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
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.
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.