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
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.
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.
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.
|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|
|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|
|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|
|Sleeping bag||1||Down fill weight 600g|
|Mattresses||1||Provided by agent|
|Snow goggles||1||Oakley “O” Frame|
|Neoprene insulating pouch||2||SIGG||One for each bottle|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|Sun block||1||Coppertone SPF 45|
|Lip Screen||1||Banana Boat SPF 30|
|First Aid kit||1|
|Pee bottle||1||Nalgene||Need at least 1L bottle|
|Vitamin C Bioflavonoids||Blackmores|
|Gingko Forte 2000||Blackmores|
|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|
|Group first Aid Kit||1||Complete with medications|
|Ice Screw||2||Provided by agent|
|Snow stake||4||Provided by agent|
|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|
|About S$8000 for my team of 5|
|2 climbing Guides||S$450|
|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|
|Assistant climbing guide||US$40|
1 Sing Dollar : 40 Nepali Rupee (Rs)
1 Sing Dollar : 0.556 US Dollar (US$)
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)
- Voltaren 50mg
- Danzen (Anti-inflammatory)
- MAC lozenges
- Dhasedyl cough syrup
- Venolin inhaler
- Voltaren SR 100mg
- Voltaren 50 mg
Nuwakott Ghar, Sanepa Chowk, PO Box: 105,
Kathmandu / Nepal
Tel: 01 554 5990, 554 5900, Fax: 01 552 6575