Paul Pottinger’s Adventures from the Top of the World

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Lobuche East False Summit

Everest 2016  •  April 12

We had an amazing climb.  Certainly very different from last year, with bare slabs at the start and bulletproof sun cups up high.  Tougher than last time, and a better experience for me overall.  We performed well, and I think we passed this test in high style.

Highlight for me was definitely talking to Zoe from the summit.

Leaving LHC at 4 AM, like walking along a very cold, dark beach. (GoPro screenshot)
Leaving LHC at 4 AM, like walking along a very cold, dark beach. (GoPro screenshot)
Making progress on the slabs. (GoPro screenshot)
Making progress on the slabs. (GoPro screenshot)
At a break on the slabs, shortly after dawn.
At a break on the slabs, shortly after dawn.
The slabs just after dawn. (GoPro screenshot)
The slabs just after dawn. (GoPro screenshot)
Occasional scrambling, nothing we can't handle. (GoPro screenshot)
Occasional scrambling, nothing we can’t handle. (GoPro screenshot)
Doing it in big boots makes the day spicy. (GoPro screenshot)
Doing it in big boots makes the day spicy. (GoPro screenshot)
Ang Karma and Steven making progress. (GoPro screenshot)
Ang Karma and Steven making progress. (GoPro screenshot)
Steven completes a moderate angle section, protected via a fixed line. (GoPro screenshot)
Steven completes a moderate angle section, protected via a fixed line. (GoPro screenshot)
Gaining the ridge above the slabs makes us happy. (GoPro screenshot)
Gaining the ridge above the slabs makes us happy. (GoPro screenshot)
Heading towards crampon point. (GoPro screenshot)
Heading towards crampon point. (GoPro screenshot)
Kim Hess cold? Never.... Still, sunrise will be welcome.
Kim Hess cold? Never…. Still, sunrise will be welcome.
Steven waits for the first rays to hit us from behind Nuptse.
Steven waits for the first rays to hit us from behind Nuptse.
Siva savors the brisk morning air.
Siva savors the brisk morning air.
Cristiano at an early morning break.
Cristiano at an early morning break.
I like it up here. Sun would be most welcome.
I like it up here. Sun would be most welcome.
Bob, Nicky, and Justin near crampon point.
Bob, Nicky, and Justin near crampon point.
Justin Merle moseys up to crampon point.
Justin Merle moseys up to crampon point.
Bob and Nicky come to crampon point.
Bob and Nicky come to crampon point.
Jerry on the ridge at the top of the slabs.
Jerry on the ridge at the top of the slabs.
Jerry at crampon point.
Jerry at crampon point.
Tashi Sherpa at crampon point. Awesome leadership and climbing skills.
Tashi Sherpa at crampon point. Awesome leadership and climbing skills.
Panorama of the view from below crampon point. Sun just peeking out from behind the Everest massif (Nuptse).
Panorama of the view from below crampon point. Sun just peeking out from behind the Everest massif (Nuptse).
Our icy route ahead.
Our icy route ahead.
Fearsome ice of the upper mountain.
Fearsome ice of the upper mountain.
Now we are happy.... (GoPro screenshot)
Now we are happy…. (GoPro screenshot)
The upper mountain revealed. (GoPro screenshot)
The upper mountain revealed. (GoPro screenshot)
Wicked sun cups. (GoPro screenshot)
Wicked sun cups. (GoPro screenshot)
At a break while we prepare to clip into the fixed lines. We are singing the song from the Lego Movie, "Everything is Awesome." (GoPro screenshot)
At a break while we prepare to clip into the fixed lines. We are singing the song from the Lego Movie, “Everything is Awesome.” (GoPro screenshot)
Great view as we gain elevation. (GoPro screenshot)
Great view as we gain elevation. (GoPro screenshot)
Ang Karma always has my back. (GoPro screenshot)
Ang Karma always has my back. (GoPro screenshot)
Making progress towards the summit. (GoPro screenshot)
Making progress towards the summit. (GoPro screenshot)
Waving to team mates below. (GoPro screenshot)
Waving to team mates below. (GoPro screenshot)
Steven ane me on a traversing section. (Photo: Justin Merle)
Steven ane me on a traversing section. (Photo: Justin Merle)
Me and Ang Karma on the way up. (Photo: Justin Merle)
