Climbed before Island Peak for acclimatisation. We used a high camp by the lakes below the Kongma La and a quick ascent (3h) with easy scrambling saw us to the top. In anything but horrible conditions, it would be easy to solo and no rope is required. The last few meters can be fairly loose, though, as well as the summit blocks.
Climbed with Ryan V. as acclimatization for Ama Dablam. Broke trail in knee-high powder from Kongma La to North Ridge shoulder. Roped up and simul-climbed final snow/ice covered rock steps at about M4. LOTS of exposure and very poor pro. Descended via South Ridge.
My father Climbed South ridge in 20 years ago (~1980)
Dan Morris and I tried to climb the north ridge from the Kongma La, but were stopped by a very narrow and precipitous section midway up. However, we did manage to get up (the south summit?) of Kongma Tse the previous day. Climbing Kongma Tse, which is on the other side of the Kongma La, required circumventing some crevasses and scrambling over 3rd/4th class rock.
I climbed this as warm-up for Island Peak and Lobuche East (see summit log). This was probably the most difficult of the three peaks we did because of the snow conditions and state of the rock. Several inches of fresh snow made the lower slabs quite tricky and there was plenty of loose, buried boulders and rocks to catch you out. Despite this all 8 persons summitted before bad weather moved in. Top summit section is easy rock climbing and provided the most stable section.
We started at 4:00 a.m. from the village Lobuche to the Kongma La (5535m). From the col we had to descend around 80m to a small lake, from where we started our climb via the south ridge (opposite slopes seen from Kongma La). Had some snow in the lower shadowy regions (if more snow, crampons could be necessary - take it with you as precaution). Difficulty mostly caused by loose stones. Attached fixed ropes at the final summit ridge (see pictures). Descent directly to Chukung.
Climbing Pokalde Ri served as a 'warm-up' for Imja Tse as well.
We were treating Pokalde as a warm up for Island peak. From the splendid base camp by the base of the Kongma La we ascended the East Ridge.
I would grade this climb as PD. The rock is a little loose at times and you are scrambling rather than walking.
On the whole this was a rock scramble until near the summit where we put up two pitches. The summit itself was a large lump of rock which posed a few difficulties. It had snowed the night before but we did not need to put crampons on at all – in Winter (or colder conditions during the climbing season) this route would become quite tricky with mixed rock and ice.