening we celebrated our success on the 3 cols in the lodge of Ang Karma′s cousin, over whisky and coke, and an unusually rich dal bhat.

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On the next day all members of the group, except Ang Karma, Lhakpa, and me, descended to Lukla. Some returned to Kathmandu immediately. Others visited their families in their native villages of Solu. Ang Karma, Lhakpa, and I spent a day of rest in Namche. On the following day, Ang Karma hiked down to Lukla and flew back to Kathmandu. Lhakpa and I started final 5-day trek to Jiri.

 

Other parts of the trek:

1.   Taplejung to Olangchun Gola (4 days)

2.  Olangchun Gola (1 day)

3.  Crossing Lumba Samba pass (3 days)

4.  Tudham to Hongon (3 days)

5.  Hongon to Yangla Kharka (5 days)

6.  Yangla Kharka to Sherpani Col High Camp (4 days)

7.  Crossing of Sherpani and West Cols (1 day)

8.  Hongu basin to Namche across Amphu Lapsta (3 days)

9.  Namche to Jiri (5 days)

 

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