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Bhutan to Nepal

over the Himalayas

September 24th Bhutan to Nepal

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from left Cho Oyu, Ngozumpa Kang II 7743m(white rounded one), Lobuche Ost (lower, directly in front Gyanchung), Gyanchung Kang 7952m (higher point, mid pic), Pumo Ri 7161m, Ama Dablam 6856m, Nuptse (ridge), Everest, Lhotse, Lhotse Shar, Shartse, Peak 41, Baruntse, Kangchungtse
We left fairly promptly in the morning (after a ridiculous contretemps regarding paying £8 for a bottle of wine- their card machine didn’t work- their fault clearly, and we hadn’t been able to get Bhutanese money- not our fault as the ATMs don’t work, and they wouldn’t accept any other currency. They suggested we ask another guest to pay our bill!! Luckily our guide paid for us, but well....)

Anyhow, we drove to the airport and before long were on the flight back to Kathmandu. As we took off we saw Dobji Dzong, considered to be the first Dzong in Bhutan. The name Dogar, which means white border, is a reference to the “Five White Boulders” in the village of Dogar. The Dobji was built in 1531 by Ngawang Chogyal, the brother of Chojie Drukpa kuenley (Divine Madman). Legend has it that Ngawang Chogyal followed the spring originating below the throne of Jetsun Milarepa in Tibet to a rock located on the current location of Dobji Dzong, which was then chosen for its religious significance. Again it was a clear day and we had spectacular views of the Himalayas, including Kangchenjunga (3rd highest in world), Makalu (4th highest), Everest (highest), Lhotse (2nd highest) and Cho Oyu (5th highest), not to mention a host of other peaks. The order we passed was Kangchenjunga group (separate from the others); far away Tibet-Bhutan Himalayas (highest point Kangchendzonga) leading to the Tibetan Plain, Chomo Lonzo, Chamlang (steep right slope), Makalu (tallest point in group), Kanchungtse (Makalu II), Tutse/ Peak 6, Baruntse, Lhotse Shar-tse Lhotse, Everest, Nuptse, (Changtse, Khumbutse), Pumo Ri, Ama Dablam (inc Peak 41/ Mera), Gyachung Kang, Lobuche (lower, in front Gyachung), small gap, Tenzing Peak/ Ngozumpa Kang, Cho Oyu, gap, Kangtega (bulbous), Lunag Ri massif (Melungtse, Gaurishankar), foothills to Kathmandu.
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1. Kan(g)chenjunga, the world’s 3rd highest mountain, has 5 peaks (Main, Central, South, West, Kangbachen). It rises 8,586m in the Kangchenjunga Himal part of the Himalayas. Until the 1852 Trigonometrical Survey of India, Kangchenjunga was thought to be the highest, but it became clear that Everest, then known as Peak XV, was higher. Four main glaciers radiate from the peak, Zemu (the largest), Talung, Yalung, Kangchen. There are 120 glaciers in the Kanchenjunga Himal. The name Kanchinjínga (Tibetan ཆང་ཨང་ ཆིན་ ཇིང་, Nepali कंचनजंगा), means “five treasures of the high snow" referring to its 5 peaks. Lhopo people believe the treasures (salt, gold, turquoise/precious stones, sacred scriptures, invincible armour/ ammunition, grain, medicine) are hidden but revealed to the devout when the world is in peril. Kangchenjunga in Limbu is Senjelungma/ Seseylungma, and an abode of the omnipotent goddess Yuma Sammang. Kangchenjunga Main is the highest elevation of the Brahmaputra basin, which is among the largest river basins. Although the 3rd highest peak, Kangchenjunga is only 29th by topographic prominence, a measure of a mountain's independent stature. It is the 4th most prominent peak in the Himalayas, and the mid point of the western and eastern anchors of the Himalayas, Nanga Parbat and Namcha Barwa, respectively. The area around Kangchenjunga is said to be home to a mountain deity, Dzö-nga or Kangchenjunga Demon, a type of yeti or rakshasa. A British expedition in 1925 spotted a bipedal creature which the locals referred to as the "Kangchenjunga Demon". Stories by the original inhabitants, the Lepcha people, and Tibetan cultural tradition in the area around Kanchenjunga, say there is a valley of immortality hidden on its slopes. In Tibet, this valley is known as Beyul Demoshong. In 1962 a Tibetan Lama, Tulshuk Lingpa, led 300 followers into the high snow slopes of Kanchenjunga to ‘open the way’ to Beyul Demoshong (see 2011 book A Step Away from Paradise).
