Following the Foot steps of George Mallory who explored route up to the North Col of Everest in 1921, a group of Trekkers from United Kingdom successfully completed their mission across the Kharta Glacier and finally, emerged at the East Rongbuk Glacier from Khangsung face of Everest crossing over two high passes, next to Kharbo La (6128m) and Lagba La (6883m).
The team led by Michael Bromfield, Chairman of the UK based Company, “The Great Walks” had left for Lhasa on 25th of April, 2006 with a team of 7 British man and one Thai female climber, Ampai Somsook. Members of the British team were: Michael Bromfield, Phil Coates, Richard John, Raymond Tempest, Andrew Christie, Richard Thompson and Brook Matthew. After visting Lhasa and Xigatse, they reached Kharta Village on 29th of April where they were met by a team of nine Sherpas led by senior climbing guide of Explore Himalaya, Phurba Pasang Sherpa.
Packing their loads on yaks, the team left on the next day for their Trek to Khangsung BC of Everest, arrived at Pethang Ringmo via Lundrungbing, Shaola and Khangsung valley on 4th of May. Acclimatizing at Pethang Ringmo on 5th, the group headed above Three and a half hours for the Russian Camp on 6th May which was a turn off between Karbo La and the Khangsung Base Camp.
From the Turn off, Michael Bromfield, Richard John, Richard Thompson and Ampai left for Khangsung Base camp with Four Sherpas whereas, the main group headed towards Karbo La under leadership of Phil Coates which included Raymond Tempest, Andrew Christie and Brook Matthew to set up the camp two hours further, below Karbo La. Next day on 8th of May, exploration towards the passes took place to find out a proper and safe route. Out of three passes available to go towards Kharta Glacier, Karbo La(6128m) on the left end seemed over snowed and with numerous crevices afterwards whereas, the pass after that in the middle(6242m) was also not physible. Ultimately, the pass (6289m) at the right end was decided and therefore, left equipments below the pass and set as a high camp.
On 9th of May, the team left for the real adventure and reached up to the pass ultimately returning down to the Camp for rest. Finally, crossed the pass on 10th of May, went on the other side over Kharta Glacier and camped at the height of 5860m.
It was a long day on 11th, start at 8.30 am and finished finally at 6.30 PM, all day walk along the Kharta Glacier to reach the camp below Lagba La at the height of 6380m. Next day, It was another long trip to climb up to the Lagba La (6883m) and descend down to East Rongbuk Glacier finally, reaching the camp at ABC (6400m)late evening. On their descent from the Pass, Lagbala, Jamie Mcguinness who had been over the pass from ABC to provide assistance to the group missed them just by 200m since the group took a straight way down the cliff through the ropes fixed by advance team of Sherpas led by Pasang. However, Jamie thinks that the actual route was slightly southward, much easier which could have been better had the group opted for it. Any way, although taking the unusual route, they safely landed at the ABC.
Another long day’s walk all the way from ABC to the Base camp (5200m) on 13th May where the group met with Trekking team of Michael Bromfield that came from Kharta and enjoyed hot meal prepared by our Sherpa crew. Since the group had back logged itinerary, it was another long day drive to Zangmu and connected to Kathmandu on 14th of May.
Explore Himalaya is happy to have all members of the team including Sherpas safely back after completing this historic mission and look forward to organize more trips in future on the similar itinerary. We congratulate the leader, Phil Coates along with other members: Raymond Tempest, Andrew Christie and Brook Matthew and also our Nepali members: Phurba Pasang Sherpa, Dendi Sherpa, Bag Bir Tamang, Ngawang Sherpa and Zangbu Sherpa. And of course, the Leader Michael Bromfield along with Andy Broom from “The Great Walks” also to be thanked and congratulated for their ambitious planning which let us have this opportunity to handle a Great Adventure Holiday in Tibet Himalaya.
Overall we have thoroughly enjoyed our stay and experience with Explore Himalaya. The country and views have been incredible.