Parchamo details

Date: May 2003

Height : 6187m (20,293ft.)

Location : Rolwaling Himal, Nepal

Latitude: 27 49 40
Longitude: 86 32 45

First climbed : 1955. Dennis Davis and Phil Boultbee

Route Description

DAY 1: Trek from Lukla (2850m) to Phakding (2652m), 3hrs

The route is mostly descending with a few ups and downs. Houses are scattered along the route to Phakding. The trail is well defined but dusty. Kwangde can be seen clearly behind the hills.

DAY 2: Phakding to Namche Bazar (3440m), 6hrs

The ascent is gradual before reaching the Sagarmatha National Park Entrance. Tam Shirku can be seen clearly from the valley. After registration, the road leads down to the Dudh Kosi (river) before making an ascent to a bridge that stretches high across the Dudh Kosi. The ascent from here is steep and thus, tiring. In Namche Bazar, there are many shops selling mountaineering gears and of course, souvenirs and books. There are also internet connections but the cheapest rate was Rs15 per minute while the normal rates are Rs20 per minute. There are also moneychangers, although the rate is not as good as those in Kathmundu and postal service. Kwangde can be seen clearly from Namche Bazar.

DAY 3: Acclimatization climb to Syangboche airfield (3700m), 2hrs to airfield

Syangboche airfield is located at the top of the ridge over Namche Bazar. The ascent is steep and it passes through many small trails. There are several routes that can be taken to reach the Syangboche airfield. From the top of the ridge, the whole of Namche Bazar can be seen.

DAY 4: Namche Bazar to Thame (3800m), 3.5hrs

The trail breaks off from the popular Everest Base Camp trail from here. The trail now turns west along Bhote Kosi (River) to Thame. The initial part is relatively flat with some gradual descent passing through conifer forest and rhododendrons. After Thamo, it is mostly ascending. A bridge high above Bhote Kosi is crossed to bring us into the valley of Thame Khola (River). From Thame, snowcap-mountains can be seen stretching as far as the eye can see along the left side of the valley. Parchamo, however, is still out of side. The Thame monastery is the last monastery along the route to Parchamo. It would be good to pray for safety and success of the expedition at this monastery. This is also the last permanent settlement.

DAY 5: Thame to Thyangba/Thengpo (4320m), 3.5hrs

The trail leads into the valley of Thame Khola. After an initial steep ascent, the rest of the journey is relatively gradual ascent along a small trail. The vegetation here are getting lower and it is less dusty here. Just before reaching the temporary settlement of Thyangba, the trail enters a beautiful plain with numerous small channels where the water flows. The temporary settlement can be seen from here. Thyangba is the summer grazing ground of yaks. It is very common to see herders herding their yaks through this area. At this altitude, there would be light snowing in the afternoon although there are no permanent snows on the ground in the summer.

DAY 6: Acclimatization climb (4780m), 2.5hrs to highest point

The acclimatization climb involves going up a small knoll just by the side of Thyangba. There are no trails that lead up the knoll. There are scree slopes and scattered vegetation on the knoll. The ascent is steep and care has to be taken when walking on the scree slopes. From the top of the knoll, Parchamo peak can be seen.

Parchamo basecamp

Parchamo basecamp

DAY 7: Thyangba to Base Camp (4830m), 3hrs

The trail leads deeper into the valley of Thame Khola. The ascent was gradual for most of the way. Just before reaching the base camp, there is a ridge that is about 100m high blocking the way. It consists of loose rocks and is very steep. Although a rope is not necessary, the ascent is very energy sapping. The base camp is at the other side of ridge lower down. Parchamo can be seen very clearly from here. This is also the last camp where liquid water can be collected. The ground consists of bare rock but they are not snow covered. The sunlight can get quite intense at this high altitude.

DAY 8: Acclimatization climb (5120m), 2hrs to highest point

The acclimatization climb includes going up the route that we are going to take to the high camp. The path involves going up a small scree covered ridge before going up towards the high pass. The initial part of the climb is on bare rocks, but higher up, pass 5000m, snows start to cover the ground. The trek up till this point is quite steep.

Parchamo Highcamp

Parchamo highcamp on the high pass

DAY 9: Base camp to High camp (5600m), 6hrs

After the initial trek of about 3hrs, which consist mainly of walking on rocks, the rest of the journey is mainly on snow-covered ground. Once on the snow-covered ground, the trail is quite a gentle ascent. But after about 1hr, the ascent becomes steep, up a scree slope with stretches of snow-covered slope. Just before reaching the high camp, there is a very steep ascent of about 50m vertical heights that requires fix rope. It would be safer to make use of jumar and a helmet should be worn. The high camp was located beside an inclined cliff. Parchamo can be seen clearly from here. The tents were pitched on the snow-covered ground.

