Into the Hongku
It’s easy to confuse the Hinku and the Honku. These two river valley’s are neighbours, separated by a continuous range of peaks, generally over 6000 meters. The Honku is reached by crossing Mera La, the 5400 meter pass and natural approach to climbing Mera. The Honku Valley is virtually impassable down lower due to very steep canyons but can can be accessed over tow other very high and difficult passes, the Amphu Labsta, and Mingbo La. Both involve very long and steep descents. Baruntse basecamp is at the head of the Hongku valley, along with Panch Pokhari (Five Lakes).
We were snowed in for a day just below Baruntse basecamp at Seto Pokhari. The remote teahouse there was operated by a lone Sherpani who sold Coke and Pringles. Coke was priced at its all time high of 500 Nepal Rupees or about $7. Considering the distance that it was carried in by porters, the price did not seem unfair.