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Kanchenjunga with Zemu Glacier to the right; next page South face and fly-over view
Zemu Glacier is the largest glacier in the Eastern Himalayas. It is 26 km long and located at the base of Kangchenjunga. The Zemu Glacier drains the east side of Kanchenjunga, the world’s third highest mountain. The glacier is the source of water for numerous rivers, as it feeds them when it melts. Zemu Glacier remains a less studied and monitored glacier. The glacier has receded 27m every year 1967-84. The retreat is not massive given the great length of the glacier and a thick layer of debris on the glacier prevents ablation; however, small lakes have formed on the surface of these debris-covered sections. After the Kanchenjunga group there was a section of lower (relatively) until we reached the Makalu and Everest groups.
2. Chamlang is a mountain in the Nepalese Himalayas, near Makalu with an elevation of 7,319 metres.
3. Chomo Lonzo (Chinese Zhūmùlóngsuõ Fēng, Chomolonzo,
Jomolönzo,Lhamalangch o) is in Tibet, 5 km northeast of Makalu in Mahalungur (Mohalingor) or Khumbu Himalayas. Chomo-Lonzo has three distinct summits. The Southern main peak 7804m is joined via a 7250m saddle to the Central peak 7565m, itself joined via a 7050m saddle the mountain is to a 7200m North (North West) peak. While from Nepal to mountain is overpowered by nearby Makalu, the 5th-highest peak, the 3 peaks are a very impressive and dominating sight from Kangshung valley in Tibet. The 3000m high northeast face is a challenge as yet unclimbed. Chomo Lonzo translates to bird goddess and from the East the mountain looks like a 3 km high eagle with spread wings.
4. Makalu is the 5th highest mountain in the world at 8485 m, located in the Mahalangur Himalayas 19 km SE of Everest, on the Nepal-Tibet border. One of the 8000ers, Makalu is an isolated peak whose shape is like a 4-sided pyramid. Makalu has two notable subsidiary peaks, Kangchungtse, or Makalu II 7,678m about 3 km north-northwest of the main summit and Chomo Lonzo rising about 5 km north-northeast of the main summit across a broad plateau (connected to Kangchungtse by a narrow 7,200 m saddle. After this group around Makalu there was a small gap (due mainly to the cloud) before the famous mountains, glaciers and glacial lakes clustered around Mt Everest.
5. Baruntse, in the Khumbu region of eastern Nepal, is crowned by 4 peaks and bounded on the south by the Hunku Glacier, on the east by the Barun Glacier, by the Imja Glacier. 6. Peak 6/ Tutse, Peak 4 (6720m) and Peak 6 (Mount Tutse) 6739m
7. Shar Tse is located in Kosī Zone, Eastern Nepal. The elevation above sea level is 7444m. Imja Tse/ Island Peak was so named because it appears as a sea of ice when viewed from Dingboche. The peak was later renamed in 1983 Imja Tse but Island Peak remains popular. The peak is actually an extension of the ridge coming down off the south end of Lhotse Shar.
Imja Glacier originates on the western face of Kali Himal 7,057m, and skirts the southern slopes of Imja Tse, SE of Everest. It is joined by the Lhotse Shar and Ambulapcha Glaciers. The glacier forms the eastern extent of Imja Tsho (glacial lake), which in turn drains through the Dingboche valley to the Indian Ocean.
8. Lhotse: (Nepali: ल्होत्से; Tibetan: ལྷོཙེ་) is the 4th highest mountain at 8,516 m. Part of the Everest massif, Lhotse is connected to Everest via the South Col. Lhotse means “South Peak” in Tibetan. In addition to the main summit, the mountain comprises the smaller peaks Lhotse Middle (East) at 8,414 m and Lhotse Shar at 8,383 m. The summit is on the border between Tibet and Nepal. The western flank of Lhotse is known as the Lhotse Face. A climber for the South Col on Everest must climb this 1125m wall of glacial blue ice, which rises 40-50° with occasional 80° bulges. Lhotse Middle is a subsidiary peak to Lhotse, and the final 8000er climbed. It is a sharp, jagged peak rising 8,410m, and the most difficult peak over 8000m to climb. Lhotse Shar is a subsidiary mountain of Lhotse, and the 11th-highest mountain at 8,383 m. It has the highest fatality rate of all the eight-thousanders – for every two people who summit the mountain, one person dies.
