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  Sherpa Woman Climbing Workshop: Final dispatch Sherpa Woman Climbing Workshop


Being back down in the tiny village of Chukung after our climb of Island Peak, we decided to take a 'shortcut' to Lobuche by crossing the Kongma La pas. This 5500m high pass offers on the east side a long, remote and very rewarding hike through friendly meadows, past beautiful lakes and up a short, rocky climb to the top. On the west side of the pass we rapidly dropped down to the large and rugged Kumbu glacier. It's a large rock covered glacier with a few icy ponds, where the trail cut across the glacier, with highs and lows leading us eventually to the village of Lobuche.

 

The next day we continued our way west and had an easy day of walking to the two-teahouse settlement of Dzongla, where most trekkers spend the night before crossing the Cho La pas from the Khumbu to the Gokyo valley. The views of Tawache, Cholatse and Lobuche (East) were truly spectacular.  The next morning we started of in mist and fog, but soon the mountain sun burned off this gray cover, revealing the beautiful Cho La pas and the peaks surrounding it. The climb up the rocky slopes on the eastside was a little steep but quick, and the snow-covered pass itself had a good and straightforward trail leading to the top. Clouds rolled in and quickly absorbed the peaks on the Gokyo side, leaving us without views on the long, but mostly gentle way down to the village of Dragnag. Crossing the moraines of the largest (Ngozumpa) glacier in Nepal on our next day, was made easy by a good trail leading all the way up to Gokyo, our next stop.

 

We rose early the following morning and made our way up the grassy and rocky slopes of 5360m high Gokyo Ri. The weather was perfect and the view from the top spectacular. Gokyo Ri is in the Gokyo valley -like 5545m high Kala Pattar in the Khumbu valley- a major viewing point and many trekkers make their way up for a great view of Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, Cho Oyu, Nuptse, Tawache, Cho Latse, Pumori and many more Himalayan giants!

 

After a last good meal at the gorgeous lake village of Gokyo we continued our way down past Machermo and stayed the night in Lhusa. This made our next day down to Namche Bazaar a little shorter and gave us the opportunity to take the brand-new Khumbu trail from Mongla, through Khumjung to Namche. The manmade, rock staircase before Khumjung is truly spectacular and saves a drop down and a climb back up.

 

In Namche the Summitclimb International Ama Dablam 2005 expedition welcomed us and together we walked out to Lukla the next day.

 

Looking back on this first Sherpa Woman Climbing Workshop, I think it has been a very enjoyable and educational experience. The two sherpa woman -Kandu Sherpa and Nima Doma Sherpa- increased their glacier travel and climbing experience and they taught me more about Sherpa customs and culture. We look forward to further cooperation and working together with the Sherpa Women of Nepal in 2006.

 

Thank you very much for following our story! Yours sincerely, from Elselien te Hennepe and all of us at the Sherpa Women's Climbing Workshop.

 

Earlier Update and background

 

 

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