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 Chomolonzo, 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.
The ascent up this mountain is regarded as the easiest 7000+ peak ascent. You make the ascent via the Everest Advance Base Camp.
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.
We can arrange your arrival in Lhasa from anywhere. You can either join the trip from Kathmandu and fly to Lhasa or arrive Lhasa from Chengdu, Beijing, Shanghai, Xian or any nearby hub. You will be met at Gonggar Airport by your Tibetan guide. After immigration formalities, you will be driven to Lhasa (3660 meters). It takes around an hour to reach the old city. After checking in at your hotel, you are advised to take rest and take it easy. Drink plenty of fluids and let your body get used to Lhasa’s high altitude. Note: There is no fixed program arranged for today. .
After breakfast, you will be briefed on the day’s program. An experienced guide will take you on a tour to Sera Monastery, Norbulingka, Jokhang Temple and the Barkhor Square. At the famous Sera Monastery, you will get an insight into the important aspects of Tibetan Buddhism. You pay a visit to Norbulingka, the summer retreat of the 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..
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 the best of Tibetan art. 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 each day, the guide will decide upon the order of sightseeing places..
This day is for you to spend it as you wish. Explore and soak in the sights and sounds of the old city, revisit a favorite monastery, go for souvenir hunting in the busy local market at Barkhor Square, or simply sit in a café and watch the 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. .
Traveling by jeep along the Friendship Highway you cross the Khamba La (4794m). The drive offers you stunning views of Yamdrok-tso Lake and the snowy summit of Nazin Kang Sa (7252m). You continue westwards, over another high pass, the Karo La (5045m), where you are treated to the spectacular sight of a huge glacier tumbling down, within a few hundred meters of the road. After passing through beautiful valleys and colorful Tibetan villages you arrive in the town of Gyantse. .
You will be taken for a guided tour to Gyantse Dzong and Gyantse Kumbum. The Dzong is a 14th century fort, from where you get amazing views of Gyantse and the surrounding Nyang Chu Valley. The Kumbum is a large gold-domed stupa. It has many small chapels which houses an impressive array of Tibetan Buddhist murals. We move on to Shigatse, Tibet’s second largest city, which is about 90 km away. .
After breakfast, you will be guided to explore the local market and the Tashilhunpo Monastery in Shigatse. Tashilhunpo Monastery is one of the largest functioning monasteries in Tibet and there is much to explore within its high surrounding walls. We then continue along the Friendship Highway to Shegar, marveling once more at the barren yet spectacular landscape of Tibet. Beyond the small town of Lhatse we cross the highest pass on our journey, the Gyamtso La (5220m). From here we descend to the plains, passing along lonely monasteries and the camps of nomadic herders, en route to Shegar..
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..
Two days at base camp to acclimatize and explore around..
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..
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. .
You may either rest, or prepare yourself for the climb or explore around..
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. .
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 and discarded oxygen bottles. 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 (2400 m) 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. .
Five days of complete acclimatization keeps you physically and mentally fit for ascent upto Lhakpa 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 Lhakpa 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 Lhakpa Ri towering above the Tibet mountain range..
After ascending the Lhakpa Ri, you retreat to the Base Camp. .
You have to take a 215 km drive from Base Camp to Nyalam along the Friendship Highway traversing past Pang La pass. On the way, you can halt at Tingri for lunch. Further away amidst the stunning view of Everest, Cho Oyu and other mountain peaks, you accelerate past Lalung La pass at 5124m and Shung La pass at 5200m. The trail further commands far-reaching views of enchanting Shishapangma, Menlungtse and Gauri Shankar, as you leave behind arid Tibetan Plateau. The route then progresses towards the pristine and fortified town of Nyalam, where you can find a suitable accommodation at a hotel. .
Heading away from Nyalam, drive for one hour to the lush and verdant vegetation of Zhangmu at 2300 meter. Few kilometers drive follows Friendship Bridge along Bhote Koshi River to Immigration Control in Kodari where you part with your Tibetan guide and handle the re-entry formalities to return to Kathmandu. After a 5 hours drive of 123 km, you finally arrive in Kathmandu..
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.
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