Nepal - Kangchenjunga trek

 

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Day 12 - Kambachen to Jannu base camp and back (continued)

Further along some cairns mark the crossing of the scree and the descent onto the glacier but I don't go past the scree (because all the others have stopped way before….can't quite understand why). I am sitting about 500 m from the face of Jannu (7710m, also sometimes called Khumbakarna), towering almost 3000m above me. It's pretty mind blowing and I fail to understand how someone could climb (and want to climb) that direct route as it was done for the first time last May (2004).
You also get views of Kangchenjunga when looking to the left of Jannu (but you need to go as far as I went and not stop at the base camp). I sit here for a long time (again, sense of duty makes me go back after the group, I could have sat there all day) watching the avalanches go by….
The descent to Kambachen takes about 2 hours. Need to be careful to keep to the right hand (northern) hill side as some paths go over to the southern ridge (I think that this is the snow alternative path to the landslide which I wrote about in Day 11) as well as down to the left bank of the river towards Ghunsa. The one plank bridge is still covered in ice on our way back, I have made sure that no one crosses it without someone being present just in case they'd fall into the icy river. Even though it would not be much of a fall (less than a meter) you would get a nice case of hypothermia on your hands. Mercifully everybody gets across safely. Kambachen is grey, damp and a little cold.

 

Day 13 - Kambachen to Lhonak

Slow walk by the group's standards. It clouds over on the way but we manage to get fine views of Wedge Peak, Kangbachen and Ramtong glacier during our lunch break in Ramtang. Great views of the Kangchenjunga glacier before reaching Lhonak. Nice flat camp but we are in the clouds and I think that it will be cold.
All agree to staying in Lhonak and only going  to Pang Pema as a day trip. They are all concerned about the cold and so is our sirdar because there is no good shelter for the porters at Pang Pema. Nobody is interested in going to 6000m or whatever height is possible from Pang Pema (some have been higher in the past, the others don't care) so the matter is very quickly settled.

The later part of the afternoon is spent watching the clouds and light playing over the Kangchenjunga glacier.

 

 

 

Jannu and the Jannu (or Kambachen) glacier

 

Jannu (on the right) and Kangchenjunga peaking up on the left

 

 
 
 

A huge boulder below which the Hindu shrine is located

 

 

Me just sitting there

 

 

Crossing a short snow filed on the way to Lhonak

 

 

The Lhonak valley

 

 

Kangchenjunga glacier with Tent Peak and Nepal Peak

 

 

Kangchenjunga glacier and Wedge Peak (left of centre)

 

 

Our camp in Lhonak

 

 
Clouds play

 

 

Clouds play on the glacier

 

 
Chorten on the glacial moraine with Tent Peak and Nepal Peak in the background

 

 

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