Himalaya Five Peaks Technical Climbing Course

Where better to do a technical mountaineering course than in the mountains of the Himalaya? The course is similar to a New Zealand TMC (Technical Mountaineering Course), with trekking and the ascent of three major peaks thrown in! The value for money when compared with alpine instruction courses around the world is fantastic.

Technical mountaineering courses allow participants to learn rock, snow and ice climbing as well as crevasse rescue, navigation and rope work. The course is aimed at those with previous basic mountaineering and/or trekking experience, but we’ll hold a mountaineering skills seminar for less experienced participants during the early stages. Most members will be involved in placing snow and rock anchors and belaying other team members.

Our climbing objectives on this expedition are Island Peak (Imja Tse) (6189m) and its neighbours Mehra (5820m) and Lobuje East (6100m) in the famous Khumbu Valley. We also visit Everest base camp and visit Gokyo Lakes and Ama Dablam base camp, as well as climbing Dingboche Ri and Kala Pattar! These outstanding mountains offer challenging, but attainable climbing objectives and are an ideal combination for first time expeditioners.

khumbu climbing

There is the optional extension to attempt the 6856m high Ama Dablam.

The expedition is led by an experienced mountain guide, and local climbing Sherpas. Our tried and trusted Nepalese staff are there to ensure that the camping trek and climbing stages of your trip are a wonderful, fun and safe experience.

The itinerary
Day 1 Arrive in Kathmandu
Days 2-3 Rock climbing in the Kathmandu valley, technical tuition. Sightseeing and cultural tour around Kathmandu
Day 4 Fly to Lukla
Day 5-11 Trekking up to the Khumbu and Gokyo Valleys
Day 12-28 Trekking and climbing
Day 29 Fly to Kathmandu

- Arriving in Kathmandu
One of the team meets you at Kathmandu airport and takes you to your hotel. After you settle into your room your trip leaders bring you up to date with the detailed plans and check over your equipment for the trip.

- Kathmandu, trip preparation
We spend a couple of days practising rope and rock climbing skills in the Kathmandu Valley, organising permits and sightseeing around Kathmandu. The ancient city of Kathmandu is home to many Buddhist and Hindu temples. There are plenty of chaotic streets, markets and restaurants to wander about in.

- Trekking in the Khumbu Valley
Like most visitors to the Everest region, we take the easy option (and save ourselves a long bus trip and a week-long walk) by flying to Lukla. We take several days to make our way up the valley, leaving plenty of time for our bodies to acclimatise and to enjoy the fantastic experience of the Nepalese countryside. Taking our own camping gear and staff means that we have a measure of independence and need not be restricted to staying in the larger villages.

khumbu valley

- Trekking in the Gokyo Valley
We head up into the stunning Gokyo Valley where the track clings to the western wall and the valley walls are so steep that steps are needed to surmount sections. Until quite recently the Gokyo Valley was visited only by yak herders in the summer months, but demand from the trekking industry has seen the expansion of a number of small villages, some of which are simply delightful. You will be amazed at the bowling green-smoothness of the walled yak pastures among this rugged terrain. We take our time heading up the valley as acclimatisation in these early stages of the trip is vitally important. The Gokyo Lakes and Gokyo Ri, toward the head of the valley, are stunning.

gokyo valley

- Crossing back to the Khumbu
We cross the enormously long Gokyo Valley near Dragnag and approach Cho La, the high route into the Khumbu. The glacier is quite flat and relatively crevasse free; depending on conditions we may not even need our crampons! From Dzongla on the eastern side we head down and around to near the village of Lobuje to make our first real base camp. We spend a few days on our rope skills and rock climbing on the lower parts of Lobuje and make a day trip to Kala Pattar, and Everest base camp.

