Lobuche is a great training peak for a variety of reasons, including elevation, exposure, mixed terrain, and relative safety. Plus, it is very beautiful! Last year we had scads of new powder on the route,in fact we had to delay our ascent by a couple of days for this reason. This year, all is dry, which should make for an icier ascent.
To make the day more “pleasant,” and to enhance our odds of success, we start from high camp, about 1,000 vertical feet higher than base camp. Moving up takes less than an hour, and affords some beautiful scenery.
At high camp, we have lots of time to rest and eat and relax and prepare for the 3 AM wakeup call. Walking by 4 AM, we hope to reach the summit within 6 hours. Sounds like a lot for just 3,000 feet vertical gain, but we will be on down-slabby rock at night in the cold in our big boots for at least two hours, then on hard ice to the summit.
This was also an auspicious day to climb because it is my lovely daughter’s 16th birthday! Last year, because of the snow storm, we were forced down to LBC and I could call her on the sat phone while watching the red reflex in the eyes of the yaks in the paddock. This year we are going for the summit on time… I tried to stay awake until 8 PM (7:15 AM Seattle time) but just could not do it. Instead, I hatched a plan to call her from the summit in a few hours, at the end of her birthday. Let’s see how it goes…. Miss her and Matthew and Julie very much.
Question of the day: Will this be more fun than last year?