Me and Ang Karma on the way up. (Photo: Justin Merle)
This shot shows how painful the sun cups can be. (GoPro screenshot)
This shot shows how painful the sun cups can be. (GoPro screenshot)
they are created by a freeze-thaw cycle. (GoPro screenshot)
they are created by a freeze-thaw cycle. (GoPro screenshot)
Nearing the false summit now. (GoPro screenshot)
Nearing the false summit now. (GoPro screenshot)
False summit of Lobuche East, circa 19,700 feet AMSL. (GoPro screenshot)
False summit of Lobuche East, circa 19,700 feet AMSL. (GoPro screenshot)
The greater Everest massif.
The greater Everest massif.
Everest, with clouds ripping off the summit.
Everest, with clouds ripping off the summit.
Panorama from the summit.
Panorama from the summit.
Me on top. You can see why we lingered up there for 90 minutes.
Me on top. You can see why we lingered up there for 90 minutes.
My philosophy: When on the summit... why not take a nap?  (Photo: Steven Hess)
My philosophy: When on the summit… why not take a nap? (Photo: Steven Hess)
Siva on the summit, Everest behind him.
Siva on the summit, Everest behind him.
Kim loves the summit.
Kim loves the summit.
Cristiano savors the summit.
Cristiano savors the summit.
Tashi Sherpa, true master of this mountain.
Tashi Sherpa, true master of this mountain.
Steven tops out. (Photo: Kim Hess)
Steven tops out. (Photo: Kim Hess)
I'm on the summit. Battery pack under my R1 is very flattering. (Photo: Kim Hess)
I’m on the summit. Battery pack under my R1 is very flattering. (Photo: Kim Hess)
View down valley. (Photo: Kim Hess)
View down valley. (Photo: Kim Hess)
The first wave on top. (Photo: Justin Merle)
The first wave on top. (Photo: Justin Merle)
Nicky topping out in high style.
Nicky topping out in high style.
Bob is right on her tail.
Bob is right on her tail.
Jerry on the summit. Not bad for someone who turned 70 a few days earlier!
Jerry on the summit. Not bad for someone who turned 70 a few days earlier!
Justin greets Jerry on top. (GoPro screenshot)
Justin greets Jerry on top. (GoPro screenshot)
Jerry and Cristiano. Team mates. Tent mates. Friends.
Jerry and Cristiano. Team mates. Tent mates. Friends.
Starting our descent, just below the summit. (GoPro screenshot)
Starting our descent, just below the summit. (GoPro screenshot)
Siva knows the importance of careful footwork.(GoPro screenshot)
Siva knows the importance of careful footwork.(GoPro screenshot)
An ice anchor on the way down. (GoPro screenshot)
An ice anchor on the way down. (GoPro screenshot)
Eddie and Emily on the way up. (GoPro screenshot)
Eddie and Emily on the way up. (GoPro screenshot)
Loving my Barkeaters by Z Goggles.
Loving my Barkeaters by Z Goggles.
A Barkeater selfie.
A Barkeater selfie.
Celebrating at LHC... we did it! (GoPro screenshot)
Celebrating at LHC… we did it! (GoPro screenshot)

Next stop: A farewell overnight in LBC, then back to EBC for some rest, laundry, showers, organization.  Looking forward to it.

Phrase of the day: Mission Accomplished.

20 thoughts on “Lobuche East False Summit

    1. Thanks Tamar. Not quite as much of an adventure as the anatomy table, but fun of a different kind. Miss you guys.

  1. I have enjoyed your wonderful pictures and comments. Thank you for taking with me with you on this amazing journey.. Sending love and light as you prepare to summit that majestic mountain ahead of you.. Patsy from Taos, NM a friend of Kim and Stevens parents..

  2. Paul…..you are my hero! You go where I would never dare. I love that you share all of these pictures! They are wonderful! Keep up the great trek and be safe!

  3. Congrats on making the summit in those icy conditions. Well done! Talking to Zoe must have been icing on the cake. Xox

  4. Absolutely amazing! I’m following you every step of the way from Tulsa, Oklahoma. My prayers are with you also for a safe and fun trip to the top of the world!

  5. Wow!!! Incredible pictures, Paul. We are so proud of you and the team!!! Great job!!! Mitch and Leslie Hobbs

  6. You are posting some of the finest photos ever taken of these mountains and the remarkable people who walk among them and up them. Bravissimo!

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