- Peak number one: Lobuje East
After all this preparation we will be acclimatised and ready for Lobuje East itself. From a high camp, which is usually on rock, the ascent of stunning Lobuje East (6119m) requires cramponing on moderate snow with quite serious exposure to the valley below. As a consequence, we have the opportunity to test our rope techniques on the way to a spectacular view of Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Pomori and innumerable white fangs.

lobuje peak climbing

- Peak number two: Mehra
Our Kongma La camp also makes a great base camp for a scramble up Mehra (5820m). The climb to the summit of Mehra is relatively straight forward and provides fantastic views of the valleys all around and particularly back to Lobuje East and its neighbours. From there we trek east, to Chukung and on to Island Peak.

Mehra climbing

- Peak number three: Island Peak
Island Peak (Imja Tse) may be climbed by a number of different routes. We intend to carry out a ‘Grand Traverse’, ascending The Cook’s Ridge, traversing the summit ridge and descending the standard route. The summit icecap is cut with crevasses and there is some steep ground, so we will make use of our recently polished glacial travel, cramponing and rope skills. This is a truly spectacular peak, surrounded by enormous mountains, and the technical nature of our course means that we can explore some of its less travelled slopes.

Island Peak climbing

- Finish in Kathmandu
You will have time in Kathmandu to see the sights and buy gifts before heading home with amazing tales of your mountaineering exploits among the Sherpas and yaks and the grandeur of the Himalayas. It will not be your last trip to Nepal, everyone comes back to relive the magic of the place.

Is this trip suitable for you?
This course is aimed at introducing people to Himalayan climbing. It is an advantage to have done some overnight camping trips before but it is not required. A strong spirit of adventure and a willingness to stretch your boundaries and have a go is an essential requirement. Some experience of rock climbing beforehand would be a distinct advantage and many people have been bush walking prior to coming on these trips. Some participants may be looking for a transference of skills from rock to snow, or alpine-scale climbing to Himalayan climbing. The principal aim for the trip is for people to develop skills to use in their own climbing.

Those with rockcliming or good mountaineering experience may wish to extend their expedition by a few days to climb the most spectacular peak in the Khumbu: the 6856m high Ama Dablam.

This trip requires a high level of fitness and a few additional items that the normal trekking kit will not contain. Any trip to altitude can be potentially dangerous so every medical and technical precaution is taken to safeguard your safety and success. Comprehensive medical equipment, such as oxygen, Gammov bag and specialised drugs will be on hand. Ropes and other technical safety equipment are also provided: we do not skimp on kit. Safety of the entire group (including kitchen and climbing staff and porters) comes first.

You will need to be able to walk for 6-8 hours a day with a moderate day pack. The trekking days are not hugely long as your body needs time to acclimatise. You are on holiday after all, so there is time to stop for a long lunch and read a book or take some photographs. The route follows a valley floor for the most part, with the terrain uneven but generally not steep, although certainly hilly. We have people and animals to carry our heavy camping equipment, food and climbing gear.

Summit days and approach days require an extra special effort, but by then you should be quite strong from your pre-trip training and all the trekking during the previous weeks. A couple of big days of up to 10-18 hours are needed as we set off early in the morning for the summit.

In brief
Five peaks instruction course
Duration: October – Novevember, 29 days ex-Kathmandu (38 days with Ama Dablam climb)
Price: Contact Us
Level: instructional
Included in price
All airport transfers in Nepal, all accommodation in Nepal, breakfast in Kathmandu, sightseeing tour in Kathmandu, trekking permits, peak fees and National Park entry, porters, Sherpas and guides, all meals on trek and climb, local staff insurance. Group climbing gear such as ropes, snow stakes, protection. Group equipment such as stoves, tents, mats, kitchen gear, medical kit, medical oxygen, Gammov bag, satellite phone.
Excluded in price
International airfares, visas, transfer fees, departure taxes, excess baggage, tips to trek staff, hotels etc., personal travel insurance, lunch and dinner in KTM, personal expenses such as gifts, phone calls, laundry and alcohol, personal equipment.
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