Pretty Big Climb: Yala Peak

This is a summit photo of Marian and I (and Niranjan who trying to hide in the background) on the summit of Yala Peak. We climbed the peak over two days on our Pretty Big Walk expedition. Most folks were surprised since they didn’t know we had a climb planned.

We climbed to Yala Peak high camp (4800 metres) from Khanjin Gompa (after acclimating there for a day and climbing to Little Khanjin Ri at 4300 metres.) We might have climbed higher to the top of Khanjin Ri (4700 metres) but the clouds rolled in and took away the view. The pull to Yala Peak high camp took about 5 hours. It was a contouring up with some steep sections thrown in for character development.

We rested and prepared for the rest of the day. Wake up call came at 5 am the next day and we choked down some porridge and tried to breathe away our small altitude headaches. We decided to proceed and started up from high camp trying to find the ideal “I can go uphill all day pace.” The initial sections of the climb were gentle up which allowed us to find a rhythm before the steeper sections. We were climbing on snow ( and some rock) all the way.

After about 4 hours of climbing, we reached the final ridge which was a bit exposed so our guide folks placed a hand line. You can see me above making the last few steps to the summit and Marian doing the same below.

The view from the summit was incredible and one of the most memorable and clear of all the summits I’ve been on. The weather was stable so we all took lots of photos. Here is our guide Shyam on the summit.

We could see the junction of three glacial valleys and even into Tibet. It was 360 degree mountains and my inner Snow Lion soared.

Although relatively small by Nepal standards, Yala Peak is only 400 metres shorter than Canada’s highest peak and is taller than three of the Seven Summits. It was great to be out finding my climbing legs and my climbing mind once again and we did have to dig a bit deep to start and finish the climb.

The funny story about why we chose to climb Yala Peak has to do with a hotel we stayed in often here in Kathmandu during the fall of 2017. We found the Yala Peak hotel on booking.com and ended up loving the friendly family feel of the place. We stayed there five different times during our various ins and outs that fall. In their lobby, they had a map of the Langtang Valley with Yala Peak at the end.

That planted a seed and when the Pretty Big Walk came together, I realized we had our chance to climb Yala Peak. We dropped by the hotel the other night to show off our summit photo. So done folks climb a peak because it is there, we climbed this one as a tribute to some kind folks in Nepal and to our two new granddaughters, Anna and Sylvia. It was a Pretty Big Climb within a Pretty Big Walk.

Many thanks to Raj at Mountain Sun Valley Treks for setting up our logistics and staffing for the Pretty Big Walk/Climb and to Shyam and Niranjan who climbed Yala Peak with us (as well as making the Pretty Big Walk a grand success through your leadership).

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Pretty Big City

After a two hour Jeep ride through Shivapuri National Park from Chisopani to the outskirts of Kathmandu, we were welcomed back to the city with an instant case of sensory overload and traffic.

Arriving in mid city amid thousands of motorcycles and Tuk Tuke, we thanked our trek crew and began the transition back from trek/walk life. Life has changed from sleep, eat, walk, eat, walk, eat, sleep to many more choices and options. We dropped into old favourites Momo Tarou and the Rosemary Kitchen to ease our way back into fending for ourselves.

We caught up with Raj and Kumar. We dried all our our camping gear and did a bit of shopping. We are easing in slowly and still managed 13,000 steps today around Thamel. With cell coverage all around, I’ve been posting many photos to social media and I learned that the Grade Fours in Mme Dooley’s class were also following along on the Pretty Big Walk. I want to send a shout out to them as well as the Grade Fives and Sixes at Fogo Central and to the students at St. Anne’s in SE Bight. It was great to have you all along and I’ll post more pictures over the next few days.

Since we’ve mostly been going to bed around 7:30 pm with sunset, it’s time to turn out the electric light and gets some sleep. Tomorrow is another big day.

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Yala Peak Summit-Pretty Big Walk/Climb

Hello from Thulo Syabru. A wee bit of cell coverage before we head up into the Gosainkund Region. We are on the home stretch having walked back out of the Langtang (the long way) and we have now made the turn for the walk back to Kathmandu via the Helumbu Himal.

Catch ya tonight via sat phone.

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Pretty Big Walk Traverses Ganesh Himal

This was the view from the pass that signalled we had almost completed our traverse of the Ganesh Himal on the Great Himalayan Trail on our Pretty Big Walk. Marian is making a shape with the Langtang Himal making a fine fine background.

During the first ten days of walking, we have covered 100 km, made approximately 190,000 steps, and gained about 8700 metres (almost the height of Everest). We’ve been crossing ridges and valleys and enjoying pretty views almost every step of the way.

Except when it was raining, snowing, hailing, or misting (which it’s done most days). Marian and I didn’t sleep much on Pangsang Pass (pictured above) because of a ferocious electrical storm that dumped nearly a foot of snow.

