Kala Patthar, meaning “black rock” in Nepali and Hindi, is a notable landmark located on the south ridge of Pumori in the Nepalese Himalayas above Gorakshep.

Although not a proper mountain, the ascent of Kala Patthar is very popular with trekkers in the region of Mount Everest since it provides the most accessible closeup view of Mount Everest.

Due to the structure of the Everest Massif, its high summit is blocked by Mount Nuptse from much of the surrounding region. The views of Everest, Nuptse, and Changtse are spectacular from Kala Patthar and there are glimpses of the northern flank and summit of Mount Lhotse as well.

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View of Mount Everest, Mount Nuptse, & Mount Lhotse

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Sunrise on Mount Everest

Important Note: Kala Patthar is considered the highest altitude most will reach without a climbing permit, which must be obtained in Kathmandu, at the Nepal Mountaineering Association.

Fun Fact: The world’s highest webcam, Mount Everest webcam, was located here.

How To Climb Kala Patthar

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Kala Patthar

The ascent of Kala Patthar begins at Gorakshep (5,164 m or 16,942 ft), the original base camp for Mt. Everest.

After a brief dip to an ancient lake bed (which now contains a small lake and a helipad), the ascent makes its way up to a series of steep switchbacks before leveling off somewhat as it traverses to the eastern side of the mountain.

The trail then becomes steep once again until it reaches the wind-swept summit ridge. From there, a 5-to-10 minutes scramble over boulders takes one to the top, which is marked with prayer flags.

Note: There is also a geocaching trackable named Kala Pattar Yeti attached near the summit. Its trackable code is GS9EBG.

Elevation & Hiking

The full ascent usually takes between 1.5 and 2 hours. If the attempt is made starting from Lobuche, an additional two to three hours (one way) is required.

The elevation is commonly listed as 5,545–5,643 m (18,192–18,514 ft). It is possible that since Kala Patthar is merely a minor summit on a ridge leading to Pumori, different people may have measured different summits.

The summit traditionally referred to as Kala Patthar is, however, completely festooned with prayer flags, making it quite readily recognizable. It is quite clear that the point trekkers climb to is a local maxima on the Pumori ridge, not the summit of Kala Patthar proper.

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October 15, 2016 2:40 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

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