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from left Nuptse (ridge), Everest, Lhotse
9. Everest: Nepali Sagarmatha (सगरमाथा), Tibetan Chomolungma (ཇོ་མོ་གླང་མ), is Earth's highest mountain, located in the Mahalangur Himal sub-range of the Himalayas. The border between Nepal-Tibet runs across its summit. In 1865, Everest was given its official English name by the Royal Geo-graphical Society (recommended by Andrew Waugh, British Surveyor General of India). As there were several local names, Waugh chose the name of his predecessor, Sir George Everest. Wanting to preserve local names Kangchenjunga and Dhaulagiri, Waugh's search for a local name was hampered by Nepal and Tibet's exclusion of foreigners. Many local names existed, such as Deodungha (Holy Mountain) and Tibetan Chomolungma, which appeared on a 1733 map by French geographer D'Anville. In the 19th century, European cartographers believed the native name was Gaurishankar, in fact a mountain between Kathmandu and Everest. Tibetan for Everest is ཇོ་མོ་གླང་མ (Holy Mother or Qomolangma (Chomolungma/ Jo-mo-glang- ma/ Jomo Langma).
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from right Baruntse, Peak 41, Shartse, Lhotse Shar, Lhotse, Everest, Nuptse, Ama Dablam 6856, Pumo Ri 7161, Gyanchung Kang 7952 (higher point, mid pic), Lobuche Ost (lower, directly in front Gyanchung), Ngozumpa Kang II 7743 (very white rounded one), Cho Oyu (steepish left slope), Kangtega 6783 (pictures show same mountains at different journey points)
The official Chinese is Zhūmùlǎngmǎ Fēng, infrequently translated into Chinese as Shèngmǔ Fēng (Holy Mother Peak). In 2002, the Chinese People's Daily newspaper published an article against "Mt Everest", insisting the mountain should be Mt Qomolangma, based on the local Tibetan name. The article argued that British colonialists did not "discover" the mountain, as it was known to Tibetans and mapped by the Chinese as "Qomolangma" in 1719. In 1960, the Nepalese government gave the name Sagarmāthā/ Sagar-Matha सागर-मथ्था, goddess of the sky for Everest. The southern part of Everest is regarded as one of several hidden valleys designated by Padmasambhava, a 9th century "lotus- born" Buddhist saint. At the base of the north side lies Rongbuk Monastery, the sacred threshold to Mt Everest. For Sherpas living on the slopes of Everest in the Khumbu region of Nepal, Rongbuk is an important pilgrimage, a few days across the Himalayas through Nangpa La. Miyolangsangma, a Tibetan Buddhist Goddess of Inexhaustible Giving, is believed to live at the top of Everest. According to Sherpa Buddhist monks, Everest is Miyolangsangma's palace/ playground, and climbers are only partially welcome, having arrived without invitation. The Sherpa people believe Everest is blessed with spiritual energy, and one should show reverence when passing through this sacred landscape as the karmic effects of one's actions are magnified. There are 2 main climbing routes, southeast in Nepal (standard route) and north in Tibet. While not posing substantial technical climbing challenges, Everest presents dangers such as altitude sickness, weather, wind, avalanches and Khumbu Icefall. Nearly 300 people have died on Everest, many of whose bodies remain on the mountain. By 2015 pollution, especially human waste, has reached critical levels with 26,500 pounds of human excrement left on the mountain each season, strewn across the route to the summit. The problem of human waste is compounded by the presence of spent oxygen tanks, abandoned tents, empty cans and bottles. The Nepalese government now requires each climber to pack 8kg of waste when descending.