DAY 10: Acclimatization climb (5800m), 1hr to highest point

The acclimatization climb takes us up Parchamo. We stop just short of a very steep and high section while the guides climb up to anchor the 200m long fix rope.

DAY 11: From high camp to Summit ridge (6120m), 8hrs to summit ridge, 5hrs to return

For the summit attempt, we wake up at 1.30am and get ready to set off at 3.00am. The morning snow condition is very good. We quickly reach the base of Parchamo. The initial climb involves walking on a 45o slope that is about 20m long. There is a fix rope left behind by a previous expedition but it is not necessary to use it. It is followed by a very steep section, with slope up to 80o. Jumar is required to move up the 200m long fixed rope up the slope. The fixed rope is anchored at 4 points with an anchor on each end of the rope. Close to the middle section of the slope, there is a band of ice about 1.5m high.

After overcoming the 200m high steep slope, there is a relatively flat land to rest on. The route then turns left with narrow crevasses that cross the path. There are more slopes of about 40o to ascent. More crevasses are found across the path. The route then goes straight along the side of a ridge. At some point, it is necessary to go up the slope of the ridge which has a gradient of about 70o. The ascent is about 50m with fixed rope to assist in the ascent.

At the top of the ridge, care has to be taken to keep to the right side of the ridge due to the presence of cornices. After walking along the ridgeline, the route then turn left up another slope to the summit ridge which is the end point of the climb. From here, the true summit is said to take another 6hrs to reach. However, cornices and crevasses make it impossible to reach the true summit of Parchamo at 6187m without the use of ladders according to our guide.

Equipments used

Equipment Quantity Description/Model Remarks
Polar Fleece 200 1 Nepali thick fleece  
Polar Fleece 100 1 Nepali sleeveless fleece  
Down Jacket 1 Kathmundu “Goose down” Bought in New Zealand
Thermal Long-johns 3 pairs Polypropylene, wool  
Light weight fleece pants 1 Nepali fleece  
Gortex Jacket 1    
Gortex Pants 1    
Mountaineering boots 1 pair Solomon SM 9  
Trek-in boots 1 pair    
Woolen socks 2 pairs    
Socks inner liner 2 pairs    
Sandals 1 pair Nepali gortex  
Gaiters 1 pair    
Fleece gloves 1 pair Pro CAM-FIS, Polartec Windbloc  
Inner liner gloves 2 pairs Polypropylene  
Waterproof ski gloves 1 pair The North Face Gor-tex  
Cap 1   Wide-rim hat may be better
Scarf 1 SAF camou scarf Use to protect the neck against UV rays. Other bandanna may be better
Fleece hat 1 Nepali fleece hat  
Balaclava 1 Mammut Facemask  
Sleeping accessories
Sleeping bag 1 Down fill weight 600g  
Sleeping pad 1    
Mattresses 1   Provided by agent
Eye wear
Sunglasses 1 Reebok Ventra  
Snow goggles 1 Oakley “O” Frame  
1L Bottle 1 SIGG  
0.6L Bottle 1 SIGG  
Neoprene insulating pouch 2 SIGG One for each bottle
Climbing Equipment
Climbing Helmet 1   Rent in Nepal
Crampons 1 pair   Rent in Nepal
Ice hammer 1   Rent in Nepal
Ice axe 1   Rent in Nepal
Climbing Harness 1 Petzl Corax  
Belaying device 1 Camp Shell ATC  
Ascender 1 Petzl Tibloc Useless when used on Nylon fixed ropes
Locking Carabineers 5   2 pear, 3 standard
Snap Links 3    
Prussik slings (5-7mm) 3 Beal 1 x 2m; 1 x 5m; 1 x 0.5m
Slings (20mm) 2 Beal 1 x 1m, 1 x 2m
Tape (25mm) 1   3m
5m Cordilac 1   4mm, Aramid
65L Expedition backpack 1 Lowe alpine Frontier 65 +15  
50L Daypack 1 Jackwolf skin The plastic backsupport of the bag “disintegrated” after coming down from high camp
Pocket Knives & Tools 1 Richartz maxi 7 Maybe better to get one with pliers and screw drivers
Watch 1 SUUNTO Vector Excellent to have, got altimeter which is very useful
Trekking pole 1 pair Komperdell Northern Light  
Headlamp 1 Petzl Tikka  
Personal Care
Sun block 1 Coppertone SPF 45  
Lip Screen 1 Banana Boat SPF 30  
First Aid kit 1    
Toiletries 1 set    
Pee bottle 1 Nalgene Need at least 1L bottle
Vitamin C Bioflavonoids   Blackmores  
Glucosamine   Blackmores  
Gingko Forte 2000   Blackmores  
Group stores
High altitude tents 2-men 3 Vango imitation tents Provided by agent
Fixed Ropes 250m Nylon ropes Provided by agent
Dynamic ropes 100m   Provided by agent
Kerosene stoves and fuel     Provided by agent
Cooking and eating utensils     Provided by agent
Mattresses 1 each   Provided by agent
Chair 1 each   Provided by agent
Table 1   Provided by agent
Avalanche probe 2    
Walkie-Talkie 4 Motorola T5820  
Shovel 1    
Group first Aid Kit 1   Complete with medications
Ice Screw 2   Provided by agent
Snow stake 4   Provided by agent


