Nepal mountaineering route map.

High-Altitude Chronicles: Preparing for the Everest Base Camp, Three Passes, and Lobuche Summit Adventure

I’m thrilled to share my upcoming adventure with you all. I’m heading to Nepal for the Everest Base Camp, the Three Passes trail spanning 103 miles, and the Lobuche Summit at 6119 meters. You might be wondering, why take on such a challenging journey? Well, it’s all part of my training for the ultimate goal – conquering Mount Everest. This expedition will help me acclimatize to the high altitudes, a crucial step in preparing for Everest.

Now, let’s dive into the gear I’m bringing along for this incredible adventure. It’s essential to ensure I have everything I need, and I’ll even be picking up a few items before I go. So, what have I got lined up for the Three Passes and Lobuche Summit?

A mountaineer’s clothes and equipment laid out on a floor.

First up, these boots. They’re not your everyday footwear. These are Scarpa Phantom 8000 boots, and they come with a price tag of £880. These boots are specially designed for extreme altitudes, over 8000 meters. They’re not just thick; they’re built to keep me warm and dry. There are three layers to these boots. The first layer is the outer shell, providing protection from the elements. The second layer is nestled in the middle, offering extra insulation. And the third layer, well, it’s like having warm, cozy slippers inside. Imagine being on Mount Everest, over 8000 meters high, in the death zone, where temperatures plummet. These boots are my lifeline to keeping my feet warm and comfortable in the most extreme conditions.

Now, you might be wondering why I’m bringing these to the Lobuche Summit. The reason is simple. I need to break them in and get comfortable with them before I tackle Mount Everest. It’s a recommendation from my Sherpa, and I trust their experience and expertise. So, these boots will not only accompany me to Lobuche but also prepare me for the grand Everest adventure.

For the Three Passes trek, I’ll be relying on my trusty Scarpa Mescalito Trek GTX boots. I’ve taken these boots on several hikes, and they’ve been with me through thick and thin. They’re perfectly broken in and provide the comfort and support I need for this challenging journey through the Three Passes. They’ve proven themselves on previous hikes, and I believe they’ll hold up well on this adventure too.

Now, let’s delve deeper into the gear I’ll be carrying. I’d like to start with my rucksack. Originally, I had a 65-liter one, but after some careful consideration, I’ve decided to adapt to a 40-liter rucksack. Why the change, you ask? Well, it’s because I’ll have a porter Sherpa with me who can handle the heavier loads, around 15 to 20 kilograms. This means I can opt for a smaller rucksack, just big enough to carry my essentials.

Next up, I’ve got my helmet, harness, and climbing equipment. These items are crucial for the Lobuche Summit. I’ve chosen a Mammut helmet for its reliability, and I’ve also packed a locking carabiner. Safety is a top priority, especially when it comes to high-altitude climbing.

For illumination during those early morning treks, typically starting around 2 or 3 am, I’ve packed not one but two headlights by Petzl. These will provide me with sufficient brightness to navigate the trails safely. However, I’m also planning to get a backup headlight and extra batteries to ensure I’m never left in the dark.

Nepal mountaineering route map.
Nepal mountaineering route map.

Now, I want to make it clear that none of these items are sponsored. I’ve personally purchased each piece of gear to ensure quality and reliability for my journey.

For staying warm and comfortable, I’ve packed a mid-layer fleece by Mountain Equipment. This will come in handy when I visit tea houses along the way, providing that extra layer of warmth. Additionally, I have a heavy-layer fleece by RAB. It’s a fantastic piece of clothing known for its insulation properties. I’m also bringing along extra layers of fleeces by RAB and Mountain Equipment to keep me toasty in those chilly mountain nights.

But that’s not all; I’ve got my base layers, trousers, and more essentials lined up. I believe in the importance of layering to regulate body temperature in the ever-changing mountain climate.

Now, let’s talk about the importance of fleeces in my gear list. Fleeces are an essential part of staying warm in the mountains. They provide insulation, and the beauty of layering is that I can add or remove them as needed. If the temperature starts to rise, I can easily shed a layer to stay comfortable. But, if the weather takes a turn and rain sets in, I’ve got my trusty GORE-TEX waterproof coat by Mountain Equipment to keep me dry. It’s worth noting that I won’t be using it at higher altitudes where the air is drier, as its efficiency may be compromised.

In addition to my waterproof coat, I’ve also packed a windproof jacket by Rab and another GORE-TEX Pro Jacket by Mountain Equipment. These are versatile pieces of gear that will help me adapt to varying weather conditions as I trek through the beautiful Nepalese landscapes.

Lastly, my final coat is a down jacket by Mountain Equipment, boasting 700-fill power insulation. I contemplated going for higher fill power, like 800 or 900, but after careful consideration, I’ve found that 700-fill will serve me well on this trip. It’ll provide the warmth I need while being practical and efficient.

In terms of capturing the adventure, I’ve recently sold my old GoPro and will be upgrading to the GoPro 12 and an Insta360 camera. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to bring my drone along as the permit costs a hefty $6000! Instead, I’ll be documenting the journey with my GoPro and Insta360. It’s an exciting time, and I can’t wait to share the breathtaking views and experiences with you all.

Now, there are still a few more things to acquire, like liner gloves and mitt gloves, especially crucial for the Lobuche Summit. With less than 32 days to go, the countdown has truly begun. My trek will take me through the Three Passes, visiting Everest Base Camp before the ascent to the Lobuche Summit. I’m eagerly anticipating the adventure, and I can’t wait to bring you along on this incredible journey starting from the 13th of October 2023.

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