Along with my annual coverage of Everest, I always update information on the climbing routes on Everest. I am surprised that there is always something new. For Everest 2012 season, I want to discuss an acclimatization technique that is becoming more common on Nepal expeditions, the climb of nearby Lobuche Peak.
Lobuche is often classified as a Trekking peak due to the lack of technical difficulty and the relatively mild altitude; it is “only” 20,075ft/6119m . Teams like to use Lobuche for acclimatization because the summit is the same altitude as Camp 1 and it eliminates at least one trip through the dangerous Khumbu Icefall.
In 2011, I knew of at least two teams that used it in some form: International Mountain Guides (IMG) which was my team, and Himalayan Experience (Himex). Peak Freaks used Kala Patar for a similar purpose. In the IMG case, we made the 8 day trek from Lukla to Everest Base Camp proper at 17,500′, spent a few days then backtracked a full day to Lobuche. I understand that IMG will go directly to Lobuche in 2012 before arriving at EBC.