27 Oct 2021 Peak Climbing Nepal
Khumbu is undoubtedly a trekker’s paradise but where and when to walk here is highly seasonal. Trekking anywhere at any time is impossible, especially in mountains. That’s probably why trekkers are so careful when it comes to hiking Baruntse.
The mountain lies in eastern Nepal between Imja, Hunku, and Barun Glacier. Baruntse is almost 164 km away from Kathmandu, bounded by Makalu and Lhotse. The actual trek starts from Chhuthang, after taking a scenic flight to Lukla.
The Baruntse expedition is unlike any other trek in the Himalayas. It’s much more than the standard trekking with plenty of technical climbs, steep hills, and mountain ridges. The trek above the valley is incredibly tough due to the intense cold and low temperature.
In this scenario, it’s just fair for trekkers to be a little picky and choose the best time for mountain climbing. Visiting Baruntse at the right time helps them prevent unfortunate circumstances and enjoy the adventure.
It also provides them with pre-information about the weather and climatic conditions, which can save hikers a day. The best time of the year to visit Baruntse is from mid-September to November when the weather is mild. Autumn is the season to sightsee spectacular mountain ranges, varied topography, and rock hills from the summit.
The second ideal season for a Baruntse expedition is Spring, between March and May. The weather is warm during the season, with temperatures above freezing point, making it easier to steer the trail. Spring weather is mild with long days, allowing trekkers to take their time while climbing the mountain.
Trekkers can have a crystal-clear view of Everest and its surrounding snow peaks including Nuptse, Ama Dablam, and Cho Oyu. If you ever want to escape the crowd or trek in a quiet setting, winter could be the season. But, be prepared to face the arctic weather with snowfall and
Frankly, winter isn’t the right time, though Baruntse climbing provided frigid weather with high winds and storms. The season is frosty with harsh climatic conditions that make it extremely hard for trekkers to enjoy the trip.
Just like its neighbor, Baruntse is bitterly cold in winter. Time and again, its trail witnesses heavy snowfall and blizzards on the way to the summit. To reach the summit, you might have to fight against heavy rainfall, murky trails, and cold weather.
Best time for Baruntse Climbing Season
Finding the right walk that suits all seasons is always tough in mountains. With the varied topography, unpredictable weather, and dynamic natural conditions, trekkers are unable to climb the peak anytime they want, especially the lofty mountains like Baruntse. Therefore, to prevent risks and enjoy beautiful weather, climbers should trek the mountain during peak season.
Spring is the perfect time to take on the trails of Baruntse as it offers lovely weather with jaw-dropping views. The season is known for having fairly consistent and mild weather, which makes the mountain climb relatively easier.
The season falls between March and May, after the cold days of winter have fully passed. Of course, the early days are not as affectionate as the mid-season, but the trekkers can still have a lovely time. Temperatures around the month are well below 0 Degree Celsius though it sees a gradual increase over time.
It tends to be warm during the days at Baruntse while the nights are shivering cold. The air is crisp at the summit, but it’s fresh and a bit warm below in the base camp. So, trekkers climbing the mountain must carry enough warm clothes to avoid suffering from cold.
Days are long in spring, so trekkers have slightly more time to settle themself and go easy on the trail. Spring has its highest temperature in April, but it’s still icy on the crest. So don’t forget to pack a fleece or a high-insulated jacket.
Trails of Baruntse barely see snow off the ground, so trekkers will have to prepare themselves for the snow walk over a mountain ridge and Hunku glacier. Apart from the weather, it’s the picturesque view that calls the trekkers for the mountain climb.
Spring weather is incredibly fascinating, with green foliage and vibrant valleys until the trail stops at the base camp. Above the base camp, the climate is a little harsh, following a continuous drop in temperature. Local guides help navigate the trail to the mountain, making the expedition comfortable and easier.
After reaching the summit, hikers can relish the fantastic view of Ama Dablam, Cho Oyu, Nuptse, and Mt. Everest. They can also witness diverse landscapes, shimmering Imja Glacier, serene lakes, and side cliffs on the clear day of Spring.
The view from the summit looks like a picture straight out of the postcard. It’s naturally stunning and magnificent with pleasant weather and bright sunshine. Down in the valley, Spring puts an impressive sight of full-bloom rhododendrons and wildflowers. In the sanctuary, Trekkers are expected to encounter a few wild animals and birds, including Himalayan Tahr and musk deer.
Many locals in Khumbu believe that Fall is the prettiest time to trek Baruntse, and the climbers couldn’t agree more. The season is really something else, whether in terms of climate, scenic view, or atmosphere.
The weather conditions in Autumn are similar to Spring, except it starts with a temperate climate and settles up for cold winter. The season begins from mid-September, just after the monsoon flees the region. So, trekkers can expect hot days in the first few weeks.
But as the day flies, the weather starts to cool off, with the temperature falling rapidly. Days are warmer on valley floors, but after reaching high altitude, it too gets terrible. Following the low atmospheric pressure at the summit and along the way, trekkers will have to brave the cold while climbing the mountain.
They’ll even have to climb the trail covered in a slush pile of snow, which is quite hard. They are slippery, and the snow sticks on the hiking pants, making them wet. The average temperature decreases gradually as trekkers proceed to the mountain and make it difficult to climb.
