Lhakpa Ri (Xang Dong Feng) mountaineering expedition gives you an impeccable mountain climbing experience amidst the richly varied landscape. Lhakpa Ri (Xang Dong Feng), towering over Tibet mountain range at an elevation of 7,045 meters, divides the upper East Rongbuk glacier and upper Kharta glacier. It lies in proximity to mighty Mt Everest boasting mesmerizing sights of Nyonno Ri range in eastern Tibet, the north faces of Everest, Makalu and Pethangtse, Shartse, Kangshung (east) face of Everest, east face of Lhotse, the north east ridge of Everest, the North Col, Changtse, Cho Oyu and Shishapangma as stunning backdrops.
You start your Lhakpa Ri mountaineering expedition with a leisurely stay in Lhasa. During your stay in Lhasa, you will visit the legendary Potala Palace, Sera Monastery, Norbulingka, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Market, Drepung Monastery etc. The journey continues further along Friendship Highway, with an adventure-packed leisurely 4WD drive via Lhasa- Shigatse- Xegar- Rongbuk. En route, you encounter monasteries, several 5000+ meter high mountain passes, nomadic settlements, pristine hamlets and nomadic herdsmen. Throughout this tour, the magnificent backdrop of the mighty Mount Everest, Cho Oyu, Makalu, Shisapangma and many other numerous peaks surround you.
The ascent up this mountain is regarded as the easiest 7000+ peak ascent. You make the ascent via the Everest Advance Base Camp.
Day 1 Arrive Lhasa (3660m)
Day 2 Sightseeing in Lhasa (3660m)
Day 3 Sightseeing in Lhasa
Day 4 Free in Lhasa (3660m)
Day 5 Drive Lhasa – Gyantse (3950m)
Day 6 Drive to Shigatse (3900m)
Day 7 Sightseeing & drive to Shegar (4050m)
Day 8 Drive Shegar - Rongbuk (5000m)
Day 9-10 At Everest Base Camp (5200m)
Day 11 Trek to Camp 1 (5460m)
Day 12 Trek to Interim Camp (5760m)
Day 13 Rest day at Interim Camp (5760m)
Day 14 Trek to Camp 2 (5970m)
Day 15 Trek to camp 3
Day 16-19 Acclimatization & Climb
Day 20 Trek to Base Camp
Day 21 Drive Base Camp to Nyalam (215 km)
Day 22 Drive back to Kathmandu
Arrive Lhasa (3660 m)
You will be met at Gonggar Airport by your Tibetan guide. After immigration formalities, you will be driven to Lhasa (3650m). It takes around 45 minutes to reach the old city. After checking in at your hotel, you are advised to take rest. Drink plenty of fluids and let your body get used to Lhasa’s high altitude.
Note: There is no fixed program arranged for today.
Sightseeing in Lhasa
After breakfast, you will be briefed on the day’s program. An experienced guide will take you on a tour to Sera Monastery, Norbulingka and Barkhor Square. At the famous Sera Monastery, you will get an insight into the important aspects of Tibetan Buddhism. You will also pay a visit to Norbulingka, the summer retreat of Dalai Lama. Completed in 1956, the handsome building is ornately decorated with Tibetan carvings and paintings. Jokhang temple provides yet another glimpse of the rich Tibetan cultural heritage. You will also get the chance to stroll around the busy Barkhor Square, the nerve centre of Lhasa. After the day’s tour, you will be escorted back to your hotel..
Sightseeing in Lhasa
After an early breakfast, you will be escorted by your guide to the majestic Potala Palace. The imposing structure of the palace dominates the landscape of Lhasa. As you are guided through the ancient chambers of the palace, you get to see Tibetan art at its best. The Potala Palace has a vast array of intricate Tibetan murals and beautiful statues. You will also get to view the tombs of the eight Dalai Lamas. Later in the day you will visit the beautifully landscaped Drepung Monastery where you can observe nuns and monks chanting and performing religious discourses. After the day’s tour is over, you are escorted back to your hotel for a well- earned rest.
Note: Since only a limited number of visitors are allowed inside the Potala palace every day, the order of sightseeing places will be decided upon by your guide.
Free day in Lhasa for acclimatization
This day is for you to spend as per your wish. Explore and soak in the sights and sounds of the old city, revisit your favorite monastery, go for souvenir hunting in the busy local market at Barkhor Square, or simply sit in a café and watch pilgrims as they circumambulate the Jokhang. There is also the option of an additional tour to places such as the Tibetan Medical Centre, Ganden Monastery and Tsurphu Monastery. But this additional tour will incur an extra cost..
Drive Lhasa - Gyantse (3950m) 261 km
Moving along the Friendship Highway, you will drive past Khamba La, at 4794m, with a brief halt to savor majestic views of Yamdrok-tso Lake and Nazin Kang Sa, standing at 7252m. On turning westwards, you will come across another pass, Karo La at 5045m. If you look at the road, you can see huge glaciers tumbling down. After driving 261 km, beautifully landscaped Tibetan villages become visible as you enter the town of Gyantse..