Description Cost Remarks
Singapore to Kathmundu and back S$675 per person Thai airway
Singapore Airport Tax S$57 per person  
Excess Baggage cost:Domestic flight (Kathmundu to Lukla) approx. US$1 per kg per flight There is usually no restriction in the size of the hand carry bag
Visas S$65 per person  
Trekking peak fees S$700 for my team of 5 climbers  
Package Costs

  • Twin sharing accommodation at Greenwich Hotel in Kathmundu BB2.
  • Airport transfers in Kathmundu
  • Internal flight as per itinerary
  • Transportation as per itinerary by private vehicle
  • Trekking & camping arrangement backed by sherpa crew on full board basis
  • Necessary Fixed and Climbing Ropes
  • Service of 2 experienced climbing sherpas with their equipment allowance, daily wages & insurance
  • Porter clothing for crossing high pass
  • Insurance for Nepalese crew


  • Lunch & dinner while in Kathmandu.
  • Personal clothing and all sorts of Climbing Equipment (except ropes).
  • Travel & Medical Insurance.
  • Rescue evacuation in case of emergency.
  • Climbing Permit & climbing sherpas (see separate price above)
  • Expenses of personal nature.
  • Airport taxes and excess baggage charge on Lukla flights
About S$8000 for my team of 5  
Labour Cost
2 climbing Guides S$450  
Equipment Rental
Ice axe Rs25 per piece/day  
Ice hammer Rs50 per piece/day  
Crampons Rs35 per pair/day  
Helmet Rs15 per piece/day  
Down Jacket Rs35 per piece/day  
Snow Stakes Rs110 (buy)  
Jumar Rs25 per piece/day  
Trekking pole Rs25 per piece/day  
Kathmundu Guest house (Twin sharing) US$20 per day  
Nepal heli-evac coverage: Neco insurance US$13.20 per person per day  
AIA S$140 per person  
Tippings per crew member
Sirdar US$70  
Chief cook US$55  
Climbing guide US$50  
Assistant climbing guide US$40  
Kitchen staff US$15  
Porters US$10  

Exchange rate:
1 Sing Dollar : 40 Nepali Rupee (Rs)
1 Sing Dollar : 0.556 US Dollar (US$)

Note: Although equipments can be rented in Nepal, it is still better if you bring your own equipment as those over there are quite old and may not be that safe to use.


The following are the medicine used during the expedition. It is important that all the members in the team are aware of how to use the appropriate medicine. Where possible, the type of medicine, its usage and dosage should be clearly labeled on the medicine.


  • Loperamide (Stops diarrhoea)
  • Charcoal pills
  • Ciprofloxacin (antibiotic)

  • Maxalon (Good for AMS with nausea)

  • Panadol
  • Voltaren 50mg

  • Danzen (Anti-inflammatory)
  • MAC lozenges

  • Strepsil
  • Dhasedyl cough syrup
    Incessant Cough

  • Codipront
  • Venolin inhaler

  • Panadol
  • Voltaren SR 100mg
  • Voltaren 50 mg

  • Antacids

  • Diamox


Nepal Agent:
Nuwakott Ghar, Sanepa Chowk, PO Box: 105,
Kathmandu / Nepal
Tel: 01 554 5990, 554 5900, Fax: 01 552 6575

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