Day 184 (1): E.B.C. trek day 10, Watching sunrise from Kala Patthar (5550m)

Gorak Shep Travel Blog

 › entry 224 of 260 › view all entries
Nuptse at sunrise

Thanks to the people I met here and/or travelled with: John (Scotland), Kirsten (Australia), Matt (Australia) & Helen (UK)

At 4.30 I got out of bed and dressed myself in as many layers of clothing as I could. It was freezing cold, even when wearing longjohns, trousers, waterproof pants, thermal pyjamas, two T-shirts, a longsleeve, two fleeces, a wind proof jacket, two pairs of fleece gloves, mittens, a fleece scarf and a woolly hat.
In pitch black darkness we started the climb to the top of Kala Patthar to watch the sun rise over Everest.

Without wanting to sound too dramatic, this is probably the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. Climbing up the steep mountain in these oxygen deprived and cold conditions is incredibly hard. Every three steps I had to stop and catch my breath.

At the top of Kala Patthar


I made it to the top though. In fact, John and I were amongst the first to make it to the top (although we were beaten by our guides, who did a bit of showing off by sprinting the last part to the top). Crawling down on the narrow and windy rocks to take some pictures, the views were amazing, even if Everest was still shrouded in clouds. 360 degrees around us there were massive snowcapped peaks: Lobuche, Changri, Chumbu, Pumo Ri, Lingtren, Khumbutse, Changtse, Everest, Nuptse, Ama Dablam - all peaks over 6000 metres high.

I had wanted to stay up at Kala Patthar until the sun had reached above the mountain tops. I expected the weather to clear between 7 and 8, as it had done so the previous days. But it was just too freezing cold to stay at the windy mountain top.
Everest showing herself
Besides, more and more people were coming up, all wanting to snap a photo at the small rocky outcrop at the top, so the four of us decided to start walking down.

Halfway down we caught up with an English/Australian couple we had met the previous day, Matt and Helen. As the clouds seemed to be lifting and the sun had slowly started to warm up the atmosphere, we decided to wait a while for Everest to show itself. Although the views were marginally less than from the top of the mountain, it was still bloody impressive to see the near-perfect pyramid of Everest appear above the ridge of Nuptse.

I know it sounds cliché, but this was the highlight of the trek. Both literally and figuratively.

Biedjee says:
Oh yeah!
Posted on: Nov 03, 2010
relayer says:
Did you break out ye olde thermal underwear for this trip?
Posted on: Nov 03, 2010
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Nuptse at sunrise
Nuptse at sunrise
At the top of Kala Patthar
At the top of Kala Patthar
Everest showing herself
Everest showing herself
Nuptse and Everest in the early mo…
Nuptse and Everest in the early m…
Everest in the clouds
Everest in the clouds
View south from Kala Patthar
View south from Kala Patthar
Ama Dablam
Ama Dablam
Glacial lakes down below
Glacial lakes down below
180 degree panorama from Kala Patt…
180 degree panorama from Kala Pat…
Panorama from Kala Patthar: Pumo R…
Panorama from Kala Patthar: Pumo …
John in front of Pumo Ri
John in front of Pumo Ri
Lobutse Peak and Changri (I think)
Lobutse Peak and Changri (I think)
Everest showing herself
Everest showing herself
View to the west from Kala Patthar
View to the west from Kala Patthar
view to the south from Kala Patthar
view to the south from Kala Patthar
Pumo Ri
Pumo Ri
Last view of Puno Ri as we descend…
Last view of Puno Ri as we descen…
Some more mountains
Some more mountains
Looking down to Gorak Shep from Ka…
Looking down to Gorak Shep from K…
Everest and Nuptse seen from Kala …
Everest and Nuptse seen from Kala…
Vista on the way down
Vista on the way down
South of Kala Patthar
South of Kala Patthar
Video from the top of Kala Patthar
Gorak Shep
photo by: Biedjee