Sightseeing in Gyantse & drive to Shigatse (3900m) 90km
Gyantse prides on Gyantse Dzong and Kumbum. Gyantse Dzong, a 14th century historical fort, overlooks the entire Gyantse and the surrounding Nyang Chu Valley. Kumbum has a large gold-domed stupa and houses several chapels and Tibetan Buddhist murals. After exploring Gyantse, you take a 90 km drive and arrive at Shigatse (3900m), the second largest Tibetan city. Tashilhunpo Monastery, being one of the largest functioning monasteries in Tibet is the major attraction of Shigatse..
Sightseeing & drive to Shegar (4050m) 244km
Today you will traverse along the Friendship Highway amidst picturesque landscape driving past small town of Lhatse and Gyamtso La pass at 5220m. As the route opens into plains, many monasteries and camps of nomadic herders become visible en route to Shegar. At Shegar, you will be accommodated at a comfortable local hotel..
Drive to Rongbuk (5000m) 68km - Explore Everest base camp (5200m)
Shortly after leaving Shegar, turning away from the Friendship Highway, we head south over the Pang La (5150m) towards the main Himalayan range. The sight from the top is incredible with uninterrupted views stretching from Makalu to Shishapangma. Below the pass, initially Everest is hidden from view, but as we turn to the corner into the Rongbuk Valley it reappears, more impressive than ever. After driving for 68 km, you eventually reach Rongbuk at 5000m..
At Base Camp
Two days at base camp for acclimatization.The Base Camp itself is dry and barren, but the views of Everest more than compensates for it. It truly is an awe-inspiring place with the sheer north face of the highest mountain in the world towering above you..
Trek from Everest Base Camp to Camp I (5460m)
Trekking the surreally sculpted Rongbuk Glacier, you walk away from Everest Base Camp to Camp I for two and half hours or more. Camp I lies amidst moraine hills under picturesque yellow-orange granite cliffs. In the beginning, the trekking route skirts the east side of the Rongbuk Glacier and opens into a flat area at 5270m. On the Southwest, Pumori at 7145 m, comes into picture. After arriving at Camp I, you may explore the snout of the East Rongbuk Glacier lying just 20 minutes away from the camp..
Trek to Interim Camp (5760m)
The trail overlooks glacier-topped mountain as it rolls from gravel mounds, mud plain to rocky moraine. Lying directly across from Far East Rongbuk glacier, Interim Camp can prove very beneficial for further acclimatization and superb vantage point prior to trekking up to Camp II. .
Rest day at Interim Camp (5760m)
You may either rest, or prepare yourself for the climb or explore around..
Trek to Camp II (5970m)
It takes about three and half hours or more to ascend from Interim Camp to Camp II. You will approach Camp II at 5970 meter as you near the south side of the glacier at the eastern end of the Changtse Glacier junction lying below huge cliff. Along the trail to Camp II, you get to capture huge seracs rising up to 50 feet above the surface of the glacier and endless array of mountain scenery. .
Trek to Camp III (6340m) and return to Camp II
As you march towards Camp III; you trek along moraine following the glacier to the right around the eastern flank of Changtse. Further ahead, you ascend a succession of hills as the glacier softens into smooth snowy ice fields, carpeting the approaching ridges. En route you may spot several tent sites. 1480 meter straight up from Camp III lies the Pinnacles, challenging trekkers to explore its mystiques. Its complexity has kept the northeast Ridge unclimbed for a long time. North Col lies at 7066 meter in the West connecting Everest’s Northeast Ridge and Changste. Through binocular you can see spectacular sight of striated rock summit of Everest extending above the Pinnacles to the southeast, little more than 8000 feet (2400m) higher than Camp III. Beyond Camp III there are gravel hills beside the glacier and you may trek along this trail for one hour provided that you are fully acclimatized. Finally, you conclude your trek by either journeying back to Camp II from Camp III for 2 hours or stay overnight at Everest Advanced Base camp. .
Acclimatization & Climb
Five days of complete acclimatization keeps you physically and mentally fit for ascent upto Lakpa Ri. You may indulge in exotic sightseeing at Raphu La situated at the foot of the remote north east ridge of Mt. Everest. This gives you a perfect vantage point to capture panoramic views of the north faces of Makalu, Pethangtse and the Kangshung face of Everest. Amid this enchanting alpine environment, you will continue climbing Lakpa Ri. From the technical point of view, this ascent is quite easier and involves lesser risks. After six hours of safe mountain climbing, you reach at an elevation of 7,045m, where you can view the mesmerizing Lakpa Ri towering above the Tibet mountain range..
After ascending the Lhakpa Ri, you retreat to the Base Camp. .
Drive to Kerung
You will drive to the bordering town of Kerung. The trail further commands far-reaching views of enchanting Shishapangma, Menlungtse and Gauri Shankar, as you leave behind arid Tibetan Plateau. After driving for 246 km, you find yourself in Kerung at 2450m meter. This is your last point in Tibet. .
Cross border; Drive to Kathmandu
Today, you will part with your Tibetan guide and driver and cross Nepal-China border. Then after, you will meet your Nepali representative who will escort you to Kathmandu. It will take about 7/8 hours to reach Kathmandu (175km)..
I came to know to know about Explore Himalaya from the internet. Tibet was incredible. Most friendly people and a perfect tourism! Climbing Lhakpa Ri was a special experience… See Lhakpa Ri Photos and trip report here.