OverviewKongde Ri (or Kwande) is regarded as a holy mountain
by the Khumbu region settlers but is open to climbing. Kongde Ri stands prominently in front of the main cultural and maket centre of Sherpa life the village of Namche Bazar.
Kongde Ri, first summitted in 1975 is a multi-summit peak and is steep and difficult. It can be scaled by both the south and north faces.
To get to Nepal you will have to fly from either India, Thailand or Singapore.
To get to New Delhi India try (there are many others).
Royal Air Nepal
Kongde Ri can be viewed by the trekking route through the Khumbu Valley to Namche Bazaar. It lies SW of Namche, on the east end of the Lumding Himal. Basecamp lies in the remote Lumding Valley.
If you have the time, do the walk for the following three reasons:
The old Expedition route from Kathmandu
1 - You will have a chance to walk through one of the most lush and beautiful lowland areas in Nepal. This is an area that a lot of trekkers miss when flying to Lukla. You will also cross over two high passes with excellent views in all directions.
2 - By taking 2 weeks to arrive in the Khumbu area, and having already crossed over two high passes, you will be better acclimatized once you arrive in the high peaks area. You will enjoy this more, as you will be huffing and puffing less.
3 - You will be following the route taken by most of the early expeditions. There is a lot of history along that path. Why not soak it up? You will also have the bragging rights that you did the same route they did in years gone by.
Flying is fast and that has its advantages. If you have ever been in Lukla after several days of no flights after bad weather you will understand this. (Trekkers fight over seats to make their connecting flights home)
Flying into Lukla 9,350 ft.:
(Note walking times are approximate a lot will depend on how you acclimitize.) Slowly decend to Phakding 8,700 ft. about 2 hr walk from Lukla, you will probably overnight here.
The next morning after about 2-3 hours you will pass through Jorsale 9,100 ft. Here is where you will pay a fee and enter the Sagarmatha (Everest) National Parkand. You will then continue for another 2-3 hours up hill to the main Village of Namche Bazaar 11,300 ft. This is quite an elevation gain especially for those who have flown in.
You should rest here one to two days, doing small side trips ect. to acclimitize.
From here you will have to decend back down south to the river floor and cross over to head to the base of Kwangde.
If you are not able to mount an Official Expedition try one of these guided ascents
Alpine Ascents International
Avoiding altitude sicknessYou should be prepared for the possible onset of altitude sickness. High altitudes are stressful on the body, and lack of oxygen up high can produce slightly debilitating effects, such as fatigue, headaches, shortness of breath, loss of appetite, nausea, and a drunken gait. Altitude sickness generally doesn’t occur below 10,000 feet, but people have suffered its symptoms lower than 8,000 feet.
There’s not much you can do to prevent this problem, but there are ways of alleviating its effects. The key to doing this is simple: take it easy. Take a day or two before beginning the walk in to acclimatize yourself to the elevation. Go at your own pace, and don’t take chances. Even if you’re in excellent shape, don’t be fooled. The lack of oxygen at such high altitudes can definitely throw your lungs for a loop. Walk at a comfortable, slow pace and don’t carry too much weight. Make sure to hydrate yourself regularly, drinking 4 to 5 liters (nalgene bottles) of water per day; On some climbs camelbacks can be mountain companions because of their convenient water portability. The only problem being keeping the nozzle clean, I find they can get gross and need constant cleaning. My self I attach a 1 litre Nalgene bottle to each side of my backpack so that I can reach them easily without removing my pack. These solutions would have to be modified to suit the weather and conditions of climbing Kongde-Ri. Bottles would have to be insulated and the tube from the camelback could tend to freeze up. Taking antioxidant vitamins (A, C, and E) also helps reduce the effects of high altitudes. Of course working out before you go is another great preventative measure. While this doesn’t guarantee an easier time when up high, it can enhance your lungs’ ability to cope with the challenges of high elevations.
Try to spread out your ascent over a period of two or three days to give your body more time to adapt. Play by the “climb-high, sleep-low” theory of ascent: go on a short hike to a higher elevation, then return to the (lower) elevation at which you’ll sleep.
Physical fitness, as mentioned above, is no guarantee against developing altitude sickness. Past excursions to high elevations without developing symptoms is similarly no guarantee against getting sick. There’s no way to predict who is more susceptible to altitude sickness, although climbers who overexert themselves, those who are panting or breathless, and those who stagger far behind the rest of the group are likely candidates.
