For climbers ready to move on to a 7000+ meter-peak, Barunste, 7129m, is the ultimate peak, providing excellent experience for even higher objectives. The south-east Ridge of Baruntse has a high success rate. Although it is a straightforward, non-technical climb, it contains many of the components of an 8000m peak expedition.
Annapurna Foothills Treks is looking forward to 2015 pre and post-monsoon expeditions to Baruntse Peak. Acclimatizing on Mera Peak is considered the optimal way to acclimatize and condition for Baruntse, so we have integrated a climb of Mera Peak, 6476m, on the approach to Base Camp.
A short morning flight up the scenic Khumbu Valley takes us to Lukla, the starting point for many treks and expeditions in the Everest region including the Baruntse expedition. We will be met by our team of competent Sherpas who will facilitate the logistics for the rest of the expedition. Porters, cooks and highly experienced mountaineers will assist with setting up camps, providing delicious meals and ensuring our expedition is safe and successful.
To reach Barunste, we trek through Sherpa settlements and Himalayan wilderness inspired by the views of Lhotse, Everest, and Makalu. Barunste stands in the middle of three glacial valleys: the Imja, the Hungu and the Barun.
As we climb higher into the Hinku Khola valley, the steep, wooded ravine gradually opens out to a wide and magnificent view of mountains, including our first objective, Mera Peak.
When we reach Mera Peak Base Camp, 5400m, we sleep above the snow line for the first time on this expedition. The Mera Peak climb provides the acclimatization we need for Barunste. From Mera Peak, there is a magnificent panorama of giants like Makalu, 8481m, and Everest, 8850m, as well as our next objective, Baruntse.
After Mera Peak, we descend into the Hungu Khola Valley toward Baruntse Base Camp.
Mera Peak and Barunste Peak expeditions can be done conjointly for groups who have different constraints of time and fitness. If part of a group wanted to return to Lukla after Mera Peak, the remaining members could continue into the Hongu Valley to Barunste.
The Baruntse Expedition Route
The route is essentially a straightforward climb on snow and ice with some corniced sections. There are three additional camps above Baruntse Base Camp. The itinerary allows time for acclimatization and possible weather delays. Acclimatization is achieved by ascending to the next high camp, then descending to the previous camp and resting.
Baruntse Base Camp, 5300m, is situated in a broad open valley on the lateral moraine of the Hongu glacier next to a beautiful lake at the base of the mountain. From the Base Camp, we climb the south-east ridge toward the West Col, which is pretty straightforward. Fixed line is needed however, to climb up the challenging 50° ice cliff to the West Col, which brings us to the glacial plateau where we set up Baruntse Camp I, 6000m.
From Camp I, we ascend a long, low-angled glacier using fixed rope. The slope steepens on the approach to a small col on the South-East Ridge proper, where we establish Baruntse Camp II, 6450m.
From Camp II, we push for the summit. First, we make a short steep climb on a 45° ice wall to a small col, 6500m. There some are some steep steps on ice and short sections of rock to ascend, but the big challenge of summit day is the sharp ice shoulder, at around 7000m, that leads onto the summit ridge. Our Sherpa guide will fix ropes to ensure our safe ascent and descent. The wide ridge narrows closer to the true Baruntse Summit, 7129m, where we enjoy stunning views of Mount Everest, Lhotse, Cho Oyu, Ama Dablam, Kanchenjunga and Makalu.
