Climbing Lobuche Mountain
Near to the Khumbu Glacier is a mountain in Nepal by the name of Lobuche. The mountain consists of two major peaks, of which Lobuche East stands at a height of 6 145 meters, which is approximately twenty-six meters higher than Lobuche West. On the other side of the ridge is Lobuche Far East. Laurence Neilson together with Sherpa Ang Gyalzen, were the first climbers documented to have taken on Lobuche East in 1984. There are a few facts that climbers should keep in mind when planning to climb either one of these peaks.
Because of its height, Lobuche East is the most popular peak for climbers, but is also the most difficult and technically challenging peaks amongst the group that surrounds it. There are various routes up to the summit, but the South East Ridge route is generally taken. To get to the mountain, hikers can either fly to Lukla, and trek from there to the basecamp, or travel to Jiri and then undertake a thirteen day trek, which is a much longer option. The best times to climb the Himalayan ranges is either between the months of April to May, and then again from October to November. No trekking permits are needed, but a climbing permit will be required, and mountaineers can purchase their permits in Kathmandu.
Due to the difficulty level of the climb, it is recommended that a guide leads climbers to the summit. Professional guides will have vital safety gear with them, such as a Gamow Bag, which is a hyperbaric chamber for climbers suffering from altitude sickness, as well as an oxygen cylinder and a satellite phone in case of emergency. It is recommended that the climb is not rushed and that time is spent at each camp, such as the Lobuche Base Camp, Namche and Dingboche to give the body time to acclimatize. The mountain does allow for gradual acclimatization, and climbers are advised to take these opportunities. Altitude sickness will lead to not being able to sleep, severe headaches and nausea.
Traveling with a reputable mountain climbing operator is the safest way to conquer Lobuche, as they will ensure the safety of each climber and are very familiar with the routes. Lobuche is most definitely a very challenging peak, and is a recommended climb for experienced mountaineers. It is not only one of Nepal’s most difficult climbs, but also one of the most beautiful, including a few cultural adventures and experiences along the way.