We’ve had sun the past two days with only small pecks of rain. We are hoping the weather pattern has broken and will be more steady for our traverse of the Langtang Himal. Battery power for electronics has been scant so I will close for now.

Thanks for following along and we can’t wait to tell you more in a few weeks.

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Pretty Big Walk Traverses Ganesh Himal

This was the view from the pass that signalled we had almost completed our traverse of the Ganesh Himal on the Great Himalayan Trail on our Pretty Big Walk. Marian is making a shape with the Langtang Himal making a fine fine background.

During the first ten days of walking, we have covered 100 km, made approximately 190,000 steps, and gained about 8700 metres (almost the height of Everest). We’ve been crossing ridges and valleys and enjoying pretty views almost every step of the way.

Except when it was raining, snowing, hailing, or misting (which it’s done most days). Marian and I didn’t sleep much on Pangsang Pass (pictured above) because of a ferocious electrical storm that dumped nearly a foot of snow.

We’ve had sun the past two days with only small pecks of rain. We are hoping the weather pattern has broken and will be more steady for our traverse of the Langtang Himal. Battery power for electronics has been scant so I will close for now.

Thanks for following along and we can’t wait to tell you more in a few weeks.

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Pretty Big Walk Traverses Ganesh Himal

This was the view from the pass that signalled we had almost completed our traverse of the Ganesh Himal on the Great Himalayan Trail on our Pretty Big Walk. Marian is making a shape with the Langtang Himal making a fine fine background.

During the first ten days of walking, we have covered 100 km, made approximately 190,000 steps, and gained about 8700 metres (almost the height of Everest). We’ve been crossing ridges and valleys and enjoying pretty views almost every step of the way.

Except when it was raining, snowing, hailing, or misting (which it’s done most days). Marian and I didn’t sleep much on Pangsang Pass (pictured above) because of a ferocious electrical storm that dumped nearly a foot of snow.

We’ve had sun the past two days with only small pecks of rain. We are hoping the weather pattern has broken and will be more steady for our traverse of the Langtang Himal. Battery power for electronics has been scant so I will close for now.

Thanks for following along and we can’t wait to tell you more in a few weeks.

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Pretty Big Walk Traverses Ganesh Himal

This was the view from the pass that signalled we had almost completed our traverse of the Ganesh Himal on the Great Himalayan Trail on our Pretty Big Walk. Marian is making a shape with the Langtang Himal making a fine fine background.

During the first ten days of walking, we have covered 100 km, made approximately 190,000 steps, and gained about 8700 metres (almost the height of Everest). We’ve been crossing ridges and valleys and enjoying pretty views almost every step of the way.

Except when it was raining, snowing, hailing, or misting (which it’s done most days). Marian and I didn’t sleep much on Pangsang Pass (pictured above) because of a ferocious electrical storm that dumped nearly a foot of snow.

We’ve had sun the past two days with only small pecks of rain. We are hoping the weather pattern has broken and will be more steady for our traverse of the Langtang Himal. Battery power for electronics has been scant so I will close for now.

Thanks for following along and we can’t wait to tell you more in a few weeks.

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inReach message from TA Loeffler

C10. As usual, rain started the moment we hit camp. Water temple nearby for both Hindus & Buddhists. Temple bell rings. Prayer flags release prayers to wind.

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inReach message from TA Loeffler

We have our Mackenzie tent. Wished for our winter Thor but thought it was too heavy Weather has broken we hope. much lightning in last week. yes much up & down

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inReach message from TA Loeffler

L10 After tough climb to pass, rewarded with momentous view of Langtang Himal where we are headed next. Morning sun, nice to dry out after frosty morn.

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inReach message from TA Loeffler

C9 OMG what a night! Huge electrical snow storm much of the night. Long night pushing snow off tent. Easy down. Sun out. Drying

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inReach message from TA Loeffler

C8 on Pangsang Pass. 3850 m. Raining, hailing, & booming. Glad we climbed well to be tucked in tent rather than still making way. View will be beauty in am

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inReach message from TA Loeffler

L8 Roadside dining. Pretty Big Climb today. Up the equivalent of Lukla to Tengboche. So sorry to hear of Lukla tragedy. Thinking of those who lost loved ones

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inReach message from TA Loeffler

C7 Misty wisps of cloud surround fern decorated rhododendrons. Roads r bringing rapid change here. Sounds of cows & chainsaws, kharkas & kitchens Did U walk?

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inReach message from TA Loeffler

L7 High perch over Tipling village. Children headed back to school. Clouds building over a warm morning. We pass through as folks wish us “Namaste” We do too

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inReach message from TA Loeffler

C6 Happy Nepali New Year from Sertung. Kid goats jumping from rock to rock, not onto our tent thankfully. Homes made dry stone

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inReach message from TA Loeffler

L6 view out over three valleys coming together. Evidence of earth folds being pushed up into mtns. Ganesh Mtn reveals its glory. More down now up, up, up!!!

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