If you’re reading this, you’ve probably decided to climb Lobuche Peak. Fantastic now let us help you prepare for the climb. To increase your chances of climbing Lobuche Peak, read this blog to discover our top 10 tips for climbing Lobuche Peak that will help you reach your goal.
First, you need to understand what it takes to climb Lobuche and how you should prepare to climb Lobuche Peak. Lobuche consists of two peaks/summits, Lobuche East and Lobuche West. A continuous ridge connects both peaks with a sharp drop between them. Lobuche East is the most climbed peak while the west is rarely climbed. Lobuche East is high at 6119m/20,075ft and Lobuche West is high at 6145m/20,160ft.
Climbing Lobuche Peak is completely doable for people in good shape. It is also presented as an ideal Himalayan climb for beginners. Climbing provides a great foundation for building more mountaineering skills. The climb to Lobuche East does not involve real difficulty but there is a sense of some exposure along the way. Lobuche East Peak also serves as an excellent introductory climb for people looking to climb the 8000m trek. Many mountain climbers attempt Lobuche as part of their acclimatization.
The south-east ridge is the commonly used climbing route for the Lobuche East Summit. The route has a mix of rock, snow and ice climbing.
At 6119m, Lobuche Peak is a more technical climb than its neighboring peaks. This is a challenging climb that should not 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 prepare for the climb.
1. Choose the right itinerary for climbing
It is essential to have a balanced itinerary with adequate flexibility, rest and contingency days. Appropriate acclimation with the recommended altitude gain per day should be considered in the itinerary. You need at least 3 weeks to climb Lobuche Peak. Do not shorten the itinerary in any way. You will find many companies offering 2 week expeditions to Lobuche Peak but don’t fall into the trap. Due to your work and personal circumstances it may be difficult for you to afford a longer itinerary but it is the right way to board.
Combine your Lobuche climb with Everest base camp trek or Gokyo etc. If you are already used to it, you can consider climbing directly. But if you are not used to it, you should spend more time before heading for the climb. Even strong and experienced climbers are forced to fall back if they don’t follow proper adaptations.
2. Quality Gears
Don’t compromise on the quality of the gear. Among the many controllable and uncontrollable factors that contribute to a successful climb, having quality gear is all within your control. Quality gear will perform well and provide great comfort on the hills. Make sure you have all the gear you need for climbing, including a personal first aid kit.
If you plan to continue climbing in the future, investing in quality gear may be a good decision. But if it’s your first and last time, maybe renting gear will save you a fortune. Good quality gear will serve you longer and provide greater comfort. You should be prepared to experience extreme climates, and having the right gear can make the experience much easier.
3. Fitness Level to Climb Lobuche Peak
Lobuche Peak is considered the technical peak of mixed climbing, although many people still choose it for their first Himalayan ascent. Good training in advance can help you a lot. The fitter you are, the more enjoyable your climb will be. A 3-week trek to the 6119m peak is a daunting task. Advance training is a good way to climb Lobuche East Peak.
Lobuche’ journey begins before setting foot in Nepal. Do your training on steep rough terrain, off-trail, and even scrambling. It not only helps you to train your fitness level but also gives you knowledge of the same path you walk. 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 foundation for more specific training.
4. Basic Mountaineering Skills
Lobuche Peak is classified as Alpine PD+ on the Alpine Grading System which includes 45 degree snow slopes and exposed ridge climbing. Among the other popular trekking peaks in Nepal, especially in the Everest region, Lobuche Peak offers a more technical feel to the climb. Use of climbing equipment is required and you should be comfortable walking with crampons. In a guided climb, you will have a guide to assist you and provide instructions on skills relative to the climb. Most of Lobuche Peak is fixed-roped. Having a basic knowledge of fixed ropes and crampons is very beneficial.
5. Climb Course and Preparation
Just schedule a full day for a climbing course or refresher training. A good briefing and conversation is not enough when climbing a peak, especially when the use of climbing gears is required. Equipment performance, proper use of equipment, knowing the risks involved, and learning simple life-saving techniques are important. You may have learned the basic skills and techniques for summit climbing, but each peak requires different skills and techniques. A climbing course before the actual climb will help you learn the terrain and use the equipment correctly and effectively.
6. Keep the intensity and effort level low at the beginning of the trip
Your objective is to reach the summit and you must save your energy and effort for the big day. Don’t go all out in the early days. Take it slow and easy at first and gradually increase your intensity. Don’t rush, walk at your own pace and build your endurance over the days. Rest and acclimatize, hydrate and feed yourself well and get a good night’s rest. Peak days will be long and may take 10-12 hours. You need all your strength on this day. Pushing too hard in the beginning can lead to fatigue, injury and prevent you from reaching your peak.
7. Guided climb to Lobuche Peak
For peak climbing in Nepal, climbers must be accompanied by a guide company and must be accompanied by licensed and registered climbing guides. Unlike trekking, individual climbers are not allowed at Everest Base Camp. Although this is a formality, having a guide is definitely recommended and necessary. Your guide will assist you during the climb and help you complete your objective safely and successfully. Also, the ropes will be fixed for you before the climb and they will take care of every logistics required for a successful climb.
8. Get an Insurance
We recommend obtaining travel insurance before undertaking any adventure activity. Climbing a peak in Nepal involves various risks and having an insurance that covers you in case of any unforeseen event is a lifesaver. You should check with your insurance provider if they cover trekking activities in Nepal and be sure to include helicopter evacuation and trip cancellation in your coverage. A helicopter rescue in Nepal can cost anywhere from USD 4000 to USD 10,000 depending on the helicopter and the rescue.
9. Cut The Rope
This may sound like a strange tip for climbing Lobuche Peak but trust us when we say CUT THE CORD. Being in constant contact with family and friends will not help you at all, especially during the climb. It’s good to be in touch once in a while for moral support and encouragement but not the way to do it constantly.
Apart from physical fitness, one must have determination and solid mental strength to achieve the goal. You must be all clear in your mind and fully focused and committed to the climb. While we understand that your family and friends will be worried, instead of texting and calling them constantly, the opposite will happen. Let them know you can’t be in touch and that you’ll be safe and sound. Those who stay in constant contact with family and friends are the ones who often return without reaching the summit.
Last but not least in our top 10 tips for climbing Lobuche Peak, listen to your guides and your body and pay attention to the mountain. Climbing a peak involves various factors that can lead to fluid conditions and give you a hard time. Each climber’s experience while climbing is different. 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 behaving at altitude. Prepare yourself accordingly and always seek advice from guides and other experienced team members.
Long days of hard walking, cold nights and climbing a 6000m peak in extreme weather can make it a tough and challenging task. But if you are ready, take your time, and believe in yourself. You can make it to the top! These are our top 10 tips for climbing Lobuche Peak.