After leaving Gowa, the team climbed the steep rock path to Bimthang, a small village set in heavy clouds. The next morning we awoke to a clear sky and were greeted with a 360 view of towering snowy peaks around us.
There, we spent two nights recovering and acclimating with steeper hikes in preparation for the pass.
Afterwards, we set on to pitch our Hilleberg tents half way up the pass at 3930 m (12,890 ft) for the evening to ensure that the team has acclimated for the long day ahead. Waking up at 4 am the next morning, we had our pojaa (a Buddhist ceremony performed by the monks for safety in the mountains) for the pass and set foot with the light of our headlamps.
Hours later the team came over the pass all in good health with no altitude issues. On a frozen lake we organized gear for the climbers. We said our goodbyes and left Lonnie, Pascale, and Chris at Larke basecamp.
The rest of the team headed for Samdo, the nearest village where we are to wait for the mountaineers return.
Upon waking this morning, we were greeted by Chris with news from the mountain. Lonnie left early this morning in hopes of reaching Larke’s high camp. His plan is to attempt the summit solo tomorrow and make it back to basecamp by evening, weather permitting. He took his climbing gear and his SOL bivvy bag for sleeping in. Both Chris and Pascale suffered from a stomach bug, preventing them from attempting the climb in which Chris came down to the lower village with both the news and images we share with you now. Pascale remained at basecamp to manage Lonnie’s solo climb and will return to Samdo with him in a few days.
As we are climbing further and higher into the Himalayas, the connectivity is minimal. We will be updating as much as the connection in these remote villages allow and appreciate your understanding and concerns. Upward!