10. Nuptse or Nubtse (Sherpa: ཎུཔ་ ཙེ་; Wylie: Nub rtse) is a mountain in the Khumbu region of the Mahalangur Himal, in the Nepalese Himalayas. It lies 2 km WSW of Everest. Nubtse is Tibetan for "west peak", as it is the western segment of the Lhotse-Nubtse massif. The summit of Nuptse is extremely dangerous due to loose snow with a lot of hollows, and weakly attached cornices of snow. The long east- west trending main ridge is crowned by 7 peaks. While Nuptse is a dramatic peak when viewed from the south or west, and it towers above the base camp for the standard south col route on Everest, it is not a particularly independent peak.
11. Pumori (Nepali परिवर्मी) or Pumo Ri is a mountain on the Nepal-Tibet border in the Mahalangur section of the Himalayas, just 8 km west of Everest. Pumori, meaning “the Mountain Daughter” was named by George Mallory. “Pumo” means young girl/ daughter and “Ri” means mountain. Climbers sometimes refer to it as Everest’s daughter, but Mallory called it Clare Peak, after his daughter. Pumori is a popular climbing peak. An outlier of Pumori is Kala Patthar (5,643m), which appears as a brown bump of the south face of Pumori.
12. Ama Dablam is a mountain in the east Nepal Himalaya range. The main peak is 6,812m, the lower western peak is 6,170m. Ama Dablam means "Mother's necklace"; the long ridges on each side like the arms of a mother (ama) protecting her child, and the hanging glacier the dablam, the traditional double-pendant containing pictures of the gods, worn by Sherpa women. Ama Dablam is the 3rd most popular Himalayan peak for climbing. The most popular route is the Southwest Ridge (right skyline in photo). Climbers set up camps along the ridge with camp 3 just below and to the right of the hanging Dablam glacier. Any ice that calves off the glacier typically goes left, away from the camp.
13. Peak 41 (True Mera Peak) 6648m, located 8.5km N-NE of its famous lower neighbour Mera Peak (6476m), one of the most popular “trekking peaks" in Nepal. Peak 41 has a prominence of approx. 850m. Its parent mountain is Ama Dablam.
14. Khumbutse (Chinese: 坤布崎峰 Kūnbùzī Fēng); Nepali खुम्बटट; is the first mountain west (6 km) of Everest. It lies at the border between Nepal and China. Khumbutse's name indicates its location at the head of the Khumbu valley, down which the Khumbu Glacier flows.
15. Changtse (Tibetan: "north peak") is situated between the Main Rongbuk and East Rongbuk Glaciers in Tibet, immediately north of Everest. It is connected to Mount Everest via the North Col. Changtse Glacier flows north into the East Rongbuk Glacier. It is possible that the third highest lake in the world is in the Changtse Glacier at 6,216 m.
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Khumbu Icefall
Khumbu Icefall is an icefall located at the head of Khumbu Glacier and the foot of the Western Cwm, at an altitude of 5,486 m on the Nepali slopes of Mount Everest, not far above Base Camp and southwest of the summit. The icefall is considered one of the most dangerous stages of the South Col route to Everest's summit. Khumbu glacier forms an icefall and moves at such speed that large crevasses open with little warning, and the large towers of ice (seracs) found at the icefall have been known to collapse suddenly. Huge blocks of ice tumble down the glacier from time to time, their size ranging from that of cars to large houses. It is estimated that the glacier advances 0.9 to 1.2 m down the mountain every day. Most climbers try to cross the icefall during the very early morning, before sunrise, when it has partially frozen during the night. As the intense sunlight warms the area, the friction between the ice structure lessens and increases the chances of crevasses opening or blocks of ice falling. Strong climbers can ascend the icefall in a few hours, while climbers going through it for the first time, or lacking experience, tend to make the journey in 10–12 hours.
16. Gyachung Kang (Nepali: गय् ाचुङ्काङ, Gy'chung K'ng; Chinese Gézhòngk'ng F#ng) 7,952m is a mountain in the Mahalangur Himal section of the Himalaya, and the highest peak between Cho Oyu (8,201 m) and Everest (8,848 m). It lies on the border between Nepal and China. As the 15th highest peak in the world, it is also the highest peak under 8000 m; hence it is less well-known than the lowest of the eight- thousanders, which are only about 100 m higher. The peak's lack of significant prominence (700 m) also contributes to its relative obscurity.
17. Lobuche (Lobuje) is a Nepalese mountain close to Khumbu Glacier. There are two main peaks, Lobuche East (6,119m) and Lobuche West (6,145m). As the easier, trekking peak, the East peak is climbed far more frequently than the West peak. Between the two peaks is a long deeply notched ridge.