The weather gets lovely from late September with long sunny days and cool evenings. Temperatures are not as freezing as in the winter, but it’s still low so, make sure to carry enough warm clothes. Mornings are a bit foggy during the month, causing the sight a bit poor.
As monsoon’s heavy downpour washes away bags of dust in the air, the visibility gets strong and clear. Trekkers can snap the view of glistening mountains, including Ama Dablam and Thamserku, from miles without struggling.
Rolling hills with lush green forests make the exhausting journey pretty exciting and enjoyable during autumn. With the clear sky and clean air, trekkers will be able to catch stunning glimpses of a 360-degree view of Makalu, Cho Oyu, Lhotse, and Everest.
Fall foliage is at its peak during October, with trees changing their red, yellow, and orange colors. Its forest lits up in vivid colors while the mountain glistens with white snow. Climbers making their way through the village will even get to watch the verdant meadows with green terrains. The weather in autumn sees its average high temperature at this very month.
After mid-November, the trees begin to lose their leaves, and the weather gets cold. As the month gets closer to its end, the temperature drops quickly, reaching below -15 Degree Celsius. Trekkers climbing the mountain in late November will even have to combat light snowfall and chilly wind.
Difficulties of Baruntse Climbing Season
Baruntse may be one of the most incredible mountain treks, but the journey to the summit is never easier. Even if the trekkers climb the peak in the ideal season, they’ll still be facing many difficulties, including rugged and steep trails, freezing temperature, and high altitude conditions. Some of the other challenges that they might have to face are as follows.
1. Extreme altitude
With a towering altitude of 7,129 meters, Baruntse is counted as one of the loftiest mountains in the Khumbu Valley. Its trail rises above the valley, rock hills, and clifftops to end up at the summit. Thus, trekkers of the Baruntse expedition have to defy extreme high altitude conditions, which is stressful.
It can overwhelm anyone but mostly beginners who have never before traversed the mountainous terrains. These trekkers have to be extra cautious while climbing the peak as the temperature drops quickly.
The high altitude region witnesses low atmospheric pressure, which causes anxiety among trekkers. As the trekkers walk along the route, trekkers can experience difficulty in breathing due to low oxygen levels. To prevent the hazard, trekkers mustn’t climb the trail too high and too fast.
2. Freezing weather
Climbing Baruntse means experiencing cold weather with extremely low temperatures and a whirlwind. It’s as cold as the arctic on the mountain with frequent light snowfall and severe storms.
As trekkers proceed to the mountain, they’ll have to face a cold spell with a chilling temperature, which can cause anxiety. Exposed skin in the cold causes frostbite, redness, and irritation. Therefore, trekkers will have to wear gloves and high insulated climbing boots to stay safe from snow.
3. Altitude sickness
Climbing Baruntse never gets easy, especially with an altitude of 23,585 ft, which poses a threat to hikers. The tough high altitude conditions and sudden exposure to the mountain create a lot of trouble for hikers. The rapid temperature changes make trekkers experience altitude sickness in no time.
As the trail gains elevation, the possibility of acute mountain sickness increases due to low oxygen levels at the summit. This eventually causes trekkers to suffer from symptoms like dizziness, anxiety, insomnia, and fatigue.
Hence, trekkers must acclimatize properly before climbing above the base camp and even along the way. To prevent altitude sickness, trekkers will camp from place to place to adapt to the weather and temperature.
A frequent ascend and descend on the trail keeps happening. The purpose of it is that the trekkers don’t suffer from breathing difficulty or feel sick. It also protects the climber from summer fever which is quite common at the summit.
4. Technical climb
Climbing Baruntse is extremely challenging with an unpaved trail that runs peaks and troughs to reach the summit. There are many sections on the way up to the crest where trekkers have to be extra careful, especially while climbing the steep glaciers and snowy hilltops.
Thus, the climbers will have to learn technical skills to ascend the peak, or else they will have an incredibly hard time getting to the summit. Of course, the trek doesn’t require you to excel in rock climbing but it does need a few climbing like using ropes, belaying, and rappelling.
Trekkers will also have to learn how to make anchors and walk the ladders over deep crevasses. Proper choice and use of trekking gear including jumar and ice axe is a must to ease the climb.
The long duration of the course is equally challenging therefore trekkers will have to train themselves for the walk. They can count on hiking poles though as they take off the pain from the knee while climbing steep hills. There will be professional Sherpa guides and a few crew members to accompany climbers and navigate the course.
5. Glaciers and crevasse
Another difficulty of Baruntse Climbing season is steep glaciers and crevasse that are genuinely hard to climb. Trekkers might even experience rockfall and snow slides while ascending the ridge. So trekkers will have to take good safety measures and follow the instructions of the guide. Baruntse Climbing route is not easy, you need to be extremely careful.
They should have the right equipment and technique to walk the rugged and steep snow trails. To cross the deep open cracks on the ice sheet and climb the glaciers, trekkers must have mountain ladders and ice axe as it provides support and helps maintain the balance.
Climbing the mountain ridges can cause frostbite therefore trekkers will have to ensure that they wear sturdy mountaineering boots. These climbing boots are highly insulated and don’t let the snow get through, protecting your feet from the cold.
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