Surefire signs of impending illness include extreme fatigue, headache,
loss of appetite, and shortness of breath. If you experience any of these symptoms, the best thing to do is take a break from climbing for a couple days to acclimatize. Once the symptoms disappear, it’s safe for you to continue. If the symptoms persist or get worse, you should descend to a lower elevation.
More serious levels of the illness include increasing tiredness, severe headaches, vomiting, and loss of coordination, and are indicative of acute mountain sickness (AMS). If such symptoms appear, don’t hesitate to get immediate medical attention. If serious symptoms go ignored for more than 12 hours, they could have dire--even fatal--effects, such as accumulation of fluid in the lungs or brain. The most important symptom of AMS is loss of coordination. If someone staggers or walks in a drunken gait, check them out for further signs of AMS. A good test is, essentially, the police’s test for drunkenness--ask the person to walk in a straight line, placing one foot directly in front of the other without staggering or losing balance. If the person cannot perform, he or she should descend immediately--and never alone. Go slowly and without exertion, and ideally while it’s light outside. Descend should continue until symptoms begin to decrease; relief usually occurs within 1,000 to 1,500 feet.
There are prescription drugs out there that you can take for severe symptoms. One of the most common is called Diamox; it works by stimulating your breathing. Diamox is a strong medication and has some slight side effects, such as an annoying tingling in the fingers and toes. You will urinate more frequently so getting out of the tent at night in a storm could be a problem (if you don’t use a pee bottle). This will also necessitate you dringing more fluids to compensate. If you take too much I have seen people get very ill. I avoid taking it if if I can.
PermitsYes there are permits required. These can be arrainged by yourself or the firm that you hire to support your team. There is also an entry visa to Nepal.
The below can be of help.
The General Secretary,
Nepal Mountaineering Association
Post Box No. 1435,
Helping the Sherpa communityThere are several organizations dedicated to helping the Sherpa community. Here are just two. Should you wish to contribute to this worthwhile cause contact either of the following organizations though the information below.
The Sir Edmond Hillary Foundation
222 Jarvis Street
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
The American Himalayan Foundation
The American Himalayan Foundation
909 Montgomery Street, suite 400
San Francisco CA 94133
Telephone (415) 288-7245
Fax (415) 434-3130
GearlistPartial Equipment list info:
Here is a brief incomplete list for you. Minus the Climbing gear
2-pairs of shorts for the walk in
3-T-shirts for the walk in
2-bandanas or a sun hat to keep off the sun
Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen plus zinc
Good sturdy hiking shoes
1-sleeping bag (as warm as you can get)
1-sleeping pad (your choice the more comfortable you are the better you sleep the more energy you will have) you can get a Crazy Creek chair that goes with your pad this is a good investment.
2-expedition weight Patagonia long underwear tops (or 1 depends on how dirty you like to be)
1-expedition weight Patagonia long underwear bottom
1 lightweight fleece bottom
1-heavy weight Patagonia or similar fleece jacket
1-Gortex shell jacket
1-Gortex shell pants (full length zippers)
1-Down filled jacket liner from Feathered Friends of Seattle, (optional but I always end up using it)
1-Downfilled Gortex guides Parka 1-Warm hat with ear flaps
2-pairs of heavy duty mittens (in case you lose one pair up high)
1-pair fleece gloves 1-pair ski gloves
1-pair of Koflach double plastic boots, One Sport (warmer)($$$) or Asolo (I prefer Koflach, I find them more comfortable)
1-pair of gaitors
1-pair ski poles
1-pair of sharp crampons (test them on your boots before you leave and make sure they fit perfectly)
1-headlamp with extra batteries and bulbs
1-cup with spoon attached
1- stove of your choice (I use Markhill stormy hanging stone with Blueway cartridges, you will have to get fuel in Nepal as it is difficult to fly over) Allow at least 1 canister per day for up high per 2-man tent.
1-4 tents one set up at base camp. one at camp 1, and another 2 for higher up.
3-1-litre waterbottles with insulators (drink at LEAST 5 litres a day to help acclimatize)
Political situationNote on Nepal. There had been a cease fire and talks between the Government and the Maoist who were causing issues in parts of the country. This has led to them being included in the government. Lets hope this coalition holds so that locals, trekkers and climbers can all enjoy this wonderful place in peace.
- Trekking in Nepal
Trekking/Climbing site with information about summitting Kongde/Kwande