The summit ascent takes around 10 hours. We descend by the same route. After descending Baruntse, we cross the stunning Amphu Lapcha Pass and making our way back to Lukla
Day 1 : Arrival in Kathmandu
Day 2 : Preparation Day in Kathmandu
Day 3 : Fly to Lukla, 2820m, and trek to Paiya (Chutok), 2730m, 3-4 hrs
Day 4 : Paiya to Pangoma, 2850m, 5-6 hrs
Day 5 : Pangoma to Sibuche (Nigmsa), 2745m, 4-5 hrs
Day 6 : Sibuche to Majang Khola, 3150m, 7-8 hrs
Day 7 : Majang Khola to Kote, 3600m: 6-7 hrs
Day 8 : Kote to Thangnak, 4356m, 5hrs
Day 9 : Acclimatization Day in Thangnak
Day 10 : Thangnak to Khare, 5045m, 4-5 hrs
Day 11 : Khare to Mera La, 5415m, to Base Camp 5350m, 3-4 hrs
Day 12 : Acclimatization Day in Base Camp /Preparation day
Day 13 : Base Camp to High Camp, 5780m, 4 hrs
Day 14 : Mera High Camp to Summit to Kongma Dingma, 4850m, 9-10 hrs
Day 15 : Reserve Day in case of bad weather or acclimatization problem
Day 16 : Kongma Dingma to Seto Pokhari, 5035m, 6 hrs
Day 17 : Seto Pokhari to Baruntse Base Camp, 5250m, 6 hrs
Day 18 : 18-27 Baruntse Climbing Period
Day 28 : Pack at the Baruntse Base Camp
Day 29 : Baruntse Base Camp to Amphu Labsta Base Camp, 5650m, 4-5 hrs
Day 30 : Amphu Labsta Base Camp(South) to Amphu Labsta Base Camp(North) ,5300m, 5 - 6 hrs
Day 31 : Amphu Labtsa Base Camp to Pangboche , 3930m, 6-7 hours
Day 32 : Pangboche to Namche Bazaar, 3440m, 5 - 6 hrs
Day 33 : Namche Bazaar to Lukla, 2800m, 6-7 hrs
Day 34 : Fly from Lukla to Kathmandu
Day 35 : Free day Kathmandu
Day 36 : Departure from Kathmandu
Why Climb Baruntse with Annapurna Foothills?
Single Supplementary US$ 300 per person (Includes single hotel room in Kathmandu , single room/tent on trek, single tent at Base Camp)
Return to Kathmandu by Helicopter:
At the end of a long expedition, a quick flight by helicopter from Base Camp to Lukla or Kathmandu is quite appealing. You could also trek to Pheriche and fly from there.
Helicopter flights are available at the climbers own expense. The cost depends upon passenger load and whether the helicopter is already in the Khumbu area or has to come from Kathmandu.
If Luggage Gets Left Behind:
It may not be possible to take all your gear in the helicopter, depending on the number of passengers and weight restrictions.
Besides the fact that at the end of the climbing season, flights out of Lukla are heavily booked, unpredictable weather at the onset of monsoon can result in flights being cancelled. If this happens, priority will be given to passengers rather than their baggage.
If for any reason you get separated from your bags, Annapurna Treks and Expeditions will make every effort to get them to Kathmandu before your departure flight.
If you depart from Nepal before your bags arrive back in Kathmandu, we can get them shipped to you, but this will be at your expense.
In Kathmandu, there will be a detailed briefing and a chance to check if we have all the necessary gear. There are plenty of shops which supply a complete range of excellent quality trekking/climbing equipment.
For the most part, you will only need to carry the items which you require during the day while climbing. Your Sherpa guide will carry loads (including your sleeping bag and a reasonable amount of your personal gear) between the camps.
Each climber/Sherpa team is issued a VHF hand held radio and satellite phone.
Cell phones and Internet
The GSM cell phone network may have poor reception in places. Reasonably priced GSM phones, SIM cards and prepaid calling cards are available in Kathmandu.
Destination : Nepal
Duration : 36 Days
Price : US $7990 p/p
Trip Grade : Alpine Grade 3D
Group Size:2 - 12 Persons
Hotel in Kathmandu:4 Nights B&B plan (Bed & Breakfast)
Accommodation during Expedition:All meals in lodges during Trekking & Camping
I did the above mentioned trip in December 2016. The trip was perfectly planned and everything went smoothly. The itinerary allowed for perfect acclimatisation, especially having two nights at Island Peak Base Camp. Tashi, the trekking guide for the trip picked me up at the airport and helped me through…Lukas
A friend and I worked with Annapurna Foothills Treks to be guided trekking on the Annapurna circuit from Besi Sahr over the Thorong La pass to Jomsom, with a guided climb of Chulu West on the way. Our trekking guide Dawa was outstanding all the way to Pisang, and provided…Craig
Our 14 day Poon Hill and Annapurna Base Camp trek, guided by Tashi was an outstanding experience. We enjoyed his local knowledge while making the trip a joy. From the trip's booking to departure from Nepal, all aspects of the trip were carefully organized and well executed-something we appreciated very…Kathy