18. Tenzing Peak/ Ngozumpa Kang is the name which has been proposed by the Government of Nepal for a 7,916m peak in the Himalayas in honour of Tenzing Norgay, who made the first ascent of Everest with Edmund Hillary in 1953. It is also known as Ngojumba Kang, Ngozumpa Kang and Ngojumba Ri. Ngozumpa glacier, below Cho Oyu, at 36 kilometres, is the longest glacier in the Himalayas. Ngozumpa Glacier is a large persistent body of ice. It flows slowly due to stresses induced by its weight.
19. Cho Oyu (Nepali: चो ओयु; Tibetan: ཆོ་ ཨོཡུ་) is the 6th highest mountain in the world at 8,188 m. Cho Oyu means Turquoise Goddess in Tibetan. The mountain is the westmost major peak of the Khumbu sub section of the Mahalangur Himalaya 20km west of Everest on the China-Nepal border. Just 2 km west of Cho Oyu is Nangpa La 5,716m, a glaciated pass that is the main trading route between Tibet and Khumbu's Sherpas as it separates the Khumbu and Rolwaling Himalayas. Due to its proximity to this pass and the moderate slopes of the northwest ridge, Cho Oyu is considered the easiest 8,000 metre peak to climb.
20. Kangtega, aka The Snow Saddle, is a major mountain peak of the Himalayas in Nepal. Its summit rises 6,782 metres

After this group there was quite a gap, followed by a set of mountains in the Rolwaling Himal section of the Himalayas. The two major mountains in this group, which crosses the Nepal-Tibet-India border, are Gaurishankar and Melungtse.
21.Gaurishankar (Gauri Sankar; Devanagari गौरीशंकर; Tibetan: Jomo Tseringma) is a mountain in the Himalayas, the 2nd highest peak of the Rolwaling Himal, behind Melungtse (7,181m). The name comes from the Hindu goddess Gauri, a manifestation of Durga, and her Consort Shankar, denoting the sacred regard to which it is afforded it by the peoples of Tibet and Nepal. The Buddhist Sherpas call the mountain Jomo Tseringma. The Nepal Standard Time (GMT+05:45) is based on the meridian of this mountain peak. The mountain has two summits, the northern (higher) summit being called Shankar (a manifestation of Shiva) and the southern summit being called Gauri (a manifestation of Durga). It rises dramatically above the Bhote Kosi only 5 km away, and is protected on all sides by steep faces and long, corniced ridges.
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Melungtse(r) and Gaurishankar(l); glacier
22. Melungtse (Tibetan Jobo Garu; Chinese Qiáogérú F#ng) is the highest mountain of the Rolwaling Himal in the Himalayas at 7181 m and 40 km west of Everest.
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Main summit in background, Melungtse II left peak on the ridge.
The peak has a long summit ridge capped by the east (main) summit and the west summit, known as Melungtse II 7,023m. The mountain's steep faces make it more difficult than its elevation would suggest. Melungtse lies just north of the Nepal–Tibet border, on a western spur ridge coming out of the main north-south trending ridge of the Rolwaling Himal, in Tingri County, Shigatse Prefecture of Tibet. To the southwest, across the Menlung Chu, lies Gauri Sankar, which, though a bit lower (7134 m), is more visible from Nepal and better known.
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Western Everest range; from left Lunag Ri massif (multiple points mid to far left), Kangtega (bulbous point mid pic), Cho Oyu, Ngozumpa Kang II, Gyachung Kang
We landed mid morning back in Kathmandu, found our cases (no carousel, just abandoned) and were collected by a new guide, Keshav (or KK as he preferred). On our way back to the Hotel Vaishali again we stopped at a photo booth for a new photo for the Tibet visa because the Chinese Embassy had decided that all photos now needed to be in a different format, rather than passport size (and apparently needed to see ears in the photos!?). Back finally at the hotel we met some new companions Amy and Michael. KK asked if we’d like a walk through Old Kathmandu to Durbar Square to witness the Indra Kumari Jatra festivals. Naturally I jumped at the chance, so the 6 of us set off.

Posted by PetersF 07:27 Archived in Nepal Tagged himalayas nepal bhutan kathmandu

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