Ukrainian climber Dendruk Oleksandr climbed Lhakpa Ri (7045m) with Explore Himalaya last autumn (on September 2010). He is back again this spring all set to climb Cho Oyu(8201 m), the sixth Highest Peak in the world. After final preparation and participating at a two-day climbing course in Kathmandu, Oleksandr is on his way to Tibet with Explore Himalaya’s guides and support team. Before leaving for his expedition Explore Himalaya asked him about his plans. He said, “My dream is to climb Mount Everest from the North side. But before that I would like to tackle a lesser peak and that is why I chose Cho Oyu. The first peak I climbed was Lhakpa Ri, (last year with your company). It was my first big expedition and thanks to Explore Himalaya, it went very well. The team at Explore Himalaya for me is like family. After Cho Oyu, I hope to make my dream climb to Everest with Explore Himalaya.”
Oleksandr will be making his summit(Cho Oyu’s) bid in mid May. Explore Himalaya wishes him a successful ascent !
Dendruk Oleksandr at Lhakpa Ri, Autumn, 2010 (Pic; Oleksanr)
Explore Himalaya congratulates Dendruk Oleksandr from Ukraine & Camino Gonzalez Juan Antonio from Spain for summiting Lhakpa Ri(7045m) on 20th September 2010 at 1500 hrs (local time).This was the first summit of the season by a group whose expedition our company helped organize. We also congratulate Dendruk Oleksandr for becoming Explore Himalaya’s first Ukrainian client to summit Lhakpa Ri (7045 m). The two climbers were supported by climbing sherpas Dayalu Sherpa and Sange Sherpa.
The duo visited our office after returning to Kathmandu. When EH asked them about their experience, they had this to say:
Dendruk Oleksandr (Ukraine) :” Generally our expedition was good and we are very happy that we could summit despite bad weather. I found Rongbuk and the Chencey glaciers very beautiful.
I have climbed many 6000m peaks and this year I chose to climb Lhakpa Ri peak (7045 M) to check my strength and also because, according to the information I received, this was an easy 7000m peak. My dream is to climb Mt. Everest. Next year I plan to climb Cho Oyu(8201m) or any 8000m peak, before attempting Mount Everest. I hope I will be able to fulfill my dream.”
Camino Gonzalez Juan Antonio (Spain): “The last bit of the climbing proved to be very difficult. Moreover the weather turned bad and the last 50 meters to the summit was really difficult. But the climb was memorable, especially when we reached the summit.”
(About Lhakpa Ri: The ascent up this mountain is regarded as the easiest 7000+ peak ascent. You make the ascent via the Everest Advance Base Camp.The mountain divides the upper East Rongbuk glacier and upper Kharta glacier, and lies in proximity to the mighty Mt Everest.)
Year 2009 was special for Explore Himalaya, as the company single handedly organized the highest skydiving programme in the world, Everest skydive 2009. ESD 2009 was organized in the month of October. Wendy Smith from New Zealand, Tom Noonan from USA and Jai Kishan from India created a new record by landing at Gorakh Shep, Kala Patthar plateau (17,192ft), the highest drop zone in the world.
Everest emerged as a clear favorite among our trekking clients as EH organized treks to the Everest region for 43 groups in 2009. 20 groups trekked to the Annapurnas, while 5 groups preferred the less crowded trails of Langtang. 39 groups went for cultural tours and multi-activity sports like rafting, paragliding, mountain biking etc.
We operated a total of 59 tours (cultural & pilgrimage tours, trekking, expeditions) in Tibet and 4 in Bhutan.
“Climbing Lhakpa Ri was a special experience…” – Jürg Merz
A visibly elated Jürg Merz , climber from Switzerland who recently summitted Lhakpa Ri, shared his experience with Explore Himalaya on 31st May. As this was Jürg’s first Himalayan experience , he seemed doubly pleased to have visited and added the ‘first’ Himalayan peak to his list of mountains climbed.
Jürg ( in yellow ) with Robert and Sange Sherpa
Lhakpa Ri (Xang Dong Feng), standing at an elevation of 7,045 meters, divides the upper East Rongbuk glacier and upper Kharta glacier. It lies in proximity to Mt Everest with 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 serving as stunning backdrops. The ascent is made via the Everest Advance Base Camp.
Jürg Merz (Switzerland) and Robert Paul Mooney (Ireland), supported by Sange Sherpa (sirdar) and Kami Sherpa started their ascent from Everest base camp to on 15th May 2009. On 24th May , with good weather on their side the climbers finally reached the summit of Lhakpa Ri (7045m).
EH: Tell us about your ascent?
JM: The climb was beautiful. We had been very lucky with the weather because May 24th was an unusually beautiful day. The whole morning we had beautiful weather and it was good. We started at 6:30am and reached the summit at around 1:30pm.After we summitted the mountain , the weather turned bad. The view of Everest disappeared completely and it started snowing. It took us more time to return to ABC. It started snowing heavily while we were making our descent which made it a bit difficult for us.There were many crevasses on the way and we had to be very careful. The falling snow covered the crevasses and we had to be extra careful not to step on them.But we reached safely with the help of the sherpas .
EH: How many peaks have you climbed so far?
JM: I have climbed many peaks in Switzerland and New Zealand, but Lhakpa Ri is my first Himalayan peak.The highest peak that I had climbed before Lhakpa Ri was a 4,500metre peak in Switzerland. So climbing Lhakpa Ri was a special experience for me . This was my first time in the Himalayas and I had a successful climb!
EH: Did you face any problems during your journey, while in Tibet?
JM: We did not face any problems at all. Everything was well organized and went smoothly.Outr trip to Lhasa, Shigatse and Gyantse helped us in acclimating to the high altitude. We did not face any major problems or suffered from illness or sicknesses. Except for the weather worsening on our descent, we faced no problems at all.
EH: Any suggestions for climbers keen on climbing Lhakpa Ri?
JM: I advise them to get prepared .You need to be fit. With the support of good climbing sherpas and good weather, climbing Lhakpa Ri is possible.
EH: Explore Himalaya organized the logistics for your expedition. What do you have to say about it?
JM: It was very well organized.Everything turned out perfect. The communication with Explore Himalaya was very good. All the payment was safe.I am very pleased with my first Himalayan experience, thanks to Explore Himalaya. The climbing sherpas were very professional and looked after us quite well.We did not face any problems whatsoever.
EH: How do you find Nepal?
JM: This is my first visit to Nepal and I want to say this is not going to be my last!
Photos : Jürg Merz
Our Lhakpa Ri Expedition Page
The meeting and handling was very good and efficient. The hotels were all very good and the transportation was fine. Samir was very helpful and friendly.