Just above Gorak Shep, which is the last village before Everest base camp, and about 3 miles down the valley, is a peak called Kalapattar. It's not a mountain, rather Kalapattar is a prominent point on a ridgeline that leads up to another mountain called Pumori. For many trekkers in the Everest region, the peak is their high point - at around 19,000 feet above sea level. Yesterday, myself and my good friend John climbed Kalapattar to stretch our legs and get out of base camp for a few hours.
It's starting to look like we're going to have a long wait before we get a weather window suitable for a summit attempt. We've already been off the mountain for five days. It will be at least a few more days before we even start to think about heading back up. I need to maintain two things to stay ready for our summit bid: activity and elevation. Unfortunately, in the immediate Everest base camp region there aren't too many ways to gain elevation without putting myself at significant risk. So, whenever possible, I will walk up to Pumori base camp, which takes about two hours from my camp and gives me about 1000 feet of elevation gain.
Yesterday John and I walked to Pumori base camp but we were both feeling restless and strong so we kept going until we found ourselves underneath Kalapattar. Neither one of us had been up the ridgeline before, so we decided to head up. After about 45 minutes of climbing we found ourselves at the top. Now usually, Kalapattar offers the best views of Everest you can get. But yesterday it was cloudy and cold, so we were only able to steal glimpses of the peak through the clouds. I wasn't disappointed though, if my hunch is right and we're not headed up the mountain for at least another four or five days, I think we'll probably come back down here and head up Kalapattar again to stay active, hopefully we'll get a sunny day to do it on.
For more details, visit Rob's No Guts Know Glory Everest Expedition blog.