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Pumori: The bitter-sweet daughter of Everest
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Oct 15, 2004 11: 56 EST
Peak Freaks expedition is currently on Ama Dablam. Soon after, they’ll head to Pumori (7121m), sitting by the lonely South Everest Base Camp. In this 2 part series, we present Pumori - the daughter of Everest.

The Unmarried Daughter of Everest

"Unmarried Daughter" in Sherpa language, Pumori got her name by George Mallory, due to her location in the shade of Big E - eight km West, to be accurate. Since then, climbers sometimes refer to Pumori as "Everest's Daughter". It was first climbed in 1962 by Gerhard Lenser, member of a German-Swiss expedition.

Pumori stands at the top of the Khumbu valley, on the border between Nepal and Tibet. White and sweet as an ice cream cone, she poses a striking image before trekkers’ cameras, and a beautiful temptation to climbers ambitions.

The danger of the "easy" climb

The views from the summit are amazing: The high Tibetan plateau to one side, and the rugged shining peaks of Nepal to the other, plus perhaps the best panorama of Everest Western Cwm. In addition, the altitude of 7121 meters should make Pumori a good peak to climb as training for the big Eighthousanders. Some outfitter websites refer to Pumori as ‘The Easiest 7000er in Nepal’.

Sadly enough, Pumori's climbing history offers much less confidence. Although not technically difficult, Pumori is a dangerous mountain prone to avalanche, especially in the post-monsoon season.

The route

The ‘normal’ route on Pumori starts with a climb over an ice fall to the Southeast buttress, next traversing across open slopes to the East Ridge which can be followed to the summit.

Base camp is usually set up at 5300m. A 4 hour climb through the glaciers takes you to Camp 1 at 5700m. Next up are 500 meters on the face with 40-60 degrees slope. Finally you pass a snow wall and reach camp 2 at 6200m on a narrow ridge. Another 500 meters through ice with 30-60 degrees slopes passing through ice walls and crevasses are critical. Big seracs hanging on the shoulder above pose an avalanche risk. Camp 3 at 6500m is set on the ridge. On the summit push, expect crevasses up to the Pumori cliff just before the summit.

Tomorrow, part 2: The dark side of the bride in white.

Image of Pumori, copyright ExplorersWeb.

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