If you are reading this, then you probably have made the decision of climbing Lobuche peak. Fantastic now let’s help you prepare for the climb. To increase your chances of summiting Lobuche peak, read this blog to find out our top 10 tips for Lobuche peak climbing that can help you reach your goal.
Firstly, You will need to understand what it takes to climb Lobuche and how you should prepare for climbing Lobuche peak. Lobuche consists of two peaks/summits, Lobuche East and Lobuche West. A continuous ridge connects both peaks and there is a sharp drop between them. Lobuche East is the most climbed peak while the West is seldomly climbed. Lobuche east stands tall at 6119m/20,075ft and Lobuche West at 6145m/20,160ft.
Lobuche peak climb is completely doable for people in good shape. It is also introduced as an ideal Himalayan climb for beginners. The climb provides a great ground to build further mountaineering skills. The climb to Lobuche east doesn’t consist of real difficulty but there is a feeling of some exposure along the route. Lobuche east peak climb also serves as a great introductory climb for people looking to do an 8000-m expedition. Many Everest climbers attempt Lobuche as part of their acclimatization.
South-East Ridge is the commonly used climbing route for Lobuche east peak climb. The route consists of a mixture of rock, snow and ice climbing.
At 6119m, Lobuche peak is a more technical climb than its neighbour peaks. It is a challenging climb that is not to be taken lightly. Here’s how you prepare for a successful summit climb to Lobuche peak. We hope these ten tips for climbing Lobuche peak will help you in preparing for the climb.
Our top 10 tips for Lobuche Peak Climbing
1. Choose the right itinerary for the climb
Having a balanced itinerary consisting of ample acclimatization, rest and contingency days is essential. Proper acclimatization with recommended elevation gain per day should be considered in the itinerary. You will need at least 3 weeks for the Lobuche peak climb. Do not cut short the itinerary in any way. You will find several companies offering 2 weeks expedition to Lobuche peak but do not fall into the trap. A longer itinerary may be difficult for you to afford due to your work and personal circumstance but this is the right way to climb.
Combine your Lobuche climb with the Everest base camp trek or Gokyo etc. If you are already acclimatized then you may consider going straight for the climb. But if you are not acclimatized then you should spend more time acclimatizing before heading for the climb. Even strong and experienced climbers are forced to turn back if they do not follow proper acclimatization.
2. Quality gears
Do not compromise on the quality of the gears. Out of many controllable and uncontrollable factors that contribute to a successful climb, having quality gear is all in your control. Quality gear will perform better and provide great comfort in the mountains. Make sure you have all the gears required for the climb including all accessories and a personal first aid kit.
If you plan to continue climbing in future, then it may be a good decision to invest in quality gear. But if this is your first and last time, then perhaps renting gear will save you a fortune. Good quality gear will also serve you long and provide great comfort. You should be prepared to experience climatic extremes, and having the right gear can make the experience a lot more comfortable. Read our equipment checklist for peak climbing and the best boots for peak climbing.
3. Fitness level for climbing Lobuche Peak
Lobuche peak is considered a technical peak consisting of mixed climbing, although many people still choose it for their first Himalayan climb. Training well ahead in advance can help you greatly. The fitter you are, the more enjoyable your climb will be. The 3 weeks journey to the summit of 6119m peak and back is a challenging task. Training well ahead in advance is the best tip for climbing Lobuche east peak.
Your journey to Lobuche begins before you set foot in Nepal. Do your training on steep rough ground, off-trail, and even scrambling. This will not only help you to train your fitness level but also provides you with the knowledge of the similar route you are going to tread. Start with general conditioning training to improve your fitness level and aerobic capacity. This will greatly improve your performance level and provide you with a base for more specific training. Finally, you should do specific training for peak climbing. Specific training would be like climbing a smaller mountain in your region. You should also carry a heavy backpack and wear mountaineering boots when climbing peaks for specific training.
