FEATURED STORY

Phokalde Summit 5950 meters

Summitting Lobuche gave us both motivation and anxiety. We have 2 more peaks to climb which we have been told would not be as hard as Lobuche. Not quite.

After a good rest in Lobuche village, we made our way to Phokalde base camp. We took our time hiking- crossing the khumbu glacier up to Khongma la pass which stood at 5565m asl, the highest pass in khumbu valley. Then we descended 200m to reach the base camp of Phokalde where we met with our expedition staff and the ever amazing high altitude beasts of burden- the yaks who were carrying all our expedition gears. Our base camp offered a comforting environment with the lake just within reach and clear view of Phokalde peak just about 600m above us.

We left base camp the next morning at 6am. Geared with our tough trekking boots, our sirdar Lakpha decided to negotiate the peak without plastic boots since there was not much snow at this time. I would say it was a good call but climbing the rocky mountain gave us a different feel and perspective. As I always believe every mountain has its own unique beauty and challenges. Phokalde definitelty proved this right. Although it did not have the ice and snow that Lobuche has, the last 200m of Phokalde was pure rock climbing! It goes at about 5.6 / 5.7 on lose rock. Every move has to be made slow and solid. It is protected with fixed rope, the vertical rock wall required enermous energy to pull ourselves up and climb in the thinning air of 5950m of altitude.

At last we all reached the small and steep peak of Phokalde. We secured ourselves in the fixed anchors while we enjoyed the view around us.

Another peak bagged.

One more to go but for now, a nice lunch is all what everybody is thinking of.

Looking and doing strong team!

Janet Balarmino
Team Leader
Belarmino Ventures
Himalayan Expeditions 2014

We would also like to thank Regatta, GET UP (corporate social responsibility platform of Golden ABC), Habagat, Lagalag, and Sycure for supporting our Himalayan Expeditions 2014

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GET UP and REGATTA flags at the summit of Phokalde


Summit shot


Repelling down.