4. Basic Mountaineering Skills
Lobuche peak is graded Alpine PD+ on an alpine grading system with a route consisting of 45 Degree snow slopes and exposed ridge climbing. Out of other popular trekking peaks in Nepal especially in the Everest region, Lobuche Peak Climb offers a more technical feel to the climb. Use of climbing equipment is required and you should be comfortable walking with the crampons. On a guided climb, there will be a guide to assist you and provide you with instructions on skills relative to the climb. Most of the section on Lobuche peak is fixed-roped. Having a basic knowledge of fixed ropes and crampons is greatly beneficial.
5. Climbing course and preparation
Schedule one full day just for the climbing course or refreshment training. A good briefing and talking will not be enough while climbing a peak, especially when it requires the use of climbing gears. Demonstration of equipment, using the equipment correctly, knowing the risks involved, and learning simple life-saving techniques are vital. You might have acquired basic skills and learned techniques for peak climbing, but, each peak may require a different set of skills and techniques. A climbing course before the actual climb will help you in knowing the terrain and using the equipment correctly and efficiently. If you are an experienced climber, it still will not hurt to keep a day as a refreshment training.
6. Keep the intensity and effort level low early in the trip
Your objective is to reach the summit and you should save your strength and effort for the big day. Do not go all in at the beginning days. Take it slow and easy at the start and gradually increase your intensity. Don’t rush, walk at your own pace and build your endurance over the days. Have rest and acclimatization, hydrate and feed yourself properly and get good night rest. The summit day will be long and can take 10-12 hrs. This is the day you will need all your strength. Taking it too hard, in the beginning, can lead to tiresome, injuries and prevent you from reaching the summit.
7. Guided climb to Lobuche Peak
Peak climbing in Nepal requires climbers to go with a guide company and should be accompanied by licensed and registered climbing guides. The permit will not be issued to individual climbers unlike trekking to Everest base camp. Although this is a formality, having a guide is definitely recommended and essential. Your guide will assist you during the climb and help you accomplish your objective safely and successfully. Also, the ropes will be fixed for you before the ascent and they will take care of every logistics required for a successful ascent.
8. Get an Insurance
We highly recommended getting travel insurance before doing any adventurous activities. Peak climbing in Nepal involves different risks and having Insurance that will cover you during any unprecedented event is life-saving. Make sure you check with your insurance provider if they cover peak climbing activity in Nepal and be sure to include helicopter evacuation and trip cancellation on your coverage. Helicopter evacuation in Nepal can cost anywhere from USD 4000 to USD 10,000 depending on the helicopter and rescues performed.
9. Cut the cord
This may sound like a weird tip for Lobuche peak climbing but trust us when we say CUT THE CORD. Being in constant touch with family and friends, especially during the climb is not going to help you at all. Keeping in touch once in a while for moral support and encouragement is a good thing but constant is not the way to do it.
Apart from physical fitness, you should have the fierce determination and solid mental strength to achieve the goal. You should be all clear in your mind and be fully focused and committed to the climb. While we understand that your family and friends will be worried, texting and calling them constantly is going to backfire instead. Let them know that you will not be able to be in touch and that you will be safe and sound. Those who constantly keep in touch with family and friends are the ones who often turn back without summiting.
Last but not least on our top 10 tips for Lobuche peak climbing is to listen to your guides, and your body, and pay attention to the mountain. Climbing a peak involves various factors that can cause fluid situations and may present you with difficult times. Each climber’s experiences will be different while climbing. The thin air at high altitudes affects everyone differently. You should always listen to your guide’s advice and share your experience honestly. Listen to your body and how it is dealing at altitude. Prepare yourself accordingly and always seek advice from the guide and other experienced team members.
Climbing a 6000m peak involving multiple days of long arduous walks, cold nights and extreme weather etc can all make it a difficult and daunting task. But if you come prepared, take your time, and believe in yourself; you can make it to the top! These are our top 10 tips for Lobuche peak climbing.